The Nanny Congress and Tobacco

(cross-posted at Society for Independent Thinking)

On Wednesday, a not-well-publicized vote went to Congress, to turn over the regulation of tobacco to the FDA. The bill, of course, puts more money into the FDA to combat smoking, in the latest federal attempt to keep adults from taking care of themselves as they see fit. John McCain approves of the measure. So does Barack Obama. And, as evidenced by a 326-102 vote in favor, so do far too many “Republicans.” Virginia Republican Tom Davis even called it a “vital step in protecting the public health.”

So is mandating condom use, Tom… at least in theory. Where does it end?

I got a letter in the mail the other day from the treasurer of the RNC, asking if I’ve given up on the Republican Party. With votes like this one, I continue to wonder if it’s not the other way around.

Michigan rep John Dingell, in making his own impassioned plea for the bill’s passage, even tipped his (and most of the Democrat Party’s) hand as to their attitude in approaching the smoking issue:

The distinguished gentleman (Rep. John Boehner, a smoker), the minority leader, is going to be amongst the next to die. I am trying to save him, as the rest of us are, because he is committing suicide every time he puffs on one of those things.

In other words, since Boehner — and every other consenting adult that chooses to light up — is too stupid to care about health, we, the federal government, should do it for them. This is, frankly, the type of big-government, elitist nanny-state nonsense I thought we elected Republican leaders to fight. But only 102 had the cojones to stand up to it?

Of course, other Dems (and GOP supporters) tried to deflect the nanny-state explanation of Dingell with the same old song and dance number called “It’s about the children.” If I hear that tired refrain again, I may actually tear my hair out. If I hear it from another Republican, I think I’m switching to a doomed third party.

Aren’t we paying these idiots to deal with important things? Don’t we have bigger fish to fry? This week, they’ve apologized for slavery and now taken “great strides” in fighting tobacco. I thought maybe they’d want to toss around that off-shore drilling idea a bit, since their constituency is losing their collective shirt on gas prices. Or maybe vote to kill attacks on the First Amendment like the “Fairness Doctrine.” Does anyone else get the feeling that the Legislature is just running down the clock until vacation time?