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By all reasonable measures, Utah Sen. Mike Lee's response to the State of the Union address was a huge success: He knew where the camera was, he didn't go lunging off to the side to grab a water bottle, and he boldly articulated the innovative idea that government is the source of all our problems. Hey, he even had a repeated metaphor about "the road from Boston to Philadelphia," noting that the original Tea Party was all about protest but then the Founders got organized and wrote the Constitution, so he gets a couple of points from this rhetoric teacher. And he only made up one completely nonexistent word, talking about Washington's atmosphere of "cronyous privilege." No, that's not really an olde-timey Colonyous American word. Still he makes a compelling case for supporting General Washington, and as Charlie Pierce says, the speech might just be the thing to "break the logjam and get the Articles of Confederation passed."

Kind of a bummer that everything else was the same old libertarian crap about how the only thing Americans need to all become rich and happy is for the mean old government to get out of the way and let the profits happen.

Pushing off Obama's theme of income inequality, much of Lee's speech was about how government causes economic inequality. And Lee is absolutely right, except that in his version of the world, that has nothing to do with the massive rewrites of the tax code that, starting under Reagan, have shifted more and more wealth from the middle class to the banking and financial services sectors.

Nah, government has created inequality by taxing the rich and holding down poor people with food stamps and not letting all children go to tax-funded charter schools. Even worse, Obamacare is an "inequality Godzilla." And there are all sorts of other examples of "government-driven inequality," too, like letting women make their own choices about having babbies, which denies zygotes the same rights that everyone else take for granted, and how is that fair that an adult woman has more rights than a fetus, huh? Also, too, letting the gheys get married like other people imposes inequality upon states where people don't want homosexuals' marriages to be equal to heterosexuals. And don't even get him started on the suffering of corporations that are prevented from raping making the most profitable use of any parcel of land they can acquire, just so some dumb owls won't go extinct.

Lee did include a bipartisan admission that some in his very own Republican party had been guilty of "too often joining the Democrats to rig our economy to benefit the well-connected at the expense of the disconnected," though of course he wasn't talking about microscopic capital gains tax rates or CEO compensation -- he meant Solyndra, we're pretty sure. Plus all those greedy takers who don't pay any income tax at all (we don't know if he means Mitt Romney), and those union thug teachers.

Lee did have one line that attempted to deny what Tea Party libertarians are all about: "Freedom doesn't mean you're on your own, freedom means we're all in this together" -- of course, in an ideal world, you actually should be on your own, because what are you, weak?

[Salt Lake Tribune]

Follow Doktor Zoom on Twitter. He supports a Flat Earth tax.

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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