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Santorum Misstates Law in Puerto Rico

The Puerto Rico presidential primary happens Sunday and Rick Santorum has a message for the people there: If you want to be the 51st state, you have to make English only your official language. He’s wrong, of course, but that’s what he said:

Puerto Ricans, who recognize both English and Spanish as their official languages, are scheduled to vote in November on a referendum to decide whether they want to pursue statehood or remain a self-governing U.S. commonwealth.

In an interview with El Vocero newspaper, Santorum said he supported Puerto Ricans’ right to self-determination regarding the island’s political status.

“We need to work together and determine what type of relationship we want to develop,” he told the newspaper.

But Santorum said he did not support a state in which English was not the primary language.

“Like any other state, there has to be compliance with this and any other federal law,” Santorum said. “And that is that English has to be the principal language. There are other states with more than one language such as Hawaii but to be a state of the United States, English has to be the principal language.”

It’s moronic, of course, but there’s a sense in which it’s almost refreshing. At least he isn’t pandering to the residents, telling them what they want to hear. Romney is probably starting his speeches with, “Ola! Que pasa?” and reciting the lyrics to West Side Story songs.

Comments

  1. Ellie says

    Not only is he lying (perhaps out of ignorance) about the law, he also seems to be forgetting that Statehood has been up for popular vote three times in PR and was rejected each time. Perhaps he should be speaking about the benefits of Statehood, rather than spouting nonsense about the Constitution?

  2. Mr Ed says

    I really worry how Santorum will react when reality contradicts his Pleasentvile delusion on America. I don’t thin he is lying or misstating anything, I think that in his world things are just the way he sates. Unfortunately activist judges and liberal elites won’t let things be the way they are supposed to be.

  3. laurentweppe says

    Romney is probably starting his speeches with, “Ola! Que pasa?” and reciting the lyrics to West Side Story songs.

    Hey: I’d pay to watch Romney singing this song

    I feel pretty and witty and gaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy

  4. says

    I’m pretty sure Romney goes on state in Puerto Rico snapping his fingers. His hair’s already slicked back, so why not?

    Somewhere, there is a political cartoonist working out the funniest way to depict that.

  5. christophepetroni says

    Not only is he lying (perhaps out of ignorance)

    How does someone lie out of ignorance? A lie is an intentional or knowing falsehood.

  6. AndrewD says

    Looking at the Republican party, why would Puerto Rico want to be part of the United States any way?

  7. Michael Heath says

    Ellie writes:

    Not only is [Rick Santorum] lying (perhaps out of ignorance) about the law . . . [emphasis added – MH]

    Mr. Santorum’s lying from ignorance or to purposefully misinform the public is a far worse lie than lying that federal law requires English be the official language; regardless of whether he’s ignorant or not.

    Like nearly all conservative politicians on the national stage, where I know of zero exceptions, they lie by claiming a certain level of informedness and verification of facts they neither have or have done. In 2008 Sen. McCain posing as some sort of insider on the health of the U.S. economy and its markets just prior to the financial collapse was arguably the most egregious lie of that entire campaign season. The volume of such lies is demonstrated by conservatives repeatedly making false assertions which are easily checkable and found to be false.

    In fact some conservatives depend almost exclusively depend on such lies by falsely posing as well-informed or even as an expert. E.g., Sarah Palin and worse yet, House Speaker John Boehner on the state of the economy and Mitt Romney on economics in general.

  8. Artor says

    @ Mr. Ed #5
    Don’t you mean when Santorum REALIZES that reality contradicts his delusions? The man has been delusional for a long time, but his head is too far up his ass to notice.

  9. Michael Heath says

    Mr. Ed writes:

    I don’t thin [Rick Santorum] is lying or misstating anything, I think that in his world things are just the way he sates.

    Not even close; Mr. Santorum poses as if he knows facts he hasn’t checked and then makes arguments based on his false set of premises/facts, or else he’s purposefully lying. I’d argue this is one of the most egregious forms of lying regardless of which it is, which could also be a mixture of both as well. It’s systemic lying far more insidious and harmful than, for example, lying that the president’s actions have caused high gas prices or lying that the president’s actions on regulations is the cause of our economic weakness.

    Those last two lies are the results of the foundational lie Mr. Santorum and nearly all other conservatives rely upon, which is their dishonest insinuation they’ve researched the facts and build their arguments around those facts; which is demonstrably untrue – they’re lying about having done such research or lying their facts is the result of such research.

    Regardless of the reality of Mr. Santorum’s fantasies about reality, communicating a premise which isn’t factually true and where the true set of facts is easily discovered, is a lie. No one is prohibiting Mr. Santorum from validating that which he presents as facts, in fact he has an entire organization behind him which help him on this issues. They instead don’t merely enable his lies, but help him to develop such lies. Many individuals without such resources have no problems continually engaging on the same topics Mr. Santorum discusses without expressing nearly the degree of falsehoods Mr. Santorum promotes, i.e., there is no excuse for Mr. Santorum’s dishonesty.

  10. valhar2000 says

    “Ola! Que pasa?”

    Was the misspelling of “Hola” intentional? Because it was very well placed.

  11. says

    Those last two lies are the results of the foundational lie Mr. Santorum and nearly all other conservatives rely upon, which is their dishonest insinuation they’ve researched the facts and build their arguments around those facts; which is demonstrably untrue – they’re lying about having done such research or lying their facts is the result of such research.

    You make a very good point that probably deserves emphasis. I perceive that trend as well. The Republican party is glued to the rumor mills, not to fact-checkers. Conspiracy cranks thrive on that sort of thing, and now they’re effectively in charge of a major political party.

  12. Aquaria says

    I’m pretty sure Romney goes on state in Puerto Rico snapping his fingers. His hair’s already slicked back, so why not?

    Do you suppose he knows that Ricky Martin is from there?

    Wait–don’t tell him. It might encourage him to sing La Vida Loca. In public.

  13. Aquaria says

    Not even close; Mr. Santorum poses as if he knows facts he hasn’t checked and then makes arguments based on his false set of premises/facts, or else he’s purposefully lying.

    Castles in the air. Isn’t that the expression?

    I’d argue this is one of the most egregious forms of lying regardless of which it is, which could also be a mixture of both as well. It’s systemic lying far more insidious and harmful than, for example, lying that the president’s actions have caused high gas prices or lying that the president’s actions on regulations is the cause of our economic weakness.

    Most egregious? Maybe. Most self-serving? Definitely. He can make reality do whatever serves him best.

    That’s what makes him dangerous.

  14. Aquaria says

    Like nearly all conservative politicians on the national stage, where I know of zero exceptions, they lie by claiming a certain level of informedness and verification of facts they neither have or have done.

    This is why you need to read the book I’ve recommended to you, Heath, entitled Reagan’s Reign of Error. I think the preface in it explained why making up numbers and facts to suit agendas is so bad, with a reference to a sociological study type book devoted solely to the topic of the effects of lying in politics and culture.

    One of the sections of the book talked about how this kind of lying in politics has especially disastrous consequences, because it makes the populace eventually resigned to dishonesty. Deliberate dishonesty poisons the whole culture so that no one can trust what anyone says. Citizens are never sure what to believe or from whom, so it makes them believe what they want or what’s convenient (sound familiar?).

    Of course, there was more to the book than that, but that was one of the things I remember most. It was really fascinating stuff that scared the bejesus out of me at 22 or however years old. When I see these guys lying so deliberately and with such calculation, pieces of that book come back to me and I realize it was quite prescient.

    Unfortunately, I’m drawing a total blank on the title and even the author. Highly recommended if you can ever find it, though.

  15. Michael Heath says

    christophepetroni writes:

    How does someone lie out of ignorance? A lie is an intentional or knowing falsehood.

    They lie by insinuating they’ve done the research which validates their premises when in fact they either did not, a lie, or are lying about those facts they discovered. This is far more dishonest than lies they tell which are a result of this foundational lie.

    Lies aren’t told at merely one level, liars frequently lie at a handful of levels. In this case Mr. Santorum is lying from at least two levels:
    1) He’s lying by staking a premise where he knows the law regarding the relationship between the English language and federal law, or is lying about the law states. This is a foundational lie.
    2) He’s lying by purposefully misinforming the public regarding the law because he’s either stating shit without having researched it or did the research and is lying about what he found.

  16. mrbongo says

    Given that Romney’s father was from Mexico and he still has relatives living there, it is reasonable to suppose that Romney is far more fluent in Latino culture than some white guy from Michigan who can’t even spell basic Spanish.

    I’m no supporter of Romney, but once again, Ed betrays a basic lack of education (he misspells ‘hello’ in Spanish). I’m sure that the irony of Ed’s language failure while mocking someone with roots in Mexico will be utterly lost on the whiteguiltnik zombies in here.

    Has Ed ever traveled outside of the United States? I constantly get the feeling that his experience abroad is incredibly limited.

  17. dingojack says

    MrBongo – Nope Mittens never went south of the border. Guess he’s as wicked as Ed then?
    Dingo

  18. exdrone says

    Romney:
    I want to be loved in America
    Though I get snubbed in America
    I stay above in America

    Santorum:
    But you’re too smug for America

    Romney:
    Winning by delegates is so nice

    Santorum:
    If Gingrich were out, you would think twice

    Romney:
    I have the money to succeed

    Santorum:
    But I have lies to mislead

    Romney:
    I’ll take the isle of Manhattan

    Santorum:
    I know you will

    Romney:
    So count my votes and put them in

    Santorum:
    You are too cold for America
    Votes can’t be sold in America
    I’ve got a toe-hole in America

    Romney:
    My win is foretold in America

    Santorum:
    I think I’ll go to the convention

    Romney:
    Your name for VP I’ve not mentioned

    Santorum:
    Everyone there will give big cheer

    Romney:
    I hope your concession will be sincere

  19. bahrfeldt says

    An earlier report contained this-

    “Santorum told El Vocero, a local newspaper, “Like any other state, there has to be compliance with this and any other federal law … And that is that English has to be the principal language. There are other states with more than one language such as Hawaii but to be a state of the United States, English has to be the principal language… Santorum’s “English as the national language” issue probably wasn’t intended for Puerto Rican newspaper readers though, as it tends to play well among the more culturally conservative voters he’s reaching for these days. It may have seemed like a gaffe, but maybe it was a strategic one”.

    In other words, in order to suck up to his core constituency, he believes in his heart that he cannot appear to be “coddling” the Hispanics, even U.S. citizens as the Puerto Ricans are.

    As noted above, in elections over many years, Puerto Ricans have declined both requesting statehood and requesting independence, convinced that their status as a “Commonwealth” is preferable. I have heard the merits of all three choices advocated by Puerto Ricans in New York City.

    There is, of course, no such law requiring an official language in any state.

    Hawaiians, of course, welcomed with open arms the American invasion force which destroyed their independent, internationally recognized, coin and stamp issuing nation back when my grandfather was a boy.

  20. says

    I’m sure that the irony of Ed’s language failure while mocking someone with roots in Mexico will be utterly lost on the whiteguiltnik zombies in here.

    You really are a one-trick pony, aren’t you?

    By the way, that whooshing sound you heard was Ed’s joke flying right over your head. (Hint: It had nothing to do with Romney’s knowledge or lack of knowledge of Spanish or Latino culture.)

  21. baal says

    Looks like the fine folks of Puerto Rico didn’t care for Santorum’s noxious noises. Romney was recorded as having 83% of the primary vote and Ricky’s number is 8%.

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