Patterico's Pontifications

1/4/2012

Commenter Leviticus on Rick Santorum

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:12 am



Yesterday’s post about Rick Santorum’s child that died had a comment from reader Leviticus that I think deserves to be read by everyone:

Santorum’s wife gave birth to a child. When she did (and, to my mind, even before she did), Santorum’s other children had a baby brother.

When that baby died, the other children lost their baby brother. What were the Santorums to do? Pretend that the other children never had a baby brother? No. The kids might not have understood at the time, but they would eventually; and, young as they were, they had a stake in the matter, a right to know.

The alternative – the only really acceptable alternative – was to tell them that a child had lived and breathed as their brother, to memorialize him. But it would be difficult to communicate that message to young child with mere words. So, they brought his body home; the words became unnecessary.

Those children will always remember their brother; and thoughts of the mystery, sanctity, tragedy, and brevity of human life will be indelibly stamped on their consciousness – a trait sorely lacking in many modern men and women. What bothers the most calloused members of the pro-choice crowd is the intuitive (though ever unacknowledged) realization that some people really do feel love for a child that they don’t know, for the “simple” reason that it was their own, however briefly – that some people really do respect and realize how sacred that bond is, and that they… don’t.

Well said.

32 Responses to “Commenter Leviticus on Rick Santorum”

  1. plus the Santorum family is always first out of the gate to celebrate other’s alternative lifestyle choices

    They deserve no less.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  2. It just bugs me that now this issue will loom over Santorum. It seems his campaign should hinge on his proposals.

    It also seems the left has a lot of power over how the GOP candidates are defined.

    I don’t prefer Santorum because I think he supports a big government, just from a different direction than democrats want on some matters. A shame Colmes had to go to this issue.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  3. I agree with Levitcus. If this “issue” actually prevents Santorum from becoming President, then so be it. I don’t think it will because I don’t think he was on his way to being President anyway but if he was on his way then I think he still is.

    Gerald A (9d78e8)

  4. Kin-selective altruism is a strong instinct.

    Random (f9e702)

  5. Exactly, Dustin. This issue was insensitive nonsense and is to his credit as a human being if anything.

    Random (f9e702)

  6. Déjà vu: Trig Palin.

    I refer not to the hysterical parent doubters, but to the many who criticized her/their decision to go ahead and have the child knowing the medical condition. The left used this as additional anti ammo.

    The left and family and Republican candidates.

    jim2 (6482d8)

  7. Am a bit embarrassed to admit being very surprised by Leviticus’ comment when I saw it yesterday, not by its content but because I don’t, unfortunately, often see such a thoughtful comment by liberals when involving just-born or unborn children. (Guess I hang around conservative blogs too much.)

    And so…Patterico’s post is not only a highlighting of a very cogent comment, but also IMO a very strong reminder of the value that commenters on the other side of the political aisle can bring to a blog when honestly and thoughtfully engaged. Thanks, Leviticus and Patterico, very much.

    no one you know (325a59)

  8. Yeah, some of the left leaners here are great folks. That makes sense… it takes a spine and intellectual curiosity to jump into a political blog you often disagree with. And it takes something more to do it pleasantly.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  9. And it takes something more to do it pleasantly.

    Comment by Dustin — 1/4/2012 @ 10:17 am

    Yep, Leviticus is always respectful and makes good comments — recalling several disagreeing but very civil discussions on here. Not to leave anyone out among the liberals here, but aphrael comes to mind as well.

    no one you know (325a59)

  10. No one who hasn’t lost a child at or shortly after birth and criticizes the Santorums has a leg to stand on.

    We lost our first and only child a few minutes after he was born. It was a hugely emotional experience. It still is. We took pictures. My wife looks incredibly sweet and proud and sad all at the same time as she smiles for the camera.

    When you want the child and lose it, it’s still a part of the family. You’ve been spending months since finding out a baby’s on the way thinking of names, making room for it, buying things. Suddenly this life-changing event is over. Then you’re handed a new, unwelcome life-changing experience that you hadn’t spent months preparing for. The need to be with it and memorialize the occasion may seem morbid to those who haven’t been through it. It’s overwhelming at the time. The nurse in the recovery room told us it’s quite common; other reactions are more the exception to the rule.

    This was in Japan, so it has nothing to do Catholicism.

    Steve (8ddf37)

  11. As Leviticus and Steve said.

    If this keeps Santorum from getting elected, the US deserves another 4, or 40, years of Obama.

    If we can find shallows in the middle of the ocean, bring in more rock and dirt and make an island that wasn’t there, do we get to keep it?

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  12. I’m sorry for your loss, Steve.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  13. _________________________________________

    often see such a thoughtful comment by liberals

    Leviticus at least has an excuse because he apparently is still a rather young person. In one of his more recent posts, I recall his saying he’s either in his late teens or early 20s.

    The following is a quote often attributed (and, based on various historians, incorrectly) to Winston Churchill. Whether an observation from him or someone else, I think it reveals a good grasp of human nature and the way the mind either will mature with time or remain stunted with the naivete, foolishness and dishonesty of youth.

    BTW, Barack Obama turned 50 years old last August.

    “If you’re not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at forty you have no brain.”

    Mark (31bbb6)

  14. It just bugs me that now this issue will loom over Santorum.

    It only looms over him if we allow it to. It’s utterly ludicrous how a woman is supposed to be able to terminate her fetus at any point, but someone choosing to let their children see the baby that would have been a sibling is wrong.

    I’m pro-choice, myself, but the Left’s hypocrisy on this is just glaring.

    So don’t let it be an issue — Get visibly offended when people dare to criticize how Santorum chose to deal with loss of a child in regards to his other children, get indignant, and huffy and make it clear that the losers making an issue of this are total hypocrites and need to just STFU before they cross a line they don’t want to cross. Criticize such people on the total LACK of anything resembling compassion or empathy involved in attempting to make this a political matter. THAT‘ll make ’em STFU.

    I Got Bupkis, Fomenter of "small-l" libertarianism (8e2a3d)

  15. “If you’re not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at forty you have no brain.”

    I had a brain AND a heart when I was twenty, hence, I wasn’t a liberal.
    😀

    I Got Bupkis, Fomenter of "small-l" libertarianism (8e2a3d)

  16. plus the Santorum family is always first out of the gate to celebrate other’s alternative lifestyle choices

    They deserve no less.

    I’m curious, happyfeet; in what warped universe does the fact that you don’t “celebrate” alternative lifestyles mean every aspect of your life is is open to dissection?

    That’s exactly the sort of extortion I’ve come to expect from liberals. It’s not enough to tolerate another lifestyle. You’ve got to be actually be leading the charge and vocally “celebrating” it.

    Or your family is a target.

    Gee, aren’t you the compassionate one.

    Steve (8ddf37)

  17. happy is the mean, median, and mode for liberals.

    Richard Aubrey (a75643)

  18. They’re very judgey, these Santorums, and if people want to criticize the stories they told to peddle their book I don’t really mind very much to tell the truth.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  19. but there’s criticism and then there’s ridicule

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  20. but nitpicking the propriety of the actions people take in their private lives is terrain the family in question is very very intimately familiar with I think

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  21. They’re very judgey, these Santorums, and if people want to criticize the stories they told to peddle their book I don’t really mind very much to tell the truth.

    OK, happyfeet, got it.

    Not “celebrating” = “judgey.”

    Now I know what universe you’re operating in.

    Steve (8ddf37)

  22. but someone choosing to let their children see the baby that would have been a sibling

    Not “would have been”. Was. By all definitions.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  23. I had a brain AND a heart when I was twenty, hence, I wasn’t a liberal.

    I still am a liberal; just because those socialists stole the word, as they steal everything that isn’t nailed down, won’t stop me from calling myself one.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  24. Better a million babies dead at the hand of God than ONE baby dead at the hand of man.

    Icy (44e33c)

  25. What Leviticus wrote is moving and eloquent and deserves the appreciation expressed here.

    angeleno (0c41d6)

  26. When I get to heaven I’ll be in the cheap seats behind all those slow kids that never got to suck Mom’s teat.

    Good work Levi.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  27. Crappyfeet is the same person who probably thinks Santorum said he could see Russia from his house.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  28. Not at *ALL* in the same league as Mr. Santorum’s experience, but here goes:

    Once long ago, I had 3 cats. One became very ill, and after “all that human medicine can do” I had her euthanized. I’d read stories of similar situations where the remaining pets would wander the house at night, yowling for their missing buddy. So, before sending her for cremation, I took my dead kitty home for a half-hour, and let the other cats see and sniff her. One cat looked horrified and backed away; the other went up and gave her two little licks and then also left. I don’t know if they *would* have wandered around calling for their missing playmate, but I do believe they understood she was dead-and-gone-forever and not just “lost”. FWIW.

    (The point is: to see and touch is to comprehend, especially for pre-verbal or non-verbal beings. You might say it would give “closure”, especially in the Santorums’ case where the kids had been told for months that a new baby was coming, then suddenly “nope, no baby, he died”, which along with their parents’ grief must have been confusing and distressing.)

    A_Nonny_Mouse (a273d9)

  29. I fail to comprehend why the Santorum’s actions are considered so unusual or odd. My father had a sister who was still born back in 1931. I am now 60 yrs old and all my life I’ve known of my aunt Rosemary through family traditions and celebrations.

    Sorry for your loss Steve.

    Angelo (4086f1)

  30. I appreciate the condolences.

    Obviously, I also don’t think what the Santorums did was in any way unusual. Of course, we didn’t take our child home with us. But then it never occurred to us to bring the child home because we didn’t have other children. The hospital gave us the body in a small casket and we drove it ourselves to the crematorium to meet my wife’s family who had made arrangements.

    If that seems strange to anyone, remember this was in Japan. Customs vary. The doctors and nurses met us at an exit, bowed deeply, and gave us our baby. It all seemed perfectly natural at the time.

    So at least to the point where we took our child from the hospital ourselves and drove off, to that extent we did exactly what the Santorums did. I suppose one reason I don’t think it’s strange is because we were expected to do exactly that.

    As for the rest, it’s certainly no more unusual than the traditional vigil for the dead. In which you weren’t supposed to leave your departed loved one alone until the funeral. These days most people do an abbreviated version in a funeral home, but it used to be held at home. Apparently there’s a small trend to bring that tradition back. And some religions, such as Judaism and Islam, apparently never abandoned that tradition. At least not to the same extent the rest of the culture did.

    Steve (8ddf37)

  31. Fox scraped the bottom of the barrel with Colmes.
    What a sorry sack.

    Paul Albers (3b1e92)

  32. I seem to recall that traditionally the dead person’s body was washed and prepared for burial in the family residence, and that the wake was even held there.

    jim2 (c6bfd0)


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