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A pair of news reports yesterday brilliantly demonstrates why a good
housecleaning is long overdue in Congress. It’s getting worse than
ridiculous in Congress; it’s getting downright weird.
In the first story, USA Today reported that Rep. Carolyn Maloney,
D-N.Y., has introduced legislation in the House that would — are you
ready for this? — make it legal for women to breast-feed their babies
on federal property. This immensely important bill was
“necessary,” we are told, because some idiot guard told a woman who was
breast-feeding a child at the National Museum of Natural History in
Washington, D.C., to leave one day because “no food or drink are allowed
on the premises.”
Groan. Well, let’s look at this.
Suppose this bill passes — and it looks like it will — what are we
to conclude? There is no other legislation currently being considered by
Congress that is more important? American women have to have the
permission of the federal government to breast-feed their kids — on
property they pay taxes to support? That this legislation is needed
because museum guards have an average IQ of 30? There are no good
In the second story Capitol Hill Blue reported that although the
department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has decided not to sue
gun makers, that doesn’t mean other federal agencies won’t jump on the
gun lawsuit bandwagon with a number of American cities and the NAACP.
Gee — that’s good news.
A few Republicans on the committee hearing testimony about this issue
were rightfully indignant and confused because they, like millions of
us, don’t understand what gives the federal government the right to sue
people who are allowed to sell their products legally. They also didn’t
understand why gun makers should be held responsible by the government
for the actions of a few kooks who acquire their guns in a manner not
feasibly controllable by the gun manufacturers.
But Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., whom we’ve come to expect to be the
leader of the absurd, had a different take on this.
“To be in a fury over the fact that HUD may be thinking of something
some of them don’t like is certainly a strange notion,” Waxman said.
“The Republican leadership is willing to jump to defend their friends
… even though some of their friends make products that kill. It’s
perfectly appropriate for HUD to explore any idea that improves the
safety of public housing residents and reduces the money the federal
government must spend on security.”
Aside from the stupidity of the “jump to defend their gun buddies”
statement, the rest of Waxman’s diatribe deserves some serious
scrutiny. First of all, based on his comments, Americans are to assume
that the federal government is ultimately responsible for our safety,
even though no one — not one agency, one police department, one
bureaucrat or one congressman — can guarantee the safety of
any American. This is especially true, considering the war zone
that is Washington, D.C.
Secondly, Waxman’s got it all wrong — we didn’t hire these
congressmen to spend our tax money suing lawful makers of legal
products, nor did we hire them to create a zillion ways to spend our tax
money so they don’t have to give it back to us. HUD is an agency that
perpetuates — not alleviates — poverty in this country because its
very existence represents the government’s guarantee that as long as a
core group of people have public assistance they don’t have to expend
any effort to eke out a living on their own.
Furthermore, this attitude that Americans cannot survive without guys
like Waxman and gals like Maloney in government is asinine. We didn’t
hire these people to baby-sit us, feed us, cloth us, protect us, and
“allow” us permission to breast-feed our own children in public.
Watching Congress these days is like watching Theater of the Absurd.
Every day is a step closer to the abyss for these people it seems.
Worse, no matter how logical or factual the argument against some of the
lunacy Congress is advocating, nobody out here in the Hinterland can
seem to penetrate the zone of brain death that surrounds Capitol Hill.
All we want to do is drag these people back from the brink of insanity.
It’s like they don’t live in the same world we live in. Maybe that’s
because Washington is a place unto itself. In many ways it
is the most self-perpetuated city on the face of the planet,
filled with some of the most self-righteous, self-indulgent
authoritarians known to man.
Well, gee whiz. The fact is American mothers don’t need the federal
government telling them when and where they can breast-feed their
children. We certainly don’t need a special law “allowing” it.
Americans also don’t need government agencies and Justice Department
lawyers engaging in agenda-driven lawsuits borne of politically correct
notions of Utopia, either. If there are to be lawsuits against the gun
industry — no matter how stupid the “logic” used to initiate the suits
— the federal government, “defender” and “holder” of the Second
Amendment, has no business joining the fray. That’s worse than
Again, the power to stop this madness rests with a Congress not
affiliated with the special interests. It rests with a Congress filled
with constitutional scholars, not slick lawyers. It rests with a
Congress filled with people who understand the very limited role the
federal government is supposed to play in our lives.
You know — just the sort of people Congress seems to be lacking
We didn’t hire these people, through our votes, to be our nannies, to
be our protectors, to be our lawyers and to let us know when to feed our
children. In fact, constitutionally speaking, we didn’t hire these
people to do much of anything for us because we’re supposed to be doing
for ourselves. That was, you may recall, the reason this country was
founded in the first place.
Freedom and liberty cannot survive this kind of socialist, ‘Third
Way’ micromanagement — it’s just as simple as that. My votes in 2000
will be for principled individuals who will know that I don’t expect
very much from them when I send them to Washington — because the
Constitution doesn’t expect them to do much either.
Special Note: “Welcome back from
Joe — I was worried about you!” — Jon Dougherty