I will be posting here significantly less frequently than usual over the next five weeks, because I intend to spend much of my free time working to support the re-election of Senator Rick Santorum here in Pennsylvania.
Forgive any repetition of previous comments and opinions, amid the new ones here. I simply want to sum up what I intend to be voicing here in my own community over the next five weeks, in the hopes that others in Pennsylvania, and elsewhere, might see in my thoughts some common ground with their own. So I ask that you bear with me.
My connection with Rick Santorum goes back twelve years. During his first campaign for a seat in the U.S. senate, I spent a significant amount of time wearing out shoe leather, speaking publicly, and writing columns and letters in support of his candidacy. My husband and I drove out to Pittsburgh to attend what we hoped would be his victory party at the Pittsburgh Hilton on election night 1994. It wasn’t until about 2 AM that Rick and Karen entered the ballroom to deliver his victory speech, after having pulled the election out by the skin of his teeth in the wee hours of that brisk November morning, defeating democrat incumbent Harris Wofford by a less than two percent margin.
I remember driving home from Pittsburgh in the early morning hours filled with (uncharacteristic, for me) optimism that now there was at least a fighting chance to turn this country around and to wrest genuine control from a corrupt and left-leaning party that had succeeded in eroding so many of the founding principles upon which American prosperity and success had rested … unprecedented in the history of civilization.
It is now 2006. A lot can happen in twelve short years, especially during a time of unprecedented political turmoil, new age political agendas that seek to declare our Constitution irrelevant, and to dissolve the sanctity of our sovereignty in deference to the vision of a new world order, and weakness in the seat of our government in the face of brutal, relentless terrorism that is designed to take insidious and deadly advantage of each and every blink from the Western World.
Now Rick Santorum would not be at the top of my (ever-shrinking) list of respected leaders in Washington (He wouldn’t even be within reach of the likes of George Allen, James Inhofe, John Kyl, or Tom Tancredo). He has let me down on more occasions than I care to remember -- most notably in his support of the No Child Left Behind education debacle, and jobs creation and healthcare initiatives – all of which, to the Constitutional purist – yours truly included – are abominations. As regards Washington usurping powers/freedoms that should remain in the hands of the states, or the individual, I’d give Santorum a B- grade.
The joy I felt twelve years ago that evening in Pittsburgh has found itself muted to resigned acceptance that not all is well in Washington, and that those who agree to compromise with evil are every bit as dangerous as the devil with whom they are playing political games.
Many Pennsylvanians (yours truly included) who, up until then, had been strong supporters of Rick Santorum held him personally responsible for sending Arlen Specter back to his powerful position in the senate in 2004, and for denying Pat Toomey a decisive opportunity to be a voice of unrelenting conservative principle in a senate that is badly in need of a powerful dose of conservative realism, pragmatism, and allegiance to the Constitution, our national sovereignty, and the rule of law. Despite Bush’s and Santorum’s powerful endorsements, Toomey came within .5% of defeating the left-leaning, Scottish-law-invoking incumbent.
But time heals some wounds.
If I were to read a list of the objections some conservatives have to Santorum’s record, I suspect that I would agree with most or all of what is on it. Where I suspect we differ is in being willing to overlook some bad policy decisions, in deference to his immovable stance on others that I believe are of much more timeless significance.
I believe that most conservatives are purists, and that is an entirely noble trait, considering their focus -- except that I think there are circumstances in which one must allow for temporary compromise of principle, if the outcome would otherwise be disastrous.
With all of that said … for the sixteen years he has been in Washington, Rick Santorum has remained immovable on most issues that are indelibly close to his heart – and two of those issues must eclipse all others in these perilous times: namely, (1) the threat posed by Islamic terrorism and (2) the need to close our southern border.
I honestly believe that the huge majority of our ‘leadership’ in Washington is either indifferent to, or in favor of (for either financial or political/ideological power reasons), avoiding confronting the illegal alien crisis. As I also believe that an equal number are purposefully attempting to demoralize our military, and create a Vietnam-era-like malaise among the populace, so as to retreat from our assignment in Iraq, and pull back from a confrontational stance against Muslim fanaticism in general – and for the very same reasons that they refuse to acknowledge and resolve the illegal alien crisis.
Santorum has assumed a strong conservative, pro-military, anti-illegal immigration stance from the get-go, and has been extremely vocal and candid about the nature of both crises, and the need for immediate, and historically unprecedented ‘ruthless’ (by PC standards) action to deal with both. As a result he has taken vicious, unrelenting hits from the media/academia, especially here in Pennsylvania. And it is basically for that reason that the democrat machine has designated him as their prime target in November. I have read several accounts that claim that the amount of DNC money pouring into Casey’s coffers is close to double that being focused on any other national candidate. Santorum is a tireless advocate of facing down the Muslim threat and closing the border, and the DNC would like nothing more than (1) to depose the senate’s third most powerful republican, and (2) to replace him with a soft-on-both leftist mouthpiece.
Anyone who considers abandoning support for Santorum because of his movement to the center on a handful of domestic/spending policies, and his ill-conceived endorsement of Specter, needs to read in its entirety his July speech at the National Press Club. It is a passionate, heartfelt call to arms, not unlike one that Thomas Paine might have delivered, were he still with us. I hope you've read the speech -- or will, if you haven't. You’ll come away with the understanding that Rick Santorum isn’t just a crusader for greatly increased border security, the right to life of the unborn, uncovering government corruption, welfare reform, privatizing Social Security, training and equipping first responders, simplification of the tax code, and tort reform. He is all that and much more. He is a rarity in Washington these days: He is a leader who recognizes the brutal and obsessive nature of Islamo-fascism, and who isn’t overcome with politically correct reticence when the opportunity to awaken and educate his countrymen presents itself. And this battle cry is nothing new -- Santorum’s stance on terrorism has remained unchanged since before the ’93 World Trade Center bombing. His conservative, ‘hawkish’ views have become less popular among the political elite, but he is unyielding.
A local political pundit recently wrote of him, ‘In our poll-driven political climate, dominated by blow-dried politicians with their fingers to the wind, he stands for things. And even where he stands for things with which I disagree, I come away admiring his unwillingness to placate dissenters by telling us words that we want to hear. What you see with Santorum, is what you get. He speaks from the head and heart.'
Santorum debated his opponent, Robert Casey, Jr., on ‘Meet the Press’ on Sunday, September 3rd. The Santorum/Casey race will be the hottest contested senate race in the country come November, and the DNC is pouring millions into Casey’s campaign coffers in an effort to unseat the senate’s third most powerful republican. If current poll numbers hold for another two months, the democrats will succeed in that impressive coup.
Santorum’s best line in the debate:
’You [Casey] believe that we’re going to win or lose this war on the battlefield in Iraq and the battlefield in Afghanistan. I don’t. I think we’ll win or lose this war right here in America.’
Santorum’s opponent has crony-related name recognition in his corner. The name Casey in Pennsylvania is akin to the name Daley in Chicago. And, when one adds the crony factor to the facts that (1) the DNC is pouring unprecedented money into the Casey campaign, (2) many Pennsylvania voters vote the way their union tells them to, (3) voting democrat has been nothing short of a sanctified family tradition for many Pennsylvanians ever since FDR ‘pulled their starving families out of the depression’, and (4) 120% of the registered democrats (including family dogs, parakeets and long dead ancestors) turn out to vote in the inner cities, Santorum has quite an uphill battle facing him over the next five weeks.
The danger in a Casey victory lies not in seating a left-or-moderate democrat in the seat that was formerly Santorum’s. The danger lies in losing a powerful, immovable voice in our war on Islamic fascism and our need to secure our borders. We cannot afford to lose such voices.
Current polls of most likely voters show Bob Casey ahead by double digits in just about every area of the state but central PA. Yet, in the 2004 election, Pennsylvania was reluctantly pulled into the blue column, and a look at the county-by-county results shows clearly that, had voters turned out in larger numbers in the counties that fell into the Republican column, the state would clearly have turned red.
Therein lies the only way Rick Santorum can win this election. The vote in the heart of Pennsylvania has to come out and counterbalance the three major urban areas where voter fraud is rampant and where votes are traditionally bought through intimidation and promises of more entitlement/socialist government perks.
I have said before that I will never again vote for the lesser of two evils. But there is a world of difference between that and voting for someone with whom you sometimes disagree. Especially at this pivotal time in our history, when we’re facing a more brutally deadly threat than ever before – and on two horrendous fronts – this is not the time to throw out the baby with the bath water.
Steve Leonard, a contributor to this weblog, recently wrote:
No more talk, no more lies, no more dissembling, no more diplomacy. They stop, and they stay stopped, or they die, and their countries die with them. In Iran, in Syria, in Somalia, in Waziristan, leaders and civilians who support terrorists have forfeited their right to breathe the air of this planet. We don't have to occupy them, we don't have to rebuild them, we don't have to ‘bring them to justice,’ or grant them habeas corpus or let them have lawyers. We just have to destroy them.
I believe that, on the national level, the above paragraph must be our litmus test. If a candidate does not openly and vocally embrace that philosophy, he does not get my vote.
Rick Santorum does … and will. And I will do all that I can between now and November 7th to see to it that as many of my family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers comprehend the difference between a leader who wants to confront and unambiguously defeat the unparalleled malevolent forces threatening to extinguish the Western world as we know it, and who will disperse even their shadow … and a pretender whose political ideology depends on which way the politically correct winds happen to be blowing.
I plan to spend much of the next five weeks talking and writing about Rick Santorum’s qualifications to serve a third term in the Senate. I know that other Pennsylvanians will be doing the same. And I hope that conservatives throughout the country will consider earmarking some of their campaign contributions to this pivotal election. The election or defeat of this powerful senator from Pennsylvania will have repercussions throughout America … and far into the future.
This election, and the next, are not about’the economy, stupid’.
They are about nothing less than the survival of Western civilization.