Rick Santorum screws the pooch of international relations

A former Pennsylvania senator, whose indecent moniker is familiar to Savage Love readers, but regrettably cannot be published on a family site, was frothy with rage in a recent Philly Enquierer editorial:

Watching President Obama apologize last week for America’s arrogance – before a French audience that owes its freedom to the sacrifices of Americans – helped convince me that he has a deep-seated antipathy toward American values and traditions.

How, exactly, does Mr. S******* claim Obama shows this contempt? By his nomination to the state department of Harold Kohl,

…a strong supporter of the International Criminal Court, which could subject U.S. soldiers and officials to foreign criminal trials for their actions while fighting for our security. He has recommended that American lawyers work to “undermine” official American opposition to the court.

If only Koh’s transnationalism ended there. Our Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment? Koh believes it should be reinterpreted in light of foreign and international law to pay “decent respect to the opinions of humankind.”

Old fogies like me believe we ought to pay more attention to the opinions of the Founders who wrote the Constitution and the people who have lived under it. If Americans want to end the death penalty, they can do so through their elected state representatives.

I didn’t realize Mr. S******* was so defensive of the death penalty; it’s not very consistantly “pro-life from natural conception to natural death”. And as far as taking points from “the Founders and the people who have lived under it;”

           A.) The Founders probaly didn’t believe future generations would be bound to an 18th century definition of “cruel and unusual,” and

            B.) they weren’t thinking in a vacuum, but taking a lot of cues from living and dead European authors like Locke, Montesquie, and Priestley. And anyway, a lot of European democracies, and international human rights groups, directly or indirectly, proceed from the examples of the United States’ founding documents.

           C.) We’ve already strayed far and beyond what the Founders envisioned for the country; a sweeping foreign policy as we hvae now, with military bases in dozens of nations, is precisely the sort that Washington prescribed against in his farewell address, setting the tone for American isolationism until WWI. Reconciling ourselves to the industrial revolution and its antecedent technological revolutions has globalized all economies, so now we hardly have a choice to engage in international law. Exactly how a nation can maintain its special sovreignty while making a good faith effort to abide international standards is a difficult game; but that doesn’t mean, as Mr. S******* suggests, we should take our football (re: Constitution) and go home.

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One Response

  1. I like that you did at least address in your last paragraph the point that Mr. Santorum was trying to make.

    I would be curious to hear some more of your thoughts on the trip to Europe. You may not like Rick Santorum, but I was a little surprised at the President’s attitude toward his own nation.

    I’d also find it interesting to talk about what level of international influence is acceptable in setting American policy. This topic becomes more important as we globalize, and as things like this become more common…

    http://home.wickedlocal.com/2009/04/08/should-illegal-immigrants-be-allowed-to-vote/

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