Santorum and the Values Voter Bus Stop in CR

Todd Dorman
Published: August 10 2011 | 1:33 pm - Updated: 31 March 2014 | 5:26 pm in
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So the “Values Voters Bus Tour” parked in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday morning. And the first two local folks who showed up did indeed have family values on their mind.

Still, I doubt they’d be welcome on the bus.

“I’m standing up for my daughter and for what I believe in,” said Alice McCabe of Cedar Rapids, who came with her husband, David Kesler. They quietly held signs with pictures of their daughter Sarah, her wife, Liz, and their 2-year-old son, Milo. Sarah and Liz were legally married in Iowa two years ago. “That’s the American way, isn’t it?” McCabe said.

Republican candidate for president Rick Santorum, who spoke at the lightly attended bus stop, says nope.

“Uh, we have an institution of marriage which is reflective of what’s in nature, one man, one woman,” said the former Pennsylvania senator when I asked why Sarah and Liz don’t count as a family. “(Same-sex marriage) is not what reflects nature.”

Birds do it, bees do it, so let’s do it, let’s deny civil rights. Kesler, a retired biologist, is not convinced.

“Natural law, to a biologist, is what works,” Kesler said. “People who love each other will make a strong marriage.”

If you won’t buy biology, how about economics? Santorum says couples like Sarah and Liz are part of the reason the national economy is falling down around our ears. They’re demanding “special rights” in the “pursuit of pleasure.” And it’s these “moral failings” that are the problem, from Wall Street banksters to the Iowa Supreme Court and its “unelected judges” who had the audacity to let Sarah and Liz get hitched.

And these are not just some tortured leaps of logic to justify the continued righteous drumbeat on social issues even as the nation yearns for leaders who can offer actual economic policies. “All the statistical analysis,” Santorum said, shows he’s right. He did not cite all the specific studies. Or any, actually.

Looking at a photo of Sarah and Liz, sitting beside the Christmas tree holding Milo, it’s tough to believe they are to blame for our economic woes. Is this the scene that Standard & Poor’s was thinking of when it downgraded the nation’s bond rating and put more coal in our stockings?

The couple lives in Minneapolis. When they’re not demanding special rights and pursuing pleasures, Sarah is a sign language interpreter and Liz is an elementary schoolteacher.

I don’t know. I guess the problem could be families like this one. Or it could be out-of-touch politicians who would rather pile scorn on their fellow Americans than offer any real solutions to real problems facing the country. Tough one.

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