Sunday, January 3, 2010

“Conservative Rule” vs. The Character Assassination Bureau

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Diana Rigg, circa 1969
Not this week's Friday Night Babe!

One of the talking points, bleated with tiresome regularity, by one of our resident trolls, is that conservatives have “ruled” the US “for the last thirty years.” Aside from noting that only the far, far, Left-Wing radicals ever viewed Bill Clinton as a “conservative”, let’s look at one of the cornerstone beliefs of many conservatives: That the government that governs least, governs best.

I put in a good word for Scott Brown, running as a Republican for Teddy Kennedy’s old Massachusetts seat. When he announced for the Senate, he announced “a core set of beliefs that guide his thinking.” At the top of the list was this:

Government is too big and that the federal stimulus bill made government bigger instead of creating jobs

To anyone, who in their fevered dreams, thinks that “conservatives” have “ruled” for the last thirty years, I would ask the central question:
In that case, how much smaller is the government today than it was thirty years ago?

Even Ronald Reagan, who was seen by even by tin foil hat progressives as a conservative, was not able to reduce the size of the Federal government, but simply tried to slow its growth. Reagan campaigned on shutting down the Federal Department of Education. To my knowledge, he didn’t even try, once he was in office, and I believe one reason might be that he realized how the opposition would characterize it and that the Main Stream Media would do nothing to correct the record. This organization, I dub “the Character Assassination Bureau“. (A brief homage to the 1969 “The Assassination Bureau”, starring Diana Rigg) , the Character Assassination Bureau is a combination of liberal Democrats and their willing accomplices in the MSM , parroting any lie necessary to keep themselves in power. (See! I finally got around to justifying the picture of Diana Rigg!)

The Federal Department of Education is a massive, expensive and largely redundant bureaucracy that has not “educated” so much as a single child. Education is best administrated in local districts, close to the teachers and the communities they serve. And every state has its own Education department to ensure that no district falls behind in its standards. So, we need a national education department why exactly?

Apart from a large bureaucracy siphoning off funds that might go to states or, God forbid, actual classrooms, you have the Federal government either dictating to or at least trying to advise school districts from which they are far removed, with the “one size fits all” approach that the federal government is famous for.

So, why didn’t Reagan cut the department as he promised? I believe that he knew how the Character Assassination Bureau would respond, so he spent his political capital elsewhere. How would the CAB have excoriated Reagan? They would have accused him of cutting “education”, taking money away from “our children” to give tax cuts to the rich. Even if he had offered to take the money from the department of education and actually use it for education, The Character Assassination Bureau would not even have noted the difference.

We know this is true, from the treatment given to Newt Gingrich. Newt once famously attempted to de-federalize school lunches. He even proposed giving more money to the states for school lunches in the form of grants to the states. Let that sink in a moment. More. Money.
So, what was Newt accused of by Democrats, aided and abetted by the MSM? Cutting “school lunches“. Taking money that was for “our children” and “giving tax cuts to the rich”.
Where else would giving more money to anyone be considered a “cut”? The MSM repeated the lie without any examination or analysis of the facts and merely repeated whatever press releases were given them by Big Democrats.

This happened again with Social Security. Newt proposed a program to allow those paying into Social Security to direct a very small percentage of those funds (which the government gets a nearly criminal 2% return on), into stocks, or bonds or other securities, and what was the response of the Character Assassination Bureau? “Newt wants to ‘Privatize’ Social Security. Put the whole thing at risk. Throw Grandma out on the street without a safety net.” How could anyone with a shred of honesty accuse Newt of wanting to completely privatize S.S., when all he wanted was to give S.S. participants a shot at a somewhat better return on a tiny fraction of their retirement funds? Whatever risk was there could easily be justified by the possibilities of greater returns, so who would oppose giving people the choice to leave all their money with the government or take their chances with a small portion of that money themselves? The people who believe that all your money belongs to them and whatever they let you keep is only by their good graces: Progressieves and their willing accomplices in the MSM. Those ludicrously misnamed The Party of “Choice”.

One last example the Character Assassination Bureau loved to drag out, was that “Republicans hate old people“. Republican attempts to slow the rate of growth in Medicare were always characterized in Washington Speak as “cutting Medicare”. This was consistent, I guess with their habit of bragging about cutting budgets when they were merely reducing the rate of growth! “Republicans want to cut Medicare!” was the mantra chanted by progressieves and their willing accomplices, to attempt to scare seniors into keeping Democrats in office.
Now, with the Obama/Pelosi/Reid Democrat Dominated Health Care “Reform” program, what gets cut to the tune of half a billion dollars? Medicare. (Pause to let the irony set in.)

Only the advent of the new media has been partially successful in combating the Character Assassination Bureau . Rush Limbaugh did yeoman’s work in exposing the dirty little lie that increases in spending were “cut” from their original requests, therefore politicians who were voting for ever increasing budgets were portrayed as “cutting the budget” in the MSM.

One thing, you can count on, is that anyone who even dares to stick his head into the political arena will draw the ire of the Character Assassination Bureau and its ex-officio members, the left wing trolls. Look at “Joe the Plumber”. Minding his own business until he embarrassed the not yet anointed President with a question about his economic policies. Then, the CAB kicked into high gear to destroy the man’s credibility and reputation. And consider the rabid fascination with a certain former governor of Alaska. Was there (is there?) no depth to the National Enquirer type sleaze that is regularly brought up about her?

Come back to me in, say, thirty years after the Federal government shrinks smaller than it was in 1980. Then, maybe we’ll can talk about “conservative rule”?

Cross posted at Say Anything

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