The first rule of Government Club is …

posted at 12:41 pm on September 6, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

David Harsanyi and I are on the same wavelength in our columns today.  Both of us note that the argument presented at the beginning of the Democratic National Convention, that “government is the one thing we all belong to,” was no misstatement but a clear delineation of the philosophy undergirding the Democratic platform.  Harsanyi takes a more practical look at the Democrats’ odd take on the “ownership society” and their refusal to talk about its costs:

Government is the only thing we all belong to — but, don’t worry, you won’t have to pay for any of it. That about sums up the Democratic National Convention’s case to America, a place where whatever isn’t handed to you is actually just being taken away. …

Here you’re free to imply or even say that a Republican is unpatriotic (I’m old enough to remember when that sort of thing was frowned upon) for conducting business outside the country. Here politicians celebrate the president’s courageous ability to use taxpayer funds to bail out a company that can only avoid another bankruptcy (barely) on the strength of foreign sales. This is called “economic patriotism” or, more familiarly, protectionism or, maybe, Hooverism — the kind of ism Democrats once rejected. Forward!

At the DNC, the head of NARAL argues that being allowed to have free abortions on demand is the high point of the American dream. And a woman whose only claim to fame is demanding free condoms is celebrated as a hero. Julian Castro, who I am assured is the charismatic mayor of San Antonio and a serious person, mocks the “magical” free markets that gave Bill Clinton the soaring economy he bragged about Wednesday night and America 25 years of unmatched prosperity.

Harsanyi wishes at least one of the Democratic fantasies was based on reality:

You know the other accusations: Republicans want to privatize, deregulate, voucherize, embrace unfettered free markets and cut government down to the bone. And boy, do I wish any of that were actually true.

At least that way we could pay for Government Club.

In my column today for The Fiscal Times, I take a more philosophical look at the video’s declaration, and explain why it describes Democrats despite their denials of responsibility for the declaration itself:

Americans don’t look to government for unity, and certainly don’t see government as something to which we belong. However, that concept is consistent with the Obama administration’s policies and arguments for a second term, which is another reason to see this as a revelation rather than an aberration.

First, recall what President Obama said about the American economy at the beginning of the summer. “The private sector is doing fine,” he told the White House press corps just after a poor jobs report for May. “Where we’re seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government.”  Unemployment at that time had ticked up to 8.2 percent, and civilian participation rate in the workforce had just hit a 30-year low in April of 63.6 percent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, government employment in May was at the same level as in May 2006 (21.9 million), while private-sector employment was almost 3 million jobs lower than in May 2006 (111.1 million compared to 113.9 million).

Later this summer, Obama notoriously argued that government created the environment for success through infrastructure spending. “If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that,” Obama told a crowd in Oakland.  Obama later claimed he meant that businesses didn’t build the infrastructure that allowed them to be successful, and that government deserves the credit. But where did government get the capital to build the infrastructure in the first place? From the successful businesses that produced that capital, not from the Progressive Sunshine Forest.

The reference to churches in the video is another interesting point, although not one that Democrats want voters to notice. This administration imposed a mandate on employers to provide free birth control and sterilization to employees, even those employers whose religious values prohibit them from facilitating such access. Explicitly religious organizations such as schools, health care providers, and charities did not get an exemption, either. The message was very similar to what the video argued: you can join a church, but you belong to the government.

And that’s before I get to ObamaCare, with its federal subsidies for health insurance to households earning far above the median income level, or the continually expanding food-stamp program.  Be sure to read it all, but here’s my conclusion:

That’s why this convention video is no gaffe, no matter how much the Obama campaign and the DNC try to distance themselves from it. It represents their vision of America, which puts government first – ahead of property, church, liberty. George Bush once talked about an “ownership society” where Americans owned their own property and assets. Democrats want government to be the real ownership society, with themselves in charge of the serfs. Let’s hope that they’ve badly miscalculated the true spirit of the American electorate.

The first rule of Government Club is that no one talks about the costs of Government Club — not in terms of dollars, and especially not in terms of liberty.


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The Most MASTERFUL Piece of SABOTAGE Yet! Bill Clinton #Eastwooding the DNC with his own empty chair.

Mutnodjmet on September 6, 2012 at 12:45 PM

The first rule of Government Club is….

….you don’t talk about Government Club!

OT: When we gonna get a thread about Lizzie Warren’s speech-a-palooza last night? Especially that part about the system “being rigged”?

pilamaye on September 6, 2012 at 12:45 PM

You know the other accusations: Republicans want to privatize, deregulate, voucherize, embrace unfettered free markets and cut government down to the bone. And boy, do I wish any of that were actually true.

I wish it was true as well. But the reality is the Republican Party – about 90% of the politicians – have an actual voting record of increasing debt, increasing the size and scope of government.

Just look at Ryan, the VP nominee, he voted for the $400 billion TARP bailout and has consistently voted to increase the debt ceiling.

MoreLiberty on September 6, 2012 at 12:48 PM

I thought we were just putting it on Obama’s card and the rich were going to pay for it later?

Ellis on September 6, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Bill Clinton gave a wall to wall argument last night for big govt. I thought he had said that the era of big govt was over? And listen to this. When Bill Clinton raised his finger last night and said “Listen to me now” it so so eerily reminiscent of when Bill lied in 1999 when saying “and I want you to listen to me [with finger pointed at us just like in last night's speech], I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinsky…” Not credible. A liar!

anotherJoe on September 6, 2012 at 12:48 PM

They’ve got it completely backwards:

We don’t belong to the government.

The government belongs to us.

aunursa on September 6, 2012 at 12:49 PM

So…is Obama hallucinating Jarrett, or is Jarrett hallucinating Obama?

DrAllecon on September 6, 2012 at 12:50 PM

We’re all being forced to go on this progressive pilgrimage with The One, and will be required by law to worship at the altar of the Dim’s God, the Federal Government.

The party of infanticide, the ultimate voter suppression, needs to be defeated and put into a very small, powerless minority for decades to come.

Meople on September 6, 2012 at 12:53 PM

OT: Christien is the man

Allen West’s Three Times video

faraway on September 6, 2012 at 12:53 PM

pilamaye on September 6, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Rush is talking about liz now. Doing a good job dealing with her!
L

letget on September 6, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Good grief, there are some scary comments there on Ed’s column. The leftist Borg has already sent out its orders to counter the obvious implication of that film. They really do rely on subterfuge and obfuscation, don’t they? When the light shines on them they scatter, like cockroaches.

rockmom on September 6, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Obama later claimed he meant that businesses didn’t build the infrastructure that allowed them to be successful, and that government deserves the credit. But where did government get the capital to build the infrastructure in the first place? From the successful businesses that produced that capital, not from the Progressive Sunshine Forest.

Not only that–most public infrastructure is PAID FOR by governments, but actually designed and BUILT by private contractors: engineering, building materials, concrete, drainage, heavy equipment, construction, etc. These companies bid competitively for government business, but they DO pay their workers and they DO make profits, otherwise they wouldn’t last long. Even concerning roads and bridges, some dirty rotten nasty vampire blood-sucking corporations made money, but THEY BUILT THAT, NOT the government that paid them!

Steve Z on September 6, 2012 at 12:57 PM

pilamaye on September 6, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Rush is talking about liz now. Doing a good job dealing with her!
L

letget on September 6, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Actually watched her speech last night. Took a lot of willpower to resist the urge to change the channel, though. The woman is annoying!

pilamaye on September 6, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Funny thing about this Government “CLUB”

Those that want to join won’t pay and those that do pay, do not want to join.
Democrat economic philosophy at its very best.

Jabberwock on September 6, 2012 at 12:59 PM

OT: When we gonna get a thread about Lizzie Warren’s speech-a-palooza last night? Especially that part about the system “being rigged”?

pilamaye on September 6, 2012 at 12:45 PM

…she was complaining her WHOLE speech how terrible things were in America…and that is why we have to elect BahRock!…who does she think is running the show?…has she been enclosed in a tepee the last few years…and smoking sh!t in her peace pipe??

KOOLAID2 on September 6, 2012 at 1:00 PM

By their own words, they define themselves as the most dangerous enemy this country has ever known.

America is on the brink.

OhEssYouCowboys on September 6, 2012 at 1:00 PM

The first rule of Government Club is …

Simple: Never underestimate the dishonesty of a democrat.

BruthaMan on September 6, 2012 at 1:03 PM

Not only that–most public infrastructure is PAID FOR by governments

No it’s not. The taxpayer – to include businesses – pay for it.

MoreLiberty on September 6, 2012 at 1:04 PM

The delegates don’t want the real GOD back in the platform because they already have one (that they have created). It’s called GOVERNMENT.

With themselves as the high priests of this religion. Some are the exalted High Priests of the moment (like the Messiah Barack I), others are just disciples or temple workers. All share in the devout worship of their created God however.

All chants at the D&C tonight should start with:

“GOVERNMENT, GOVERNMENT, we all love our GOVERNMENT, GOVERNMENT!!

“GOVERNMENT, GOVERNMENT, we all love our GOVERNMENT, GOVERNMENT!!

“GOVERNMENT, GOVERNMENT, we all love our GOVERNMENT, GOVERNMENT!!

“GOVERNMENT, GOVERNMENT, we all love our GOVERNMENT, GOVERNMENT!!

PappyD61 on September 6, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Obama later claimed he meant that businesses didn’t build the infrastructure that allowed them to be successful, and that government deserves the credit. But where did government get the capital to build the infrastructure in the first place? From the successful businesses that produced that capital, not from the Progressive Sunshine Forest.

Not only that–most public infrastructure is PAID FOR by governments, but actually designed and BUILT by private contractors: engineering, building materials, concrete, drainage, heavy equipment, construction, etc. ..

Steve Z on September 6, 2012 at 12:57 PM

… and if those businesses are in a business park or other developed area, it is very likely that the infrastructure for that development was paid for by the developer who then passed on the cost of those roads, bridges, and utility installations to the builders who passed those costs on to the businesses buying the buildings in that development. In most developments (residential or business), developers put in the infrastructure, then the cities take over the maintenance. So even in this, but businessmen can say, “Yes, WE built that!”.

AZfederalist on September 6, 2012 at 1:12 PM

A watershed election, that’s for sure…

Either Romney/Ryan “fix it”, or we’ll have our newest Third Party since Lincoln in 1860…

Khun Joe on September 6, 2012 at 1:13 PM

What will the Democrats do when we run out of money for their grandiose spending?

Oh wait. We already did.

Coming tonight ……….. money trees for everyone.

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

fogw on September 6, 2012 at 1:14 PM

The delegates don’t want the real GOD back in the platform because they already have one (that they have created). It’s called GOVERNMENT.

With themselves as the high priests of this religion. Some are the exalted High Priests of the moment (like the Messiah Barack I), others are just disciples or temple workers. All share in the devout worship of their created God however.

All chants at the D&C tonight should start with:

“GOVERNMENT, GOVERNMENT, we all love our GOVERNMENT, GOVERNMENT!!

“GOVERNMENT, GOVERNMENT, we all love our GOVERNMENT, GOVERNMENT!!

“GOVERNMENT, GOVERNMENT, we all love our GOVERNMENT, GOVERNMENT!!

“GOVERNMENT, GOVERNMENT, we all love our GOVERNMENT, GOVERNMENT!!

PappyD61 on September 6, 2012 at 1:07 PM

And children in the womb are to be sacrificed on the altar of hedonism and narcissism, while their man-god looks down, approvingly, upon them.

These Commie filth are nothing but Old Testament pagans.

OhEssYouCowboys on September 6, 2012 at 1:14 PM

…everything is free!

KOOLAID2 on September 6, 2012 at 1:15 PM

The first rule of Government Club is …

Simple: Never underestimate the dishonesty of a democrat.

BruthaMan on September 6, 2012 at 1:03 PM

Actually, that H.L. Mencken quote fits here like a glove:

“No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public”.

pilamaye on September 6, 2012 at 1:16 PM

These Commie filth are nothing but Old Testament pagans.

OhEssYouCowboys on September 6, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Pretty much, just in modern times, the sacrifice of their firsborn to Molech is more clinical and done in [mostly] more sanitary conditions before the child has drawn first breath.

Saves from having to have the cymbals and shouts drown out the screams.

AZfederalist on September 6, 2012 at 1:18 PM

pilamaye on September 6, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Rush is talking about liz now. Doing a good job dealing with her!
L

letget on September 6, 2012 at 12:53 PM

What about Fluke’s speech?

JPeterman on September 6, 2012 at 1:20 PM

No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public”.

pilamaye on September 6, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Which scares the hell out of me. Three days of DNC lovefest with the media bowing and scraping has me as eyeorish as Allah.

How can Republicans ever win without promising free stuff to the masses?

bluealice on September 6, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Government is the one thing we all belong to, Karl Marx put that exact same ideological concept in slightly different words, “From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs”.

Make no mistake about it, the only way every we are all part of the government is if the government has complete and total ownership of everything and everyone. That my friends is called MARXISM.

To declare that we are all part of the government is to declare that we are all Marxists, because ONLY under a Marxist government is that statement true.

SWalker on September 6, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Not to worry, we can defeat them at the polls and America will be restored. The forces of darkness represented by the Democrat party will admit defeat and henceforth join with us in restoring the Founders’ vision of America.

\sarc

I believe regardless of who wins that the ultimate fate of our country is as two separate countries. That is the only way we and they will be able to pursue our national visions in peace. Otherwise the cold civil war between us may get hot.

Charlemagne on September 6, 2012 at 1:22 PM

this is where Democrats, who loathe the military, want to act like a Drill Instructor in the military. Think about R. Lee Ermey in FMJ when he said something to the effect of, “you can pray to Jesus, but your ass belongs to me!” as Joker and the boys were going through basic training. That’s how liberals view people—merely as recruits to be indoctrinated, as clay to be molded, and as lives to be controlled. Liberty and freedom be damned and erect the chain link fences…..

ted c on September 6, 2012 at 1:25 PM

I pledge allegiance to the Government
of the United States of America,
and to the Freak Show that was the DNC for which it stands:
one Nation under the Government that replaced GOD, indivisible,
With Liberty and Justice for Unions, Cronies, and Politicians and their families.

moc23 on September 6, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Democrat party members lie, they lie all the time.

jukin3 on September 6, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Of all the crap that the Dems are throwing out this year, the assertion that we all “belong” to government is the most obnoxious and is exactly backasswards.

natasha333 on September 6, 2012 at 1:39 PM

TAXPAYER FUNDED ELECTIONEERING: FAA supervisors told employees they could be fired if Republicans win. “The Hatch Act prohibits executive agency employees from engaging in political activity intended to affect the result of an election. After the May 23 meeting, whistleblowers came forward and alerted FAA officials in the Northwest Mountain Region Office.”
http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/150194/

add this rule to the list…

workingclass artist on September 6, 2012 at 1:49 PM

KOOLAID2
nope nothing is free…….;-)
Hey buddy…..;-)

angrymike on September 6, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Shockingly (for me), I have nothing to say, other than YES!!

Very well done.

Progressive Sunshine Forest… genius.

IndieDogg on September 6, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Big oil: bad. Big tobacco: bad. Big banks: bad. Big coal: bad. Big ole frackers: bad.

Bad. Bad. Bad. The answer? Big government: good. Big government is a club we all belong too. Good.

What kind of club has an IRS that can audit you, decide that you owe it money, and completely take it away and send you to jail? Big government: bad.

What kind of club has police who are supposed to protect you but spend a lot of time hiding along the road to give you tickets to help pay for their job? To prey and not protect. Big government: bad.

What kind of club issues hundreds of thousands of hollow point bullets to it Social Security Admin agents and say it’s just for target practice? Big government: bad.

What kind of club breaks down your door at 5AM for a drug bust that gets the wrong house, or looking for an estranged wife who defaulted on student loans? Big government: bad.

What kind of club takes your money and spends it on some stuff you don’t want, who wastes a great deal of, and who looks the other way when it comes to fraudulent misuse of it? Big government: bad.

What kind of club says it’s for all its members, except for some? You know, the kind you get private diverse papers on who is running against you? Or who you have petitions signed for your oppent with phoney names and then disqualify your opponent? Big government: bad.

Oh, I get it. The club is actually a club, you know, the thing they beat you with.

Amazing. Big government: bad.

billrowe on September 6, 2012 at 2:42 PM

yes….
Govt built that like I built my house.
A$$ wipes!

freedomfirst on September 6, 2012 at 2:56 PM