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Rick Santorum, who wants to take America back to 1900, takes me back to 1984.
That was the year of the Hunt-Helms race. In the dying days, we were behind in the polls – and desperate. With the help of (believe it or not) Dick Morris, we came up with a bomb to blow up Helms’ lead: an ad that said Helms opposed all abortions, even in cases of rape and incest. (True.) But we went farther. We also said he would make birth control and contraception illegal. (Also true.)
All hell broke loose. The Helms campaign rushed Mrs. Helms out to defend her husband. The charge was true, so all she could say was that Hunt was despicable saying it.
Internally, I learned later from Carter, the ad scared the Helms campaign. It really did have the potential to change the outcome.
But all hell had broken loose inside our campaign. We were deeply divided – along gender and generational lines – over the ad. Eventually, the high command got cold feet. We backed off. Big mistake. We might have won.
The point of this (to me) painful history is that Santorum is treading on thin ice. Yes, President Obama runs some risk of running afoul churches. But Santorum and Republicans run a huge risk by making it clear they will be perfectly happy if government bans all contraception – either right before or right after they do away with public schools.
For a sign of how potent this issue is to woman, look at Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s retreat on the invasive-ultrasound bill yesterday.


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2 comments on “Santorum's Contraception Obsession

  1. Carbine says:

    “We might have won.”

    Don’t know whether to laugh or sneer at that one.

    As for the contraception “issue,” it’s not one. The vast majority of the population is OK with contraception, so much so that no one outside of a small band of radicals on either side takes seriously the idea that it could be banned. That small group does not include Rick Santorum. Any attempt by the Democrats to make him look like he would actually try to push such legislation will make Democrats sound like the wild-eyed wackos who rail against black helicopters and floridation of the water supply.

  2. dap916 says:

    I’m a dedicated republican…moderate in my beliefs. So, this will come as no surprise to my fellow conservs here that are all miffed about this requirement that catholic institutions offer (through health care insurance companies) free contraception.

    What’s the big deal? I mean, it doesn’t mandate that catholic girls TAKE contraception. It says that this option must be offered. Nothing more, nothing less. And, truth? A great many catholic gals already take contraception and a lot of catholic men already use contraception. And, what is it about all the catholic MEN that are pushing this? Check out this little take from a V E R Y catholic woman. It’s very telling:

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