Nanny State by David Harsanyi

GLENN: All right, you sick twisted freaks. It is Friday and you want to see the future. You want to really see what’s coming and it’s with all of them now. John McCain has got the nomination. So it’s between now — I know, not technically. You know, I was thinking about rooting for Mike Huckabee just to prove how powerful talk radio is. You know what I mean? Just throw all of our support behind Mike Huckabee, that way everybody could say, look how worthless they really are, just for laughs.

Anyway, so you have John McCain that’s going to be the nominee, you have Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama and they are all taking us the same way. They are all going to take us, especially on global warming. David Harsanyi is here. He’s the author of the book Nanny State. He writes for the Weekly Standard and National Review, he’s got a great article in Fusion magazine that you can get if you go to

David, I never, ever would have thought that the Government would say you can’t have this kind of food, or, McDonald’s, you must not use these ingredients, you know, unless they are like, we want our special sauce with Ajax, you know, unless it was poison. What are the things on the horizon that you see? What’s next?

HARSANYI: Well, I’m not sure if you heard in Mississippi the other day there were some legislators who wanted to pass a bill that restaurants would have to deny obese people entrance to eat food there. That didn’t pass, but it always starts that way. It always starts with throwing something out there and then seeing, you know, what’s going on. And in ten years it will be law.

GLENN: I mean, I’m just trying to think. I mean, what kind of — you want to talk about a bouncer that better be able to hold his own weight, so to speak. I mean, it’s not like a Wal-Mart where you’re going to say, sorry, you can’t come in, fatty. I mean, who is going to say, who is going to stand there and — do you walk on a scale? How would that even have worked? "I’m sorry, you’re too fat to have that sandwich."

HARSANYI: I was wondering. What if the guy’s trying to get in to eat a salad or something? Maybe he is trying to do the right thing. Maybe there’s unhealthier food at home and he is trying to do the right thing? It’s just ridiculous and that’s how most nanny laws are. They don’t make sense. They are counterproductive. Like I mentioned, Twinkie taxes. But the smoking, I think they should just ban smoking because that’s where we’re headed anyway and the difference is with prohibition you can repeal that in one shot. Here you have a million little laws. So it’s going to be very difficult to ever come back from this stuff.

GLENN: Here’s what kills me. They say smoking is bad and so what they want to do is they want to raise all the taxes to penalize people to stop smoking. They are doing it in New York City and it’s working. However they are using this tax to fund all of these new healthcare programs for children, et cetera, et cetera. I mean, has anybody thought this through, that if your tax works, you can no longer fund the children’s healthcare program!

HARSANYI: Not just that. I mean, in New York they have already created undergrounds where cigarettes are sold on the Internet and elsewhere in black markets because that’s what happens when you make something cost prohibitive in price and people can’t buy it. But I think that you’re right. I mean, it doesn’t make any sense. We’re helping kids with tobacco taxes all the time. What does that tell them?

GLENN: This is crazy.

HARSANYI: We’re going to need to keep people smoking if —

GLENN: That’s what it’s going to be. It’s like, "Daddy’s only smoking because I love ya." It’s insanity.

HARSANYI: Well, you know, that’s for 35-year-olds —

GLENN: I know, I know.

HARSANYI: That’s where we’re headed.

GLENN: David, any one of the three candidates worse than the others? If you had to rank them?

HARSANYI: I’ll tell you one thing. Huckabee is my least favorite only because he was a terrible nannyist in Arkansas, but —

GLENN: Really?

HARSANYI: Yeah, because he lost like 200 pounds and he decided everyone else should lose 200 pounds as well. He started rating restaurants for health and stuff like that. And he also, he was for a national smoking ban. That’s what he said initially. I don’t know. I think he’s changed his tune on that, but they are all terrible. I don’t know what to tell you. It’s very, it’s disconcerting that we can’t come up with better people to lead this country.

GLENN: We can but for some reason they just never win. The name of the book is Nanny State. David Harsanyi, he has already written in the March issue of Fusion magazine. He talks about our coming nanny state. Don’t miss it. You can grab that at where you can find his book, Nanny State. David, thanks a lot.

HARSANYI: Anytime. Thanks.