What I find ironic about “small government” conservatives

The irony of “small government” conservatives who talk about wanting government that’s not only smaller, but less intrusive into the lives of citizens:

Government “intrusion” when it comes to providing basic health care coverage for as many Americans as possible? BAD BAD BAD! EEEEEVVVVVILLLLLL!

Government intrusion into the uteruses (or is it uteri?) of women? GOOD GOOD GOOD! TOTALLY AWESOME!!!

Government intrusion on the issue of same-sex marriage? YES YES YES! MORE PLEASE!


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12 thoughts on “What I find ironic about “small government” conservatives

  1. Can’t say I speak for anyone but myself, but as a general principle, I probably fit the description so I’ll give it a try:

    Point 1 – maybe. But my issue isn’t with the safety net aspect of it at all. The X million uninsured was a legitimate problem. In fact, still is as it’s not at all fully solved by what the President & Congress has passed & begun to implement. Heck, simply handing out a credit card or expanding a Medicare like program to those without insurance would’ve been vastly better than what we got. But it was never about taking care of the uninsured. If it hasn’t become clear by now that the promise of “if you like your current insurance, you will keep it” was an entirely empty one, then you’re not paying attention. I won’t bother to get further into my solutions here – I’ve done so at length before. Suffice to say, I simply think what they’ve done is an inferior approach driven by political motivations rather than a sincere effort to solve problems. I do hold Bush and the previous Republican legislators equally responsible. They had an opportunity to make good reforms that in addition to taking the air out of the sails of the Democrats, would have, you know…actually improved things.

    Point 2 – maybe this is cold & heartless, but there’s a hierarchy: People > part of a person > animal > plants > inanimate objects. Reasonable people can disagree over at what point a fetus fits in and becomes more than just an appendage of the mother. There’s no question that the life of the mother is more important than the life of a potential person. Just like eating plants and animals is fine because they’re necessary for people to live. Destroying animals or even (though to a lesser extent) plants for no good reason is wrong. One can support an individual’s liberty and control over his or her own body without being a hypocrite to say it’s not absolute. As the saying goes, my right to swing my arms extends right up to your nose. Birth is a really poor line of demarcation for when to protect the rights of an individual. If you believe that a baby born deserves more legal protection than it had 5 minutes earlier you’re mistaken. If you believe that barrier allows for the taking of the life before but not after (as some of the more extremists do) – sorry to be so blunt, but you’re a monster. Viability is at least a more reasonable line – though medical technology makes it an increasingly blurry one. The earliest age that a premature baby born today can survive is younger than one born 10 or even 5 years ago. It seems inevitable that one day the technology will exist that puts the survival outside the womb point at effectively zero, it’s just a matter of when. But to bring it back around – life should be protected to the greatest extent possible/practical. Placing the protection of the life of a potential human as higher than the importance of liberty/choice/convenience/comfort of a woman (generally but not without exception) does not mean you don’t value those things at all.

    Point 3 – Easy one. I agree. There’s no reason the same right shouldn’t be granted.

  2. What I find ironic is that the ‘conservatives’ support BIG GOVERNMENT programs like Homeland Security and the TSA, two very expensive new Big Government programs which are violating our Constitution.

    Why do they support granny being groped at the airport, but they can’t just ‘live and let live’ for people who have different beliefs from them? Isn’t this a free country? Why do they support illegal wiretapping of US citizens? Illegal detention without trial of US citizens?

    It is because they are just brainwashed by clear channel and other corporate news.

    There is nothing conservative about starting wars for no reason? Why are they willing to pay for mindless killing of innocent civilians based on faulty ‘evidence’ with their tax dollars but not social programs…because killing is against my religion, and killing (lying and stealing) are against the ‘conservatives’ declared religion as well.

    They make no sense. The are just mindless sheep. I am embarrassed for them that they think Jesus would be rallying against contraception meanwhile promoting war. Just how stupid could these people be?

    Jesus said absolutely nothing about gay marriage or abortion.

    But he did give us many guidelines for how we should treat each other, none of which these ‘christian conservatives’ follow. Ah well, Jesus spoke of the same hypocrites back in his day, the ones who prayed in public but were anything but religious in their daily lives.

    1. re: Homeland Security and the TSA
      I imagine I would agree with a great deal of your criticisms of Homeland Security/TSA. Despite disagreeing with Feingold on a majority of policy issues, here and elsewhere I have always expressed appreciation for his dissent on the Patriot Act. That said, the money spent is to some degree less of a concern to me. Safety and security of its citizens is the single most important and most core responsibility of the federal government. Effectiveness, preservation of liberty, fiscal responsibility – in that order. I’d say they’ve largely failed on all three. Though I would concede that the nature of what they do means there may well be successes we never know about.

      re: nothing conservative about starting wars
      Though you didn’t mention Bush, by name, I assume that his administration is what you had in mind. I really struggle to find any way GWB meets the definition of conservative. He might have started out there – had somewhat of an isolationist view on foreign policy – but “post 9/11” he most certainly was not and was anything but conservative as far as spending/budget issues. He, Cheny & Rove probably did more to set conservationism back than the Democrats & Progressives ever could have.

      1. 1: I would say that by making us take off our shoes and go through pat downs at airports is more about theatre than keeping us safe.

        2. I think you could say this:

        I really struggle to find any way GWB meets the definition of conservative.

        about 99% of the republican party at this point.

        1. 1: Agree. I guess you can argue that some amount of theater serves as a deterrent. I won’t for a second claim to be any sort of expert – I tend to try and give the people who do something for a living the benefit of the doubt. (I said try 🙂 ) There’s more going on behind the scenes than we’ll ever know. And clearly there are places where security and civil liberties are directly at odds with each other so it can’t be at all easy to figure out the right balance. But it seems to be a lot of reactionary stuff and things to make us feel safer rather than actually make us safer.

          2: I think 99% might be a little high, but conceptually, I can’t say that I disagree. But I think I could say the same thing about the Democratic Party and liberal/progressivism too, the question is more a matter of degree.

          1. I am not saying I know more than they do, but I am quite certain that making everyone take their shoes off does nothing to in reality keep us “safe”.

            If you saw the loon who had a bomb on his shoes, it LOOKED like he had a bomb on his shoes. A little diligence and paying attention would do just as much or more.

            * I have never accused the democratic party, especially the elected officials of being overly liberal much less progressive(with too few exceptions). Which is why its laughable when the far right wing keeps calling President Obama a far left socialist. thats as funny as calling ronald reagan a true conservative. We need more adjctives.

            1. Didn’t mean to imply you’re out of place criticizing them – much as anything, it was a wishy-washy disclaimer to my own criticisms.

              We need more adjctives.

              We need more parties – at least valid, competitive ones. I know there are some issues that come with it, but I’d love to deal with them for awhile instead of the ones that come with what we have.

  3. Look at all the assistance Walker’s administration gives to businesses, and how they trumpet it! Either you think government should be involved in spurring the market, or you’re against it. If it were happening somewhere else with Federal dollars, or if a Democrat was doing it, they’d be against it. Ah, but when the pork is local, or when a Republican tells you it’ll “create a job”, suddenly government interference in the market is to be praised.

    1. No real argument from me. I think of it is the corollary to NIMBY. Pork is bad unless it’s in my back yard.

      That said, there is a problem with getting/attracting/retaining businesses. I despise targeted tax breaks/credits most especially because it rewards the squeaky wheels – and encourages manipulation & threats to get your way. Rewarding businesses that threaten to leave in effect punishes those who stay put and continue to run good profitable companies employing people and generating tax revenue. Government should set and enforce fair rules of the game, not pick winners & losers. My solution I’m sure won’t have any fans here. Simply do not play the game – and essentially end all state business taxes. Competitively it takes away the biggest reasons to leave and should entice more to come, while keeping the rules the same for all. And in the end, for most businesses, taxes are simply passed on to employees and customers anyway.

  4. Locke,

    How about not play the game and make it illegal for states to comepete against each other for businesses already in the US? That would truly be NOT playing the game.

  5. Everyone is missing the republican’s dirty little secret that everything they have done and are doing is to implement their long desired small government. Their plan started with intentionally running up the deficit. Everything they have done points to that fact. Two wars (one of which was unnecessary as well as unwarranted) unpaid for. Huge tax cuts unpaid for. Expensive prescription drug plan (not a conservative policy) also not paid for. There are only two reasons to more than double the debt: Its either stupidity or intentional. They are not stupid.

    This set them up to start cutting after screaming the debt is too large. A debt that was just fine while they were creating it. The tea party was part of the plan being set up to start the ball rolling. While taking the heat for the party they continue to starve the government by refusing any new taxes in order to force more cuts. The Ryan budget was their first attempt to privatize Medicaid/Medicare, and guess what? It would have eliminated the above mentioned drug plan. They now also are complaining the average Joe is not paying enough taxes. So you know that part of the Bush tax cuts was for increasing the deficit.

    A shadow group known as ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) was behind all the policies of their newly elected governors. Tax cuts for the wealthy were to further damage the economy and union busting policies were to help their chances at next election. Believe me they are desperate to win the election in order to finish slashing the government. They have also stopped any jobs programs because that would help the economy as well as hurt the Dems at election time. I believe this is something that should be put before the American people for discussion. As far as a shadow group setting policy I don’t care for someone running the government that were not voted to do so. I am not the Jack Wade of the Jack Wade show.

    One other thing, water flows downhill, money flows uphill but to circulate them they have to be pumped.

    1. “There are only two reasons to more than double the debt: Its either stupidity or intentional. They are not stupid.”

      You could say the same thing regarding the Obama administration. Except it would be harder to decide which of the two reasons is correct.

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