It’s Because They’re Phonies

Last night on Real Time With Bill Maher, panelist David Frum had the nerve to chide progressives for not supporting Rick Santorum on at least one front, namely that he’s the only Republican candidate who seems to care about the poor. Frum basically called progressives hypocrites because they support Ron Paul’s foreign policy ideas, but they don’t support Rick Santorum on poverty.

First of all, I’m not sure any of that is true: any true progressive support Ron Paul has pretty much stops at his anti-war, anti-imperialism rhetoric. Sure there are some progressives who think we need to bring our troops home from the many corners of the world where they are stationed, but Ron Paul is someone who doesn’t believe in government intervention of any type: not after a devastating natural disaster like the Haiti earthquake, not to stop genocide like in Kosovo, not even to stop Hitler from exterminating the Jews. So, that’s not really a progressive position.

But Rick Santorum? Really? You think progressives should support him because he mouths the right words about the poor? Look how much he cares about the poor:

But homeless families and troubled children were not the biggest beneficiaries of “Operation Good Neighbor.” Instead, the foundation spent most of its money to run itself, including hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees for fundraising, administration and office rental paid to Santorum’s political allies.

The charity also had significant overlap with the senator’s campaigns and his work on Capitol Hill. Among the leading donors to the foundation were Pennsylvania development and finance firms that had donated to his election efforts and had interests that Santorum had supported in the Senate.

Santorum, whose last-minute surge in the Iowa caucuses has brought new attention to his presidential bid, portrays himself as a common man concerned about the gap between the nation’s rich and poor. But in the case of his charity, his efforts ended up mostly helping his cadre of political friends.

Before it folded in 2007, the foundation raised $2.58 million, with 39 percent of that donated directly to groups helping the needy. By industry standards, such philanthropic groups should be donating nearly twice that, from 75 to 85 percent of their funds.

Let’s see, a politician who starts a charity which is used to help said politician’s political friends. Where have I heard that story before? Oh yeah, here. And here. I’m sure I’m missing some others.

See, David Frum: this is why progressives don’t support Rick Santorum on the poverty thing. He’s a phony, that’s why.

This is actually old news to bloggers like Will Bunch. Santorum’s scandals are well-documented, and the link provides a nice run-down. Like, for instance, the time Santorum rushed to Terri Schiavo’s Florida deathbed — not from his home in Virginia or Pennsylvania, but from the Outback Steakhouse-sponsored political fundraiser in Tampa, having been flown there on a Wal-mart private jet.

Sorry, David Frum. Apparently progressives can smell a bullshit artist a mile off. Too bad you can’t, too.


Filed under 2012 presidential election, Rick Santorum

11 responses to “It’s Because They’re Phonies

  1. I might give ’em a look if he’d give all the poor a sweater vest. Fck. If this is the best the right can come up with I’d say Michele can go ahead and be measured for her inaugaration ball gown.

  2. chrome agnomen

    frum: every time he takes one step forward, that is to say, away from the right-wing insanity, he follows it by leaping back two steps with idiocy like this. wake up and smell the santorum, knucklehead!

  3. Why does Frum assume that all these young people who claim they are for Ron Paul are “progressives”…This word has been used to wrongly describe those who “voted for Obama but immediately dissed him because he didn’t succeed with ALL of their issues” or ‘those who are Yellow dog Democrats, blah, blah. Any true “progressive” would not sink so low as to vote for the Racist Dog Ron Paul. And our First Lady won’t need to be measured. She is the same svelte, statuesque shape she was 4 years ago! My question is how did this dolt ever get labeled a ‘pundit’ anyway…

    • Well yes, there’s THAT. Just as everyone assumed the PUMAs were actual Democrats. It’s BS, of course.

      Frum was a speechwriter for W. Presidential speechwriting is a popular entrance to punditry. See Pat Buchanan, Ben Stein & William Safire (Nixon), Peggy Noonan (Reagan), and Michael Gerson (W).

    • Min

      I would hope that the reason a progressive would choose not to vote for Ron Paul is because he’s an unadulterated kook. Also because his domestic policy would destabilize the U.S.

  4. Frum is nothing more than a right wing hack.

    Just not enough of one to keep a job at Heritage.


  5. PurpleGirl

    I think it’s pretty standard in the philanthropic sector that an 85% for program and 15% for administrative overhead split are the optimal percentages that will allow the charity to succeed with its mission and keep it looking good to evaluators like the Better Business Bureau or Charity Navigator, not to mention the IRS. A 75%/25% split puts them on the edge of being acceptable.

    • Charity Navigator says:

      The most efficient charities spend 75% or more of their budget on their programs and services and less than 25% on fundraising and administrative fees.

      But of course, groups like the ones Santorum, Abramoff and the rest cook up are not primarily charities, IMHO. They are PR/campaign devices. Ways to write off favors for friends and allow friends to support you while getting a tax write-off. Ways to hold a big event where you can have your big CEO buddies come and bend an ear to ask for favors. It’s all to support a good cause and isn’t considered campaigning.

  6. Here is why no progressive could ever support the bull-shit artist Santorum.


  7. John Weiss

    Frum! Yuck.

  8. The first word out of David Frum’s cupid’s bow of a baby’s mouth was, undoubtedly, a lie.