Who gets the prestigious priggish Nanny of the Month award from Reason TV for February? Once again, the competition is stiff among those who want to probe into personal choices, but the winner is no contest:
Reid is the outright winner of the three, but perhaps not for the reasons stated by Reason in the video. As a US Senator, Reid doesn’t have the jurisdiction to demand that the state of Nevada outlaw prostitution. Certainly he can speak as a private citizen, but he wasn’t invited to address the state legislature as Harry Reid, Nevada Dude At Large. Not only are his arguments weak — which businesses complained about prostitution in remote Nevada counties during the boom years? — but Reid didn’t appear to hold these convictions during his run for the Senate last year, when he had a clear forum to advance such an agenda.
In contrast, thanks to Major League Baseball’s federal anti-trust waiver, Congress does have some jurisdiction in the affairs of baseball. One might presume with an economy that still won’t generate new jobs and a war to manage that Congress had better things to do with its time than to demand that MLB bar adults from making their own decisions about smokeless tobacco. It’s about as useful as the annual forays into the BCS format undertaken by our elected representatives in an attempt to save Americans from the horrors of a debate over which college football team should be considered the champion every year.
On La Lohan, though, I have to disagree with the inclusion of the lawsuit as a nanny-state issue. The government didn’t dictate terms in this instance; the two parties went to court after Lindsay Lohan took offense at the alleged potshot against her in the commercial. While public figures have a reduced defense against defamation (and rightly so), that doesn’t make them entirely defenseless. This isn’t a nanny-state issue; it’s a legal issue between two private-sector entities that was addressed in court and eventually settled between the parties.
Regarding Reid, though, perhaps we can ask him to concentrate on prostitution in the Senate first before worrying about it in Nevada. When was the last time the Senate Ethics Committee actually did its job in Reid’s tenure as Majority Leader? And has anyone looked into the activities of its chair?