2012 GOP Lineup: How Bad Is It?

UPDATED March 8, 2012; March 30, 2012

If you want the depressing overview, you couldn’t do much better than reading Hendrik Hertzberg of The New Yorker.

Hertzberg reports that GOP candidates all agree on the basics – NO TAX INCREASES (even if there were a 10:1 tradeoff in GOP’s favor). As he put it, there were no “substantive” differences: “Substance-wise, this was like watching Vladimir Putin debate himself on Russian state television.”

But he reports significant differences on military spending, abortion, and gays, none of which are presumed to be core ideological issues.

Perhaps you, as I do, view a candidate’s stand on gay equality as a litmus test on their stand on civil liberties in general. If civil liberties aren’t a core ideological issue, the strongest economy in the world isn’t going to help us. Civil liberties are the binding ties which explain why we can have an economy at all. If you don’t see it, maybe that’s because around 9.5 out of 10 Americans have little reason to put civil rights and civil liberty near the top of personal priority lists. But our rights are never really more secure than the rights of the least popular minority.

So to find out just how grim the GOP lineup is, I put together a little table summarizing the GOP candidates’ positions on my litmus test issue.

GOP “Straw Poll” for 2012 lineup
candidate Anti gay civil
liberty/homophobic?
Anti-gay marriage?
Mitt Romney no yes (note 1) yes
Michele Bachmann viral, defamatory. This candidate is a Jerry Falwell in drag. apoplectic rage
Rick Perry yes. In 2003 stated he does not believe consenting adults have a constitutional right to privacy, equates homosexuality to child molestation, incest, sodomy.* yes
Tim Pawlwenty probably not yes
Jon Huntsman no. “If you want to vote for a Republican, Huntsman is probably your best option,” said Richard Socarides, president of Equality Matters. — Daily Beast yes, but supports civil unions
Newt Gingrich yes. “I think there is a
gay and secular fascism in this country …”
yes
Ron Paul probably not. Libertarian theory: gays should have equality. Practice: But it’s up to the states to decide what civil liberties people get. yes, but let the States vote
against it
Rick Santorum yes. Long track record. In 2003 USA today interview, argues homosexuality is deviant behavior which undermines society and family. Analogies to incest, adultery, bigamy. “I have no problem with homosexuality. I have a problem with homosexual acts.” * yes
* source of
attributions: Wikipedia

UPDATED with detailed links:

Note 1: Romney’s PAC backed CA Prop 8 and NOM through a back-door Alabama feeder. Huffington Post 3/30/3012, “Mitt Romney’s PAC Funded Anti-Gay Marriage Group Under The Radar”

Santorum Links

1. http://video.foxnews.com/v/1366710583001/rick-santorum-enters-the-no-spin-zone. A bit of a slog.

2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Santorum%27s_views_on_homosexuality (article includes 39 linked footnotes with supporting original documentation)

The AP also quoted Santorum as saying, “If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything.” and “Whether it’s polygamy, whether it’s adultery, whether it’s sodomy, all of those things, are antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family.”
from: http://articles.cnn.com/2003-04-22/politics/santorum.gays_1_statement-on-individual-lifestyles-senator-santorum-bigamy-and-adultery?_s=PM:ALLPOLITICS

3. Santorum, R-Pennsylvania, was questioned about his comments at a town hall meeting by a 23-year-old man who identified himself as “a proud, gay Pennsylvanian” and said he was offended by the remarks — part of an interview with The Associated Press — in which Santorum appeared to compare homosexuality to incest, bigamy and adultery. [see http://articles.cnn.com/2003-04-23/politics/santorum.gays_1_santorum-traditional-heterosexual-relationships-homosexuality?_s=PM:ALLPOLITICS]

4. “He suggests to a New Hampshire audience that an imprisoned father is preferable to a same-sex parent.” see http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jan/07/nation/la-na-campaign-20120107

5. Santorum Anti-Gay Comments On Fox News: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3YEnS5WXW8 attitude shows. It is then satirized, somewhat humorously, by a pro-gay commentator.

6.Rick Santorum’s 12 Most Offensive Statements http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2011/06/06/237112/rick-santorums-top-12-most-offensive-statements/

“In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be….If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything.” [4/2003]

7. ABC: Rick Santorum in the Hot Seat Again for Gay Marriage Stance (1-6-2012)
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/01/rick-santorum-in-the-hot-seat-again-for-gay-marriage-stance/

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