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17 September 2009 @ 02:16 pm
Take my rights, but hands off my bills!  
Jon Carroll recently quoted "a useful rant from reader Ray Welch"; this is phrased succinctly enough that I think it deserves greater distribution:
We live in a country where many people think it's great, even imperative, for the federal government to snoop on our phone calls, e-mail and library records, to deploy a private militia accountable to no one (Blackwater, or whatever it calls itself now), to give the president "unitary" powers during a state of perpetual war, to hold people under arrest indefinitely without charge and torture them in undisclosed locations, to search without a warrant (using so-called national security letters) and to disseminate internal propaganda, but bad, even evil, for the federal government to manage health care, because that might give it too much power, which it would abuse.

My government can detain me indefinitely without a warrant and turn me over to Blackwater to be tortured, and lie to my family about where I am, but a federal health care program - now that is verging on totalitarianism.
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
Seth Gordonsethg_prime on September 17th, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC)
But I think that's the underlying psychology. Bush was One Of Us and therefore every kind of arbitrary executive power was justified, because he was protecting Us from Them. Obama is One Of Them[*] and therefore everything he does is part of his scheme to steal from Us and give to Them. The hard-core Republican base seems to be taking these ideas as axioms and any fact pattern can be interpreted to make it consistent with those axioms. Republicans who don't believe those axioms to be true can nevertheless understand that if they want the hard-core base on their side, they have to tell it what it wants to hear.

A month or two ago, the Obama Administration announced that anyone who got email making specious claims about health care reform could forward the email to somethingorother@whitehouse.gov, and then they'd get a response refuting the claims. An anchor for Faux News jumped all over this, claiming Obama is collecting the email addresses of everyone who disagrees with him! He's compiling an enemies list!

[*]his race being one aspect of his Them-ness, but not the only one
michelel72: DS-Quote-TeachToCowmichelel72 on September 19th, 2009 02:05 am (UTC)
Yes, it depresses me profoundly that people can be so very stupid and so pandered to. Bush collects every phone call and email ever? Oh, he's just protecting us! Obama asks for voluntary submission of emails that make idiotic claims? It's an evil plot!! pfeh. And while I'm sure it's not only about race (see: Clinton years), I'm also quite sure it's a factor, yeah. I just wish both Obama and his party would quit caving.