We can all shake our heads and laugh at the likes of Sharron Angle, crusader against big government, who just happens to get her health insurance, and her husband's pension, through the government (he was a government employee). Is it hypocritical? Sure. But there's something a little more subtle going on. Take a look at this interesting conversationRolling Stone's Matt Taibbi had with some participants at a Tea Party rally:
During the 1990s, when we spent a lot of time debating campaign finance reform, conservatives argued that restrictions on how much someone could give to a candidate or spend on an election were a violation of free speech. The answer to the problem, they often said, was disclosure. Let a corporation spend as much as it wants on campaigns, as long as we know who's spending what; that will take care of the "appearance of corruption" problem. This argument was unpersuasive then, but even so, now that the Roberts Court has unleashed corporate money with the Citizens United decision, they've changed their tune. Now they're fervently opposed to disclosure of campaign spending. Why?
What do you do if you're an ostensibly "objective" publication, and you really don't like something a politician has done? Well, you can't come out and criticize him, because then you wouldn't be "objective" anymore. So you write a story like this one, from Politico:
Rep. Alan Grayson's 'Taliban' Ad Backfires
Rep. Alan Grayson's attempt to equate his Republican challenger with the Taliban is having a big impact — just not the one Grayson may have hoped.
House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio, left, holds up a copy of the GOP agenda, "A Pledge to America." (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)
If the American people were to vote the GOP into the majority, reads the document produced by congressional Republicans, it would shrink government down to size, bringing "the end of government that is too big, too intrusive, and too easy with the public's money." The claim seems perfectly sincere -- after all, Republicans have always expressed their desire for a smaller government, and if given the opportunity to run Congress, they would certainly put the brakes on out-of-control spending.