We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Conservatives claim that government is incompetent, inefficient, and intrinsically corrupt (eg vote buying), and therefore can be trusted to do very little.
Libs and Lefties seem to believe that government is smarter and possessed of superior motives to those of the private sector.
When governments fail to demonstrate effectiveness (as in the IRS' failure to make money on a Nevada whorehouse, or the oil spill, or managing money, or border control, or Fannie and Freddie, or...), many Conservatives complain that government isn't doing its job with all our dough. Libs and Lefties complain that the failure will damage the notion of big government's omni-competence and virtue and thus their claim to our hard-earned dollars and pennies.
Readers know my view: Much of government is a legal racket, a special interest in itself devoted to its own interests of power and money and ego. Government has limited power against reality, and disproportionately more power over people's lives. Obama can no more control the oil spill than he can legislate the weather or the economy.
I am entirely in agreement with Steyn who we quoted this morning, "Almost every problem we face today arises from the vanity of Big Government."
I do not blame Obama for the oil (or the weather). I never rush to blame anybody for anything. Shit happens. However, government worshippers like Obama cannot say so because it would undermine the vision, which they market, of governmental godlike omnicompetence and virtue leading towards Progress and Worry-Free Life and General Wonderfulness. The Achilles' Heel of taking that position is that you must accept blame for almost anything that goes wrong.
Reality is relentless. Even if you control the media, reality wins in the end.
In a way, Big Government types are like some religious people. Anything good is either the result of Big Government or of God's gifts to us. Anything bad is just how things go, or your own fault for defying Big Government or God's Word, or it's beyond explanation.
"Progressives" can't legislate a good economy or completely prevent a good economy but they're very effective at keeping the economy from being all it could be. They can't legislate climate or weather, but they can make life difficult by trying.
Government has definite roles in law enforcement, public safety, national defense and transportation infrastructure. Local governments have had some success with education and charity work but I don't know if they should be doing that either. I need to be careful; my own kids went to public schools, as I did, and I couldn't have paid $15k per year for that.
I don't think they see government as a cornucopia or wellspring from which all good things flow. That would be very awkward for them if they did see it that way, because they'd have to insist government is the source of all good things only during the 40% of the time in which their people are in charge of it.
Okay, they do switch back-and-forth at breakneck speeds as the occasion demands. But the point stands.
I think their adoration for government is limited to simply not loathing it. To say "government should" or "we need a program to" is just pure passiveness, gutlessness. You're not calling out by name anybody who you say has the talent to get a problem solved, you're just saying things should be a certain way. I think they inwardly understand that there are flaws with any well-intentioned plan, they become evident when you start talking about the five W's and they're avoiding the five W's.
That's my theory anyway. I've been trying to figure this out a long time. Liberals, and women. It's not a rare occurrence I become convinced I'll have the women figured out first.
Morgan K Freeberg