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Thursday, May 27, 2010

I Am Against Big Government Except When I Am For It

I have written previously about various politicians who seem opposed to big government, except when it effects them or their state and suddenly it is okay.  See:

I don't like when people take inconsistent positions and I called out some of the anti-big government republicans over what I saw as inconsistent positions.  In a new article today, Bob Cesca takes on Republicans over their position on the Gulf Oil Spill in somewhat harsh tones. 

While I agree that the Republicans positions are somewhat hypocritical, I also agree that the oil spill is somewhat different in that it is a disaster in Federal waters and is effecting multiple states; therefore, a Federal response is an absolute necessity.  But I nevertheless agree that it is hard to reconcile the fervent anti-big government stance many Republicans take with the new position on demanding Federal help (and an erstwhile, back-door, bailout of Big Oil by capping their liability).

From Bob Cesca'a article

The words "government takeover" were originally injected into the discourse by Frank Luntz in the early stages of the health care reform process and have been repeated in the pejorative sense by Republicans across the board.

Despite the fact that thousands of Americans die every month from a lack of affordable health insurance, the Republicans have argued that the government isn't allowed to "takeover" the industry. It goes without saying that the president wasn't proposing any such thing and, in fact, publicly denounced single-payer health insurance, but okay. The Republicans truly believe the health care reform bill is socialism and a total takeover of the industry. It's not.

Likewise, the Republicans and tea party people have been screeching about the bailouts. They insist that the banks and financial institutions (and GM) should have been allowed to fail, rather than receiving emergency loans from the government in order to, at the time, prevent the American economy from being dragged down along with these institutions had they not been hoisted with an infusion of cash.

The dominant centerpiece to all of this outrage has been the Republican idea that the states and the free market should be left alone to deal with problems and crises on its own without "socialist" -- or even "communist" depending on which AM radio station you listen to -- interference from big government and our America-hating president. No government takeovers. Freedom! Liberty! And no stupid volcano thingees also.

Americans dying from a lack of health insurance? Too bad. No government takeover. The economy about to sink into a second Great Depression? Too bad. No government takeover. The Earth growing warmer due to the burning of fossil fuels? Too bad. No government takeover.

That is until last month.

... suddenly all of these state's rights, anti-government takeover Republicans are demanding a government takeover of the capping and cleanup process. (If only someone had blasted uninsured Americans in the face with reddish-brown crude oil, the health care reform bill might have received a few Republican votes.)
Now that crude has begun to wash upon the shores and wetlands of Republican red states, any superficial bumper sticker griping about socialism has been temporarily forgotten.

That's the bitch about building a party platform around specious, shallow platitudes. They might be effective in terms of rallying the easily-led, low information base, but as soon as practicality steps in, all sloganeering is dropped in lieu of confronting and dealing with reality. Subsequently, these alleged free market state's rights small government anti-regulation southern conservative cardboard standee Republicans continue to demand federal help and socialized taxpayer money. The Republicans are demanding redistributed wealth from Pennsylvania and Vermont and Illinois and New York and Massachusetts with all of its socialist bleeding heart tree-hugging environmental wacko liberals.

However hypocritical the Republicans might be on this, they're ultimately correct. The federal government has a responsibility to protect our economy, our natural resources and our lives from the destruction that's often wrought by irresponsible corporations. Thanks, Republicans, for finally catching up.


  1. I agree with you. Republicans and people who want small government were so afraid that their precious health care may have been changed. They could not care less about all those who go without. Their opinion,
    " Government, stay out of my health care." But when a private oil company messes up, suddenly they want their small government to become big government and they want to blame Obama for BP's fuck up.

    These same small government people almost always want to bring christianity into government and schools. How can they possibly justify the hypocrisy of that?

  2. It is interesting the people who say " Government, stay out of my health care" are often on Medicare or their parents are on Medicare. I assume it is just that they didn't really think through their position. It is why we all need to stop and think about what we say before we say it. The cynical side of me would say that since they have it, they view it as just too bad for the people that don't.