The New York Times has a house editorial today excoriating Republicans for signing on to pledges, such as Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge and the Susan B. Anthony list’s pro-life pledge.
The NYT also lists two pledges ‘Puter has never heard of, so perhaps his conservative/libertarian secret decoder ring subscription has lapsed. These pledges are the cut, cap and balance pledge (‘Puter is familiar with the concept, not the pledge) and something called the Marriage Vow, which frankly sounds like a NYT fantasy.
The NYT claims its issue is with candidates signing away their freedom to negotiate deals, as they have bound themselves inextricably to “the corners of conservative ideology.” Interestingly, the NYT’s editors go on in the following paragraphs to note that the pledges are “no more enforceable than a spoken promise, but a politician’s actual signature was seen as more binding.” This gives lie to the NYT’s portrayal of the pledges as “shackling” candidates to ideological position. For, after all, if one is free to walk away, is one really shackled at all?
Enough philosophy for the moment. What’s really got the editors’ undies in a bunch is that a substantial group of Republicans have refused to back down on spending issues, even when confronted with daily media attacks, (un)presidential claims that they want to cut off grandma’s Social Security checks and untrue allegations that they want to destroy Medicare. How dare they! Everyone knows that spending must go up! It always has! These rubes from the sticks have no concept as to how government works.
Except that many of the new Republicans know exactly how government works. Many are small businessmen who have borne firsthand the onus of high taxes necessitated by the ever-voracious welfare state. These legislators have known the uncertainty caused by over reaching governmental regulation. Yes, NYT editors, these folks know exactly the trauma caused by unlimited government, and in standing firm against increased spending and taxes, are taking the first serious efforts in 30 years to impose limits.
‘Puter had intended to write separately on this article, A Fling With The Welfare State, by Noemie Emery carried in the Weekly Standard, and he still may do so. You, however, should read it now. It explains far better than ‘Puter could ever hope to do, the Left’s conflation of rights with goods/services. A right being God-given and individual, which the state has an obligation to protect. In essence, a right is free to the state since it is not state-provided, merely recognized and protected. See, e.g., right to free speech, right to keep and bear arms. Goods/services are substantially different. God has not created and bestowed these on individuals; they are the creation of an individual’s effort and labor. See, e.g., health care, food, shelter, clothing.
And this conflation of rights and goods is the error that drives the NYT’s thinking. If goods/services are rights, then the government must provide them, no matter the cost. This logical, though wrong, conclusion causes the NYT’s editors to attack anyone who dares point out the obvious: we do not have the money to provide for everyone’s so-called “rights.” Because of “rights” as conceived by the NYT and those on the left, government has grown to unsustainable proportions. But so too because of its wrongheadedness, the left believes any effort to limit government to be an attack on these “rights.”
Once one understands the NYT’s mistaken assumptions, its stubborn refusal to acknowledge reality makes sense.
Always right, unless he isn’t, the infallible Ghettoputer F. X. Gormogons claims to be an in-law of the Volgi, although no one really believes this.
’Puter carefully follows economic and financial trends, legal affairs, and serves as the Gormogons’ financial and legal advisor. He successfully defended us against a lawsuit from a liquor distributor worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid deliveries of bootleg shandies.
The Geep has an IQ so high it is untestable and attempts to measure it have resulted in dangerously unstable results as well as injuries to researchers. Coincidentally, he publishes intelligence tests as a side gig.
His sarcasm is so highly developed it borders on the psychic, and he is often able to insult a person even before meeting them. ’Puter enjoys hunting small game with 000 slugs and punt guns, correcting homilies in real time at Mass, and undermining unions. ’Puter likes to wear a hockey mask and carry an axe into public campgrounds, where he bursts into people’s tents and screams. As you might expect, he has been shot several times but remains completely undeterred.
He assures us that his obsessive fawning over news stories involving women teachers sleeping with young students is not Freudian in any way, although he admits something similar once happened to him. Uniquely, ’Puter is unable to speak, read, or write Russian, but he is able to sing it fluently.
Geep joined the order in the mid-1980s. He arrived at the Castle door with dozens of steamer trunks and an inarticulate hissing creature of astonishingly low intelligence he calls “Sleestak.” Ghettoputer appears to make his wishes known to Sleestak, although no one is sure whether this is the result of complex sign language, expert body posture reading, or simply beating Sleestak with a rubber mallet.
‘Puter suggests the Czar suck it.