Kooky Santorum has more to answer for than his stance on birth control

The question came from CNN moderator John King during last Wednesday’s GOP primary debate, relayed from a CNN website reader: “Since birth control is the latest hot topic, which candidate believes in birth control, and if not, why?”

The way the rabble reacted, you’d think King had asked the candidates which birth control methods their daughters were using: “Boo, boooo, booooo! We hate questions from planet earth! How dare you ask these stately gentlemen about a public policy matter affecting 100% of the population? So impertinent, m’lords! Quick, say something bad about Obama. Boooooooo!”

Rick Santorum, who is on record as opposing birth control, was quite forceful in his response:

“The left gets all upset. ‘Oh, look at him talking about these things.’ You know, here’s the difference between me and the left, and they don’t get this. Just because I’m talking about it doesn’t mean I want a government program to fix it. That’s what they do. That’s not what we do.”

Really? So is Santorum really saying he wants the government to take a completely hands-off stance on reproductive matters? That’s astonishing, because based on his public statements, I’m guessing that if he became president, he’d leave no stone unturned when it came to finding Supreme Court justices who would happily overturn Roe v. Wade. And just as Roe v. Wade made abortion legal across the U.S., two Supreme Court cases, 1965’s Griswold v. Connecticut and 1972’s Eisenstadt v. Baird, guaranteed Americans the right to birth control.

And since Santorum wants to turn the clock back to at least 1620 – just before the liberal media convinced the public that female offspring were not caused by an imbalance of the humors – is it really that difficult to imagine that he’d succeed in turning it back to 1971 or 1964, especially since he devoutly believes that birth control is a noxious innovation that’s destroying the moral fabric of our country?

Now, as happy as I am that CNN asked the candidates about birth control, just once I’d like to seize control of these debates. Here’s the question I would have asked:

“If someone told you of a magical kingdom in a faraway land where the teenage pregnancy rate was less than one-sixth of ours, the teenage abortion rate was close to a third of ours, and the teen chlamydia rate was one-nineteenth of ours [no, none of those are misprints], would you take a hard look at what its wise leaders were doing?”

Well, such a kingdom exists; and, conveniently for us, it’s on this planet. But unfortunately for Santorum, it doesn’t fit his narrative.

In fact, the Netherlands, the magical kingdom in question, does pretty much everything differently than Santorum would do it.

They’ve achieved their remarkable results by being more open about teenage sexuality, refusing to be squeamish about sex education, and making contraceptives widely and readily available. Of course, all of those things give Rick Santorum the vapors.

Then again, Santorum thinks The Flintstones is a more realistic depiction of dinosaur-human relations than The Origin of Species, so he’s not exactly the best judge. Verily I say, logic gives him a rash.

It’s been suggested by some that Rick Santorum’s stance on birth control doesn’t matter (hence the boos from the peanut gallery), because it’s unlikely he could take away the right to birth control even if he wanted to (probably true, but he could chip away at it and gut aid to family planning programs overseas). The important thing, say these apologists, is that he make the right decisions on the economy and the ballooning national deficit.

I agree that we need to be more hawkish as a country when it comes to deficit spending, but that doesn’t mean we can afford to give crazy the keys to the Oval Office.

Indeed, if we unwashed masses were given the chance to chime in during more of these debates, here are some more “rude” questions I’d like to see asked of Santorum:

  • You once said that liberals were partly to blame for the Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal. Is this what you have in mind when you talk about personal responsibility?

  • You don’t believe in evolution, presumably because your interpretation of the Bible precludes the idea. On what other scientific questions do you plan on starting with the conclusion and then cherry-picking evidence in order to support it?

  • You’ve said, “The idea that the Crusades and the fight of Christendom against Islam is somehow an aggression on our part is absolutely anti-historical.” Is this what you plan on telling the Saudi royal family?

  • During a campaign stop in November in Iowa, you said, “All the people who live in the West Bank are Israelis, they’re not Palestinians. There is no ‘Palestinian.’ This is Israeli land.” Dude, WTF?

  • “Your skin is fabulous. Do you exfoliate, or have you always been this magically delicious?” (Santorum is a horrible homophobe. I just think it would be funny to see his reaction to this one.)

    I don’t care what anyone says. It matters if your president is a lunatic. We’re still recovering from the last guy who thought the God of the universe wants nothing more than to give billionaires tax breaks and attack countries for no reason. And Santorum is 10 times nuttier than that whackadoof.

    Please, please, please, Republicans, make Romney your nominee. Your little game of chicken is not funny anymore.

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