It's a cold morning in January 2011. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Rand Paul (R-KY) wake up early to put on their Revolutionary War costumes. They're joined by a miscellaneous group of anti-government protestors, libertarian activists, and all-around hotheads. With their supporters in tow, the tea party movement's Adam and Eve drive to the Pentagon and use their congressional passes to get into the building. They proceed to the office of Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, where the Pentagon plans the future of the huge weapons systems that dominate military spending.
Once in the office, the representatives distract the staff while other tea partiers surreptitiously gather up stacks of memos and files. The theft complete, they back out of the office and exit the Pentagon. The would-be revolutionaries then reconnoiter with several rowboats in the Potomac. They row out into the water, their every move recorded by the reporters on the scene. With the whole world watching, Bachmann and Paul heave the Pentagon papers into the water. It's just a symbolic act, like the Boston activists and their 18th-century tea-dumping. Dropping an F-17 fighter jet into the Potomac would make a bigger splash. But the activists have made their point.
"We're against big government," they declare. "And the Pentagon is as big as it gets."
This is a nice fantasy, isn't it? Some libertarian Republicans no doubt indulged in a similar fantasy back in 2000 when George W. Bush promised a more modest U.S. foreign policy based on his vision of limited government. And today, a libertarian-progressive alliance to cut Pentagon spending and end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq remain beckons, shimmering, on the horizon. More at: