I am nonpartisan. I am pro-public service. Stories like this are both disingenuous and unethical. The idea of a public social policy is that those who qualify, ahem, qualify. There is no “well, do you support this policy?” addendum. Prohibition of such eligibility tests, however and by whomever conducted, is the basis of a liberal democracy qua equal protection. If we as a people say “these citizens qualify for these benefits,” that’s where the sentence–and the qualifications, as they might be—stop. I strongly support social safety nets, and I stipulate that I understand the theory and empirics of incentives. That said (and a fortiore), a classical political liberal–someone who sees both the direct and indirect values of dissent and public discourse—should not only be, but seek to be seen as being, above the ultimate hypocrisy: proclaiming support for free speech and implicitly requiring speech conformance for the receipt of public benefits.
Shame on you, gawker. The true argument is won without demonizing the (family of the) opponents. That’s game theory 101: a game won by dissimulating is a game won not for long.
With that, I leave you with this.