I’ve tweeted and blogged about the racist anger and angst of Obama’s opposition which has formed around the tea bagger movement. They’ve talked about how they are opposed to government spending and other excesses, as well they should be but it seems their anger is selective as well as counter productive and inconsistent. Many among the progressive movement can correctly point to the fact that progressives have far more integrity about their opposition to government than the newly arrived carpet….er…make that tea baggers and two stories in this week’s news bear that out.
The first story is about the very meaning of government, and the belief that the smaller it is the more efficient it is at meeting the needs of the people; that big, burdensome bureaucracy in and of itself only serves to enrich the pockets of those who are employed by it, offering them a comfortable lifestyle, longevity working within it while demanding very little in return for their employment is a truth embraced by progressives during the last decade but only recently by the opponents of the present administration. Government by its very nature, becomes an instrument of regulation that limits the productivity of citizens in minutiae at their, the population’s expense. One would think that during times of an economic downturn the fortunes of government would also be in decline, but government never stops taxation nor does it retreat from its growth. Federal government is a very lucrative business and nowhere is that more evident than in the areas surrounding the seat of the federal government, Washington, DC where lies 6 out of the 25 wealthiest counties in all of America! An area brimming with lobbyists who lobby government for companies looking for an edge over their competition through government favoritism and regulation, bureaucrats, employees of think tanks, who also lobby government, various and sundry cottage industry security types who’ve convinced others that their existence is essential to the existence of this country, and media types who cover all of the machinations that go around the seat of power, the greater Washington, DC area has become a bonanza for economic growth in the country, without producing anything more than voluminous reams of paper and regulation. This is not a recent phenomenon, but rather a steady, growing one that has taken years and many stories of fear and intimidation to produce. During the interim we have willingly coughed up the required sums of tax dollars through cajoling or acquiescence to officials who told us it was necessary for our survival. These six counties have become the praetorian guard for a bloated government that has increasingly become isolated from its electorate because of its own existence and by those who encircle government’s throne.
The second story that resembles a not too distant era is the bill proposed by John McCain and Joe Lieberman, “The Enemy Belligerent, Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010,” which lays bare government’s attempt to strip the US Constitution of habeas corpus and allow the U.S. military to detain U.S. citizens without trial indefinitely in the U.S. based on suspected activity. In essence anyone who threatens the cocoon that government has built around itself, and including the six counties previously mentioned, can expect to be imprisoned without access to the judicial system of the United States, and thus, unable to prove or defend themselves against any suspicion or charge levied against them by the government. But wait, such draconian measures have been in place since the Military Commissions Act passed in 2006 which in vague enough language to assuage the conscience of today’s tea baggers then, called for the removal of US citizens from civilian courts and placed them, if at all, at the mercy of military tribunals. At the moment this bill has not been passed. Let’s hope it never sees the light of day. That John McCain has co-sponsored it means it’s in response to the opposition he faces in the Arizona senate primary from an opponent further to the right than he is, and so he wants to establish his credentials on the back of the US Constitution. The tea baggers are not new to this political landscape and their faux pas opposition to this Administration is clearly transparently racist, but the direction it drives the Nation in is something for all to be concerned.