Welfare queens and their pimps: Why the November 2 election matters

They come in all shapes and sizes.
Don’t like any of them. Yes, indeed, not then and not now (and now).
The labels or times may change but not the fundamental issue that any government big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away. More on bizarre incentives created by campaign finance reform, where the focus is on the symptoms but not the root cause, and crony capitalism, where the big and powerful feed at the enlarged government trough at the expense of those who lack comparable resources to buy favors.
If we truly treasure liberty in America, then next Tuesday’s vote is the first major step toward reclaiming it. Our freedom is never safe, especially when there is a bloated government filled with politicians and bureaucrats who don’t recognize and honor the core principles of our Constitution.
How about some “old-time” reflections that are actually substantive and suggest a different view of America and public policies?
A Call to Action: Responding to Government Being Neither Well-Meaning Nor Focused on the Public Interest; be sure to follow the links
American Exceptionalism
“Who You Gonna Call?” The Little Platoons
Lawrence Reed on Seven Principles of Sound Public Policy
Challenging the increasing momentum toward a nanny state
Summing it up –
Roger Pilon from a 2002 Cato Institute publication, as quoted in the American Exceptionalism link:

We are all created equal, as defined by our natural rights; thus, no one has rights superior to those of anyone else. Moreover, we are born with those rights, we do not get them from government – indeed, whatever rights or powers government has come from us, from “the Consent of the Governed.” And our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness imply the right to live our lives as we wish…to pursue happiness as we think best, by our own lights…provided only that we respect the equal rights of others to do the same. Drawing by implication upon the common law tradition of liberty, property, and contract…its principles rooted in “right reason”…the Founders thus outlined the moral foundations of a free society…
In the end, however, no constitution can be self-enforcing. Government officials must respect their oaths to uphold the Constitution; and we the people must be vigilant in seeing that they do. The Founders drafted an extraordinarily thoughtful plan of government, but it is up to us, to each generation, to preserve and protect it for ourselves and for future generations. For the Constitution will live only if it is alive in the hearts and minds of the American people. That, perhaps, is the most enduring lesson of our experiment in ordered liberty.

Marco Rubio.
The bottom line from 2006:

I hope the Republicans lose control of the House of Representatives in tomorrow’s election.
…My disgust with the Republican Congress is intense…
…it is a time to focus on the big picture:
The current Republican party needs some time in the wilderness in order to rediscover its currently lost connections to beliefs in limited government, to the defense of freedom and ordered liberty. Hopefully, they can find some new leaders with principles in time for the crucial 2008 elections.
And what could be better for the American people than to see the House be led for two years by a bunch of left-wing lunatics, to experience a sampling for 2 years before 2008 of what little the Democrats can offer during a time when our country is engaged in a world war with Islamic fascists dedicated to destroying America.
The overriding problem here is we have two political parties who stand for nothing but either the retention or gaining of political power for the sake of power itself…

Well, the Democrats under Obama have indeed stood for something, an overbearing statism largely disconnected from principles of liberty and the rule of law. So we have belatedly tried the left-wing lunatic model for the last 2 years. Let’s now send those statists packing on November 2 and hope the Republicans learned something during their time in the wilderness.
The bottom line in 2010 is that until enough people get serious about dismantling much of the engorged government and returning rights to the people, none of this will amount to more than rearranging chairs on the USS Titanic.
But that doesn’t have to be our future, if we have the will and courage as a nation to chart a new course.
Scott Rasmussen:

…This isn’t a wave, it’s a tidal shift—and we’ve seen it coming for a long time. Remarkably, there have been plenty of warning signs over the past two years, but Democratic leaders ignored them. At least the captain of the Titanic tried to miss the iceberg. Congressional Democrats aimed right for it…
But none of this means that Republicans are winning. The reality is that voters in 2010 are doing the same thing they did in 2006 and 2008: They are voting against the party in power.
This is the continuation of a trend that began nearly 20 years ago. In 1992, Bill Clinton was elected president and his party had control of Congress. Before he left office, his party lost control. Then, in 2000, George W. Bush came to power, and his party controlled Congress. But like Mr. Clinton before him, Mr. Bush saw his party lose control.
That’s never happened before in back-to-back administrations. The Obama administration appears poised to make it three in a row. This reflects a fundamental rejection of both political parties.
More precisely, it is a rejection of a bipartisan political elite that’s lost touch with the people they are supposed to serve. Based on our polling, 51% now see Democrats as the party of big government and nearly as many see Republicans as the party of big business. That leaves no party left to represent the American people.
Voters today want hope and change every bit as much as in 2008. But most have come to recognize that if we have to rely on politicians for the change, there is no hope. At the same time, Americans instinctively understand that if we can unleash the collective wisdom and entrepreneurial spirit of the American people, there are no limits to what we can accomplish…
Elected politicians also should leave their ideological baggage behind because voters don’t want to be governed from the left, the right, or even the center. They want someone in Washington who understands that the American people want to govern themselves.

Angelo Codevilla on America’s ruling class – and the perils of revolution.
From two liberal Democrats comes these critical words about Obama:

… In a Univision interview on Monday, the president, who campaigned in 2008 by referring not to a “Red America” or a “Blue America” but a United States of America, urged Hispanic listeners to vote in this spirit: “We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.”
Recently, Obama suggested that if Republicans gain control of the House and/or Senate as forecast, he expects not reconciliation and unity but “hand-to-hand combat” on Capitol Hill.
What a change two years can bring.
We can think of only one other recent president who would display such indifference to the majesty of his office: Richard Nixon.
We write in sadness as traditional liberal Democrats who believe in inclusion…
Indeed, Obama is conducting himself in a way alarmingly reminiscent of Nixon’s role in the disastrous 1970 midterm campaign. No president has been so persistently personal in his attacks as Obama throughout the fall. He has regularly attacked his predecessor, the House minority leader and – directly from the stump – candidates running for offices below his own. He has criticized the American people suggesting that they are “reacting just to fear” and faulted his own base for “sitting on their hands complaining.”…
We are also disturbed that the office of the president is mounting attacks on private individuals, such as the founders of the group Americans for Prosperity. Having been forged politically during Watergate – one of us was the youngest member of Nixon’s enemies list – we are chilled by the prospect of any U.S. president willing to marshal the power of his office against a private citizen.
The president is the leader of our society. That office is supposed to be a unifying force. When a president opts for polarization, it is not only bad politics, but it also diminishes the prestige of his office and damages our social consensus…

Or, as Charles Krauthammer wrote:

…In a radio interview that aired Monday on Univision, President Obama chided Latinos who “sit out the election instead of saying, ‘We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.’ ” Quite a uniter, urging Hispanics to go to the polls to exact political revenge on their enemies – presumably, for example, the near-60 percent of Americans who support the new Arizona immigration law.
This from a president who won’t even use “enemies” to describe an Iranian regime that is helping kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. This from a man who rose to prominence thunderously declaring that we were not blue states or red states, not black America or white America or Latino America – but the United States of America.
This is how the great post-partisan, post-racial, New Politics presidency ends – not with a bang, not with a whimper, but with a desperate election-eve plea for ethnic retribution…

David Harsanyi points out how Obama has a lack of faith to trust the American people and is implementing processes that only magnify the power of the nanny state.
Arthur Brooks and Paul Ryan offer an alternative view:

As we move into this election season, Americans are being asked to choose between candidates and political parties. But the true decision we will be making—now and in the years to come—is this: Do we still want our traditional American free enterprise system, or do we prefer a European-style social democracy? This is a choice between free markets and managed capitalism; between limited government and an ever-expanding state; between rewarding entrepreneurs and equalizing economic rewards.
We must decide. Or must we?
In response to what each of us has written in the preceding months, we have heard again and again that the choice we pose is too stark. New York Times columnist David Brooks (no relation) finds our approach too Manichaean, and the Schumpeter columnist in The Economist objected that, “You can have a big state with a well-functioning free market.”
Data support the proposition that Americans like generous government programs and don’t want to lose them. So while 70% of Americans told pollsters at the Pew Research Center in 2009 they agreed that “people are better off in a free market economy, even though there may be severe ups and downs from time to time,” large majorities favor keeping our social insurance programs intact. This leads conventional thinkers to claim that a welfare state is what we truly want, regardless of whether or not we mouth platitudes about “freedom” and “entrepreneurship.”
But these claims miss the point. What we must choose is our aspiration, not whether we want to zero out the state. Nobody wants to privatize the Army or take away Grandma’s Social Security check. Even Friedrich Hayek in his famous book, “The Road to Serfdom,” reminded us that the state has legitimate—and critical—functions, from rectifying market failures to securing some minimum standard of living.
However, finding the right level of government for Americans is simply impossible unless we decide which ideal we prefer: a free enterprise society with a solid but limited safety net, or a cradle-to-grave, redistributive welfare state…
More and more Americans are catching on to the scam. Every day, more see that the road to serfdom in America does not involve a knock in the night or a jack-booted thug. It starts with smooth-talking politicians offering seemingly innocuous compromises, and an opportunistic leadership that chooses not to stand up for America’s enduring principles of freedom and entrepreneurship.
As this reality dawns, and the implications become clear to millions of Americans, we believe we can see the brightest future in decades. But we must choose it.

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13 years ago

Surprising honesty for an AR post. So tell me this: The financial crisis (like most of the great triumphs and f***ups in American history) was a truly bipartisan effort. As expected, both parties blame eachother and try to exploit the resultant anger to thier own ends. The Tea Party – made up of not a few wingnuts, but also a bunch of seemingly fair-minded people – emerges. Tea Party ideology bends right, so it makes sense that they would use existing Republican machinery to make immediate gains (and the GOP – disgraced, disheartened, desperate – was surely glad for the lifesaver).
But does the Tea Party really, truly think their people will take the elephant express to DC, stare down the K street moneylenders who gilded the rails to get them there, and say, “No thanks, not this time?” What makes them think this?
More importantly, do they make as much noise when their people prove curruptable as they did during Obama 1.0?

13 years ago

The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker,
Donald Hawthorne and John Barleycorn.
The hurdy-gurdies, the birdies, the cop on the beat
The candy maker, the baker, the man on the street
The city charmer, the farmer, the men in the hollers
All think they are constitutional scholars.
I’ll keep my liberty and the sense thereof
Without any help from below or above.
Don’t speak for me
Don’t try to tell me what you think the constitution says.
And I won’t speak for you or try to tell you likewise.
In Frank Caprio’s words, “Shove it!”

13 years ago

From the first link:
“The United States Treasury concealed $40 billion in likely taxpayer losses on the bailout of the American International Group earlier this month, when it abandoned its usual method for valuing investments, according to a report by the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.”
The problem is that, in this case, the “pimp” (i.e., the US Treasury) funneled someone else’s money (aka, tax dollars – ours and our children’s) to the “welfare queen” (AIG).
AND the pimp stonewalled a FOIA request as to the dispensation of those tax dollars. Gosh, the pimp doesn’t have something to hide, does he??
(By they way, why was AIG bailed out but not, for example, Lehman Brothers? Was preferential treatment shown here due to a connection between President Obama’s administration and AIG?)
No bailouts for anyone. No stimulus. Cancel the ones that took place.
Perhaps we can’t do that but at least we can send a message on November 2 that they were a really horrendous idea to begin with.

13 years ago

It’s easy to see that Hawthorne has skewered the Left with his post, as the Leftists can barely sputter a coherent sentence in response.

13 years ago

The praise of fools is an insult.
You have insulted Mr. Hawthorne.

13 years ago

Sticks and stones, pal…
Do you actually have anything to say?

13 years ago

“No bailouts for anyone. No stimulus. Cancel the ones that took place.”
None, Monique? For anyone? Under any circumstances? So the feds, with the credit, knowhow, and wherewidthal to enect TARP, should instead have sat on the sidelines and watched the financial sector of the country (and really the world) atomize? And then what? stand in the ruins and say “well, unemployment may be in the 20’s (a conservative estimate), but at least we stuck to our ideals.”
Or maybe you reject Paulson and co’s description of a world sans-TARP, which is I guess another conversation.

Allen, W. B.
Allen, W. B.
13 years ago

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think of these things.”

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