Santorum suggests black people can’t be pro-choice

SANTORUM SUGGESTS BLACK PEOPLE CAN’T BE PRO-CHOICE…. Remember Rick Santorum? The far-right Pennsylvania senator who lost re-election by 19 points? Santorum now thinks he should be president — yes, of the United States — and is touting his vision to the Republican Party’s base.

To that end, Santorum sat down with right-wing media personality Terry Jeffrey yesterday, and among other things, suggested it’s outrageous for African Americans, including President Obama, to be pro-choice.

Every biologist in the world, Santorum said, would agree that a fertilized human egg is “a human life.” Putting aside the dubious qualities of the observation, the former senator added, “The question is — and this is what Barack Obama didn’t want to answer — is that, is that human life a person under the Constitution? And Barack Obama says no. Well if that person, human life is not a person, then I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say, ‘No, we’re going to decide who are people and who are not people.'”

So, in Santorum’s worldview, African Americans can’t be pro-choice because of slavery. That’s quite an insight.

But I’m also struck by the leaps of logic here. As Santorum sees it, there’s no justification for policymakers to determine who does and does not count as a “person” under the law. Simultaneously, Santorum insists policymakers have to determine who counts as a “person” under the law, and they have to agree with him as to where he would draw the line.

In other words, he finds it remarkable that pro-choice policymakers want to “decide who are people and who are not people,” but thinks it’s fine for Rick Santorum to “decide who are people and who are not people.”

It’s kind of one of the central tenets of the debate for the last four decades. It’s odd that Santorum is just now thinking it through.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.