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February 15, 2012

Santorum and The Republican Nanny State

Ever since Teh Won ascended the alabaster throne in 2008, the blog princess has amused her reverse side away extremely at the extreme offense occasioned by our First Lady's crusade against the evils of trans fats.

For as long as I can remember, First Ladies have championed causes near and dear to their hearts. Lady Bird Johnson wanted to beautify America. Laura Bush wanted children to read more. And Michelle Obama thinks it would be a good idea for children to eat healthier food and exercise (the horror!).

As a human being, I understand being annoyed when public figures try to tell We the Little People how they think we should live our lives. As a conservative, I broadly approve of the sentiment that we'd all be better off if the federal government kept its big nose out of our private business:

One of the things I will talk about that no president has talked about before is I think the dangers of contraception in this country, the whole sexual libertine idea … Many in the Christian faith have said, “Well, that’s okay … contraception’s okay.”

It’s not okay because it’s a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be. They’re supposed to be within marriage, for purposes that are, yes, conjugal … but also procreative. That’s the perfect way that a sexual union should happen. We take any part of that out, we diminish the act. And if you can take one part out that’s not for purposes of procreation, that’s not one of the reasons, then you diminish this very special bond between men and women, so why can’t you take other parts of that out? And all of a sudden, it becomes deconstructed to the point where it’s simply pleasure. And that’s certainly a part of it—and it’s an important part of it, don’t get me wrong—but there’s a lot of things we do for pleasure, and this is special, and it needs to be seen as special.

Again, I know most presidents don’t talk about those things, and maybe people don’t want us to talk about those things, but I think it’s important that you are who you are. I’m not running for preacher. I’m not running for pastor, but these are important public policy issues.

Do we really need to know what GOP candidates think about sex?

I don't know about you all, but I could do without a President lecturing me about how contraception "harms women". I cannot imagine in what sense my private decisions with regard to family size, contraception, or sex can reasonably be regarding as "important public policy issues", let alone a fit topic for discussion during a presidential campaign.

Posted by Cassandra at February 15, 2012 06:53 AM

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" First Ladies have championed causes near and dear to their hearts."
"I cannot imagine in what sense my private decisions...[snip]...can reasonably be regard[ed] as "important public policy issues"... [emphasis mine]

Champion is one thing. Forced enforcement with the power of the Fed behind you is an unConstitutional power grab....no matter which politicritter is perpetrating it.

Posted by: DL Sly at February 15, 2012 09:54 AM

Well, we certainly can imagine how they could become important public policy issues: if, for example, the government should take over health care, every aspect of health care becomes a matter of public policy. This is true whether you go to full-on single payer, or simply allow HHS to mandate how insurance companies do business according to Executive sentiment. (Elise has a really good point about this.)

Now, let's assume we have three candidates in the race. One of them wants to publicize these decisions at the Federal level (Obama). One of them prefers to allow the states to publicize them (Romney). The third is against government control of health care (Santorum).

We can also look at it the other way: one is an unabashed supporter of not only contraception but abortion (Obama); one is sentimentally pro-life, but it is not clear to what degree his evolving sentiments would impact public health decisions (Romney); and one is unabashedly pro-life (Santorum).

It's only by combining these models that we can make predictions about how much public interference we'll see with these decisions. Under Obama, these private matters will become public policy -- and while that works in favor of contraception and abortion today, there's no reason to believe that will hold under every future administration. Womens' decisions will become politicized and public at the Federal level.

If Romney gets his way, these decisions may become public -- at the state level. His own views, though we can't be quite certain where their evolution will shake out, will not matter because he intends to relinquish the power at the Federal level.

If Santorum gets his way, these decisions are likely to remain private even if we have public debates about them. His own views are quite adamant, but -- like Romney -- he intends to relinquish the power and opposes it even at the state level.

A Santorum-administration campaign against birth control might be annoying -- on the order of the "Let's Move!" campaign against obesity -- but it won't alter the fact that these are private decisions. Romney himself won't do so either, if he keeps his word about repealing Obamacare and leaving it to the states; if the public policy problem arises, it'll be your state government bringing it to you.

Under Obama, you can be sure these matters will be public policy questions -- once the ACHA becomes solidified, you can say with some confidence that they will remain public questions forever.

Posted by: Grim at February 15, 2012 09:59 AM

Of course, another way these private decisions can become public policy matters is laid out by Ms. McArdle. If STDs become untreatable, questions about sexual promiscuity may become important matters for public policy because of the risk of epidemics. We're not there -- not yet -- but it's one way in which these kinds of questions could even legitimately become public policy matters.

Posted by: Grim at February 15, 2012 10:28 AM

I'm sorry, Grim, but what goes on *behind closed doors* will never be a legitimate matter for public policy as far as I'm concerned.
When I was growing up, "None of your business" was a legitimate answer to such intrusive questions as: How much money do you make? How did you vote in the last election? How old are you? (I actually got that answer from my own father when a young teenaged Me asked him the first two questions -- with a stern reminder that asking a woman her age was equally as much, 'None of my business' thrown in for good measure.) By today's standards those questions will be asked at any given time, by anybody, without thought one given as to whether or not the question should even be asked, much less answered.
It applies to the individual.
It applies even more stridently at the State and Federal level.

Posted by: DL Sly at February 15, 2012 11:08 AM

If Romney gets his way, these decisions may become public -- at the state level. His own views, though we can't be quite certain where their evolution will shake out, will not matter because he intends to relinquish the power at the Federal level.

I hate to break this to you Grim, but the entire reason we have Roe v. Wade is that for most of our 200+ year history, such matters WERE public at the state level. That's what Federalism is all about.

In any event, as I've pointed out many times, Santorum's stated views have undergone their own evolution in the past 5 years or so, making the idea that we can rely upon his deep personal convictions wrt small government dubious at best.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 15, 2012 11:11 AM

DL Sly just said it perfectly.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 15, 2012 11:14 AM

I'm not sure exactly where we disagree, Cass. If you're supporting Romney on Roe v. Wade (which he now wishes to repeal, and see state-level standards re-imposed), then you're agreeing that the state has the right to interfere behind closed doors; but if you're agreeing with Sly, you're opposing that view.

My view is that there are compelling interests that can justify an intrusion into what is usually protected space. Epidemics are the standard case for when normally-private matters become public. In terms of religious liberty, the one usual example of an interest so compelling as to justify state intrusion in family religious matters is controlling an epidemic disease. We might not require vaccination of the religiously opposed, but we would at least require quarantine -- which is to say, we would impose a significant state control on what would ordinarily be an entirely private right to travel freely.

I'm not arguing against Romney's position here; I'm merely trying to describe it. I'm aware of the history. Further, under the 10th Amendment, there's no obvious reason that states shouldn't have jurisdiction over such questions. The counterargument from the Obama side is that there is a countervailing Federal right to be protected against state intrusion -- but that means Federal intrusion.

They would like to believe this intrusion can be uni-directional (i.e., that the Federal government can be required to prevent state limits on abortion, but that same power cannot be used to place Federal limits on it). Perhaps that is true, but it isn't obviously true. I think Elise makes a good case that HHS, under this precedent, could impose significant limits simply by altering insurance rules.

Posted by: Grim at February 15, 2012 11:37 AM

If you're supporting Romney on Roe v. Wade (which he now wishes to repeal, and see state-level standards re-imposed), then you're agreeing that the state has the right to interfere behind closed doors; but if you're agreeing with Sly, you're opposing that view.

Abortion (at least if you accept that a fetus is human) isn't a "behind closed doors" question in the same sense that preventing conception is. It is the legally sanctioned right to end a pregnancy (not something normally done behind closed doors, but in hospitals or clinics that are open to the general public).

The decision of a husband and wife to use birth control or not is, unlike abortion, unquestionably private. It doesn't require the involvement or presence of third parties (doctors, nurses, insurance companies, etc.)

WRT Roe, the only federal intrusion is the federal government prohibiting states from banning abortion - a public act - outright. Roe does not, in fact, limit my personal freedom, nor does it intrude upon my private life. It increases individual freedom, albeit at the expense of unborn children who are not citizens yet. It's an uncomfortable distinction, but then such judgments usually are.

The biggest single problem I have wrt Roe is that the right way to add such a protection to the Constitution was NOT by judicial fiat, but rather by amending the Constitution.

Abortion is a subject that more often than not results in moral dumbfounding. Almost no one (overheated rhetoric aside) treats the life of an unborn child the same as they do the life of an infant. And few of us would force a woman to bear a child conceived as a result of rape or incest (or, as Mr. Santorum so memorably advised, tell her to "make the best of it").

Posted by: Cassandra at February 15, 2012 12:44 PM

The third is against government control of health care (Santorum).

Or so Santorum claims. Of course Santorum also claims that contraception is a public policy issue.

The two claims are mutually exclusive unless you want to argue that it should be the Public Policy of the US to have a completely irrelevent Opinion.

That is not the typical meaning of Public Policy. Santorum seems to be saying that the Federal Gov't may have control (by law or regulation) over this aspect of Healthcare.

It appears to me that we have one Candidate (Obama) saying that the federal gov't should have control over all healthcare (aligned with the social left), one Candidate (Romney) saying that states may have control of healthcare if they so choose, and one Candidate (Santorum) saying that the federal gov't should have control of at least some aspects of healthcare (aligned with the social right).

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at February 15, 2012 12:53 PM

The two claims are mutually exclusive unless you want to argue that it should be the Public Policy of the US to have a completely irrelevent Opinion.

That would be the case if and only if you regard what Teddy Roosevelt called "The Bully Pulpit" to be irrelevant. It is, in the sense that the President's approval isn't controlling on you (indeed, that's a good thing!). It isn't, in the sense that the President is often a respected figure whose arguments tend to get considered more than others' do.

Cass:

Abortion is a subject that more often than not results in moral dumbfounding. Almost no one (overheated rhetoric aside) treats the life of an unborn child the same as they do the life of an infant.

I'm not sure that's right. Most people are committed to obeying the law, if only out of fear of punishment; and the law treats the cases differently. But the person who opposes both abortion and infanticide within the bounds of the law is consistent, even though their behavior in the two cases varies.

And few of us would force a woman to bear a child conceived as a result of rape or incest...

My position is not to force anyone; but in terms of persuasion, I do think we ought to argue that a child of rape or incest is an innocent and deserves to be treated as such. The one clear case in which abortion is not only morally acceptable but may be morally required is in the case where a failure to abort will result in the death of mother and child. When it would not result in the death of the child, but only the mother, I take it to be acceptable but not required: if the mother should choose to spare herself instead of the child, I would not think she did wrong, but she might also do right by choosing to save the child instead of herself.

In cases of rape or incest, though, there is a guilty party who deserves the most severe punishment. That person is not the child. Yet we have arrived at a place where we let the guilty go with a far less severe punishment than the one we impose upon the truly innocent.

Posted by: Grim at February 15, 2012 01:11 PM

It appears to me that we have one Candidate (Obama) saying that the federal gov't should have control over all healthcare (aligned with the social left), one Candidate (Romney) saying that states may have control of healthcare if they so choose, and one Candidate (Santorum) saying that the federal gov't should have control of at least some aspects of healthcare (aligned with the social right).

Yu-Ain has identified what makes me uncomfortable about this.

Unless the President of the United States believes that the federal government should have some role (and if so, he needs to say what it is) to play in regulating the use of contraceptives, I don't think it's a fit topic for debate.

To me, the "conservative" answer here would have been, "Look - if you're asking me for my personal opinion, my personal opinion is that my personal opinion has no bearing on this topic. If you insist, then I might tell you my personal opinion, BUT WHILE MAKING IT CRYSTAL CLEAR HOW MY PERSONAL OPINION FITS INTO MY CONCEPTION OF THE PRESIDENT'S ROLE IN THIS ISSUE".


When a candidate opens by saying, "Yanno, you don't usually hear Presidents talking about this but I think it's an important public policy issue", that leads me to wonder why he thinks a private decision to use legal means to prevent contraception is "an important public policy issue"?

Posted by: Cassandra at February 15, 2012 01:21 PM

I think the answer to that question is that Santorum is a rather outspoken Catholic, and Catholicism holds that it's an important moral issue. Catholicism also holds that it is a duty of the state, as well as of the Church, to provide moral leadership and instruction. The position on contraception arises from the same concept of the "principal end" of marriage as its position on polygamy, which you remember from the fall. The Church may be right or wrong about it, but they do have a fully developed and well considered argument.

The idea that the institutions of Church and State should provide moral leadership to help in the formation of individual character is the traditional conservative position -- the Anglican church believes the same thing about leadership, even if it has come to different practical positions on where it wants Church and Queen to lead.

So long as moral leadership means "the bully pulpit," this position is both appropriate in American terms and an honest application of Santorum's deeply felt principles. If it means more than that, I will join you in opposing it.

Posted by: Grim at February 15, 2012 01:27 PM

By the way, this is something I would find it helpful for Romney to do more of himself. He cited "his faith" at his CPAC speech, and I'm willing to accept that his faith is in fact important in determining just what his principles are. Your own research shows that his position on abortion lines up precisely with his church's (just as Santorum's does).

That's good -- it's just the kind of thing I want to know, to understand how candidates think about these issues. It's also separate (as you note with Romney) from what they will do in office, but it's helpful to know what their thoughts and principles are.

I'm not as familiar with Mormonism, because they haven't produced as many notable philosophers. It would be helpful, insofar as they have good ideas, if they made a public discussion of them. Privately held principles that do not enter the public debate do not help change people's thinking. In a democracy, changing how people think is (as you often say yourself) a huge part of the game.

Posted by: Grim at February 15, 2012 01:34 PM

It isn't, in the sense that the President is often a respected figure whose arguments tend to get considered more than others' do.

And then get written into law.

That's the problem. The bully pulpit's usefulness is in its ability to shape the opinions of those who write laws and regulations. "Smoking is bad" turns into smoking is banned in restaurants *really, really fast*. Perhaps it's happened before, but I can't remember an instance where that hasn't been the intended effect.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at February 15, 2012 01:44 PM

Well, the cases would be cases where there is a Constitutionally protected right -- which, under Griswold, this one is.

Thus, for example, President Obama talks all the time about the importance of civility in discourse; but there are no laws requiring it, and none forthcoming. This is because the 1A clearly protects free speech, and especially political speech.

Posted by: Grim at February 15, 2012 01:51 PM

So far as I know, even Obama hasn't described civility as "an important public policy issue" :p

Public policy as government action is generally the principled guide to action taken by the administrative or executive branches of the state with regard to a class of issues in a manner consistent with law and institutional customs. In general, the foundation is the pertinent national and substantial constitutional law and implementing legislation such as the US Federal code. Further substrates include both judicial interpretations and regulations which are generally authorized by legislation.[1] Other scholars define it as a system of "courses of action, regulatory measures, laws, and funding priorities concerning a given topic promulgated by a governmental entity or its representatives."[2] Public policy is commonly embodied "in constitutions, legislative acts, and judicial decisions." [3]

In the United States, this concept refers not only to the end result of policies, but more broadly to the decision-making and analysis of governmental decisions.

Though I certainly wouldn't rule that out.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 15, 2012 02:04 PM

This is one of the cases where my issues with Santorum come to a head. I was raised Catholic (by admittedly fairly liberal Catholics), I had my Confirmation at the age of 17. I have since parted ways with the RCC. I bear the Church no ill will, she was just not for me (and unlike SOME Catholics, I didn't think that it was the Church's job to conform to MY way of thinking... *coughpelosicough*). But I didn't leave the Church and expect to have its theology and policies applied to me in the civic arena.

For the record, I am FINE with Santorum being a Catholic. It's no more troubling for me than Romney's Mormanism, or Ron Paul's shoe size. HOWEVER, I have a BIG problem with anyone who dares think they know better than my wife an I how best to manage the sanctity of our marriage, or how we choose to exercise our hot, animalistic, nekkid, steamy... ok back, had to take a moment there... activities in the bedroom.

It's a "none of your business" thing, but I'll make an exception in this case. We use birth control. We use it for several reasons. One of which is that we're past the age where it's reasonably safe to have children (rate of birth defects and whatnot). Two, she's on some SERIOUS medications which are known to cause severe and traumatic birth defects. Three, we're no longer at the point in our lives where we can raise a child in a manner that we feel responsible parents should (both physically and financially). And unlike Rick Santorum, we're NOT comfortable to just place it all in the Lord's hands. The Lord is busy enough without us adding to it.

I am extremely pleased that he is a man of faith who lives it as opposed to just talking about it. I don't see that as a big negative. But I DO have a problem with him wanting to use the police power of government to enforce his beliefs upon those of us who do not SHARE that faith.

Posted by: MikeD at February 15, 2012 02:07 PM

Thus, for example, President Obama talks all the time about the importance of civility in discourse; but there are no laws requiring it, and none forthcoming.

Not on the 1A, but there has been on the 2A over it. Congress has so far told them to pound sand, but losing doesn't mean you weren't playing the game.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at February 15, 2012 02:10 PM

Well, I'm with you Mike, and YAG, on not using the police power. I'm also with you, Mike, on your right to make your own decisions here. That's not at issue.

The Lockean bargain on church and state was that the church would give up all coercive force to the state, in return for not being coerced on matters of faith. That doesn't mean that political figures can't have religious convictions that inform their political decisions -- in fact, it's good if they do. It does mean, however, that the process for deciding on policy is the political process and not the church's process.

Unless we do want to go all the way to saying that religion should be banned from the public space, then, politicians have to talk about their religious principles. You should know up front what they are, and how they inform their policy stances. Otherwise, we have to say that policy has to be crafted irreligiously -- and that means deciding moral issues in public without the insight of thousands of years of careful thought and practical experience that happen to arise from the religious tradition.

If you say that you don't want to hear people's opinions on these topics if they are based in religion -- or if you say, more broadly, that you don't want to hear their opinions on these topics -- you're still going to elect people with those opinions. Those opinions will still inform them, as Romney says his faith-based opinions on abortion have informed his public policy. You just won't know what the opinions are when you pull the lever.

Posted by: Grim at February 15, 2012 02:27 PM

By the way, just to be clear about this myself, my opinion on birth control is that it's morally acceptable excepting abortifacients (which are subject to the same problems as abortion); but that there are a lot of general moral issues about the meaning of life that modern society has wrong, but that the older view of children and childrearing had right.

I also believe, separately and outside the moral sphere, that hormone-based birth controls are probably not quite the unalloyed good that popular culture often portrays them to be. That they can be empowering in given circumstances I accept, but hormones are pretty powerful things that can substantially alter personality and (therefore) decision-making. (Certainly it was true for my wife, during the brief period she used the stuff.) If we're trying to empower people to be true to themselves and their real goals, putting them on a drug that alters their personality and decision-making may be a strange way to do it.

It might be better to be up front about that aspect of the hormones, which I rarely see portrayed in movies or articles or public discussions. That's not to say that I'd support banning or even limiting access to birth control -- I'd just like to see the issue more forthrightly discussed. This might be especially important for the younger generation that has only gotten the message from High School Health Class that birth control is about making sure they live a good life and go to college.

Posted by: Grim at February 15, 2012 03:02 PM

I've got no problems with these issues being discussed, even publically.

The problem is that when the .gov sticks it's nose into discussions like this it seems to carry with it a discussion on the loveliness of my house and how shameful it would be if anything happened to it.

Maybe it's a heartfelt and innocent comment. But then again...

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at February 15, 2012 03:17 PM

The Lockean bargain on church and state was that the church would give up all coercive force to the state, in return for not being coerced on matters of faith.

And I have been trading blows with my more left leaning friends over the government's failure to uphold their end of the bargain. In fact, I have even been standing up for the RCC's right to not provide birth control and abortifactants on their dime. I also have no reservations about someone having their faith inform their decisions. To be honest, I worry more about those who have no faith to do so. But that's a personal thing.

The problem is, I don't think Rick Santorum's stance is a theoretical one. I take his statement "I’m not running for preacher. I’m not running for pastor, but these are important public policy issues." at his word. He isn't discussing how he lives his life and how his faith influences his decision making. He's discussing how his faith (with regards to contraceptives) is a public policy issue.

Whether two consenting (much less married) adults choose to have a child or not, is NOT a matter of public policy. I think we can make some space as to HOW they choose not to have children (selling their child into slavery is not an acceptable method, nor is infanticide... on that I think all can agree), but if my wife and I choose to have non-procreative relations is NOT anyone else's business (not even my own mother's, much less the government's). I object, not to Mr. Santorum's Catholic faith informing his choices, but to his thinking it should inform mine.

Posted by: MikeD at February 15, 2012 05:41 PM

What you and your wife do is surely not a public policy issue, I agree; but how we teach our kids to think about contraceptives surely is, because we do teach them things in health class in public schools.

Until and unless the Federal government gets out of that business -- a worthy goal, well in line with the 10th Amendment concerns that often motivate me -- we won't see that change. Of the remaining candidates, though, only Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul seem likely to follow through on that. My guess is we're stuck with that aspect for this election cycle at least.

Posted by: Grim at February 15, 2012 07:08 PM

By the way, here's an article from Hot Air on the context of these remarks. The author watched the whole video; see what you think.

Posted by: Grim at February 15, 2012 08:57 PM

I cannot imagine in what sense my private decisions with regard to family size, contraception, or sex can reasonably be regarding as "important public policy issues"

It's all written down in black and white in the Commerce Clause. Judge Gladys Kessler said so in Mead v Holder: the Court concludes that a decision not to purchase health insurance is an “activity.” Thus, since a thought is subject to government regulation under the Commerce Clause, your thoughts concerning family size, contraception, or sex plainly are important public policy issues subject to proper government regulation.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at February 15, 2012 09:55 PM

Forgot to provide the link: Mead v Holder

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at February 15, 2012 09:57 PM

A fine point; but that's just why we need the debate the Hot Air piece asks for.

Posted by: Grim at February 15, 2012 11:23 PM

Grim:

I listened to the whole video yesterday (twice!), and while the Hot Air article is well reasoned, I'd like to point out that it has little or nothing to do with anything I've written here.

I was very careful NOT to call for a contraception speech, nor did I contend that Santorum was "coming for" my contraception :p Did others bloggers do that? Sure. But I didn't.

I found this paragraph interesting:

...what I do believe is that the government – and the federal government in particular – should have no policy on ensuring the distribution of contraception. Santorum is right that the federal government should neither fund contraception nor subsidize its advocates’ prowling the land in various guises, encouraging young women to resort to it. It should not be the policy of the state to subsidize or promote the avoidance of pregnancy, any more than it should be the policy of the state to prohibit contraception. A government that interests itself in this matter is too big. It needs to be slapped down hard.

So the state should neither subsidize nor promote the prevention pregnancy, but it's OK for the state to encourage/discourage the use of contraceptives? This is a matter of opinion, but my opinion is that (as the author says) "a government that interests itself in these matters is too big. It needs to be slapped down, hard."

Posted by: Cassandra at February 16, 2012 06:07 AM

Sorry, Cass, I thought it to be on topic. I didn't intend to introduce something that wasn't relevant.

I'm always up for slapping down the government, as you know. When we get ready to defund and disband the Department of Education, I'll be right there with you. It was one of Gingrich's better ideas, but both you and I have reasons not to support him. It was one of Perry's better ideas, when he could remember it. I expect Paul would do it too, but again, neither of us is going to support Ron Paul.

So, for now, we are where we are. I'll be happy to join you in this matter, though, when we are able to do it.

Posted by: Grim at February 16, 2012 08:46 AM

This is a matter of opinion, but my opinion is that (as the author says) "a government that interests itself in these matters is too big. It needs to be slapped down, hard."

Thank you Miss Cass for putting this exactly how I ought to have. I am certainly fine with getting the Federal government out of sex education (and education as a whole). But I am NOT fine with replacing one form of intrusion with another.

Posted by: MikeD at February 16, 2012 10:05 AM

Sorry, Cass, I thought it to be on topic. I didn't intend to introduce something that wasn't relevant.

My dear friend, please don't say that! First of all, I don't mind off topic comments so long as they are not malicious. But secondly, it wasn't really off topic.

I just felt I needed to point out that I wasn't saying the things your author was refuting. I've noticed that a lot of conservatives (and I'm not sure you author fits this mold) who defended Santorum's remarks did so by throwing out straw men or saying, "The Left is... blah blah blah."

Meaning, "if you objected on the merits, you're a Lefty", which is just plain silly. Conservatives disagree all the time. That's pretty much why we're having this conversation :p

I thought it was a good post, I'm glad you linked it, and I always find your comments insightful even on those occasions when we decide to differ.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 16, 2012 11:15 AM

I'm glad to hear that, Cassandra. I thought it was an interesting piece as well, one that makes points with which we were all in agreement, and added some context as well. However, I did intend it to be useful as well, so I'm glad to hear that it was. :)

Posted by: Grim at February 16, 2012 11:51 AM

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