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Santorum Calls the Kettle Black

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On November 11, Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) spoke to the Union League in Philadelphia. In his speech, he supported the war in Iraq by citing "Islamic fascists" whose goal is to "convince the American public to stop fighting." He said that Americans don't fully understand the stakes, and he blamed the media for our ignorance.

What an interesting choice of words and concepts! Let's bypass the media then and do some real homework.

The word "fascist" has been overused and misused through the decades, so let's go right to the source. Benito Mussolini said that fascism "should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." He said that fascism "is definitely and absolutely opposed to the doctrines of liberalism, both in the political and economic sphere."

Now let's look up the word "projection". Merriam-Webster defines it as "the attribution of one's own ideas, feelings, or attitudes to other people or to objects; especially the externalization of blame, guilt, or responsibility as a defense against anxiety." In other words, it's the pot calling the kettle black.

Could this be what Santorum is doing when he calls them "fascists"? For an answer, let's take a look at his senatorial voting record:

In 1995, Santorum voted to restrict class-action lawsuits.

In 1996, Santorum voted against medical savings accounts. That same year, he voted against a bill prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation, and also voted in favor of limiting product liability punitive damage awards.

In 1998, Santorum voted against increased restrictions on tobacco companies.

In 1999, Santorum voted to limit the self-employment health deduction. That same year, he voted against an increase in the minimum wage, and also voted to loosen license and background checks at gun shows. But that wasn't enough, so in 1999 he also did his big oil buddies a favor and voted to defund renewable and solar energy.

In 2000, Santorum voted to preserve federal funding for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

In 2001, Santorum voted to tighten the rules on personal bankruptcy, while doing nothing to restrict out-of-control credit card rates or the ability of a corporation to declare bankruptcy. That same year, he voted against the right of patients to sue HMOs and collect punitive damages, and also voted against banning campaign donations from corporations. Additionally, in 2001, he voted to loosen restrictions on cell phone wiretapping.

In 2002, Santorum voted to terminate Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for passenger cars and light trucks. That same year, he did his big pharma buddies a favor and voted against allowing the importation of prescription drugs from Canada.

In 2003, Santorum voted to allow the FCC to approve larger media conglomerates.

And, in 2003, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce gave Santorum a rating of 100%, indicating a perfect pro-business voting record.

Mussolini would be so proud!

Terrorism is a terrible thing. However, the goal of the Islamic terrorists is not simply to "convince the American public to stop fighting," as Santorum would have us believe. Their goal is to drive the American fascists from their holy land and their oil fields.

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Mary Shaw is a Philadelphia-based writer and activist, with a focus on politics, human rights, and social justice. She is a former Philadelphia Area Coordinator for the Nobel-Prize-winning human rights group Amnesty International, and her views (more...)
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