Scorning Santorum

Media smearing GOP candidates - with the candidates' help!

The media are doing their best to portray Rick Santorum as the Taliban.

Oddly, he’s doing his best to help them.

He’s even allowed amniocentesis to become an issue in the presidential election.

Forget the relative merits or drawbacks of the procedure. Just ask: How can it, or contraception, possibly be a winning strategy for Santorum or the Republicans?

Ron Paul thinks it isn’t, and said so recently.

We don’t know about that, though we do know the media love to paint social conservatives as dangerous extremists. Santorum’s stance on marriage, for instance? Oddly enough, it’s the same that Barack Obama’s was when he was running; but for some reason, it just looks different now. Plus, Santorum is more likely to stick to his principles, one observer noted, so maybe he’s just taken more seriously than Obama.

And when they dredged up a 2008 Santorum speech at a religious school in which he suggested Satan was attacking American institutions, the media got “all wee-weed up” in Sarah Palin’s words.

“Have they ever, ever attended a Sunday school class even? Have they never heard this terminology before?” Palin asked.

“I believe in good and evil,” Santorum was quoted in a CNN story. “If somehow or another because you’re a person of faith and you believe in good and evil is a disqualifier for president, we’re going to have a very small pool of candidates who can run for president.”

He’s absolutely right.

But as William McGurn noted in The Wall Street Journal this week, “Mr. Santorum cannot change the double standard. With a little discipline, however, he need not let himself be defined by it.”

We do know that Republicans can’t take any foolish chances in the effort to defeat Barack Obama in November.

We also suspect the whole social issue debate is a ruse by Obama supporters inside and out of the media to change the subject from the staggering economy, this president’s woeful record, his profligate spending, gasoline prices that are the worst on record for this time of the year, and more. The more we talk about birth control and Rick Santorum, the less we focus on the task at hand: fixing the economy, reducing debt, getting to energy independence, shrinking government and growing our freedoms back – all issues that the Obama administration has been feckless on at best, counterproductive at worst.

Mr. Santorum should have said at the outset of this bogus debate:

“The real issue on the birth control debate, which is a distraction from other issues, is whether the government has the right to force insurance companies and employers to provide services they find morally objectionable. Let me just make this clear: Of the two of us – Mr. Obama and me – he’s the one who wants to send down encyclicals, not me. I have my own beliefs, but unlike Mr. Obama, I’m not going to try to force them on you. In short, we already have a president who wants to tell you how to run your life; we don’t need another one.”

The media desperately want to make every Republican candidate look as bad as possible.

It’s time the candidates stopped helping them do it.

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