The Square Circuit

Academia, parenthood, living in a bankrupt city, and what I read in the process.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

bad senators

Okay, it's not Gallup or Quinnipiac, but Survey USA has a poll out today showing that Santorum is the lowest-rated Senator in the Senate. In more Santorum-debunking news, Chris Potter of the Pittsburgh CityPaper has a smart review of Santorum's IT TAKES A FAMILY in this week's issue. Potter argues that Santorum throws out his typical conservative red meat—sliming "liberals" throughout the book—while actually taking many traditionally liberal stances, such as the idea that "women's work" should be valued more highly. To quote Potter:

"Ironically, in fact, Santorum’s biggest criticism of welfare is that it is too stingy, an argument that liberal critics such as Frances Fox Piven have made for decades. Indeed, as Piven herself argues in her 1971 book _Regulating the Poor_, welfare benefits were often curtailed because conservatives feared rewarding people on the dole.

In fact, if it weren’t for all the liberal-bashing, Santorum could almost be a liberal himself at times. He acknowledges that some of the Democrat’s New Deal was “family friendly,” because it kept Granny from starving. He supports federal funding for the arts. He makes an eloquent plea for restoring the vote to released felons -- though one suspects he’s glad Florida hadn’t seen the light in 2000.

It’s no accident that Santorum sounds most liberal when talking about issues like poverty and the politics of race. Co-opting liberal positions on such issues lets conservatives off the hook."

And after that nonsense about Boston's lefty atmosphere being responsible for the priest-pedophile scandal, I'm waiting to hear his analysis of what "created" Dennis Rader, good church congregation president and Boy Scout leader, product of the deep red state of Kansas.


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