I’ve been meaning to comment for a while on this article over at Front Porch Republic. For me, there seem to be several object lessons in the column. As a libertarian, of course, the first and foremost of these is that bureaucrats are not always content to play the long-con. They will meddle not only in the large issues, but in any issue in which they are allowed to stick their noses. In this respect, they prove that they don’t have as much dignity as other types of con-men, who are too proud to play for small stakes.
Second, when faced with the befouling presence of government busy-bodies, sometimes all you can do is point and laugh. Ridicule is a powerful and effective tool, and it is often well-deserved when directed against government ineptitude and asshattery. Anything that helps people to see how horrid and absurd the machinations of bureaucracy really are is a good thing.
Third, no matter how powerful and cathartic ridicule may be, it doesn’t always work. In the article linked above, the leash law got passed even with the ridiculous amendments. It will no doubt be selectively enforced by petty-minded town-council twats to raise revenue or exert influence. (Per point one above, never underestimate the pettiness of apparatchiks at ANY level of government.)
Fourth, given a ridiculous state, prone to self-oblivious absurdity and bureaucratic wankery, sometimes one’s options are limited to having a drink and a laugh or abandoning the locality and moving to a better one. Changing things for the better would be preferable, of course, but that’s not always an option. After all, there’s only so much a person can do when facing “a zillion Young Mothers” rallying behind an odious government tool and the war cry of “do it for the children!”