Political Animal


January 08, 2012 8:40 AM Santorum’s vision

By Steve Benen

Rick Santorum was asked last night about the 1,800 same-sex couples who are married in New Hampshire, and what would happen to them if he succeeds in adding an anti-gay amendment to the U.S. Constitution. He replied:

“If we have a — if the Constitution says marriage is between a man and a woman, then marriage is between a man and a woman. And — and, therefore, that’s what marriage is and — and would be in this country. And those who are not men and women who are married are — would not be married. That’s what the Constitution would say.”

So, in this case, a “pro-family” candidate wants to use the Constitution to break up families, on purpose. Americans who are legally married would be told, “Sorry, the government has decided you’re not married anymore.”

Later, in the same debate, Santorum was contrasting his vision with that of Mitt Romney.

“[T]he governor used a term earlier that — that I shrink from. And — and it’s one that I don’t think we should be using as Republicans: ‘middle class.’ There are no classes in America. We are a country that don’t allow for titles. We don’t put people in classes. There may be middle income people, but the idea that somehow or another we’re going to buy into the class warfare arguments of Barack Obama is something that should not be part of the Republican lexicon.”

So, in Santorum’s mind, married couples shouldn’t necessarily be “married couples,” and the middle class shouldn’t necessarily be called the “middle class.”


And to think his former constituents didn’t want this guy representing them in the Senate.

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.


Post a comment
  • K in VA on January 08, 2012 8:51 AM:

    Okay, Little Ricky, then answer me this: If we shouldn't have 'classes" in America, why are you saying we gays and lesbians must be and forever remain second-class citizens?

  • Danp on January 08, 2012 8:51 AM:

    There are no classes in America. We are a country that donít allow for titles.

    Titles? Really? The only way these two sentences make sense is if Santorum is against education and books.

  • c u n d gulag on January 08, 2012 9:12 AM:

    Insert foot marked "A," into mouth marked "B."

    The K-Street Torquemada is feeling a renewed sense of hubris, after one of the biggest political drubbings in the 21st Century in PA, and is running his mouth again.

    I think I saw where the comedian Gary Schandling tweeted that 'Santorum's so anti homosexual, he's surprised that he allows men to vote for him at all!'

    And Santorum's right about about one thing regarding class - he has none.
    And neither does his family, or his party.
    They're all completely classless!

  • berttheclock on January 08, 2012 9:15 AM:

    What Sanctimonious meant to say.

    We don't put people into classes. We just destroy the class.

  • kevo on January 08, 2012 9:19 AM:

    Santorum and his fellow Republican presidential candidates are about as useless as a bag of handle-less hammers sinking to the bottom of the Marianna Trench! -Kevo

  • DAY on January 08, 2012 9:27 AM:

    Watching the first 30 minutes of this morning's "debate", it is apparent that both Gregory and the candidates read Steve's earlier post on the "gloves stay on."

  • Okie on January 08, 2012 10:07 AM:

    From ricksantorum.com:

    On Perry (and his recently announced 20 percent flat tax): ďItís simple and you can put it on a postcard, but itís a huge shift in the tax burden on to the middle class.Ē

  • chi res on January 08, 2012 10:10 AM:

    Once Santorum is prez, much of this "re-organization" work will be delegated to the Ministry of Truth, founded on the important republican priciples that War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength.

  • kevo on January 08, 2012 10:16 AM:

    Maybe we should give these two ("married couple" and "middle class") to a guy whose last name may not really mean what Google says it means!

    No Middle Class? Myopically defined Married Couple? The man we know as Santorum does have a storm in his name. Maybe his intellect is a bit under the weather! -Kevo

  • DRF on January 08, 2012 10:16 AM:

    Not for the first time, Santorum, with his comment on "class", was attempting to make a point that wasn't entirely insane, but said it so clumsily that he stepped all over the message. His point is that we should be speaking about income levels, not classes, because we don't have a class structure like, for example, England. Fair point, but one that really didn't have to be made in the debate. Also an entirely trivial point--when we speak of middle class in this country, I think everyone understands we're talking about income-based classes, not social classes.

  • Daniel Kim on January 08, 2012 10:34 AM:

    At the risk of being tedious, I reiterate that any legal definition of marriage that claims to be rooted in 'tradition' or 'sacred text' should include the phrase: "and ends only in death." Otherwise, they're not serious

  • biggerbox on January 08, 2012 11:18 AM:

    Since Santorum is also opposed to contraception, I sometimes fantasize about someone pointing out to him that same-sex marriages NEVER use contraception, (which must be good,right?) and I picture his eyes crossing and smoke coming out of his head, like some alien computer flummoxed by Capt. Kirk on Star Trek.

  • Texas Aggie on January 08, 2012 11:42 AM:

    For those who think we don't have classes in this country, I submit the following.

    The US has the least social mobility of any industrialized country including Great Britain. Also, does the term "nouveau riche" ring any bells? Why do you think that people with "old money" look down on someone who made their own fortune (with the help of our system)? Does the institution of gated communities indicate anything other than a desire to separate oneself from the hoi polloi? And when we refer to the "inner city ghetto," that definitely denotes a class stratification.

  • rrk1 on January 08, 2012 11:45 AM:

    Sanctimonious Ricky is honest, or naive, enough to wear his fascism on his sleeve. He probably doesn't understand what fascism is about, and is so content in his self-righteous religiosity and political ideology that he thinks it should be universal. Such monstrous certainty is what gives us concentration camps, mass gas chambers, and cremation ovens. The good people of Pennsylvania obviously figured this out, and returned him to the private sector where he made himself rich by being paid off by the special interests he served so well while in the Senate.

    The Obama campaign has to be rooting for him. He's their candidate of choice. However, the Rethug establishment will never let Ricky be the nominee. It'll be fascinating to watch how they take him down. The fix is in for Mitt the Shit, and all this debate and primary foderol is merely a circle jerk.

  • 2Manchu on January 08, 2012 11:53 AM:

    "There are no classes in America."

    Is that a fact, COMRADE Santorum???

  • WillnPL on January 08, 2012 1:50 PM:

    You could fill up the stupid people segment with Santorum quotes this week, maybe have a preliminary round to decide which Santorum quote gets into the final round.

  • exlibra on January 08, 2012 1:57 PM:

    Danp, @8:51,

    That -- "we don't put people in classes" meaning "I'm against education" -- was what also struck me first and foremost, when I heard that quote. Especially in conjunction with this little tidbit:

  • schtick on January 08, 2012 3:01 PM:

    There is no middle class because the tealiban are destroying it. Anyone else notice that all these people running for pres in this party are losers?

    crapcha....1862 ussedbr....never heard of that ship

  • Marnie on January 08, 2012 6:18 PM:

    Middle income, or average income is in the range of 20 to 30K higher than the median, or middle class (most numerous) income.

    It only takes a few billionaires to raise the "average" to well above the "median" or most commonly occurring income which is around 24K.

    It does matter and MOD wants to make sure the confusion of one for the other continues, becasue it hides the fact that billionaires have raise the average income but the recession has lowered the median income.

  • George on January 08, 2012 6:22 PM:

    If Ricky is the nominee, his campaign staff will be made up of lackeys from his buddy Michael Farris's Patrick Henry College.They are always appearing in our local elections, always supporting the far right candidate, and cloaking themselves with terms like freedom and liberty. Santorum was a special guest at their 10th anniversary celebration, along with such luminaries as James Dobson.

    The school is quite open about their goal of building a force of fundamentalist political operatives and government appointees to take over the US Government. Hopefully these wackjobs have little chance of getting anywhere, they are so far outside any semblance of the mainstream. Still worth watching carefully though...

  • T-Rex on January 08, 2012 6:56 PM:

    Let's also ask Santorum if a government that could retroactively illegalize existing gay marriages could do the same thing to existing heterosexual marriages. This is not an entirely academic question, because fundamentalist Muslims in Egypt have attempted to do this. Specifically, they attempted to force a couple to divorce that didn't want to, on the grounds that the husband had printed what they considered to be heretical writings, and that therefore he was not a Muslim and couldn't legally be married to a Muslim woman. They failed, but it isn't hard to imagine that in some countries they could have succeeded.

    Could the U.S. make existing marriages between Christians and Jews illegal, or between blacks and whites, a situation that did exist at one time in many states of the union? Would marriages between two atheists be dissolved on the grounds that marriage is a sacrament and that therefore atheists can't be married? Or because the couple can't have children, and marriage exists for the purpose of procreation? The "liberal" New York Times ran an op ed piece some years back arguing against gay marriage on the grounds that society has no interest in perpetuating sterile marriages, whether they're heterosexual or homosexual. And if any such marriages were banned, would people who are now legally married suddenly find their marriages annulled? Anyone who's going to appoint Supreme Court justices had better think through all the implications of stances like these, because they are not just theoretical mind-games. Who would have thought in 1953 that Griswold would lead to Roe?

  • Anonymous on January 08, 2012 7:51 PM:

    No classes in the USA, Santorum? You might ask a few who used to live in New Orleans pre-Katrina about those who still live there and are happy those who have "moved away" are gone.

  • exlibra on January 08, 2012 9:46 PM:

    Oftentimes, I find Maureen Dowd tedious; she seems to have a huge chip on her shoulder and it's filled with poisonous venom, randomly (or seemingly so) sprayed. But her list of Santorum's "sins" is, nevertheless, excellent:
    OTOH, Ross Douthat's defense of the same candidate is quite a bit lame (and limited)

    "eTherea synaptic". Can't say I agree -- there's nothing ethereal about it; it's all very earthy, in fact.

  • Patango on January 09, 2012 12:20 AM:

    So when dick santorum see's OWS people , he thinks ,

    " yes , we are all in the same class "

    While him and his GOP want to destroy the National Labor Relations Board , then welcome corporate lobbyest to have a desk in his own office , right along side of his , because there are no different "class's" , this guy would make a great nazi ...