January 18, 2012
By Mike McManus
One yardstick for
measuring the Republican candidates is their faith and how it had guided
them in considering public policy.
First, some history.
The January issue of “Christianity Today” interviews Gary Scott Smith,
author of “Faith and the Presidency from George Washington to George W.
Bush.” He notes that Harry Truman’s recognition of Israel was stoutly
opposed by the State Department and by his Secretary of State George
“understanding of the Bible and his belief that the Jews deserved to have a
Promised Land” led him to oppose Marshall, asserts Smith. “Truman saw
himself as a kind of Cyrus giving back the land to the Jews.” Cyrus, King
of Persia, allowed the Jews who were in exile, to go home.
Before the Iowa
Caucuses, Sen. Santorum was asked if he would sign a “pledge of fidelity to
your own spouse and to respect the marital bonds of others.”
Santorum was initially
taken aback, but did sign it. He told CNN’s Candy Crowley, “I pledged
fidelity to my wife when I was married to her, and I pledged to not get
involved with any other relationships. When you look at the amount of
disregard of such vows by Members of Congress - the infidelity, and not
keeping the vows to people you love,” it “undermines” the public’s faith in
“If you can’t be
faithful to those you are closest to, how can you be faithful to the people
you represent?” Santorum asked. Good question.
What about Newt
Gingrich, whose infidelity led to the destruction of his first two
marriages. He had an adulterous affair with his current wife for five years
before she became his third wife. His second wife announced this week that
Gingrich wanted an “open marriage,” so he could live with Callista as a
mistress. Recently he converted to Catholicism and claims to be repentant.
He was a brilliant
Congressman who helped Republicans regain control of the House for the first
time in 40 years. He did fight for welfare reform, twice vetoed by
President Clinton before it was signed in 1996. He did work with Clinton to
achieve years of a balanced budget.
However, the House
voted by 395-28 to reprimand Gingrich and ordered him to pay an
unprecedented $300,000 penalty, the first time in two centuries that it had
disciplined a Speaker for ethical wrongdoing. He had violated a tax law and
lied to an Ethics Committee.
Gingrich’s personal life paved the way for his public infidelity.
Mitt Romney apparently
has a strong marriage. But he supported abortion as governor before he
switched after running for President. When the state’s top court voted 4-3
that traditional marriage was unconstitutional, it suggested the Legislature
re-write the law. But Romney by-passed that step, ordering town clerks to
perform same-sex marriage. He now says he opposes same sex marriage, but
favors gay adoptions and same-sex civil unions.
Therefore, there is a
search for a conservative alternative to Romney as the Republican nominee.
All of the Republican
candidates are proposing big tax cuts to stimulate the economy. Santorum
would triple the current child tax credit of $1,000 and reduce federal taxes
that penalize married couples who both work by an average $1,500. He would
also cut corporate taxes on manufacturing to zero to bring back factory
jobs. Cost: $1.3 trillion in 2015.
eliminate taxes on capital gains, dividends and interest that is also $1.3
trillion in new costs, while Romney’s tax cuts are “only” $600 million
because he would eliminate those investment taxes only for married couples
with incomes below $200,000.
Warren Buffett, worth
$45 billion, says it is “baloney” that tax rates are too high: “I find the
argument that we need lower axes to create more jobs mystifying, because
we’ve had the lowest taxes in this decade and about the worst job creation
Santorum would pay for
his tax cuts by slashing federal spending by $5 trillion in 5 years, by far
the deepest cuts proposed by any candidate. While the others would gradually
raise the age for Social Security and Medicare, his plan would cut current
benefits to seniors.
Last weekend Santorum
won the support of three-fourths of 150 conservative and evangelical leaders
such as Dr. James Dobson, Rev. Don Wildmon of the American Family
Association and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. They hoped to
gather behind one conservative challenger to Romney.
Ironically, it is
Gingrich who is moving up in the polls due to a better performance in the
is more important than debating skills.