Bob Owens

The saddest truth in politics is that people get the leaders they deserve

In which Dan Riehl fails to tell the difference between a man and a movement

Written By: Bob - Feb• 21•12

I tend to generally like Dan, so don’t lump me in with his general detractors. That allowed, claiming that you either support Rick Santorum or you aren’t a real conservative is one of the most idiotic claims I’ve heard in a long time.

If you insist that Rick Santorum is un-electable at this point, but call yourself a Republican – which I don’t btw – then you are wasting your time in the wrong party and may as well go Independent. I did when I left the Democrats and haven’t joined another one since. But given these numbers, there is no valid argument in suggesting Santorum would not be an acceptable nominee for the GOP, any more than one can say that about Romney at this point.

But if you are a conservative looking at these numbers and saying Santorum can’t win, then you may as well give it up, or stop calling yourself a conservative, because you don’t believe enough in what you profess to believe in to even fight for it when called. You assume conservatism is a loser out of the gate. Frankly, I don’t believe that, which is why I became one in my twenties. I believe it not only can win in America but must for America to remain strong. And I am always willing to fight to put that assumption to the test.

Leave it to the people who actually believe in both conservatism and themselves enough to fight for those things and to represent conservatism. Because, whatever it is you claim to believe in, obviously, you really don’t. You’re just clutter on the road to an ever increasing statism and it would be better for everyone, including yourself, if you simply got the hell out of the way.

This may come as a shock to Dan, but Rick Santorum isn’t the poster boy for conservatism, and there is a strong case to be made that he isn’t a conservative at all. While the former Senator is an avowed social conservative, his fiscal record as an big government, earmarking pork-fiend are very well documented.

And where real conservatism champions small government that get’s out of everyone’s way, Santorum’s particular brand of “social justice” is only marginally less intrusive into our private lives than Obama’s just coming at us from the other extreme. Between his structural flaws regarding our fiscal security and individual sovereignty, I’d be hard-pressed to swallow Santorum as any kind of a conservative at all.

This candidate’s particular and varied short-comings aside, Dan comes across as more than a little full of it himself here and I hope we can chalk it up to a bad day blogging (we all have those). The last I checked, no one gave anyone else the power to anoint a “true conservative” to which we must all bear feudal fealty or be banished for party treason.

Santorum is a crap candidate is a field of crap candidates. I’m sorry if he or anyone else can’t bring themselves to hear it.

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  1. tracy coyle says:

    I judge people on the standards they claim they hold themselves to. If someone says they are Christian and act in obvious ways unChrist-like, I will state they may call themselves a Christian but present themselves as no such thing. I think Santorum IS a Republican, and has social conservative positions, but his statements against positions I would classify as ‘classical liberal’ or based on a foundation of individual rights does not present as a ‘conservative’ of the Founding Father stripe.

    He IS running for the GOP nomination, so first, I expect him to be a Republican FIRST…and in fact, that is exactly what he portrays.

  2. Jim says:

    A “real conservative” that believes in small government and individual liberty must be both a social and a fiscal conservative. A social conservative that is a moderate (at best) on fiscal issues will not believe in small government. I refer to thse (although this is not original by any means) as big government conservatives. Unfortuanately, the only GOP candidate that has a record of a belief in small government is Ron Paul. Wonderful.

    I don’t like any of these putz’s…er…candidates.

    • Bob says:

      But “social conservatism” isn’t conservative. It is misnamed. It is anti-liberty and anti-classical liberalism. It is very much an in-your-face affront to personal space every bit as glaring as the countering progressive position that seeks to force their values upon everyone else.

      In my opinion, the only truly conservative position is classical liberalism, which views government as a necessary evil to be tolerated but not encouraged, that seeks to preserve our individual freedoms and tells busy-bodys on both sides to quit trying to impose their views on everyone else.

      The problem we have today is that precious few liberals care about Liberalism and precious few republicans care about the Republic as our Founders envisioned it.

    • tracy coyle says:

      You do understand that eliminating the Fed and going on the gold standard gives the gov COMPLETE control over the economy, right? So much for small gov.