Secular Right | Reality & Reason

Mar/12

16

Big Government Rick (Again)

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Here’s Josh Barro writing for Forbes with details of some Santorum plans for wasteful and intrusive government:

The Daily Caller flags a little-discussed position paper on Rick Santorum’s campaign website—his pledge to aggressively prosecute those who produce and distribute pornography. Santorum avers that “America is suffering a pandemic of harm from pornography.” He pledges to use the resources of the Department of Justice to fight that “pandemic,” by bringing obscenity prosecutions against pornographers.

I would note that this is very different from what the Bush Administration did. The Bush DOJ did establish an Obscenity Prosecution Task Force in 2005, but this body focused on bringing prosecutions against small-time producers who made porn with extreme content. (Even so, it faced significant pushback from U.S. Attorneys, some of whom viewed such prosecutions as a distraction and a misuse of resources.) Many social conservative groups were disappointed with the task force, contending that more mainstream hardcore porn violates obscenity laws, and they urged the Bush Administration to bring obscenity cases against major producers.

Santorum promises that he would do exactly this. His statement references going after pornography that is distributed not just on the Internet, but also “on cable/satellite TV, on hotel/motel TV.” Perhaps I am not staying in the most interesting hotels, but my impression is that porn distributed through such channels is almost definitionally not extreme. Santorum’s statement also touts his work on this issue with “groups including Morality in Media, Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, American Family Association”—many of which were among the groups calling on the Bush Administration to prosecute mainstream porn producers in 2007. And he says he “proudly support[s] the efforts of the War on Illegal Pornography Coalition,” which advocates the use of obscenity laws against mainstream porn.

Some of Santorum’s defenders have taken the tack of separating his personal views from his policy views. Santorum thinks contraception is “not OK” and he has announced his intention to use the bully pulpit to discuss “the dangers of contraception.” But he doesn’t think contraception should be illegal, and he voted for Title X contraception subsidies (though he said in a recent debate that he opposes Title X, despite voting for it.) On pornography, though, Santorum’s views can’t be written off as purely personal—he has stated a clear intent to use the levers of government to stop adults from making and watching porn.

And, of course to fritter away taxpayer money (and prosecutorial resources) while doing so.

Now that’s obscene.

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9 comments

  • RandyB · March 16, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    I can’t remember if I’ve posted this here before, or not.

    Rick Santorum is the biggest non-entity in the race, as the other three candidates all offer some affirmative reason to vote for them. So his strategy is to go hard for the Fundy-prayer-abortion voters. If we keep having tight races, we might actually start hearing about bombing Iran and its relationship to Left Behind.

  • Eric · March 17, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    You mentioned “Left Behind.” (VOMIT!) I’m sure he would try his best to provoke Iran into a nuclear war with the US and Israel, just to give the religious right and their doomsday ideas more veracity.

    About the porn. First, REGARDLESS of its immorality or offensivness, anyone with half a brain would know that it ranks at the bottom of priorities right now. Things like this would only grow the size and spending of the government, not shrink it like Rick ‘says’ he wants. Fake conservatives like Rick, Mitt or Newt, will not make a dent in the national debt. They will only move money from one agency to another, and continue to pass unconstitutional regulations on businesses and individuals through Congress–just like Obama has been doing for the past 3 years (just not the same ones).

  • Jeeves · March 18, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    “Make the San-Fer-Nando Valley my home.”

    Or so sang Bing Crosby.

    Don’t know if the crooner would be singing the same tune today. The San Fernando Valley is home to the pornography industry, a business that produces more revenue than Hollywood.

    Enter Rick Santorum, who’s finally figured out what’s really destroying the United States. It’s not the unemployment rate, or the rising gas prices or even the national debt. It’s porn.

    Forget how problematic banning/prosecuting porn might be (what about porn from foreign websites?), will the new battle cry for some be “Keep the government out of my PC!!”?

    Don’t know. But if Santorum can take time out from lecturing Puerto Ricans on why they should speak English long enough to do a little research on porn, he’d find that perhaps it’s not the threat to our republic that he imagines.
    http://garthzietsman.blogspot.com/2012/03/pornography-intelligent-view.html

  • Susan · March 19, 2012 at 12:52 am

    Today he reiterated his intent to fight porn.

  • cynthia curran · March 22, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    Well, Santarium is right Porno isn’t that good for you but I doubt that the solution is a federal control of the industry. I think each state should have a voice in the matter if MS wants it ban and New York doesn’t then its up to each state. Santarium is not going anywhere and even if I disagree with the evangelical group I think they are getting treated worst on this blog than the secular or religious Left.

  • cynthia curran · March 23, 2012 at 12:18 am

    Evangelicals are not the worst, in fact I would say the worst among christians are the eastern orthodox. Greece restricts non-orthodox in preaching or making it more difficult to rent or own property to start a church that isn’t orthodox or even to belong to another religion if you are not orthodox. Russia post-communists era is the same. But since the Eastern orthodox are a small group in the States and tend to vote Democratic they are not criticzed as much as protestants or Catholics.

  • cynthia curran · March 23, 2012 at 1:00 am

    in the military in Greece, I mean its hard to be a soldier in Greece if you are not orthodox. The orthodox have a church and state theology out of the Byzantine empire which means the state and Church work in harmony, the Orthodox state its not theocracy but the Orthodox have had a history longer than either Catholics or Protestants in having the church and state work together.

  • cynthia curran · March 23, 2012 at 1:00 am

    in the military in Greece, I mean its hard to be a soldier in Greece if you are not orthodox. The orthodox have a church and state theology out of the Byzantine empire which means the state and Church work in harmony, the Orthodox state its not theocracy but the Orthodox have had a history longer than either Catholics or Protestants in having the church and state work together.

  • cynthia curran · March 23, 2012 at 3:29 am

    What is interesting is historians like Edward Gibbon look negatively on both Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. Modern historians tend to have a more favorable view of Eastern orthodoxy during the middle ages since its represent eastern christianity versus Western Christianity. In fact, the massacure of the Latins by the Byzantines in 1181 is rarely mention now in history books but the sack of Constantiople by the crusaders is. A double standard since one form of christianity is western and the other eastern/

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