Transcript: Thom Hartmann: Surging Republican Santorum thinks condoms should be outlawed? 3 January '12

Surging Republican candidate - and current Internet meme - Rick Santorum added another radical position to his long list of radical positions.

In an interview with ABC News yesterday - Santorum pushed back against a nearly fifty year old Supreme Court ruling - and said that states should have the right to arrest you for having or using a condom, even if you're married and using it in your own home:

Jake Tapper: You are, in their view, out of the mainstream and they talk about the Griswold v. Connecticut case--that was an issue that Casey used against you--about whether or not a state has the right to make a law against a married couple using contraceptives. Is that something you’re at all concerned about?

Rick Santorum: The state has a right to do that. I have never questioned that the state has a right to do that.

That's right - if Rick Santorum were dictator - he'd let states ban contraceptives.

No more condoms in Kentucky!

No more birth control in Alabama!

Back in October - Santorum railed against contraceptives saying:

One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country...It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.

There's a reason why - as Santorum said - no President has talked about this before.

Because it's already been settled.

In 1965 in that Griswold case - the Supreme Court ruled 7 to 2 in the case of Griswold versus Connecticut that Americans have a right to privacy - and that state laws banning contraceptives violate that right to privacy.

Justice Hugo Black dissented in the case - saying that since nowhere in the Constitution is the word "privacy" written - then Americans really don't have a right to privacy.

Had Hugo Black been alive when our founding fathers were writing the Constitution however - he'd have known why they didn't use the word "privacy".

Back then - in the late 1700s - if you used the word "privacy" - it meant you had to use the bathroom - or use the "privy" as they called it.

Privacy was never used in the same way it is used today - to describe what's personally yours - or what you do with your personal time.

Had our Founding Fathers included in the Bill of Rights, a "right to privacy" - then they would have just enshrined in the Constitution the right for all of us to use the bathroom, at least in the language of that day.

And while that's important - it's hardly worth mentioning in our nation's founding document.

Which is why the 4th Amendment - which does guarantee our right to what today we call privacy - referred to it as "security".

The Fourth Amendment says that government can't come barging into your life - can't come into your home, or examine your person, or read your papers - unless at least one witness swears that they have enough evidence that you've committed a crime that there is probable cause to issue a search warrant.

And only when that warrant is issued can they invade your privacy.

Specifically the 4th amendment reads:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Now you can spend all week searching every word Jefferson or Madison or Hamilton or even Ben Franklin ever wrote, and you'll never find them use the word "privacy" - because back then people didn't write about using the toilet.

Heck, that was before the modern flush toilet was invented - a distinction that lore attributes to Thomas Crapper.... which is why in the late 19th century they stopped calling them privies and started calling them crappers.

But they understood well the concept - back in the late 1700s the founders well understood the concept that today we call privacy - and they laid it out in the Fourth Amendment explicitly.

And 99% of all women in the United State have claimed that right.

Virtually every single American female has used at least one method of contraception - preventing 2 million unwanted pregnancies a year.

And we can thank the right to privacy for that.

But today - Rick Santorum doesn't think you should have that right.

He would rather have BIG GOVERNMENT in your bedroom.

He thinks the government should be able to look inside your cabinets and drawers and make sure there are no condoms.

He could create a whole new division of Homeland Security - call them the condom police - to go door-to-door, making sure no one is engaged in illicit contraceptive use.

The condom police can share an office with the Google police - who are trying to scrub reference of Rick Santorum's name off the Internet.

But today - I'm going to do Rick a favor - and redefine him based on his opinion that birth control could be made illegal.

From now on "Santorum" will mean:

A frothy mix of constitutional ignorance and bigotry that is sometimes the byproduct of pandering to the Tea Party.

Google it.

That's The Big Picture.

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