no mandates, ctd.

I posted yesterday about the Montana legislature’s attempts to repeal a law requiring landlords to install carbon monoxide detectors, based on a story by Noah Kristula-Green posted on FrumForum. Today, Kristula-Green has posted an update of the responses he received in defense of the repeal. Among them:

  • The market will take care of it. People will “vote with their dollars”, and landlords who install carbon monoxide detectors will be able to charge higher rents than those who don’t.
  • It’s a personal choice to expose oneself to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • This requirement will distort the market and price the poor out of the rental housing market.
  • It’s a slippery slope. This will make it easier for the government to intrude into other areas of our life.
  • Personal responsibility matters (a variation on the “personal choice” argument above)
  • It’s about first principles. Liberty is liberty.

These are all pretty standard conservative critiques, but the first (“vote with your pocketbook”) reminded me of an item I saw on the National Review blog The Corner the other day. Citing a story about union employees withdrawing their money from M&I Bank, a major Walker donor during the last election, Katrina Trinko wrote:

If this continues, look for the Wisconsin battle to stretch beyond the political turf. There isn’t much politically  the unions can do now besides get signatures on the recall petitions, but it looks like they’re going to try to financially hurt anyone who has different views on collective bargaining.

“Financially hurt anyone who has different views on collective bargaining”? That sounds an awful lot like . . . voting with your pocketbook. And though I’m not one to hold authors responsible for the comments on their posts, I think the thread here shows an interesting insight into the American Conservative’s mind. Among the comments on that post:

  • These really are thugs and terrorists. Can I get a list of other Walker supporters, so I can do business with them?
  • Next thing you know, they will be threatening the children of anyone who dared to support Walker. That’s how terrorists operate these days.
  • For anyone who wondered what a “community organizer” was a few years ago when it was listed on the current president’s resume, here is your answer. His “organizing for America” gang are out there doing his bidding acting like thugs along with union thugs, to destroy what the people said they wanted at the ballot box. This is NOT how America was created to work. But then again, the current person in the White House DID say that he wanted to make “Fundamental Changes” to America. Well, here are your changes. Thuggery and subverting elections.

You just can’t win with these people.

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