Restoring America’s global standing – Rick Santorum edition.

Ride for your lives, Dutch ladies! Ride like the wind!

You know all the GOP palaver about how President Obama has wrecked America’s place in the World Cup of Global Domination and Awesome?

Here’s what people in the Netherlands are talking about these days, when they talk about America:

Rick Santorum’s invocation of a nightmare of mass murder of the elderly in the Netherlands has provoked a storm of incredulity and criticism in the Western European country, where the local press say his statistics are wildly inflated.

“Rick Santorum Thinks He Knows the Netherlands: Murder of the Elderly on a Grand Scale” is Saturday’s headline in the daily newspaper NRC Handelsblad.

“Rick Santorum is an arch conservative. The most conservative of all candidates in the Republican primaries. He loathes abortion and euthanasia. So now he loathes the Netherlands. Because in the Netherlands we kill the elderly like there’s no tomorrow,” reads the story, according to a translation provided by BuzzFeed’s Low Country correspondent, and author of a Dutch blog on American politics, Bertine Moenaff. The story quotes Santorum, before concluding: “This man is really imaginative. It would be a laughing matter, if he weren’t in the race for the Republican nomination to take on Barack Obama in the race for the presidency of the most powerful country in the world.”

This is in response to a discussion with James Dobson (clip below), in which our good friend Rick told an audience that a) old people in the Netherlands wear bracelets that read “don’t euthanize me” because b) 10% of deaths in Holland are a result of euthanasia and c) half of those are involuntary.

The truth?

The Dutch public broadcaster Radio 1 described Santorum’s remark as “fact-free politics,” and the comments have gotten wide play, leading this evening’s broadcast of the country’s popular current-event’s show De Wereld Draait Door and drawing reports all over the national media.

The Dutch sources estimate that legal euthanasia is the cause of what the Christian paper Nederlands Dagblad put at 3.2% fo deaths at the most liberal estimate, and others put around 2%. Public statistics, which have been reported since the practice was legalized in 2002, cite 3,136 reports of euthanasia out of a total of 136,000 in the Netherlands in 2011, a bit more than 2%.

The Dutch were also flummoxed by Santorum’s claim that Dutch elderly wear “Don’t Euthanize Me” bracelets.

Dude’s a crazy-pants liar, or he’s just crazy-pants, but either way, every single time you hear a Republican complain that our President is too French-y? Remember how we sound to the Europeans.

Sigh.

17 Comments

  1. dmf

     /  February 21, 2012

    some irony to roman catholics complaining about being too european
    that said is there any evidence to suggest that fact-checking makes a difference in elections?

  2. Zorro

     /  February 21, 2012

    I spend a lot of time in the Netherlands, and this black-bracelet thing is, so far as I can tell, a complete fantasy. Oh well. I guess if you think you can just make stuff up, then you make stuff up, it doesn’t have to have any basis in reality.

  3. Ash Can

     /  February 21, 2012

    I’ll repeat what I said over at BJ: I honestly think Rick Santorum is messed up. He and his wife went through hell with one (or was it two?) of her pregnancies, and I think it damaged him. The fact that he’s the GOP presidential front-runner rather than just another psychotherapy patient should give all of us pause.

    • dmf

       /  February 21, 2012

      these ideas are not unique to Santorum but can be regularly heard from pulpits and other RCC forums.

      • Ash Can

         /  February 21, 2012

        Actually, Santorum goes quite a bit further than what you’ll hear in any given parish on any given Sunday. He’s to the right of/at direct odds with the USCCB (which in turn is to the right of a large majority of Catholics) on a number of issues, and his rhetoric is hateful and inflammatory. Not even the (quite rare) do-what-we-say-or-else messages from the bishops that parish priests are required to read aloud during the homily are expressed the way Santorum expresses his ideas and beliefs. He’s damaged goods.

        • Santorum has some pretty heavy affiliations with Opus Dei – which is far, far outside mainstream Catholicism.

        • dmf

           /  February 21, 2012

          have you been to services in the midwest or down south in recent years, let alone followed the american bishops?

          • Ash Can

             /  February 21, 2012

            I’m a lifelong practicing Catholic, currently registered at a large parish on the northwest side of Chicago. If parishes in the South are substantially different, I wouldn’t know (although if Bobby Jindal, a supposed Catholic, is embracing creationism, then I acknowledge it’s entirely possible). But the fact remains that parishes everywhere in the nation have the same duty to toe the USCCB’s line, so you’re not going to see any real dogmatic variation anywhere. What the parishioners themselves decide to do, on the other hand, is another matter.

            • dmf

               /  February 22, 2012

              try a church in Colorado, Iowa, or Tennesee, or watch EWTN as for the USCCB who do you think picked this fight with the Prez?

  4. My best bud moved to the Netherlands a few years back, so I e-mailed him about this. His response was basically “Huh? Wha? Seriously?” repeated several times. Followed by “I don’t remember sending you guys any pot, what have you been smoking over there?” (He works at a shop that sells marijuana legally.)

  5. Santorum Fitness Scorecard:

    Domestic Policy: Zero.
    Foreign Policy: Zero.
    Health Policy: Zero.

    A perfect score.

  6. Ordinarily, I would laugh at something like this because it would be yet another sign of the demise of current Republican leadership. (I don’t want the party itself to go away – I think we need (at least) 2 viable options for every office to ensure that candidates actually work to do what’s best for everyone – but I do want the current R leaders to go away.) It’s hard to believe the lies they are telling as though they were proven facts. Well, it would be hard to believe if there hadn’t been a consistent flow of them for years now.

    Anyway, I am not yet convinced that enough people realize how crazy these people are to give them the beating they deserve in November. (Perhaps more accurately, it’s not craziness, but rather a willingness to say and do almost literally anything to get elected.) No one other than perhaps Romney should be anywhere close to a nomination, and if anything, Romney’s candidacy should make him a fringe candidate, not a “mainstream” one.

    I do not believe this group of extremists represents Americans or conservative Americans or those who identify themselves as Republicans, but I’m afraid that it’ll take high turnout at a number of levels in November to get these people out of office, and I’m not sure that’ll happen. (I’ll be doing what I can to encourage it, though.)

    So please, keep posting stories like this. More people need to see this stuff.

  7. At this point in the cycle, it feels like he is deliberately getting more and more outrageous – with the companion lies – almost as part of some meglomatic mania. (Is “meglomatic” a word?) The people that buy into this are the same ones to whom the lies have worked all along – they were softened up on less meaningful things for years, but now Santorum is bringing the juice. (I HAD TO.) These are people who question nothing, and who are so psychologically dug into their misguided view, that no amount of countering evidence will ever sway them. If anything, it only makes them dig in a little deeper.

    Santorum really puts the zeal in zealot.

  8. The sad part is that once the words leave his mouth, the concepts become imprinted as ‘facts’ and the ‘talking points’ are used repeatedly by much of American corporate media to brainwash the masses into a hysterical response. The statistics don’t matter. The details don’t matter. The lie is catapulted out there and becomes part of the ‘narrative’, used over and over again – in this case, turning Europe and Europeans and ‘socialism’ into epithets.

  1. Dear GOP: The Internet Is Not Your Friend | Southern Beale
  2. Welcoming our gobsmacking (if mildly creepy) overlords. | Angry Black Lady Chronicles