Sunday, January 15, 2012

When It Comes To Our Needs, We're All Socialists

Just ask Megyn Kelly, a Fox News anchor with two children who, according to a recent Ross Douthat column in The New York Times, expressed admiration for European-style approaches to paid family leave (as opposed to the unpaid leave available under current Federal law).  Douthat's column is otherwise mainly a Christmas-time attempt to promote the supply-side approach to social problems (in this case, an expanded child tax credit).  But, as is often the case with conservative columnists, it's the unexpected points into which they stumble that are the most interesting.

He's not much better here, for that matter, in which he uses faint praise for the Occupy movement to bash opposition to the Keystone pipeline, and attempts to distinguish between the former's generalized championship of the common good and the latter as an attempt by rich environmentalists to destroy American jobs.

Douthat can obviously live with the left, so long as its all talk and no action, which seems like an extremely cowardly way to advocate his own point of view.  His arguments in favor of Keystone are not much better, ignoring as they do not only the pipeline's environmental hazards, but the potential damage they pose to the heart of agricultural America--as well as the fact that the pipeline would terminate not at American refineries, but also at American ports so that the oil can effectively flow from one foreign country to another. 

And, from a jobs standpoint, what would be better:  temporary construction jobs, or expansion of our current refinery capacity?  Who would really benefit from the pipeline?  Not America or Americans, but international oil companies, who help pay the bills for the conservative PR machine (of which Douthat, his Times column notwithstanding, is very much a part).

In the end, Douthat and Kelly are on the same page.  Government action is fantastic, as long as it works for our interests.  And not anyone else's.

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