Someone seeking to measure former Sen. Rick Santorum's leadership qualities compared to President Barack Obama's would do well to note that Santorum acknowledges the fundamental principle at the foundation of our republic and applies it with intellectual honesty and moral courage to the policy positions he takes, while President Obama does neither.
The Declaration of Independence states the principle: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
In a 2008 campaign forum, Obama turned his back on this principle when asked a simple question by Pastor Rick Warren: "At what point does a baby get human rights, in your view?"
For someone who acknowledges that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights, this is a no-brainer: Every baby gets the same human rights at the moment God creates him.
Then-Republican presidential candidate John McCain had no problem answering Warren's question. "At the moment of conception," he said.
Obama's answer was evasive yet revelatory. "Well, you know," he said, "I think that whether you're looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade."
In a nation where lawmakers universally held it "above their pay grade" to determine when humans get human rights, making laws to protect life and liberty would be an arbitrary exercise. That is the way it is today in the People's Republic of China, where individuals are deemed to serve the interests of the state, not the other way around.
When Obama served in the Illinois Senate, he was the principal opponent of a bill that would have defined every baby born alive in that state as a "person" under the U.S. Constitution. The bill would have applied even to babies who survived a late-term abortion procedure in which a mother is induced to deliver a live baby who is then deliberately left alone to die without treatment or comforting.
Obama didn't want to concede such a baby was a "person" because that would logically suggest that the same baby left peacefully in the womb must also be a "person" -- and thus, born or unborn, was entitled to the human rights protected by our Constitution.
"(T)he Equal Protection Clause does not allow someone to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an anti-abortion statute," Obama explained.