In the course of slamming Jesse Walker as an ignorant wingnut (seriously, Jesse frickin Walker…) for, while making a good point about politically motivated overreaction to the atrocity of the moment, accidentally omitting the Oklahoma City bombing, Tim F (one of John Cole’s co-bloggers on Balloon Juice) spews the following curiosity:
A country cannot ignore terrorist groups that are willing and able to level buildings full of innocent people. The libertarian ideal of laissez faire simply fails in this case. By the following election, if not sooner, any government that fails to respond to an assault like that will be replaced by representatives who will.
Let’s count the problems with this, shall we?
1) Unquestioning assumption that the country is synonymous with the government, despite there being no true definition of what “the people” think that would match the current government with the ideal of “representative democracy”. If this “people w/ political power? General public? Same thing!” portrayal is the truth, then explain this, for example.
2) Neglect of the unfortunate fact that the description “willing and able to level buildings full of innocent people” also applies to military forces. This is nothing new, we just know about it faster today.
3) “Lasseiz-faire” has approximately 0% to do with response to violence. Even anarchists don’t shrug off murder, we just think the State is a terrible institution to depend on for defending against it.
4) Equating merely having a more narrow view of terrorism to completely ignoring it, and effectively co-signing the mob-rule “just DO SOMETHING!! ANYTHING!!” panic simply because it wins elections. Nice job Tim, you’ve just embraced a view that has Karl Rove as its most prominent proponent.
This is what “mainstream” politics boils down to, folks: “endless power is good and unquestionable — as long as my side has it”. Nothing more, nothing less.