Say what you will about his CRaSTO rating, Will Wilkinson is not a man whose righteous wrath one longs to experience, as Mark Thiessen learned to his peril. Mark Thiessen, you see, subscribes solely and totally to the “I AM THE ONE WHO KNOCKS” view of American policy at home and abroad, a policy at odds with basic notions of democracy, civil liberties, social justice, and common sense, and Wilkinson wallops him hard enough that a smarter, wiser person would take it as a sign to retire from public life.

But it’s not Adm. Thiessen of 101st Chairborne I am curious about; it’s his his latest action figure/pin-up/comrade in vicarious arms, Rep. Mike Pompeo. Mike Pompeo, you see, is apparently deeply invested in reducing all federal spending on everything but defense and security to zero and is equally deeply invested in ensuring that the security state is massive, all-powerful, and omnipresent. What a great guy.

Now, forget about Pompeo’s lessthanrighteousmuddling through the delicate balancing act of the ideological quest for debt reduction and the political reality that is a common dance of the rural conservative whose district has received $1.37 billion in commodity subsidies since 1995 and who probably has statewide ambitions. Why would a guy form Kansas be such a vigorous supporter of hyper-militaristic policy? It’s not like Kansas is in particularly imminent danger of attack, so why oh hello McConnell AFB. Oh, you have how many total personnel employed? Over 18,000? And your total payroll is over half-a-billion dollars annually? Plus an additional $150 million in other expenditures? And you’re in the heart of the largest metropolitan area in Kansas, which is also largely coterminous with the 4th district of Kansas? Huh. You don’t say.

I’m not a huge fan of some of the more extreme or ideological applications of public choice economics*, and I do think that the militarized hyper-nationalist xenophobic Manichean foreign policy of a certain segment of the conservative movement is largely not driven by material factors, but glomming onto a MoC because they parrot your mindless bloodthirst without noting that their constituency is substantially dependent on military-driven employment is even more myopic than, you know, mindless bloodthirst.

*It certainly doesn’t explain, for example, why Mike Pompeo would oppose a rape exception in an abortion ban. Frankly, public choice economics doesn’t have much to say at all about issues like abortion.

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