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Rick Santorum and the return of compassionate conservatism
Washington Post ^ | 01/06/2012 | Michael Gerson

Posted on 01/06/2012 9:00:15 AM PST by SeekAndFind

The outcome in Iowa was both electorally inconclusive and politically clarifying. There is a Republican Party, supporting Mitt Romney, that wants to win an election. And there is a Republican Party, supporting Ron Paul, that wants to make a point about limited government.

This division is not entirely ideological. There are rock-ribbed conservatives who believe that the highest political priority is the early retirement of President Obama. There are evangelicals — uncomfortable with libertarianism and the foreign policy of Charles Lindbergh — who have nevertheless joined Paul’s protest against swollen government

Based on recent history, the party of electability will eventually prevail. Activists rooting for the new (and more extreme) Barry Goldwater will need to explain how he avoids the political fate of the first one.

But perhaps the most surprising result of the Iowa caucuses was the return of compassionate conservatism from the margins of the Republican stage to its center. Rick Santorum is not just an outspoken social conservative; he is the Republican candidate who addresses the struggles of blue-collar workers and the need for greater economic mobility. He talks not only of the rights of the individual but also of the health of social institutions, particularly the family. He draws out the public consequences of a belief in human dignity — a pro-life view applied to the unborn and to victims of AIDS in Africa.

Electability Republicans can live with Santorum’s populism and moralism. Anti-government activists cannot and have begun their assault. Santorum is referred to as a “pro-life statist.” David Boaz of the Cato Institute cites evidence implicating him in shocking ideological crimes, such as “promotion of prison ministries” and wanting to “expand colon cancer screenings for Medicare beneficiaries.”

But Santorum is not engaged in heresy; he represents an alternative tradition of conservative political philosophy.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: compassion; conservatism; santorum

1 posted on 01/06/2012 9:00:20 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

If we SPLIT the true Christian Evangelical Conservative vote three ways between Newt, Santorum, and Perry — we simply lose to Willard the Obama-lite Liberal.

Period.

Just in:

South Carolina Republican Presidential Primary Rasmussen
Reports

Gingrich 18, Romney 27, Santorum 24, Paul 11, Perry 5

Romney +3 : (

It’s not rocket science, folks.


2 posted on 01/06/2012 9:06:35 AM PST by CainConservative ( Newt/Santorum 2012 with Cain, Huck, Bolton, Perry, Watts, Duncan, & Bachmann in Newt's Cabinet)
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To: SeekAndFind
Putting aside whether Santorum fully fits the "Compassionate Conservative" definition, one thing I know is that Compassionate Conservatism destroyed conservatism in the 2000s. It resulted in the losses in 2006 and 2008. It completely undermined the GOP when it tried to fight against Obama's spending binge. George Bush turned into Herbert Hoover laying the groundwork for FDR's New Deal. Conservatism can't be social conservatism and economic moderatism. If that is where the GOP is going, I will start voting third party.

With respect to Santorum, his book lays out a case for using government programs and special breaks to help families and other conservative social institutions. He says he will cut the budget but it worries me that his whole emphasis is on social issues and he doesn't really make a case for taking an ax to the size of government. That is why he is not my first choice. I remember how demoralized I was at Bush's spending binge and TARP etc. I can imagine Santorum doing the same thing.

3 posted on 01/06/2012 9:07:04 AM PST by Opinionated Blowhard ("When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.")
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To: SeekAndFind
No thanks....has enough of that bullcrap with the last “conservative” we had...

Only RINOs use that phrase to hid their progressive roots.

4 posted on 01/06/2012 9:07:51 AM PST by rightwingextremist1776
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To: Opinionated Blowhard

Why does one have to add the adjective “compassinate” to conservatism?

This implies that conservative principles are NOT compassionate ( as opposed to liberalism ).

By doing this we are already conceding to the FALSE implication that conservatives are inhumane.

WE OUGHT TO REJECT THIS IDEA and educate people to show them that conservatism is IN AND OF ITSELF COMPASSIONATE ( more compassioante than the cruel results of liberalism ).


5 posted on 01/06/2012 9:10:03 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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Some GOP candidates need to drop out and consolidate the conservative base....otherwise Romney will take his small faction, win some primaries, and pronounce his “momentum”.


6 posted on 01/06/2012 9:14:36 AM PST by ak267
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To: SeekAndFind

Exactly. Limited government is compassionate. Any state that has a huge amount of control over its peoples’ incomes and which doles out spending on social programs to take care of people ends up being a tyranny. There is no statist government in history that was ever compassionate. The Soviet Union? North Korea? Cuba? They are all giant prison camps.


7 posted on 01/06/2012 9:15:00 AM PST by Opinionated Blowhard ("When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.")
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To: SeekAndFind

Sorry folks but we just don’t need another Senator or Speaker of the House or Congresscritter of any kind to occupy the WH. They are all from the same fabric bolt.


8 posted on 01/06/2012 9:19:15 AM PST by Hattie
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To: ak267

Yes. Let’s start by having Romney and Paul drop out.


9 posted on 01/06/2012 9:20:37 AM PST by Ingtar (Newt (four more for Obama) & Mitt (Obamacare) - what wonderful choices!)
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To: Hattie

Especially a liberal governor.


10 posted on 01/06/2012 9:20:47 AM PST by Racer1
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To: Hattie

Especially a liberal governor.


11 posted on 01/06/2012 9:21:12 AM PST by Racer1
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To: Hattie

Who does that leave? “Any of the kind” clearly disqualifies Romney and Huntsman, while the first part of your statement disqualifies the rest.


12 posted on 01/06/2012 9:23:03 AM PST by Ingtar (Newt (four more for Obama) & Mitt (Obamacare) - what wonderful choices!)
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To: SeekAndFind

The way I remember it, Bush 43 and Rove invented the phrase “Compassionate Conservatism” to differentiate themselves from the Gingrich/Santorum conservatives of the 90’s, who had become unpopular in the late 90’s during impeachment.

Santorum did seem to be on board with most of the Bush agenda, but I don’t recall him ever identifying himself as a “CC”.


13 posted on 01/06/2012 9:25:56 AM PST by Retired Greyhound (.)
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To: SeekAndFind; ding_dong_daddy_from_dumas; stephenjohnbanker; DoughtyOne; calcowgirl; Gilbo_3; ...
RE:"But perhaps the most surprising result of the Iowa caucuses was the return of compassionate conservatism from the margins of the Republican stage to its center. Rick Santorum is not just an outspoken social conservative; he is the Republican candidate who addresses the struggles of blue-collar workers and the need for greater economic mobility. He talks not only of the rights of the individual but also of the health of social institutions, particularly the family. He draws out the public consequences of a belief in human dignity — a pro-life view applied to the unborn and to victims of AIDS in Africa."

I don't see anything in the above reference that makes him look bad. GWB compassionate conservatism meant tax credits for single Moms, home loans for minorities with bad credit and prescript drugs for seniors paid for by the nation's (debts) credit card and NCLB without private school vouchers except in DC.

More troubling is Santorum's past pro-union votes but yet he still looks better than Romney and Newt. I have yet to see any commercials of him with Pelosi demanding that 'our leaders' take action on climate change,

14 posted on 01/06/2012 9:26:15 AM PST by sickoflibs (You MUST support the lesser of two RINOs or we all die!)
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To: Opinionated Blowhard

“I remember how demoralized I was at Bush’s spending binge and TARP etc. I can imagine Santorum doing the same thing.”

BUMP

I can’t handle another “compassionate conservative.”

I want a conservative instead.


15 posted on 01/06/2012 9:27:11 AM PST by SharpRightTurn ( White, black, and red all over--America's affirmative action, metrosexual president.)
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To: Hattie
Ok, that leaves me, and I am not running, too many snakes in the closet, are is that skeletons. LOL
16 posted on 01/06/2012 9:28:43 AM PST by org.whodat (Just another heartless American, hated by "AMNESTY" Newt, Willard, Perry and nervous supporters.)
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To: SeekAndFind
You are right that traditional Conservatism is more compassionate than any alternative--a point that I have stressed for many years. (For example, see "Compassion" Or Compulsion, which argues that what the Left claims is motivated by compassion is actually motivated by a compulsion for uniformity.)

As for the posted lead article, it is an effort to avoid part of the real debate by attributing the traditional non-meddling U.S. Foreign Policy to Charles Lindbergh, rather than Washington & Jefferson.

Let's have the debate, by all means; but allow those of who oppose World Government & any foreign policy initiatives, not clearly in America's interest, the opportunity to define our own arguments. (See Pseudo Pragmatism--Political Folly, which quotes Washington directly on the psychological issues often overlooked in the foreign policy debate.)

Finally, while I like many things about Santorum, his rejection of the idea that social policy as to health, safety & morals, was supposed to be left to the States, makes it impossible to support him, until he acknowledges that such issues must be governed by the oath to support the Constitution.

William Flax

17 posted on 01/06/2012 9:30:56 AM PST by Ohioan
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To: SeekAndFind

I don’t see Rick Santorum as another Compassionate Conservative. He did vote with the party on a couple of Bush’s really stupid initiatives—prescription drugs for medicare, and No Child Left Behind. But then so did virtually all the other Republicans in office at the time.

Bush said it was necessary for the party to remain popular enough so it could do other things like cut taxes. He was wrong, but I’d blame that on Bush and Rove, not an individual Senator like Santorum who was voting with the party.

As for Ron Paul, he is no conservative. He is completely lacking in moral principles, and he is one of the biggest pork guzzlers in the house, all the while he rants about cutting spending. He is sufficiently UNconservative so he has a lot of young, liberal Democrats voting for him.


18 posted on 01/06/2012 9:32:43 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: SharpRightTurn
Trying to sell willard as a conservative is a non starter.
19 posted on 01/06/2012 9:35:24 AM PST by org.whodat (Just another heartless American, hated by "AMNESTY" Newt, Willard, Perry and nervous supporters.)
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To: CainConservative

What major pieces of legislation would Gingrich propose that Romney would not?


20 posted on 01/06/2012 9:35:33 AM PST by ex-snook ("above all things, truth beareth away the victory")
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To: Opinionated Blowhard

Santorum is not now, and never was a fiscal conservative... He’s a social conservative and a fiscal moderate.


21 posted on 01/06/2012 9:38:28 AM PST by HamiltonJay
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To: Opinionated Blowhard
Putting aside whether Santorum fully fits the "Compassionate Conservative" definition, one thing I know is that Compassionate Conservatism destroyed conservatism in the 2000s. It resulted in the losses in 2006 and 2008. It completely undermined the GOP when it tried to fight against Obama's spending binge.

No, it didn't. One issue conservatives and Paultards destroyed conservatism and handed our nation over to the Dems.

Bush's spending was nothing like Obama's. Nothing, no where close, not comparable. Only the blind can't tell the difference between 2.5% deficits (to GDP) and 15% deficits.

Bush's largest deficit was 435 billion. Obama hasn't had one less than 1.2 trillion.

"Conservatives" threw the Republican House under the bus in 2006 over 45 billion in earmarks. Obama and the Dems blew a 1000 billions on Porkulus...didn't help the economy at all but lined their donors pockets. We were far better off under Bush and the Republicans elected in 2004.

TARP was responsible in part for keeping the western world's commercial banking system from collapsing. We know that now, beyond a doubt. It ended up costing only 19 billion dollars, probably the best economic deal in history. Bush was right to do it, because it was the right thing to do for the nation, whether his base liked it or not. That is the difference between a leader and a milksop.

Go ahead a vote for a third party and stab America in the back again.

22 posted on 01/06/2012 9:40:53 AM PST by A.Hun (Common sense is no longer common.)
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To: CainConservative

Yep. C’mon Newt backers. Get behind Santorum, or face Romney/Obama.

I warned this would happen.


23 posted on 01/06/2012 9:53:43 AM PST by BenKenobi
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To: HamiltonJay

Santorum’s plan is more fiscally conservative than Paul Ryan.


24 posted on 01/06/2012 9:55:12 AM PST by BenKenobi
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To: SeekAndFind

Compassionate conservatives want to try to use the One Ring for good, rather than throw it into the fires of Mt. Doom. They should know better.


25 posted on 01/06/2012 10:10:18 AM PST by cdcdawg
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To: BenKenobi

I don’t care what his plan says, I can tell you as someone who was a constiuent of Santorum, he’s not a fiscal conservative. I am not saying that’s a disqualification of him, but I am saying he talks a good game about it at times, but don’t expect this guy to cut out the pork, its NOT his view of government, never has been.

He’ll yeild to pressure when he needs to, but he’s not someone who is fundamentally ideologically fiscally conservative.


26 posted on 01/06/2012 10:16:09 AM PST by HamiltonJay
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To: A.Hun

TARP was responsible in part for keeping the western world’s commercial banking system from collapsing.

...ahhh, horsehockey Kensian/liberal crapola! We need more bank failures so that we can get integrity back in the crooked system. Conservatives did no such thing... Rove Rinos deserted every conservative candidate in play in ‘06 and ‘08 with no money and no support since the Rockefeller Rinos would RATHER have Dems in office than see a conservative win. They plan to stay in power nad rack up pension credits at all costs, especially reaching across the aisle...

stupid Stockholm syndrom Country Club Rinos kill a little of America off in every election...

ymmv


27 posted on 01/06/2012 10:18:59 AM PST by ElectionInspector (Molon Labe...)
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To: BenKenobi

Indeed.

Whoever comes in 2nd to Willard, should Willard win* SC WILL have my vote.

*Which Perry’s 5-7% there is going to insure.

Oh well, there’s always 2016.


28 posted on 01/06/2012 10:26:30 AM PST by CainConservative ( Newt/Santorum 2012 (with Cain, Huck, Bolton, Perry, Watts, Duncan, & Bachmann in Newt's Cabinet))
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To: HamiltonJay

As someone who’s a constituent of Perry, I’m not sure what to say about his record in contrast. Sure, he’s balanced the budget, but it’s also TX. He could have done better here.

And don’t get me started on Newt.

I’m just not seeing it. Sure, Santorum isn’t as strong as Cain was, (who is?), but I like the plan he’s putting up there. Who, besides Paul do you see as stronger?


29 posted on 01/06/2012 10:27:43 AM PST by BenKenobi
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To: A.Hun

“TARP was responsible in part for keeping the western world’s commercial banking system from collapsing. We know that now, beyond a doubt.”

Pure bull.


30 posted on 01/06/2012 10:27:55 AM PST by CainConservative ( Newt/Santorum 2012 (with Cain, Huck, Bolton, Perry, Watts, Duncan, & Bachmann in Newt's Cabinet))
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To: CainConservative

I’m right with you there. The Iowa results were enough for me after seeing the breakdown.

Glad to have you on board again! Be nice to get all the Cain folks together behind Santorum. :D


31 posted on 01/06/2012 10:29:42 AM PST by BenKenobi
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To: Retired Greyhound

Exactly. Bush also accused them of balancing the budget “on the backs of the poor.”


32 posted on 01/06/2012 10:47:41 AM PST by RIRed
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To: HamiltonJay

So basically , he’s this year’s Huckaphoney?


33 posted on 01/06/2012 10:57:15 AM PST by WOBBLY BOB (Congress: Looting the future to bribe the present.)
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To: A.Hun

Your last sentence is nonsense. Further, I’d say anyone voting for “any republican will do” is the back stabber. RINOs have almost destroyed conservatism and it looks like YOU are with the RINOs.


34 posted on 01/06/2012 11:23:42 AM PST by Scotsman will be Free (11C - Indirect fire, infantry - High angle hell - We will bring you, FIRE)
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To: WOBBLY BOB

I don’t think he’s as bad as Huckabee, but he’s not an ideological fiscal conservative.

Santorum was not tight with the purse strings, and played the pork game plenty.

Again, not saying this disqualifies him, just pointing out a reality.

Right now I think Santorum is in a boomlet, that is more projection that reality, and its important folks are aware of this guy.

Personally I don’t see Santorum remotely surviving the scrutiny of the spotlight, let along having a chance in hell at a national campaign. He’s not a horrible person, but he’s just not what a lot of folks are projecting on him.

He’s basically booming, because he’s the last man standing, not because of anything he’s done, and honestly, he’s splitting the non romney vote which means if this stays the way it is, he’s playing spoiler in order for Romney to be our nominee. Love to see it differently, but I just don’t.


35 posted on 01/06/2012 11:26:10 AM PST by HamiltonJay
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To: org.whodat

“Trying to sell willard as a conservative is a non starter.”

I agree.


36 posted on 01/06/2012 1:51:20 PM PST by SharpRightTurn ( White, black, and red all over--America's affirmative action, metrosexual president.)
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To: Ingtar
Who does that leave? “Any of the kind” clearly disqualifies Romney and Huntsman, while the first part of your statement disqualifies the rest.

Circular firing squad

37 posted on 01/06/2012 2:17:39 PM PST by Boston Blackie
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To: sickoflibs

The “Santorum isn’t that great a fiscal conservative” stories started on Iowa caucus night.

I’ve heard nothing that makes me prefer Newt over Santorum.


38 posted on 01/07/2012 6:23:24 PM PST by Impy (Don't call me red.)
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To: Impy; mkjessup; Gilbo_3; calcowgirl
Someone posted a thread on this link here on Friday, the referenced list is worth reading.

Direct link:
What A Big Government Conservative Looks Like(Redstate.com)

39 posted on 01/07/2012 7:43:24 PM PST by sickoflibs (You MUST support the lesser of two RINOs or we all die!)
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