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Tea Party irony

During the contentious “town hall” meetings on health care reform last summer, I noted a photo of a woman clearly eligible for Medicare holding a sign denouncing “Gov’t Run Health Care.” Since Medicare– the health insurance program for senior citizens– is in fact government-run health care, I wondered if she was refusing on principle to accept her benefits. I suspect not.

The New York Times reports on an interesting phenomenon of the anti-Obama Tea Party movement: activists who are unemployed or retired and receiving government benefits while calling for smaller and less intrusive government.

Now as an old-fashioned big-government liberal, I have no problem with anyone who is unemployed or disabled or retired– regardless of their political beliefs– receiving government benefits. Joblessness or disability is usually something you can’t control, and people who have worked for 40 or more years are entitled to a measure of financial and medical security in their senior years.

But it would be nice if the government-bashing Tea Partiers among them would reflect on the irony once in a while.

(Hat tip: Andrew Murphy)