Santorum’s Honesty Problem
February 24, 2012
By Sinclair Soul
I’m sure the Rick Santorum haters and distorters are salivating at the title of this article as yet another monotone crier in the growing chorus of Santorum-bashing. Well sorry suckers, this article is not about the man’s dishonesty, but his extraordinary honesty and how this will ultimately sink his Presidential candidacy.
Take this recent kerfuffle over “contraception”. As mentioned in our recent article Mendacity & the Mainstream Media, this whole issue was a well-orchestrated ruse by Democratic operatives and their lackeys in the media. Most people think this all stemmed from the controversy that erupted earlier this month over the Obama administration mandating contraception coverage be paid for by religious organizations. But the seeds for this whole propaganda campaign date back at least to January 7th when George Stephanopoulos injected this contraceptive issue when ABSOLUTELY NO ONE was talking about it –
In this video, Mitt Romney answers brilliantly and appropriately, not taking the sound bite-fishing bait that this former Clinton political operative was serving. Absolutely no one wants to ban contraceptives! It’s a ridiculous issue to be discussed at a Presidential debate. But Santorum, who appears to be a legitimate devoted Catholic, gets himself in trouble when frivolous issues like this are brought up because he can’t help but be honest when he speaks. The result of this is Santorum providing the out-of-context sound bites that the state-run-media craves in order to distort his policy positions with his moral ones. A savvy and seasoned politician would never get himself caught in this turkey trap, but Santorum has a knack for taking his greatest asset – that he is actually principled – and applying it everywhere, even when frivolous subjects that offer no substance in either direction (like contraception) are brought up. The result is the creation of a faux villain who wants to “ban contraception” for air-headed idiots to rally against in between episodes of Jersey Shore.
In the most recent debate on Wednesday night, Santorum had another outbreak of honesty which may hurt him. When explaining why he supported President Bush’s “No Child Left Behind”, Santorum explains how he was personally against it but had to “take one for the team” –
I think what’s most telling about this video is the smirks on the faces of the other three candidates. They know he has stepped in it but they also know he’s right. There are just some things which are routine in politics that you just don’t say out loud. When you compare the Romney video from January to this one by Santorum, you can see how, politically, Romney handled the situation much better. But from Santorum’s perspective, he felt it was important to be honest, fess up to his mistake, and explain his reasoning at the time. In politics, this is not a good strategy and that is why it is nearly impossible to elect an honest man in the 21st century.
Jim Hammond wrote an excellent piece called The Whole Truth, which explores the differing degrees of the truth/lie spectrum. In politics, knowing which “truth” to champion, which to stretch, and which to bury in the deepest abyss is an absolute art form, and one which Santorum has not mastered either by choice or by lack of deeper political skill.
Many pundits point out that Santorum simply cannot be elected and use his major defeat to Bob Casey Jr. in the 2006 Pennsylvania Senate race as a prime example. I’m a Pennsylvanian and I remember 2006. I can tell you that I was never prouder of a politician than I was of Santorum during that race. He stuck to his beliefs when so many others were trying to pander to the political fads of the day. This meant his imminent defeat and a major bump in his political, but the man preserved his integrity. And integrity does count for something.
Sinclair Soul is a championship-level background singer and now political columnist for BigBlueBullfrog.com. His column, “The Soul of the Nation” thoroughly examines the state of American politics and culture from a Soul perspective.