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‘You’re Fundamentally Wrong On Civics’: Rachel Maddow Explains The Constitution To Rick Santorum

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One of the greatest match-ups in the world of modern politics has to be top liberal journalist Rachel Maddow interviewing one of the most right-wing anti-gay political crusaders, Rick Santorum. And it was. Watch.

Rick Santorum knows people who used to be gay but no longer are, regrets his infamous statement comparing same-sex marriage with “man-on-dog” marriage – though stands by his beliefs surrounding it – and doesn’t “spend a whole lot of time thinking about” issues like same-sex marriage or if people choose to be gay.

So he said Wednesday night when he sat down with MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow for a heated and powerful interview that ended up revealing far more than the Republican former U.S. Senator who is again running for president bargained for – including getting a lesson on how the Constitution actually works.

“Can I ask you if you believe people choose to be gay?,” Maddow gently inquired.

“You know, I’ve never answered that question because I don’t really know the answer to that question,” Santorum, guardedly responded. Which is a bit stunning since he has worked closely with people who are gay, and has claimed to have good friends who are gay. 

“I suspect that there’s all sorts of reasons that people end up the way they are. And I’ll sort of leave it at that,” Santorum said, trying to wiggle out of a politically dangerous answer. “There are people who are alive today who identified themselves as gay and lesbian and who no longer are. That’s true. I do know — I’ve met people in that case,” he offered, after Maddow pushed for a better answer. 

“So, I guess maybe in that case, may be they did” choose to not be gay, Santorum concluded.

Not satisfied, Maddow continued.

“Do you think people choose to – people can choose to be heterosexual?”

“All I’m saying,” Santorum insisted, “I do know people who have lived a gay lifestyle and no longer live it.”

“Again, I don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about these things to be very honest,” he added.

Maddow reminded him that he talks about gay issues and LGBT rights “all the time.” She brought up his 2003 interview when he told a reporter that since the Supreme court had just struck down the ban on sodomy, he said it was a slippery slope to legalizing “man on child, man on dog, whatever the case may be.”

Santorum told Maddow he regretted that remark.

“It was a flippant comment that should have come out of my mouth. But the substance of what I said, which is what I’ve referred to, I stand by that. I wish I had not said it in a flippant term that I did, and I know people were offended by it, and I wish I hadn’t said it.”

But he couldn’t bring himself to apologize for it.

The two began the interview with a debate over the Constitution. 

Santorum offered his view, which is that Congress and the President have as much right to say a law is unconstitutional as does the Supreme court, and he strongly suggested that the opinions of the legislative and executive branches of government are equal to that of the supreme Court on constitutional law.

The Supreme Court is “not a superior branch of government. I mean, if the Congress comes back and says, you know, we disagree with you and were able to pass a law and get it signed by the president and say, courts, you’re wrong, I mean,” Santorum argued, forcing Maddow to interject.

Here’s the exchange, via Real Clear Politics:

SANTORUM: Why not? Why? 

MADDOW: You can amend the Constitution. 

SANTORUM: Why?

MADDOW: They’re ruling on the constitutionality of that law. 

SANTORUM: What if they’re doing it with an — from an unconstitutional basis? I mean —

MADDOW: They decide what’s constitutional. That’s how our government works.

SANTORUM: No, no, that’s not necessarily true. The Congress has the right. 

When I took my oath of office as a United States senator, what did I say? I would uphold the Constitution. 

And my feeling is, and I think it’s clearly from our founding documents, that the Congress has a right to say what’s constitutional. The president has a right to say what’s constitutional. And that’s part of the dynamic called checks and balances. 

MADDOW: Yes. But — I mean, you’re fundamentally wrong on civics, right? If there is, if there is a question as to the constitutionality of a law, it gets adjudicated. 

SANTORUM: Right.

MADDOW: And the second syllable of that word means it get decided in the judiciary, the Supreme Court decides whether or not a law is constitutional. So, you could not now pass a law – 

SANTORUM: But if they have —

MADDOW: — that said we’re banning same sex marriage.

The debate went back and forth, with Santorum at one point explaining his view of how the Supreme court decided that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.

“I think what was going on with this court is what Justice Kennedy was saying. You know, we sort of see this definition of liberty is whatever we want it to be. And this is sort of where the culture is going right now and so this is what we’re going to do,” Santorum insisted, wholly ignoring the 14th Amendment on which the Court based its opinion.

“He didn’t tie to it any constitutional basis,” Santorum insisted, wrongly. “There’s no precedent that set — that gives him the ability to create this new right in the Constitution,” he decried, again ignoring that the Supreme Court has many times stated marriage is a fundamental right.

“And so, if it’s created on a whole cloth, it can be re-created in a different way out of whole cloth. And I think that’s the role of the Congress is to pressure the court to get it right.”

UPDATE –
The video at the top is what MSNBC provided, it is not the complete interview. For real political junkies, here’s the complete interview, which includes the beginning portion that MSNBC cut:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4g2FKzhB9Os 

 

Image: Screenshot via MSNBC
Transcript via Real Clear Politics

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News

The Foreword for Michael Cohen’s Book Is Out — It Contains Allegations of Deviant Sex Acts and a Backchannel to Putin

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President Donald Trump’s former “fixer” Michael Cohen was unfairly targeted by judges attempting to silence his tell-all book slated to be released before the election. However, Cohen prevailed and his new book Disloyal: A Memoir. The true story of the former personal attorney to President Donald J. Trump is scheduled to be released by Oct. 6, according to Amazon, but Cohen had initially said he hoped to have it out by the end of September.

Cohen has already released the foreword of the book on the site for the book, which is getting so much traffic it keeps crashing.

“From golden showers in a sex club in Vegas, to tax fraud, to deals with corrupt officials from the former Soviet Union, to catch and kill conspiracies to silence Trump’s clandestine lovers, I wasn’t just a witness to the president’s rise—I was an active and eager participant,” it says, among other things.

He recalled his shocking and revealing testimony to Congress in which he outed the president for unethical and questionable behavior and urged others to rethink their support.

To those who support the President and his rhetoric, as I once did, I pray the country doesn’t make the same mistakes as I have made or pay the heavy price that my family and I are paying,” Cohen recalled testifying to Congress, “exhorting them to learn from my example.”

“Pulling over at a service plaza, I gassed up and headed inside for a coffee, black no sugar,” he described. “I looked around to see if I was under surveillance or being followed; a sense of dread consuming my thoughts. Who was that FBI-type in the gray coat or the muscle-bound dude a few paces behind me? The notion that I was being followed or stalked may have seemed crazy; but it was also perfectly logical. I wasn’t just famous—I was perhaps the most infamous person in the country at the time, seen by millions upon millions as a traitor. President Trump controlled all the levers of the Commander in Chief and all the overt and covert powers that come with the highest office in the country. He also possessed a cult-like hold over his supporters, some of them demonstrably unhinged and willing to do anything to please or protect the President. I knew how committed these fanatics were because I’d been one of them: an acolyte obsessed with Donald J. Trump, a demented follower willing to do anything for him, including, as I vowed once to a reporter, to take a bullet.

See all of the facts at Cohen’s site for the book.

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Trump-Loving Catholic Priest Accuses Biden-Harris Supporters of Wanting ‘Terrorists’ and ‘Bloodshed’

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A very pro-Trump Catholic priest went ballistic after the first joint public appearance of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Wednesday afternoon, attacking Americans showing support for a Biden-Harris landslide.

Those tweeting #BidenHarris2020Landslide with a desire for it are seeking a landslide of – bloodshed of #unborn babies – persecution of the church – economic debt – criminals in our neighborhoods – new terrorists in the world – taxes,” wrote Father Frank Pavone. “And they don’t have the integrity to face it.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden is a devout, practicing Catholic.

It is unusual for members of the clergy to be so open in advocating their political preferences of one candidate over another.

Related: Bishop Blasted for Attacking Biden-Harris as ‘First Time in Awhile’ Dems Not Running a Catholic (They Are)

Father Pavone, who is also the national director of Priests for Life, an anti-abortion, anti-choice organization,  was not done, offering more commentary attack Democrats.

He also promoted a tweet from the official Trump campaign:

And later accused Democrats of “concocting” “delusional fantasies.”

In fact, taking a look at Father Pavone’s Twitter feed reveals what appears to be an unabashed endorsement of President Donald Trump.

On Wednesday he even promoted the Trump campaign’s “Make America Great Again” slogan to tweet out his work, a Fox News-like presentation supporting Trump talking points, mixed with graphic anti-abortion imagery.

 

 

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'MASSIVE VOTER SUPPRESSION'

‘Damned Evil’: Trump Shocks Americans With Open Boasts About Defunding the Post Office Before Election

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President Donald Trump has shocked many Americans with his declaration that he doesn’t want to give the United States Postal Service enough funding to count ballots that have been sent via mail.

When asked by Fox Business’s Maria Bartiromo about extra funding for the Post Office during a Thursday morning interview, Trump explicitly tied his refusal to give the USPS what it needed with his desire to block mail-in voting.

“Now they need that money in order to make the Post Office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” Trump said. “But if they don’t get those two items that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting.”

Americans watching the interview quickly took to Twitter to express their shock and outrage — check out some reactions below.

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