What a difference a disaster makes.
Only a scant few days ago, the righteous red citizenry of Georgia were holding teaparties and disrupting townhall meetings with their anti-federal government placards and slogans.
Having proudly cast their state’s electoral votes against Barack Obama in antideluvian 2009, these self-professed patriots continued to trumpet their righteous umbrage against any and all things socialistic, inveighing against public health care, stimulus packages and federal bailouts in the name of glorious capitalistic principles, with their weasel-eyed governor Sonny Perdue leading the charge. But let it rain a little bit — OK, a lot— and see what happens.
Whos shrugging now, Galts?
Who’s shrugging now, Galts?
Floodwaters rise and suddenly the good folk of the Peachtree State go all commie on us.
Even the reptilian brain of Sonny Perdue seems to have figured out that market-based solutions aren’t going to rescue Atlanta from ten feet of floodwater. As houses, cars, and people are washed away, the righteous libertarian raises his bleating little voice in a plea towards Washington: President Obama, save us.
The ironies are obvious. Perdue, one of the lead cheerleaders for state “sovereignty” and a tireless ranter against a supposedly overweening, over-interfering Federal government, is now approaching the same administration he has spent months deriding to ask for a handout.
Perdue, and presumably his million-odd right-wing dingbat supporters, want Federal disaster assistance. Perdue wants emergency housing, FEMA intervention, cleanup dollars, men and materiel from the selfsame administration he has loudly and publicly loathed. His constituents want their homes rebuilt, their roads reopened, their ruined crops compensated for, and their lives restored to a semblance of normalcy by agents of the state, and at the expense of the American taxpayer.
It is of course necessary to acknowledge the fact that not all residents of Georgia are Republican anti-government knuckleheads. Some of them actually deserve a helping hand, and if only for their sake, the government should of course intervene. But that doesn’t mean that there still isn’t the strong temptation to tell Georgia to go soak its head, if it hasn’t already.
If this were four or so years ago, it would have happened by default. Michael Chertoff, “Heckuva Job” Brownie and their miserable, incompetent serfs would have been too busy dining with lobbyists in swanky D.C. restaurants to save Georgia from drowning. But things are different now: Adults are in charge; emergencies are addressed; and Obama has already dispatched the money and manpower to mitigate the human disaster unfolding around Atlanta. But that’s no reason Georgia Republicans shouldn’t stand on principle.
For their brave talk of succession and their proud pronouncements of their righteous anti-federal stances to mean anything, it is the responsibility of the teabag brigade to refuse any and all offers of federal help as a matter of personal integrity. No search and rescue operations. No emergency medical relief. No dollars for cleanup, rebuilding, or recovery; no payouts from federal flood insurance plans. Nada, nothing. The Perdue Crew are duty-bound to find free enterprise-based solutions to their current problems, or to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.
Rather than whimpering to Obama, Sonny Perdue should lead by example. He can begin by ducking his head under the muddy deluge and holding his breath until the waters recede, even if it may be a long time. Meanwhile, maybe proud Georgia businesses such as Coca-Cola, AFLAC and Arby’s can step up to the plate and clean up the mud and brush, while federal bailout recipients SunTrust pick up the tab for rebuilding swamped homes and businesses. Wouldn’t that do Ayn Rand proud, though? An entire state just saying no to the effeminate, socialistic weakness implicit in every federal dollar spent to save it, and instead proudly relying upon itself to regain its footing.
Funny – doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. When push comes to shove, the mushy Georgia peaches are right down there in the mud with the rest of us, scrambling for whatever benefits they can get.