Friday, April 30, 2010

Limited Government

One of the mantras of the GOP and their allies is “smaller and limited government,” and one of their rallying cries at the Tea Party mill-abouts has been to keep “big guvamint” out of their lives and thereby let them have more freedom. Of course, that’s assuming that anything that comes from government is automatically a reduction in your freedom, so all of those government services like Social Security and Medicare, national defense, police and fire protection, food safety, public utilities such as water and sewer service, safe highways and safe airways, mail delivery, public education, and so on are just crushing the life out of liberty and freedom.

Anyway, it’s interesting that if limited government is the goal, then why is it that in Oklahoma, one of the reddest states in the union, it’s the freedom-loving conservatives who are all too happy to impose big-government style intrusions into the lives of their citizens?

The Oklahoma Legislature voted Tuesday to override the governor’s vetoes of two abortion measures, one of which requires women to undergo an ultrasound and listen to a detailed description of the fetus before getting an abortion.

Though other states have passed similar measures requiring women to have ultrasounds, Oklahoma’s law goes further, mandating that a doctor or technician set up the monitor so the woman can see it and describe the heart, limbs and organs of the fetus. No exceptions are made for rape and incest victims.

A second measure passed into law on Tuesday prevents women who have had a disabled baby from suing a doctor for withholding information about birth defects while the child was in the womb.

Opponents argue that the law will protect doctors who purposely mislead a woman to keep her from choosing an abortion. But the bill’s sponsors maintain that it merely prevents lawsuits by people who wish, in hindsight, that the doctor had counseled them to abort a disabled child.

Gov. Brad Henry, a Democrat, vetoed both bills last week. The ultrasound law, he said, was flawed because it did not exempt rape and incest victims and would allow an unconstitutional intrusion into a woman’s privacy.

Florida follows along with their own version of government intrusion into the uterus:

An increasingly conservative chamber, the Senate approved a new mandate that women pay for an ultrasound scan before having a first-trimester abortion. The same bill (HB1143) also bans abortion coverage for individuals and companies that get insurance through President Barack Obama’s health reform plan.

The bill also requires a doctor or nurse to explain the images and stages of fetal development. Women also must be offered the chance to view the scan and sign a form if they refuse.

The abortion restrictions emerged on the Senate floor Wednesday as an amendment, without getting a vote or hearing in committee. Now, it moves to the conservative House on Friday, where the bill is likely to pass.

So it must be that limited government doesn’t apply to the womenfolk because, as everybody knows, they’re just flighty tizzy-headed emotional creatures who will dissolve into a puddle of tears and remorse if they see an ultrasound. Meanwhile, they have to prove that the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest, yet the law is apparently silent on what will serve as evidence. Will they have to bring along their rapist and have him fess up?

And, of course, limited government doesn’t apply to same-sex couples because you know what they’re doing when they’re alone in the privacy of their own home. It is the government’s bounden duty to ensure that no naughty bits that aren’t sanctioned by God to be together ever come in contact with each other.

Meanwhile, the sovereign state of Arizona has determined that limited government applies to anyone who looks like they might be in the country illegally. Of course, they don’t know how they’re going to determine whether or not someone like my friend Andy Duran, whose family has been living outside of Tucson since the time of the conquistadores, is an illegal immigrant as compared that Gordon guy from Toronto who lives down the street and overstayed his visa after he finished grad school at ASU. Who do you think the cops are going to ask to show their papers? Well, one solution suggested by Republican candidate Pat Bertroche is to implant immigrants with microchips. To be fair, he says he wasn’t advocating it, but hey, what’s the problem? Dogs don’t seem to mind.

Shikha Dalmia at Forbes makes a very good point:

If universal health coverage was part of the longstanding liberal agenda to implement a European-style welfare state in America, Arizona’s tough new anti-immigrant law represents the conservative agenda to install a European-style surveillance state. Indeed, the very same conservatives who could not find words strong enough to condemn the Europeanization of America under ObamaCare are now greeting the Arizona law–which will require residents to prove their lawful status to authorities on demand–with a cheerful smile and a shrug.

So I think I have this figured out: limited government only applies to rich straight white guys.

HT to Andrew Sullivan.