First, the term Liberalism, as used in the US, is anything but in the sense of classical liberalism. It is statism/progressivism. Jonah does make this point in the National Review Online article here. That said he uses the news that the DC City government is about to issue 66 pages of rules regulating the tattoo and piercing industries to illustrate the point that when it comes to intrusive and largely unnecessary regulation, you are going to find a liberal-run big city, state or national government entity behind it. From the article:
There is a notion out there that being “socially liberal” means you’re a libertarian at heart, a live-and-let-live sort of person who says “whatever floats your boat” a lot.
Alleged proof for this amusing myth (or pernicious lie; take your pick) comes in the form of liberal support for gay marriage and abortion rights, and opposition to a few things that smack of what some people call “traditional values.”
The evidence disproving this adorable story of live-and-let-live liberalism comes in the form of pretty much everything else liberals say, do, and believe.
Social liberalism is the foremost, predominant, and in many instances sole impulse for zealous regulation in this country, particularly in big cities. I love it when liberals complain about a ridiculous bit of PC nanny-statism coming out of New York, L.A., Chicago, D.C., Seattle, etc. — “What will they do next?”
Uh, sorry to tell you, but you are “they.” Outside of a Law and Order script — or an equally implausible MSNBC diatribe about who ruined Detroit — conservatives have as much influence on big-city liberalism as the Knights of Malta do.
Read the whole thing.