Cracks appear in Rick Santorum’s personal constitution

Rick Santorum in Iowa, Huffington Post image

Rick Santorum in Iowa, Huffington Post image

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum’s reluctant grip on reality appeared to be vanishing fast in a stop in Iowa, Thursday.  He said America’s schools are for indoctrination of students, and he doesn’t like the current round of indoctrination.

Geeze, this ought to be in The Onion.  Is Santorum really this disconnected from America and life?  Are there actually people out there who don’t look around for the guys in the white clothes with straight jackets and nets when they hear him say this stuff?

I don’t generally cite to The Huffington Post, but when the warning claxons go off, you ought to see if there’s danger before dismissing them as error:

Rick Santorum woose voters in Orange City, Iowa - Des Moines Register photo

Rick Santorum woos voters in Orange City, Iowa - Des Moines Register photo

During a stop in Iowa on Thursday, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said that “schools indoctrinate our children,” the Des Moines Register reports.

“You wonder why young people can vote and flock for a guy like Barack Obama and say, if you look at the surveys, that socialism is better than capitalism — well, that’s because they don’t understand America,” he explained, according to the Register. “I said ‘indoctrination’ and I meant it,” he said.

What survey does he have that claims any group in America, other than the Tea Party or the American Communist Party, say socialism is better than capitalism?  Since curricula in every state teach the opposite, the existence of such a poll would be powerful evidence of critical thinking powers in students that most teachers would not attest to.

Maybe more important, perhaps we should  worry about just what all those thousands of nice Baptist ladies are teaching our kids in Texas, eh?  Not to mention the Lutheran ladies in Iowa.  Santorum is sniping at teachers, but if you look at the demographics, it makes little sense.  Teachers are, like the rest of America, about 90% Christian, God-fearing, flag-waving American patriots.

Well, nothing Santorum says makes much sense, does it?  Santorum lent support to the War on Education.

Santorum argued that the country’s education system is leaving students with an insufficient grasp of history. His remarks come with the widely-anticipated Ames Straw poll — a table-setter event for next year’s Iowa caucuses — less than two weeks away.

What in the hell do the schools in Ames, Iowa, look like, that Santorum can say that stuff about them?

By the way, if people learned history accurately in high school, Rick Santorum wouldn’t stand a chance in any election today.  But I digress.

The Des Moines Register article adds the details that Santorum made note of recent testing that shows American kids don’t know enough about American history — always the case, by the way — and that a college prof from Kansas said he gives his students the test required of immigrants applying for citizenship, and most can’t pass the test.

I’m game:  Let’s give the test to Santorum.  If he doesn’t pass, though, we can’t deport him.  We have no vehicles capable of getting to Mars.

HP offers information that may explain Santorum’s insanity:  The same article notes he’s touring Iowa in two vans with his seven children.  In this heat?

Does the Iowa division of child protective services know about this?  How about the division that worries about children torturing their parents?

14 Responses to Cracks appear in Rick Santorum’s personal constitution

  1. Pangolin says:

    Jim_ I truly hope that you are right and I am wrong. Unfortunately I fear that humans as vs individuals, are a panicky lot and tend to stampede when frightened.

    How many years of drought does the South have to suffer before the people stampede towards an apparent solution that still has some concessions to their old comforts? I don’t know; don’t want to find out.

    Heck, I’m an atheist that is cheering every tropical wave that might possibly be headed to Texas. But the trend line for extreme weather is NOT good.


  2. Jim says:

    Good morning, Pangolin!

    Thanks for another intelligent and thought-provoking post.

    I want to partly agree and partly disagree with this comment you made:

    “If we wait we face the prospect of some sort of green-religious dictatorship rising up from a population panicked by extreme weather. That would be the ugliest option of all.”

    I agree that a religious dictatorship is a frightful possibility. That is precisely what the “ministers” who participated in Governor Rick Perry’s traveling salvation show want, as documented in a recent Washington Monthly expose. It is also the stated goal of those who embrace Dominion Theology, Theonomy and Christian Reconstructionism.

    What I disagree with is the idea that any malignant religious movement would be “green”, even in response to planetary crisis. While I cannot speak authoritatively to the “green sensibilities” of Islam, Buddhism, Judaism or Hinduism…none of those religions will have the power to accomplish any sort of “takeover” of America in the next few lifetimes.

    Christianity certainly DOES have that potential (and several strains of Evangelicalism actually advance such a goal as noted above). What they do not have are any sort of “green ethos” other than, “It’s ours to destroy if we want to…and the quicker the better.” For you see, as soon as all the rivers are polluted and the air is unbreatheable, they will be raptured. This is why most Evangelicals are openly hostile to any sort of environmental agenda beyond basic recycling (and I know some who think even THAT is a Satanic plot) and maybe laws against cruelty to puppies.

    Now, lest every Evangelical who reads this freak out over a gross mischaracterization, let me hasten to say that there are a few Evangelical environmental organizations dedicated to sane earthkeeping. But…these same groups are largely marginalized by the Evangelical-Fundamentalist power brokers for being “new age” and for compromising with what Pat Robert$on calls…”the spirit of antichrist”.

    Such organizations could never gain power of any sort. Would that they might! People like Dr. Cal DeWitt and Dr. Fred Van Dyke would quickly put America back on the path to environmental sanity without imposing any sort of religious dictatorship. But they are regarded with — at best — wary suspicion by anyone with power in modern Evangelicalism.

    As to non-Evangelical Christianity, I think you have nothing to fear. We have no power whatsoever, nor do we seek it…beyond advocating for peace and the rights of poor people.



  3. Ed Darrell says:

    It’s pretty clear that a fair portion of the Marx’s ten major points have been adopted in whole or in part by the United States.

    I had to look twice to see who posted that.

    Any major point of the Communist Manifesto “adopted” in the U.S. occurred because it was in support of liberty and wise government — and probably copied by the Manifesto’s creators from U.S. policy.

    Any other similarity is purely coincidental, and probably quite superficial. For one, enormous example, not only do we not have a national, central bank that regulates credit, we have the credit of the U.S. regulated by private interests. Communism on its head.


  4. Pangolin says:

    Jim_ Capitalism, Marxism, Communism and Socialism were all systems founded during a period when the earth’s resources were vast and the biggest problem humanity faced was finding a system that shared out those resources in such a way that they could avoid constant war and/or rebellion.

    Those days are gone.

    The challenge in the future is going to be finding a way to live within the limited and declining resource base while we grope our way toward a stable-state ecology and economy. That will demand some degree of capitalist price signals, marxist shared labor, socialist safety nets and frankly, communist-style single minded enforcement.

    If we wait we face the prospect of some sort of green-religious dictatorship rising up from a population panicked by extreme weather. That would be the ugliest option of all.


  5. Jim says:

    Hi Pangolin!

    In terms of goals, you and I are probably closer than you think. With regard to Marxism, however, I am hard-pressed to think of a society that is not repressive. Cuba? North Korea? Vietnam? The old USSR? Even the modern incarnation of the Peoples’ Republican of China…for all its economic broadening…remains extremely repressive toward the press, people of faith and women who desire more than one biological child (however ill-advised).

    Or do you reckon Marxism as decidedly different than Communism? I recognize that there have been temporary Communist experiments that have been benevolent, but they have been on the local level. (I think of the Old Economy Society in Pennsylvania, etc.)

    Marx had many lofty and honorable ideals…ones I share and ones you rightly outlined. Capitalists have lofty and honorable ideas, too. Competition, innovation, self-motivation among them. These are not intrinsically evil any more than relative income equality or fair distribution of food.

    But where does corruption enter the picture?

    Where both Capitalism and Marxism are concerned, corruption festers when restraint and morality are abandoned for the sake of the (intrinisically benign and honorable) end goals.

    You and I both live in 1917 Russia. We both desperately want to bring about decent working conditions for the employed…and see opportunities created for the unemployed. We both realize the deplorable state of affairs is largely due to the near invincibility of the small, but inordinately influential and powerful ruling (wealthy) class.

    We’d both be right to seek to have these conditions reversed. We’d both be wrong to presume that reversing these conditions meant the mass murder of millions, the total repression of religion and complete government control of the press and of public assembly. This is what’s wrong with Marxism. Not the end goals of workers’ rights, decent wages, food for all and public safety.

    The same is true of Capitalism left unrestrained. It leads, inevitably, to either anarchy or Fascism.

    America was never more prosperous, blessed or productive than during the period from the 30’s until about 1981, give or take. We were not even remotely Marxist. But there were Socialistic impulses at work, restraining the worst and most malignant tendencies of our Capitalism. This is how you could have Republicans Presidents warning about the dangers of the military-industrial complex…or sending the military into a state to protect the rights of schoolchildren. That was not pure Socialism…but it was a Socialistic impulse. And a damn good one.

    We are in the process of abandoning all pretense of Socialistic restraint. In its place, we are embracing a Somalia-style culture of social Darwinism — an Atlas Shrugged wet dream.

    The answer to this extreme is not Marxism or Communism. It is modest, humble and moral Capitalism. And such Capitalism is only possible when Socialistic impulses are nurtured and encouraged, rather than belittled or marginalized. Would I be open to the opposite? A basically Socialist society where the rough edges are sanded down by Capitalistic impulses?

    You bet. Six of one, half-dozen of the other. But I don’t think getting the coin to flip is possible here. So better to go back to what we knew for sure was effective in the 1950’s.


  6. Pangolin says:

    “completely unrestrained Socialism lead to Marxism.”_ Jim

    Come again? Let’s look at the Ten Planks of the Communist Manifesto and see how they match accepted U.S. governance.

    Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.

    A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

    Abolition of all right of inheritance.

    Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.

    Centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.

    Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.

    Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.

    Equal liability of all to labour. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

    Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of the population over the country.

    Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.[13


    It’s pretty clear that a fair portion of the Marx’s ten major points have been adopted in whole or in part by the United States. Notable #’s 2, 7, 9 & 10 with a partial implementation of #’s 3, 4, 5 & 6 by subsidy or regulation.

    If you’re walking through a public airport you’re walking with Marx.


  7. Jim says:

    The very question of whether Capitalism is better than Socialism is an absurdity on its face. False choices stink.

    Is any nation purely Capitalist? Some are more Capitalist than others, with the U.S. moving rapidly from restrained Capitalism to economic and social anarchy as the Tea Party gains power. But still, we have some Socialistic impulses extant that serve to restrain the worst “angels of our nature”.

    Is any nation purely Socialist? Some are more Socialist than others, but all of them apply some Capitalistic restraints to their Socialism. And make no mistake: just as totally unfettered Capitalism leads to either Fascism or Anarchy…so does completely unrestrained Socialism lead to Marxism.

    Extremes are, by their nature, repressive. Most liberals can admit that Socialism, without restraint, is pregnant with the potential for repression. Why are most conservatives unable to admit the same about unrestrained Capitalism?

    What existed in America from 1933 to 1981 was Capitalism, restrained by benevolent and benign Socialistic impulses. What exists today in Norway or New Zealand or Germany is Socialism, restrained by sane and harmless Capitalistic tendencies. I am wide open to either. But I do think the former makes more sense in America.

    The concern is that Santorum’s tribe (the Tea Party) wishes to bathe in the extreme, as though the U.S. has been worshiping at the altar of Marx and Lenin all these years. No such thing is even remotely true. If anything, we have slouched from sane and restrained Capitalism to cannibalistic economic and social anarchy ever since Reagan.

    It’s a slow slouch. Things move more slowly in the direction of anarchy under a President Obama or a President Clinton. But the progress has been steady and mostly unimpeded. Fear not, Tea Partiers. You will probably get there eventually.

    If you want to know what it will look like, you really need to visit Mogadishu.

    The beaches there are to die for.


  8. anthrosciguy says:

    Sanatorum is probably getting — from whatever rightwing source — a very badly distorted account of a Rasmussen poll from April 2009, which found (from Rasmussen’s site):

    “Only 53% of American adults believe capitalism is better than socialism. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 20% disagree and say socialism is better. Twenty-seven percent (27%) are not sure which is better.”


  9. Pangolin says:

    Two points.

    First, socialism is gaining ground as a catch phrase in the U.S. and not because americans understand socialism; we don’t. I speculate that’s it’s due to simple aversion conditioning of teens watching Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh ranting about evil “socialism” over their parent’s shoulders. The kid looks at the televised adult tantrum and thinks “that socialism must be pretty good stuff.”

    Second, any comprehensive political history of the U.S. would have gaping holes in it if the Christian Socialism movement that started in the 1800’s was not included. It’s from these roots that we get such radical ideas as the 40-hour work week, weekends, paid holidays, child labor laws and women’s suffrage.

    Of course, if you ask the average passerby to sign a petition against women’s suffrage they will gladly do so. Especially the women.


  10. Jim says:

    Hi James! (Nic!)

    There is even a conservative translation/paraphrase of the Bible being worked on presently…complete with study notes and companion guide books so people don’t make the mistake of actually believing what Jesus and the prophets said about social justice. I won’t link it here because it’s one of the most damnable and vile projects ever undertaken in the name of “the word”.

    The same folks behind Conservapedia are behind this hermaneutidcal abortion.

    Amazing what lengths people will go to in order to hang on to their baubles and trinkets…

    Didn’t ya hear, Nick? “Sharing is for sissies…”


  11. mark says:

    The Santorum “Amendment” was not an attempt to indoctrinate, I suppose? His Frothiness is a menace to education.


  12. James Kessler says:

    Jim writes:
    Indeed, Scripture is replete with calls — not just on individuals, but on governments and societies — to level the playing field.

    Why do you think they’re and their allies like Glenn Beck are so busy trying to convince society that those “social justice” Christians aren’t really Christians?


  13. Every story about Santorum should link to the first Google link of his name.


  14. Jim says:


    As old “man-on-dog” and his tea party, secessionist buddies reckon it, “Socialism” is advocated by the very Preamble to the United States Constitution.

    So it’s no great leap for them to come to this conclusion about schools. We teach our students about the Preamble and what it means. Ergo, Socialism!

    Just think if “man-on-dog” got his way and we replaced the teaching of the Preamble with the teaching of the Bible. Would be be all that long before he and the rest of the tea party crowd started crying “socialism” yet again?

    Indeed, Scripture is replete with calls — not just on individuals, but on governments and societies — to level the playing field. While “man-on-dog” and his fellow gay-haters and liberal haters may just love the one or two passages in the Bible that seem to prescribe harsh punishment for homosexuals and seem to keep women in a subordinate place, wouldn’t they tire of reading the same few lines over and over? I rather think their heads would explode upon reading the rest of the book. They oughtta try it sometime.

    Bear in mind, Ed, these clowns actually think Fascists can be accurately called left wing Socialists. So being clued in to reality was never a fact of life for them to begin with.


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