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Rick Santorum Tries To Explain Away Contraception Being “Not Okay”

March 21, 2012

Once again this week Rick Santorum is stepping into the high grass, and making a mess of his message.  Or perhaps more of the media and pundit class is getting wiser to the tactics of Rick Santorum, and are better understanding the lunacy he is wrapping into a presidential campaign.  A campaign that can not win any big heavy electoral-rich states.

The latest flare-up started on Morning Joe when Santorum was asked about his intolerant positions that he spoke about in an interview with Caffeinated Thoughts.

“This is you guys playing sort of ‘gotcha’ politics,’’ Santorum replied. “Look, I was talking about my own personal faith, and what I was saying is that the issue of out-of-wedlock births and what’s going on in the destruction of the American family is something that I will talk about and I have talked about in this campaign.’’

Adding that “I wasn’t talking about access to contraception,’’ Santorum asserted that “the only reason I’ve been talking about this issue is . . . in the context of government forcing people of faith to do things that are against [their] religious beliefs.’’ That is, provide insurance coverage for contraception.

But despite his put-upon tone, Santorum’s answer was highly misleading. In the interview with Caffeinated Thoughts, Santorum was asked specifically what could be done to advance a pro-life agenda.

“Can we pass bills? Yeah. I’ll work on trying to pass bills,’’ he said. “I’ll work on trying to make the laws of this country more friendly, like I’ll repeal . . . Obamacare and get rid of any kind of idea that you have to have abortion coverage or contraceptive coverage.’’ He did not talk about limiting such a contraception-coverage exemption to religious or religiously affiliated organizations.

So Santorum was dissembling when he portrayed his comments to the blog as little more than a discussion of his personal religious views and an attempt to highlight the problem of out-of-wedlock births, just as he was shading the truth when he said he has only talked about contraception in the context of an insurance mandate. It’s clear that in his view, the availability of contraception has undermined the family and promoted out-of-wedlock births by increasing individual sexual freedom.

Now, one has to travel a highly circuitous causal path to conclude that the greater availability of birth control has led to more births. But dubious reasoning aside, here’s the issue for voters: Santorum has made it apparent he thinks contraception is wrong. He believes it has led to large societal problems. He’s said he’ll use the presidency to try to change American attitudes. Given all that, it strains credulity to think he’d forgo opportunities to make legal and policy changes that advanced his point of view.

As Santorum has demonstrated during this campaign, he’s a skilled politician. Part of that skill, unfortunately, is talking out of both sides of his mouth. Another part is using indignation to sidestep questions.

One Comment
  1. barry permalink
    March 25, 2012 9:10 AM

    It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d most certainly donate to this brilliant blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.

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