From the Hill: Kerry and Values

“In the end it’s about values,” Senator John Kerry (D-MA) said in July regarding the campaign for president. I agree. But whose values? Thinking back to when Senator Kerry and his running mate Senator John Edwards (D-NC) applauded the cheap shots and vulgarities aimed at President George W. Bush during Kerry’s New York celebrity fundraiser, it makes you wonder what values the senator is espousing.

The truth is, Senator Kerry’s values are the liberal elite values of Hollywood, not the traditional values of Main Street. His campaign represents the left-wing Hollywood culture out to destroy the basic moral foundation of this country.

The presidential elections will determine the direction our country takes on many important moral issues that reflect mainstream values—protecting traditional marriage and the family, restricting abortions, appointing judges who will uphold the law, and helping the poor. Catholic voters need to ask: Do we want to strengthen the traditional family or undermine it? Do we want to appoint judges to the federal bench who will apply the law as writ-ten or judges who create laws to serve narrow special interests? Do we want to further limit abortions or reverse the modest restrictions we have in place?

On the life issues, the Kerry and Edwards voting records prove that they are outside the mainstream. Both senators opposed the partial-birth abortion ban, supported by most Americans, and Senator Kerry voted numerous times against banning the gruesome procedure. In 1984, Kerry said he would vote against “any restrictions” on age or consent for abortion, and the senator has said he supports assisted suicide under “extreme circumstances.”

In 1996, Kerry was one of only 14 senators to vote against the overwhelmingly approved Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman and protected states from having to recognize other states’ non-traditional unions. With the courts now threatening to strike down DOMA, Kerry and Edwards were the only two senators absent for the Senate’s procedural vote on a marriage protection amendment to the Constitution, the beginning of an important national debate.

Currently, Senate Democrats are preventing up-or-down confirmation votes on at least ten of the president’s circuit court nominees and have marked at least another six judicial nominees as likely filibuster targets. These ten filibusters represent unprecedented obstruction of highly qualified nominees and are the warm-up for a Supreme Court confirmation battle.

Abortion is at the heart of a number of the filibusters. In such cases as Bill Pryor, now serving on the Eleventh Circuit through a presidential recess appointment, and Leon Holmes, who under a White House deal finally was confirmed for a federal district court seat after waiting 18 months for a vote, Democrats are close to establishing a de facto standard that would exclude Catholics and other people of orthodox religious faith from the bench.

Senate Democrats also are blocking important anti-poverty legislation. Furthermore, for three years, they have prevented passage of the welfare reform reauthorization bill, which would reinstate a work requirement needed to continue the tremendous success of the 1996 reforms. In addition, Senate Democratic leadership is blocking a conference committee to complete action on the bipartisan Charity Aid, Recovery and Empowerment Act (CARE), part of the president’s faith-based initiative aimed at helping those most in need.

The debate over values continues this fall on the Senate floor and the campaign trail. In the voting booths, we will see whether Americans choose the values of Main Street or Hollywood.

Sen. Rick Santorum


Former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania was a candidate for the Republican nomination for President in 2012. He is currently working in Dallas as head of the Christian movie company, EchoLight Studios.

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