Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Iowa caucuses prove that every vote counts; Santorum scary with anti-gay views; the concept of "subsidiarity"

Mitt Romney edged out Rick Santorum in the Republican Iowa caucuses by a mere eight votes, according to the AP and many other stories, such as this report in AOL’s Huffington Post Wednesday morning, link. That means that Romney carries one more delegate than Santorum; it’s not “winner take all”. Ron Paul performed, well, respectfully. 
So, don’t think "your" votes don’t count.  A few countries, like Australia, I think, require voting. But probably not in primaries.

And Iowa caucuses require real “participation”.  People congregate in what sound like Tupperware parties.
The media has made a lot of the Evangelical vote, and it’s not clear why it would prefer a “Catholic” to a “Mormon”, to me at least.  Mitt Romney has promised to leave religion out of his policy decisions. (“Nice try” he keeps saying.)  Santorum will not.  I would be much more concerned that Santorum would not only undo the repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell” but would reimpose the old ban on gays in the military with asking.

Wikipedia has an article on Santorum’s anti-gay remarks here

He seems to echo the Vatican position that engagement of sexuality in any way requires openness to taking the “risk” or procreation. Look at his position even on contraception.  He seems to regard homosexuality as unwelcome"competition" or for or detraction from the "natural family". But Scalia's views on the Supreme Court sound similar (his dissent in 2003 Lawrence v. Texas).

On the LA arson incident, it’s interesting that the arrest was made by a “volunteer deputy sheriff” who gets paid $1 a year.  How many of us could “volunteer” for domestic law enforcement duty, in a world of influential police unions.  As far of the defendant himself, he sounds like a mini-McVeigh.  What he did should be prosecuted as terrorism.  He should wind up in SuperMax in Pueblo, CO. Same for what happened in Arizona a year ago (with Congresswoman Giffords).

Update: Jan 6:

Michael Gerson has an op-ed in the Washington Post "Rick Santorum and the return of compassionate conservatism", link here. Gerson talks about the idea that people need stable social institutions (the family) which are easily distracted by hyperindividualism, and defines the concept of "subsidiarity"  (a Catholic concept here, but intuitive).  The problem is that "subsidiarity" will lead to unequal "personal sacrifices" in an environment that otherwise stresses individual autonomy and equality, taken as far in the abstract as possible.  This certainly impacts LGBT people.

On the other hand. AlterNet has a piece "Rick Santorum's 10 most outrageous campaign statements" and they sound like "reasoning" drawn into false metaphors, here

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