The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
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Conservative Canard Deboned
Sunday, October 11th, 2009
It's the Republican excuse for lining up with the
insurance lobby to oppose health care reform. It's the
pretext for racist hatred and resentment of Obama.
Crazed old people dribble about it at right-wing funded
astroturf rallies. Greasy young conservatives and their
flabby elders maunder about it in magazines and
newspaper articles. Charlatans Beck and Limbaugh
fulminate about it. It's the frame used by phony
centrists and non-partisans to pretend to seriously
debate the unhinged illogic of the right. It is a loud and
tough old canard whose quacking echoes from The
Economist's Lexington to the halls of Congress: The
right wing opposes "big" government. And yet deboning
this duck is child's play.
The US military forms part of the US government. In
budgetary terms, it's one of the largest parts of
government. Accounting for current wars and current
outlays on past ones, allocated interest on debt,
veteran's benefits, and all other indirect costs, and a
case can be made for the military as the largest single
part of government.
Ronald Reagan increased spending on the US military
by 40%. George W. Bush's military spending increases
were even higher. But the right adores Reagan and
admits of no criticism of him, while continuing to
defend Bush despite his legacy of unmixed catastrophe.
So let us please lay this tired old deboned canard to
rest, most appropriately inside a similarly prepared
turkey. The right does not oppose "big" government.
The right is a staunch defender of vastly increased
government -- provided government is making massive
transfer payments to defense contractors and spending
hundreds of billions on fleets of missiles that miss their
targets, high tech airplanes that don't fly, massive sitting
duck (that word again) war ships, endless wars with no
purpose. The right only objects to government spending
on education, health, housing, and other items of actual
use to the taxpayers who provide the actual funds.
That makes the position of so-called conservatives on
"big" government perverse. Which means rightists are
not defenders of a government which governs best by
governing least, but perverts.
©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2009
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