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Hullabaloo


Thursday, March 24, 2005

 
Too Far?

I think it's important to give John Cole credit here for recognizing what a threat to freedom these religious zealots are. It appears that more than a few Republicans are a little bit stunned by the hideous overreaching of the congress and the president in this case.

But I must also point out that this didn't happen in a vacuum. This started with the moralizing psuedo religious nonsense during the Clinton years when it was everybody's favorite sport to use the office of the "independent" counsel to rummage through Hillary Clinton's underwear drawer and clutch their lace hankies about a prosaic mid life crisis as if it were of the highest national importance. They impeached the president on the basis of a private sexual matter. Members of the house and senate stood on the floors of the congress and pontificated endlessly about sexual morality and trumped up a case for lying under oath that you could drive a truck through. And the only thing that stopped them from succeeding in making a federal case out of a blow-job was public opinion, which sharply turned against them as the silly spectacle lumbered on.

It was clear then that the modern GOP's small government and individual rights rhetoric was a crock. (I blame some Democrats for this too. A fair number of them fed the notion that this was worthy of official government disapprobation with their Liebermanesque preaching about how it was "deplorable" and "reprehensible.")

Cole notes that the NOW and NARAL slippery slope arguments don't seem so hysterical now. No they don't. Neither do those who have been a little bit kooky on the Patriot Act or the executive power grab that says the president can order torture because in wartime the president can do anything he wants. We are seeing this congressional majority and the president pretty much rip out any part of the constitution they don't care for.

I've been hoping that libertarians would realize that these guys not only have no intention of making government smaller but they have absolutely no respect for individual rights either. I realize that taxation is at the top of most libertarians' list of issues. But I think it's time for many of them to go back and re-read their John Stuart Mill "On Liberty" and expand their definition of freedom a little bit. Taxation can be onerous and tyrannous. But dear God, it's not the ONLY definition of tyranny nor are all levels of taxation onerous.

Maybe libertarians don't feel the yoke tightening around their neck from the corporate oligarchy and the religious right, but I sure as hell do. Maybe this circus is the last straw for some of them too.



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