Congressional sessions have become like NBA games: they pose, sleepwalk, and talk smack for most of it, then play like they mean it for the last five minutes.
So in a flurry of activity that included every manner of legislative maneuver except for actually reading any of the bills that they passed, our 111th Congress wrapped up its lame duck session by passing a new arms treaty, an extension – sort of - of the Bush tax cuts, unemployment benefit extension, emergency funding to keep the government going a couple more weeks, another war supplemental, DADT repeal, and a Food Safety Bill that marks the beginning of the war on gardening.
None of us knows for sure what the impact of any of these laws will be, since the media confined its coverage to the politics of it all – scoring wins and losses for the two parties and handicapping the 2012 Presidential field. It would have been nice to know that we unilaterally gave up missile defense – relying instead on perpetual foreign occupation - before the vote on START. Nice work, groupies.
President Obama was quite pleased with himself. Apparently, for reasons that defy human understanding, he believes that the American people punished him at the polls in November for not doing enough. And the pundits are hailing Harry Reid as the master tactician, as if we should be grateful to him for passing more unpopular bills that spend more money we don’t have by tossing more pork at the outgoing senators we fired in last year’s primaries. If the GOP leadership learned anything from the November elections, it was not evident to me in the last days of the session.
But the President and his crew saved their best stuff for Executive Orders, simply bypassing Congress altogether and putting the beat-down on liberty without the bother of securing a vote from those we pay to represent us in such matters.
His FDA decreed we could drink alcohol or caffeine, but not together. His EPA decided it owns CO2, the stuff we exhale. His Interior Secretary banned drilling in the Gulf. He created a new Public Health Council to prioritize a list of "lifestyle behavior modifications" for the country. His TSA took it upon itself to give us the porn-pat-stay ultimatum. His NLRB forced contractors to put up new pro-union posters in their lunchrooms. The exceptions he granted to his ObamaCare mandate now outnumber the list of new mandates contained in the bill. And for the coup-de-grace, his FCC ended King Barack’s best-year-ever by taking over the Internet.
Relentless – that’s what they are.
Relentless like Chuckie, that horror-movie doll who keeps coming after you even though he has been repeatedly and mortally wounded. Special elections, falling poll numbers, primary races, BP spill fiasco, Spanish vacations, adverse court rulings, foreign policy embarrassments, the November shellacking, Charlie Rangel’s ethics violations, Juan Williams firing, state laws, Keith Olbermann’s suspension, voter intimidation, Climategate, WkiLeaks, ACORN busted – nothing stops our little socialist Chuckies.
Did you have to take over the Internet, you relentless little Chuckies at FCC? The one thing the government couldn’t keep up with, the one thing you couldn’t control, the one thing you haven’t ruined, the one thing that is better now than it used to be, the one thing we still do better than the rest of the world. The one thing that sets us free…from you. Was it so awful for you that we were happy?
And did you have to cut off Texas’ energy, you joyless prigs at EPA? The one state that runs budget surpluses. The one state with billions still in their rainy day fund. The one state that never stopped creating jobs. The state that businesses are moving to, not from. The state with no income tax, a part-time legislature, Right To Work, concealed carry; the state that follows the Constitution. Was it just too humiliating to watch Nancy Pelosi’s and Barack Obama’s home states taxing and regulating themselves into liberal default while Ron Paul’s state thrives in liberty?
Speaking of Nancy’s home state, how fitting that her own congressional district, San Francisco, was the one to ban Happy Meals. I don’t know why they stopped there; just get it over with and ban Happy altogether. Better yet, make happiness a hate crime, since you all hate it so much when anyone is happy without your permission. McDonalds should have thrown a condom in with the Transformers - the little Chuckies would be force-feeding McRibs to third graders and Ronald would be the Grand Marshall in the next parade.
It is difficult for libertarians to imagine the lengths to which statists will go to force-fit society into the mold of their values and beliefs. We lack the coercion gene, the need to be obeyed, and the burning desire to lord over our fellow citizens. We are tolerant to a fault, trusting enlightened self-interest and personal responsibility in matters of human interaction. We respect each person as an equal sovereign; we find the herd model of today’s liberal shepherds to be dehumanizing.
I wish our professional nags would be as relentless about reading as they are about telling us what to do. They would learn that Karl Marx ultimately renounced his abolishment of private property rights. They would discover that FDR’s Treasury Secretary admitted his Keynesian New Deal economics failed. They would appreciate that the horrors of socialism described by Hayek and Rand were not theorized, but observed first-hand.
They might also notice that the socialist Europe they fantasize over is insolvent, that 30 blue states are bankrupt, that 100 cities are about to default on $2 trillion in municipal bonds, and that the re-financing of the 2009 mortgage bailouts is about to begin at 150 points higher interest, spurring another round of foreclosures and declining property values. They might be aware that China and Russia dropped the U.S. Dollar as bi-lateral trade currency – other nations are not waiting around for us to End The Fed, they are taking matters into their own hands.
But the relentless socialist Chuckies have no time for reading and contemplation; they are too busy lining pockets, banning happiness, taking choice away, legislating conformance, forcing compliance, pandering to voting blocks, manipulating markets, extending foreign occupations, bankrupting the nation, suing the states, stamping out liberty, and congratulating themselves for all the fine work they have done since taking the reigns of Congress in 2007.
But they know better. Perhaps the President’s most telling executive branch edict was the quiet decision by the Bureau of Labor Statistics recently to modify the unemployment rate calculation, extending the length of time that unemployed people are still considered in the labor force from two years to five. Don’t think they don’t know what lies in store for us. They know.
Their recession is relentless, their assault on our liberties is relentless, their foreign interventions are relentless, and their lust for power is relentless. This month a whole crop of newly elected representatives will get the chance to stop them; I sincerely hope they will succeed, not succumb.
"Moment Of Clarity" is a weekly commentary by Libertarian writer and speaker Tim Nerenz, Ph.D. Visit Tim’s website www.timnerenz.com to find your moment and order his new book, "Tooth Fairy Government."