Yesterday, Wednesday 6 April 2011, former Governor Mike Huckabee appeared on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” touting his new book, “A Simple Government.” And was immediately being challenged on all fronts by Mr. Stewart. Seems that Jon Stewart has no problem recognizing history that hasn’t been politically revisionist, much like Governor Huckabee’s “source” engaged in revisionist views of history. I am quite sure that at one time state constitutions did support government backed religion. But if Governor Huckabee were to actually use as his source, Mr. James Madison himself; James Madison would not have supported any such government support of religion, thus the precise wording of the first amendment. And he voiced quite similar reasons in any of his letters about the separation of church and state that was the precise basis for why “Congress shall make no law establishing religion…” Mr. Madison limited government, Governor Huckabee proceeds to expand it. And the former Governor who is now a Fox News commentator, can’t recognize the irony of his own cause.
Following up on this particular theme; Clyde Cordero writes a lengthy letter to the editor that is published in the Spokesman-Review for Thursday, 7 April 2011. He provides a detailed account of what government has done in providing roads—that businesses locate next to. Satellite weather data, water from dams, the ability to move crops on canals and other infrastructure built and maintained by the government—that benefits farmers. Public lands, yes public land—that benefits ranchers, oil and timber companies. The FDIC—which is a boon to both banks and their customers. Government investments in computer and internet technology—that made companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Apple a success. And yes, the government facilitates assisting companies that off-shore American jobs to countries like China. No, businesses didn’t create a “free market society” all by themselves, they did have the help of government. Mr. Cordero can be mentioned here, because he is only completely correct.
And then Dana Millbank is featured in the same paper on the same day. He of the Washington Post writers group. He holds up Paul Ryan who pushes the envelop on extremism, so much so, that he doesn’t recognize the irony of his own position. To “privatize” Medicare in order to reduce the “expansionist government,” would require an expansionist government to implement it. All those tax cuts he wants to push, also requires an expansionist government. Just like it takes an expansionist government to support tax credits or vouchers for religious schools. The sad thing about this, guys like Ryan enter government to support a “cause.” Well, then they expand government when they do so.
And finally the Spokesman-Review editorial that ends up engaging in a scathing rebuttal of the Idaho State Legislature and their just passed anti-abortion law that cuts off women having an opportunity to obtain one after 20 weeks. Quoted: “Idaho is among several states where the fetal-pain strategy is being carried out. The Nebraska Legislature passed such a law last year and the governor signed it. Kansas passed one recently, and it awaits the governor’s signature. The Idaho attorney general’s office issued an opinion that the Idaho version would not pass constitutional muster, but the lawmakers want to spend taxpayer dollars (emp. mine) to find out for themselves.” Oh yeah, they want to cut out money for higher education, they want to cut from the public payroll over 700 teachers, they want to eliminate extended unemployment insurance because they see it as a form of welfare. But they’ll establish religion through their objections to abortion and expand the power of the state at the same time.
I am quite sure that James Madison would be break dancing in his grave.
Seems to me that there is a difference between the government that the people believe should answer their particular problems and questions, in fact, one envisioned by Mr. Madison when he drafted the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In its last clause, people can bring their grievances before government. As proven by Mr. Cardero’s letter, we have a government today, that most businesses benefit greatly from. Then you have that argument from religious activists, that only government can spread the word of God. Meaning, that the churches lack the necessary capabilities to do so.
Which brings me to the separation of church and state argument that appears in 1 Samuel. Seems the people wanted a king (secular government or one not governed by a religious authority, of the laity). Samuel became very angry and we’ll assume that from his conversation with God, that Samuel rightly feared that the people would simply set aside the roles of the priests (Samuel being a priest) in favor of a king. But God informs Samuel that his role isn’t set aside, but that God’s role as the ultimate ruler of the people of Israel, is. But, if the people want a king so much, then they must be prepared to pay for the pleasure of having a secular government by paying for one: through taxes. Which passage, I am quite certain that Grover Norquist wouldn’t care to read at length.
You want a government to do all sorts of things for you, such as Cordero described, as the Spokesman-Review editorial described, as even Dana Millbank opined in his own editorial; you have to expect to pay for what government provides. According to the aforementioned Ryan and Norquist, seems they love the idea of having a free lunch. Government that ought to be there to provide this and provide that, but for free. Last I checked, maintaining dams, roads, and other infrastructure; maintaining public lands, maintaining a National Weather Service and the satellites they use to provide weather data; well the cost of material, the building of equipment, the maintenance of the equipment, the manpower to do the various jobs… None of that is “free.” Even if it were officially “donated;” it would still represent a “tax,” of a sort that would hark back to what Samuel would ultimately describe to the Israelites. Of supplying various provisions, money, etc. to the secular ruler and who ever he would command as an Army or even those whom he kept in his household. Therefore, to even have a government around, isn’t going to be for free.
Saw this on Face Book, that CBS Evening News discussed how there was a study of people who were “wired differently” whether “liberal” to those deemed “conservative.” Did the researchers take political delusions into consideration while carrying out such a study? Or just pure radicalism?