Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Explain this to me:

How come the party of small and non-intrusive, Constitutionally-limited government is endlessly obsessed with what people stick in their bodies, into what orifices it gets stuck, and who does the sticking, and then they go accuse the other team of trying to create a "Nanny State"?

I mean, isn't that what Nannies do? Run around saying "No no no no no! Don't put that in your mouth! Spit that out right now!"


ZerCool said...

I wasn't aware the libertarians were concerned with such things.

If by " the party of small and non-intrusive, Constitutionally-limited government" you mean the Republicans... well, I see what you did there. ;-)

Anonymous said...

'Cause everybody is equally hypocritical when you're being snarky.


azmountaintroll said...

Winning elections is about numbers. There aren't enough people who both genuinely care about limited government and vote regularly, so the Republicans have to make nice to those members of the other sort currently out of favor with the Democrats.

Anonymous said...

I suggest that both are about threats to the society.

Large government threatens society because of the danger that it can / will morph into oligarchy or dictatorship. Large government also threatens society because of the danger that it will grow so large and bloated that it will actually bankrupt the society.

Social "immorality" threatens society by undermining the basic structure of the family, and by allowing people to engage in destructive practices (drunkeness, drug use, sexual promiscuity that results in disease, unwed mothers, etc.). Paying for the costs of these "immoral" behaviors also contributes to bankrupting the society.

So, I suggest that it's possible to be for a very socially intrusive government that is otherwise small and economically non-intrusive.

I should add that I don't support this model; I'm not interested in turning the United States into something like the Massachusetts Bay Colony or Saudi Arabia, but as a reforming conservative (ditto ZerCool above), I see where the social-cons* are coming from.


(*) O' course, libs have their own "moral" hang-ups, e.g. smoking.

A Critic said...

Divide and conquer. Our rulers, while talking about diversity and liberty, encourage us to split into racial/religious/economic/political/geographical/etc groups and they facilitate the animosity between the groups.

It's pretty brilliant. Everyone wants to infringe on the rights of others so badly that they are willing to ignore the infringement on their own rights. "Democracy" is so much more sophisticated than old fashioned monarchy.

Zendo Deb said...

The differences between the Democrats and the Republicans amounts to what parts of my life they want to control. Though even those lines are blurring. Is anyone in Congress, aside from Ron Paul, calling for an end to the War on (some) Drugs?

The only good news is that bedroom-police wing of the Republican party is losing steam, and members, fairly quickly. (Bob Barr was in favor of repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell several years ago.)

That extremely prejudiced wing of the Republicans started to crumble when Mary Cheney and Heather Poe were made welcome in Bush White House.

And as for the Republicans wanting small government... that hasn't been true in a very long time. Homeland Security comes to mind. As does a certain new entitlement (could it be a gift to the drug companies?) enacted under Bush. Small government? No.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Well, we have been warned about this by Heinlein. Remember Scudder came to power as a result of the "Crazy Years."

Unfortunately, we don't have any colonies in space to escape the madness.

Tam said...

Zendo Deb,

"And as for the Republicans wanting small government... that hasn't been true in a very long time."

Of course not. That's just their ad slogan.

og said...

"party of small and non-intrusive, Constitutionally-limited government"

Who is this party of whom you speak?

"endlessly obsessed with what people stick in their bodies, into what orifices it gets stuck, and who does the sticking,"

Ah, from where I stand, that's pretty much everyone. One group wants it stopped, one group wants it mandatory, one group wants to shut up about it, one wants to teach it in grade school, and all the people worried about who is doing what or worrying about the people who are worried about who is doing what are doing just what their betters are guiding them toward; worrying about bullshit while george burns.

Tam said...

"bullshit" = "stuff that doesn't affect me".

I mean, to most people, smoking laws and texting-while-driving laws are petty bullshit...

og said...

"bullshit" = "stuff that doesn't affect me".

If you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?

legislation and control of sexual practices and substance use from any direction is asinine.

Outside of protecting those who lack the ability to protect themselves like children, the feeble bodied and the feeble minded, the government has exactly the same business in drugs and sex as it has in texting and smoking, none. And everyone is obsessed with that bullshit rather than trying to fix what really needs to be fixed. And always will be. So the shit that needs fixin won't get it. As has always been the master plan; keep the hoi polloi bickering about bullshit while we roll up their freedoms and use 'em to light our cigars.

Rignerd said...

I think this is where the tea party comes in. They are against the republicans trying to be democrat lite and for real conservatism. Even evangelicals like me have no wish to infringe on the rights of others, and want to get the power out of Washington that enables them to do any thing for you, which lets them do anything to you.

It boils down to the lesser of two evils unless we can get a true constitutional conservative government in place long enough to undo the great society, new deal and all the other statist programs.

staghounds said...

Abortion is the classic example.

After Roe, that issue became as dead as segregated public schools.(Barring a constitutional amendment.)

But the pro and anti abortion industries won't tell anyone that, and no politician from either side wants to alienate single issue voters with the truth that their single issue isn't an issue any more.

Anonymous said...

A few commenters have written about a "master plan" or a conscious effort by our political masters* to set us against each other.

I respectfully disagree.

While politicians can and do take advantage of any "reform" movement that happens to come along, Americans have NEVER needed somebody to encourage, urge or otherwise trick them into being insufferable busybodies.

I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America.

Alexis de Tocqueville
Democracy in America
Book I, ch. 15


(*) That I as an American can write without much hyperbole of "masters" in our country indicates to me just how far we have fallen.

Circa Bellum said...

I guess the small minority of conservatives that are obsessed with what you stick in your body is about equal to the small minority of folks that are obsessed with what they stick in their bodies. Neither is relevant.

Derfel Cadarn said...

Truth is Tam that if the majority of these people of small non-intrusive,Constitutionally limited government were getting things stuck in their bodies,regardless of who or where this world would be a much better place. So heres's sticking it to ya.

og said...

Docjim: Agreed, people begin being busybodies on their own. And then our "masters" use our money to support/further the cause. Always been a fan of DeTocqueville.

Joel said...

How come the party of small and non-intrusive, Constitutionally-limited government is endlessly obsessed with what people stick in their bodies, into what orifices it gets stuck, and who does the sticking, and then they go accuse the other team of trying to create a "Nanny State"?

Because they're lying about the "small, non-intrusive, etc." part.

Democrats are the evil, power-mad bastards on this side of the aisle. Republicans are the evil, power-mad bastards on that side of the aisle. After session, they get together for drinks and a good laugh at our expense.

Remember, The Democratic Process Works! Just don't ask who it works for.

global village idiot said...


Is there a piece of proposed legislation you're referring to specifically, something a candidate said, or is it just the sense of the party generally?

I ask because I'm not quite sure what inspired this post. Granted, I've been busy this weekend and not followed the electioneering for the Clown College Student Council as closely as I would otherwise.


Trent said...

As a conservative christian republican I can tell you most of us don't want to make any of that sticking such and so into ones or willing other's bodies illegal.

We just don't want it to be communicated as normal, promoted as better, or foisted on our kids in school. I don't care what you and yours do in the bed room, I just don't want you to go around telling my kids about it or telling me I'm a horrible person for thinking its wrong.

I also happen to believe that a child is a human and possessing of all natural human rights from conception. So of course I oppose the wonton wholesale slaughter of these most innocent.

Panamared said...

The number of Republicans that believe in States Rights are small but growing, while the number of Democrats that even know that States have rights is non existent. The number of people in either party that understand personal responsibility is statistically insignificant/

jetfxr69 said...

States do not have rights. They do have powers not granted to the Federal gov't but do not have rights.

Individuals have rights.

Repeat until it sticks.

Anonymous said...




Well stated.

An Ordinary American said...

hose who lack the ability to protect themselves like children, the feeble bodied and the feeble minded

You just described 95% of all American citizens.


Don M said...

I like old Alex de T.

In a proper society, there should be little discussion. Most people who want to do something just do it, and if it works, people might remark about it, but mostly copy it.

Where an idiot upon turning 18 might want to do something like take a case of cheap wine down by the snow covered beach in the winter and drink 'till they pass out: Well, we might remark about it after it happens, but the ijiot who does it doesn't get people to tell him he can't. Normally such people have trouble scaring up 6 pallbearers.

WV: horkidau-brothels on the big island of Japan

John A said...

One group is comcerned with what enters by mouth, the other is concerned with what is less limited as to orifice.

I find both annoying (some places still outlaw certain heterosexual consenting acts done in private), often silly (latest diet fad has Norwegians bidding on eBay for butter, stores were sold out last week!), but alas more than a bit scary as well.

Panamared said...

I apologize and consider myself properly chastised, but the concept still applies.

Anonymous said...

Hey Tam,
Supporting fundamental moral viewpoints such as pro-life or not agreeing that it is OK to have a doctor inject morphine into an elderly grandparent or believing that marriage is between a man and a woman doesn't contradict my beliefs in a limited government.

An Ordinary American said...

States do not have rights. They do have powers not granted to the Federal gov't but do not have rights.

Individuals have rights.

And states are made up of . . . what?

People, slash, individuals who reside in a state, pay taxes in a state, vote in a state, do business in a state, et al, and thus determine HOW within the confines of the Constitution, they want their State run.

When politicians forget/ignore this fact, States--ie, the people, slash, individuals residing, working, doing business, et al--have to remind elected officials that they are out of bounds.



Brad K. said...

@ docjim505,

"Social "immorality" threatens society by undermining the basic structure of the family"

The family structure needs to be understood better. It is the family that passes on the culture -- the values and lore, and the celebrations -- that are the foundations of healthy communities. The major opposing culture is an invention of commercial and political spin meisters.

"A few commenters have written about a "master plan" or a conscious effort by our political masters"

I don't think anyone claims this is conscious or that a master plan exists. It does, however, happen indirectly.

Politicians, like many product advertisers, have found that it easier to sell your product if your customer thinks it will defeat an enemy. The enemy might be cockroaches -- or evil people that do or say things that disagree with what your neighbors and parents do and say. Politicians especially make denigrating groups of people a winning strategy, even though it damages the very people they want to elect them.

A politician has to sell himself/herself. They need to motivate people to vote (let alone vote for them). Thus, a politician needs to be seen as the answer to some problem. Some pick the "evil" opponent, others the evils of negligence ("I'll get the roads fixed!"), or promise to overcome problems ("A chicken in every pot!" "Tippecanoe, and Tyler, too!") The recent rounds of sexual stuff is mostly because the topic has worked for politicians getting elected.

Or politicians pandering to special interests eager to donate cash.

I agree there is no "master plan". I disagree that the effect isn't just the same as if there were a master plan.

MSgt B said...


That was a win, Tam.

I need to get some pro-tips from you on how to bring 'em out of the woodwork like that.

Tam said...


Once again, States do not have rights. People have rights. States have powers that are delegated to them by the people.

Tam said...

All I want is to be left the hell alone, but there's always some damned Gladys Kravitz who thinks his god wants him to mind my business.

I am dismayed by the number of people I'm going to need to shoot in the back after the revolution. Nothing personal, of course.

Anonymous said...

You guys should go read these and then let's change the conversation to something really important for TODAY:



Just sayin'


Adam said...

When you say "the party of small and non-intrusive, Constitutionally-limited government," that description fits two parties: The Libertarian, and the Constitutional.

It's the second part of your statement that divides them.

Brad K. said...

@ Diamondback,

Um, those don't appear to be sources I would trust if they told me rain was falling.

If you want something more coherent,


(I liked http://www.daybydaycartoon.com/2003/04/16/ but don't tell anyone.)

I cannot vouch for each, but they seem pretty coherent, and have something useful to take away most days.

Anonymous said...

Going way back to DocJim - we already have an oligarchy, and damn near a dictatorship. Once it was given that presidents could get us into wars without a declaration of war, it was all downhill. Every president in my lifetime has used that power - Rs and Ds alike. Kind of one of the definitions of dictatorship - making war on your own say-so, for whatever reason you choose. And – in case you haven’t noticed – government can justify just about anything during wartime. War on Terror, War on Drugs, Cold War, War on this, War on that, and every last one used to slice away at rights we used to take for granted.

Oligarchy? Our politicians are bought like shares of stock. What do you think your Congresscritter pays attention to - your letter or phone call, or a call from the guy who donated $5K to his election/re-election campaign? I mean, there's a reason that guys who steal 500 from a liquor store do five to seven, and guys who steal millions do Aspen or Sun Valley. Anyone who thinks Jon Corzine (head of ML Global, look it up) will ever spend a day in jail, raise your hand. Then go write "I won't grow up!" a hundred times.

Infringements on our “rights” in the name of others' moral viewpoint?

Power to control behavior, key word being power. A lot of people are authoritarians who like being told what to do; like telling others what to do. They like exercising power over others, and criminalizing behavior gives them that. It also gives government a lever to use on people who are a nuisance to the government, whether federal, state or local. If the lever can be covered by a "moral" paintbrush, so much the better. Find us the person and we'll find the crime.

It's in a lot of people's interest to keep the status quo whether it makes sense or not. Confiscated property/cash provides a lot of funding for law enforcement. A lot of cops would have to find something else to do if we legalized drugs the way they have in Portugal. There are some people, unfortunately, who become cops not to protect and serve, but because it allows them to carry a piece and push people around. They certainly don’t want any changes.

There are so many laws that just about everybody is guilty of something. Charging someone with a behavioral crime – drugs, sexual behavior, whatever – allows government to control people. (Sexual behavior doesn’t include things like child abuse or rape – those are violent crimes.) Criminalizing birth control as well as abortion, which is what was proposed recently in Mississippi? More of the same.
Consequently, the Fourth Amendment is gone, the First Amendment is pretty sick and so is the Eighth - that would be the one about cruel and unusual punishment, excessive bail/fines etc. (Remember that wartime justification.) If you don't think having your property confiscated is a fine, try getting back a large sum of cash after it's been confiscated because some cop is suspicious of...your liking cash, basically. Under some interpretations of the Patriot Act, everybody on this board could be charged with…something.

Once government has the power to do something, that power will be used, and eventually it will be used against people for profit and/or for no more than holding views the government doesn’t like. Anyone alive is capable of that rationalization – I’m a good guy, those who don’t agree with me are bad guys, and therefore whatever gets them out of my way is legal.
Okay, off my soapbox and no offense intended to anyone, including any law enforcement officers - most of whom do their best in obnoxious jobs. But especially no offense to Tam, who provides us a forum to spout off and whose posts usually make me think and frequently make me laugh...thanks, Tam.

Larry said...

Never fails to amaze me, either.

For an example of how it should be done, take a look at how the state of Iowa handled the whole gay marriage thing.

"Because it makes me feel icky" is never a good answer to "Why do we need a law against ____"

Note to self...don't do anything to make Tam want to stand behind me...