In Bureaucracy, Politics, Social commentary on August 29, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Want to know the true–as opposed to the official–Republican position on “smaller government”?

These two Huffington Post headlines say it all:



Consider the first story:

On July 24, House Republicans voted on a bill, centered on Washington, D.C., that would make abortion illegal after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

“We will stand for a commitment to protect little babies that have no other people to protect them,” shouted its author, Trent Franks (R-Ariz.). “By the grace of God, we’re going to do that!”

The bill was defeated on a vote of 220 to 154.

And on August 1, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said that he and his fellow Republicans had a duty to defend the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

DOMA is a federal law passed in 1996 that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

In March 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder deemed it unconstitutional and refused to further defend it.

McCarthy, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) then hired outside counsel to defend the law on behalf of the House of Representatives.

So far, Republicans have spent at least $742,000 doing so.

But on July 31, they marked their fifth consecutive loss in federal court when a Connecticut judge threw out the law as unconstitutional.

It speaks volumes about the priorities of the radical right generally and the Republican party in particular.

On one hand, when it comes to causes they support, Rightists demand a hands-off” approach to government regulation.

As they see it, corporations should be allowed to

  • pollute as much as they want;
  • pay their employees as little as they want;
  • avoid paying workers compensation or unemployment;
  • pay little or no taxes;
  • churn out useless or even unsafe goods;
  • put out deceptive advertising;
  • discriminate against job-seekers and employees as much as they want.

Thus, agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Food and Drug Administration and the Internal Revenue Service should be abolished.

And since Medicare and Social Security serve an aging population that’s not made up of millionaires, Rightists want these programs shut down. Remember the roar of approval that went up at a Republican debate over the thought of an uninsured patient being left to die?

But when it comes to causes they dislike, only the most punitive government measures will do. Thus:

  • The Drug Enforcement Administration should have its budget and agent-force greatly expanded, to go after pot-smokers and pill-poppers.
  • The FBI should declare all-out war on the pornography industry.
  • Abortion should be re-criminalized–especially at the Federal level. Doctors who perform abortions and patients who get them should be executed or hauled off to lengthy prison sentences.
  • Certain forms of birth control–such as those that prevent an unfertilized egg from attaching itself to the womb–should be criminalized.
  • The right to divorce should be sharply restricted–especially for women.
  • Homosexuals should not only be forbidden to marry, but should be rounded up and shipped off to concentration camps, where they will be prevented from “contaminating” heterosexuals.

And when Rightists call for “downsizing government,” they do not include the military. How else could President George W. Bush have waged an unprovoked war against Iraq under the lie that it held “Weapons of Mass Destruction”?

When Rightists campaign for office, they ignore or downplay the inherent contradiction between these two different sets of priorities.

It’s like the story of an ancient arms-peddler who claimed to offer a spear that could penetrate any shield–and a shield that could repulse any spear.

At first, his listeners were excited. Who could resist the promise of weapons that would make their user invulnerable?

Then an old man stepped out of the assembled mob and pointed out the contradiction: Either the spear could penetrate the shield, or the shield could deflect the spear. But one of them had to prove false.

The question was: Which one?

The same holds true when Rightists campaign for office.

A current joke neatly sums up the real philosophy of the right wing movement:

Some Republicans say they’re moving to Canada because the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare.

They may not know that Canada also has socialized medicine.

So here’s another suggestion:

A country that has:

  • No universal healthcare.
  • Few entitlement programs.
  • A low, flat tax system.
  • A deep reverence for God.
  • Faith-based government.
  • Extremely strict limitations on abortion.
  • Marriage is strictly defined as a union between a man and a woman.
  • Homosexuality is a sin and punishable by death.
  • Enforcement of appropriate dress codes.
  • Tattoos and piercings are widely banned.
  • Death penalty–which they relish using.
  • Strong private school system with religious focus.
  • Widespread oil drilling.
  • Non-existant environmentalist movement.
  • Growing nuclear program.
  • Culture that promotes the family and appropriate roles for men and women.

Where, you ask, is this conservative paradise?

Is this Heaven?

Is this Nirvana?

Actually, it’s Iran.

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