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August 12, 2010


Brendan regards as a slip the comment by the executive director of the Republican Governors Association that "we have a government that has grown too large, that taxes too much, that provides too many services," apparently because Brendan thinks it's impolitic to suggest the government provides too many services.

For a good liberal, there's no service government provides that's dispensable. For a great many in this country, however, there's plenty of downsizing that could take place in government without doing harm to the polity.

In my own county, we've got 23 pages of government services (though there is some duplication in the list), including such critical programs as the Asian American Health Initiative, the Business Incubator Network, the Gilchrist Diversity Center, Hearts N' [sic] Parks, the Latino Health Initiative, and the Radio, Television and Appliance Installation and Repair Registration.

In my neighborhood, the County is spending millions creating the Josiah Henson Historic Site. Josiah Henson was a slave whose autobiography inspired Uncle Tom's Cabin. Two walls of his cabin are part of the recreation room of a modern house, which has now been acquired by the County, along with an adjacent property, to create the Historic Site, which will be manned and operated by the County at a considerable expense each year.

No doubt there are dozens of programs that would be pleasant to fund if the government has plenty of resources. When the government is out of resources, however, re-examining the services that government provides is not only good government, it's good politics as well.

Brendan -

I guess such judgments are subjective, but Goldberg didn't seem to be "struggling" in his post. He seems amused more than anything else.

It appears that you believe simply the idea or cover or title of his book is an offensive smear? Interesting... would Jonathan Swift have passed the Nyhan smear threshold?


Goldberg's article seemed to be more of a pat on the back for himself.

I think I'll read the book anyway, but I hope he does a better job of explaining the historical context of fascism.

It is not, as Maher put it, "when corporations become the government."

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