Proving that you NEVER know who might say something sensible, and that monkeys can be expected to take wing out rectal portals from time to time, Andrew Sullivan is attacking Bush on his moralizing. Of course it could also prove that Andrew cares more about gay marriage than he does about being a Bush Republican, but I am feeling generous today:
- There’s barely a speech by President Bush that doesn’t cite the glories of human freedom. It’s God’s gift to mankind, he believes. And in some ways this President has clearly expanded it: the people of Afghanistan and Iraq enjoy liberties unimaginable only a few years ago. But there’s a strange exception to this Bush doctrine. It ends when you reach America’s shores. Within the U.S., the Bush Administration has shown an unusually hostile attitude toward the exercise of personal freedom. When your individual choices conflict with what the Bush people think is good for you, they have been only too happy to intervene. The government, Bush clearly believes, has a right to be involved in many personal decisions you make – punishing some, encouraging others, nudging and prodding the public to live the good life as the President understands it. The nanny state, much loved by Democrats, is thriving under Republicans.
….In his speech, the President unveiled millions of dollars to randomly test high school kids for drug use. He is doubling the federal money currently spent to admonish teens to practice sexual abstinence. He is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on antidrug propaganda and sending federal agents to bust pot clubs for those using medical marijuana to ease the pain of crippling diseases. Republican Senators are even trying to withhold federal funding from states that allow medical-marijuana ads on public transport. These are not unrelated measures. The President is proud of his Big Government moralism. As he put it in his first State of the Union message, “Values are important, so we have tripled funding for character education to teach our children not only reading and writing, but right from wrong.” Sounds inoffensive enough. But who exactly determines what is right and what is wrong? Churches? Synagogues? Parents? Teachers? Nah. The Federal Government.
….Gay marriage? The Bush Administration is close to backing a federal constitutional amendment that would overrule any state that decided to give marriages – or even civil unions and domestic partnerships – to gays. States’ rights are all well and good – as long as the states don’t do things that some Republicans disapprove of.
….There has always been a tension in conservatism between those who favor more liberty and those who want more morality. But what’s indisputable is that Bush’s “compassionate conservatism” is a move toward the latter – the use of the government to impose and subsidize certain morals over others. He is fusing Big Government liberalism with religious-right moralism. It’s the nanny state with more cash. Your cash, that is. And their morals. [Time]
Andrew and I agree on two things: keep religious-right moralism out of government, especially the federal government, and sometimes you just have to blow shit up.
If he makes sense a few more times like this, I’ll have to stop calling him an asshole.