Conservative and Liberal Contradictions Revealed! (Veiled Subscription Pitch)


Columnist Ron Hart writes of the contradictions in conservative responses to recent Supreme Court rulings:

I do not see how conservatives can rightfully vote to end the provisions of the Voting Rights Act that are so intrusive for Southern states, yet vote to increase federal authority over marriage under DOMA. Justices who voted to dismantle the silly enforcement mechanism of the Voting Rights Act said in their briefs that times had changed since the 1960s. They have also changed for gay marriage. Thirty percent of Americans approved a decade ago; more than 50 percent do now.

Read the whole thing.

In USA Today, Jonah Goldberg asks why "civil libertarians" are up in arms over NSA data-tracking but not-so-bent-out-of-shape by Obamacare databasing:

What I have a hard time understanding, however, is how one can get worked up into a near panic about an overreaching national security apparatus while also celebrating other government expansions into our lives, chief among them the hydrahead leviathan of the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). The 2009 stimulus created a health database that will store all your health records. The Federal Data Services Hub will record everything bureaucrats deem useful, from your incarceration record and immigration status to whether or not you had an abortion or were treated for depression or erectile dysfunction….

Worrying about NSA abuse is cast as high-minded while worrying about ObamaCare or the IRS is seen as paranoid

Read the whole thing.

As it happens, the ACLU has been critical of the IRS's actions toward political groups and is outspoken in its opposition to the worker-verification database that conservatives present as central to any meaningful immigration reform. Goldberg is certainly right, though, that liberal outrage at massive governmental record-keeping is largely situational. Which is to say, liberal outrage is very similar to conservative outrage when it comes to matters of government.

If you prize a consistent emphasis on limited government and individual rights in your ideology, this seems like a good time to pitch a subscription to Reason. It costs just $14.97 a year and, as our very first issue in 1968 declared, we try to emphasize "coherence, not contradictions."