In the nation’s capital, you have to follow the leader these days 

If you've ever seen the pitiful bedridden 700-pound man who can do nothing for himself on one of those cable TV medical documentaries about morbidly obese people, you've caught a glimpse of Leviathan's future.

If you doubt me, just ask Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal or Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. You could even ask CNN's Anderson Cooper.

Think about it: As the Leviathan in Washington expands its power into every nook and cranny of our daily lives, it continually consumes more taxes, issues more regulations, and grows more cumbersome.

By contrast, folks in a free society -- especially one as incredibly fast-paced, innovative, and creative as ours still is -- expect to do things their way without needing Leviathan's prior permission. That's freedom -- living your life according to your lights, not those of some busybody bureaucrat from Washington.

But your freedom is Leviathan's problem because you won't be feeding him if you are off doing your own thing. So it constantly takes your money, ties you up in rules and regulations, and warns of dire penalties for those who get out of line.

It's an endless cycle: Leviathan must get bigger and more draconian to insure steady feeding, even though doing so bloats it into an ever larger, slower, costlier problem for everybody concerned.

What's this got to do with Jindal, Brewer and Cooper? They each want to do something their way, but guess who said no. Jindal wanted to build temporary rock walls to keep the gooey mess erupting from the Gulf oil spill from spoiling Louisiana's beaches and environmentally fragile marshlands.

Jindal waited, impatiently, for weeks as Washington "studied" his proposal, then was summarily told no on Tuesday.

Brewer got notice the same day that the Justice Department is suing to stop Arizona from enforcing its recently passed immigration law. Leviathan can't or won't protect Arizonans from the thugs, drug runners, paid assassins, professional kidnappers, and a host of other unsavory characters associated with the Mexican drug cartels flooding into Arizona, so state officials understandably opted to do it themselves.

Leviathan cannot tolerate such independence because if one state does it, others may follow suit. Next thing you know, people will be saying "we don't need that big oaf in Washington when we can do a better job of protecting ourselves here at home."

Then there is Cooper. He evidently took it at face value a few weeks ago when Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen promised the media would have "uninhibited access anywhere we're doing operations except for two things, if it's a safety or security problem."

Things are different now because, Cooper reports, Washington has "a new rule ... backed by the force of law and the threat of fines and felony charges, a rule that will prevent reporters and photographers and anyone else from getting anywhere close to booms and oil-soaked wildlife and just about any place we need to be."

As long as the journos settled for photo ops of the concerned President Obama directing the government's cleanup response from the beaches, it was fine. But then they filed a few stories here and there about government incompetence and suddenly journalists became a safety and security problem.

Lesson: You can have big government or transparent government, but you can't have big, transparent government.

Those who resist get knocked down. But there is hope because Leviathan is like the poor guy on TV. At a certain point, he gets so big that movement becomes impossible and a bunch of firemen have to carry him to the ambulance waiting to take him to the fat farm, or to the grave yard.

Let's hope America's firemen arrive in November.

 

Mark Tapscott is editorial page editor of The Washington Examiner and proprietor of Tapscott's Copy Desk blog on www.washingtonexaminer.com washingtonexaminer.com.

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Mark Tapscott

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