Oh really!?

According to Sen. Christopher Bond, R-Mo:

I'm not here to say that the government is always right, but when the government tells you to do something, I'm sure you would all agree that I think you all recognize that is something you need to do.

HELL NO.

(ht: Jim Henley)

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What a fucking asshole

What a fucking asshole

Context? Or are you just

Context? Or are you just responding to the phrase?

When Obamaessiah is elected,you will do what the government says and you will like it.

Who needs context?

In what context does the phrase make sense to a free, civilized society?

David Masten

Military coup

Instapundit mentioned something that makes the United States government seem ripe for a military coup:

THIS IS BAD FOR THE COUNTRY: Poll: Military approval beats Congress's 71-12. "Gallup's annual update on confidence in institutions finds just 12% of Americans expressing confidence in Congress, the lowest of the 16 institutions tested this year, and the worst rating Gallup has measured for any institution in the 35-year history of this question." (Via JWF, who notes that the Pelosi era hasn't done much for Congress's approval ratings.)

The 12 percent confidence in the Congress seems so unlikely that it shakes my confidence in the Gallup poll itself - until, that is, I see statements like the Senator's - and actions like Congress's as described in the linked article - which help to explain the poll result and to make it credible. Can anyone see that gap between Congress and the military without the possibility of a military coup crossing their minds, however fleetingly? (Not as a hope of course - as a fear.)

At least the Senator seems to realize he's saying something deeply unpopular. He wraps it up four times:

(1) I'm sure (2) you would all agree that (3) I think (4) you all recognize

It's probably not even what he means. I doubt he means that people agree that he thinks something. The quadruple wrapping grammar is in itself almost more remarkable than the statement itself. Granted, this may actually be two distinct double wrappings, the second half being merely a restatement of the first. But still.

Even this bit is unnecessarily verbose, the better to dilute it:

that is something you need to do

He means, "you need to do that".

Anyway, the Democrats aren't going to save us. It's already a Democratic congress. I wish people would stop saying stuff like,

Critics of the agreement, like the ACLU, have accused the Democrats of capitulating over the dispute.

(that's from the linked article) People need to stop thinking of the Democrats as weak-willed good guys capitulating to the bad guys. It's not as though they're hostages forced to participate in a crime. They're taking part. Doubtless the Republican rank and file once thought the same of Republicans: that their evil deeds which urinated on the conservative ideals of the Republican party were capitulation to the Democrats. They have learned better - and grown disgusted - through the long, deeply disappointing years of Republican dominance of Congress and the White House.

As a practical matter, he's

As a practical matter, he's probably right though. The government does have the bigger guns.

Here's some requested context; the paragraph just before Bond's quote:

The Republican lawmakers said lawsuits could still be pursued against the government by those who believe the program itself is illegal. But they said even if those suits were ultimately successful, they would have no impact on the culpability of the phone companies.

The article is referring to the 'illegal' wiretaping that went on.

Matt, As a practical matter

Matt,

As a practical matter not every telco followed the government's orders.

David Masten

future government contracts

That link highlights something that might trigger a rethink among liberals who tend to favor heavy government involvement in the economy: a government with great economic clout has avenues of persuasion which bypass the usual limitations on its power. Government has no right to order company X to do Y? Fine, government will not order company X to do Y, government will merely mention that if company X does not do Y, then company X will no longer be able to suckle at the government tit.

Qwest was allegedly the lone holdout, despite threats from the NSA that their refusal to cooperate may jeopardize future government contracts

Illicit gains?

I'd like to think that those future NSA contracts are now illicit gains and could be included in the damages for the telcos who violated the law. But I have no idea if that's how the law works.

David Masten