We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

“Romney is right about the futility of many current policies, but being offended by irrationality is insufficient. Santorum is right to be alarmed by many cultural trends but implies that religion must be the nexus between politics and cultural reform. Romney is not attracting people who want rationality leavened by romance. Santorum is repelling people who want politics unmediated by theology. Neither Romney nor Santorum looks like a formidable candidate for November.”

George Will

12 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Paul Marks

    What major government policies does Romney really want to reverse?


    As for Santorum – there is a big lie in all the attacks upon him.

    The big lie is that he wants to ban certain things he does NOT want to ban – such as contraception and homosexual acts.

    Of course Santorum does not help himself – when asked whether he things homosexual acts and contraception are a good thing, he replies (as a Catholic) that he does not and explains why he does not.

    This sort of reply is FATAL – as it makes it easy for the media to present Santorum as someone who wants to ban such things (as they cut out the part of a reply where is says that these should be legal – i.e. the whole distinction between crimes and sins).

    Santorum should simply reply to such questions by saying “these things should be legal” and say NOTHING more.

    But it may be too late for that – given all the long theological replies he has given over the years.

  • Kevin B

    “Neither Romney nor Santorum nor Obama looks like a formidable candidate for November.”

    Obama is weak and getting weaker. Yes, the Stupid Party will continue to shovel hostages to fortune by the ton to the MSM in the debates, and the MSM will use every trick in the book to distort, misquote and outright invent stuff to discredit whoever emerges as candidate, but despite the desperation to change the subject to racism or religion or ‘women’s issues’ it’s still the economy stupid.

    $5 a gallon and, (using every bit of statistical jiggery-pokery they can come up with), unemployment still over 8%* will see the One defeated.

    *The US unemployment figures have been heavily massaged down to 8% in the belief that this will fool the dumb punters into thinking things are improving. Trouble is, those dumb punters look around and see how many of their friends and family are unemployed and think; “Ah. This is what 8% looks like.” So when it goes to 9% in a month or two’s time they’ll know what that looks like as well.

  • Paul,
    Santorum is though on the record as stating He is not a libertarian and is a strong believer in “society”. I recall your wonderful line about Hilary Clinton a few years back mocking her “it takes a village to raise a child”. He’s the same but different. The same in being statist, different in what he wants the state to do. Or not do. His opinion on singling out neo-natal screening is twisted. OK, fine health insurers should not be forced to pay for that or anything else. They offer their deal and it’s like getting a deal from Sky TV – do you want the sports covered, the movies, whatever.

    Fine but his objection is not that to a free market with insurers offering different deals but that neo-natal screening leads to abortion and “culling the disabled”. It also leads to parents (including pious Catholics who would never abort a disabled foetus) being able to be fore-warned. It enables doctors to know what to expect improving the kid’s chances ex-utero.

    He objects to medical technology because he suspects the worst of some people. This means he doesn’t trust individuals to make decisions about incredibly personal matters. That is in fundamental principle vile. That is statist plus-ultra.

    I agree with you on Romney. “Full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes!”

  • newrouter

    Appearing on ‘Face the Nation,’ Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum expressed his opposition to government funded pre-natal testing for pregnant women: “The bottom line is that a lot of prenatal tests are done to identify deformities in utero, and the customary procedure is to encourage abortions”

    “And in fact, prenatal testing, particularly amniocentesis, I’m not talking about general prenatal care. We’re talking about specifically prenatal testing, and specifically amniocentesis, which is a procedure that actually creates a risk of having a miscarriage when you have it, and is done for the purposes of identifying maladies in the womb. And which in many cases — in fact, most cases physicians recommend, particularly if there’s a problem, recommend abortion.”


  • newrouter,
    That link (after all the usual domain stuff etc) is actually called “Rick Santorum says prenatal testing encourages abortion.”

    My argument is that he believes it “encourages” something he thinks wrong. The crux of my point is that is pretty much like being against drink-driving and therefore against cars and/or beer. Santorum is utterly paternalistic in outlook.

  • Laird

    I agree with NickM: Santorum is a hard-core social conservative statist. His voting record, and especially his support for the execrable Arlen Spector over Pat Toomey a few years back, clearly demonstrate that. I don’t care that he’s religious (everybody in American political life is religious, or pretends to be; it’s a job requirement), but I do care that his religion seems to permeate his every thought and pronouncement. I’m not saying that he would lead us into a theocracy (although he just might if he could, but he wouldn’t have the power), but I dislike the mindset he brings, and I don’t see him as being any more reliably fiscally conservative than was George Bush.

    Not that Romney is reliably fiscally conservative, either, but as between the two of him I think he’s marginally better on that score. Certainly the tax plan he offered today is a good step in the right direction, and suggests that he would be a decent steward of the economy. As decent as anyone else on offer, anyway, assuming that Ron Paul is dismissed a unelectable.*

    The selection is poor, no doubt, but at this point I can’t see anyone superior to Romney. And most conservatives will hold their noses and vote for him in November. Obama is just so bad that anyone would be an improvement. I’d vote for Ralph Nader over him.

    * I see that there is speculation of a Romney/Paul ticket. I can’t see that happening; I can’t imagine that either one would find it acceptable. But it is amusing to contemplate.

  • newrouter

    Santorum is a hard-core social conservative statist. His voting record,

    welfare reform, health savings accounts?

  • veryretired

    The first election I voted in was Nixon vs Humphrey, a megalo-maniac vs one of the architects of the great society.

    And to think it has generally been downhill from there.

    My guess is that gas prices and the generally sputtering economy will lead to defeat for obama, and the loss of control of the senate by the dems, but it will take a long and arduous committment to the principles recently enunciated in a book about the tea party to begin the process of taking the political system away from the entrenched professional pols that run it now, regardless of party affiliation.

    One hears references to the Roman Empire’s demise by those commenting on our problems, but they have the wrong part of the empire.

    We are threatened by a form of byzantine factionalism, which paralyzes innovative development as the contending political groups wrestle for the right to feed off the corpse of the once vibrant and wealthy society.

    It isn’t socialism we need to fear, but the slow-motion vampirism of a corrupt and dissolute ruling class which cannot formulate any solutions to the problems they themselves have created, but instead spends its remaining feeble energy in squabbling with its adversaries over who gets the next bite.

    We have descended from the Founding Fathers to an elite best described as the “scuttling cockroaches”.

    It is long past time for us to clean up the trash and spray for pests, room by room, and floor by floor, until this old structure is a decent place to live again.

    The state must be humbled, and the individual exalted.

  • Paul Marks

    Nick – Santorum is indeed not a libertarian. But he is not a socialist either.

    And of course he believes in civil society. All nonsocialists (including libertarians) believe in civil society.

    Actually there were several candidates who understood economics better than Santorum does.

    For example, Michelle Bachmann – who reads “Human Action” on the beach.

    And there were candidates with bolder plans to get rid of government departments than Santorum does.

    For example, Rick Perry – although the back pain medication (and the operation that made him a de facto cripple for five critical weeks) led him to have terrible debate performances.

    However, both of these candidates were social conservatives (opposed to “gay marriage” and the war on Christmas and so on).

    So they got attacked – and I seem to remember that YOU attacked both of these people for their social conservatism (even denying that there was a war against the Christian religion in official circles, such as schools, in the United States – a postion clearly contradicted by the experience of Christians).

    Well now we are left with someone who is far MORE socially conservative than either Michelle B. or Rick Perry (for example neither of these people are really interested in contraception).

    That is the result of libertarians going on along with Jon Stewart style attacks.

    We are left with a candidate (Santorum) who knows LESS about economics than the candidates who were mocked, and who is MORE socially conservative than they are.

    Or there is Romney – who will agree with you (Nick) on everything.

    But will also agree with someone who believes in the opposite of what believe (on everything).

    Andrew Breitbart is no Christian – and he supports Santorum over Romney.

    And Ron Paul?

    No chance whatever – never did have much of one, and destroyed what little chance he had with debate performances where he blamed America for everything wrong in the world.

    And by the way – IN TERMS OF LAW Ron Paul is as socially conservative as Santorum.

    He to is pro life (anti abortion) and anti gay marriage.

    He is not in favour of banning contraception.

    But NEITHER IS SANTORUM – that is the “big lie” I mention above.

  • Laird

    What’s your point, newrouter? Even Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi get a vote right occasionally, through sheer dumb luck and the law of averages. The “stopped clock” syndrome and all that.

  • I was going to reply to Paul here but it grew into a post.

    It’s over at Counting Cats(Link)

  • Paul Marks

    I never thought I would say this……

    Go and read the article on Santorum in this weeks “Time” magazine.

    And it is by Joe Klein (of all people).

    The article shows a real knowledge of who Rick Santorum (the good as well as the bad).

    Santorum will not win.

    But he deserves to be shown as he is.

    And Nick does not really have the knowledge of the man in order to write about him.

    The enemy (Joe Klein) does know Santorum well enough to write about him (with some knowledge).

    Which is why I strongly suggest that people go and read Klein’s article in Time magazine.