A Quick Observation

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Over just the last 10 days or so . . .

  • John Boehner referred to those of us who opposed the TARP bank (executive) bailouts as “knuckle-draggers.”
  • Video emerged of Paul Ryan enthusiastically supporting George W. Bush’s stimulus package.
  • The GOP’s main talking point has been to criticize President Obama for (allegedly) cutting money from an entitlement program.
  • When asked about his foreign policy credentials, Ryan responded that he has voted for the disastrous war in Iraq. Because foreign policy is all about invading other countries.

Remind me again why libertarians and Republicans are natural allies? Because I’m not seeing it.

 

–Radley


Digg it |  reddit |  del.icio.us |  Fark

72 Responses to “A Quick Observation”

  1. #1 |  Elliot | 

    donttread (#48): Until such time as those of us who believe in both economic and personal freedom can convince a majority of the population that a consistent approach to freedom is desirable, we are forced to seek the coalition partners that will best help us further our goals.

    I’m not forced to do any such thing. Voting is a hostile act, equivalent to giving a permission slip to one group or the other group to violate the rights of my neighbors.

    If a majority of the population thought slavery or persecuting particular groups was legal and righteous, then democracy only gives them the power to impose a tyranny of the majority. If such a vote were held, then casting a ballot to oppose slavery would be agreeing to the outcome, including the possibility that 51% votes for slavery. Just don’t participate and refuse to acknowledge the moral validity of the outcome. Our rights should never be put on the auction block of public opinion.

    Furthermore, the winner-take-all nature of elections works against finding solutions to conflicts which benefit the parties involved. Instead, majority parties get to cram whatever they want down everyone’s throats. Rather than the interested parties in a dispute finding common ground, outsiders get to impose their notions, which make everyone worse off (except cronies, usually).

    Like el coronado, I too would be interested to hear the case for the Democrats being the better coalition partner for a purist libertarian, if such a case can be made.

    A “purist libertarian” won’t compromise on principles. Voting, as I explained, compromises on principles.

    As for Democrats, they reject the premise that your life belongs to you, so finding common ground on individual rights is impossible. At best, they’ll use wedge issues like abortion or drug prohibition to pose as someone who stands for freedom. Except, they’ll want to force people to pay for others, or to tax a plant you can grow in your yard, just because.

    At least a small portion of the Republican voters can discuss individual rights without running back home to big government solutions.

  2. #2 |  Sancho | 

    I don’t think it’s that complicated.

    A lot of self-styled libertarians – and I would say the majority – are only libertarian on the topics of guns, taxes and welfare. “Libertarianism” is rebranded conservatism and naturally fits with the right-wing political establishment.

  3. #3 |  AlgerHiss | 

    The oly difference between the two major partys is one walks leftward, and the other runs leftward.

    You are only voting for the speed at which things move leftward.

  4. #4 |  Duracomm | 

    Republicans are allies of libertarians because democrats are civil liberties disasters. Their terrible policies are made worse because the media does not pay attention to civil liberties when a democrats are violating them.

    So the best thing for civil liberties is a republican president because at least the media will suddenly find civil liberties to be an important issue.

    Here is an example for you.

    http://reason.com/blog/2012/08/20/why-is-david-brocks-democratic-pac-attac

    “”Why Is David Brock’s Democratic PAC Attacking Paul Ryan for Voting Against More Drug-War Funding?

    But just because I couldn’t find a single record of Ryan talking about the drug war doesn’t mean my search was entirely without fruit. In the course of digging, I found an oppo research file on Ryan published by American Bridge, a Democratic PAC started by David Brock. Amazingly, that file
    criticizes Ryan for not voting in favor of increased drug war funding.

    But I nevertheless find it fascinating that a progressive group is hammering a Republican for voting against giving more drug-war funding. That $145 million for the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign? It paid for the Above the Influence ad campaign, which the GAO deemed a failure with unpleasant unintended consequences. Those High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas? They’ve since been used to crack down on low-level drug offenders and medical marijuana.

    As for Ryan’s 2000 and 2007 votes against funding the Office of National Drug Control Policy: The head of the ONCDP through 2001 was Gen. Barry McCaffrey, a hardcore drug warrior who was later revealed to be a paid shill for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and who recently said that Portugal’s decriminalization efforts were “bullshit.”

    The second time Ryan voted against increased funding for the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Drug Czar John P. Walters (2001-2009) was in charge. Not only did Walters advocate for randomly drug-testing high school students, he wrote a piece for The Weekly Standard earlier this year decrying any and all legalization or decriminalization efforts.

    So, in addition to wanting to know more about Paul Ryan’s stance on the drug war, I’d also like to know why David Brock’s super PAC is attacking Ryan for not giving more money to Barry McCaffrey and John P. Walters. “”

  5. #5 |  Cynical in New York | 

    #52

    I don’t know if you have been actually paying attention but the Conservative establishment is pretty openly hostile to libertarians. You honestly think conservatives like Savage, Levin or Ingram would give an interview to people like Lew Rockwell? To call libertarianism a re-branding of conservatism is ridiculous and lazy at the very least.

  6. #6 |  Deoxy | 

    I don’t know if you have been actually paying attention but the Conservative establishment is pretty openly hostile to libertarians.

    Let me fix that for you: “I don’t know if you have been actually paying attention but the establishment is pretty openly hostile to libertarians.”

    The “establishment” is made of lifelong politicians. The vast majority of these people are in it for themselves first, and their stated beliefs and political stances are for political benefit, nothing more.

    As such, libertarian thought is a direct attack on their REAL beliefs. Which party they are a part of does not matter.

    Elliot: So, what manner of government do YOU find acceptable? Anarchy, while intellectually satisfying for certain things, has a snowball’s chance in hell of even being listened to much less contemplated by the vast majority of the US population, so don’t bother.

    Seriously, democratic methods of government are the absolute worst form of government… except for all the others we’ve tried. Pure democracy is essentially mob rule, but even mob rule is often preferable to monarchy.

    In the short term, an omniscient, benevolent dictator would be the most efficient and best for of government, but even if you could somehow achieve an approximation of that, succession is a serious problem (somehow, the people that want control the most are the ones we least want in charge, but are the ones most willing to fight for and hardest for that control).

    No way in hell there’s 15 MPH difference between those two buses.

    You’re right – it’s more like 75 mph and 150 mph… as judged by how fast Bush and Obama administrations have added to the debt.

    Of course, really, even that’s not fair, since a large chunk of what happened under Bush was after the Democrats gained control of Congress (where they set the budget… or just the continuing resolution, like the last several years, now).

  7. #7 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    In the short term, an omniscient, benevolent dictator would be the most efficient and best for of government

    I’ll take, instead, a businessman running a resort that I pay to stay at—with other competing resorts just down the road. No nations. No government.

  8. #8 |  Deoxy | 
    In the short term, an omniscient, benevolent dictator would be the most efficient and best for of government

    I’ll take, instead, a businessman running a resort that I pay to stay at—with other competing resorts just down the road. No nations. No government.

    Right up until the guy down the road is losing too much business to the guy you’re staying with a has him bumped off in some plausibly deniable way.

    That’s how those kinds of things end. Everywhere in the world that has been tried, that’s how it ends – city-states that are essentially the equivalent of dictatorships without formal borders (usually). The group most willing and/or able to engage in violence is in charge.

    We have governments as an attempt to give exclusive (or nearly so) right to violence to someone that is under our control (theoretically).

    Yes, they have all kinds of problems. Pretending they don’t is stupid. Pretending there aren’t all kinds of problems with the alternatives is also stupid.

  9. #9 |  Elliot | 

    Deoxy (#56): Elliot: So, what manner of government do YOU find acceptable?

    That begs the question: why do I have to “accept” a system to rule others? I can accept something for myself, but other people ought to have the right to make their own decisions.

    I can tell you what I would prefer for myself and in my ideal world, everyone else would agree with me on what would be best. Of course, if everyone agreed, then it would be a voluntary collaboration, which is not a government.

    In a slightly less ideal world in which I’m forced to be dictator for a month and made to have some government, I’d design it to be minimal (law enforcement, no victimless crimes, defensive military). In short, a free market libertarian “minarchy”.

    But in the real world, I won’t presume to know what’s best for you or millions of others.

    Anarchy, while intellectually satisfying for certain things, has a snowball’s chance in hell of even being listened to much less contemplated by the vast majority of the US population, so don’t bother.

    Seriously, democratic methods of government are the absolute worst form of government… except for all the others we’ve tried. Pure democracy is essentially mob rule, but even mob rule is often preferable to monarchy.

    I don’t dispute any of that and I have said basically the same thing, many times.

    So, I don’t offer blueprints for how to rule others. I simply point out the ethical flaws in how people who wield government power violate the rights of others. I don’t have to give a “better solution” to point out that those people are doing wrong and should stop. It’s no incumbent upon a witness to force a rapist to stop. The rapist should refrain from rape in the first place.

  10. #10 |  James Solbakken | 

    Political party is always partisan and never principled. I see partisanship in the big “L” Libertarians similar to the big “R” Republicans, which means they both suck. Political principle is, like, the opposite of party affiliation. Most people do not understand principles, and therefore do not trust principles, so they stick to party politics. A small “l” libertarian and a small “r” republican should have a lot in common, and they do, once they give up the politics.
    Isn’t it a bit of a straw-man ploy to hold up a well known RINO (isn’t it telling that principled republicans have a name for partisan Republicans? Do libertarians have as well a developed nose for LINO’s? Yeah, I think some do)
    as an example of the weasely weaselhood and weaselality of all Republicans?
    How about bringing the people together who we would LIKE to have brought together? Why not reach out to the people who loathe the whole idea of TARP, and actually drive a wedge between us and them? Why say things in such a way that TENDS TO ALIENATE the people WE need to reach? So it’s good to point out that Boner is a phony balony plastic banana, but it’s bad to assume that stealth has nothing to do with the success of the statist juggernaut.

  11. #11 |  James Solbakken | 

    I am CONSERVATIVE in that I believe that the moral choices of moral agents have seriously deadly consequences, so I tread carefully and guard those whom I have responsibility for, especially when it comes to keeping away those who DON’T believe that morals and their lack have consequences.
    I’m LIBERTARIAN in that I believe that if someone else’s moral choices do not directly put me and mine or some innocently ignorant person at unacceptable risk, then it ain’t none of my beeswax.
    What I can’t figure out is what is so effing complicated about this?

  12. #12 |  AdamPM | 

    Actually I think a better way to put this is Republicans want to control your life through morality. Democrats want to control your life through money.

    From what I’m seeing neither side is competent enough to be able to discuss finances or morality. Maybe politicians should be like children, seen but not heard.

    #21 | EH | August 20th, 2012 at 1:22 pm
    Bill Wells:
    The Republicans intend to rule your private lives. The Democrats intend to rule your use of money

    How do you explain the PMRC? “Video games = murder” cultural determinism is a Democrat thing, like “poor people = lazy” is for Republicans.

  13. #13 |  agorabum | 

    Republicans want to codify the rules in the bible, start more wars, and support torture and indefinite detention. Oh, they also want to lower the top marginal tax rates, and raise the lower marginal tax rates (so you pay more on the first $250k you earn, and less on the rest).
    Democrats want to raise top marginal rates (so you pay the same on the first 250k you earn and more on everything above $250k). For this they are called communist/socialist/”they want to control you” by basically everyone on this board.
    The simple answer to Radley’s question is that lowering the top marginal tax rate takes precedent over all other issues. Support for Gitmo, Iraq, military buildup, codifying the demands of the religious right, none of it’s more important than lower taxes on the rich.
    Disappointing, but unsurprising.

  14. #14 |  buzz | 

    Because there is a small subset of the Republican party who actually believe in smaller government, the Constitution and personal freedom and if that subset actually exists in the democrat party, its exceedingly small. And that if a Libertarian wants his vote to count he can vote for a side which has no chance of supporting his policies or a side in which he has a small chance. Or you can cherrypick the worst of them, and apply a broad brush to all of them and then ask stupid questions. Which ever you prefer.

  15. #15 |  el coronado | 

    Then again, maybe another reason Libertarians (reluctantly) gravitate more to Team Elephant rather than the other guys can be found in some of the more recent comments. “Republicans want to control your private life through morality (dude)”; “Republicans intend to rule your private lives”; and of course the subtle and understated “Republicans want to (totally) codify the Bible, start (like) more wars, And (totally) support , (like), TORture and indefinite detention.”

    With no mention whatsoever of the _Zero_ Democrat efforts to, like, close Gitmo; or their wildly enthusiastic and completely unConstitutional support for Speech Codes and ‘Free Speech Zones’ and the like; Our Dear Democrat Leader gleefully signed into law HR 347, making protesting against Our Betters illegal; or the fact democrats not only continue to fund & expand the NSA/Mil-Ind complex/Police State/Drug War et al, they *started the ball rolling* with the creation of the CIA & NSA & the Harrison Narcotic Act of 1914; or the hugely inconvenient fact that every major war the US was involved in during the 20th century started while a *Democrat* was in the White House…..

    Maybe Libertarians just hate intellectual dishonesty combined with XXXL doses of sophistry – and find a tad less of it at Team Elephant.

  16. #16 |  Doc Merlin | 

    …because its actually possible to take over local republican party organizations, as we libertarians have in Tarrant county Texas (think Fort Worth).

    Its not really possible for a libertarian to do the same in the democratic party, because its structure is way less democratic.

  17. #17 |  Doc Merlin | 

    Lets see, we (I am a libertarian (little l) who is an RNC delegate) put planks in our platform against “free speech zones” and against using arial surveillance against US targets.

  18. #18 |  Doc Merlin | 

    “The Republicans intend to rule your private lives. The Democrats intend to rule your use of money”

    No, dems also want to tell you how to eat.

  19. #19 |  el coronado | 

    Doc makes an interesting point. The basis for the tired old ‘Republicans want to rule your private lives’ whine seems to stem from past GOP efforts to oppose abortion – an issue that could just as easily be framed as ‘protecting the lives of the unborn’ (and before the squeals start, when some asshole kills a pregnant woman & her fetus, nowdays most of the time he’s charged with 2 murders, right? Even by *democrat* DA’s in heavily-democrat states, right?) – and opposition to gay marriage.

    As noted above, democrats want to control what you eat & drink; and *say* – hate speech! culture of hatred/sexism/racism! – and clamp down on any & all participation on the electoral process by ANY religious groups, except – oddly – all-black churches and the black moslems. Looks about like a wash to me.

  20. #20 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @26 – There’s an easy answer to that – The FPTP voting system.

    @52 – Absolutely.

  21. #21 |  En Passant | 

    For some reason I’ve been unable to make this information post on comment threads of anybody but Radley. Somebody please post this information to the Brandon Raub article comment thread. Thank you.

    Brandon Raub has now been released by court order.

    Links:

    The Blaze.

    WTVR, Richmond, VA.

  22. #22 |  Other Sean | 

    Leon,

    Good point about FPTP. That is exactly the same reason why, in America, even avowed socialists tend to be a fierce partisans of the Democrats. They’ve nowhere else to go.

    Not to sound surprised, but it’s not often that you’re ri…I mean, um, it’s rare that you and I should agree about anything.