Nothing Exceeds Like Excess

Sometimes, folks ask why we at Wizbang put up with some of the more liberal members of our commenting crowd. My reasoning is entirely selfish: sometimes they catch me when I’m wrong, and I appreciate that. More often, though, they give me insights into the leftist mindset — and some fun articles in the process.

For example, Steve Crickmore, late of the unlamented “Wizbang Blue.” (Well, Steve’s stuff was all right; we won’t discuss the festering pustule that finally took that site down.) Yesterday, on my article on the sheer idiocy of current airport security, Steve had this to say:

Wizbang never seemed unduly worried about indivudual liberties when weighed against security concerns, including at the airport check-in, in the war on terror when Bush was president? The answer was 9/11 and you are too liberal. What has changed?

This is very reminiscent about the current federal deficit. Those of us who are very troubled about it hitting three trillion dollars are asked where we were when it broke one trillion under Bush. Or, when pushing smaller government, we are told to go to anarchy-wracked Somalia, allegedly the “libertarian dreamland” of no government.

Now, it’s a tenet of the left that the right is very rigid, very black and white, and incapable of seeing nuances. But here they are imposing that on us — saying that we have some kind of obligation to ignore the gray areas between black and white.

Screw that.

There is a huge difference between white and black, and sometimes the best color is not a pure white or pitch black. There are situations that call for a compromise between the extremes, when the best answer is a little from column A and a bit more from column B.

I wasn’t happy about the budget deficits under Bush, especially those that kicked in shortly after the Democrats took over Congress (remember, Congress authorizes all spending). But I believed that it was bad, but still manageable. When Obama TRIPLES that in two short years, I start freaking that it’s gotten out of control.

When airport security started ratcheting up, I wasn’t happy. I recall one particular incident at Baltimore Airport where our boarding was delayed because the TSA agents couldn’t be bothered to get to the gate on time. And then, I was “randomly” singled out (randomly my ass — I was last in line, so I was the low-hanging fruit) and chatted up about my choice in reading material based on the novel in my backpack while my shoes were examined in detail and I got patted down moderately thoroughly. Then, on another flight, I was forced to throw away a couple perfectly good sodas (airlines don’t offer caffeine-free diet sodas) and a very useful freezer pack because of the restrictions on such things.

I wasn’t happy, but I could live with it. But when every single passenger — including the old, the disabled, and children — have to submit to having their bodies patted down — including accepting having their genitalia fondled — for no real perceivable benefit, I draw the line. That’s just pointlessly invasive.

Note, too, that the gist of the argument from the left isn’t defending the practice. No, it’s all about attacking the other side. The details of the issue are irrelevant — just try to get one of them to explain why it’s so outrageously outrageous for the government to listen in on phone calls from known terrorists abroad to Americans, but fine for a government employee to feel up children in public. To them, the issue is never the issue; the chance to attack the right is what matters.

Let’s flip it around on them. A little while ago, I brought up the case of a Boston woman who gave birth at home — and then tossed the newborn out the window. What, really, is the difference between that and having an abortion?

Complicate the situation with this: what if the baby was, say, a month premature? What if she was eight months pregnant, gave birth at home, and then tossed the baby out the window? How is that different, really, from an abortion? She’s just doing it in a cheaper and more practical (for her) fashion. She’s exercising her choice as regards to reproductive freedom. How dare those who say that there should be no restrictions on a woman’s right to choose object just because the fetus in question managed to escape the womb of the woman who doesn’t want to be punished with the child?

That’s a fun little game, but it’s a pointless one. It’s why I reject blind obedience to any ideology — I judge each issue on its own merits. On airport security, I balance individual liberty and rights against security, and the efficacy of the security measures is also a factor. There’s a broad area of “acceptable compromises” in my mind — and the “enhanced patdowns” are off the axis.

On the national debt, I’d like to see it go away. But it ain’t. I think that a certain amount of it is a necessary evil. But there is a breaking point, where it will have catastrophic effect on our economy. I don’t know where that point is, but I’m damned certain that three trillion is a hell of a lot closer to it than one trillion.

On abortion… no, I ain’t going there. Been there too many times, and I don’t feel like going there right now.

To the liberals like Steve and Tina S.: I know it’s comforting to think of all conservatives as narrow-minded, absolutist, inflexible ideologues. But guess what? We ain’t. And we won’t fit into your narrow little stereotypes, just to help you keep your (unjustified) feelings of intellectual and moral superiority.

Deal with it. And don’t whine if, every now and then, we take your little Procrustean bed and stretch you on it.

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