Thought of the day

Peace out, Frothy.

“Booooo” Santorum

Rick Santorum is campaigning in New Hampshire, one of the few states that does not discriminate against gays in marriage and the site of the first Republican primary. I don’t think he’s going to do well there, but then who knew he was going to do well in Iowa. Of course, while Iowa also does not discriminate against gays in marriage, many of its citizens would prefer to turn the clock back. That gives Santorum and all the vile things he says a little power there. That probably won’t be the case in New Hampshire, and it certainly was not the case in front of a bunch of college students in Concord:

Rick Santorum was booed after a lengthy back-and-forth with several students in Concord, N.H., on the issue of same-sex marriage, which is legal in New Hampshire.

As Santorum addressed a group of college students, one asked him how same-sex marriage affects him personally and why not have legal same-sex marriage as long as it’s not religious in nature.

Santorum answered that for “230 years marriage has been between one man and woman. So if you want to change the law…you have to make the positive argument about why.”

This actually is sort of correct. In order for change to happen, those in favor of said change need to say why it should happen. However, the game has been rigged. People like Santorum never made their positive argument for marriage 230 years ago. They didn’t even give a second thought to gays and so marriage was assumed to be between one man and one woman. The onus is actually on him.

And what are his arguments? Appeals to tradition and inapt comparisons. The former is just an extension of the rigged game and is thus logically invalid; it isn’t a positive argument at all. The latter is why “Santorum” has the frothy definition it does.

But to Frothy’s credit, he stuck by his guns and tried to make the students justify their positions:

Santorum responded, “Are we saying that everyone should have the right to marry?”

Several members of the crowd loudly yelled, “Yes!”

At that point, the former senator from Pennsylvania compared same-sex marriage to polygamy.

“So anyone can marry can marry anybody else? So if that’s the case, then everyone can marry several people … so you can be married to five people. Is that OK?” Santorum asked.

I’m a little disappointed in the response. Students shouted back that they weren’t discussing polygamy. That is true and Frothy was creating a red herring, but I’m perfectly happy responding to his question: Yes, it is okay for a number of people to get married to each other at the same time. The only issue anyone can draw about that is how taxes would work out. New codes and laws would need to be created, and I’m not sure how that would or should go. But on the moral question, there is no doubt: there is nothing wrong with polygamy.

Frothy then got a little weird:

The student answered that [people] should [be allowed to do what makes them happy] as long as no one was harming anyone else. Santorum countered, raising his voice and asking, “Who decides if they are harming other people? Is there an objective standard?”

Wasn’t it Frothy who told people they needed to make positive arguments in order to defend their positions? If it is his contention that people are harmed by gay marriage, then he needs to say why. I have yet to see a remotely convincing argument for that position. Ever.

Santorum continued, but threatened to end the discussion, telling the crowd, “I’m going to give people one more chance and then we are going to move on. I’m going to ask the question again. If three people happen to get married based on what you just said, what makes that wrong and what you said right?”

“That’s irrelevant,” the student responded. “My personal opinion is, ‘Yeah go for it,’ but what I’m asking [is] for you [to] justify your belief and your high morals about all men created equal-”

At that point, Santorum cut off the student and, for the third time, asked, “What about three men?

Emphasis added.

Politicians tend to be pretty good when it comes to rhetoric. They certainly misstep, but they’re still better than the average Joe when it comes to this stuff. That includes Frothy. Except in this case. Using good rhetoric means, in part, appealing to one’s audience. If he was speaking to a bunch of sexually immature, sexually insecure Evangelicals, then sure, mention the idea of three men having sex. That would gross them out. “Icky!”, they would think. But saying that in front of a bunch of pro-equality college students is going to fall flat. In fact, it just made him look even worse.

When he wrapped up, several questions later, the crowd loudly booed him.

I think Frothy still has some learning to do. Maybe he should look to his biggest opponent. After all, I’m sure Romney wouldn’t have had a problem saying whatever would have please the crowd.

What a frothy douche

Rick Santorum, perhaps the easiest Republican to loathe since Satan, has said he would invalidate all gay marriages to this point, given the chance:

In an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd at his campaign headquarters in Iowa, Santorum said there needs to be one marriage law for all 50 states. When asked if he would make same-sex couples get divorced, he responded, “Well their marriage would be invalid. If the constitution says ‘marriage is this,’ then people whose marriages are not consistent with the constitution … (shrug.) I’d love to think that there was another way of doing it.”

Yep, there is another way. Allow gays to get married since, aside from marriage not even being about procreation anyway, it is illegal to give one group a set of rights whilst simultaneously discriminating against another group for no good reason. That is, after all, the very definition of bigotry.

But hang on, I haven’t even gotten to the best part of Frothy’s hatred:

Santorum said he has hesitations about the Supreme Court taking the decision about marriage away from the people. “32 times marriage has been voted on, in 32 different states from Maine to California, and 32 times marriage has won,” he said. But later in the interview Santorum acknowledged that “just because public opinion says something, doesn’t mean something’s right if it’s not right.”

For someone who hates homosexuals so much, he sure does like to have it both ways.

I’m really excited for the years to come. I can’t wait to see how religious bigots change their arguments from “It’s the will of the people! Listen to the will of the people!” to “Well, what’s right is right.” Santorum seems to have gotten a head start, but I don’t think there can be any doubt that this is the way conservatives will be stating their case in the future. After all, gay marriage will become the law of the land. It may happen in the next few years, or it may happen in 30 years. Either way, it is going to happen (and we will look at today’s laws as we now see anti-miscegenation laws). That means the religious will necessarily need to change their arguments to fit the changing landscape – a landscape on which they will enjoy ever-shrinking relevancy.

This is really shitty

At a recent Republican debate, Rick Santorum fielded a question via video by a gay soldier, Stephen Hill. Hill asked what the Republican candidates intended to do in reference to the excellent repeal of DADT. Here’s the video:

Rick Mix of Lube Santorum has been on a crusade through most of his lack-luster campaign to get the conservative social vote, so the awful things he said in that video aren’t a surprise. For instance, when he says sex should not be involved in the military, he’s implying that being gay means doing nothing but having crazy, crazy butt sex anywhere and everywhere. We all know that’s what he means because the Christian right actually thinks that’s what it’s all about. And I know I often say what a fan of rhetoric I am, but just because what someone says is effective – it is in this case because he’s appealing directly to the misconceptions and ignorance of his audience – that doesn’t mean it isn’t really shitty.

In better political news, President Obama took on the Republican answers at the debate as well as the boos the soldier received from the audience:

“We don’t believe in standing silent when that happens,” Obama said in the keynote address at the annual convention of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest U.S. gay lobby group…

“You want to be commander in chief?” he asked. “You can start by standing up for the men and woman in uniform” and support them even when it is not politically convenient.

To be fair, Obama is obviously waiting until after the 2012 elections to come out in favor of gay marriage – we all know he will – and that is political convenience, but I can’t imagine him standing for an audience that boos a service member. For that matter, I don’t know as Dubya would have stood for it. Of course, except for perhaps Huntsman, this is a notably crazy crop of Republicans this year so maybe I shouldn’t hold them to very high standards.

Santorum loses chance at presidency

Ex-Senator Rick Santorum recently said as a black man, President Obama ought to be more sensitive to the defining of a fetus as a non-person.

“The question is — and this is what Barack Obama didn’t want to answer: Is that human life a person under the Constitution? And Barack Obama says no,” Santorum says in the interview, which was first picked up by CBN’s David Brody. “Well if that person, human life is not a person, then, I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say, ‘We are going to decide who are people and who are not people.'”

There are a number of things wrong with that statement. First, on what basis is Santorum claiming President Obama didn’t want to answer that question? He went to the 2008 televised interview with Rick Warren. That tells me he was more than willing to answer that sort of question. Second, black people are living, breathing, conscious, aware, have advanced nervous systems, etc, etc. They are not comparable to fetuses.

But then the article had to go and give this quote from Obama in 2008.

Santorum was referring to Obama’s comments at a 2008 forum with Pastor Rick Warren in which he said the question of whether a baby should have human rights was “above my pay grade.” Obama later said his remark was too flip, but “I don’t presume to be able to answer these kinds of theological questions.”

It isn’t a theological question. Theology has nothing to logically say about abortion. Of course, that doesn’t stop religious leaders and adherents from doing so, but that doesn’t mean they have any real basis.

But was I to be left disappointed with this article? Was I to be left with a dumb quote from a very intelligent man? Fear not:

“Just about everything else in the world he’s willing to do – have the government do – but he can’t answer that basic question which is not a debatable issue at all,” Santorum told Jeffrey. “I don’t think you’ll find a biologist in the world who will say that is not a human life.”

Two things. One, really? What constitutes life is not debatable? Come on. Santorum should be required to shut the fuck up at this point for that one. Two, really, really? No biologist is going to say a fetus is not a person? Has Santorum ever talked to any biologists? Has he ever looked at a mass of cells? I’ve never looked at a human embryo in person, but I’m confident that it isn’t any more a human being than any of those zebrafish embryos I decapitated dechorionated were living zebrafish. I’ll let you know if I change my mind at any point in my career. Just don’t count on it.

Oh, and the post title? It’s probably wrong. If anything, I see this as increasing Santorum’s odds with the Republican anti-science base.