“I know you’re in there…I can hear you caring”

January 17, 2009

In “House, M.D.,” the irascible drug-addict genius doctor played by Hugh Laurie says this to long-suffering compassionate oncologist Dr. Wilson while locked out of his office. It’s also on an awesome t-shirt given to me for Christmas by a friend who just may know me too well. This also ties in well to the awesome fellow WordPress blog Stuff Geeks Love that posits that geeks like me adore obscure t-shirts, especially those related to television shows.

While wearing that shirt with pride the other night, I got to thinking about President Bush’s “compassionate conservatism.” Back when Saturday Night Live was funny, Mike Myers used to do a skit called “Coffee Talk with Linda Richman.” Once, she came up with a topic–“The Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire. Discuss!”

Bush’s compassionate conservatism was neither compassionate nor conservative. “Compassionate” implies that conservatism without some mealy-mouthed modifier is not compassionate. That is ceding the moral high ground entirely too easily. What is NOT compassionate is creating an underclass of people dependent on the government, as liberalism has done. It’s not compassionate to try to push through an amnesty for illegal aliens; indeed, it’s cruel and unjust to those immigrants who follow the rules and obey the law. It’s not compassionate to combine with Senator Kennedy to create yet anther bloated public education establishment of dubious utility. It’s not compassionate to create a massive entitlement–the Medicare Drug coverage–out of thin air and lay more burdens on the taxpayer. It’s not compassionate to compel by force the Atlas of the American taxpayer to shoulder the burden of failed companies to the tune of trillions of hard-earned dollars.

Even when I was a liberal, President Clinton’s lip-biting statement of “I feel your pain” made me cringe. No, he didn’t. Furthermore, it’s not a President’s job to be “Pain-Feeler-in-Chief,” thank God. That way lies dependence, that way lies people lining up in front of the Superdome after Katrina without even a toothbrush or a container of water, expecting government manna to immediately fall from heaven. The government that feels your pain has enough power that it can cause it, as well.

It’s one of the many themes in Atlas Shrugged. The feckless socialist ninnies who took over the businesses talked about their high ideals and brother love as they drove their companies into the ground, ruining the lives of all employees…the most productive and creative employees first. The government kept sending ships full of aid to the “People’s States” of Europe as the lights dimmed and the people grew hungry in the US as a result of the relentless government attacks on productive people and business.

Consider the end of 2007. One of Mr. Obama’s famous whipping boys was the fact that Exxon Mobil made $11 billion in profits in one quarter. Exxon Mobil is a bad guy–un-compassionate, evil–in the minds of liberals. Profits are evil, unless they’re within the “reasonable” limits set by liberals.

But here’s the thing–we the taxpayers weren’t forced THIS year at gunpoint to give hundreds of billions of dollars to Exxon Mobil. They’re doing okay. Instead, two HIGHLY compassionate government-sponsored entities–Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac–enthusiastically gave mortgages for years to people who had no hope of paying for them. Of course they didn’t look too closely at the financials–that would have been discriminatory and un-compassionate. They ruined the lives of millions of otherwise decent people all in the name of “home ‘ownership’ for all.” How compassionate! How caring…right up until the point where the fairy dust collapsed and they brought down the entire economy. Earlier this year, we the people WERE forced at gunpoint to give hundreds of billions of dollars to these FAILURES, and to every other failure who came by with a hand out. It will continue this year, and when we the taxpayers are out of cash, why, first we’ll tax the “rich,” and then we’ll just print more. What could possibly go wrong?

Who is compassionate? The oil business that provides the fuel to run our economy, to power our cars, to do as we please? The company that hires people for good jobs, pays them good salaries and benefits, allowing them to lead the kind of lives we’d all like to have? The company that PAYS billions of taxes into government coffers instead of sucking it out? The company that doesn’t demand taxpayer money at gunpoint, but only offers a commodity for sale to free people? Or is it the government-sponsored company that lured people in with the promise of easy money and home ownership without effort, that offered the shining “American dream” of home ownership, only to collapse under its own contradictions, ruining millions and then demanding hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer largesse for their trouble?  

I’ll take the eeeeeeevil successful big business over the “compassionate” enterprise that’s demanding my money at gunpoint to fuel its failure while simulateously driving down the value of what little savings I’m allowed to achieve, any day of the week.

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