With his usual eloquence and wit, the venerable Mark Steyn on National Review Online makes a terrific point about the connection between centralized state spending & power and bizarre behavior by politicians:
The real bubble is a consequence of big government. The more the citizenry expect from the state, the more our political class will depend on ever more swollen Gulf Emirâ€“sized retinues of staffers hovering at the elbow to steer you from one corner of the fishbowl to another 24/7. â€œWhy are politicians so weird?â€ a reader asked me after the Sanford press conference. But the majority of people willing to live like this will, almost by definition, be deeply weird. So big government more or less guarantees rule by creeps and misfits. Itâ€™s just a question of how well they disguise it. Writing about Michael Jackson a few years ago, I suggested that todayâ€™s A-list celebs were the equivalent of Mad King Ludwig of Bavaria or the loopier Ottoman sultans, the ones it wasnâ€™t safe to leave alone with sharp implements. But, as Christopher Hitchens says, politics is showbusiness for ugly people. And a celebrified political culture will inevitably throw up its share of tatty karaoke versions of Britney and Jacko.
After this past week, it’s easy to be reminded that Americans have gotten a raw deal, one they unfortunately all too often continue to enable. I like Steyn’s solution: “Burst the Bubble” of big government.