Dahlia Lithwick — official Unpersons hero — has a new piece up today about Republicans’ lack of faith in government… except in the case of the death penalty. While all other functions of government in Republicans’ eyes are bureaucratic nightmares of erroneous decision-making and inefficient backlogs, the death penalty and the criminal justice system are never wrong:
These same Republicans who are dubious of government’s ability to do anything right have an apparently bottomless faith in the capital-justice system. Everything is broken in America, they claim—except the machinery of death.
I would point out, though, that this is not restricted to the death penalty.
The Republican party line wants the government to butt out of doctors’ decisions… except when it comes to abortion, death-with-dignity, or medical marijuana.
The Republican party can reject the government’s fact-finding… except when the military says it has evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
The Republican party dislikes government intrusion in private life, unless it concerns listening in on phone calls, censoring the internet, or policing private, consensual sex between adults.
My point is that the Republican hypocrisy about “big government” is nothing new, nor is it limited to criminal law and capital punishment.