Tag Archives: Democrat

The confirmation bias and hypocrisy in critique of conservative group think

Burying the Republican Party, or at least throwing a handful of dirt on it, has become en vogue following Mitt Romney’s loss in the 2012 Presidential Election.

If they don’t adapt, they’ll die, etc.

But that was always true. Every political party has to adapt to the people it governs. Democracy is, after all, about following the will of the people.

Bruce Bartlett wrote a sizable treatise on the state of the American Conservative on the appropriately named TheAmericanConservative.com.

His position is not new, but rather an in-depth deconstruction of the GOP echo-chamber thesis being put forth by plenty of people both left and right in the political spectrum.

Bartlett, for his part, is a credentialed conservative, having worked with Jack Kemp, the Reagan administration and most recently George W. Bush.

His main criticism of the Republican Party is that they’ve become closed-minded. He cites an example of criticism he offered in a New York Times Magazine article that none of his conservative friends had even read. Some offered disdain that he would even suggest they’d believe something from a “liberal rag.”

One of the architects and champions of supply-side economics, Bartlett had more recently found love with Keynesian theory. Furthermore, he felt the right’s attack of this theory to be misguided and unfair.

But what Bartlett’s criticism, and by proxy any political criticism, of economic policy is missing is the truism that theory is theory. It exists in a vacuum.

Policy exists in the world. It has actual impacts on markets and those markets are never as cookie cutter as the cute, nice examples in such pieces of turn-of-the-century economic diatribes.

No one can argue the Keynesian notion that government spending levels do have an impact on business cycles in an economy, but they were more important in 1930 when the United States didn’t have to compete with China’s currency manipulations, the Euro-zone falling apart, or really any global competition.

Furthermore, spending levels are one thing – FDR spent a ton to help get us out of a recession – but he didn’t run up massive deficits or debt to do it. In fact, his spending as it relates to GDP was a fraction of what President Obama has done and is proposing in the future.

Debt levels have buried Greece and are threatening to bury Italy, Spain and soon yes, the United States.

Bartlett is correct to criticize the heinous perversion of conservatism by George W. Bush, a man who was driven by craven megalomania (an influence Karl Rove must take a considerable responsibility in) and not a conservative ideologies.

Bush 43 spent about as responsibly as a Hilton trust fund baby, but modern conservatives do criticize Bush for that.

Part of the problem, perhaps, for Bartlett and probably for the left who agree with him, is that they just don’t know enough modern conservatives. They don’t know people who believe in the conservative policies that are working in states like Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio.

That’s because the loudest conservative voices are, and probably always have been, the most closed-minded and ignorant. That, however, is not a GOP-only issue.

The left, hardened by two straight presidential victories, has become the most closed-minded group of people on planet Earth. Al-Qaeda has more wiggle room on their extremist positions than any pundit on MSNBC or NPR.

Just like Bartlett had friends who were shocked to find he’d think they would read the New York Times, I have friends who are equally shocked that I might think they would watch Fox News or read the Wall Street Journal.

What Bartlett and the Cato Institute have called “epistemic closure” is not something that only takes place on the right. As MSNBC and surrogates like Mother Jones, Daily Kos and others, move further left, the same sort of group think which pervades many circles of conservatives will create its own similar echo-chamber if one doesn’t already exist (and I think it does).

Plenty of GOPers convinced themselves that Gallup and Rasmussen had the party ID breakdown right and no one else did. Conservatives, particularly modern ones, are used to being underdogs. But if Gallup had been right, what would the echo-chamber criticism look like?

This critique is easy to make now because the GOP lost, but it wasn’t the landslide people pretend it was. Mitt Romney, an admittedly weak candidate who was never a strong conservative, nor a sufficiently appealing moderate, lost by less than 2% in the national vote and if half a million votes in swing states go for Romney, he wins in the landslide instead of Obama.

We don’t need to re-write reality in order to conform it to the way we want it. That kind of confirmation bias is evident in the ironically-named Bartlett article, “Revenge of the reality-based community.”

The mandate in 2008 was obvious: a rejection of Bush-era policies. In 2012, that mandate, if there is one, is less obvious, but Bush-era policies are decidedly not conservative. You can’t, in one breath, say the world is now anti-conservative because they’re anti-Bush, and yet say that means they’re now center left, when 60% of voters believe our economic problems are Bush’s fault.

The inherent implication there is that our dire economic straights are from a president spending like a maniac on programs we couldn’t afford and wars we didn’t really want to fight.

Obama’s policies have been no different. In that way, Bartlett’s characterization of Obama as a center-right politician is fitting: if Bush is what we might call a neo-conservative, Obama isn’t much different.

But there’s no evidence that either is the so-called ‘mandated path’ that this country wants to be on. Just about any critique for an echo-chamber or group think effect you can label on the right, you can do the same with the left.

Going off the deep end and decrying the end of the GOP is an unnecessary and unsupported claim. Critiques are right about one thing, the GOP must adapt or die.

But that was true even 10 years ago when Republicans had a strangle-hold on American politics. It’s a truism. It just is. All political parties, ideologies, and theories must adapt or be rendered irrelevant.

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How far does the Republican soul-searching have to go after loss to Obama?

Traditionalist conservatives will say the ideology will survive and thrive.

It’s the “we didn’t have the right guy” argument. Mitt Romney wasn’t a strong voice for conservative values and that’s why the GOP lost.

The 2012 election defeat at the hands of Barack Obama amidst the worst economy since the Great Depression, persistent unemployment, skyrocketing debts and deficits, and historic unrest has the left pouring dirt on this permutation of the the Republican party.

Establishment Republicans like Chris Wallace are wondering if the GOP has a “Tea Party problem.”

I don’t think there’s any evidence to suggest that is the case, considering the Tea Party wave brought the Republicans the House majority in 2010.

It wasn’t “the Tea Party” that lost the GOP Senate seats this election cycle, it was just a few Tea Party candidates couldn’t seem to remove their feet from their mouths.

Some of the reformers in Congress, Marco Rubio, Ron Johnson, Jim DeMint and others have been the strongest supporters of fiscal restraint and economic growth and have been vehemently opposed to tax increases.

The question has been brought up even before the outcome of this election, but Romney’s loss forces the question to be brought front and center to the Republican party: Is it time to rethink the GOP’s position on certain social issues.

An article in The Economist argues that young voters, who weren’t supposed to turn out in 2012 the way they did in 2008 (they did) are more socially liberal and had Mitt Romney been even mildly competitive among young voters, it would have been enough to flip key states.

Politico reports that President Obama won the youth vote 67-30 and won at least 61% of the youth vote in the swing states of Florida, Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Kevin Robillard, the author of the Politico piece, asserts that had Romney just gotten a 50-50 split of young voters, he has the votes to flip those states and thus, the election.

First, I don’t think the prescriptions the Economist argues in favor of make much sense. Softening on gay marriage seems like an inevitability, but the premise that the GOP must somehow run to the left of the Democrats on it is a ridiculous joke.

What young and even older moderate voters want to see from the Republican party is a movement that is less personified by Sarah Palin’s redneck ignorance and ‘aw shucks’ mentality, and more with a man like Paul Ryan who exemplifies the intellectual conservative argument.

There are still Reagan Democrats out there, but the Republican party has moved so far right on social issues that the thought of voting for the GOP is repulsive.

Mainstream media helps the Democratic cause because, particularly in this election, Barack Obama was the “cool” choice. It’s not cool to vote Republican because George Clooney and LeBron James are voting for Obama, so is Eva Longoria and Beyonce.

But for the politically engaged – and mostly likely to vote – the issues do matter, and while the economy plods along, people will have to fight their conscience.

To some degree Mitt Romney was the wrong candidate to bring this fight to Barack Obama, but part of the reason was he personified the big businesses, country club Republican stereotype. The class warfare Obama waged worked to perfection because Romney was everything Obama needed him to be.

It was easy to hate Mitt Romney, despite the fact that he really was a moderate, although he ran as an ultra-conservative.

In order to win in 2014 and beyond, the GOP doesn’t need to change, but rather choose better an ideological leader to lead the party. Karl Rove won George W. Bush two elections by appealing to evangelical voters and his effort to get those people to the polls with messaging won.

Barack Obama won this election because his get out the vote effort was better than Romney’s. His campaign was more effective in mobilizing his base. You can draw no ideological lines in the sand over this election because this election wasn’t about ideology for the winning side, it was about Big Bird and binders of women.

There are winning candidates out there, I’ve mentioned a few in recent days. Where the Republicans really have to change is in its approach to winning elections.

Republican party leaders believe ideology should be enough to get voters to the polls, but Democrats make sure they show up. They mobilize volunteers better and more effectively. They get millions of people to the polls who may otherwise have simply stayed home. Their GOTV effort was indisputably better than Mitt Romney’s and the Republican’s.

The left uses social media better, online tools more effectively. They market their product better than the Republicans market theirs and for the the party of free market economics, that’s sad.

If Mitt Romney had the infrastructure Obama had in terms of his ground game and overall organization, he wins going away. But he didn’t, so he didn’t.

That’s where Republicans have to be better moving forward. The ideologies on both sides haven’t changed and on the issues the Republicans wanted to win in this cycle, they did so pretty handily. They simply failed to convince enough voters that those issues were the issues and get the people who agreed with them to the polls.

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As a post-script, however, I do believe that the Republican party doesn’t have to move center to win votes, but it ought to consider a purer form of conservatism – a non-hypocritical form.

If you support limited government, you can’t support invasive procedures from mothers considering abortion – that doesn’t impede one’s ability to be pro-life.

Second, marriage being between a man and a woman is an institution of God and the church, not government. Conservatives ought to say that they believe the first step toward equality is to encourage every state to hold a referendum on gay marriage and that you believe in the will of the people. This way you avoid alienating your base and you at least make a move toward appeasing moderates.

The marijuana issue can and should be a winner for Republicans who ought to be on board with legalizing recreational use, and taxing the hell out of it. Some states estimate they can generate billions in tax revenue, plus if cigarettes and alcohol are legal – both of which are more harmful to your body – there is no intellectually honest argument to keep marijuana illegal, nor does it necessitate we make all drugs legal.

Lastly, conservatives who believe in limited government and hard work have to reconsider the immigration stance because the current platform is incoherent and incongruous with conservative ideology. Those who work should be rewarded. In other words, undocumented workers should have a path to citizenship. It’s safer for them because they are protected by labor laws and it’s better for the government because they pay income tax.

None of these are counter-conservative positions, but they are counter-conservative culture positions. Unfortunately for those traditionalists, they’re falling behind the times.

Nothing about these proposed changes do anything to inherently alter what conservatism is or should be. In fact, in some important ways, it brings the American Conservative closer to what it should have been all along.

That move should come from within and ought to have nothing to do with this election.

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The lesser of two evils and the inevitable change in our political dynamic

When I lived in Washington D.C. I found it fascinating the way people designated their politics. In other words, most people tend to use an issue or set of issues to define a partisan affiliation.

Conor Friedersdorf has been laying out his anti-‘lesser of two evils’ stance for the Atlanta and the responses to him have been revealing.

Friedersdorf has argued that Obama being the lesser of two political evils is not only a false statement, but stands on the false premise that we’re really making such a choice.

His major argument is the drone killings in the Middle East perpetrated by Barack Obama and the horrible atrocities being committed as a result of this policies.

For Friedersdorf, the people who vote for Obama based on the idea that the sum-total of his policies are better than this single policy are taking an over-utilitarian view and are undervaluing the lives of innocent foreigners, in favor of the rights of gays to marry, or the rights for women to have abortions.

When you frame it that way, it certainly seems incoherent. But the left’s response to Friedersdorf is equally incoherent, and furthermore, is frighteningly revealing.

A surprising number of partisan Democrats reacted to my piece by speculating that I must be a secret Republican operative, doing the bidding of Mitt Romney and the far right wing. Others insisted that my motive was Web traffic or flaunting my moral rectitude. It is one thing to argue that Obama is worth supporting despite his shortcomings. Given the gravity of those shortcomings, it is quite another to presume that anyone who disagrees must have clandestine motives. The inability to imagine non-cynical reasons for opposing Obama is itself a sad commentary on how little these issues mean to some of the president’s most zealous partisan supporters.

 In other words, you can’t condemn the president for something he’s doing without being a conservative because no one who isn’t a conservative or Republican would ever dare slander the President in this way.

This, of course, simply isn’t true. There are plenty of reasons to assert President Obama has come up short as the supreme administrator of this country.

Obama is a flawed candidate because he’s a policy-maker. Mitt Romney is a flawed candidate because he’s a flawed politician.

There’s a reason the libertarian party appears to be making inroads in the political discussion. As Matt Ridley of the Wall Street Journal put it, “(Libertarians) don’t see why, in order to get a small-government president, they have to vote for somebody who is keen on military spending and religion; or to get a tolerant and compassionate society they have to vote for a large and intrusive state.”

What the Atlanta article was aimed at doing is undermining the incoherence of liberal bias in how they view their own party and in this case, their own candidate.

But I do think there is some credence to the idea that many people view voting as a ‘lesser of two evils’ system, it’s just that some people ignore some pretty serious evils, hold their noses and vote.

There is some rationality to it. A woman, keen on her abortive abilities, may prioritize a pro-choice candidate like Obama even if he’s killing innocent people, mostly because the drone strikes don’t affect her life.

That’s rational, even if its a moral abomination (or in this case Obamination). She’s choosing what most benefits her. Democrats might argue that Obama’s policies, on the whole, positively effect more people than they negatively affect and that the sum total of good he’s done/will do is greater than Mitt Romney’s.

In terms of quantifying such things, it’s hard to truly know the answer to that question, although Friedersdorf’s argument that drone strikes and the resulting terrors should be enough not to vote for Obama is truly compelling.

But make no mistake, there is fracture among Democrats and Republicans right now about a lot of issues. The fact that some in the Tea Party hold morally repugnant viewpoints has helped galvanize the left against the GOP, and with good cause.

On the other hand, there are plenty of moderate Democrats who cringe at the idea of trillions in deficit spending and debt, who don’t appreciate their party has been hijacked by people who protest in foam vagina suits and spend more time talking about abortive rights than getting people back to work.

Throughout history, we’ve seen changes in the things each party stands for. Remember, the Democrats were the party of slave-owners and succession.

A multi-party system may be too drastic a change and we’ve seen the failures of third party candidates in the past. If that trend holds, it seems increasingly likely that both the Democrat and Republican parties will have to reassess their beliefs in order to grow with the changing feelings of a population who has grown weary of burgeoning ideological divides and shrinking accomplishments from the government sector.

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Wisconsin offers example to nation in defeating union thuggery

The liberal excuse machine is out in full force just about 12 hours after Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker won his fight against the union thugs behind his recall election.

Let’s be honest, this was never about Walker v. Barrett, the governor’s overmatched and underwhelming opponent. Just 50% of Barrett voters said their vote was a vote for Barrett rather than a vote against his opponent.

In stark contrast, 90% of Walker voters said they were voting for  the governor, leading to a trouncing of the Milwaukee Mayor by an even bigger margin than the 2010 election.

But before the polls had even closed, David Axelrod was making excuses for Barrett’s imminent loss.

It was the fundraising, all that out of state money. Walker outspent Barrett 8-1 etc. etc.

The problem, of course, with that logic is that Walker was leading the polls by a sizable margin before any campaigning had even begun.

Liberals can’t accept this obviously, because it means that public opinion doesn’t jibe with what they hoped it would. It also means millions of wasted union dollars to fight a governor the state agreed belonged in office.

Unions from across the country sent money to Wisconsin, proof positive that union dues are not apolitical, and are, in fact, exactly the opposite.

But more than that, this election showed that independent voters favor fiscal responsibility over ideological rhetoric.

Actions over words.

What Scott Walker did in Wisconsin worked.

The voters, the tax-payers, they saw it work.

Budget balanced, taxes lowered, businesses back on track.

For liberals, this is bad, bad news.

Barack Obama avoided this election like it was the plague. He made campaign stops in Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan, thrice flying over Wisconsin, but never stopping to stump for Barrett.

He knew this was a losing battle.

Already there are questions about how this will effect Obama’s chances in Wisconsin.

We know Obama won’t get outspent 8-1, but polls – the same ones that predicted nearly the exact gubernatorial outcome – have Obama and Romney running in a dead heat 46-46.

But 8 points is plenty between now and November.

Independents supported Walker, which is why he won. Independents, for now, are supporting Obama, but that may not matter.

In the recall election, three of the key GOP stronghold counties went heavily for Walker, posting higher victory percentages than in the liberal counties where Madison and Milwaukee reside.

In other words, the Republicans came out in wild support of their candidate.

Conservatives don’t support Romney the way they support Scott Walker, not in Wisconsin or truly anywhere else.

But what happened in Wisconsin proves that public support and true democratic processes support the majority voice, no matter how dirty the other side fights or how many celebrities endorse the opponent.

In so many ways, this was a proxy war for the national GOP and Democrat parties.

In November though, Obama is running as the bizarro Scott Walker, the incumbent whose policies have failed as massively as Walker’s have succeeded.

If Republicans across the country see that liberal demagoguery can be defeated in Wisconsin, there’s reason to believe it can be defeated in Washington D.C.

A victory in Wisconsin could be the first of many for conservatives in this country. Luckily, that means a victory for all of us.

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Eschewing Ryan as VP, Romeny would gave flexibility in his campaign

An interesting article in the New York Times has me re-thinking my stance on a Romeny/Ryan ticket.

It isn’t because Paul Ryan wouldn’t be a good Vice Presidential candidate because, frankly, he would make a great one.

The article actually focuses on a potential Mitt Romney move toward the center. Scratch that, an inevitable move toward the center.

It’s who Mitt Romney is. He’s a centrist, not by political nature but my pragmatism. He’s a business man and as a business man, understands it’s not beneficial to him or anyone to hold too firmly to certain ideas.

His ability to adapt has been what has made him successful in everything he’s done since he was at Harvard simultaneously getting his MBA and his JD (they didn’t have a program for it at the time, he was jut dually enrolled. Think about that).

True, his conservatism is part of his religious beliefs, shaping his views on abortion and gay marriage, which will win him points with Tea Party and conservative voters.

But the budget is where he may have some wiggle room. That’s the heart of what the Times article is about because the Republican-run House will apparently insist on the hard-line approach to budget deficits even if Romney is elected.

Let me tell you, when I figured out what was going on, I realized how genius it was from a strategy standpoint for the GOP.

On one side you have President Obama, the definition of a tax and spend liberal, who favors higher taxes and government intervention over personal freedom and financial responsibility.

On the other side are the Republicans in Congress, perceived to be corrupted by Tea Partiers and hawking the deficit by making draconian cuts (which, by the way, they’re not).

Mitt Romney gets to do what he does so well: equivocate.

He can support Paul Ryan’s plan as a daring and substantive effort for dealing with the deficit, but  by separating himself from it, can also criticize some of the more controversial items like the massive changes to Medicare.

If he picks Paul Ryan as a Vice President, he’s all in.

As much as conservatives (including this one) may like that from an ideological standpoint, I don’t know that it’s the best way to win an election.

Pick another conservative crusader like Marco Rubio and you can energize the base while also leaving open the possibility of distinguishing yourself from one of the most controversial, albeit intelligent and eloquent, conservatives in the country.

You can still use Paul Ryan as a mouthpiece of the plan and to explain conservative ideology. I think the Republican party would be smart to get him into the media spotlight as much as possible.

On the other hand, Romney can appear more moderate and appeal to independents, where this election will most certainly be won.

Having Paul Ryan’s endorsement means having the conservative stamp of approval in the minds of voters. But if Romney keeps him at an arm’s length, it could also give him just enough credibility with moderate voters to win over that 20% block of independents where most elections are won.

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Facts show government spending favors wealthy, need for entitlement reform

The day after Super Tuesday you may expect me to talk about it. Realistically though, we didn’t learn anything we didn’t already know.

Romney is the front-runner, Santorum is providing just enough opposition to be a threat, Gingrich has no chance yet will continue to campaign, and Ron Paul is bringing up the rear and stirring up trouble like the annoying youngest brother.

What I want to talk about is a much bigger issue, one that people may find more surprising than the results of a rather mundane outcome in the primary yesterday.

Earlier in the week, Paul Ryan posted an article (or speech or whatever you want to call it) to his Facebook account about the misconceptions regarding where government dollars are going.

The third paragraph of the post is the heart of Ryan’s message to his followers:

This is mainly because the distribution of government transfers has moved away from lower-income households. For instance, in 1979, households in the lowest income quintile received 54 percent of all transfer payments. In 2007, those households received just 36 percent of transfers.

Ryan is referring, though not explicitly, to the liberal idea that higher taxes and government spending can be justified by the help it brings to low income families.

The problem, of course, is that this post, with figures from the Congressional Budget Office, a non-partisan entity, shows that isn’t the case.

In fact, not just a majority, but a vast majority of government transfers do not go to low income households.

The main driver of this inequality is Medicare and Social Security. As Ryan points out, these are not means-tested programs, which is to say that the government does not determine whether or not you have the means to pay for your own health care or retirement.

According to the CBO, the average household over 65 has a net wealth 47 times that of households under 35, an all-time disparity.

Part of the reason is the baby-boom generation, but also the lack of reforms to outdated entitlement systems.

More to the point, neither Ryan nor most of the Republican party think Medicare, Social Security and other government programs to help low-income households should be ended.

What we want is a system that makes sense, that is efficient and that doesn’t place an undue burden on the taxpayers.

As Ryan notes in his post, his budget plan outlined a system where wealthier seniors would receive less government support, saving money for the elderly families who need it most.

When the government talks about common-sense solutions, this is the type of effort they mean. Unfortunately, liberals used that part of Ryan’s budget to vilify him as anti-senior and anti-Medicare.

The reality is: conservatives believe that those who need help ought to get it, even from the government. On the other hand, it has to be a system that makes sense.

Most of government money doesn’t go to help those who need it most, it goes to corporate welfare, subsidies and the wealthy.

No one, especially not conservatives, believes that is the role of government, so liberals must relent on their insistence that conservatives want companies to survive at the expense of the individual.

Just the opposite.

But until Democrats and liberals stop demagoguing  entitlement reform, obfuscating the facts of government spending (which, I would guess, will shock liberals who see that government spending has shifted so radically to support wealthier Americans) real reforms are not possible.

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Santorum’s Comments on Religion Hurting GOP

MSNBC is running a graphic on Morning Joe with a picture of GOP candidate Rick Santorum and a headline “Foot in Mouth Disease.”

And unfortunately for the Republicans, it’s one of the few things about the GOP that MSNBC has actually gotten right.

Santorum is a social ultra-con, the kind of close-minded religious zealot the Republican party can’t afford.

Conservatism is about freedom, both the freedom from an oppressive state and the freedom to live happily in any way we choose so long as it doesn’t infringe on the basic freedoms of others.

Santorum’s version of conservatism is about neither.

His latest inflammatory, and frankly ignorant, speech about the separation of church and state is just another piece of fuel to throw on the burning fire of liberal critique of Republicanism – which is importantly different from conservatism, though very often erroneously used interchangeably.

Speaking to the Detroit Chamber of Commerce, Santorum said JFK’s famous 1960 speech on the separation of church and state made him “almost throw up.”

No, if you want to throw up, do a Google image search for “Santorum.”

“I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute,” Santorum told ABC News.

“The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country.”

As I’ve said before, there is no specific mention of the separation of church and state in the constitution. And yes, surely the puritans who founded the first settlements in America would have loved to weave their theology into the fabric of their government. So, to some degree, Santorum is right in saying there is no absolute or even specific laws precluding the church from influencing policy.

America gained independence more than 200 years ago and the first settlement came more than 150 years before that.

Even the difference between the lifestyles in Jamestown in 1607 and that of Philadelphia in 1776 were starkly different, and the people who came to the New World likely would never have agreed to the rules put in place by our framers.

More to the point, those who constantly invoke the framers when defending the influence religion should have in our political system do so at their own peril, considering the man who wrote the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, was an atheist.

It’s hypocritical for Rick Santorum to, on the one hand, bash President Obama for his contraceptive mandate as an affront to religious freedom, and on the other, claim that his Catholic Church should have more influence in policy.

Religious freedom means religious freedom for every religion.  By choosing one church’s dogma to become the standard-bearer for policy, one inherently excludes every other religion.

Even if those other religions share similar moral teachings, the very principal is counterproductive to the spirit of maintaining the freedom and autonomy of religious influences on the state.

Politicians are people. Religion can serve as a moral compass, a baseline from where politicians draw their support for topics with certain moral implications.

Santorum has said the right things about the government’s role in legislating our religious freedom, that the government shouldn’t be involved.

Then, in the same breath, he’s saying the government should use church teachings to legislate, an entirely contradictory position to his “rights-based” argument against Obama’s contraceptive mandate.

It’s this kind of ignorance and hypocrisy which could sink the Republicans in 2012 because the GOP has to win the arguments on important issues in the minds of the voters.

If a candidate can’t generate a coherent position on those important issues, the Republicans have no chance of winning those arguments.

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