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February 14, 2012

Santorum Surges Among Tea Partiers

Santorum has surged among Republican voters who as recently as 2010 claimed to oppose earmarks, big government, and over-regulation. Once upon a time they also wanted to reform entitlement and welfare programs and to curtail government meddling in the free market. Yes, I'm talking about the Tea Party, and, yes, this gets right back to my point that inconsistent voters will behave inconsistently (and therefore get no respect).

Rick Santorum passionately defends earmarks, even today. There has been no come-to-Jesus moment for the unrepentant former Senator and Congressman, who during his 16 years inside the Beltway racked up a $1 billion in earmarks. During that time, Santorum sided with Democrats to block cuts to federally-funded food stamps programs and to raise the minimum wage. He sought (and got) money for "green" projects in Pennsylvania and, among numerous other wasteful votes, voted for the Bridge to Nowhere.

Tea Partiers, you have some 'splainin' to do. I know, I know. You don't like Romney because you only think he's saying what you want to hear. Now, I don't believe that, but explain to me how Romney preaching fiscal conservatism is worse than Santorum, who isn't even pretending to support it.

Here he is in a 2006 campaign video (you know, the year he lost badly) saying the Bush 43 White House probably called him a lot of names because he fought their efforts to cut Amtrak funding. His mailer that year touted a great many big government achievements, including this notable brag:

Just what was the Gas Affordability and Security Act of 2006? Let's look.

  • Criminalizes conduct that's already a crime under both state and federal law.
  • Establishes a federal task force within the FTC to help state AGs prosecute oil and gas companies.
  • Authorizes the Secretary of Energy to award funding for an ultra-low sulfur diesel plant.
  • Creates a tax credit for teleworking and encourages federal employees to telework.

Doesn't sound very conservative to me. The GAS Act had all the hallmarks of the big government excess the Tea Party was trying to get away from in 2009 and 2010: new redundant federal criminal laws, federal commissions, picking winners and losers in the energy market, and, um, teleslacking federal employees.

Oh, did I mention Santorum voted for Sotomayor? Yeah, he did. At least he's not bragging about that anymore.

What say you, Tea Partiers?

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 07:26 AM

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