Fact-Checking Rick Santorum’s Depressing New Ad, Line-by-Line
Rick Santorum has a new ad out. It’s called “The Only One” and the first minute or so is meant to induce suicide, we think. It’s just sort of really suicidal stuff. With that in mind, we decided to go over the entire thing and see what’s right, what’s wrong and what’s up for debate here.
The whole thing starts with thunderstorms and an Evil Obama thinking about new ways to slice America up into little pieces in his bathtub, then fit America into a suitcase, and then bury America in the desert, with this voice over:
We blinked and the America we knew had changed.
Individual freedom replaced by increasing government dependence.
There’s no source here, but we get it. More people out of work than before Obama was president (though it’s arguable whether or not that’s his fault), on unemployment and on welfare means more people “dependent on the government.” But it’s not like they want to be, and it’s not like he, or the rest of the government want them to be. True, nonetheless.
Fiscal responsibility replaced by reckless spending and mounting debt.
Source: “Obama Budget: Record Spending. Record Deficit.” – Yahoo Finance
This is Santorum’s first sourced claim. And the article Santorum references is real. It’s written by Andrew Taylor and from February 1, 2010. Problem: The headline has little to do with the article and was likely written to satisfy the link-to-Drudge Yahoo demands.
The article sourced here is about a 2010 Obama Jobs plan that they claimed was “part of a record $3.8 trillion budget that would boost the deficit beyond any in the nation’s history while only slowly beginning to put Americans back to work,” according to the article. The plan got through Congress at the time with 62 votes (including then-new Republican Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts) and, though it seems far away now, likely helped bring down unemployment which, at the time, stood at 9.8 percent.
Nevertheless, because money is worth less than it was in the 30s, when similar jobs bills passed congress and were signed into law, there is record spending. The record deficit matter is also true, though was projected to be a record deficit by now as late as 2008, anyway.
A generational promise for a better future broken for a lifetime of pain at the excesses of others. (No source)
A lifetime of pain at the excess of others? What’re we saying here? We’d wonder if Santorum was blaming Wall Street and the Reagan-Clinton-Bush era of deregulating the financial industry if we were naïve. I mean, yeah, the excess of others, namely the banks that caused the financial crisis, can be blamed for anyone else’s lifetime of pain to come (unless your kid takes, oh, I don’t know, responsibility for him/herself when the time comes?)
But it’s more likely that (though this is unsourced) Santorum is blaming the strawman illegal immigrants/liberal deadbeats who got awesome home loans during the Clinton-Bush years, then watched their entire lives collapse in the fall of 2008. Or, the usual: All the Welfare Queens who live like queens. On welfare.
The greatest healthcare system in the world, systematically being destroyed. (No source.)
Again, we get what you’re saying, Rick: Obamacare! It kills old people and the very young! Death panels! Problem is, the whole “Greatest Healthcare system in the world” thing is not true in any rational sense.
The United States of America actually has the 37th “greatest health care system in the world,” according to the World Health Organization. Thirty-seven is not “1”. You could make the argument that since he doesn’t say “number one,” he’s not speaking in terms of real numbers—just “the greatest” because America is “balls awesome.” That everything in America is the greatest in the world, because this is America. It’s a little confusing. Unless you don’t think about it.
Problem is, then you’d have to make the argument that in spite of popular world opinion, America also has the greatest abortionists in the world, the best pornography in the world, the most fabulous gay dudes and the best Welfare Queens in the world. And Rick Santorum ain’t arguing that!
As for the health care system being systematically destroyed. Technically, no. Destroyed involves just ending it. Many Republicans argue that Medicare is being destroyed by the $500 billion in the system being moved around to an Obamacare proposal, which many did in last night’s “Let’s kill the uninsured” debate. But that’s really just another part of Washington culture and how bills/legislation works. It happens!
Our traditional values, shattered.
Source: “Obama praises New York on Same Sex Marriage” – LA Times
If only! In typical Obama fashion, he praises same sex marriage laws passed by states while doing nothing about it nationally. Santorum also has a problem with Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell being overruled and Obama “funding abortions overseas,” probably.
Jobs, gone forever.
Source: “Economy slowed sharply in first half of year” – Associated Press
Yeah, it’s called NAFTA, bitches…which Rick Santorum actually voted against. So, OK. But that’s not what he’s implying here. The voiceover combined with the source and the working men make it seem as if the slowing of the economy throughout 2011 has sent manufacturing jobs away—forever. But those jobs were long gone before Obama came into office. His mistake was campaigning on bringing them back by “not rewarding” companies that ship jobs overseas.
The American Innovative spirit, broken. (No source)
Rick Santorum obviously hasn’t heard of i-Stuff.
Boundless optimism, replaced by uncertainty.
Source: “Anxiety grows over US credit rating downgrade.” – ABC News
True! These are uncertain times. But there’s a but. At the time of the downgrade, ABC News reported that “the federal government is expecting and preparing for bond rating agency Standard & Poor’s to downgrade the rating of US debt from its current AAA value” and cited “Republicans saying that they refuse to accept any tax increases as part of a larger deal” as a main factor, as well as uncertainty that the debt ceiling would not be raised again in the future because of Congressional GOP obstruction.
In fact, anchors at Fox News—Rick Santorum’s former employer—wanted the downgrade before they were pinning the blame on Obama (or, perhaps, so they could pin it on Obama?) Anchor Neil Cavuto of Fox News and Fox Business said, “I would welcome the downgrade. I really would.” And, “I think it would be the pain from which we have a gain.” After the network blamed Obama for the S&P smackdown, Steve Benen at Washington Monthly called the quick flip-flop “a good reason Fox viewers seem so confused so often.”
And as long as we’re talking about downgrades and Obamacare, House Speaker John Boehner actually blamed the downgrade on a lack of “entitlement reform,” which, in Lamen’s Terms, equates to partially doing away with Medicare and Medicaid, according to the GOP’s own plans, so, uh, who’s “systematically destroying” the 37th greatest health care system in the world?
The question now is, who possesses the courage and experience to save America? The answer is becoming increasingly clear.
Only one led the fight to shut down the scandal-ridden congressional bank.
Yes and no. Rick Santorum, as a freshman congressman from Pennsylvania, was part of what were entertainingly called “The Young Turks” (along with John Boehner, John Doolittle and others) helped expose the House Banking Scandal in 1992 and 1993, which partially led to the massive sweep of House Democrats in the 1994 elections, since oh, so many of those involved in what became “Rubbergate”—what Santorum’s referring to here–were Democrats. Basically, the scandal happened when several members of Congress kept their House checking accounts overdrawn without risk of penalty.
Some members of the House, including Santorum and the Turks, exposed the scandal. But they were led by Newt Gingrich, who was Republican Minority Whip at the time, and he’s running for president now, too!
Santorum can get away with this because, as it turned out, after Gingrich became scandal-happy, urging Speaker Tom Foley to make public all the names of those involved in the scandal to shame the Democrats, which is Gingrich’s only reason for getting up in the morning, it turned out Gingrich was sort of involved, too.
And took on powerful members of his own party in his fight for a balanced budget amendment.
Source: “Rick Santorum was a Tea Party guy before the Tea Party existed” – Washington Post
Yeah, yeah. The Republicans passed a Balanced Budget Amendment after taking back Congress in the 1994 elections, too. This was basically Rick Santorum’s heyday. But the actual quote Santorum’s looking for is “Santorum was a tea party kind of guy before there was a tea party.” Small potatoes.
It’s true Santorum voted for this Act, and, yes, he’s probably pretty “Tea Party” as Tea Party goes, but there’s various problems with his record on this issue, too. The Club For Growth, while often touting the dude’s record on the unfunded Bush Tax Cuts, the Estate Tax and the Cigarette Tax of 1998, has called Santorum “a prolific supporter of earmarks, having requested billions of dollars for pork projects in Pennsylvania while he was in Congress.”
Only one successfully led the fight to reform the welfare entitlement program, eliminating waste and fraud and replacing it with hope and opportunity.
Source: “Rick Santorum was floor manager of the most important legislation of the 90’s…the Welfare Reform Act.” – George Will
Newt Gingrich can take credit for this bill, too. As can President Clinton. And Obama hasn’t really done anything to change it, despite some of its repercussions. George Will did say this exclusively about Rick Santorum.
But, again, if we’re talking about Tea Party stuff, Ron Paul was against welfare reform at the time—because he’s against any and all welfare. That sounds more “Tea Party before the Tea Party existed” to me.
Only one served eight years on the armed services committee.
Source: “Rick Santorum is a Churchill kind of guy.” – Glenn Beck
True. But can you imagine touting the fact that Glenn Beck called you a “Churchill kind of guy”? What does that even mean? He likes to bomb people or he likes to drink a lot?
And he wrote legislation that protects America from its sworn enemies.
Source: “Santorum passes Iran Freedom and Support Act.” – Congressional Record
And? The Iran Freedom and Support Act just allowed George Bush to give money to militia groups in Iran that hated the government. What has that accomplished? Almost six years later, there have been protests against the government, sure, but certainly no “Arab Spring” which occurred throughout the Middle East earlier this year, and Iran’s Mullah-led government has grown stronger in that time. In past debates, Santorum has blamed Obama for not getting involved when the Iranian people were protesting.
Only one wrote the bill that ended partial birth abortions forever.
Funny how we’re only talking “partial birth” in this commercial. How about jailing abortion doctors? I thought Rick Santorum was all about that, too.
And has fought tirelessly to protect traditional marriage
Source: “I adore Rick Santorm’s convictions” – Mike Huckabee
This is 100 percent true…if you define “traditional marriage” as a random man and a random woman who fall in love and have a ceremony, in a church, overseen by the state. Which is the new traditional definition of marriage.
Or, just our society’s definition of marriage. And we particularly liked a column Ross Douthat wrote at the New York Times last August, in which he said, “The default family arrangement in many cultures, modern as well as ancient, has been polygamy, not monogamy. The default mode of child-rearing is often communal, rather than two parents nurturing their biological children.”
And, in tying the word “traditional” to if-the-parts-fit natural, Douthat writes, “If “natural” is defined to mean “congruent with our biological instincts,” it’s arguably one of the more unnatural arrangements imaginable. In crudely Darwinian terms, it cuts against both the male impulse toward promiscuity and the female interest in mating with the highest-status male available. Hence the historic prevalence of polygamy.”
Which points to the Santorum/general right wing talking point that “If you legalize gay marriage, what’s next? Polygamy?” being even more traditional than Santorum’s traditional-ness.
But otherwise, sure.
All in all, as far as campaign commercials go, while suicidal, this could be much, much, worse. And if Santorum could get to the general (he won’t), we’d have been excited to see what his political media consultants have up their sleeves. If we’re talking about the pure entertainment value of an upcoming campaign, in which a rationally psychotic Republican goes up against an increasingly perhaps-depressed Obama, then bring on Rick Perry. Shit would get real. Commercials would be hilarious. And maybe Obama would get happy.