The Myth Of Absolute Freedom

The idea that being an adult and a free citizen enables you to do whatever you want is a myth pushed by conservatives who haven’t gotten over the fact that they lost the civil war. We live in a country with a government. Government’s have rules. If you don’t like them then by all means change them, but stop pretending that you have the “right” to do whatever you want.

This was originally posted in a facebook debate I had with a friend about the 2nd amendment. But the point made here strikes to the core of the conservative framework of reality.

Quote of The Day

“I don’t believe Rand is a racist; I think he is a fool who is suffering from the foolish consistency syndrome that affects all libertarians. They believe that freedom consists of one thing and one thing only–freedom from governmental constraint. Therefore, it is illogical to them that any increase in government power could ever expand freedom. Yet it is clear that African Americans were far from free in 1964 and that the Civil Rights Act greatly expanded their freedom while diminishing that of racists. To defend the rights of racists to discriminate is reprehensible and especially so when it is done by a major party nominee for the U.S. Senate.”

Bruce Bartlett

Pulling Back The Curtain: A Behind the Scene’s View of The Tea Party Movement

A few interesting observations from a recent NYT/CBS poll about people who identify themselves as Tea Party supporters:

“The 18 percent of Americans who identify themselves as Tea Party supporters tend to be Republican, white, male, married and older than 45.”

“Tea Party supporters over all are more likely than the general public to say their personal financial situation is fairly good or very good.”

“They are more likely than the general public, and Republicans, to say that too much has been made of the problems facing black people.”

“The percentage holding a favorable opinion of former President George W. Bush, at 57 percent, almost exactly matches the percentage in the general public that holds an unfavorable view of him.”

“When talking about the Tea Party movement, the largest number of respondents said that the movement’s goal should be reducing the size of government, more than cutting the budget deficit or lowering taxes. And nearly three-quarters of those who favor smaller government said they would prefer it even if it meant spending on domestic programs would be cut.

But in follow-up interviews, Tea Party supporters said they did not want to cut Medicare or Social Security — the biggest domestic programs, suggesting instead a focus on “waste.”

The Hedonism of Conservative Economics: The Tax Cut Fetish

Okay, this bothers me.

There’s two parts that make up the foundation of conservative economic policies. Tax cuts and eliminating deficits. (Conservatives allegedly support decreasing government spending, but every Republican president since Eisenhower has substantially increased federal spending.) Two policies that people often figure go hand and hand with one another. Except the problem is they don’t go hand and hand. In fact, the two are mutually exclusive.

Let me explain

Continue reading

The Paranoia That is The Republican Party

I am absolutely committed to working with Congress and the auto companies to meet one goal: the United States of America will lead the world in building the next generation of clean cars.

President Obama
March 30th Press Conference

When I read this I interpret it to mean that President Obama wants American car manufacturers to create cleaner cars.

When Jonolan reads this he interprets it:

This simple statement shows that Obama and his Liberals are interested in far more than a financial restructuring of the Big-Three; they want control over the industry and are willing to our tax dollars and legislation in order to get it.

Yeah, exactly.

And therein lies the problem with being a republican. Its requires you to be really really stupid sometimes.

The funny thing about conservative politics is that a large amount of it is pretty much based on a completely irrational fear. Its probably as close as you can get to schizophrenia without requiring medication.

When I worked for republicans in 2006 I was amazed at how much your standard rank and file republicans were frozen with fear over what they perceived to be a “secret liberal agenda”

Liberals want to raise our taxes! Take our guns! and Increase the size of the government! OH NOEZ!!!!!!!!

Of course I found this funny because as a liberal I’ve never once woke up in the morning and asked myself “Hmmm how can I increase the size of the government today?” (I’m not really a liberal but to republicans every democrat is a Michael Moore-Ted Kennedy love child)

Now you would think that as a liberal, I could provide pretty good insight as to what happens during our “secret meetings”. Nope, not according to conservatism which posses the ability to know the heart of a liberal better than a liberal. You know, kind of like how The Shadow knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Except in this case it wouldn’t be the shadow who is dark and thus has no place in the Republican party.

David Brooks: Spending Freeze is Insane

Say what you will about David Brooks, but as far as conservatives go, he at least keeps it real sometimes. Wade through all of his crap and you occasionally get nuggets of truth like this:

The problem with them and the problem with Limbaugh in terms of intellectual philosophy is they are stuck with Reagan. They are stuck with the idea that government is always the problem. A lot of Republicans up in Capitol Hill right now are calling for a spending freeze in a middle of a recession/depression. That is insane. But they are thinking the way they thought in 1982, if we can only think that way again, that is just insane.

Bulls eye. You might hate the plans democrats are pushing for right now, but the conservative “alternatives” are quite frankly, pretty fucking retarded. A between a $6 trillion tax cut and a freeze on spending, its pretty clear republicans are more worried about their ideology than the problems facing Americans.

One last point. Brooks is dead on with his point about conservative policies always being driven by the idea that government is the problem.

Compare this to the democrats willingness to search for the best solution, whether public or private, and you get a clear perspective on the difference between the governing styles of the two parties. While Reagan derided the government at every turn, often pushing dangerous deregulation, IE the housing market, Clinton capped off his growth of the private sector with the proclamation that “the era of big government is over.” Hence, why the ultimate republican litmus test for good policies is whether or not it aligns with their conservative ideology.

Idealism Over People: What The Health Care Debate Tells Us About Conservative Priorities

Via Politico

…McConnell suggested there were areas in which Republicans won’t compromise, particularly the creation of a new public insurance program to compete with private insurers.

“Forcing free market plans to compete with these government-run programs would create an unlevel playing field and inevitably doom true competition,” the letter stated. […]

McConnell’s letter was signed by Sens. Charles Grassley of Iowa, Mike Enzi of Wyoming, Judd Gregg of New Hampshire and Orrin Hatch of Utah.

Is anyone really surprised? In a free market economy that Republicans allegedly promote, the market would be open to whoever provided the best product or service. But as Bill Kristol pointed out in his famous 1994 health care memo, universal health care is dangerous to the conservative agenda because it would actually work, thus proving that the Government can provide better commodities than the private sector in many important cases.

The problem with McConnell’s rejection of free market competition, that socialist bastard, is that it undermines the entire foundation of the Republican party. Small government, because the private sector can do it better. You might recognize this meme from the debates you have with your Republican friends when they argue against critical social programs. “It’s not that I’m against helping the poor, I just think the private sector can do it better.” Nope, they don’t. This is merely a convent argument they use which allows them to sidestep the horrible moral implications of their beliefs. That having a small government is the most important end, even if millions and millions of people are harmed in the process.

NOTE: If Conservatives think the private sector would provide better service than a public insurer, then shouldn’t they be encouraging competition between the two?

NOTE II: David Sirota totally agrees with me.