Permalink to Rick Santorum to Speak at Hillsdale College

Rick Santorum to Speak at Hillsdale College

 

It is now official — so I can let the cat out of the bag. Rick Santorum will speak at Hillsdale College on Monday evening at 8 p.m. Invitations are out to Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, and Mitt Romney: so, stay tuned.

This year marks the first time in the history of the college that one or more presidential candidates have appeared on campus during the campaign. Herman Cain passed through in November shortly before he withdrew from the race. Now we will get a chance to look over Santorum and, I would guess, some of the rest.

I will be in attendance on Monday evening, and I will give you my impressions late that evening or the following morning.

For what it is worth, I believe that Michigan may play a decisive role this year. Mitt Romney grew up here. His father was Governor; his mother ran for the Senate in Michigan. This ought to be his home turf. There are, however, a great many Catholics in the state, and Romney appears to be behind in the polls. That may, of course, change. Romney has deep pockets; Santorum is short on resources and is running a -seat-of-the-pants campaign. Romney’s advertisements are now saturating the state.

But, in a time of crisis, money in politics can rarely compensate for a perceived lack of principle, and Romney — for good reason — has a credibility problem. Santorum was unpleasant and whiney in the early debates. In Florida, suddenly, the man caught fire. Romney was dull, dreary, and adequate in the early debates (except in South Carolina, where he was worse). He, too, caught fire in Florida. The debate in Arizona on 22 February may tell the tale.

Then, again, what happens in Hillsdale may have an impact as well. The only thing that I am confident of is this. If Romney cannot take Michigan, he is in deep trouble. The general election will be won or lost in Pennsylvania and the Midwest — and everyone knows it.

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Members have made 33 comments.

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  1. Profile photo of katievs Inactive

    Wish I could be there for that.

    I think if Santorum can keep his worst impulses and traits in check; if he can be happy and keep re-directing the inevitable social issues baiting to larger questions of fundamentally liberties vs. the all-powerful, all-consuming, all-intrusive State, he will give the lie to the media caricature and win: first the nomination, then the general.

    But it’s a big if.

    • #1
    • February 16, 2012 at 7:34 am
  2. Profile photo of Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe Post author
    katievs: Wish I could be there for that.

    I think if Santorum can keep his worst impulses and traits in check; if he can be happy and keep re-directing the inevitable social issues baiting to larger questions of fundamentally liberties vs. the all-powerful, all-consuming, all-intrusive State, he will give the lie to the media caricature and win: first the nomination, then the general.

    But it’s a big if. · 7 minutes ago

    Yes, indeed, and very well put. If he tries to explain the ins and outs of Catholic doctrine on contraception, he is dead. The clergy have failed — mainly through timidity, to be sure — in this regard. He needs to deflect every question of this sort by saying that the issue is one of the free exercise of religion.

    • #2
    • February 16, 2012 at 7:43 am
  3. Profile photo of The Mugwump Inactive

    It’s time our candidate made the case for social conservatism, so I’m going to offer Mr. Santorum some unsolicited words of advice:

    We need to ask the question “how much liberty is good for the American people?” The answer is actually very simple. Americans should enjoy as much liberty as they can be personally responsible to have and hold. We must recognize that the absence of personal responsibility is an open invitation for government to restrict our liberties. To this end the Democratic party offers us license to do as we please without consequence. Their offer is fraudulent because the abnegation of personal responsibility is antithetical to the exercise of true liberty.

    In no area of human behavior has license produced such pernicious effects than in the realm of sexuality. The free exercise of human sexuality has become to the left like a sacrament. Its morality and value are never questioned, and its consequences must be mitigated by government programs and policies. But has the left succeeded?

    In the years since Roe v. Wade our nation has suffered from a wave of social pathologies rooted in the free expression of human sexuality.

    (cont.)

    • #3
    • February 16, 2012 at 7:48 am
  4. Profile photo of The Mugwump Inactive

    (cont.)

    Rates for all of the following have reached stratospheric levels: divorce, bastardy, abortion, teen pregnancy and socially transmitted disease. Personal self-gratification now trumps all other considerations. This is the deal offered by the left. What this tells any thinking person is that the crisis is primarily moral. The failure to address this notion of false liberty strikes at the very foundation of our society because it is an attack on family life.

    Abortion is the worst pathology of any in my short list. It is inhumane and barbaric in its application, and an existential threat to our nation. In the past forty years 39 million Americans never drew a first breath or saw the light of day. They were murdered in the womb. Mr. President, you and your party own those 39 million abortions. And now you would impose your immorality on the nation by government diktat. In exchange you offer us false liberty, and the chains that would shackle us. To this we raise our voices and shout NEVER! It is time to take back our national morality, for if we do not the end is nigh.

    • #4
    • February 16, 2012 at 8:05 am
  5. Profile photo of Fredösphere Member

    “Then, again, what happens in Hillsdale may have an impact as well.”

    So, Doc, you’re saying that what happens in Hillsdale doesn’t stay in Hillsale?

    I agree, a Romney loss in Michigan will shatter the meme of Romney inevitability like nothing else that has happened so far.

    I think I just may need to drop everything on Monday and attend this event.

    • #5
    • February 16, 2012 at 8:07 am
  6. Profile photo of Fredösphere Member

    Paules, you imply (or maybe, I infer from you) that Democrats are self-consciously cynical: they encourage licentiousness so that they may then move in with ever-greater government control to clean up the inevitable mess. Do you believe they are that calculating?

    • #6
    • February 16, 2012 at 8:12 am
  7. Profile photo of The Mugwump Inactive
    Fredösphere: Paules, you imply (or maybe, I infer from you) that Democrats are self-consciously cynical: they encourage licentiousness so that they may then move in with ever-greater government control to clean up the inevitable mess. Do you believe they are that calculating? · 22 minutes ago

    Is there a better way to seduce a populace than to substitute a license for vice for righteous behavior? This is why the crisis is primarily moral. The Democrats pander to our base instincts rather than our virtues. Vice is easy while virtue is hard

    • #7
    • February 16, 2012 at 8:41 am
  8. Profile photo of Grendel Member
    Fredösphere: Paules, you imply (or maybe, I infer from you) that Democrats are self-consciously cynical: they encourage licentiousness so that they may then move in with ever-greater government control to clean up the inevitable mess. Do you believe they are that calculating? · 15 minutes ago

    Pretty near. Progressives–the American brand of Fascists–believe they are more capable of running things for the betterment of all than the clumsy democratic-republican machinery of Constitutional government. They want to centralize all responsibility in the administrative state. This means suppressing competing centers of authority and affiliation. Encouraging licentiousness, beyond its electoral marketing appeal, diminishes the individual’s responsibility and also undermines personal integrity, Constitution, family, business, religion, etc.

    Their calculations are uncynically two stage: 1) licentiousness, 2) centralized enlightened control. They don’t foresee the intervening mess, but they love it. Messes are what get a managerial progressive up in the morning. That’s why the Democratic bandwagon trumpets so many solutions that don’t work for problems that don’t exist. For them, make-work is all that work needs to be.

    • #8
    • February 16, 2012 at 8:54 am
  9. Profile photo of Valiuth Member

    I have expressed my concerns with Rick on these boards often, and they boil down to what you say Kat. I want him to avoid getting ensnared in the social issues. My fear though is that he can’t help himself, but get ensnared. Not from stupidity, mind you.

    I think he is far too honest and forthright (things I like about him by the way), to just demure when challenged about gay marriage, or contraception.He will wade in like a valiant knight only to find himself surrounded by media wolves and Obama’s Saracens. He will go down fighting and if I where a Skald I would compose a mighty Lay of his downfall. 

    I’m backing Romney for now because I hope his cool Mormon logic might just get him past Obama. His victory would not be a win for conservatism though. It would be the political equivalent of a field goal for the Republicans to tie the game (thanks Clint for the analogy). Santrorum would be our Hail Marry pass into the end zone for the game. If he wins the presidency that would be a conservative victory.

    I’m a conservative I’d kick.

    • #9
    • February 16, 2012 at 9:00 am
  10. Profile photo of Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe Post author
    Valiuth: I’m backing Romney for now because I hope his cool Mormon logic might just get him past Obama. His victory would not be a win for conservatism though. It would be the political equivalent of a field goal for the Republicans to tie the game (thanks Clint for the analogy). Santrorum would be our Hail Marry pass into the end zone for the game. If he wins the presidency that would be a conservative victory.

    I’m a conservative I’d kick. · 3 minutes ago

    You have stated very nicely the position that I have been inclined to hold. I am now on the fence, however — for one simple reason. I am by no means sure that Romney is the safer candidate. Like most managerial progressives, he is uncomfortable with political principle — with what George W. H. Bush contemptuously called “the vision thing.” And this election is going to turn on first principles. Obama is going to press the issue. See my post earlier today, and read the comments. They are perceptive. Awkward, timid candidates repeating poll-tested boilerplate lose when faced with passionate, principled opponents.

    • #11
    • February 16, 2012 at 9:09 am
  11. Profile photo of katievs Inactive
    Valiuth: 

    I think he is far too honest and forthright…to just demure when challenged about gay marriage, or contraception.

    You’re right. He won’t demure. And because he’s honest and principled. Romney will demure–exactly as he did in response to Stephanopolus’ birth control question at the debate. And in demurring he’ll reinforce his image as a squish.

    Santorum stands on his beliefs and principles and isn’t afraid to defend them even in the face of contempt and hostility. But that doesn’t mean he’ll get tangled up in those issues. Because what he can do, and will do (I hope!), is not demure, but re-direct. And in doing that he’ll come across as clear-headed and common-sensical and not the fanatic they’re trying to paint him.

    • #12
    • February 16, 2012 at 9:22 am
  12. Profile photo of Valiuth Member

    Oh I feel myself also being drawn to that fence Prof. Rahe, for all the reasons you stated. I would like to win the game, but should we loose will I feel better for having played safe or being bold? Once I decide on that I will know how to vote. 

    • #13
    • February 16, 2012 at 9:30 am
  13. Profile photo of FeliciaB Inactive
    ~Paules
    Fredösphere: Paules, you imply (or maybe, I infer from you) that Democrats are self-consciously cynical: they encourage licentiousness so that they may then move in with ever-greater government control to clean up the inevitable mess. Do you believe they are that calculating? · 22 minutes ago

    Is there a better way to seduce a populace than to substitute a license for vice for righteous behavior? This is why the crisis is primarily moral. The Democrats pander to our base instincts rather than our virtues. Vice is easy while virtue is hard. · 50 minutes ago

    I don’t think it’s so well thought out. I think leftists are mostly people who don’t understand or practice delayed gratification. The concept of delayed gratification is essentially a conservative one seen in mature, wiser people. However, if one chooses to live life always seeking the instant gratification, maturity and wisdom are hard to come by. One must make difficult choices to learn delayed gratification.

    • #14
    • February 16, 2012 at 9:38 am
  14. Profile photo of Valiuth Member

    I don’t really think it is about only about delayed gratification, I think it comes from a mistaken view that the writing of a law and its passage is the same as its effects. That if the government mandates something is free that now it is, free. That if the government mandates better schools schools will get better. They just do not seem to grasp that intention and execution are often very far a part.

    They are focused on intention rather than results. Which is infuriating because for the most part the results conservatives get match the liberals intentions. Yet, they will never give us credit for giving them what they want, because our intentions are so wildly diverged at times.

    • #15
    • February 16, 2012 at 9:49 am
  15. Profile photo of The Mugwump Inactive
    FeliciaB
    Fredösphere: Paules, you imply (or maybe, I infer from you) that Democrats are self-consciously cynical . . . . Do you believe they are that calculating? · 22 minutes ago

    Is there a better way to seduce a populace than to substitute a license for vice for righteous behavior? The Democrats pander to our base instincts rather than our virtues. Vice is easy while virtue is hard. · 50 minutes ago

    I don’t think it’s so well thought out. I think leftists are mostly people who don’t understand or practice delayed gratification. The concept of delayed gratification is essentially a conservative one seen in mature, wiser people. However, if one chooses to live life always seeking the instant gratification, maturity and wisdom are hard to come by. One must make difficult choices to learn delayed gratification. · 3 minutes ago

    This is true of the rank and file. Just have a look at OWS. They are children who think, act, and emote like children. They have been infantilized by their adherence to progressive ideology. This is exactly where progressive politicians want them. Cynical? You betcha.

    • #16
    • February 16, 2012 at 9:50 am
  16. Profile photo of heyjude Inactive

    Can’t wait to read that Imprimis. 

    • #17
    • February 16, 2012 at 10:26 am
  17. Profile photo of Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe Post author
    heyjude: Can’t wait to read that Imprimis. · 1 hour ago

    My guess is that everything will be online more or less immediately. I do hope that the other candidates come. It was very instructive seeing Herman Cain and meeting him.

    • #18
    • February 16, 2012 at 11:35 am
  18. Profile photo of Chris Deleon Inactive
    Fredösphere: Paules, you imply … that Democrats are self-consciously cynical: they encourage licentiousness so that they may then move in with ever-greater government control to clean up the inevitable mess. Do you believe they are that calculating?

    I really don’t think the vast majority of liberals are that calculating. There may be some cynical ones pushing this behind the scenes. I believe most are sincere but just badly mistaken about human nature. The fact that not learning to restrain your impulses while you are young plays out later as irresponsibility in many areas of life, which leads to government dependency, should be obvious to any thinking person. But liberals want to separate behavior from outcomes, so as not to be “judgmental,” or to be “compassionate,” etc. And in many cases, they do start out by trying to help those who truly need help.

    And again, it is just human nature that once an avenue of aid is available, it is taken advantage of, and becomes a crutch and an enabler of bad behavior, rather than a true help. But because they focus on feelings, liberals don’t seem able to connect these dots.

    • #19
    • February 17, 2012 at 2:02 am
  19. Profile photo of Chris Deleon Inactive

    I’m still plugging my way through the 1934 book, Sex and Culture, by anthropologist / sociologist J. D. Unwin.

    After studying 86 cultures, he concluded that the form a culture takes is directly related to– pre-marital chastity. (Yes, I know many of you will scoff. Read the book. He himself didn’t expect this.)

    The cultures that exhibited great “expansive energy” (in his words) all started out with premarital chastity as the rule, and the most energetic of them also insisted on faithful monogamy after marriage as well. However, the most important factor seemed to be the amount of sexual restraint during the formative teen years, and I think I can begin to understand why.

    We’ve heard about how the Internet is rewiring our brains so we have shorter attention spans. Similarly, when you are trained to gratify your sexual desires, not restrain them, your brain becomes wired for pleasure-seeking. When you are trained to restrain your desires toward a better long-term goal (marriage), your brain is wired for patience, perseverance and long-term goal-seeking in other areas as well.

    There are other factors, but as I said, I’m not done with the book.

    • #20
    • February 17, 2012 at 2:18 am
  20. Profile photo of Chris Deleon Inactive

    All that (in comment #20) seems off topic, but it is part of the answer to the question about whether liberals intentionally debase morality in order to get people dependent on government aid, and continuing the lines of thought from ~Paules and FeliciaB.

    I think most liberals’ own thinking has been so affected by their formative years, whether in sexual restraint or other areas (media, entertainment, and schools are awash with liberal thinking), that they just assume this is the way things are. In that sense, if there are people cynically and intentionally doing as you say, the vast majority of other liberals are simply their “useful idiots” who actually believe in liberal philosophy, and are useful for propagating it.

    • #21
    • February 17, 2012 at 2:21 am
  21. Profile photo of Chris Deleon Inactive
    dogsbody: As of Thursday morning, RealClearPolitics has Santorum ahead of Romney in Michigan by an average of 8.2 points…

    Polls don’t mean much– right now. Romney’s strategy now is to go a bit less negative, make sure to have some pro-Romney positive ads, and at the same time let a “slow burn” of negative information leak out against Santorum. He knows he’ll suffer more blowback if he comes out with both guns blazing, so he’s opted to get his allies to release a constant drip-drip of negativity through various other channels (such as the Drudge Report), hoping that over the next couple of weeks it will wear away Santorum’s support without overreaching.

    So if you want Santorum to stay ahead, we’ve got work to do to counter this.

    • #22
    • February 17, 2012 at 2:32 am
  22. Profile photo of RobininIthaca Member
    Chris Deleon:

    I think most liberals’ own thinking has been so affected by their formative years, whether in sexual restraint or other areas (media, entertainment, and schools are awash with liberal thinking), that they just assume this is the way things are. In that sense, if there are people cynically and intentionally doing as you say, the vast majority of other liberals are simply their “useful idiots” who actually believe in liberal philosophy, and are useful for propagating it. · 10 hours ago

    Edited 9 hours ago

    This is interesting as I live in a college town and I am constantly dumbfounded by my acquaintances’ ability to say they are liberal progressives, yet live as conservatives. Kids born in wedlock, families united to work in the community, monogamous marriages, living within their means – it’s amazing, really.

    What I find even more illuminating is how judgmental they are in regards to how others live, despite their protestations that religious folks are far more harsh in their judgments of others. You can’t point this out to them, so I live in a constant state of amusement and try to view them as adorable pets gnawing at the same tired bone.

    • #23
    • February 17, 2012 at 6:19 am
  23. Profile photo of James Of England Moderator
    Fredösphere:”Then, again, what happens in Hillsdale may have an impact as well.”

    So, Doc, you’re saying that what happens in Hillsdaledoesn’tstay in Hillsale?

    I agree, a Romney loss in Michigan will shatter the meme of Romney inevitability like nothing else that has happened so far.

    I think I just may need to drop everything on Monday and attend this event. · 10 hours ago

    Edited 10 hours ago

    I strongly disagreed with Prof. Rahe’s earlier suggestion that Michigan would decide the race. I do think, though, that Santorum is a capable and talented man who could win the general and make an impressive President.

    As such, I’ve long held that a race with Santorum would be much closer, and go on much longer, than a race with Newt would have. It’s also much better for the party, whoever wins. While Michigan will never end the race, it will be a wake-up call to a country that still doesn’t take Santorum seriously that there is a genuine race here. I guess “wake up call” is the wrong metaphor, as that would be Colorado, but confirmation…. a snooze button kinda deal?

    • #24
    • February 17, 2012 at 6:43 am
  24. Profile photo of James Of England Moderator
    Paul A. Rahe
    Valiuth:

    You have stated very nicely the position that I have been inclined to hold. I am now on the fence, however — for one simple reason. I am by no means sure that Romney is the safer candidate. Like most managerial progressives, he is uncomfortable with political principle — with what George W. H. Bush contemptuously called “the vision thing.” And this election is going to turn on first principles. Obama is going to press the issue. See my post earlier today, and read the comments. They are perceptive. Awkward, timid candidates repeating poll-tested boilerplate lose when faced with passionate, principled opponents. · 10 hours ago

    Having moved on some issues is not the same as having no issues that one cares about. Go to Mitt’s website and you’ll be constantly reminded, as he does in his speeches that “we have a moral responsibility not to spend more than we take in”. He might demure on questions about contraception, but he won’t demure on questions about deficits, unions (much of his likely loss in MI will come from the labor vote), or immigration.

    • #25
    • February 17, 2012 at 6:52 am
  25. Profile photo of James Of England Moderator
    Chris Deleon
    dogsbody: As of Thursday morning, RealClearPolitics has Santorum ahead of Romney in Michigan by an average of 8.2 points…

    Polls don’t mean much– right now. Romney’s strategy now is to go a bit less negative, make sure to have some pro-Romney positive ads, and at the same time let a “slow burn” of negative information leak out against Santorum. He knows he’ll suffer more blowback if he comes out with both guns blazing, so he’s opted to get his allies to release a constant drip-drip of negativity through various other channels (such as the Drudge Report), hoping that over the next couple of weeks it will wear away Santorum’s support without overreaching.

    So if you want Santorum to stay ahead, we’ve got work to do to counter this. · 

    I don’t think he pushes for a win too hard in the next two weeks; I think he pushes for a principled contest. In Michigan, in particular, it’s him and Governor Snyder v. Rick, class warfare, and the unions. This race is going to last, and it’s important to frame it right.

    • #26
    • February 17, 2012 at 6:56 am
  26. Profile photo of Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe Post author
    James Of England
    Paul A. Rahe

    I am by no means sure that Romney is the safer candidate. Like most managerial progressives, he is uncomfortable with political principle — with what George W. H. Bush contemptuously called “the vision thing.” And this election is going to turn on first principles. Obama is going to press the issue. See my post earlier today, and read the comments. They are perceptive. Awkward, timid candidates repeating poll-tested boilerplate lose when faced with passionate, principled opponents. · 10 hours ago

    Having moved on some issues is not the same as having no issues that one cares about. Go to Mitt’s website and you’ll be constantly reminded, as he does in his speeches that “we have a moral responsibility not to spend more than we take in”. He might demure on questions about contraception, but he won’t demure on questions about deficits, unions (much of his likely loss in MI will come from the labor vote), or immigration. · 13 hours ago

    James, the passage you quote nicely illustrates my point. Romney comes off as a Republican Michael Bloomberg. The issue is not balanced budgets. It is liberty.

    • #27
    • February 17, 2012 at 8:21 am
  27. Profile photo of Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe Post author
    RobininIthaca

    This is interesting as I live in a college town and I am constantly dumbfounded by my acquaintances’ ability to say they are liberal progressives, yet live as conservatives. Kids born in wedlock, families united to work in the community, monogamous marriages, living within their means – it’s amazing, really.

    What I find even more illuminating is how judgmental they are in regards to how others live, despite their protestations that religious folks are far more harsh in their judgments of others. You can’t point this out to them, so I live in a constant state of amusement and try to view them as adorable pets gnawing at the same tired bone. · 2 hours ago

    I used to live in that town. I was an undergraduate there for two years, and I taught there for two years. I know what you mean. If you spoke up, you would incur rage.

    Incidentally, what you say dovetails nicely with Charles Murray’s most recent book.

    • #28
    • February 17, 2012 at 8:24 am
  28. Profile photo of Mothership_Greg Inactive

    President Obama is an extremist with respect to abortion. At some point, we need to have a fight over abortion, to push the issue back to the center where it belongs. I do not know if now is the time to have that fight, or if Santorum is the candidate to lead the charge (Rubio’s pro-life speech was deeply impressive to me, and I really hope he runs in 2016 or 2020). I do not think Romney will engage Obama on his record of abortion extremism. I say this as someone who feels very strongly about abortion, in that I was undecided in 2008, and I thought lots of things Obama was saying on the campaign trail sounded reasonable, and his record vs rhetoric on abortion firmly convinced me that I would NEVER vote for him. When I say I feel strongly about abortion, I mean that I believe that politicians should speak eloquently and honestly about their views about it, not that they necessarily agree with me. Obama’s dissembling with respect to his radical pro-abortion record still fills me with disgust. Prepare for FOCA or something like it if he is reelected.

    • #29
    • February 17, 2012 at 10:03 am
  29. Profile photo of James Of England Moderator
    Paul A. Rahe
    James Of England

    Having moved on some issues is not the same as having no issues that one cares about. Go to Mitt’s website and you’ll be constantly reminded, as he does in his speeches that “we have a moral responsibility not to spend more than we take in”. He might demure on questions about contraception, but he won’t demure on questions about deficits, unions (much of his likely loss in MI will come from the labor vote), or immigration. · 13 hours ago

    James, the passage you quote nicely illustrates my point. Romney comes off as a Republican Michael Bloomberg. The issue is not balanced budgets. It is liberty. · 7 hours ago

    Unbalanced budgets are our greatest threat to liberty. They’re not as exciting as the other stuff, but each day we work to pay bond interest is another day that we’re not keeping the fruits of our labor. Each business that consequently fails, each man discouraged enough to leave the labor force, adds to the number of dependents we support involuntarily, alongside our children, and parents, friends, and charities in need. Debt, far more than anything else, threatens European style surrender.

    • #30
    • February 18, 2012 at 3:35 am
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