The Spectacle Blog

What Happened to Limited Government?

By on 1.8.10 | 4:46AM

Matthew Sanderson of Playoff PAC complains about George Will and yours truly dismissing his organization's demand that Uncle Sam fix college football. You know, after balancing the budget, restarting the economy, reforming health care, eliminating Social Security's deficit, turning public schools into genuine educational institutions, eliminating crime, and safeguarding America from terrorists, Congress should decide on the right championship system for college ball.

Sanderson contends that there's nothing unconservative in turning Uncle Sam into the Sportsman-in-Chief:

In the end, this debate over college football reform offers no evidence of "government takeover" and casts no doubt on Congressman Barton's adherence to conservative principles. Instead, it exposes the need for fewer knee-jerk reactions and more thoughtful analysis to prevent conservatism from becoming simply a "philosophy of no" in a time of truly heinous government intrusions.

So the answer so "truly heinous government intrusions" apparently is another heinous government intrusion.  Makes sense in a Washington-sort-of-way.

The issue is not really what is "conservative."  After all, President George W. Bush claimed to be a conservative while busting the budget, expanding the welfare state, and centralizing power in Washington.  Taking over college football would have been just a small extension of federal authority for his administration.

The essential question is:  do we believe in limited government and individual rights?  If we believe there are some things in life that are not matters of public policy, then sports should be one of them.  And if we believe there are individual liberties protected from government interference, then organizing sports should be one.  I don't have the slightest idea whether the BCS makes sense.  But I do know that "fixing" the BCS is not the federal government's responsibility.

It is time for us to respond with a very loud and insistent "no" to new proposals for additional "heinous government intrusions," no matter how well-intentioned they might seem to be.

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