Mother Jones reporters Tim Murphy and Andy Kroll have dredged up some interesting tidbits from the files of a 1990s-era Rick Santorum. Not surprisingly, Santorum has not always been a charming, pro-woman-type guy in adorable sweater vests. In 1994, during his first U.S. Senate campaign, he had the following compliments to pass along to single moms:

"Most people agree a continuation of the current [welfare] system will be the ruination of this country," Santorum told a town meeting in Clairton, Pa., in February 1994, according to transcripts of the appearance obtained by Mother Jones. "We are seeing it. We are seeing the fabric of this country fall apart, and it's falling apart because of single moms."

He went on to say, "What we have is moms raising children in single-parent households simply breeding more criminals." What these criminal-breeding single blights upon society needed, he said, were politicians unafraid of "kicking them in the butt." (As part of Santorum's butt-kicking plan, single moms would be denied welfare benefits if they didn't identify the fathers of their children, and unwed teen moms wouldn't get welfare at all.)

Interestingly, it's nearly 20 years later, and single moms have not been stamped out by butt-kickings. But weirdly, crime has dropped... as Jezebel's Erin Gloria Ryan writes, "I wonder what [Santorum] would think of the theory that the national crime dropoff in the early 1990s coincided pretty perfectly with the 18th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which means that perhaps avoiding unwanted childbirth (and, by extension, the availability of abortion) is good for society as a whole."

In other food for thought, it was as recently as October of 2011 that Santorum apparently decided that if single moms couldn't be stamped out they should simply be lumped in with Democrats. As he explained, "Look at the political base of the Democratic party: It is single mothers who run a household. Why? Because it is so tough economically that they look to the government for help and therefore they're going to vote. So if you want to reduce the Democratic advantage, what you want to do is build two-parent families; you eliminate that desire for government."

Essentially, get rid of single moms and get rid of Democrats, with a subtext of Democrats and single moms being somehow in bed together. Note that single dads get away without a mention (aside from Santorum's defeated plan to make women name their kid's dads back in the '90s), as said dads are a) not claiming their offspring and therefore not "punishable" b) claiming their offspring and therefore not punishable c) unaffiliated with any particular political party, and therefore Rick Santorum doesn't care.

And, yet, the more men in the public arena talk about women in this way, the more they seem disjointed from any particular reality of time, whether we're talking about an aging shock jock calling a woman a slut or a future possible presidential nominee expressing a need for more butt-kickings of single women to set 'em on the right path in 1994. You'd think that certain people would eventually learn to just stop talking about women altogether, as it's not doing them any favors. 

Now, what was it we were saying about "birth control"? Seems like that's going pretty well for at least one political party. You might even say they're kicking butt.