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January 10, 2006

"It was like that when I got here!"

Posted by Phil on January 10, 2006 11:01 AM

Tom Watson:

There is no idealist center to the Republican Party any more--it's been sold for power: for votes, for junkets, for golf, for bribes, for contributions. The GOP is best described these days as its most pathetic pork project, the infamous Bridge to Nowhere in the Alaska of Ted Stephens. These Republicans have not built a bridge to a finer, prosperous, free American future. Their bridge leads nowhere, will transport only the privileged few, and it costs us billions in treasure and hard-won freedom in principle.

It's a smooth con that can run both sides of the table: blame the very concept of "government" for corruption and incompetence, then say your corruption and incompetence in running it just proves your point. Good night, New Orleans!

The Republicans have predicated their claim to power on people's distaste for paying taxes, carefully stoked with the idea that regulations cripple the hawk-eyed and industrious; that social programs coddle...let's say "lazy people"; and that, by implication, such a government also goes easy on the other deadly sins and lifestyle choices.

But the righteous and wealthy can afford to be cavalier about government; after all, it's not for them, but for the helpless, luckless, and inept--which the rest of us usually are, at some point, to some degree. (Yes, some lazy gay junky immigrants might get a "free ride," but we all gonna pay for our sins one day.)

Eventually people are going to miss things the government used to do for them. Government used to give us some dignity and support at those times when something worse than a bad sandwich but not as bad as a mine explosion befell us. Now we just have to hope Anderson Cooper notices.

What I don't understand is how anyone makes or buys the argument that government is flawed because people are flawed, yet fails to believe the same of big business and the free market. Are we to believe that God runs the free market?

If so--and so it would seem--then what a curious inversion of Christian values. God helps the moneychangers, and leaves the moneychangers to help the poor. Or not, you know--as long as the megachurch has an updated look to make mall-goers feel comfortable. Christians are consumers, consumers are Christian, and the Market helps them that help themselves.

Every conversation I have about people eventually ends up on government, and every conversation I have about government eventually ends up on religion. I often wish it weren't so; you who suffer me here do so at your option--my wife isn't so fortunate.

But people who lack details must leap to generalities. If our words be pretty, we may call it "philosophizing." Though he was talking about something else (guess what!), the long lost (to me) Glenn McDonald offers this:

[T]herein lies the soul of our greatest impasses: some of us are trying to account for thermodynamics and live better before we die, and some of us are crossing our fingers and counting on the Rapture.


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re: SUV Link

Plus a deer carcass really messes up the cargo area's carpet in a SUV.

Posted by: thp at January 23, 2006 6:41 AM