Monday, September 24, 2007

Must read for conservatives...

In case you don't read the Sunday edition of the Denver Pravda (Post), I highly encourage everyone to read this excerpt from David Harsanyi's new book "Nanny State."

In fact you should send this excerpt to your favorite Republican state Representative and Senator as a reminder that "good government" is small government.

Choice quote:

In his 1996 State of the Union address, President Bill Clinton felt the need to let Americans know the era of big government had ended. This curious assertion was meant to allay the growing concerns of Americans, who had begun to see government as stepping over the bounds of its charge.

Clinton’s words rang hollow. In many respects, the big government was simply refocusing, consolidating, and beginning to cast its eye toward regulating private matters that had previously been out of bounds. “Big” intrusive government was now also in the hand of local city councils, which could often put the big boys to shame.

Though Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich started getting crabby about the nanny state in the mid-1990s, by the time George W. Bush, a Republican—purportedly the party of less intrusive government—was elected to his second term in 2004, the new and improved nanny state was only expanding its authority. “We have the responsibility that, when somebody hurts, government has got to move,” explained President Bush on Labor Day 2003. Twenty years ago, this kind of brazen promotion of the state would have been unheard of coming from the lips of any respectable Republican—and barely any Democrats would have dared to give voice to it.

In 1997, vice president and future presidential candidate Al Gore explained that government was “like grandparents in the sense that grandparents perform a nurturing role.” The word “nurturing” was perhaps too delicate for conservative Andrew Card, George Bush’s chief of staff during the 2004 presidential election, who framed the idea in a more red-state, family-friendly lingo, explaining that the president “sees America as we think about a ten-year-old child.” This was an evolution of sorts from Bush’s fairly restrained proclamation in the 2000 race that “government must be carefully limited, but strong and active.”

Today, politicians of both parties brazenly endorse nanny policies in response to the slightest anxiety or unsettling development. Many Americans have felt the government’s evolution from strong and active to smothering grandparent.

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