In an outrageous calumny, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg has decided that the nearly one million Americans that attended the tax day tea party protests all across the country must not care about our military veterans. Considering a large number of these very same protesters were military vets, I'd bet that Steinberg's blinkered figuring would come as quite a surprise to them.
In his April 17 column Steinberg insists that tax protesters are in reality "speaking out against our military and our vets." Ridiculously, he also tries to make it seem like our founding fathers would be unhappy with the tea party movement because he thinks the founders were big government folks. The backflips, illogic, and the obviously illiterate historical analysis by which he arrives at these absurd notions is an act of liberal pretzel logic that is a wonder to behold.
In an effort to call the tax protesters stupid, Steinberg breaks every bone in his body to twist himself into the claim that the tea party goers are against our military:
Of course, they didn't think they were speaking out against our military and our vets -- they hadn't really thought it through at all. They were under the impression they were condemning federal taxes.
Gee, Neil. How'd ya get to that eyerolling conclusion?
But where do federal tax dollars go? By far the largest chunk -- more than a quarter -- supports our military and takes care of aging vets.
Steinberg is purposefully misleading, here. "More than a quarter" of our budget does not go to taking care of aging vets. According to numbers supplied by the U.S. government, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs took up just 9% of the 2008 budget. If you add that to the 16.6% that the Department of Defense got, then we see that "more than a quarter" in question. But Steinberg deliberately invoked "aging vets" as if to say that all tax protesters want to see our elderly military veterans harmed.
Of course, it simply does not follow that tax protesters want taxes lowered to hurt our veterans. In fact, no one at any tea party mentioned a thing about lowering military spending. Chances are most tea party goers want to see military spending raised and spending on about everything else cut! Steinberg's mistake here is to assume that falling taxes must mean less spending on the military. In other words, Steinberg is the one suggesting that the military be starved of funds because of falling tax revenue, not the protesters.
Steinberg sums up his nonsense saying that "it is a little surprising, however, to hear them denounce their own nation and seek to withdraw their support from its brave soldiers and honorable vets."
Yes, Neil Steinberg wants us to know he cares about people more than others. I wonder what his wife thinks of that sentiment? After all, Steinberg was arrested for domestic battery for striking his wife in October of 2005, so she might not think he's as caring as he wants us to think he is.
Steinberg didn't only twist himself into a pretzel to accuse tax protesters of hating the military.
I know reason is useless against righteous anger, but I can't help myself. How accurate is it to say that the founding fathers were for "limited government"?
But if you look at what they actually did -- create a federal government where none existed before -- then they were for an enormous expansion of central control.
Apparently Steinberg has no clue about what the words "limited government" means because even as he raises the question he never really defines the phrase. He leaps from asking what "limited government" is, to the fact that the founders wanted "no taxation without representation," then to that they created a new national government where there was none previously, and then says that we should all be quite fine with Obama's wild spending because he won the election. There. Problem solved, the founders love Barack's big government. You'd be excused if you wanted to charge Steinberg with a hit-and-run there!
Of course, any informed student of the founding can see a lot wrong with Steinberg's facile analysis. Steinberg's main mistake is to assume that just any stampede for big government meets with the founder's approval. Notice Steinberg skips over defining what "limited government" even means for to define the concept defeats his empty pontificating.
One other thing makes a farce of his ill-informed rumination. He starts out scolding the tea party goers as being against the military and then uses the founder's supposed love of big government to prove his point. Yet the founders themselves were "against" the military to a large extent. The founders refused to create a permanent standing army and forced the military to constantly return to Congress for a new budget instead of having its budget included as an automatic expense. In fact, many of the founders openly feared a strong military force.
So, Steinberg uses men that were openly hostile to a large, permanent military as an excuse to scold people for "standing against the military." The irony is rich.... and Steinberg's logic is poor by comparison as is his knowledge of American history.