Free Markets, Free People

Will Balloon Boy Be The New Schiavo?

Call it a hunch .., because, well, it is … but I have this sneaky suspicion that the balloon boy and his family will turn into the new Schiavo case for the GOP. None of us know what actually happened, and anybody with an ounce of human dignity can only be happy that the child was not actually an errant passenger in that derelict dirigible. All the skepticism seems to hinge upon an offhand comment from a six-year-old, whom I know from experience are less than reliable sources of information (“What did you do in school today, son?” “Nothing.” “Did you play with any of your friends?” “I don’t remember.”). Yet, the way this story is being pressed, I fully expect that some Republican upstart is going to seize the opportunity to turn the attention on him or herself, turning what should be a passing tale of tragedy averted into a crusade for (yet more) state control over the task of parenting.

I truly hope that I’m wrong. That cooler heads will prevail. That, if indeed the parents set this whole thing up as a publicity stunt, the local authorities will handle it sternly, yet quietly. “We” don’t need to be involved, and even more importantly, there is no reason at all that Congress should be sticking it’s nose into the situation.

But I can’t help but think, given how the GOP so successfully delegitimized itself in the now-infamous Terry Schiavo case, somehow or another they will find a way to do so here. The perceived moral high ground will be too tempting, once again, and the party that used to believe in limited government (at least, during the Reagan years) will find a way to insert itself into a place that no limited-government advocate would ever want to be. When all we should be thinking is, “thank God that kid is safe.”

With the current challenges to the entrenched Republican power, I can understand why taking up the banner for poor Falcon’s safety will seem so irresistible. After all, establishment candidates are having a difficult time with the conservative base, and anyone whose been paying attention knows that the boiling Tea Partiers are not particularly keen to just toss out Democrats in the next election. Republicans who continue to support the profligate ways of Washington are just as vulnerable.

All the more reason then to show how the Grand Old Party cares more about life and death than those dirty Democrats, just a they did with Schiavo, by meddling in the affairs of a local issue that doesn’t amount to a hill of beans for the rest of the country. Hey, those votes aren’t going to buy themselves!

This is one of those times that I really hope I’m wrong, and that reasonable minds prevail. But politics being what it is, I think there is a very real chance that some idiot Republican is going to start a movement in Congress to save the Falcons of the world. Because Lord knows that when there’s a problem to be solved, only the federal government can provide the necessary answers.

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17 Responses to Will Balloon Boy Be The New Schiavo?

  • I think there is strong bipartisan disgust at the family; this is not just from the GOP. Its also not a “cultural issue” like right to life.

  • I hope you’re wrong, too, but I’ve pretty much given up expecting Republicans to behave sensibly. Show me, I say. Then show me again, and again, and again. If we’re going to go down the big-government nanny route, it doesn’t make a whole lot of difference to me which party is in charge.

  • The difference is that this case is meaningless. To me it’s an example of a media that focuses on utterly unimportant drivel when there is so much real stuff to cover. Who cares? It’s trivia distracting people from what really matters.

  • What are you babbling on about? Why would the GOP even care?!?! This is just another chance for you to bloviate on the “sad state of the GOP”=Translation: “The GOP doesn’t think like me and therefore they SUCK!”

    Further, this continual carping and denigration hurts the casue of opposing Obama. Once you’ve determined that you are GOING to lose, or worse yet, that you DESERVE to lose (because we/they SUCK!)losing is a lot easier, isn’t it?

    In fact, it’s a good position to be in, it allows you to be RIGHT, without all the fuss and muss of having to actually DO RIGHT! Think of yourself as the Libertarian Code Pink…it’s all about being correct, whether or no anything actually comes of it…your complaining about something that can not be shown to be true-really who in the GOP has made an issue of this, and pray tell what would the GOP be able to do about it any way-is the verbal equivalent of the giant papier mache puppets of the anti-war Left…a gaudy display that accomplishes nothing, but certainly makes you feel better.

    Bottom-Line: you might as well discuss everything that happens as a foretelling of GOP Doom….there is a possibilty that the GOP could do something stoopit here/there/anywhere ergo they WILL. “We’re doomed, DOOOMED” You ought to get about ACTUAL GOP stoopitity I’d sign on for the support of a pro-choice, pro-union candidate in NY, in a “safe” Republican district, in spite of the existence of the more conservative candidature of a person named Hampton…even Gingrich endorsed the fairly sure loser of Scavvafazza (sp. and my apologies). You want to complain at least complain about concrete actions the GOP has taken, not hypotheticalsilly things like this.

  • Michael, your comments on the Shiavo matter are wildly off-base. And I find its use as the premise of your post beyond a stretch, i.e., implausible as a basis for discussing the balloon matter and/or a means by which to vent pique at “Republicans.”

    I feel obligated to say that, but I am, as always, only a guest here, and I won’t reargue the Schiavo case as a “Republican” or as a Roman Catholic. That’s the last comment I’ll make to this thread.

  • Google “balloon boy + Republicans”. On the first page you get a few news stories from pages that also mention Republicans or are Republican sites (Townhall, etc.).

    Then you get Michael W spamming this on a couple sites, alter.net and buzzflash whining about the media covering balloon boy while “30 GOP Senators were endorsing rape,” something called racheljoy.tv speculating the whole thing was a “Rethuglican” plot to preempt some climate news or Obama’s NO speech, and a couple other bizarre posts.

    Snicker. I guess great minds think alike.

  • “All the more reason then to show how the Grand Old Party cares more about life and death than those dirty Democrats”

    Demonstrably true.

  • I think the way that the entire media, blogosphere, and country put all of their time and energy into chasing an empty meaningless bag of gas is the perfect metaphor for this country. Somewhere Sally Struthers is in the background shrieking “DO IT FOR THE CHILDREN!!!!”

    And for anyone who wonders just what this entire show was really about, read this:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/proof-balloon-boy-was-a-hoax-2009-10

    it will either set your blood boiling or cause you to burst out laughing at the childish gullibility of all of our media today.

    btw, yeah, I was one of the people who thought “HOAX!!!” from the first moment I heard the balloon was in the air.

  • “all it a hunch .., because, well, it is … but I have this sneaky suspicion that the balloon boy and his family will turn into the new Schiavo case for the GOP.”

    Are you feeling alright Michael?

    “This is one of those times that I really hope I’m wrong, and that reasonable minds prevail.”

    You’d yourself sound like a reasonable mind if you could mention any unreasonable minds in the GOP proposing any sort of national intervention at all.

    I wonder if you’re auditioning for the Onion and overshot?

  • I don’t think it’s a partisan issue at all, but I am afraid that our country’s safety nannies will take up this banner. As a society we are increasingly focused on assigning guilt to parents based solely on outcomes– if a child gets into trouble it MUST have been due to something the parent did wrong and should have foreseen. This, I think, is the crux of most of our parenting woes. It puts enormous pressure on parents to never let their child fail, because the child’s failure will be reflected as the parent’s failure by anyone who notices it. It forces parents to focus their teaching time on teaching their kids to hide anything that might be construed negatively. It’s almost as if our society doesn’t permit children to be viewed as separate persons capable of making their own decisions within the parameters of their child-sized life. This is not healthy for children.

    We say we want to teach our children problem-solving skills and life skills, but if parents permit their children the learning experiences they need to do so, the parents are promptly castigated. So they don’t let little Johnny learn to use a saw to build stuff, because he might cut himself and the emergency room nurses will report them for child endangerment. And God help parents with autistic kids who head-bang who always have bruises, or kids who will run away from home if he’s not tied up. If you can’t afford to hire an aide to look after him, do you let him run around with the potential that he’ll run down the street and you’ll get chewed out by safety nannies, or do you leash him like a dog or lock him up in his room while you clean and cook dinner?

  • The Schiavo case had some odd circumstances around it. Its not the cleanest example because both sides considered different facts as accurate/pertinent.

    And depending on which facts you considered accurate its not clear which side of the issue was government intrusion.

  • MichaelW-

    I have to admit, I’m not sure about the reason for this post even being written?

    I think comparing this instance to Schiavo is………one wild leap of logic.

  • I don’t get this post at all. What has the GOP to do with balloon boy? I’ve seen nothing at all, prior to this odd post, that has indicated anything political about this at all.

  • While I tend to agree that the balloon brouhaha is a nifty little diversion, I have a different take is to what it’s a diversion from.

    Let’s assume, just for argument, that the GOP decides to start raising hell about the modern day version of the “flight of the navigator”. Just who would they propose slipping any legislation by? Seems to me than any calls for action at this point would require a democrat involvement, and they have legislative problems of their own that the moment.

    If anyone gets affected by the massive news coverage of “Gone with the Helium” it’s going to be the party in power. After all , and as I say, the whole thing makes a rather nifty diversion from the walking disaster that is Washington DC, these days, with them in charge.

  • jpm100, you sum it up ever so clearly. Thank you. Much more useful than what I was going to respond.