Connect with us

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

Published

on

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

Continue Reading
Click to comment
 
 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

News

Trump Complains the ‘Fake News Went Crazy’ With Coverage of His 2-Hour Meeting With Notorious Racist He Won’t Condemn

Published

on

On Saturday evening, Donald Trump issued a fourth statement on his meeting with white nationalist Nick Fuentes and once again refused to denounce his racism and anti-Semitism.

Trump posted to his Truth Social account, “so I help a seriously troubled man, who just happens to be black, Ye (Kanye West), who has been decimated in his business and virtually everything else, and who has always been good to me, by allowing his request for a meeting at Mar-a-Lago, alone, so that I can give him very much needed ‘advice.’”

“He shows up with 3 people, two of which I didn’t know, the other a political person who I haven’t seen in years. I told him don’t run for office, a total waste of time, can’t win. Fake News went crazy,” Trump wrote.

Trump’s dinner has already become an issue in the 2024 presidential campaign and could play a role in determining the next Speaker of the House of Representatives. Trump’s ambassador to Israel condemned him dining with “human scum.”

Trump has received harsh headlines.

“Trump criticized for dining with far-right activist Nick Fuentes and rapper Ye,” headlined The Washington Post.

“Trump’s Latest Dinner Guest: Nick Fuentes, White Supremacist,” was The New York Times headline.

“Trump world reels after white nationalist dinner,” headlined Politico playbook.

“Trump’s former US ambassador to Israel blasts meeting with Ye, Nick Fuentes: ‘You are better than this,'” Fox News headlined.

NBC News headlined, “‘F—ing nightmare’: Trump team does damage control after he dines with Ye and white supremacist Nick Fuentes”

READ MORE: Trump’s Dinner With Kanye Also Included a Former Aide Accused in Pay-for-Pardon Play, and White Supremacist Fuentes

Continue Reading

News

‘Poisonous’: Former Advisor Says Republicans Have ‘Just Switched Trump Off in Their Brain’

Published

on

In an interview with The Guardian, one of Donald Trump’s former senior advisers stated that the word he is getting from people he has spoken to is that they want the former president to be put out to pasture after the poor midterm election results for Republicans weeks ago.

According to John Bolton, who served as Trump’s national security adviser, it’s time for the GOP to move on from the former president if the party wants to reclaim the Oval Office in 2024.

Bolton, whose tenure serving under Trump ended acrimoniously, told the Guardian’s David Smith that there are a multitude of reasons to put Trump in the rearview mirror, but the impact that the former president had on GOP fortunes in the midterms seems to be the final straw with many conservatives.

“There are a lot of reasons to be against Trump being the nominee but the one I’m hearing now as I call around the country, talking to my supporters and others about what happened on 8 November, is the number of people who have just switched Trump off in their brain,” Bolton explained.

ALSO IN THE NEWS: Trump’s new Mar-a-Lago scandal proves why aides want him to stick to a teleprompter

Elaborating, he continued, “Even if they loved his style, loved his approach, loved his policies, loved everything about him, they don’t want to lose and the fear is, given the results on 8 November, that if he got the nomination, not only would he lose the general election, but he would take an awful lot of Republican candidates down with him.”

“There’s no doubt Trump’s endorsement in the primary can be very valuable to a candidate in the Republican party. But relying on that endorsement or trumpeting yourself as the Trump-endorsed candidate is poisonous in the general election. So if you actually want to win elections, Trump is not the answer,” Bolton continued. “William F Buckley [the conservative author] once had a rule that in Republican primaries he supported the most conservative candidate capable of winning the general election and, under that theory, Trump loses.”

The Guardian’s Smith notes that Bolton “… joins Trump’s vice-president Mike Pence, secretary of state Mike Pompeo, attorney general William Barr, UN ambassador Nikki Haley, chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and onetime ally Chris Christie in a growing rebellion among alumni making the case – overtly or subtly – that Trump has become an electoral liability.”

You can read more here.

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

Continue Reading

News

Trump’s Dinner With Kanye Also Included a Former Aide Accused in Pay-for-Pardon Play, and White Supremacist Fuentes

Published

on

Donald Trump‘s dinner earlier this week with antisemite Kanye West and holocaust denier and white supremacist Nick Fuentes may also have included two other right-wingers, hinted at by the former president himself.

After Axios‘ reporting confirmed that Fuentes had in fact had dinner with Trump, Trump issued a statement saying, “Our dinner meeting was intended to be Kanye and me only, but he arrived with a guest whom I had never met and knew nothing about.”

But later, on Friday afternoon via his Truth Social platform, Trump wrote a defense of the dinner with an expanded guest list.

READ MORE: Trump Claims He ‘Knew Nothing About’ the White Supremacist Antisemite Who He and Kanye West Dined With at Mar-a-Lago

“This past week, Kanye West called me to have dinner at Mar-a-Lago,” Trump wrote. “Shortly thereafter, he unexpectedly showed up with three of his friends, whom I knew nothing about. We had dinner on Tuesday evening with many members present on the back patio. The dinner was quick and uneventful. They then left for the airport.”

As The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman noted, Trump did not denounce his guest’s extremist beliefs.

“Three of his friends,” according to the far-right wing website Breitbart, apparently includes Fuentes, far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, and former Trump 2016 aide Karen Giorno.

Breitbart states, “two people who say they were at the dinner on Tuesday evening–Yiannopoulos and onetime Trump aide Karen Giorno–have publicly stated that Fuentes was in fact at the dinner with West and Trump.”

“’Nick attended the dinner and sat across from the president. I sat to the president’s right and Ye to his left,’ Giorno said in a statement to podcaster Tim Poole’s website Timcast,” Breitbart reports. “‘The president was by himself for dinner but invited Ye to meet some people on the patio.'”

Politico reports Giorno “confirmed to Politico that she was also at the dinner with Trump, West and Fuentes,” but does not mention Yiannopoulos as a dinner guest.

READ MORE: Watch: Chasten Buttigieg Says Tucker Carlson Is Focusing on ‘Hate’ After Host’s Latest Anti-Gay Attack on His Husband

Referring to Kanye West by his new name, VICE News adds: “Ye, who has been been on an antisemitic spiral in recent months, announced he is going to be running for president in 2024, and Yiannopoulos is his campaign manager. He claimed that he asked the former president to run with him as his vice-president. According to Ye, the dinner involving the billionaire, the rapper, and the white nationalist devolved into screaming and derogatory epithets.”

Yiannopoulos is the former Breitbart editor who became disgraced after saying, “I think in the gay world some of the most important, enriching and incredibly life-affirming, important shaping relationships very often between younger boys and older men.” Earlier this year U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene came under fire for hiring, as an intern, Yiannopoulos, even after he appeared to support sexual “relationships” between boys as young as 13 and older men.

Karen Giorno, The New York Times reported early last year, “had access to people around the president, having run Mr. Trump’s campaign in Florida during the 2016 primary and remaining on board as a senior political adviser during the general election.”

“In July 2018, Ms. Giorno signed an agreement with Mr. Kiriakou, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, ‘to seek a full pardon from President Donald Trump of his conviction’ for $50,000 and promised another $50,000 as a bonus if she secured a pardon,” The Times reports.

Kiriakou is John Kiriakou, who The Times identifies as “a former C.I.A. officer convicted of illegally disclosing classified information.”

On what appears to be her Instagram page, Giorno has photos of herself with numerous Republicans, including Marjorie Taylor Greene, Mike Flynn, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida attorney general Ashley Moody and several other top Florida elected officials, U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, and Sarah Palin, among others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.