Rick Santorum Is For Freedom, Except When He’s Not

Have
you heard the good news? GOP primary contender Rick Santorum, the
two term Pennsylvania Senator and former
pro-wrestling lobbyist
, thinks that this election is all.
About. Freedom. That’s what he’s fighting for. 

After taking second place to Mitt Romney in yesterday’s Iowa
caucus by just eight votes, Santorum gave
a lengthy, unscripted speech
, in which he declared that even in
the midst of a miserable economy and threats to both the nation’s
culture and safety, his campaign was defined by a single
idea: 

The essential issue in this race is freedom
whether we will be a country that believes that government can do
things for us better than we can do for ourselves, or whether we
believe, as our founders did, that rights come to us from God, and
when he gave us those rights he gave us the freedom to go out and
live those rights out, to build a great and just society, not from
the top down, but from the bottom up.” [bold added]

Freedom, eh? And the belief that individuals manage their own
affairs better than the government? That’s Santorum’s essential
issue? If I didn’t know better, I might think this was satire.

Is there any candidate in the GOP race less invested in
freedom, and the idea that individuals are better equipped than
government to make decisions about their lives, than Rick Santorum?
He’s for freedom,
except
for the freedom of same-sex couples to get married. He’s
for freedom,
except
when state governments want to enforce sweeping bans on
types of private sexual activity between consenting adults. He
believes that government doesn’t do things better than we do for
ourselves,
except for “allocating spending”
through pork-barrel earmark
projects, and
funding religious organizations to do social work
, and
spending hundreds of millions of federal dollars to promote the
benefits of the same state-sponsored marriage
that he’s worked
so hard to deny to gays. He wants to avoid government-driven,
top-down policy solutions—except when he votes to pass a brand
new prescription drug benefit
without paying for it. He’s a
freedom fighter, sure. By which I mean he seems to spend a lot of
time fighting against freedom. 

Read David Harsanyi on
Santorum’s big-government conservatism
. And check out
Reason‘s Santorum candidate profile here