I watched Morning Joe again this morning. I know, I need to stop doing that, but at this point I’m addicted to the constant flow of stupidity. In this exciting installment, Scarborough was shouting about the dangers of big gubment, while Mika nodded solemnly.
Of course, what Joe and much of the country count as “big government” is deficit hysteria. They operate under the incorrect notion that government must be run like a family. This is simply wrong, and you don’t need to take my word on this. Nobel Prize-winning economists Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz have been shouting to the rafters about this forever.
If the government “tightens its belt” like a family might during tough economic times, the recession worsens because no cash is being released for jobs programs. Less spending equals more saving on the part of citizens, and when citizens don’t have money to spend, the economy tanks. If the government cuts spending even more, the recession deepens, and this downward spiral continues into Depression.
Deficit hysteria is usually used by some nefarious characters as cover for entitlement cuts. The loudest voice in this movement is Pete Peterson, who has strong financial motives for pushing this kind of propaganda. Peterson hopes individuals like Joe and Mika know little enough about how the economy works that they can be corralled into believing Social Security must be privatized. After all, the “government is like a family” simile is very alluring. It’s easy to understand, but that doesn’t make it true.
The patriots crying about Big Government and deficits (with the exception of groups like the Libertarians at Reason…sometimes) are more or less silent when the government executes overt totalitarian acts. The right was overwhelmingly silent during the Bush era when the former administration ballooned executive powers to unprecedented proportions, and led the country into an illegal occupation, which the current president has now expanded.
Now, Republicans like Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Rep. Peter King (R-NY) argue that Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized United States citizen, should not be read his Miranda rights, despite the fact that the FBI clearly stated Shahzad kept talking to them even after being read them. This argument is particularly baffling, as Digby points out, because even if officers fail to give a suspect the Miranda warning, the rights are still operative. It simply means the government can’t use any collected information against the suspect. This reality is acknowledged by people like the shrill, irrational leftist, William Rehnquist.
But the McCain-King craziness pales in comparison to the lunacy emanating from the lovely Joseph Lieberman, who plans to introduce a bill that would amend a decades-old law in order to strip citizenship from U.S. citizens who are found to be “involved in a foreign terrorist organization, as defined by the Department of State.” Of course, this means anyone accused of being “involved in a foreign terrorist organization,” however vaguely, and let’s remember the State Department defines what “involved” means, must go to court and defend themselves against accusations of being a terrorist.
Lieberman wants to do this in order to sidestep Miranda, which as I already pointed out, wouldn’t really sidestep Miranda at all. It’s a pointless, unconstitutional measure that Chuck Schumer says is a poor solution for a problem with other, better solutions.
These are just a couple real examples of Big Government Gone Mad, and yet the right doesn’t seem to count these travesties in their diatribes against the state.
If the intrusiveness of such measures aren’t blatant enough, I submit this video from Reason, which shows a SWAT team breaking into a Missouri home, and firing seven rounds at the family’s pit bull and corgi as a seven-year-old looks on. They found a small amount of pot, which is enough for a misdemeanor charge, and apparently qualifies as “child endangerment.”
You know what’s really dangerous? Firing high-powered automatic weapons in the kid’s house.
Outrageously, there are 100-150 of these raids in America every day, and apart from Reason and Cato, the right is silent in the presence of this domestic militaristic behavior. Apparently, it’s now considered normal to witness cops dressed as soldiers storm into a home, kill animals, terrify children, all in the name of quarantining some resin stuck to the side of a bowl.
Meanwhile, after every single act of terrorism — successful and thwarted, as in the case of Shahzad — the right can’t wait to surrender more freedoms to the state. They’re accommodating to that particular facet of Big Brother – they just don’t like when the brown people get food stamps. Billions of dollars in corporate bonuses and unending wars across the globe are also permissible, but God help you if you’re thinking of starting some kind of bridge-building program. This ain’t Sweden, ya’ big Socialist Kenyan.
Don’t get me wrong, the Democrats are as pathetic as the Republicans when it comes to throwing away their rights at the mere suggestion the wind’s direction might shift, but the right claims to be in favor of small government up to the point they get scared, and then all bets are off. After being fed the tiniest bit of propaganda about shoe bombs, or explosive gel, they’re more than willing to strip naked and let the gubment perform rectal examinations in the name of Freedom and Liberty.