Sunday, January 1, 2012

Rick Santorum, you really ought to know better

Is it really too much to ask that the men and women who are seeking the nation's highest office have some even minimal sense of how rights work? That they have a consistent view of the limits of federal government and state's rights? That they have a basic sense of fairness? Or even the tiniest bit of compassion toward their fellow Americans?

Apparently, it is too much to ask of Rick Santorum. I doubt it's any secret that he's not my favorite. (Of course, asking me to pick a favorite among this year's crop of Republican presidential candidates is kinda like asking me to pick a favorite between the Raiders and Broncos...) Every time I read about him, he gives me new reason not to like him. Honestly, as a person, I don't think I could like him. His positions are just so lacking in compassion and so extreme, it seems hard to believe there is a decent person behind them.

Today, I learned via the Huffington Post that Santorum would somehow  magically "annul" or "invalidate" all the currently legal gay marriages in the country if  he were to become president. My first reaction to this headline was to remark on what an assy thing that is to say and threaten to do. I wager he wouldn't appreciate it much if another presidential candidate vowed to annul all of the marriages involving Roman Catholics in the country. I'd like to believe Santorum would feel that other candidate was attacking him and his marriage for no good reason. I similarly assume that all my legally-married gay and lesbian brothers and sisters from California to Iowa to New England feel some pretty serious personal offense at Santorum's insistence that he is entitled to declare their marriages invalid.

Aside from the personal level on which it is clear that it's really quite jerky to threaten to undo legal marriages entered into knowingly and lovingly between consenting adults. Isn't Rick Santorum supposed to be from the party that champions small federal government and state's rights? Because this position is contrary to both of those ideals. Passing a federal constitutional amendment about something that has traditionally been left to the states isn't a very small government or pro-state's rights thing to do.

But going one further, Rick Santorum is a lawyer. He didn't get his degree from an evangelical, in my mind questionable, law school like Liberty, either. He got it from Penn State. So just in terms of the law, he really ought to know better. No constitutional amendment passed from here on out could annul or invalidate legal marriages that have been entered into up to this point. As a lawyer, he ought to understand this basic concept that due process and ex post facto concepts forbid stripping rights after they have already been legally conferred.

Even if you agree with Santorum on the idea that same-sex marriages should not be recognized, I would hope that anyone with a brain would be troubled by his insistence that a constitutional amendment could reach back in time and do something the document itself forbids. I would like to think that we should all demand more of our presidential candidates. That we expect some basic understanding of how our republic works from those who would seek to be in charge.

I know it's exceedingly unlikely that he could win the nomination. But, still, he shouldn't get a free pass on saying nonsense like this. For crying out loud, he's got a law degree. He really should know better.

1 comment:

Blogger said...

I've just installed iStripper, and now I can watch the hottest virtual strippers on my taskbar.

 
Blog Designed by : NW Designs