Opinion or Interest?
According to David Hume:
It may farther be said, that, though men be much governed by interest; yet even interest itself, and all human affairs, are entirely governed by opinion.I can think of at least three apparent bureaucratic power grabs that might be explained by the way some people think the world works instead as deliberate attempts to crush dissent.
First, there is the War on Photography. This looks like a blatant attempt by fascist police to keep anybody from documenting brutality. On the other hand, I recall rumors that people thought to be terrorists were observed photographing public areas or national monuments to do reconnaissance. This is, of course, complete bulshytt but it's not something possemaniac cops made up.
Second, there is the IRS insistence on double checking Tea-Party organizations. There is a widespread belief in some quarters that conservatism is a matter of following leaders. As a result, they tried tracking down the leaders. They figured that if Tea Partiers are “a dime a dozen,” someone had to be supplying the dimes.
Third, there is the closing off of unmanned national monuments as part of the government shutdown. Many people think “public” is the same as “government.” as a result, a government shutdown means a shutdown of anything public.
In other words, this might be a matter of convincing the Other Side instead of simply opposing them.