That Was Then, This Is Now

Rick Savonarola Santorum is now attacking President Obama for — wait for it — wanting Americans to go to college:

“President Obama wants everybody in America to go to college.  What a snob!

“There are good, decent men and women who work hard every day and put their skills to the test that aren’t taught by some liberal college professor.  That’s why [President Obama] wants you to go to college.  He want to remake you in his image.”

But back in 2006, Santorum’s web site said this* under “Commitment to Higher Education”:

“In addition to Rick’s support of ensuring that primary and secondary schools in Pennsylvania are equipped for success, he is equally committed to ensuring that every Pennsylvanian has access to higher education.”

So Santorum was for higher education before he was against it because President Obama is for it.

This anti-intellectual strain in the GOP is as obnoxious and off-putting as their anti-women strain.  Santorum is leading the charge on both.

*”Flashback:  In 2006, Rick Santorum Wanted To Send All Pennsylvanians To College,” Evan McMorris-Santoro, Talking Points Memo

What Doctors Know About Death

Ken Murray has an excellent column in today’s WSJ called “Why Doctors Die Differently.”  Here’s a sample:

“Years ago, Charlie, a highly respected orthopedist and a mentor of mine, found a lump in his stomach.  It was diagnosed as pancreatic cancer by one of the best surgeons in the country, who had developed a procedure that could triple a patient’s five-year-survival odds — from 5% to 15% — albeit with a poor quality of life.

“Charlie, 68 years old, was uninterested.  He went home the next day, closed his practice and never set foot in a hospital again.  He focused on spending time with his family.  Several months later, he died at home.  He got no chemotherapy, radiation or surgical treatment.  Medicare didn’t spend much on him.

“It’s not something that we like to talk about, but doctors die, too.  What’s unusual about them is not how much treatment they get compared with most Americans, but how little.  They know exactly what is going to happen, they know the choices, and they generally have access to any sort of medical care that they could want.  But they tend to go serenely and gently.

“Physicians really try to honor their patients’ wishes, but when patients ask ‘What would you do?,’ we often avoid answering.  We don’t want to impose our views on the vulnerable.

“The result is that more people receive futile ‘lifesaving’ care, and fewer people die at home than did, say, 60 years ago.”  Emphasis added.

The GOP and Birth Control

I am fed up with those seeking to minimize the GOP’s sudden focus on birth control in the presidential race.  I reject those who say it doesn’t matter or it’s a silly sideshow.

If there’s truly nothing to see here and we should move on, the party needs to come out forcefully and unequivocally for birth control.  But they won’t because they’re pushing these extreme “personhood” amendments at the state level that would outlaw not just abortion, but hormonal forms of birth control that have long been accepted and used in this country.

All of the Republican presidential candidates have come out in favor of these “personhood” amendments, which means they oppose birth control.

If Rick Santorum chose to say, “My wife and I personally choose not to use birth control,” I would have no problem with that.  But that’s not what he’s saying.  He’s saying, “Contraception is not okay.”  That’s very scary, and we need to take him at his word.

Let’s learn from the 2010 elections.  Everyone thought the Tea Party that elected Republican governors and state legislators stood for smaller government and less spending, that the movement was about economic issues.  But as soon as these people got into office, they focused on social issues, especially abortion.  All of a sudden 80 laws were passed restricting abortion.

The 2012 election should be about the economy, but if they want to make it about social issues, go ahead, make the Democrats’ day.

Evangelicals, Abortion, and Birth Control

With the new-found, misguided GOP emphasis on contraception, I just wanted to remind everyone that when Roe v. Wade was first decided in 1973, Evangelicals didn’t initially make a fuss about it or take up abortion as an issue.  Their attitude was that it was a Catholic thing, and they didn’t much like Catholics.  They saw it as part of the Catholic opposition to birth control, and Evangelicals didn’t have a problem with birth control.

Given the huge issue Evangelicals make of abortion now, it is easy to forget that it wasn’t always like this.

Just as Evangelicals eventually followed  the Catholic lead on abortion, now they are doing the same thing with birth control.  That’s why we hear Gov. Huckabee saying at CPAC, “We are all Catholics now.”

But as the Evangelicals follow the Catholic bishops on contraception, I would ask them to pause and notice that Catholics don’t follow the Catholic bishops.  Do you really want to jump on the bandwagon of a doctrine that Catholics themselves overwhelmingly reject?

Don’t go there.

Newtie’s Top-of-the-Line Cadillac

Much is being made of Mitt’s comment that his wife drives two Cadillacs (one is in Massachusetts and one is in California).  This SRX model that she has sells for between $40,000 and $50,000.

But Newtie has a Cadillac Escalade, which goes for $75,000.  And Mrs. Newtie #3 drives both expensive and foreign — she has a BMW sedan.

I’m With Jeb and Rudy

Here’s Jeb Bush:  “I used to be a conservative, and I watch these debates and I’m wondering, I don’t think I’ve changed, but it’s a little troubling sometimes when people are appealing to people’s fears and emotion rather than trying to get them to look over the horizon for a broader perspective.”

Here’s Rudy Giuliani on the GOP and social issues:  “It makes the party look like it isn’t a modern party, it doesn’t understand the modern world we live in.”

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, I think the Republican Party has left me.  “Back to the Future” is an entertaining movie, but it doesn’t work well as a 2012 presidential campaign slogan.