Wednesday Links

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

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61 Responses to “Wednesday Links”

  1. #1 |  Sam | 


    I’m honestly not sure any of those issues save ending the war would have cracked the Top 10 by the time of the election in 2008. Meanwhile, your claim only lends credibility to my own: if libertarians saw libertarians in charge and the scope of government diminishing, suddenly they’d be the ones happier with government. When the people you like are the people in charge, you get happier. That’s true regardless of ideology.

  2. #2 |  PeeDub | 

    #49 | Sam | October 28th, 2010 at 9:05 am

    2. Are you really claiming that libertarians wouldn’t be happier with a government that was comprised more of the people they support?

    I think libertarians would be happier with a government that was comprised of less people overall.

  3. #3 |  J sub D | 

    #11 BNJ

    Why does switching teams so often involve turning off critical thought?

    I’ve ofter said that the most insufferably self righteous people are ex-smokers, married whores and converted Catholics. I may have to change converted Catholics to converted political partisans.

  4. #4 |  Sam | 

    Can I just clarify: is the actual belief here that libertarians are somehow different in their political emotions that liberals and conservatives are? I see that my posts keep getting dinged, and that’s something I can live with, but I’m not sure I understand why. I argued that libertarians would be happier with government if other libertarians were in charge of it. Is that a scandalous claim? Why would libertarians be just as dissatisfied with government if people mirroring them and their apparently ideology/self-identification be in charge of it?

  5. #5 |  Brandon | 

    Sam, how the hell do you not see the difference? When Obama got elected, Democrats immediately began supporting massive government expansion. When Obama got elected, Republicans immediately began to fear the massive government expansion that they had been supporting for 8 years. If libertarians got elected to a controlling majority of government, the rest of the libertarians wouldn’t suddenly support government expansion under any circumstances. If libertarians were in control, other libertarians would only support them IF they massively shrunk the scope and power of government. That is the difference between independent thought and blind partisanship; Come up with a real argument, and stop with the false equivalence bullshit. Repeating it again won’t make it any more true.

  6. #6 |  Sam | 


    Democrats immediately began supporting a massive government expansion as a result of Obama? Or Democrats had always supported a massive government in particular areas? Republicans began to fear a massive government? Or Republicans began to fear a massive government in certain areas? You’re comparing false things. Republicans and Democrats have always supported powerful governments, just so long as they’re powerful in the areas they prefer. Libertarians support weak governments in the areas they prefer, so I imagine they’d be supportive of a candidate who went to office and worked toward/appeared to follow through.

    Libertarian thought, meanwhile, isn’t any more independent than anything else; it just adheres to a different set of rules, depending upon the individual doing the thought. (Just as, obviously, there are different strains of conservatives and liberals.)

  7. #7 |  JOR | 


    It’s not really clear to me that if libertarians got in charge of the government, it would move in directions libertarians prefer. Just as actual Republican rulers pretty much do what actual Democrat rulers would have done, and vice versa, libertarian rulers would very likely just end up doing what was politically profitable for them to do. Of course, I’m sure lots of libertarians would lap up the propaganda and be happier with the government.

    N.B. As a libertarian, I’m not particularly interested in “smaller” government; I’m more interested in “less powerful, less effective” government. So I wouldn’t be particularly happy with a libertarian or libertarian-ish government that got leaner, meaner, and more efficient and effective. And if making government bigger can make it more bloated and inefficient and thus less harmful, I’m all for it.

  8. #8 |  Zeb | 

    Sam, you are seriously missing the point. Libertarians most definitely wouldn’t be happier just because their people were in charge. They would be happier if government were limited to what they believe to be the proper role of government. To me, at least, government is at best a necessary evil. Even if libertarians did take control of government, I would be just as critical of them if they failed to do what they promised and I would certainly advocate continued vigilance against any re-expansion. The ideal situation for a libertarian is one where you really don’t need to think about government at all. I don’t want anyone to be in charge. That is the point.

  9. #9 |  Just Plain Brian | 

    Democrats immediately began supporting a massive government expansion as a result of Obama? Or Democrats had always supported a massive government in particular areas?

    Democrats under Bush:
    “The President is tapping our phones! This tyranny must stop!”

    Democrats under Obama:
    “If the President wants to kill US citizens without due process or judicial review, who are we to argue?”

    Republicans began to fear a massive government? Or Republicans began to fear a massive government in certain areas?

    Republicans under Bush:
    “Yay, medicare prescription drug benefit!”

    Republicans under Obama:
    “No socialized medicine!”

  10. #10 |  Sam | 


    I’m not trying to “seriously” miss the point. I just find it odd that the libertarians who supported him wouldn’t have been any happier in 2008 had Ron Paul been elected rather than Obama or McCain. (Ron Paul is, I realize, not an ideal example, given some of his political positions.)

  11. #11 |  Brandon | 

    For most libertarians it would’ve depended on his actions after taking office. And they definitely wouldn’t have supported giving Ron Paul the Nobel prize “just in case.”