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This is how Greg Collett, a two-time Republican candidate for Idaho's state House, defends himself against charges of hypocrisy for the fact that, while "I don’t think that the government should be involved in health care or health insurance," his 10 kids are on Medicaid:
Am I a hypocrite for participating in programs that I oppose? If it was that simple, and if participation demonstrated support, then of course. But, my reason for participation in government programs often is not directly related to that issue in and of itself, and it certainly does not demonstrate support. For instance, I participate in government programs in order to stay out of the courts, or jail, so that I can take care of my family; other things I do to avoid fines or for other financial reasons; and some are simply because it is the only practical choice. With each situation, I have to evaluate the consequences of participating or not participating.
Hmm. Okay, the staying out of jail thing makes some sense. But that hardly explains the "taking government health care for your kids" part, which seems to fall under his much broader category of using government services "for other financial reasons." Or "because it is the only practical choice." No discussion of why one might oppose something despite finding it to be the only practical choice. If you're curious what government services Collett uses even though he opposes them, assess how much time you have, because the list, it is long:
By way of example, here are a few government programs and policies that I oppose because they do not conform to the proper role of government, yet I participate in them: I am against marriage licenses, but I still got one to get married; I am against the foster care program, but I became a foster parent; I am against property taxes, but I own property and pay the tax; I am against federal ownership of land by the Forest Service and BLM, but I use the land for hiking, backpacking, camping, and fishing; I am against national parks, but I visit them; I am against driver's licenses, vehicle registration, license plates, and mandated liability insurance, but I comply with all of them to drive; I am against public funding of transportation systems, but I still use them; I am against building permits, fees, and inspections, but I get them as needed; I am against public libraries, but my family uses them; I am against public schools, but I occasionally use their facilities; I am against occupational licensing, but I use the services of individuals and companies that comply with those requirements; I am against USDA inspections, but I still use products that carry their label; I am against the Uniform Commercial Code and designated legal business entities such as corporations, but I use the services of such entities and have set up several of them for myself; I am against the current structure of our judicial system and courts, but I still use them; I am against the 17th Amendment, but I still cast my vote for Senators; and the list could go on and on.
Some of these would be difficult to avoid. I'm not going to charge anyone with hypocrisy for opposing the USDA yet failing to either raise all of their own food or seek out off-the-grid illegal food sources. Ditto opposing occupational licensing yet failing to establish that every single service provider you hire has refused to get said licensing. But opposing national parks yet visiting them? Opposing libraries yet using them? That's just straight up saying "as long as there's nice stuff, I will take advantage of it, while seeking to destroy it." Which, come to think of it, could be part of the tea party mission statement.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 10:44 AM PDT.

Also republished by State & Local ACTION Group and Daily Kos.

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