Sunday Links: Republican Party Seppuku Edition

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012
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78 Responses to “Sunday Links: Republican Party Seppuku Edition”

  1. #1 |  Jamie | 

    I have to say, this GOP nomination process has been the most amusing thing in my (politically aware) life. I’m sure it was always this messy, but now we get to watch. Pass the popcorn.

    Newt? Really?

    And is there another example of a basically Chosen One besides Romney who consistently does worse the more he campaigns?

  2. #2 |  Dave | 

    Newt is just plain scary!
    The GOP’s slogan should be: “Out of the frying pan and into the fire”
    Yikes!

  3. #3 |  Elliot | 

    So Newt is arrogant, lots of people hate him because of his personality, he’s an accomplished impromptu speaker, he’s for big government statist solutions about half the time but otherwise speaks frequently in defense of individual rights, the free market, and energy independence.

    Obama is arrogant, lots of people love him because of nebulous hopey changey stuff, he is lost without a teleprompter, he’s for big government statist solutions 100% of the time and never even mentions individual rights, is so hostile to private enterprise that businesses are in a holding pattern to see if he loses before going forward with expansion plans, and has done everything possible to work towards the destruction of affordable energy all for the promise of magic beans (Solyndra, “cash for clunkers” destroying working vehicles which hurt poor people to find transportation or parts, high speed rail, etc.).

    From this, you conclude the GOP is suicidal, but you don’t pass the same judgment on those who voted for Obama or defend his presidency which has been destructive of individual rights and the free market, while maintaining the status quo on civil liberties and warmongering?

    I completely understand libertarians hating Gingrich for the totality of his policies and ideas. I just can’t understand any libertarian who does not despise Obama 100 times more.

  4. #4 |  SJE | 

    I suppose this explains why Obama is singing Al Greene songs on national TV. How lucky can a guy be? What’s next: Newt nominates Sarah Palin for Vice President?

  5. #5 |  Z | 

    Gingrich-Palin 2012. Come on peeps.

  6. #6 |  Elliot | 

    From this, you conclude the GOP is suicidal, but you don’t pass the same judgment on those who voted for Obama or defend his presidency which has been destructive of individual rights and the free market, while maintaining the status quo on civil liberties and warmongering?

    That was poorly worded. Rewrite:

    From this, you conclude the GOP is suicidal, but you don’t pass the same judgment on those who voted for or defend Obama, whose presidency has been destructive of individual rights and the free market, while maintaining the status quo on civil liberties and warmongering?

  7. #7 |  SJE | 

    Elliott: Newt preaches small government, and did some good in Congress. But, a lot of what he preaches he doesnt practice. He was particulary bad with his post Congress lobbying: a revolving door model that is a root cause of our present mess. He was and is also very devisive and introduced the current toxicity into the GOP that makes it hard to compromise with the Democrats. He is also a sleazy narcissist with no self control.

    Obama is not perfect, but has reduced the size of government, and has been willing to attack some thorny long term problems. I hate Obamacare, but I also recognize that the present situation is a mess. The GOP could have proposed an amended bill (e.g. tort reform), but refused to work with the Dems (see criticism of Newt, above), and so this is their mess as well.

  8. #8 |  SJE | 

    Elliott: OK, for your second version: yes, he has been very disappointing on individual rights. I blame him, but also recognize that there is plenty of blame in Congress: e.g. 100 to 0 NDAA.
    I do not agree with your criticism of Obama on the free market.

  9. #9 |  DoubleU | 

    Some of the same people that were upset with Clinton, support Newt.

    I am not against the war on drugs, I just want more money spent on fighting this county’s biggest addiction problem…. caffeine. We need to lock those coffee drinkers up when they say they can’t make it through the morning without a cup of coffee.

  10. #10 |  David | 

    It’s not about who we hate more. It’s about the fact that if the GOP nominates Newt Gingrich. They will lose. Without doubt or question. Thus, suicide.

  11. #11 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    SJE

    Obama strikes me as the embodiment of Progressive-Liberaldom’s reaction to the free market;

    They talk a great deal about some nebulous framework which would consult everybody and set fair prices for goods and services. In economic theory, this would be the free market, but the free market is messy and keeps arriving at conclusions of which Progressive-Liberals disapprove, so they hate it poisonously, and in fact work tirelessly to enact mechanisms that will allow them to dictate policies that will force people to act economically as the Progressive-Liberals think they should. Progressive-Liberals and large corporations work against the Free Market for much the same reason; it’s messy. Consequently Progressive-Liberals and large corporations tend to spend the day slanging each-other and the nigh locked in a passionate embrace.

    Do you see Obama as different?

  12. #12 |  FridayNext | 

    Elliott: With all due respect, this blog regularly takes Obama to task for big government, anti-rights actions and opinions especially when they relate to promises he made in the election but has since discarded such as his stance on Gitmo and his crack down on medicinal marijuana. I suspect many more such posts once the general election heats up in the fall. Until then there isn’t much to say about the Democratic primary because there isn’t one. Right now, today, the news is about Newt’s win yesterday and his apparent surge. If Obama does or says something contrary to the beliefs and opinions of our host this week, then that will be news and I suspect Radley will post about it. One of the things I like about this blog is that it considers each individual act of statist overreach on its own terms and doesn’t feel the need to put in a “each side does it” caveat in every post. He respects our memory and knowledge enough that he can count on us remembering, or being able to look up, posts about “the other side” and ponder accordingly.

    You want criticism of Obama on issues important to this blog, grab a cup of coffee and wait a few minutes. It’ll come.

    One of the other themes I like about this blog is the refusal to equate a “free markets” agenda with a “pro-business” agenda. They aren’t the same, so like SJE I have to question your claims in that regard. Also, if you don’t think Radley has been critical of issues like Solyndra and Cash for Clunkers, you just haven’t been paying attention.

  13. #13 |  picachu | 

    I’m still bitterly disappointed Trump and Palin didn’t run. It is an absolute tragedy of epic proportions for comedy if not the country that this didn’t happen.

  14. #14 |  StrangeOne | 

    Jesus, a cursory glance at the Washington Examiner blurb on Newt’s national statistics shows exactly how eager the GOP is to kill itself. There’s several pages of comments still going on about the stupid birth certificate issue (most of them seem to think “natural-born” is the only condition for citizenry and completely ignore the fact that his mother is US citizen). The second someone points out, as the plain statistics state, that Newt has a snowballs chance in hell of beating Obama in a national election, the crowd starts roiling over at the traitorous, socialist, nazi, Obama fellating “librul” who would dare consider a GOP loss.

    These people are delusional. Objectively they are as bad as the 9/11 truthers, but at least the democrats did the reasonable thing and ignored them. This is the GOP base. They’ve celebrated ignorance and tribal populism for so long that they can’t even attempt to appeal to a middle.

    Most people are going on about how they are going to lose hard and that will force a change in the GOP, but that should have happened two and four years ago. Every loss just seems to make them more insular and obstructionist (except when growing government power is concerned). It doesn’t seem to matter how nuts one party gets, because by virtue of the two party system they will never be reduced to irrelevancy. Ron Paul’s success is the only real beacon of hope right now, not for his presidency or this election, but about a shift in the fundamental attitudes of the GOP. I don’t see that change occurring faster than the growing security state or the imperial presidency though.

  15. #15 |  JOR | 

    #3, Jesus Christ, you’re starting to sound like one of those Red Team/Blue Team hacks. “How can you criticize Newt Gingrich in a post that doesn’t mention how bad Obama is?! COMMUNIST!”

    And anyway, there is no evidence that Obama is worse than Gingrich would be. There was no reason to think, just from his rhetoric, personality, and campaign, that Obama would be any worse than Bush II (or vice versa). Of course he predictably did turn out slightly worse, in the way that successors generally tend to be worse (because they’re expanding on precedent set by previous administrations). It can be predicted that Newt would be worse than Obama in at least that respect (and probably worse than an Obama second term, because he’d have a fresh “mandate”).

  16. #16 |  SJE | 

    CSPS: I would like Obama to be more “free market,” but given his political constraints he has been pretty good. My arguments are:

    1. The 2008 crash was a very very scary failure of the financial system. Obama could have used a far heavier hand, but did not, and has moved things to the private sector rather quickly. Under the circumstances, he did better than others (see e.g. Europe right now).

    2. A free market presumes a framework of relationships and rules. A lot of problems are that the system is rigged. Obama has been far stronger about insider trading and criminal prosecution of fraud and workplace accidents than previous administrations. This is a good thing. If you cheat, the free market doesnt work.

    3. The reason liberals are pissed at Obama is because he has not gone as heavy on regulations as they would like. He opened up drilling offshore, and then we had the BP disaster, which made it difficult for him to propose less environmental regulations. He has tried to break gridlock on Nuclear waste, and energy regulation.

    4. Obama has actually reduced the size of government and attempted to reduce and consolidate federal agencies. In my own area of law, Obama has actually streamlined a lot of dysfunctional agencies. Would you believe that Obama actually signed a bill reducing litigation? Look at the America Invents Act.

    5. Obama has actually raised important fiscal problems like medicare, the size of the military, and medical insurance. His ability to get things done is dependent on Congress. When Congress didnt act, he called for the Bowles-Simpson commission. I was disappointed that he didnt follow all of its recommendations, but Congress made a bigger hash of it.

    So: flawed President. Yes. Under the circumstances, not too bad. My biggest complaints are with Obama on civil liberties, and with the Congress on pretty much everything.

  17. #17 |  namowal | 

    @ #12 FridayNext

    Couldn’t agree more! Well said.

  18. #18 |  edmund dantes | 

    Primospot is another great app for parking spaces, and it works in a couple of cities not just New York.

  19. #19 |  Cynical in New York | 

    #3

    You’ll never find a libertarian blog who will praise Obama unless he actual does something that we support other than just talking about it. However Newt, his supporters and people like him get criticism more because conservatives always say that they’re for less interfering government but as libertarians know it’s all bullshit and just talk. Conservatives only want less liberal government interference but will proudly cheer on conservative government interference. When you go to conservatives like Hot Air, Red State, Free Republic, World Net Daily etc this is what conservatives want. They have no problem with government thuggery as long as their gang of trash are the ones carrying out the thuggery. When I’ve had this argument, conservatives simply counter with “Oh they’re not “real” conservatives.” Which in itself is bullshit because if we divide Neoconservative and Paleoconservative then it’s just who gets the government jack boot first. Yes there are conservatives like Jack Hunter who actually believe in true minimal government but even he like us libertarians have been smeared as liberals and liberaltarians among other things. Which only leads me to support that libertarians should be striking it on their own because working with conservatives is a waste of time. The fact that they’re attack Ron Paul shows the conservative hatred for libertarianism which I figured out years ago.

    Love the parking space app

  20. #20 |  Elliot | 

    SJE (#7):Obama is not perfect, but has reduced the size of government…

    Wow.

    I’ve seen some ridiculous defenses of Obama, but that one is up there with Baghdad Bob or the North Korean press.

    Astounding.

  21. #21 |  nospam | 

    @#16: “Obama has actually reduced the size of government…”

    Seriously?! In which parallel universe did this happen? Is it the one without the $1.5 trillion annual deficit? The one where the suburbs of DC are blighted and vacant? The one where there was a D-Day style storming of the shores of Manhattan by US attorneys in January of 2009 to deal with all the Wall Street crime?

  22. #22 |  Chris Mallory | 

    #8,
    NDAA wasn’t 100-0. 13 Senators voted against it and 1 didn’t vote. ‘

    #15,
    There was every indication from his “rhetoric, personality, and campaign” that Black Jesus would be worse than Bush the Lesser. His “We got to spread the wealth around” speech was just one of many flashing red signs.

  23. #23 |  (B)oscoH | 

    Can we form a Super-PAC to raise money to airlift Gingrich to Mauritania?

  24. #24 |  Jay | 

    What’s all of this about comparing presidents here? As well compare one Mafioso with another.

  25. #25 |  Elliot | 

    SJE (#8):I do not agree with your criticism of Obama on the free market.

    You need to read financial news. Companies are bearing the brunt of the health insurance changes, afraid to hire people due to the consequential added costs and risks from the laws and regulations passed or threatened, afraid of being slammed with punitive taxes if Democrats get enough power again. I’ve read one news story after another about companies predicting how many tens of thousands of jobs they will be force to cut because of him. His class warfare goes to the heart of small business owners, who already are bearing a disproportionate amount of the tax burden, and are the subject of constant demagoguery declaring they don’t pay their “fair share”. In the energy sector, he has used the Deep Horizon oil spill and the Keystone Pipeline environmental concerns as thin pretexts to hamstring the oil industry. The only oil industry he wants to help is Brazil. He’s openly hostile to coal and just recently made draconian limits on the land available for uranium, despite advice that such mining won’t involve damage to any sensitive ecosystems.

    The man never worked in the private sector. Beyond the magic beans ideas of “green” energy and high speed rail—which are boondoggles and sources of massive corruption—or favoring unions (ObamaPelosiCare tax exception, GM, Boeing), his “solutions” always involve the parts of the economy which are deeply intertwined with government spending, not the private free market sector. When he gives advice to young people about jobs, he advises them not to sully themselves with the grubby work of making profits, but to dedicate themselves to working for government (“public service”) or community activism.

    He never mentions individual rights or private entrepreneurs outside the purview of government grants.

  26. #26 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    SJE,

    Yours is an interesting, and not unreasonable, point of view (with which I disagree). I admit that I am neither an economist nor a serious political maven – I have too much else to do – but I do remember the flap in the 1980’s when various interests “discovered” that mortgage lenders by and large didn’t lend much to poor non-white people who were poor actuarial risks. There was a lot of loose talk about “Making” banks lend money to the inner cities, and economists from several schools published articles that, to me inexpert eye, seemed to say “We hope you like bailing out lending institutions, because you’re going to have to.”.

    Now, I didn’t follow the progression of this mess. Among other things, along in there my Lady and I participated in a tech start-up, and then had a nervous breakdown. I don’t know the details. But I don’t consider it coincidence that in the 1980’s various political types are talking about “making” bank make bad loans, and now a bunch of banks are in trouble for making more or less the kind of bad loans the political types were talking about. No, they weren’t all to non-whites. The swine involved probably knew they couldn’t quite get away with that. I imagine that what happened was that the criteria for loans were loosened until the desired conditions were met, and anybody who qualified under the loosened terms got the loan regardless or race, creed, color, or access to a loudmouthed political activist.

    If I’m even close to right, then “proof” that lenders were acting irrationally, or even criminally, doesn’t surprise me. Put a gun to somebody’s head and tell them to do something stupid, and all kinds of secondary effects will come along in due time.

    What I’m saying with all this blather is that I give Obama zero credit for ‘dealing’ with the economic crisis. As a former neighborhood organizer from Chicago, and a Democrat, he has, at a minimum, stood by and nodded approvingly while the first domino was knocked into the second. The mess is, at a bare minimum, a consequence of policies he profited by (in a political sense) and neglected to oppose. More realistically, from his rhetoric, policies of which he was loudly supportive.

    I may be 180 degrees off of true with this, but I don’t think so. I think that the “crisis” is the legitimate and expected consequence of some government meddling, and that more meddling is unlikely to help. In fact, as a matter of general principal, I believe that the first thing to do in a national “crisis” of this nature is to look around for a piece of related government buttinskiism to repeal.

    Also the second, fifth, and ninth.

    But I’m a crank.

  27. #27 |  Elliot | 

    David (#10):It’s not about who we hate more. It’s about the fact that if the GOP nominates Newt Gingrich. They will lose. Without doubt or question. Thus, suicide.

    If the GOP nominated Ron Paul, they would probably lose the election to Obama. But Ron Paul is, far and away, better on all the issues than any other candidate in the two parties. So, the idea that the Republicans should pick the most electable candidate is just a continuation of the “lesser of two evils” strategy which results in only evil candidates being available as choices.

    I haven’t voted for over a decade as I see it as a hostile act, which amounts to granting politicians permission to violate one’s neighbors’ rights. I wouldn’t even change my mind if Ron Paul or Gary Johnson were on the ballot.

    But I simply don’t understand how people who buy into the whole democracy thing making such awful compromises in the name of pragmatism.

  28. #28 |  Elliot | 

    @FridayNext (#12): My complaint about the articles here is that the criticisms are not proportionate to the impact that a given candidate/politician has on the average American.

  29. #29 |  Elliot | 

    FridayNext (#12):One of the other themes I like about this blog is the refusal to equate a “free markets” agenda with a “pro-business” agenda. They aren’t the same, so like SJE I have to question your claims in that regard.

    I don’t think that’s what SJE was about. I’m against crony capitalism, which invites such abuses as rent seeking.

    Some of Obama’s biggest supporters are crony capitalists on Wall Street who know that government interference can give them advantages and predictability they lose in a truly free market.

    His policies are more hostile to the small business owners, the upstarts companies trying to get into a competitive market.

  30. #30 |  Elliot | 

    JOR (#15):Jesus Christ, you’re starting to sound like one of those Red Team/Blue Team hacks.

    Then you’re not paying attention.

    I don’t even vote. The only thing I want more than to see the cowardly, unprincipled, bible thumping, war loving Republicans go down in flames is to see Democrats get it in the neck.

    My criticism is what I see as a lack of perspective, a misunderestimation of the proportionality of arrogance and bad policy.

    And anyway, there is no evidence that Obama is worse than Gingrich would be. There was no reason to think, just from his rhetoric, personality, and campaign, that Obama would be any worse than Bush II (or vice versa).

    *face palm*

    Obama didn’t run against Bush. His opponent was McCain.

    During the 2008 campaign, there was copious evidence of Obama’s socialist leanings from his history and published books (not to mention the lack of any mention of individual rights in any of his rhetoric). His lack of any private sector experience, his small amount of experience in office, and all of the other baggage (Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright) should have set off alarm bells, but the media suppressed any real scrutiny and millions of ignorant voters swooned over the mythological cult of personality hopey changey nonsense.

    Civil liberties are very important and one of the reasons this blog is on the top of my list is because of the number of stories of abuse by law enforcement. On fiscal policy, there is much less influence than, for example, Warren Meyer’s “Coyote Blog”. Warren is a libertarian who is a contributor to Forbes, has worked in the energy industry, and is an entrepreneur (managing privatized parks). So, Mr. Meyer sees the fiscal impact of government, in addition to the repulsive assaults on civil liberties from the likes of Sheriff Arpaio.

    As much as I hate to see police and DAs get away with travesties against victims of bad justice, I recognize that, for the average American, the impact of fiscal matters are far greater than those cases. And, they’re much bigger than most of the ridiculous faux pas of Bush 43, Palin, or Gingrich.

    If you were fooled by Obama’s promises on medical marijuana, Gitmo, Afghanistan, transparency, and the like, I can understand not seeing Obama as worse than Bush or McCain, if you judged such things to be more important than the free market. But he failed to deliver on those, so there’s simply no way to portray someone with such destructive economic policies as being comparable to any of the GOP candidates. That’s just delusional. (Not that I think anyone but Ron Paul would be transformative, but simply not horribly destructive in such a concentrated manner.)

  31. #31 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Elliot,

    “Obama didn’t run against Bush. His opponent was McCain.”

    While technically true, what I remember of the campaign is that, in essence, Obama ran against Bush. Do you disagree?

  32. #32 |  Elliot | 

    @Cynical in New York (#19) I agree with you, particularly about the Republican reaction to Ron Paul. I don’t participate in the democracy scam, so I have no interest in the Libertarian Party or other such involvement in the political system. The system is corrupt and just participating in it, even to try to reform it, is an ethical contradiction.

    Again, my complaint is the proportionality of criticisms of Newt for being arrogant, Palin for being dumb, GOP voters for being sheep. Obama and his supporters are far worse, in nearly every way.

  33. #33 |  a_random_guy | 

    These surveys are the next best thing to meaningless. Until the day of the primary, all the surveys agreed that Romney would win in South Carolina. Certainly none of them had Santorum winning in Iowa.

    Frankly, the American electorate is like lemmings (only lemmings are really that dumb). Easily led, tends to flock together, changes direction for no apparent reason, and perfectly willing to follow any charismatic idiot right off a cliff.

    The only question come November will be: which flock of lemmings will be bigger, and what most recent irrelevancy will have caught their attention.

    /rant

  34. #34 |  a_random_guy | 

    “I haven’t voted for over a decade…”

    “I don’t even vote.”

    Folks, this is the wrong answer. Not voting is saying “Whatever everyone else wants is fine with me”.

    If you don’t like any of the candidates, vote for Donald Duck, or hand in an empty ballot. Find out what you have to do in your jurisdiction, to get your vote counted. This at least has the effect of raising the total number of votes against which a candidate is measured. Imagine the possible headlines: “Democratic candidate recieved 17% of the vote, Republican candidate received 16% of the vote, election declared invalid.”

  35. #35 |  EH | 

    The GOP isn’t committing suicide, they’re just taking a fall. The bankers obviously want Obama to be re-elected.

  36. #36 |  EH | 

    Not voting is saying “Whatever everyone else wants is fine with me”.

    Have you heard of the Electoral College?

  37. #37 |  PersonFromPorlock | 

    Assume as a worst case that Gingrich is nothing more than Obama Two. Now imagine Obama One getting the kind of Media scrutiny Obama Two would get. So why settle for Obama One, running free, when we can have Obama Two (that’s Newt) constantly being called to account by the MSM, the Democrats, the establishment Republicans and the Tea Party, all for their own reasons?

  38. #38 |  Z | 

    Obama v Gingrich is not a contest between a tinpot dictator and Friedrich Hayek.

    Its a contest between two guys who want to use the government to enforce their own agendas.

  39. #39 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    I have a question for those of you-all who don’t vote as a matter of policy;

    If the sentiments of the voters don’t mean anything, what happened to Gun Control? I started paying attention to politics in the 1970’s. At that time, unless I completely misinterpreted what I was seeing, the Political Class and the Moneyed Interests (possibly excluding Colt and Smith & Wesson) were firmly convinced that the Common Folk shouldn’t be armed, and that the Fix Was In …. very shortly handguns would be outlawed and they could start in on long arms.

    Now the Gun Control Crusade is fighting a desperate rearguard action against the spread of legal concealed carry. Or that’s how it looks to me, anyway. From your point of view, what happened? Did the power brokers change their minds? And if so, why?

    I don’t pretend that this single issue invalidates your position, but I do think that it runs crosswise to it.

    What do you think?

  40. #40 |  Elliot | 

    a_random_guy (#34):Folks, this is the wrong answer. Not voting is saying “Whatever everyone else wants is fine with me”.

    For me, it’s saying, “Your system is evil because it does great harm to others and I refuse to dignify such an abomination by playing by the rules you concocted to empower yourself.”

    149 years ago, Lysander Spooner debunked the authority of the US Constitution in “No Treason”. Ken Schoolland put together an animation called the “Philosophy of Liberty” which gives a concise argument why a voter cannot grant a proxy or “representative” authority with a ballot. There are plenty of arguments which demolish the simple-minded premise that democracy and freedom are in any way related. I’m sure if you’re interested, you can find plenty of material. But you have to be open to the possibility that what you were taught in school about government and freedom was abject horseshit.

    A vote is a hostile act against one’s neighbors. To participate in an election is to agree that whoever gets the most votes should have the power to pass laws and regulations which result in the government violating those neighbors’ rights, even if one votes for someone who campaigns against the current corruption.

    It is unethical to subject the rights of others to the whim of the mob, to put what rightfully belongs to others on the auction block of public opinion.

    If you don’t like any of the candidates, vote for Donald Duck, or hand in an empty ballot.

    No. To do so would be to agree to the outcome of the election. I don’t agree. I dissent.

    When politicians claim a mandate, assert that they have the authority to make decisions about your life because “the people” participated, thus agreeing to the outcome, they must lie about doing something in my name.

    Imagine the possible headlines: “Democratic candidate recieved 17% of the vote, Republican candidate received 16% of the vote, election declared invalid.”

    How can an election be invalidated if more people participate?

    An even better headline (for which I’m not holding my breath) would be: “Election held but no one showed up. People go about their lives, ignoring the hot air emanating from candidates’ mouths.”

  41. #41 |  Elliot | 

    @PersonFromPorlock (#37): That’s a novel argument, but most of the people who would put Gingrich under the microscope have a vested interest in keeping Obama in office. They prefer having someone carrying out their agenda with as little scrutiny as possible.

    Bread and circuses.

    Get the people riled up and make them think they have a choice. Once the election is over, they’ll shut up, turn their attention to mindless entertainment, and stop paying attention to how the people in Washington are mortgaging their grandchildren’s future.

  42. #42 |  Elliot | 

    @Z (#38): I think most everyone in this comment section agrees that Newt is not a principled advocate of a laissez faire market, individual freedom, and getting the government out of our lives as much as possible. I don’t see anyone arguing that he would be any sort of panacea for the ruination going on right now.

    But he at least gives lip service to such principles half the time.

    Obama never discusses individual rights. Nor does he ever give the free market any respect.

    Gingrich is no Hayek. But he doesn’t even come close to reaching the depths of awfulness of this president.

  43. #43 |  Elliot | 

    C.S.P. Schofield (#39):I don’t pretend that this single issue invalidates your position, but I do think that it runs crosswise to it.

    I’m not sure whose anti-voting argument you’re addressing here.

    My argument is that I don’t have the moral authority to make you do work without compensation, in furtherance of values I choose. I may think a mission to Mars would be a great source of scientific information and national pride, but I have no right to take your money to pay for it, if you disagree. So, the amount of say so I have over how you run your life (as long as you’re not hurting anyone else) is zero. If I transfer all of my moral authority to a proxy, I’m giving him or her zero authority. The product of tens of millions of voters times zero is still zero.

    So, regardless of the agenda of powerful interests and the outcomes of elections, I still say that N * 0 = 0 and such particulars don’t change that.

  44. #44 |  Elliot | 

    Over at Q&O, Bruce McQuain writes: “More on the Keystone decision and why it was a decision based in politics, not what was best for America”.

    If Republicans are committing political suicide to vote for Newt, that’s small potatoes compared with the Obama administration engaging in murder of the American economy. (I’d call it “economic suicide” but I think there are enough people who want cheaper oil from friendly sources to completely disregard the argument that a plurality of Americans would choose to act so recklessly. This is the result of a small fringe of environmentalists.)

  45. #45 |  Nancy Lebovitz | 

    I don’t think banks being required to make bad loans to poor people drove the financial crisis.

    If the banks didn’t want to make bad loans, they could have dragged their feet about making them. Instead, they scrambled to make a huge number of bad loans (some of them to people who qualified for better loans), and then resold those loans as though they were good loans.

  46. #46 |  Radley Balko | 

    But he doesn’t even come close to reaching the depths of awfulness of this president.

    Newt Gingrich sponsored a bill to execute marijuana smugglers. He has praised the drug laws of Singapore. He supported an individual mandate. He lobbied for Freddie Mac. He supported the prescription drug benefit. He is at least as awful as Obama on economic issues. He’ll be every bit as bad on civil liberties. There’s a damned good chance he’ll start a couple more wars. And I can’t think of any modern politician I’d want further away from the button.

  47. #47 |  Radley Balko | 

    I don’t think banks being required to make bad loans to poor people drove the financial crisis.

    It isn’t that they were forced to make them, it’s that there was no risk in bad loans. The loans were basically guaranteed by backing from the federal government.

    This isn’t to excuse the banks. It is to say that people and institutions respond to incentives.

  48. #48 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Nancy,

    I’ve never thought that the problem was loans to poor people. I’ve thought that the problem was a combination of a threat (implied or actual) that if there weren’t ENOUGH loans to certain favored minorities the government would land on the banks like a ton of bricks and a promise that some or all of the risk of making bad loans would be covered. Add to this the political necessity of not explicitly restricting the bad loans to the chosen minorities (everybody has to pretend that all differences are illusory) and you get looser loan standards ….. available to everybody.

    I know that during the period in question my Lady and I looked into mortgages on several occasions (purchase of several houses, serially). My Lady’s Father was a consulting actuary, and she inherited his talent for math and learned from him the formulas for mortgage lending …. at least the ones he had been taught in the 1960’s (mortgages weren’t his working field). We were, on more than one occasion, offered loans that, once we did the math ourselves, frankly scared us.

    I think that many if not most people looking for loans would tend to assume that the Bank was as worried about the loan payments as they were, and so would take the bank officer’s word that the loan was sound. And many, if not most, front line bank officers would be low level functionaries working with the formulas they were given.

    Hey, presto! Incipient Mortgage Meltdown.

    I also see two factors contributing to the mess;

    1) The banks, told by the biggest bully on the block that they had to do thus-and-so would do thus-and-so and then scramble for some way to make it work.

    2) Once the whole business becomes unstable enough for sensible money-men to see that a crash has to come, the sensible men would tend to bail, leaving the cowboys, scoundrels, and nutters.

    In the 19th century every time the economy went pear-shaped, the smart money bet was that there was a scoundrel or scoundrels like Jay Gould in back of it somewhere. Unhappily, in the 20th century (and I specifically include the Depression here) the smart money goes on some well meaning jackass of a politician spraying unintended consequences the way a skunk sprays stink.

  49. #49 |  Nancy Lebovitz | 

    If those loans were so solidly secured by the federal government, why were the banks selling them? Would they have made a profit beyond what they would have gotten if they’d kept the loans and the loans had been completely repaid?

  50. #50 |  bbartlog | 

    Thanks for the shout out for Harding. One other good thing Harding did which the article doesn’t mention – he pardoned Eugene Debs, who was in jail for violating either the Espionage Act or the Sedition Act as a result of his anti-war activities.
    As for historians rating him as bad on fundamental economic policies, that’s par for the course for presidential historians it seems. When asked to rate presidents on different qualities they just take their rank ordered list of ‘presidents from best to worst’, which seems to be pretty canonical, and then assign a rank close to that. And of course they overrate Presidents who caused a lot of trouble, but that’s another story.

  51. #51 |  BamBam | 

    @40, or putting your statements another way (correct me if I’m wrong), “I do not vote because it violates the non-aggression principle. Principles are values that are not compromised, otherwise it is not a principle by definition.”
    That’s how I state it to people. It’s a hard path to live by principles, but that is the morally acceptable solution. Some may argue pragmatism, but I say reality has not always been the reality of today, thus things can change, and I would rather live by principle than compromise and play a part in building the road to my own destruction.

  52. #52 |  Doodi | 

    I may have a lot of quarrels with Obama, but I’m with Mr. Balko on this one: Newt is almost like a cartoon villain, who is on the opposite side of everything good.

    Anyone willing to execute people who use marijuana is insane. Plus, while Obama hasn’t been great on the issues, he has done some stuff for gay rights (which I do not see Newt doing).

    I’m much less interested in the economic stuff than the civil liberties perspective. Obama has been terrible for civil liberties. I would actually argue he may be slightly (SLIGHTLY) better than Bush II civil-liberties-wise (at least he got rid of some of the torture, and has been OK on gay rights). Of course, that has been counterbalanced by his prosecution of whistleblowers and his expansion of the targeted killing program. Overall, Obama has been terrible.

    Everything Newt says makes it look like he will be 100 times worse. Romney is likely to be as bad as Obama (worse on gay rights and possibly torture, better on gun rights), but Newt seems like he will be absolutely terrible.

    Anyway, I’m almost certainly voting for Gary Johnson, assuming he’s still the libertarian party candidate by the time 2012 rolls around. I’d like to see a 3rd party candidate concerned about civil liberties get at least a few votes. And unless a miracle happens and the GOP nominates someone friendly to civil liberties, I don’t see anyone else speaking up about civil liberties. Not that my vote matters anyway, since I don’t live in a swing state. . .

  53. #53 |  c andrew | 

    CSPS,

    Apparently Washington Mutual was told that they had to meet certain Community Reinvestment Act criteria or they would not be allowed to open new branches. So the CRA’ed the crap out of their mortgage arm.

    Fannie and Freddie were part of the means of federalizing and bundling the bad loans. Because if the lenders had to take the consequences of the bad loans themselves, they would not have complied, expansion be damned. So basically the CRA proponents provided a big carrot (federalize and bundle the loans as derivatives) and a big stick (no expansion allowed and vague regulatory actions threatened.)

    I too looked at a home loan in 2007. The payment required for an interest only loan – I figured I’d get the outliers as a reference – was twice my rent payment. I said, “No Thanks.” But if I hadn’t declined the loan, they would have approved my application. They said as much.

  54. #54 |  c andrew | 

    Doodi,

    I agree with Radley too. Newt “Robiespierre” Gingrich as president is going to be far worse than Bush and probably worse than Obama. Which takes some doing. And Radley, correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Gingrich advocating public beheadings for drug kingpins? That’s why I went with the Robiespierre monicker.

  55. #55 |  Rich | 

    Chris Christie will continue to flush money down the toilet, he wont be De-funding any police departments stopping any no knock warrants. He will be putting people in rehab instead of jail. The rest of the bureaucracy will be left alone to continue to play with all of the great toys.

  56. #56 |  shecky | 

    Elliot has a sad if you say bad things about a Republican. Especially if they’re true, it seems. C’mon, Radley, be a pal and stop being so hard on Newt. You know Obama is eleventy times worser than Newt, or anyone on the GOP side can ever be.

  57. #57 |  Wavemanns | 

    When I look at politicians that are known to have cheated on their spouses, this is what I think. If they are going to cheat and lie to someone they supposedly love, why on earth would I ever think they would keep any promise that they made to me, someone that they’ve never met?

  58. #58 |  JOR | 

    Then you’re not paying attention.

    Yes, I am. It doesn’t matter if you vote or not (most people don’t vote, incidentally). You whine every time Radley writes a post about how asinine or stupid evil Newt Gingrich or some other Republican says on the grounds that Obama is worse. Maybe he is (he isn’t, but just for the sake of argument, say that he is): so fucking what? Your complaints are red herrings and frankly stupid ones, regardless of your motives.

    *face palm*

    Obama didn’t run against Bush. His opponent was McCain.

    That wasn’t my point. My point was that there was no reason to think he was worse than the previous president, based just on his personality, stated policy preferences, etc. but that he turned out that way anyway (which was predictable to anyone who doesn’t buy into Team Red/Team Blue mythology, and understands the essentially symbiotic relationship between the two parties). For my purposes, any Republican or Democrat in the actual running can be treated interchangeably. McCain would just be Bush III (as Obama turned out to be). Caring which party gets elected is always a stupid emotional investment.

    “During the 2008 campaign, there was copious evidence of Obama’s socialist leanings . . . “

    You keep using that word. Your Randist rants about the “true” nature of money are more deeply socialist (grounded in labor/objective theory of value, the obligatory Producers Versus Parasites model of society, etc.) than any rank idiocy spouted by a living Democrat politician. To the extent that any Producers Versus Parasites paradigm is correct, the Producers are the ones running the system, and it exists for their benefit at the expense of the “parasites” (prisoners, lucky recipients of US military ordinance, poor people cut off from independence and autonomy by a toxic mixture of “conservative” and “progressive” domestic policies, etc.).

  59. #59 |  Elliot | 

    Radley Balko (#46):Newt Gingrich sponsored a bill to execute marijuana smugglers. He has praised the drug laws of Singapore. He supported an individual mandate. He lobbied for Freddie Mac. He supported the prescription drug benefit. He is at least as awful as Obama on economic issues.

    I measure economics by the impact on the average American, and the long term future of the budgets. Remember, Gingrich presided over a congress that pushed Clinton to cut spending to the point of a “balanced” budget (at least by Washington bookkeeping). Bush 43 blew that away, but Obama and Pelosi tripled Bush’s deficit increases.

    The Obama attacks on the energy industry and the class warfare attempts to raise taxes on the job creators alone make him far worse than Gingrich would be. Those are major components of the US economy, which are far more influential than the items on which Gingrich and Obama are comparable.

    I completely reject your assessment that Gingrich would be “at least as awful as Obama”. That’s not a defense of Gringrich, but a measurement of how destructive this president is.

    Where Gingrich supported an individual mandate, ObamaPelosiCare got the IRS involved (the 1099 mess which were only abandoned after Republicans won the House), gave unions a pass on paying taxes we have to pay, outlaws physician owned hospitals from being built or even expanded (as a payoff to the American Hospital Association for supporting the bill), and now involves special exceptions to people in favor (Pelosi’s district got 10,000% the waivers of other districts).

    The threatened tax hikes and heavy regulatory burdens have prolonged the economic downturn. Even companies which are in recovery are doing so without adding jobs, because Obama has made that too costly and risky.

    He’ll be every bit as bad on civil liberties.

    I remind you that you were fool enough to be hopeful about Obama improving civil liberties. Some of us warned you and other libertarians on that one. I give Obama no credit for civil liberties. In fact, his position and reputation make it easier for him to get away with more, because the press covers his ass so much. Look at how much the “liberals” fell all over themselves to excuse the TSA molesters, simply because it was their guy at the helm. Under Gingrich, the news would have stories, day after day about the growing crisis. The same “liberals” would be marching in the streets.

    It’s the whole Nixon visit to China phenomenon. Republicans are scrutinized on civil liberties. Democrats get a wink and a nod.

    There’s a damned good chance he’ll start a couple more wars.

    Were you in a coma when Obama went to war in Libya?

    Sorry, but after all the predictions that Mr. Nobel Peace Prize would be much safer than the warmonger McCain, I’m not buying any of it.

    Obama is a warmonger. He got the US military involved in a war in another Muslim country with oil. He’s used predator drone strikes constantly. He expanded Afghanistan.

    You warn me that Gingrich is going to start wars? Well, then he’s just maintaining the status quo from Bush and Obama. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    And I can’t think of any modern politician I’d want further away from the button.

    I think you have things out of proportion and you overlook or forget to many of the things Obama has done or attempted.

  60. #60 |  Elliot | 

    Doodi (#52):I’m much less interested in the economic stuff than the civil liberties perspective.

    Except the “economic stuff” has a far greater impact on the typical American.

    You attack the oil and coal industry, you drive Canada to sell to China because the stop trusting the US as a customer, and you hobble American industry. The cost of energy is an essential component of the productive capacity of this nation. You drive that up and make us more dependent upon unfriendly nations in unstable parts of the world and you cost Americans jobs, run companies out of business, and raise the cost of everything.

    When your utility bill is quadrupled, the price of gas skyrockets, and the cost of groceries and other essentials erodes your disposable income (or, if you’re like many Americans, drives you into debt), then I think you may reassess the relative importance of civil liberties. Besides, during a depressed economy, I suspect that law enforcement tends to be more corrupt and predatory.

  61. #61 |  Elliot | 

    shecky (#56):Elliot has a sad if you say bad things about a Republican.

    So when I criticize Republicans, do I make myself sad?

    You’re not paying attention, or you’re simply a liar. Which one is it?

  62. #62 |  el coronado | 

    interesting notion there, #57. Of course, Obama’s only specific promises he made to us were – as I recall – a) hope b) change c) the oceans would stop rising and d) the planet would begin to heal itself. Well, of course there was that whole “close Gitmo” thing; and the “not kill American citizens just ‘cuz they pissed me off” thing, among (so) many others, but it seems that’s considered rude to bring up here.

    Obama’s a halfwit, incompetent, over-his-head SOB who has no idea whatsoever about how the world works – how’s that much trumpeted ‘Arab Spring’ turning out? Is it going in a direction favorable to the interests of the US? No? How ’bout them positive strides we’re making vis a vis Iran? Not too good, is it. Um….Isn’t making sure our interests are protected part of the POTUS’ job? – who cheerfully tramples on our civil rights just like Newt will. Who’s expanding the police state the elites want so badly just like Newt will. Who’s going to sign SOPA and PIPA just as soon as his corporate masters instruct him to – just like Newt will. Who absolutely REFUSES to investigate and/or prosecute the Wall St assholes who’ve been proven time & again to be dirty – something Newt MIGHT just do. (Wall St seems to be sending a lot less money Newt’s way than they do Barry’s, have you noticed? Ever wonder why?)

    And on and on. Obama’s been proven repeatedly to be systematically lying his ass off about unemployment numbers – refer to ZH. He’s a crooked as a 3-dollar bill: witness Solyndra and the BP shakedown. His “Justice Department” (LOL) would be an embarrassment to any self-respecting banana republic – all of which Newt will, undoubtedly, continue.

    BUT Newt – having to answer to the 8 conservatives & Libertarians in the GOP, PLUS the conservative blogosphere, will do it 30%-50% **cheaper**. You’ll remember that all that welfare reform & balanced budget shit that Clinton likes to take credit for didn’t happen until Newt became house speaker. Think that’s an accident? Whatever else Obama has or hasn’t done, it’s public record that he HAS pissed away 5 TRILLION bucks in just 3 years – largely unaudited, BTW (cough *Solyndra* cough) and is now rattling the cup for more. (“Yo, man, just one measly TRILLION more! OK, maybe 2. Last time! I promise!”)

    So why would anyone hesitate to vote for the guy who’ll be just as bad as the current asshole in the White House, but who will cost us less? Who would almost certainly NOT veto a Keystone pipeline project that would provide work for many thousands of people *who need the work*?? Why is choosing the cheaper and possibly slightly less scummy of 2 essentially identical evils never a factor in these little discussions here? It sure as hell is in the Real World – why not here??

  63. #63 |  Elliot | 

    JOR (#58):You whine every time Radley writes a post about how asinine or stupid evil Newt Gingrich or some other Republican says on the grounds that Obama is worse.

    You’re not paying attention.

    I made no response the first ten times Balko highlighted some stupid thing about Gingrich, Bachmann, or others. I waited a long time to see when there would be a similar response to the Keystone XL pipeline, the ridiculous swooning over Obama, or any other number of comparable scandalous stories about Obama.

    My reaction was based upon a long-term pattern.

    Also, when Radley highlights negative things about Republicans (bible thumping, gay hating) for which there are no comparable Democrat idiocies, I agree with him and have no objections. I often criticize the Republicans for such things myself.

    My point was that there was no reason to think he was worse than the previous president, based just on his personality, stated policy preferences, etc. but that he turned out that way anyway (which was predictable to anyone who doesn’t buy into Team Red/Team Blue mythology, and understands the essentially symbiotic relationship between the two parties).

    As I pointed out, there was copious evidence that Obama would be far worse than Bush 43, for those of us paying attention. Yes, it absolutely was predictable to those of us who don’t fall for the Coke vs. Pepsi bullshit, as far as that goes. But there’s also the lack of private sector experience, the explicit statements in his books on socialism and who his heroes were, and the total dearth of any mention of individual rights in his speeches which signaled to some of us that this man would be very bad news for the US economy. He has been. Just because you didn’t pay close enough attention to see it doesn’t mean “there was no reason to think he was worse”. Don’t project your inadequacies onto me.

    I recall bringing up such objections here and elsewhere before Nov 2008 and I got a lot of accusations from Radley and others that I was just a shill for McCain. I was nothing of the sort. I just saw the man behind the curtain while they were blind with hope.

    Your Randist rants about the “true” nature of money are more deeply socialist…

    Not only am I not an Objectivist, what I’ve written about money and personal values are taken directly from the individualist ontology, which is exactly the opposite of socialism (collectivist). For you to accuse me of being socialist is either Orwellian style propaganda, or childish Pee Wee Herman style “I know you are but what am I”. I’ll reserve judgment for now.

    Obama is a socialist. To be more precise, he has ruled like a Mussolini style fascist (which is just a variation of socialism). Most American politicians have supported some amount of socialism from at least FDR. The only politicians out there now who show decidedly non-socialist policies are Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Gary Johnson, and a handful of others.

    Don’t be afraid of the facts. There will be people who shout McCarthyism or try to mock the “s” word, but when half the people don’t pay income taxes and a huge number of them get checks from the money taken from the other half, you’re living in de facto socialism.

    To the extent that any Producers Versus Parasites paradigm is correct, the Producers are the ones running the system, and it exists for their benefit at the expense of the “parasites”,,,

    Absolutely false. Those running the system are not producers. They’re leeches themselves. Crony capitalists who use rent seeking or otherwise leverage the power of government for their benefit.

    The real producers are the honest business owners who create jobs, as well as products and services that other people want to buy, not because of some mandate or central plan. Those people are not running the system and are the target of the looters and the crooked crony capitalists who don’t want honest competition.

  64. #64 |  Pi Guy | 

    #58 | JOR | January 23rd, 2012 at 3:43 am

    You keep using that word. Your Randist rants about the “true” nature of money are more deeply socialist (grounded in labor/objective theory of value, the obligatory Producers Versus Parasites model of society, etc.)

    Whoa, there, pal… You know, Ayn Rand wrote a book – apparently you’ve not read it – where she outlines all this “Randist” stuff. You seem to have read and be recalling another book. It’s title must be something like Atlas Continued to Carry the Parasites on His Back.

  65. #65 |  Doodi | 

    I disagree that the large scale economic policies have more of an impact on the average American than the wide reduction in our civil liberties that has been occurring.

    Indeed, one of the reasons I like this blog so much is that it shows the results that the reductions in civil liberties have on individual Americans. I would guess that Mr. Christie (had he not been murdered by the police), or his wife, would disagree with you about the importance of civil liberties on the day to day life of an “average American.”

    The fact that our civil liberties have been put through the grinder for the past 15-odd years means we are growing normalized to police being able to do whatever they want without consequences.

    Furthermore, I’d argue that the erosion of civil liberties is having a big effect on our economy—see, e.g., the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the way a good 60% of the world sees the US government in a negative light and would prefer not to deal with us due to our terrible civil liberties record. And it is pretty widely accepted that a reduction in the rule of law (which is when the law is applied evenly, to all people, and which civil liberties were created partly to protect) results in harm to a country’s economic system. (e.g.: http://research.stlouisfed.org/publications/es/04/ES0419.pdf).

    Indeed, as civil liberties abate and the rule of law weakens, corruption tends to grow. As corruption grows, property rights are weakened as those in power take property without due process.

    In contrast, I think the Federal Government is much less powerful to regulate entities aside from itself than many people give it credit for. Indeed, the Federal Government looks pretty incompetent, from an economic regulation perspective, from where I’m sitting. I guess I don’t have a lot of faith that it can actually do a hell of a lot (for better or for worse) about the economy at all. Whereas I KNOW it can be a huge force in the erosion of our civil liberties.

  66. #66 |  Delta | 

    #62 — “Isn’t making sure our interests are protected part of the POTUS’ job?”

    “Observe good faith and justice towards all Nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all… Who can doubt, that, in the course of time and things, the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages, which might be lost by a steady adherence to it?… Nothing is more essential, than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular Nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated.” [President Washington, Farewell Address, 1796]

  67. #67 |  Burgers Allday | 

    Off-topic:

    I just blogged a puppycide-related court decision (from a federal distrit court):

    http://police4aqi.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/poor-quality-court-opinion-regarding-police-killing-of-a-family-pet/

    I just wanted to mention this because I don’t think there has been or will be any media coverage on this case. As far as I can tell, the opinion is not even up on the net. I only know about it because of access to a ommercial database.

  68. #68 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Again, my complaint is the proportionality of criticisms of Newt for being arrogant, Palin for being dumb, GOP voters for being sheep. Obama and his supporters are far worse, in nearly every way.

    That’s quite the temptest you have in your teapot.

  69. #69 |  Radley Balko | 

    Except the “economic stuff” has a far greater impact on the typical American.

    Except this is a civil liberties blog. That’s what I write about. It’s what I know about. I haven’t criticized Obama for the Keystone pipeline because I haven’t followed the story, because it’s well outside my area of expertise, and because, therefore, I don’t feel qualified to comment on it. The notion that I don’t criticize Obama because I harbor some secret affection for him or Democrats is nonsense. I’ve criticized Obama plenty for his shortcoming when it comes to civil liberties. If you think economics are more important, then write about economics. That’s not what I do here.

  70. #70 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Dr. Keith Ablow writes about Newt:

    As I have written before for Fox News Opinion, I don’t think voters belong in a candidate’s bedroom.

    But of course politicians belong in OUR bedrooms, eh?

    From the same people who sold you “Peace through War” and “Wealth through Spending”.

  71. #71 |  Elliot | 

    Radley Balko (#69):The notion that I don?t criticize Obama because I harbor some secret affection for him or Democrats is nonsense. I?ve criticized Obama plenty for his shortcoming when it comes to civil liberties. If you think economics are more important, then write about economics. That?s not what I do here.

    I haven’t accused you of harboring “affection”. Your actions demonstrate that isn’t the case.

    You don’t write much about economics. Fine. But above you asserted, “[Newt] is at least as awful as Obama on economic issues.” The Obama administration’s energy policy (which includes Keystone, Solyndra, etc.) and attempts to raise taxes on job producers, by themselves, make a strong case against such an assessment.

    Economic liberties are part and parcel of individual rights. When the government takes away more of what you earn to fritter away on bureaucracy or magic beans and when government offices are infused with “stimulus” money which ends up paying for the tools of oppression, your freedoms are impacted. When they have such power over you, it’s even easier to violate your civil liberties, if not directly, by depriving you of the means to exercise them.

    But outside of economics, one the matter of narcissism, my observations of Obama and his swooning supporters makes me wonder why Newt is singled out as particularly egregious, or his supporters as foolish to the point of “Seppuku”.

  72. #72 |  Radley Balko | 

    But outside of economics, one the matter of narcissism, my observations of Obama and his swooning supporters makes me wonder why Newt is singled out as particularly egregious, or his supporters as foolish to the point of “Seppuku”.

    I think both are narcissistic. Does it really matter who is worse? I’m criticizing Gingrich at the moment because he’s surging toward the GOP nomination. Obama is already president. Do I really have to put up a post condemning Obama for something similar every time I criticize someone from the GOP? I don’t feel that I do.

    The reference to Seppuku and assisted suicide has nothing to do with Gingrich’s narcissism. It’s the fact that the guy is completely unelectable. His net approval rating outside the Republican party is around -40. So yes, if the GOP nominates him, it will be suicide.

  73. #73 |  Elliot | 

    Replace Gingrich in that argument. If the GOP picked Paul, Obama would win.

    Does this mean libertarian leaning voters should compromise and go with Mitt?

  74. #74 |  Z | 

    #42- “But he at least gives lip service to such principles half the time.” Ask a bunch of starry eyed Obama supporters, circa 2008, what lip service will get you.

    Paul, although not my cup of tea, is the closest to libertariansm- in words only of course since he makes sure his district (seaside southeast texas) still gets earmarks for shrimp boats. [Why the shrimpers don’t simply build boats with their bare hands and set sail for a free market utopia, throwing overboard the dead-weight as they go is another subject.]

  75. #75 |  EBL | 

    Ann Coulter and friends of Mitt go insane…

  76. #76 |  EBL | 

    When Mittens attack!

  77. #77 |  EBL | 

    Separated at Birth: Mitt Romney and…?

    Great post Radley.

  78. #78 |  Burgers Allday | 

    Some excellent pro-active and assertive defenses by Mr. Balko. I remember once, a long time ago now, I acccused him of voting for Bush rather than Kerry. I was wrong. Mr, Balko was kind enuf to explain my mistake to me. Then I became an even bigger fanbois of his. Radley Balko is not perfect. That said, he is definitely not partisan and that part of that man is very important.

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