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George Will Tag

In his weekly column at the Washington Post, George Will points out something that a number of progressives are beginning to notice. Big government doesn't look out for the little guy:
Government for the strongest Intellectually undemanding progressives, excited by the likes of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) — advocate of the downtrodden and the Export-Import Bank — have at last noticed something obvious: Big government, which has become gargantuan in response to progressives’ promptings, serves the strong. It is responsive to factions sufficiently sophisticated and moneyed to understand and manipulate its complexity. Hence Democrats, the principal creators of this complexity, receive more than 70 percent of lawyers’ political contributions. Yet progressives, refusing to see this defect — big government captured by big interests — as systemic, want to make government an ever more muscular engine of regulation and redistribution. Were progressives serious about what used to preoccupy America’s left — entrenched elites, crony capitalism and other impediments to upward mobility — they would study “The New Class Conflict,” by Joel Kotkin, a lifelong Democrat. The American majority that believes life will be worse for the next few decades — more than double the number who believe things will be better — senses that 95 percent of income gains from 2009-2012 went to the wealthiest 1 percent.
This is a lesson America has to re-learn every generation or so. Remember the famous Obama supporter Peggy Joseph who happily declared that an Obama presidency meant that she would no longer have to pay for her gas or mortgage? She has a somewhat different view now.

In his new column at the Washington Post, George Will examines the recent rulings of the Supreme Court on Hobby Lobby and unions. As usual, Will has the facts on his side:
The Supreme Court reins in government bullies

Two 5 to 4 decisions this week, on the final decision day of the Supreme Court’s term, dealt with issues that illustrate the legal consequences of political tactics by today’s progressives. One case demonstrated how progressivism’s achievement, the regulatory state, manufactures social strife and can do so in ways politically useful to progressives. The other case arose from government coercion used to conscript unwilling citizens into funding the progressives’ party.

Under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), any government action that substantially burdens religious practices will be subject to strict judicial scrutiny to determine if it, rather than some less intrusive measure, is necessary to achieve a compelling government interest. The Affordable Care Act, as supplemented by regulations, requires for-profit employers to provide health-care coverage that includes all 20 Food and Drug Administration-approved birth control methods.

These include four that prevent a fertilized egg from being implanted in the uterus. Some persons consider this tantamount to abortion and oppose these abortifacients for religious reasons. Why did Congress, having enacted RFRA, write this clearly incompatible birth control mandate? Congress didn’t.

Read the entire column here.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration is scrambling to find a way to work around the Hobby Lobby ruling.

Legal Insurrection readers are likely familiar with the harassment of Scott Walker supporters in Wisconsin. George Will addressed the issue with some follow up in his column this week...
Wis. prosecutors abuse the law for partisan ends U.S. District Judge Rudolph T. Randa, revolted by the police-state arrogance of some elected prosecutors, has stopped a partisan abuse of law enforcement that was masquerading as political hygiene. Last Tuesday, Randa halted the corruption being committed by people pretending to administer campaign regulations — regulations ostensibly enacted to prevent corruption or the appearance thereof. The prosecutors’ cynical manipulation of Wisconsin’s campaign laws is more than the mere appearance of corruption. Eric O’Keefe’s refusal to be intimidated by lawless law enforcement officials produced Randa’s remarkably emphatic ruling against an especially egregious example of Democrats using government power to suppress conservatives’ political speech... As a director of Wisconsin Club for Growth, which advocates limited government, O’Keefe had participated in his state’s 2012 debate surrounding attempts by Democrats and state and national government-employee unions to recall Gov. Scott Walker (R) and some state senators. The recalls were intended as punishment for legislation limiting the unions’ collective bargaining rights. Walker prevailed. The Democratic prosecutors, however, seeking to cripple his 2014 reelection campaign and to damage him as a potential 2016 presidential aspirant, have resorted to a sinister Wisconsin process called a “John Doe investigation.” It has focused on the activities of O’Keefe and 28 other conservative individuals or organizations.
Between this and the IRS harassment of Tea Party groups, progressives have shown the depths they will sink to when they can't win based on their ideas. Tactics they would decry as abuses of power if the situation was reversed come quite naturally to them when used against their opponents. WAJ adds:  I was honored to see O'Keefe at Anne's wedding this weekend (second from right, seated):
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