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As I mentioned the other day, the Iowa GOP caucuses are not representative of the larger, American electorate....and that's actually a good thing. Last night Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum ended in a dead heat for first place in the Iowa GOP caucuses. Romney received 30,015 caucus votes (24.6%)....Santorum with 30,007 votes (24.5%)...Ron Paul took in 26,219 votes (21.4%).
Iowa conservatives, apparently, have not settled on a presidential candidate. In winning by a photo finish, Romney received the lowest percentage of Iowa caucus votes since Bob Dole took 26% of the Iowa primary in 1996. As you may remember...Dole went on to take a thorough asskicking at the hands of incumbent president Bill Clinton that year.
I think it's safe to say that Republican voters are all over the board this election cycle. Not united...would be another way of saying it. As we've seen, Mitt Romney is not trusted by conservative voters to be an authentic conservative. Even though Romney is seen by many as the most electable candidate Republicans have to offer, his openness to compromise, his "liberal" past, and his Mormonism make him less than palatable to about half of conservative voters.
That explains the Keystone Kop Klown Kar parade we've been witnessing for almost a year now. Trump, Bachmann, Perry, Cain, and Gingrich...each getting their turn driving the other Klowns around on their way to the first primaries. Conservative voter dissatisfaction with Romney is also seen in the pitifully desperate cries for the obese, bigmouth Chris Christie and/or W's brother Jebby to jump into the GOP race.
Anyway, now it's Rick Santorum's turn behind the wheel. Santorum is the guy who, in 2006, lost his senate seat to fellow Pennsylvania Democrat Bob Casey....by 19%. Nevertheless, Santorum worked hard in Iowa. His hard work paid off. Good on him. Santorum will not be the GOP candidate this fall...you can bet on that...but Santorum's strong finish last night again illustrates the divisions within what's left of the conservative movement in America.
Yesterday I pointed out Santorum's apparent problem with "blacks" and government assistance. Today,I would like to point out Rick Santorum's problem with modernity in general. In October, Santorum told Shane Vander Hart, editor of CaffeinatedThoughts.com....
“One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country,” the former Pennsylvania senator explained. “It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”
Santorum is seen as the social conservative in the race. Social conservatives make up a large percentage of Republican voters. Social conservatives say that their most important issue is ending abortion rights in America. The best way for sexually active women to avoid unwanted pregnancies is.....wait for it.....contraception. Yet, Rick Santorum, social conservative darling, claims that contraception is dangerous.
Why is contraception dangerous according to Santorum? "It's a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be."
Contraception availability....and the choice women still have to determine their reproductive futures....runs "counter to how things are supposed to be."
This is the guy who basically tied Mitt Romney for first place last night in the Iowa GOP caucuses.
Just as I appreciated Santorum's honesty when he talked about how he, and many other conservatives, saw "blacks"...so too, I appreciate Santorum's honesty about contraception. For forever I've thought that the anti-choice movement in America was more about anti-women sexuality than anything else. In Santorum's recent remarks about contraception, he only confirms what I've always thought.
Access to abortion and contraception is understood by many social conservatives as a "license" to have sex. What's wrong with sex, you ask. Nothing, as long as sex is conducted the way "things are supposed to be." Which to Santorum means: only within the parameters of marriage....
SANTORUM: [Sex] is supposed to be within marriage. It’s supposed to be for purposes that are yes, conjugal…but also procreative. That’s the perfect way that a sexual union should happen…This is special and it needs to be seen as special.
Santorum's view is a religious view....based on religious teachings. In secular America we do not organize our society or our laws based on religious views. Santorum, and his fellow social conservatives, may think that sex outside of marriage, and not for the purpose of procreation, are not how "things are supposed to be"....but that train left the station a very long time ago....and it ain't coming back.
99 percent of women 15-44 in America have used at least one contraception method.
Remember the conservative drooling over defunding Planned Parenthood? Santorum's thinking on this matter helps to explain why. According to social conservatives like Santorum, if women have access to contraception and abortion, then they will consider that access as a license to be, I guess, slutty and promiscuous. And that is just not how "things are supposed to be."
For a long time I have been saying that the anti-abortion and anti-contraception movement has nothing to do with fetuses and "life"....but rather an unhealthy authoritarian attitude towards sexually active women. More than anything, anti-choicers are anti-women. Santorum represents a dying breed of outdated culture warriors who still want to keep women in the kitchen....pregnant. It's god's way...they tell us.