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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

"Limited Federal Government = No Government" (or something like that)

Dana Milbank argues that conservatives are hypocritical in seeking government involvement in the Gulf oil cleanup, Through oil-fouled water, big government looks better and better:

There is something exquisite about the moment when a conservative decides he needs more government in his life....

It may have taken an ecological disaster, but the gulf-state conservatives' newfound respect for the powers and purse of the federal government is a timely reminder for them. As conservatives in Washington complain about excessive federal spending, the ones who would suffer the most from spending cuts are their own constituents.

Yes, Dana, "limited federal government = no federal government and no state government."

So that if conservatives believe that the federal government should play a role in handling an environmental maritime disaster affecting an entire region, that means the federal government gets to force individuals to purchase health insurance under terms and conditions set by regulators in Washington.

Right? Isn't that where you are going with this?

Now I get Dana Milbank's idea of intellectual consistency.

It's the same argument Obama makes all the time, setting up a strawman argument about how "some people" say "we should do nothing" in order to justify comprehensive federal government control.

The following also may come as a surprise: Even conservatives understand that maritime affairs traditionally are within the purview of federal jurisdiction, see Article I, Sections 8 - 10 and Article III, Section 2 of the document known as the United States Constitution.

Ever hear of it?

Related Post:
"Some Say" Obama Is A Shorter

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  1. Again, the leftist media mangle facts and logic. Strawman argument and fallacies galore = business as usual for the MSM.

  2. Yeah, but if the govt had contracted with a Gulf Coast petroleum engineering company to tackle such problems as they emerge, this spill woulda been capped off days ago.

  3. I don't begrudge the government doing those things it is Constitutionally mandated to do. But I do think, at a certain point, the Government has given itself enough power.

  4. This is actually a very common leftist "debating tactic". For example, in regards to the FDA deciding it has the power to regulate the salt content of food, a lefty will respond to conservative disgust over the idea with "so you want food laced with insecticides and bacteria?!"

    Of course not. There is a difference between something that will make you ill IMMEDIATELY and something that might, maybe, possibly make you ill in 60 years -- and which is a necessary nutrient in any case. There's also a difference in the accurate labeling of ingredients and nutritional information and the regulation of the flavor of a food.

    I doubt most lefties are truly so ignorant they cannot see there is a middle ground. However, I think they are so enamored of their belief in the perfectibility of life, and so in love with their mental cartoon version of their opposition, that they get emotionally involved with the extremist, statist view. Thus, columns like Milbank's.

  5. "I doubt most lefties are truly so ignorant they cannot see there is a middle ground. However, I think they are so enamored of their belief in the perfectibility of life, and so in love with their mental cartoon version of their opposition, that they get emotionally involved with the extremist, statist view. Thus, columns like Milbank's."
    -- Rob Crawford (comments)

    I find that to be one of the most accurate descriptions of the term "delusional" that I've read. Thank you! ;)

  6. There is indeed a reason why today’s leftists and “progressives” always resort to fallacious arguments -- such as Milbank’s preposterous straw man fallacy that those who oppose unlimited government are necessarily anarchists.

    The reason is that their two cherished ideas -- socialism (in some shape, form or fashion) as a domestic policy and pacifism as an international policy -- were thoroughly refuted by the events of the 20th century.

    Socialism did not bring prosperity to the masses as its advocates claimed it would -- rather, in places where it was practiced fully and consistently, it brought mass death by starvation to the masses. See, for instance, the histories of the U.S.S.R., communist China, North Korea, Cuba, etc.

    Likewise, pacifism did not bring about world peace as was promised by its advocates -- instead, it invited the horrific aggressions of two world wars and one "cold war" which saw the deaths of millions of innocents and the enslavement of still millions more under communism.

    Thus, with their two beloved ideas so thoroughly discredited and debunked -- but their irrational hatred of capitalism and freedom fully intact -- the left is reduced to various clownish fallacies such as the one offered by Milbank. The other favorite fallacy we hear constantly from the left is ad hominem, the two most popular being “You are racists!” and “You are stupid!”

    Dominated by their emotions and with their rational faculty aborted by their education, such “arguments“ is all today‘s left has to offer. It is a sign of complete intellectual bankruptcy.

  7. Congress has the power to pass laws governing maritime issues. What you have not explained is why our tax dollars should be used to clean up a disaster caused by a private company.

    Isn't our government's willingness to step in a market distortion? After all, if BP had to insure against the full risk of this type of incident, maybe it wouldn't be economical to drill that deep.

  8. Dana Milbank is preferring engage in a form of language similar to caricature drawing in art instead of realism. You take a prominent, unique characteristic of the person and exaggerate it (Bob Hope's nose, etc.). Limited government is equivalent to anarchy. Voting no on the health care bill is equivalent to wanting people to die. It seems a lazy way of thinking and expressing yourself.

  9. Truthfully your last line gave me a chuckle for the day...sorry sarcasm just strikes me funny.

  10. I still don't know what caused this mess. One naturally thinks of it as res ipsa locquitur, but when you realize that this well was drilled under 5,000 feet of ocean, how could it ever be guaranteed to be safe?

    I keep wondering why it will take at least three months to stop the oil. Didn't they anticipate such a disaster and make preparations for fixing it? (Wait: Fox News is reporting that the first of several domes designed to capture and cut off the leaks will be in place by Thursday. So, apparently, they did anticipate it.)

    Who's in charge? DHS or EPA? We've had oil spills before, but the government still seems to get caught flat-footed when a new one happens.

    And why does federal law limit BP's liability to $75 million?

    Why are we wasting time arguing about whether this is Obama's Katrina? They're different types of problems. I see Katrina as primarily a failure of local and state officials. I see the oil spill as a failure of BP itself and of the feds who are the sole regulator involved.

    I'm not criticizing anyone here, because I don't know enough about the technology or the circumstances, but what I am sure of is that of all the things we can't trust, government keeps cropping up as one of the main ones, despite all the promises for more regulations and more federal programs. They take our money, but they keep screwing up and then passing the buck, which is pointless. Politics and lawsuits always seem to impede reason and effective action.

  11. the technology or the circumstances

    The truth is out there, but really, does one
    need to know what happened, or why, to know
    that there is no way in Hell BP would have
    risked the current situation for any reward ?

    Whatever happened was something they thought
    impossible; Even after correcting for my own paranoid bent, it is hard to avoid the suspicion of sabotage.