Bush CPB appointee and NPR defender is symbol of GOP fight between Conservatives and Statists.
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As Ms. Harrison’s statement on NPR — indeed her very presence at CPB itself — makes clear, those who believe in the supremacy of the state are not just running the Statist Obama Administration or plotting Statist strategy with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. They are inside the gates of the GOP itself.
Ms. Harrison is doubtless a good person. This is not a personal criticism. It is, rather an opportunity to take note of her approach as a Republican to the central issue of the role of government. A role, which, in her case, she sees as Congress taking your tax dollars to give to her and her colleagues so they can run a government media company. (A snapshot of how this game works comes from South Carolina Senator Jim De Mint’s recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal: “According to CPB’s 2009 tax forms, President and CEO Patricia de Stacy Harrison received $298,884 in reportable compensation and another $70,630 in other compensation from the organization and related organizations that year.”)
Harrison, with her various compensations and vigorous defense of NPR — and for that matter the very existence of CPB, PBS, and NPR as tax-funded institutions — is the very embodiment of Lincoln’s succinct summation of the attitude of elites towards working Americans in the private sector: “You work and toil and earn bread, and I’ll eat it.” It is the Americanized version of what Lincoln scorned as those choosing the “divine right of kings” over “the common right of humanity.”
This battle against Statism — played out against the backdrop of a dramatic, nation-threatening $14 trillion debt — is at the very heart of the 2012 battle that is now being fought inside the GOP.
WHERE HAS THIS Conservative-Statist fight already shown itself with recent struggles inside the Republican Party? A party where everybody swears up and down so help them God, cross their hearts and hope to die — they believe in the idea of “limited government.” Really. Honest.
• Energy: Republican support for Statism was at work when President Bush 43 signed the “Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007,” which will ban 100 watt bulbs beginning in January of 2012 (among a whole list of government-mandated changes to the way you choose to light your own home).
• Budget: Massachusetts GOP Senator Scott Brown brushed aside Lincoln’s principle by voting to give your tax dollars to Planned Parenthood. In wonderfully Statist language Brown, replete with the neo-Statist qualifier (emphasis supplied), said this: “Given our severe budget problems, I don’t believe any area of the budget is completely immune from cuts. However, the proposal to eliminate all funding for family planning goes too far.” The King speaks.
• Jobs: Statists have multiplied their ranks in the federal government with a 7% increase in federal jobs in the Obama era (that’s 144,000 more jobs). And the Republican Statists? Yup. That would be an increase of 11.7% — a stunning 230,000 jobs since the beginning of the 2007 recession. In the Republican Bush era.
• Same-Sex Marriage: Statism versus Conservatism was on display when longtime conservative Theodore Olson, the Bush Solicitor General and a potential Attorney General in a GOP administration, suddenly insisted it’s not the American people (in this case the people of California) who will decide state law on same-sex marriage but rather un-elected liberal federal judges. In essence, Olson suddenly revealed his Statist streak when he took the modern version of the Statist belief Lincoln challenged when discussing the infamous Statist Supreme Court Dred Scott decision in his “House Divided” speech. Lincoln made clear that his party opposed the idea that “the government will not prohibit slavery within them [the U.S. territories of the day], nor allow the people to prohibit” slavery. The Statists of Lincoln’s day insisted on the age-old Statist remedy. That the government — “the divine right of kings” — would decide the issue of where slaves would and would not be allowed. Period.
• Health Care: Already Massachusetts’ ex-governor Mitt Romney is stumbling badly as he tries to explain his decidedly Statist mandate of health care in his term as governor. Romney is to this moment unable or unwilling to simply admit he was either wrong on principle or is in fact the believer in Statist doctrine his “Romneycare” solution indicates that he is.
• Environment: News accounts have former Utah Republican Governor Jon Huntsman gearing up to join the 2012 presidential race. Startlingly, Huntsman, freshly returned from a stint as the Statist Obama Administration’s Ambassador to China, is apparently set to make his presidential campaign as a full-fledged Statist. Among other things, he has been a staunch supporter of the Statist global warming approach. Huntsman’s Statist attractions were made plain in this story from Time magazine when he was quoted thusly:
Indeed, Huntsman was a vocal booster of the Western Climate Initiative, which promoted the possibility of a carbon cap-and-trade program. “Until we put a value on carbon, we are never going to be able to get serious about dealing with Climate Change long term,” Huntsman said back in 2008. “Now putting a value on carbon either suggests you get a carbon tax or you get a cap-and-trade system underway.”
This is, of course, decidedly Statist language. Who exactly is the “we” who will “put a value” or a “carbon tax”…yada yada yada? Why, a Statist government, of course. And Huntsman, amazingly enough, is apparently prepared to take his Statist views to GOP presidential primary voters — with former John McCain adviser John Weaver guiding the way. Weaver, of course, played a role over the years in reinforcing McCain’s own Statist inclinations (can you say “McCain-Feingold”?) as a sure-fire way not only to govern but to win the presidency. Weaver, in fact, is a wonderful example of the Statist mindset at work in the world of Republican political consultants. Here’s this story from Politico back in February of 2008 when McCain was fighting for the GOP nomination, with this key paragraph that describes the Weaver mindset:
In early 2002, Weaver left the GOP and registered as a Democrat in Manhattan. By May, he was consulting for the House Democrats’ campaign arm, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, plotting strategies to defeat Republicans. The DCCC’s then-executive director was Howard Wolfson, now chief spokesman for Hillary Rodham Clinton.
At some point Weaver decided to bring his Statist ideals back to the GOP. In a disagreement with a client GOP candidate in Massachusetts Weaver said “we’re in this business because we care about governing.” No doubt. There’s little question John Weaver is an honorable guy — who truly believes in governing with Statist principles.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online