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Thursday, September 06, 2012

The conservative coward’s way out


According to Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), federal student loans are the start of a “slippery slope” that could eventually lead to a Holocaust. While speaking at Maryland’s Allegany College on Wednesday, Bartlett invoked this horrid comparison while arguing that government loans are unconstitutional:

Not that it’s not a good idea to give students loans, it certainly is a good idea to give them loans. But if you can ignore the Constitution to do something good today, tomorrow you will be ignoring the Constitution to do something bad. You could. There are more people in our, in America today of German ancestry than any other [inaudible]. The Holocaust that occurred in Germany — how in the heck could that happen? And when you start down the wrong road, it can be a very slippery slope.

It’s easy to get distract by the pure clownish idiocy of Roscoe’s Godwin porn, but there’s a larger point to be made here.

Roscoe’s take on the constitutionality of federal money spent on education is as wrong as it’s possible to be. But think about what he’s saying here; “I love student loans, just love them to pieces and would love to hand them out hand over fist… but gosh darn it, that darned Constitution says I can’t and if we start ignoring the Constitution, bad things could happen. Sorry kids who want to go to college and not go broke in the process, there’s nothing I can do.”

But there’s most certainly something Roscoe could do. Assuming student loans were unconstitutional and he did love the dickens out of them anyway, his argument would end with “and that’s why we need to amend the Constitution.” Bartlett knows student loans are popular, he doesn’t love them — clearly not at all — but he doesn’t have the backbone to tell voters that to their faces. So he makes up some excuse that allows him to oppose federal student loans, while washing his hands of all responsibility for that opposition.

So yes, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, Republican of Maryland is a buffoon, but he’s also a liar and a coward. And, if you pay attention, you’ll notice that this how how conservatives often use their claims of constitutional expertise — to wuss out on responsibility for their own positions.

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