The heart of the matter. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., is one of the Senate's leading budget hawks. He's fought earmarks and "bridges to nowhere." So he's a good spokesman for small government principles. In a recent editorial in The Washington Times, he wrote, "When Mr. Obama was elected, he challenged both parties and the country to ask a pragmatic question: What works? The past few years have reminded the country that government doesn't do a very good job of managing a recovery. Our founders understood this lesson very well, which is why they drafted a Constitution to limit the size and scope of the federal government. They weren't anti-government. They simply knew from history and experience that government itself was limited in what it could effectively do in a free society." Conservatives too often overstate the case and allow ourselves to get painted as anti-government, when instead we should stand firm for limited government, small government. We believe, as did Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, "If men were angels, no government would be necessary." On the other hand, precisely because men are not angels, we rightly fear the "will to power" that big government feeds and enables. Coburn's editorial is the best short argument for a limited government that I've seen in a while, and I recommend it.
Interrupting the president. My friend Neil Munro was the guy who busted up President Obama's speech on immigration last week. Neil said he thought the president was finished speaking and he wanted to get in a question before Obama walked away, because he often does just walk away without taking any questions. Personally, I commend Neil for trying to do his job, even if he was a bit aggressive. Though I've known Neil long enough to know that he's the kind of guy who might interrupt the president. He's pretty unimpressed by the rich and powerful, qualities I admire in a reporter. But because I do admire these qualities and Neil, perhaps I'm not being as critical as I should. I'd be interested in hearing your opinion.
Disrespecting the White House. The primary criticism leveled against Neil Munro was that he didn't show proper respect for White House protocol and for the office of the president. And while the mainstream media blasted Neil's attempt to get some honest questions answered, they were virtually silent on another matter. A couple of weeks ago, a group of gay activists visited the White House for its first ever gay pride celebration. For many of us, this news alone is outrageous enough. But these activists took advantage of the occasion to stand under the portrait of Ronald Reagan and make obscene gestures. In one example, two lesbians kissed passionately under the photo. You can see for yourself, but be forewarned: The photos and some of the language in the article will likely be offensive to those who value civilized discourse.
It all comes down to this. The Supreme Court will reveal its rulings this week on Arizona's immigration case and President Obama's healthcare reform plan. The truth is that the court made both decisions weeks ago, and what's been happening since is the writing, refining, and printing of the decisions. So why is it that national security secrets leak out of the White House but Supreme Court decisions almost never leak? An interesting article at the media watchdog site Newser tells part of that tale. For one thing, consequences are severe. Supreme Court clerks would lose the opportunity of a lifetime and have a permanent taint on their legal careers. As for everyone else, according to Newser, ABC got someone in the print shop to show them a copy of a decision a day early. That was 30 years ago. The leaker was quickly discovered and re-assigned. In any case, in a matter of hours-days at the most-we'll all know what's on the court's mind, and whatever its decisions are, history will be made.