The Libertarian Case for Obama

Seven potential upsides to a hope-monger presidency

For those who recognize that "libertarian Democrat" is no more oxymoronic than "libertarian Republican," a solid case can be made for Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) as a Leader of the Free World who won't take that American Exceptionalism conceit as seriously as "Country First" Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

Sure, we'll have to endure four or even eight years of warbling by Barbra Streisand at White House dinners. And I am under no illusions: Obama has more Populist-Progressive than Madisonian inclinations. But, guys and gals, Ms. Wasilla is no less stomach-churning than Babs. And the actual Republican presidential candidate is even more authoritarian than his Progressive hero, Teddy Roosevelt. John McCain is no friend of Friedman.

Thus, seven reasons libertarians can hope for the best from Obama.

1. Sen. Obama has met at least one war he doesn't love. His early pronouncements against the criminal enterprise in Iraq are enough reason, in themselves, to vote his way on November 4. Anyone paying the least attention must conclude that Lt. McCain's "cause greater than self" always involves the Army, the Navy, and the United States Marines (not necessarily in that order.)

2. The election of an African-American will end liberal racism as we know it. If an overwhelmingly white nation chooses a black leader, the Jesse Jacksons and other Mau Mauers for identity-based group preferences will be put out of business, as I explained here.

3. One word: Osmosis. You couldn't live in Hyde Park or teach at the University of Chicago with the intellectual curiosity of a Barack Obama without gaining at least some understanding of libertarian economics. That can't be said for most of the reactionary left-liberal wing of the Democratic Party dominating Capitol Hill. But I believe Obama is educable on free markets and I'm convinced that Democrats are ripe for a return in the next decade to the liberalism of our party's founder, Thomas Jefferson (I made this case two years ago in my libertarian Democrat manifesto.)

4. Obama is the best hope for keeping government out of your bedroom and away from your body. As would any Democratic standard-bearer, the senator from Illinois represents the pro-choice, pro-gay rights side of the cultural divide. And he has at least made interesting soundings about reducing America's status as the world's number one jailer, much of which is tied to drug offenses and other crimes without victims. No libertarian can feel comfortable with a Republican candidate who doesn't echo the personal choices demanded by his supposed hero, Barry Goldwater.

5. The hidden hand did well this month punishing stupidity. But libertarians committed to free markets, not corporate oligarchs, must pause to consider the need for field-leveling regulation. More precisely, we should ask whether there was sufficient enforcement of reasonable restraints already in place. We need Republicans to stand against excessive tinkering in markets, of course. But my modest retirement fund may be safer with Democratic regulators in charge than rogue elephants.

6. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Yes, we need to restore America's reputation around the world. Anybody who's traveled beyond the Atlantic and Pacific in the past eight years knows America needs a makeover. Whatever you think of Barack Obama—unless, like the mindless U!S!A! crowd, you don't care what the world thinks—he will restore much of the goodwill we have lost when he raises his hand on January 20, 2009. That's significant for libertarians who believe in the importance of the nation most committed to free markets and free minds—ours—leading by example. More-of-the-McSame in foreign policy is something we can't afford.

7. Finally, Barack Obama is smart enough to follow the aspirations of the Gen Y, Millenials, and Echo Boomers next up on the American political stage. They want choices in both their bank accounts and their bedrooms. I don't have much empirical evidence for that, though the college students I teach suggest that such libertarian leanings are on the rise. After all, a generation growing up with an explosion of mega-data-informed choices literally at its keyboard fingertips will resemble the self-sufficient, liberty-loving founders of the Agrarian Age more than they'll resemble the social welfare liberals of the Industrial Era who gave us one-size-fits-all central authority mandates.

The oldest candidate in American history won't inspire such potentially libertarian change—but the senator from Illinois can. It's change in which you and I can believe, whether or not we believe in any candidate, including Barack Obama.

Terry Michael is Director of the non-partisan Washington Center for Politics & Journalism and former press secretary for the Democratic National Committee. He blogs at www.terrymichael.net.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Here is my libertarian case for Obama:

  • dinkster||

    This was almost prophetic.

  • ||

    Commonsewer, either you're missing a tag or you're a very wise man.

  • ||

    Drink!

  • The Wise Commonsewer||

    Thanks, Tulpa.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Libertarian cause for Obama? Is that a paradox or an oxymoron?

  • Blah||

    God, this magazine sucks.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    And seriously, how can Senor Michael say with a straight face that electing Obama is going to put the Vice President of Black America out of business?

    The Reverend Jackson is not going down that easily.

    I guarantee it.

  • ||

    unless, like the mindless U!S!A! crowd, you don't care what the world thinks-

    Not being too concerned with how occasional/supposed/never "friends" regard the US is anything but mindless.

    On the other hand, nervously parsing signals that come from other countries with their own interests and agendas in order to determine what our policies should be, is pretty foolish.

  • ||

    He may not go down that easily. But Obama will have the bully pulpit. Lots of people will see that Obama's climb to the top didn't require race baiting, finger-pointing and hating on whitey. They'll also see that it got him a lot further than Jackson. If Obama becomes president, a lot more people will emulate him over Sharpton and Jackson.

  • Derrick||

    So who's gonna write the story on the libertarian case for Bob Barr?

    I find it hard to get too excited by Barr, as he's a little too socially conservative for my tastes. Nonethless, it seems to me that he's clearly a better choice than McCain or Obama, and has a better shot at breaking into the media than most previous LP candidates. So, would it hurt anything for libertarians to throw a little support behind him?

  • ||

    Terry Michael, former press secretary for the Democratic National Committee, has really produced a masterpiece of wishful thinking here. We should elect Obama because maybe he met some freemarket thinkers while teaching at the U. of Chicago? If we elect Obama the "non-profit" types who make a living off of accusing white people of racism and of fighting for race-based preferences will start making a living doing something else? We should elect Obama because foreigners we meet on vacation will be nicer? Good grief.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Mo, I'm sure your right. Too bad Terry Michael didn't say it that way. Still, diminished capacity and influence isn't neutering.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    We should elect Obama because maybe he met some freemarket thinkers while teaching at the U. of Chicago?

    Mrs TWC has said that Obama should know better as a result of that association. Too bad he doesn't.

  • ||

    The election of an African-American will end liberal racism as we know it. If an overwhelmingly white nation chooses a black leader, the Jesse Jacksons and other Mau Mauers for identity-based group preferences will be put out of business

    If you took that sentence to court you could have Terry Michael declared a danger to himself and others. That has got to be the stupidest thing ever published at reason.com, that wasn't written by Steve Chapman.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    So, would it hurt anything for libertarians to throw a little support behind him?

    Two votes from Casa de las Rocas Grandes! That'd be me and Mrs TWC.

  • voxpo||

    Blah | September 19, 2008, 3:06pm | #
    God, this magazine sucks.


    Compared to what?

  • ||

    For those who recognize that "libertarian Democrat" is no more oxymoronic than "libertarian Republican,"

    I recognize that they are both plain old moronic.

  • LLStone||

    Well, at least the professional race baiters have been quieted by his performance so far. Oh wait...

  • Mavrick||

    I can't hear you because I'm yelling too loudly.

    USA! USA! USA!

  • ||

    The election of an African-American will end liberal racism as we know it.

    No F-in Way. Jackson will argue that Obama isn't really black. You could elect Method Man, and Jackson et al would argue that he wasn't "black enough"

  • ||

    oooh, I wanna see the Libertarian Case for Cynthia McKinney!

  • libertarian democrat||

    That is just plain full of wishful thinking.

  • classwarrior||

    Here are two more reasons to vote Obama: He'll tone down the drug war by ending federal raids on medical marijuana outlets in states where it's legal. He's also a lot more likely than McSame to end the ridiculous embargo on Cuba.

  • libertarian democrat||

    My libertarian case for Barack Obama:

    He isn't as bad as McCain. Still probably better to vote for Barr, but that's all we've got.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "He isn't as bad as McCain."

    Based on what,exactly?

  • ||

    He was the guy who first suggested attacking Pakistan, right?

    Just sayin'...

    -jcr

  • Icl||

    "Based on what, exactly?"

    RTFI!

  • Paul||

    Reason should to a two-parter called "The Libertarian Case for McCain" and "The Libertarian Case for Obama".

    Both articles should be blank.

    It'd slay your readers.

  • libertarian democrat||

    Based on my subjective assessment of their policies and likely actions. Feel free to disagree, I don't really feel like explaining every issue on which I think Obama > McCain (and why they are more important than the ones on which McCain > Obama). It's hard for me to understand why people would think McCain isn't worse, but my point was only that Obama doesn't have much going for him, the only thing I see him as having going for him is that he isn't as bad as the other likely option.

  • Lefty||

    Reason is starting to suck as a magazine. Libertarian Democrat case for Obama. You must be kidding.

    Remember his veep wants to tax us more so that we can become more patriotic.

    Palin is the most libertarian on the ticket. It's all about Reform folks.

  • TallDave||

    Only #4 makes any sense. The rest is wishful thinking (the end of liberal racism? free market Obama? Osmosis?) inapplicable (it's too late to lose in Iraq) or feckless (oh no, people in other countries don't like us! wah!).

  • Hogan||

    I was hoping this article would be at least minimally persuasive enough to help temper my distaste for Obama but no dice. This article is fucking retarded. Obama would be great for libertarianism because no one would ever call racists again? Other countries will totally reverse they way they see us? The kids like him?! And for no given reason we can have greater faith in Democratic financial regulators?!

    Stupid fucking article. There probably is some tiny way in which an Obama presidency would be positive, but Terry Michael evidently isn't aware of it.

  • ||

    Here is more wishful thinking about Obama; he might send his VP to an undisclosed location, preferably outside our solar system.

  • kinnath||

    Sad how the party of Thomas Jefferson devolved into the modern Democratic Party.

    Of course Abe Lincoln wouldn't recognize the stampeding elephants either.

  • ||

    Based on what,exactly?



    What isn't Obama better than McCain on? Here, I'll answer my own question. He's worse on:

    1. Free Trade
    2. Healthcare

    ...and here's where the list ends.

    McCain will try to cut taxes, of course, but he'll also raise spending by a probably greater amount than Obama (wars, it turns out, are expensive), so we'll be on the hook for the money regardless. McCain might be a little better on immigration, but probably they'll end up being about the same.

    In comparison, what is Obama better than McCain on:

    1. Not Spending a Trillion Dollars And Thousands of American Lives Killing Brown People
    2. Not creating a police state with internal spies and infinite police powers
    3. The Drug War
    4. Gay rights & abortion
    5. Security
    6. Letting me travel internationally without people spitting on me because I'm an American

    But you know what? You could stop with number 1. That's enough. No matter how ferociously Obama fucks up healthcare and free trade, he's not going to do the damage that Iraq has done to our economy and our citizens.

    Finally, why you should vote Obama if you're in a swing state, and Barr or another third party candidate if you're in a safe state: Because if the Republican party needs to be humbled, and ideally it needs to start wanting libertarian votes. If you elect McCain, the message that you send the Republican party isn't, "Jesus christ, don't socialize our healthcare," it's "Wars = Votes, and nobody actually believes in that 'civil liberties' guff."

    If you want the Republicans to start putting forward people who are better than McCain for libertarians, the only way that's going to happen is if you teach them that libertarians don't automatically vote Republican.

  • dinkster||

    "Whoops I was wrong"

  • Don the libertarian Democrat||

    Thanks to Reason for giving Terry Michael the space to write this article. I'm more interested in developing a libertarian strain in the Democratic party, and so I'm not as taken with Sen. Obama as most Democrats. I'm voting for him, but am more interested in a long term approach to developing a libertarian Democrat agenda that will, actually, reduce the size of government. As for wishful thinking, the GOP and LP are masters of that.

  • ||

    Is that a paradox or an oxymoron

    One man's oxymoron is another man's veridical paradox.

    On the Obama/Libertarian issue, it is clear to me that Obama is the better candidate from a Libertarian perspective. I think that Libertarians are too quick to use taxation as a barometer, even though what the tax rates are is not a particularly important measure of liberty. Will Obama raise taxes on those with high incomes? Yes. But more importantly he is the far better candidate on social issues (remember, if McCain is elected it will be Republican appointees all around); he is pro-trade in many respects; and he is more likely than McCain to be able to make positive strides in undoing the excesses of what is perhaps America's worst policy area--the Drug War. And most important of all he will likely step back from our current bellicose foreign policy (although not necessarily from interventionist foreign policy). We all know what a war does for state power...

  • ||

    For those who recognize that "libertarian Democrat" is no more oxymoronic than "libertarian Republican,"

    I recognize that they are both plain old moronic.



    Epi's right. We had six years with the GOP controlling the White House, both houses of congress and a tenuous grasp on SCOTUS.

    Here is a partial list of the anti-libertarian accomplisments by that government.

    - No Child Left Behind
    - Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage
    - Needless war in Iraq
    - The Patriot Act
    - Bailouts, bailouts and more bailouts (with Dems controlling congress)

    I'm sooo tired of being betrayed by the Republicans that if the election were held today, I'd vote Obama because Michigan polling has him and McCain close.

    If Michigan in November is > a 3 point spread either way, it'll be Barr.

    Obama is the best hope for keeping government out of your bedroom and away from your body.



    That's a fact, Jack.

  • ||

    I don't give a fuck what those folks on the other side of the pond thinks should be done in America, and I'm there four or five times a year "working" with them. If it wasn't for the vast amount of treasure they stole from the new world in the 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, they'd be a dim glow behind the shining light of Canada in terms of building an enviable, free country.

  • ||

    Warren-3:18

    Or OLS/TLW.

  • The Democratic Republican||

    I don't give one rat's ass what the world thinks about us. I'll change my mind when someone gives me a call and asks for my input on parliamentary elections in Belgium.

  • duster||

    The Democraps do have one thing the Repukelicans don't:

    An opposition party.

  • ||

    Obama wearing a cowboy hat... that's almost as libertarian as field-dressing a moose!

  • BDB||

    I agree 100% with J Sub D, and planning on doing the exact same thing. >3% polling in one direction, Barr. Close, Obama.

  • Jefferson||

    Guns, size of government, spending, free market, taxes, national defense (even if you oppose neoconservative style intervention, as I do, Mccain is much more likely to defend this nation from legitimate attacks).

    Obama is fucking terrible on all of these.

    Only on "social issues" could I see a libertarian or Objectivists supporting Obama. But then again, three big libertarians I know are totally pro-life: Ron Paul, Andrew Napolitano, Bob Barr.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "But you know what? You could stop with number 1. That's enough. No matter how ferociously Obama fucks up healthcare and free trade, he's not going to do the damage that Iraq has done to our economy and our citizens."

    Nonsense.

    We can't afford the entitlement programs we have now and they have cost far more than the Iraq war has or ever will. The unfunded liabilty for social security and medicare is about $100 trillion. Obama wants to create a whole new layer of entitlements on top of that - handouts for healthcare, college tuition and just plain old cash giveaways.

    Obama is a full blown socialist twit.

  • ||

    Michael B Sullivan: "1. Not Spending a Trillion Dollars And Thousands of American Lives Killing Brown People"

    You obviously missed Obama's declaration of war on Pakistan - you know, the country with "brown people" that have nuclear weapons.

  • BDB||

    McCain will cooperate with the Democratic Congress on their domestic agenda (higher taxes, more spending, trade barriers) in exchange for getting a blank check for the only thing he really cares about--a neoconservative foreign policy. Count on it.

  • ||

    Obama should have ended all hope that he would offer real pro-liberty change on anything when he announced his Vice Presidential choice. Joseph Robinette Biden.

    Both of them are working hard to convince me to vote for the other one; I'm not about to let them do it.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "I don't give a fuck what those folks on the other side of the pond thinks should be done in America, and I'm there four or five times a year "working" with them. If it wasn't for the vast amount of treasure they stole from the new world in the 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, they'd be a dim glow behind the shining light of Canada in terms of building an enviable, free country."

    Also, if it wasn't for them getting a free ride off of the American military protection for the last 60 years or so, they would have been swallowed up by the Communist block and not a one of them would be an idependent nation state today. Of course that also happens to apply to Canada as well.

  • ||

    libertymike @ 3:59pm
    Anybody can make any fool comment they want thank god. I'm talking about what the editors decide to run.

  • ||

    Michael B Sullivan--

    Please tell me Obama's stance on the War on Drugs. I've heard some vague stuff about "treatment" for first-time offenders, but no real policy changes and said he doesn't want to legalize drugs. And then he went and picked drug-warrior extraordinaire Joe Biden as his VP. I don't see how he would be any different than McCain on this issue, and neither are close to a libertarian position.

  • GG||

    Whatever you think of Barack Obama-unless, like the mindless U!S!A! crowd, you don't care what the world thinks-he will restore much of the goodwill we have lost when he raises his hand on January 20, 2009.

    Like I give a shit. FWIW, my kid attended the GYLC* this summer and he said the kids, who were there from all over the world, love America. It's anecdotal and scientific scrutiny might not bear that out, but he got the distinct impression that the U!S!A! isn't hated quite as much as people here think.

    That's significant for libertarians who believe in the importance of the nation most committed to free markets and free minds-ours-leading by example. More-of-the-McSame in foreign policy is something we can't afford.

    "McSame"? Clever...

    I don't care what anyone says. I'm still voting for the Libertarian-Neocon, ex-CIA agent with the sick mustache and the dry wit.


    *The group he led, which represented the Czech Republic, was the only one to pull out of the UN (I'm so proud!). He also publicly took to task an Embassy of Israel spokesman after the dude blamed the Iranians for all the terrorism in the world (his Iranian buddy sitting next to him appreciated it), and the spokesdude responded by calling him an anti-Semite and terrorist sympathizer. He also said he liked the babes from Trinidad the best, the girls from the UK are stuck-up bitches, and the Panamanians are a blast.

  • ||

    Nonsense.

    We can't afford the entitlement programs we have now and they have cost far more than the Iraq war has or ever will.



    There is absolutely no way that Obama and/or the Democratic congress will spend a trillion dollars more on healthcare than McCain would in the next eight years. There is every chance that McCain will spend a trillion dollars more on wars than Obama would. Comparing the Iraq war to eighty years of entitlement spending that McCain is never in a million years going to reduce is just stupid.

    The government's spending will be much, much, much higher under McCain than it would be under Obama -- even if Obama gets his way and reforms healthcare. Which he probably won't in any radical way.

    JSinAZ: yeah, I think I did miss that. I'm going to go way out on a limb and suggest that I missed it because it, you know, didn't happen.

  • Les||

    Mccain is much more likely to defend this nation from legitimate attacks...

    I don't think there's any evidence to support this. I don't think that people who have supported Bush's foreign policy know what a legitimate threat is.

  • Kolohe||

    He'll tone down the drug war by ending federal raids on medical marijuana outlets in states where it's legal.

    My gut tells me that reducing the drug war is one of the first things a Prez Obama throws under the bus. Why? Thre's going to be a slight uptick in crime over the next four years no matter who's prez.

    He's also a lot more likely than McSame to end the ridiculous embargo on Cuba.

    This OTOH, I agree with; but I predict there will be some trade liberalization (at least on the same order we have now with Vietnam) within five years no matter who's prez.

  • ||

    Please tell me Obama's stance on the War on Drugs. I've heard some vague stuff about "treatment" for first-time offenders, but no real policy changes and said he doesn't want to legalize drugs.



    Obama's stance on the War on Drugs is a wishy-washy general sense that we might want to tone down the number of people in prison, and that probably it's not the end of the world if people try a little pot. He won't launch any major reforms, but will probably try to reduce sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine, and will probably tell the federal government to back off on California's medical marijuana dealers.

    McCain's approach to the drug war is going to be, "Dude, the problem with Scalia's 'New Professionalism' is that the police don't have enough M-16s. Nothing says 'professionalism' like military weapons." And he's going to appoint Supreme Court justices who agree with him.

    Obama is not a libertarian dream come true by any means. The difference is that McCain is a nightmare. And anything that McCain is personally kind of okay on (immigration, for example) the enter rest of the Republican party is psycho about, so McCain has to appease them to get their backing for the stuff he really cares about.

    And what he really cares about is spending a trillion dollars and thousands of American lives launching pointless wars. That's his long-standing political principle: that we just aren't in enough wars. He was a neocon before being a neocon was cool.

  • BDB||

    Crime has been going down consistently since the early 90s, up to and including this year. What makes you think it will go up?

  • ||

    Both men are members of the party of state.
    Both men support an income tax.
    Both men support a progressive income tax.
    Both men support the drug war.
    Both men support the continuation of the Fed.
    Both men support collective bargaining.
    Both men support payroll taxes on the poor.
    Both men support payroll taxes on sole proprietors.
    Both men support Zionism.
    Both men support raping their constituents for Israel's benefit.
    Both men support welfare for illegal immigrants.
    Both men support campaign finance reform.
    Both men support restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms.
    Both men support hate crimes.
    Both men support the military industrial complex.
    Both men support the war on terror.

    Oh, but there are substantive differences, it is urged, between the two as Obama will do more to protect reproductive rights of women and McCain will do more in the war on terror...blah...blah...blah....Any argument that there is any material differnece between the two from a libertarian perspective is frivolous. Any distinction between the two amounts to a pimple on the penis of a protozoa.

  • ktc2||

    Barr>Obama>McCain

    I'm far more concerned with civil liberties and ending pointless unnecessary wars than I am with spending (mostly because both parties have proven beyond doubt they will spend as much as the other).

  • Miller||

    What a silly article. Unless you're willing to pay reparations and flog yourself in front of the Capital building, know that Jesse Jackson will NEVER shut up. As long as there is a trough, there will be flies and pigs. If Obama is elected, I hope that Reason's first act will be to fire Terry Michael. With Obama in office, he'll probably do better on welfare.

    I don't give one rat's ass what the world thinks about us. I'll change my mind when someone gives me a call and asks for my input on parliamentary elections in Belgium.

    Quoted for truth. The EUSSR has been irrelevant since 1776.

    If you believe in the American dream of freedom and capitalism, you don't care about international envy, and you'll vote McCain/Palin. If you're a whiny liberal-arts backpacker who wants to score drugs in Amsterdam, if you can't handle paying for your own Tylenol, or if you're completely deluded, you'll vote for Obama.

    The surge is working. We are on course in Iraq, and we can find free-market solutions for our economic woes at home. Unless we end up in Obamastan.

    Have you been wiretapped? Are you logging on from Guantanamo? Are you terrified of what Obama would do to your pocketbook? And your national pride? I rest my case.

    Come ON, people. There are enough libertarian votes to sway the election to McCain, if we can eliminate the left and get real when it matters. Palin '16!

  • kinnath||

    The only real difference between obama and mccain is that one of them will offer to use lube.

  • ||

    BTW, what is the supposed "experience" McCain supporters tout?

    Military? What, getting shot down and being a prisoner somehow qualifies you to be top bitch?

    Leadership? Has he ever met a payroll? Has he ever made anything? Produced anything?

  • Miller||

    My gut tells me that reducing the drug war is one of the first things a Prez Obama throws under the bus. Why? Thre's going to be a slight uptick in crime over the next four years no matter who's prez.

    You're right. Especially if he creates a massive welfare state.

  • ||

    It's not even close, folks. Obama's the guy that wants every child to put in 50 hours of labor in service of the state every year, and to withold funding from public schools who don't enforce it.

    Obama's the guy who wants to make it illegal for businesses to try to stop their workers from unionizing, then once unionized make it illegal for businesses to fire the lot of them and hire replacements. Oh, and he wants to abolish secret ballots for union votes and force workers to declare their position on unionization out in the open, so they can be intimidated by Union officials.

    That alone would be a radical restructuring of American business, putting power in the hands of the 'workers'.

    Obama wants to control health care, and raise taxes on businesses. He's a protectionist who opposed the Columbian free trade agreement, wants NAFTA re-negotiated, and wants 'fair' trade in which countries with per-capita GDPs equal to my kid's allowance will be forced to adhere to 1st world environmental and labor standards before they can trade with the U.S.

    Obama wants to use federal money to build 4,000 low income homes per year in cities throughout the U.S., replicating his Grove Parc disaster on a national scale.

    And the list goes on. McCain, with all his faults, doesn't come close to Obama in terms of implemnenting policies that are anathema to libertarians.

    As for Obama avoiding wars - sure, he did, when Republicans were the ones running them. Democrats have always shown an amazing ability to be completely anti-war until they get into power, at which point they realize that the military is now their toy to play with. Or as Madelaine Albright said, "What good is this fancy military if you're not going to use it?"

    If anything, the best way to avoid war is to elect John McCain, because the anti-war forces will stay animated and a dividied, hostile government will be unable to reach agreement. Put Obama in there, and suddenly the Democrats will discover that war is reasonable, and they'll control all three branches of government. And when it's Democrats running the war, the anti-war folks seem to vanish into the woodwork. I don't remember a lot of opposition to Bill Clinton's various adventures. Certainly not on the scale of Bush's. Remember, Obama sees nothing wrong with attacking Pakistan and implementing big troop increases in Afghanistan.

    Neither candidate is good for libertarians. But Obama is far, far worse than McCain. And at least with McCain you have a strong possibility of a divided government that can't do anything. If Obama is elected and the Democrats get a filibuster-proof majority in the House and Senate, they're going to throw a big damned party with taxpayer money and implement all those lefty policies they've been keeping in the closet for the past decade.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "There is absolutely no way that Obama and/or the Democratic congress will spend a trillion dollars more on healthcare than McCain would in the next eight years."

    You aren't the least bit capable of proving that Obama will spend less money on ANYTHING individually than McCain would or EVERYTHING in total than McCain would.

  • ||

    He rode a blazing saddle
    He wore a shining star
    His job to offer battle to bad men near and far

    He conquered fear and he conquered hate
    He turned dark night into day
    He made his blazing saddle a torch to light the way

  • ||

    Warren-

    Yes. Agreed.

  • theCL||

    Let's see ... I'm supposed to believe the guy running race-baiting ads is going to end racism?

    The guy whose political ambitions started with learning Alinsky's method, whose childhood mentor was a communist, whose pastor is Rev. Wright, who chaired "boards" with Bill Ayers, and who campaigns on class division is somehow, some way ... going to become ... some day, some way ... via osmosis (and some magic elixir) start believing in free markets?

    Give me a break! You're insulting all common decency.

    And the guy who takes in the most Fannie contributions and hired it's executives to run his campaign is going to create "field-leveling" regulation?

    This article has got to be a parody!

    But written by a former press secretary for the DNC, I'm scared the gentlemen actually believes himself.

  • BDB||

    Good Lord, this woman has no idea what she's talking about.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvUsdmqGYV8

    Fungible? WTF?

  • Kolohe||

    Crime has been going down consistently since the early 90s, up to and including this year. What makes you think it will go up?

    A little bit of regression to the mean (i.e. dead cat bounce) - that while the rates have still lowered this decade they have done so not quite as dramatically as last decade (and in a few years went up) - so a statistical blip is likely.

    Plus, we're likely to have the most significant economic dislocation since the early eighties (even if we don't technically have a recession) over the next two years. I'm not the biggest fan of the 'root causes' school, but there is a correlation.

  • ||

    The election of an African-American will end liberal racism as we know it. If an overwhelmingly white nation chooses a black leader, the Jesse Jacksons and other Mau Mauers for identity-based group preferences will be put out of business.

    No, liberal racism will become a growth industry, as any criticism, disagreement, or slight of Obama will be racist. Its already started, fer cryin' out loud.

    Oh, and any use of the term "McSame" communicates to me that the user is a sophomoric partisan twit.

  • ||

    Obama's stance on the War on Drugs...

    Huh-huh, you almost posted at 420, dude.

    But seriously, folks, I am going to crawl into my bong and stay there until January 20th. If I get high enough I just might not give a shit which of these two jackasses has been elected.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Obama wants to control health care, and raise taxes on businesses. He's a protectionist who opposed the Columbian free trade agreement, wants NAFTA re-negotiated, and wants 'fair' trade in which countries with per-capita GDPs equal to my kid's allowance will be forced to adhere to 1st world environmental and labor standards before they can trade with the U.S."

    Yes indeed - and don't forget he wants to make the U.S. economy more "fair" too - with more redistributionist handouts to "reward work" - as if he were a better judge than the marketplace as to the value of any activity.

    If I'm not mistaken, I beleive he also supports that old left wing feminist notion of "comparable worth" where the government decides what jobs are "equal" and dictates equal pay rates.

  • ||

    Dan-

    Do you think that a President McCain will be unable to convince a majority of Democrats in Congress to suport further free speech restrictions in the electoral context?

    Do you think that John McCain is going to get behind a push to eliminate payroll taxes?

    Do you think that a President McCain will support the elimination of Medicare and Medicaid? Or do you think that the chances are far greater that he will preside over substantial increases in such communism?

    How about military keynesianism? You do know that it is bankrupting us. What about a President McCain? Do you think he has the stones to stand up to these merchants of death?

  • ||

    You aren't the least bit capable of proving that Obama will spend less money on ANYTHING individually than McCain would or EVERYTHING in total than McCain would.



    Well, yes, that's true. I'm also not the least bit capable of proving that the sun will rise in the east tomorrow. Is that your argument? That the future is inherently unknowable? Because, uh, that's not a real awesome argument, dude.

  • ||

    Some good points, but you forgot the caveats. (See the John McCain article.)

    And that bit about "the nation most committed to free markets" must have been written at least a week ago.... It's not true any more.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "No, liberal racism will become a growth industry, as any criticism, disagreement, or slight of Obama will be racist. Its already started, fer cryin' out loud."

    Indeed. McCain has a new ad out that points out Obama's association with Franklin Raines, the former head of Fannie Mae and one of the main culprits in the shennanigans there that contributed to the subprime mortgage mess.

    Not having any legitmate counter argumment, the Obama lackeys are trying to claim the ad is "racist" because both Obama and Raines are black.

  • DannyK||

    Look at the reaction to the financial crisis this week.

    John McCain: Bring me the head of Christopher Cox!

    Barack Obama: Damn, this is some serious business. I don't think I can give you a soundbite answer to this problem.

    Which of these two guys is showing a decent regard for the complexity of the situation and an appreciation for the risks of shooting from the hip? Which is just going with his gut and freaking people out worse?

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Well, yes, that's true. I'm also not the least bit capable of proving that the sun will rise in the east tomorrow. Is that your argument? That the future is inherently unknowable? Because, uh, that's not a real awesome argument, dude."

    Who cares what you think is "awesome"?

    You are the one contending that Obama will increase spending less than McCain and I don't see any "awesome" reason to accept your ranting about the Iraq war as a substitute for a systemic totaling up of estimates of the actual costs of ALL the things that each wants to do and comparing the bottom line. And that includes all the hidden costs of increased regulations and government mandates for all sorts of things as well.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Barack Obama: Damn, this is some serious business. I don't think I can give you a soundbite answer to this problem."

    No - it's more like Obama can't say anything about it until David Axelrod writes a speech for him so that he'll know what his position is supposed to be on it.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Oh, but there are substantive differences, it is urged, between the two as Obama will do more to protect reproductive rights of women and McCain will do more in the war on terror...blah...blah...blah....Any argument that there is any material differnece between the two from a libertarian perspective is frivolous.



    Liberty Mike:

    Well said.

    Pimples and Protozoa notwithstanding. :-)

  • John Rhoads||

    Jefferson didn't found the Democratic party. I don't know why I keep seeing this statement, but it is false. Oddly enough, the party he founded was called the "republican" party, but was a different one than the one Lincoln was in.

  • Miller||

    @Gilbert Martin:

    If al Qaeda attacked us, I guess liberals would rather have a president who stroked his chin and thought about it. At least McCain has some stones.

  • ||

    The libertarian case for Obama over McCain?

    He's prettier.

    Next issue.

  • ||

    Gilbert:

    If I'm not mistaken, I beleive he also supports that old left wing feminist notion of "comparable worth" where the government decides what jobs are "equal" and dictates equal pay rates.

    Except when it comes to his own Senate staff.

  • edna||

    at least the article about mccain caveated everything. this was just a shill piece. and it completely glossed over the inevitable effect of one party rule.

    vote gridlock! vote partisan bickering! vote mccain!

  • ||

    Oh, puh-leeeeez. This gobbledygook isn't worthy of a response.

  • Fluffy||

    size of government, spending, free market

    I missed the part where John McCain led filibusters against the Bush budgets, that increased the size of government by an amount unprecedented since LBJ's time.

    Maybe you could direct me to the section of the transcript where that happened.

    I missed his filibuster of the Medicare Prescription drug benefit too. When did that happen? Maybe you have a Washington Post link handy?

    Just kidding, of course you don't have any of that, because John McCain endorses the entire Bush legacy.

    So we have the heir to the worst big government politician of all time, running against a Democrat who is also in favor of big government. Oh, but the Republican guy also saw to it that legislation was passed to immunize US torturers and to restrict habeus corpus.

    Wow, however will we find a way to compare those two? Gosh, it's so darn HARD!

    BTW, how in holy fuck do you write an article about why Obama would be good for libertarians without mentioning the fact that John McCain put it on the line and stood up for torturers? How do you write such an article without discussing the fact that a McCain victory means that we will have at least four more years when the full extent of the Bush administration's campaign against the rule of law and against the rights of its own citizens will be hidden by the executive branch using every trick at its disposal? An Obama victory would at least mean there would be a CHANCE that the information that's been suppressed in the name of "national security" might come out. Not a better than even chance or anything, but they might at least decide to air the dirty laundry of their Republican predecessors for political gain. If McCain wins, look forward to at least four more years of executive branch personnel laughing at subpoenas, "losing" millions of emails, brushing off Freedom of Information Act requests, pissing in the faces of litigants by closing down lawsuits on "secrecy" grounds, etc.

  • Fluffy||

    Obama = bad on economics and the size of government

    GOP = bad on economics and the size of government, but also stands for torture, lies, laughing at the rule of law, an omnipresent surveillance society, and bowing to the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    Hmmmmm...decisions, decisions...

  • economist||

    "would end liberal racism/identity politics"
    Sure, except that Obama would not have gotten the Democratic nomination except for some rather strong racially-aligned voting.

  • LarryA||

    Obama favors more gun control, and that's for me a deal-breaker. Politicians who don't trust us, don't deserve our trust.

    I'm a bitter gun-owner, and I vote.

  • Sgt Osiris||

    I love the 3% polling remarks from everyone.

    ALERT!!! It doesn't matter either way because you have ZERO chance of changing the outcome with your one vote.

    Why not vote your conscience or do the moral thing and not vote for any of these crooks. At least you would have an legitimate reason to complain when you get screwed by either of the candidates come Jan '09.

    If you vote and you don't like the outcome you have no right to complain because you participated in a rigged game.

  • ||

    I don't see why any libertarian would vote for McCain or Obama. Barr is not going to win, so the question is who to root for winning.

    the case for Obama:

    * likely not nearly as bad on civil liberties as McCain.
    * of the two parties, the republicans represent the best longterm hope for small government but they've lost their way. losing the election makes it somewhat more likely that limited government, economic conservatives will regain some of their voice in the party.
    * with the economy in the toliet and the mess on wall street, either party is likely to end up being bad on regulation and taxes. republicans might be a more effective voice for restraint as the opposition party than they would be saddled with the responsibility of governance.

    the case for McCain

    * Dems likely to hold congress, would keep either party from controlling both Congress & WH
    * marginally better on economic policy
    * would likely pick better judges/justices (although that is open to debate given his lack of respect for the constitution & civil liberties)

    In balance, i think that makes me slightly root for Obama with the hope of one term only. i'll be voting for Barr though.

  • economist||

    While Terry fantasizes about Barack Obama, I'm going to go get drunk.

  • ||

    "Dan-

    Do you think that a President McCain will be unable to convince a majority of Democrats in Congress to suport further free speech restrictions in the electoral context?

    Do you think that John McCain is going to get behind a push to eliminate payroll taxes?

    Do you think that a President McCain will support the elimination of Medicare and Medicaid? Or do you think that the chances are far greater that he will preside over substantial increases in such communism?

    How about military keynesianism? You do know that it is bankrupting us. What about a President McCain? Do you think he has the stones to stand up to these merchants of death?"

    So... your argument is that since McCain won't become a crusader for libertarian ideals, you might as well vote for a socialist?

    As for 'military Keynesianism', I don't think that phrase means what you seem to think it means. No one on either side is suggesting that money be spent on the military to improve the economy. Are you just repeating someone else's soundbite or something? You shouldn't use words unless you know what they mean.

  • economist||

    I'm a bitter gun-owner and a bitter drinker, and a bitter smoker.

    And I was once attacked by a moose.

    So I think I might vote for the ticket in which one of the running mates has at least shot at a moose.

  • ||

    Shit, I just realized a huge problem with the McCain-gridlock argument. Unless the Republicans take back a house of Congress in 2010, and assuming we do get gridlock, you do know what that means, starting in 2012? 4-8 years of Hillary. Maybe 4 years of Obama wouldn't be so bad...

  • Paul||

    Obama is the best hope for keeping government out of your bedroom and away from your body.

    Define "bedroom" and "body".

  • economist||

    Hiker nearly getting trampled by a moose. I now hate those creatures with a passion.

  • Paul||

    I'm a bitter gun-owner, and I vote.

    Oh yeah? I'm a bitter gun-owner and I don't vote.

    Remember, if you vote, you can't complain.

  • Tacos mmm...||

    of the two parties, the republicans represent the best longterm hope for small government but they've lost their way. losing the election makes it somewhat more likely that limited government, economic conservatives will regain some of their voice in the party.


    The "limited government, economic conservatives" will regain some of their voice? What? All three of them?

    Republicans have never been about having a smaller government, just a different sphere of influence. Democrats want to legislate commerce, Republicans your private life. It's always been that way. Why you should think that the latter is somehow less intrusive is beyond me.

  • Paul||

    Oh, but there are substantive differences, it is urged, between the two as Obama will do more to protect reproductive rights of women and McCain will do more in the war on terror

    As an abortion supporter, I again feel the need to really ask. After decades of Republican leadership, what real erosion of reproductive rights have women lost?

    And please, don't list losing funding for access to abortions.

    I mean actual roll-backs of "reproductive rights". And no I'm not asking sarcastically, I really need someone to make a convincing case. I think so much ink has been spilled over this vague concept of reproductive rights, that I think it's lost meaning over time.

  • economist||

    Paul,
    You can complain if your candidate doesn't win. That's what I almost always do (Bush '92, Dole '96, and wrote my own name in after that)

  • economist||

    Tacos mmmm,
    I actually commerce to be part of my private life. And more important than the opportunity to have butt sex.

  • economist||

    But then again, I do enjoy fornication quite a bit.

  • Kyle||

    This is another one of those years I wish I could vote for NoTA...

  • Fluffy||

    As an abortion supporter, I again feel the need to really ask. After decades of Republican leadership, what real erosion of reproductive rights have women lost?

    And please, don't list losing funding for access to abortions.

    I mean actual roll-backs of "reproductive rights". And no I'm not asking sarcastically, I really need someone to make a convincing case. I think so much ink has been spilled over this vague concept of reproductive rights, that I think it's lost meaning over time.


    I know where you are coming from on this, but basically you're saying that since pro-choice forces have gone all-out and won critical political battles to protect reproductive choice, it must never have been in danger to begin with and if they had done nothing the outcome would have been the same.

    Now, that may be true. But I somehow doubt it.

    And I'm saying that as a pro-choice person who thinks Roe was wrongly decided in the first place.

  • No Comment||

    The seven reasons listed in this article are essentially the reasons that I, a registered AZ libertarian, will vote for Obama.

    A McCain presidency would be so bad for the youth of America thinking about it makes me nearly cry.

    Plus, Wayne Allen Root is quite insane and a prick.

  • ||

    the case for McCain

    * Dems likely to hold congress, would keep either party from controlling both Congress & WH
    * marginally better on economic policy


    If dems controlled congress and the presidency 2 years later they would not control congress.

    Seriously last time they had both they tried to institute national health care, something joe keeps telling us most americans want, and then lost congress in the next election.

    Nothing on the democrats agenda is in any way palatable to American voters.

  • Paul||

    it must never have been in danger to begin with and if they had done nothing the outcome would have been the same.

    Good point. I'm really trying not to get bogged down in the state where I forget history. I'm just saying that we've gotten to this point where if someone from the GOP, nay ANYONE from the GOP takes a position of power, women will lose their tenuous grasp on their reproductive rights. For God's sake, if Reagan couldn't take them from you, who will?

  • Lee Cruz||

    This is one of the worst articles ever..

  • Former Libertarian||

    I'd just like to know, what's so wonderful about being #37 in the world on healthcare? Or is it cost savings benefit of our declining life expectancies?

    I left the LP because, while the positions look really good on paper, they just aren't going to work to improve people's lives.

    I don't see the lib view working on the economy. I don't see the US as ever becoming a Switzerland on foreign policy.

    You guys are great on the drug war and civil liberties, but......you've got a mean streak of "let them eat cake".

  • ||

    Given how our pols are mashing the accelerator to get us to the Day of Reckoning (the day the US Treasury has bond auction, and no one shows up for auction)ever-faster, the issues of libertarianism will be forced on the fools soon, no matter the pol. I almost want to vote for Obama just because it is a relative guarantee that with another super-majority for one party in Congress, we will hit the fiscal wall sooner rather than later.

    As a thirty-something myself, I want at least two decades of productive lifespan left in me to pick up the pieces from that impending detonation, instead of being sixty-something and being left high and dry. So, I'm all for the impending fiscal implosion now instead of later. Hurry it up already!

  • JB||

    "The election of an African-American will end liberal racism as we know it."

    LOL. Terry is an absolute fool if he believes that. Does he live in the same cave as Obama? How dense do you have to be to believe that? I don't know what country Terry lives in, but it isn't America. Maybe it's that other America that John Edwards lives in with his mistress.

  • ||

    HAL-9000,

    I only have so many bullets, and unfortunately they are small caliber. I don't live in the best neighborhood, and I'm really not sure armor-plating my car is going to be in my grasp. Can you point me to some resources, other than Harry Browne's entertaining doomsday books, to tell me how to survive the upcoming upheaval?

  • ||

    Dan-

    Do I sound as if I would ever vote for a socialist? I would rather be stuck between Roseanne Barr and Kirstie Alley in the middle seat on a packed red eye from SF to Boston than vote for any socialist, including Obama. And I'm 6'3, 255.

  • Paul||

    But then again, I do enjoy fornication quite a bit.

    Me too, but mostly with other people.

  • JB||

    The biggest case against Obama are his braid-dead followers. These people want communism and want it now and are happy to shove it down your throat.

    Obama scares me much less than the nutroots thinking it is some sort of mandate for all their Stalinist fantasies.

  • Paul||

    you've got a mean streak of "let them eat cake".

    It's tough to explain, and no, our positions on things are very difficult to demagogue, but that couldn't be further from the truth.

    Well, ok, yes, sometimes we do. For instance, these seven-figure-pulling execs that over extended themselves in their respective financial markets? Yes, let them eat cake. No wait, cake's too good for 'em.

    But on the healthcare point, you're very wrong. It's the opposite of what you suggest. Reasonable people can disagree, but our position is that we believe that healthcare will be better overall without massive legislative interventions into the system. In fact, the reverse is the outcome. Single payer systems ration care, and if you don't qualify: you're told to eat cake by a massive, untouchable central government.

    I'd rather be told to eat cake by one of a zillion private insurance companies, and still have options, than be told to eat cake by a single authority that can't be circumvented.

  • Franklin Harris||

    You know, of my political science professors in college, one was a Chomskyite and the other was a former student of Alasdair MacIntyre. That makes me about as much of a leftist as Obama is a free marketeer.

  • ||

    Dan-

    Please do not make the mistake that I do not understand the term military keynesianism and its varied meanings and applications. It is bankrupting us, period.

  • TXLimey||

    1. Sen. Obama has met at least one war he doesn't love. Just the one though. Invasions of Pakistan, Zimbabwe, and Sudan are all queued up and ready to go.

    2. The election of an African-American will end liberal racism as we know it. The people who are now branding anyone who disagrees with the Senator as a racist will stop the minute the returns are in. Promise.

    3. One word: Osmosis. Hanging out with William Ayers can't help but have influenced his thinking. Ouch! This sword has two edges!

    4. Obama is the best hope for keeping government out of your bedroom and away from your body. Except in regards to your medical care. But yes, he is extremely pro-choice.

    5. Personal retirement funds trump libertarian principles?

    6. And I'm sure that goodwill will last while he trashes existing trade agreements and pursues a protectionist economic policy.

    7. Um, can we stick to arguments that are based on something other than wishful thinking. Both candidates are smart, and both are running campaigns that leave a lot to be desired from a libertarian perspective. Saying that your guy is smarter and will therefore follow your libertarian leanings is, well, not smart.

    And Reason, I have to ask, why have have Matt Welch (author of the anti-McCain manifesto) write the libertarian case for McCain and an Obama supporter write this one? I think the readers and the candidate would have been better served by a more critical look.

  • Paul||

    You know, of my political science professors in college, one was a Chomskyite and the other

    I want to know which one wasn't.

  • HAL-9000||

    John-David:

    When I'm talking about fiscal explosions and day-of-reckoning, I'm not talking about Left Behind books, outright anarchy, or even the Great Depression 2.0. What I'm talking about is the fact Social Security and Medicare are going to be kaput when my number comes up for collecting instead of paying. God knows what the dollar will be worth(less) by that time as well.

    I'm tired of paying into "benefit" systems that I have, never have, had any choice in - the justification being that I am too stupid on my own to either save money or invest it wisely. Ironically, these benefit programs are being skimmed and leveraged as we speak to finance losses by "smart" people who...wait for it...invested their money with great stupidity and do not have the savings to cover their losses.

    The sooner this arrangement ends the better. But after it ends, and it will end, I am going to need a way to finance my retirement and relative incapacity of old-age. I have meager personal savings, (I'm what Hillary calls "working families"...i.e. poor) but if every dime I've sunk into federal benefit programs was in my possession and just invested in SPDR's, I'd have several hundred grand in the bank right now...instead it's a crater in Iraq somewhere and saving some Ivy League prick money-manager's ass and job. Brilliant investments both.

    I will need some time to pile money up in something in my working life. When Social Security and Medibomb end, I don't want to be 64-and-a-half, or eighty, or whatever they make up between now and then to stave off actually paying debts. That's what I mean by day-of-reckoning.

  • piperTom||

    I agree with every one of Michael's points (and with Matt Welch, too), but they both left out a big one: Obama's health care "plan" is both a disaster and a trap door. It's a sure fire path to complete socialized medicine and, once health care is "free," you'll never get Americans to vote for anything else.

    It's an awful choice. I'll have to quietly hope that Obama loses, but I can't bring myself to vote for McCain. Woe is me.

    //and by "woe", I mean voting for Barr.
    // bright side: I live in North Carolina; I get to vote for Munger :-)

  • Devil\'s Advocate||

    1) Senator Obama just told the Iraqi Foreign Minister to keep the troops in Iraq until after he is elected.

    2) The Election of Barack Obama will simply give liberals more power to create new affirmative actions programs, this time for Women.

    3) He has no understanding of Limited Government Period.

    4) Obama is for telling you what to eat, and how to live.

    5) Obama has never voted for a single free market policy.

    6) The rest of the World does not hate America, the Left of the World hates America

    7) Obama will elect Justices that don't support private property or the original meaning of the Constitution.

    This is the least persuasive argument I have ever read. Lastly, I'm a Libertarian-Republican as were our Founding Fathers.

  • Robert||

    1. Sen. Obama has met at least one war he doesn't love.


    A hit, a palpable hit, on a target valuable enough to be worthwhile.

    2. The election of an African-American will end liberal racism as we know it.


    Totally incredible. It doesn't happen where they elect A-A mayors, etc.

    3. One word: Osmosis.


    Believable, but only as a tiny effect.

    4. Obama is the best hope for keeping government out of your bedroom and away from your body. As would any Democratic standard-bearer, the senator from Illinois represents the pro-choice, pro-gay rights side of the cultural divide.


    Wrong. He represents the "left" or "countercultural" side of that divide, which isn't really pro-choice in the general sense. McCain meanwhile at worst straddles that line.

    5. The hidden hand did well this month punishing stupidity.


    Reread Nozick. "Hidden hand" means conspiracy, as opposed to "invisible hand". Whatever, you're trying to move the bulls-eye closer to where Obama's shooting.

    6. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Yes, we need to restore America's reputation around the world.


    Obama's election would do that for about a month, and not even a month in which he'll have taken office yet!

    7. Finally, Barack Obama is smart enough to follow the aspirations of the Gen Y, Millenials, and Echo Boomers next up on the American political stage. They want choices in both their bank accounts and their bedrooms. I don't have much empirical evidence for that,


    So you're inferring it on the basis of his being smart?!

  • Famous Mortimer||

    It's shocking to me how poor so many Libertarians are at considering any argument that falls outside of their own religious mantra.

    These articles are an a exercise. They engage the reader in politcal discourse. Having an aneurysm over the fact that a Reason writer tried to engage Libertarians (you know, the same people who are horrible at actually acting on their suppossed beliefs), in a prominent political topic is child-like. After all, they did the same thing for McCain. The objective should seem obvious to all of you by now.

    If this "Trekkie" bickering is the only form of intellectual discourse that Conservative types have to offer, then bring on the "elites." At least they'll engage.

    Coming here is worth it, if only to watch so many lazy Libertarians throw a shit-fit about things that they have no interest in ever actively working to change.

    It tells me that the Reason editors are doing something right, and not allowing this magazine to devolve into some kind of wacko, Ron Paul newsletter.

    Sometimes I think that this blog is just one big circle jerk regarding who gets to be classified as the great, Libertarian uber-mensch.

    The real world is waiting for you gentlemen. Give it a shot.

  • Robert||

    why have have Matt Welch (author of the anti-McCain manifesto) write the libertarian case for McCain and an Obama supporter write this one?


    Probably because each was the most knowledgeable about his subject. And McCain still comes out ahead. Which leads to an alternate possibility -- that they needed the handicap to make it interesting.

  • Famous Mortimer||

    "I know where you are coming from on this, but basically you're saying that since pro-choice forces have gone all-out and won critical political battles to protect reproductive choice, it must never have been in danger to begin with and if they had done nothing the outcome would have been the same."

    Exactly. The threat is still there, and will always be there as long as Conservatism is motivated by ignorant, religious thought.

    Also, the same "abortion isn't illegal yet" argument could be made in regards to all of these outrageous predictions about Obama instituting a wide reaching NHS system, and spending trillions of dollars on God knows what. You know, just like Clinton was able to do.

    The likelihood that Obama will do any of that is so small that it makes the passionate arguments against him seem a bit dishonest.

    What this really comes down to is the taxation of the wealthy. It really is the primary concern of Republicans, and Libertarians, and the main reason why they oppose Obama. Otherwise, one would have to wonder why a party that claims to be about civil liberties would even entertain supporting a Republican.

    Oh, yeah, and "Obama won't protect America!"

    Seriously, is this the Fox News discussion forum? I would assume that only an ignorant bumpkin storing cash under his mattress would fall for that line of bullshit.

  • ||

    Meh. Matt Welch's article was much more forthright and better written, not to mention his points were actually plausible.

    The Democratic Party taking a Jeffersonian turn is about as likely as Sarah Palin defending Roe v. Wade. It's questionable to even describe today's Democratic Party as directly descended from the Jeffersonian Republican-Democrats, much less as having been "founded" by Jefferson. It's much more plausible to credit Andrew Jackson as the founder of the Democratic Party.

  • HAL-9000||

    Famous Mortimer:

    I'm poor and I want lower taxes across the board. I've seen enough of what the government blows money on to make the judgment that it is no more charitable, altruistic, or intelligent than I am with my money, or a rich person's money for that matter.

    The War on Drugs, the bankrupt Ponzi schemes of Medicare and Social Insecurity, and the literally millions of dead littered across the Eurasian continent in ideological wars going back fifty years have essentially forfeited any moral authority the government has to my money. Especially at the current rapacious rate it consumes it, and borrows it from places like China on my credit. That's why I trend Libertarian, I guarantee I'm poorer than you, dude, and the biggest reason I'm not richer is because of the government, not a lack of it.

  • BakedPenguin||

    The election of an African-American will end liberal racism as we know it.

    I think the key phrase here is "as we know it". He isn't saying that it will end liberal racism, just push it further out to the fever swamps of the left, and make it far less marketable by hucksters like Sharpton. There will always be idiots, to be sure, but they will have a much harder time selling "AmeriKKKa" with a mixed race president.

  • Lmao||

    Can't wait to see how libertarian you all think he is when he makes guns illegal or taxes all incomes over $50,000 to the tune of 50% and abolishes inheritances from Mommy and Daddy because they have to be taxed to death to pay for a bunch of freeloaders' healthcare and energy bills.

  • GG||

    Yglesias has high hopes for "Massive Socialism" with Obama in the WH, especially in light of Comrade GWB's nationalization of so many financial institutions.

  • Elemenope||

    The Libertarian Case for Obama:

    He doesn't make being dumb cool.

    No, seriously, he is a walking spit-in-the-face towards the anti-intellectual prevailing sentiment that has discouraged policy analysis in the wider society. Everybody here bitches constantly (me, no less than others) that people in general do not sit still long enough to listen to why if you reduce immigration restrictions or lower taxes that it will in the end benefit them. The reason they don't is that they have been conditioned to only listen to simple and inartful answers to their questions and problems.

    Is this not something we can get behind? A guy that doesn't make you feel either ashamed for having a vocabulary larger than the average Enquirer article or angry that you can no longer talk to someone who doesn't without immediately being dismissed for being an "elite" or such similar shit?

  • ||

    The big government forces already won this election when the 'conservative' Republicans nominated anti-gun, anti-free-speech, pro-war, walking disaster John McCain. McCain or Obama -- what's the difference.

    We needed Carter to get Reagan. That's the libertarian argument for Obama.

  • Miller||

    @Elemenope:

    If an adult isn't conservative, he has no brain. If a child isn't liberal, he's not whining about his allowance.

    Thanks to the left-wing media, we've been conditioned to think that "liberal" means "smart," when they're really more like smart-aleck children. If the liberal golden boy loses, maybe liberal welfare leeches will realize that it's time to open a lemonade stand. I can dream.

  • ||


    The election of an African-American will end liberal racism as we know it.



    You are a naive man ...

    Obama is the best hope for keeping government out of your bedroom and away from your body



    Will he keep the government away from the pistol in my bedroom nightstand? Or the rifle in my bedroom closet? Or the concealed pistol carried on my wife's body when she walks at night? I don't think so.

    I actually think that Obama is himself a decent man, but to look at his history, background in the Chicago machine and actual voting record and think that he would be anything but a big government statist is wishful thinking.

  • economist||

    Terry Michael:
    If you really, really think Obama is the lesser of two evils, then you might justify voting for him. God knows McCain's done plenty to alienate libertarians. But for crying out fuckin' loud, stop the Obamajackoff. I swear, it's like you're having some of gay love affair with the man. I liked Matt Welch's corresponding article in large part because it was written with a devil's advocate pov and wasn't a Repub. jerkoff (Full Disclosure: I lean slightly more towards the Republican ticket than the Democratic ticket, though I probably won't vote at all this election). If McCain is elected, we will remain in Iraq for at least four more years, and our budget deficit will bring us even closer to eventual government insolvency. If Obama is elected, we might see a massive drawdown of troops in Iraq, but we might also see a collection of new, smaller interventions (approved by the left of course, because they would be 'humanitarian'). Assuming we avoid that scenario and get rid of the massive drain on funds that our current invasions have left us with, any money saved would go straight into Obama's pet programs, rather than, say, reducing the deficit, and then he would raise taxes some more to pay for the rest of his programs. Then, if the Democrats were serious about balancing the budget, they would once again raise taxes to cover the deficit. Then, Obama will expand our socialist entitlement programs, which already have massive projected shortfalls, and the budget will be even deeper in the shitter. And anyone who says that Obama is a fucking socialist who should go to hell for making a bad situation even worse will be a racist. So please don't fucking give us this load of dick cheese for Obama.
    Osmosis my ass.

  • TXLimey||

    I don't disagree that Matt Welch was the best person to write the McCain version of this article, just wish they could have gotten someone equally as knowledgeable to write the Obama piece. As someone who's more on the classical liberal side of things, I've been somewhat beffudled by libertarians who are supporting Obama. There was nothing here that helped me understand that phenomenon. Very disappointing.

  • economist||

    My rage has subsided under a Jack Daniel's on ice.

  • economist||

    "Jesse Jackson will never shut up"
    Unless Obama gets him over that castration comment.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "The Libertarian Case for Obama:

    He doesn't make being dumb cool."

    Ha!

    Obama is completly lost without a teleprompter to read the speeches that Axelrod wrote for him. He can't think or talk on his feet.

  • ||

    Who cares what you think is "awesome"?



    All the best people, of course!

    You are the one contending that Obama will increase spending less than McCain and I don't see any "awesome" reason to accept your ranting about the Iraq war as a substitute for a systemic totaling up of estimates of the actual costs of ALL the things that each wants to do and comparing the bottom line.



    Sure, I'll do a systematic totaling (what's a systemic totaling, out of curiosity? A totaling which invades the cardiovascular system?) of all costs of all programs proposed by both parties at a national election...

    ...in a blog comment.

    ...you dumbass.

    And that includes all the hidden costs of increased regulations and government mandates for all sorts of things as well.



    I want a better class of Republican troll, personally. Because I feel that a good troll could come up with a better argument than, "It's impossible to tell on the merits which candidate would cost us more money, it's inherently unknowable... therefor, you should vote McCain."

    Just to spell out for you why your argument is less than awesome: even if we accepted your ridiculous premise, it's inherently not an argument for either candidate.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "I want a better class of Republican troll, personally. Because I feel that a good troll could come up with a better argument than, "It's impossible to tell on the merits which candidate would cost us more money, it's inherently unknowable... therefor, you should vote McCain."

    You're the troll - not me. And you're not very adept at trying to spin my statemtents into a strawman position.

    I'll clarify it for you: You aren't the least bit capable of proving that the specific things that McCain supports or has proposed on the Iraq war, healthcare or any and everything else will be more expensive than the specific things that Obama supports or has proposed on healthcare, college tuition payments or any of the other entitlements he wants to dream up.

    In fact you can't even prove that it's one bit likely that Iraq war spending, your personal bugaboo, will be so much as one cent less under Obama than it would be under McCain.

    If you think Obama is going to be able to get away with summarily yanking all the troops out of Iraq as soon as he gets into office, then you are the dumb ass.

    He's been pandering to the left wing wacko base of the democrat party on Iraq for his own political aggrandizement but when the rubber meets the road, he won't be able to extract the U.S military from Iraq any faster than if McCain were president - or if Bush were president for four more years either.

  • Nick||

    I'm planning to write in "fish head" for president. Anyone care to join me?

    Frankly it doesn't matter who you vote for. If you vote for the winning candidate, he would have won without your vote. If you vote for the losing candidate, your vote doesn't mean much of anything. Therefore everyone should vote for whoever they want. I think a fish head is preferable to any of the humans running for office and is far more likely to be a libertarian. No wars, federalism, reduced spending, inability to sign appropriations legislation, etc. would all be key features of a presidency by a fish head.

  • ||

    HAL - The problem with having things colapse is we don't know what the result will be. While we might hope to hold territory, we can't count on it.

    When the Weimar replublic colapsed the Nazis took over, then the Russian communists, and now the Germans have a "socal democracy" similar to what the Democrats propose.

  • ||

    Michael - Without getting into detail on every nuance of the budget, let me say this:

    I am one of the millions of American's who don't have health insurance and don't want it. Socailized medicine would cost me more than a thousand dollars a year, every year, for the rest of my life. It would also give insurance companies and medical providers a green light to increase costs even further.

    Admitedly, the government might be able to keep these costs off the books by describing them as private insruance costs, but they will feel like a tax when your employer is cutting salary to pay for them.

    Ending the Iraq war sooner isn't going to offset this. All wars come to an end, but we'd be lucky to end any entitlement program in 99 years.

  • ||

    I would love to believe these assertions because I am concerned about McCain and Palin. However, there is no evidence that Obama embraces personal liberty or free markets. On the contrary, I believe he will usher in higher taxes, more free market restrictions, weak foreign policy that diminishes our power and most importantly, he will appoint interventionist judges.

  • ||

    "The Libertarian Case for Obama:

    He doesn't make being dumb cool.

    No, seriously, he is a walking spit-in-the-face towards the anti-intellectual prevailing sentiment that has discouraged policy analysis in the wider society. Everybody here bitches constantly (me, no less than others) that people in general do not sit still long enough to listen to why if you reduce immigration restrictions or lower taxes that it will in the end benefit them. The reason they don't is that they have been conditioned to only listen to simple and inartful answers to their questions and problems."

    Are we talking about the same person? The guy who's platform consists of "Hope", "Change we can believe in", and who exhorts his followers to chant, "Yes, we can!"

    Yup. I can't imagine a more intellectual campaign.

  • Rob||

    As far as libertarian leanings among college students - I agree that view is well represented. Granted, I may be associating with a self-selected group (whose Facebook profiles display "Libertarian" for political views), but at the very least, that general philosophy is prevalent even among a significant minority of the student body.

  • lorent||

    Obama's campaign tag line should be:

    Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!!

  • ||

    You're the troll - not me. And you're not very adept at trying to spin my statemtents into a strawman position.



    Well, maybe I am, and maybe I'm not, but I do like to think that my rhetoric flies a bit higher than, "Uh-uh, you are."

    I'll clarify it for you: You aren't the least bit capable of proving that...



    Look sparky, here's the simple version of what I've been trying to get through to you for the last three posts. Nobody can "prove" anything about anything related to the electoral race. McCain might be a closet vegan communist pacifist. Obama might be a very cleverly made up talking dog. I can't "prove" that McCain's first act as President won't be to yell, "Free Kobe Beef for everyone!" and proceed to veto all legislation until Congress goes along with his Kobe Beef plan.

    But reasonable people understand that McCain won't actually do this, regardless of my ability to prove anything. This is your chance to prove that you're reasonable. I'll be over here, holding my breath.

    To the extent that one can offer evidence (not "proof") one way or the other, a blog comment is not the kind of venue for exhaustive budget analysis. You may be able to determine this by looking at the domain of all other blog comments on Reason Hit & Run and noticing the lack of exhaustive budget analysis in them.

    In fact you can't even prove that it's one bit likely that Iraq war spending, your personal bugaboo, will be so much as one cent less under Obama than it would be under McCain.



    This is true. Sadly, Obama is not nearly committed enough to getting us out of Iraq, and it's conceivable that McCain could go through a term of office without committing us to a major additional war.

    However, anyone who thinks that there's not much difference between Obama and McCain in terms of hawkishness is, not to put too fine a point on it, a blithering moron. So, while neither you, I, nor Sparky the wonder dog can prove anything about the future, we can say that it's considerably more likely that McCain will draw us into another trillion-dollar-plus fiasco than Obama.

    And we can further say that the odds are yet higher that some future President gets us involved in a massively expensive war if we cement the notion that an unbreakable majority of US citizens, including those of us who claim to be all about small government and civil liberties, vote for candidates who run on a platform of "spend massive amounts of money killing foreigners while spying on the people at home."

    If you think Obama is going to be able to get away with summarily yanking all the troops out of Iraq as soon as he gets into office, then you are the dumb ass.



    Ah, but, see, I don't. I have entirely realistic expectations, and Obama is by no means my perfect candidate.

    Speaking of which, Mr. Republican Troll, what are your affirmative beliefs? You've been trying to slide by quite a bit on the implication that other people's lack of perfect foreknowledge means that your candidate is the best (and I feel that I should again point out how stupid that idea is). What are your predictions? What is McCain going to do in office that libertarians will love?

    He's been pandering to the left wing wacko base of the democrat party on Iraq



    Ah, the "left wing wacko base." That would be, apparently, the people who think that it was a mistake to spend over a trillion dollars and thousands of American lives on a foreign adventure which has managed the seemingly impossible feat of making Iraq a worse place to live for Iraqis than it was under a horrifying dictator, destabilizing the region, driving recruitment to terrorists, destroying civil liberties at home, and ruining America's prestige abroad?

    Wackos!

  • ||

    Obama has also committed to marihuana legalization by the states, not appointing more right-wing nutcases to the Supreme Court who'll further attack personal rights, and his tax reduction plan is better than the GOP.

    Where I am, many people feel as libertarians it's either Obama or Barr, but dislike Barr as they feel he's taking advice from neo-con and right-wing infiltrators in the LP and hindering the grassroots activists in the Libertarian Party.

  • ||

    I honestly don't know if I can vote for Obama knowing that his intention is to enact a nation-wide handgun ban. Every other constitutional amendment is just words on paper if we don't adhere to the second. It's what gives us the power to protect every other amendment for tyrannical government. Not to mention, I'm from Illinois and have seen the Obama/Richard Daley solution to handguns. Violent crime is way up in Cook County thanks to that delightful law.

  • David||

    This is a joke, right?

  • Mosby||

    Quit kidding yourselves, if you're voting for Obama you ARE NOT a libertarian. So many seem to miss the forest for the trees on these issues of drugs, gay rights, etc. Obama is not the least bit in favor of self-determination.

  • VM||

    LMNOP - interesting!

    notice how that got attacked by the usual "liberal media" attacks. what a load of bullshit. miller was it? you were much better in repo man.

    Quit kidding yourselves, if you're voting for Obama you ARE NOT a libertarian.


    ditto for the other two. nobody is remotely libertarian. not even the LP candidate.

  • wickscherrycoke@hotmail.com||

    Anyone who thinks electing a Democrat president is a blow for libertarianism is delusional. Anyone whon believes that that unions are spending millions to elect a president who will reduce the size of government and eliminate regulation is doubly delusional. And anyone who suggests that merely coming from Chicago imbues one with respect for free markets and limited government is clinically insane. (Can anyone say Richard Daley?)

  • I can||

    Richard Daley.

  • Ironic||

    Didn't a recent edition of Reason Magazine rank Chicago as the most statist city in the United States?

  • ||

    So Reason is finally out for Obama, just as last week Cato started plumping for McCain. Why endorse anybody? The next stage for liberatrianism, assuming it retains nonviolence at its base, is the courts: force the issue on the drug war on both the state and federal level, and the success of DC-Heller could well be repeated. Make a federal case of internet neutrality...literally. I don't know why people are voting away their liberty, and no longer care. Just don't vote away mine.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Obama = bad on economics and the size of government and guns, and taxes, and zoning, and pre-K, and belongs to Pelosi's party who promised us that we'd be out of Iraq as soon as she swore the oath yet, inexplicably, we're still fighting a war there, and took hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Fannie Mae and is a product of Chicago machine politics..........

    Fixed that for you.

  • Squelch||

    Quit kidding yourselves, if you're voting for Obama you ARE NOT a libertarian. So many seem to miss the forest for the trees on these issues of drugs, gay rights, etc. Obama is not the least bit in favor of self-determination.

    I think this is what we call "pissing into the ocean". You're talking to an audience that's mostly left-liberals that have co-opted a few libertarian ideas and some rhetoric in pursuit of typical left-liberal ends. Actual libertarianism is not on the menu. In that regard, Obama fills the bill quite nicely.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    I'm not sure that Reason is out for Obama per se, but I'll bet dimes to donuts that when/if you do a post-election poll of the Reason staff you'll discover that Bob Barr came in third (tied with 'I don't vote') behind McCain and Obama.

  • ||

    Well, yes, that's true. I'm also not the least bit capable of proving that the sun will rise in the east tomorrow.

    NEWTON NEVER EXISTED AND ALL PHYSICS IS BULLSHIT!!! /snark

    (I know it's off topic. but it was bugging me)

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Look sparky, here's the simple version of what I've been trying to get through to you for the last three posts. Nobody can "prove" anything about anything related to the electoral race."



    Uh Huh - and therefore you have absolutely nothing to support a single word of this claim you made back up the thread:


    "There is absolutely no way that Obama and/or the Democratic congress will spend a trillion dollars more on healthcare than McCain would in the next eight years. There is every chance that McCain will spend a trillion dollars more on wars than Obama would. Comparing the Iraq war to eighty years of entitlement spending that McCain is never in a million years going to reduce is just stupid.

    The government's spending will be much, much, much higher under McCain than it would be under Obama -- even if Obama gets his way and reforms healthcare. Which he probably won't in any radical way."

    Oh and comparing the Iraq war to entitlement program spending is perfectly valid. Wars are temporary while entitlements, once created, go on forever. Obama wants to creat a bunch of new ones that put the taxpayers on the hook for the tab in perpetuity.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Ah, the "left wing wacko base." That would be, apparently, the people who think that it was a mistake to spend over a trillion dollars and thousands of American lives on a foreign adventure which has managed the seemingly impossible feat of making Iraq a worse place to live for Iraqis than it was under a horrifying dictator, destabilizing the region, driving recruitment to terrorists, destroying civil liberties at home, and ruining America's prestige abroad?"

    And there's another thing you aren't the least bit capable of proving to be the case.

  • Kendall||

    So his BEST possible quality is that you HOPE by osmosis he has picked up some SLIGHT understanding of Libertarian economics?

    Let's go through your points:

    1) So he doesn't love one war. Oh wait, now he does, calling the surge a smashing success. Well if you loved a few targeted wars just wait until you have a liberal back in the office open instead to many small military operations all across the globe! Darfur is the new Somalia.

    And I question the basic assumption you cannot be Libertarian while supporting helping others achieve the Liberty we enjoy in the U.S. I am at heart an equal opportunity libertarian.

    2) You have got to be kidding if you think electing a black president will stop like likes of Jackson.

    3) I already spoke as to the absurdity of the Osmosis argument, though it is the strongest positive point you have.

    4) If you think the democrats want to keep away from your body you've not been paying attention. They give you little rewards like gay marriage so they can put the shackles on elsewhere. I wasn't aware your children being forced into volunteering was "hands off".

    5) Democrats merely prefer a different set of corporations to shelter. Hello MPAA.

    6) The worst argument at all, that a true Libertarian would CARE what other people think instead of doing what is right. Hey, let's elect a token and then maybe Susie will take us to the dance! Funny how thin attempts like that never work.

    7) I'm not even sure you really said anything here, especially in relation to Libertarianism.

    I do look forward to the article making the case against Obama. After all you wouldn't do one without the other right? Right? Oh yeah, this is "Reason"!!

  • Kendall||

    And then I saw the author is:

    "former press secretary for the Democratic National Committee"

    WFT Reason. WTF.

  • Miller||

    @Gilbert Martin:

    Stop hitting that tarbaby! Asking a liberal to back up his opinions with facts is like putting a cowboy hat on a socialist.

  • Miller||

    And I question the basic assumption you cannot be Libertarian while supporting helping others achieve the Liberty we enjoy in the U.S. I am at heart an equal opportunity libertarian.

    Thank you! The price of freedom is sharing it with others, and letting the Iraqi people fall under Islamic fascist rule would be extremely selfish. (Just ask all those Iraqis who named their sons "George.") We are right, and we will prevail.

  • Miller||

    Sorry, but someone needs to say it...

    Our current military consists entirely of men and women who WANTED to serve, who WANTED to bring capitalism and freedom to the most dangerous places in the world. It's not just the Bush Administration, it's also the bravest Americans, who are doing their hard work without a lot of help from the couch potatoes at home. We won World War II because we all made sacrifices. This time, we expect our troops and our president to do it alone, with Pelosi, liberals and the media running interference.

    I tend to believe that "the government that governs best governs least," and I hate taxes as much as any of you, but let's not split hairs here. As long as there is a federal government, and we pay taxes to it, should our money go to a) safety and victory for our men and women in uniform, or b) welfare for leeches who can't do anything for themselves?

    Time's up!

  • MJ||

    "1. Sen. Obama has met at least one war he doesn't love."

    Obama agrees with Michael on the Iraq war. Of course Michael shows himself on the kook fringe by describing it as a "criminal enterprise".

    "2. The election of an African-American will end liberal racism as we know it."

    This may have something to it. However, Obama himself will fight tooth and nail for preventing anyone from acknowledging that. The Dems have too much invested politically in fanning racial resentments to give it up without much kicking and screaming.

    "3. One word: Osmosis. You couldn't live in Hyde Park or teach at the University of Chicago with the intellectual curiosity of a Barack Obama without gaining at least some understanding of libertarian economics."

    Really, sir? Have you seen Obama's stated plans on economics and taxation? If Obama is educable on libertarian economics then I suggest you get on that ASAP, because what he's actually saying suggests he does not believe much in free markets at all.

    "4. Obama is the best hope for keeping government out of your bedroom and away from your body."

    Abortion and Gays are among the most important issues to libertarians? Sigh. As far as the Drug War goes, maybe, of course the highest concentration of health scolds are on the Dem side. A large portion of Obama's constituency is very interested in your body, especially if the get their way on health care.

    "5. But my modest retirement fund may be safer with Democratic regulators in charge than rogue elephants."

    On the basis of what exactly does Michael believe that? A large portion of the cause of the current crisis was the government using its regulatory power to coerce the banks into making loans to high risk borrowers for the of racial "fairness". That was largely a Dem project and given where Obama comes from as a community organizer I don't think he much disposed to changing that kind of thinking. The Dems use regulation to promote social "progress" and less to promote good ecomonic decision making.

    "6. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Yes, we need to restore America's reputation around the world."

    Pandering to the interests of other countries is not a path to respect. The US should do what it thinks is right for its interests. If other countries and their people don't respect us for that, then that's just too damn bad. We should not care.

    "7. Finally, Barack Obama is smart enough to follow the aspirations of the Gen Y, Millenials, and Echo Boomers next up on the American political stage. They want choices in both their bank accounts and their bedrooms. I don't have much empirical evidence for that, though the college students I teach suggest that such libertarian leanings are on the rise."

    So the last is basically Micahel reiterating "4", ascribing his preferences to a whole generation but acknowledging he does not have anything much to back that up, but saying that Obama will pander to that feeling. Um, yeah, riiight.

  • ||

    "2. The election of an African-American will end liberal racism as we know it."

    The same way Jesse Owens' victories at the Berlin Olympics ended Hitler's racism.

  • VM||

    (Just ask all those Iraqis who named their sons "George.")



    that's actually not correct. a popular Iraqi name of late is pronounced very close to "Rodham" (source).

    roger - that's one of the fucking stupidest false analogies evar.

  • Roger Maltz||

    Yet another front-page shill piece by Terry Michael. Thanks Terry, I never get sick of reading the same thing over and over again.

  • economist||

    Better analogy,
    Barack Obama's election will end liberal racism just like the 1964 Civil Rights Act, 1965 Voting Rights Act, and every other piece of legislation passed with the intention of promoting racial "fairness" ended liberal racism (Come to think of it, I don't think liberal racism in the modern sense existed pre-1960s)

  • economist||

    Terry Michael,
    If it makes you feel any better, you don't suck as much as Steve Chapman.

  • Kendall||

    Video rebuttal to point 3 (the absurd Awesome By Osmosis argument that Obama is secretly a libertarian economist!)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldfCymsiY6E

    Yeah, when you go to school in Chicago there are a lot of lessons you can learn.

  • ||

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aSKSoiNbnQY0

    Obama created our trillion $ sub-prime mess.

    But we now know that many of the senators who protected Fannie and Freddie, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Christopher Dodd, have received mind-boggling levels of financial support from them over the years.

    Throughout his political career, Obama has gotten more than $125,000 in campaign contributions from employees and political action committees of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, second only to Dodd, the Senate Banking Committee chairman, who received more than $165,000.

    Clinton, the 12th-ranked recipient of Fannie and Freddie PAC and employee contributions, has received more than $75,000 from the two enterprises and their employees. The private profit found its way back to the senators who killed the fix.

    There has been a lot of talk about who is to blame for this crisis. A look back at the story of 2005 makes the answer pretty clear.

    Oh, and there is one little footnote to the story that's worth keeping in mind while Democrats point fingers between now and Nov. 4: Senator John McCain was one of the three cosponsors of S.190, the bill that would have averted this mess.

  • Pundit Joe||

    I disagree with much in the article, but for the sake of brevity, I will stick with just item #4.

    Obama will protect your right to an abortion, but will he fight to protect us from other government intrusions? Below are some examples of where the Democrats have already regulated or are seeking to regulate what you can and cannot do with your own body mind.

    Smoking bans, transfat bans, junk food taxes, fat taxes, government control of health care, government controlled thermostats in people's homes, and the "Fairness Doctrine", etc. etc…

    One must conclude they think we are not responsible enough to make these decisions for ourselves. Are you responsible enough to have an abortion? Sure. However, you are apparently not responsible enough to enjoy some fried chicken cooked in transfats while listening to talk radio.

  • Q ball||

    In reference to point 2, telling people to vote for Obama because he is black to end racism is itself racist. On point 6, isn't caring what other people think (what other countries think about America) the opposite of being a libertarian? If one wants to continue living in this country maybe we should prevent its destruction by our enemies.

  • ||

    Um...
    I'm stunned. Nothing comes close to explaining how dumbfounded I am that someone would even attempt, and fail spectacularly, at trying this.

    A for Originality. F for facts.

  • ||

    AMAZED INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY ALSO WATCHES USA GET READY TO EXECUTE ANOTHER POSSIBLE INNOCENT POORER BLACK AMERICAN ?????

    THE US CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS OF THE FREE WORLD CONTINUE TO DENY MIDDLE CLASS AND WORKING POOR AMERICANS PROPER LEGAL REPRESENTATION EVEN THOUGH WRONGFUL EXECUTIONS & FALSE INCARCERATIONS CONTINUE ALL ACROSS THE USA ?????????????????

    SENATOR OBAMA,THIS JUDICIAL INJUSTICE HAS BECOME AN AMERICAN ART FORM,AND NO LONGER CAN BE KEPT HIDDEN OR SECRET FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE EVEN IF CERTAIN 501c3 U$ RELIGIOU$ LEADER$ HAVE BEEN $ILENCED ??

    LETS ALL HOPE OUR MEDIA FRIENDS CONTINUE TO SHOW AN INTEREST IN REPORTING ON THIS AMERICAN HORROR FACING THESE (TENS OF THOUSANDS) FORGOTTEN AND TRAPPED POORER AMERICANS, AND HOW THIS PRESIDENTIAL CONTENDER HANDLES THIS VERY SERIOUS ISSUE FACING AMERICA'S LATINO AND BLACK AMERICAN COMMUNITIES ????

    WITH 80% OF THE BLACK AMERICAN VOTERS SAYING THEY SUPPORT SENATOR OBAMA IN THIS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, IT IS ONLY FAIR FOR EVERYONE TO KNOW PRIOR BEING ELECTED OUR NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES HOW THIS DEMOCRATIC SENATOR TRULY FEELS ABOUT THIS AMERICAN JUDICIAL INJUSTICE CONTINUING TO INFLICT GRAVE HARM ON THE BLACK & LATINO AMERICAN FAMILIES AND THEIR COMMUNITIES NATIONWIDE ??????

    *** WHEN GOD'S FACE BECAME VERY RED ***
    THE US SUPREME COURT GAVE ENEMY COMBATANTS FEDERAL APPEAL HC RIGHTS LAWYERS AND PROPER ACCESS TO US FEDERAL COURTS,AND POORER AMERICANS (MANY EVEN ON DEATH ROW) ARE DENIED PROPER FEDERAL APPEAL LEGAL REPRESENTATION TO OUR US FEDERAL COURTS OF APPEAL, AND ROTTING IN AMERICAN PRISONS NATIONWIDE ?????????

    **** INNOCENT AMERICANS ARE DENIED REAL HC RIGHTS WITH THEIR FEDERAL APPEALS !
    THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE $LOWLY FINDING OUT HOW EA$Y IT I$ FOR MIDDLE CLA$$ AND WORKING POOR AMERICAN$ TO FALL VICTIM TO OUR U$ MONETARY JUDICIAL $Y$TEM.

    ****WHEN THE US INNOCENT WERE ABANDONED BY THE GUILTY ****
    The prison experts have reported that there are 100,000 innocent Americans currently being falsely imprisoned along with the 2,300,000 total US prison population nationwide.
    Since our US Congress has never afforded poor prison inmates federal appeal legal counsel for their federal retrials,they have effectively closed the doors on these tens of thousands of innocent citizens ever being capable of possibly exonerating themselves to regain their freedom through being granted new retrials.

    This same exact unjust situation was happening in our Southern States when poor and mostly uneducated Black Americans were being falsely imprisoned for endless decades without the needed educational skills to properly submit their own written federal trial appeals.

    This devious and deceptive judicial process of making our poor and innocent prison inmates formulate and write their own federal appeal legal cases for possible retrials on their state criminal cases,is still in effect today even though everyone in our US judicial system knows that without proper legal representation, these tens of thousands of innocent prison inmates will be denied their rightful opportunities of ever being granted new trials from our federal appeal judges!!

    Sadly, the true US *legal* Federal Appeal situation that occurs when any of our uneducated American prison inmates are forced to attempt to submit their own written Federal Appeals (from our prisons nationwide) without the assistance of proper legal counsel, is that they all are in reality being denied their legitimate rights for Habeas Corpus and will win any future Supreme Court Case concerning this injustice!

    For our judicial system and our US Congressional Leaders Of The Free World to continue to pretend that this is a real and fair opportunity for our American Middle Class and Working Poor Citizens, only delays the very needed future change of Federal Financing of all these Federal appeals becoming a normal formula of Our American judicial system.

    It was not so very long ago that Public Defenders became a Reality in this country.Prior that legal reality taking place, their were also some who thought giving anyone charged with a crime a free lawyer was a waste of taxpayers $$.

    This FACADE and HORROR of our Federal Appeal proce$$ is not worthy of the Greatest Country In The World!

    ***GREAT SOCIETIES THAT DO NOT PROTECT EVEN THEIR INNOCENT, BECOME THE GUILTY!

    A MUST READ ABOUT AMERICAN INJUSTICE:
    1) YAHOO AND 2) GOOGLE
    MANNY GONZALES THE KID THAT EVERYONE FORGOT IN THE CA PRISON SYSTEM.
    ** A JUDICIAL RIDE OF ONES LIFE !

    lawyersforpooramericans@yahoo.com
    (424-247-2013)

  • ||

    wow...where to begin. As a libertarian I see absolutely NOTHING out of these 2 candidates that would lead me to believe that they have free market tendancies, or less intrusive government. Please go back and review each candidate more thoroughly.

    Also, as far as gay rights, and keeping out of bedrooms, I do believe obama is on record as saying NO to gay marriage.

  • Killazontherun||

    Hey, Rich, close to four years into the future here. Just to let you know how wrong you turned out to be, Obama does support gay rights. Well, he came out around three weeks ago, and it is not so much a support of gay rights as it is in support of state's rights. So, now Obama is as progressive as Ron Paul, a paleolibertarian. Yay!

  • ||

    Wow, this turned out to be quite a STUPID article.

  • The Real Liberal||

    To anyone who has found this stooooopid article I recently wrote a little humorous piece about it :D

    Terry Michael is Sof Uck Ing Wee Tad-Ed

    http://cuckingfunts.com/2012/0.....irca-2008/

  • ||

    One of my favorite pages in Great Moments in Reason History.

  • SIV||

    NEVER FORGET!

  • ||

    For those who recognize that "libertarian Democrat" is no more oxymoronic than "libertarian Republican," a solid case can be made that "Socialist libertarian" and "Communist libertarian" are no more oxymoronic than "Capitalist libertarian."

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