Who's Getting Your Vote?

reason's 2008 presidential poll

As Campaign 2008 entered its home stretch, we asked a variety of policy wonks, journalists, thinkers, and other public figures in the reason universe to reveal for whom they are voting this fall, for whom they pulled the lever the last two times around, what they'll miss most about the Bush administration, and which president they'd most like to have waterboarded. Their answers, as of late October, follow.


Peter Bagge

1. Who are you voting for in November? If the polls in my home state are close: Obama (McCain is simply too incompetent these days to be president). If not, I'll make a protest vote for Barr.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? In 2004: John Kerry (I wanted to fire Bush). In 2000: Harry Browne.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? It’s not, since the ideological and policy differences between Reagan and Carter (for one example) were much bigger than between the two current candidates.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? Nothing. Worst president ever. The damage his administration has done to this country is mind-boggling.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded and why? If there was another president who also openly and enthusiastically advocated cruel and unusual punishment for mere suspects then I'd choose him, only I don't know if any other unabashed sadists have ever occupied the White House.

Peter Bagge, a reason contributing editor, is a cartoonist whose most recent collection was Apocalypse Nerd.

Ronald Bailey

1. Who are you voting for in November? Obama. The Republicans must be punished and punished hard.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? George W. Bush and George W. Bush. I am disheartened and ashamed.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? I don't know. Perhaps 1980 counts because we needed to recover from the economic disarray of the 1970s and confront the Soviet Empire.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? The bumper sticker: Somewhere in Texas a village is missing its idiot.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? Without question: Richard Nixon. Wage and price controls, FBI domestic spying, the secret plan to end the war, the EPA, the Endangered Species Act, abandoned the gold standard, and, oh yes, Watergate.

Ronald Bailey is reason's science correspondent and the author of Liberation Biology: The Scientific and Moral Case for the Biotech Revolution.


Radley Balko

1. Who are you voting for in November? Bob Barr. He's the first serious candidate the LP has run since I've been eligible to vote.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? Kerry in 2004. Bush in 2000.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? No. There's too little difference between the major party candidates for there to be much riding on this election. It's really only a matter of if you want a huge federal government undertaking grand leftist programs, or if you want a huge federal government undertaking grand rightist programs.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? As a libertarian journalist, they've given me plenty to write about.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? Woodrow Wilson. Jailed political dissenters, created the Federal Trade Commission, got us into World War I. He also enacted the first federal income tax, the first modern military draft, and the first federal drug prohibition. Wilson also re-segregated the federal government. When blacks protested, he told them to consider segregation a "benefit," not a debasement. An all-around loathesome human being.

(Correction:  Woodrow Wilson signed the first federal income tax law after the passage of the 16th Amendment, but he did not enact the first federal income tax.  There were two federal income taxes before that; one during the Civil War, which was later dropped, and one signed by Grover Cleveland in 1894, which was later struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.)

Radley Balko is a senior editor of reason.


Bruce Bartlett

1. Who are you voting for in November? I plan to vote for Obama mainly because he is not a Republican and not John McCain, who is temperamentally unfit to be president.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? I voted for Bush, but I regret it. I voted for him because I couldn't vote for Kerry, but would not vote at all if I had it to do over.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? I think the election of 1980 was the most important of my lifetime. The importance of this election can only be determined in retrospect.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? Woodrow Wilson was our worst president mainly because we had no business getting involved in WWI and therefore every American who died in that war died for nothing. American intervention also upset the balance of power in Europe, which led to the rise of both Communism and Nazism. Wilson was a rabid racist and did terrible things domestically as well as internationally.

Bruce Bartlett is the author of Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy.

*Note: Due to an editing error, this entry was omitted from the original version


Gregory Benford

1. Who are you voting for in November? Bob Barr

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? Libertarians, both times.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? No. 1968 and 1980 were more important, and we got 1980 right. If this time we get a liberal avalanche, it could be very important.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? Laura Bush.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? Nixon, for betraying the country.

Contributing Editor Gregory Benford is a professor of physics at the University of California, Irvine. His most recent nonfiction book is Deep Time.


James Bovard

1. Who are you voting for in November? Bob Barr. He is the most pro-freedom candidate.  He has long done great work against the Surveillance State, in favor of the Second Amendment, and on other issues.  (Disclosure: I have done some work for the Barr campaign).

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? I voted for Badnarik in 2004, and didn't vote in 2000.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? It is the most important election since 2006, and maybe even 2004. Elections are vastly overrated as a means for restraining government abuses. The more people who believe that the 2008 election will end the abuses of the Bush era, the easier it will be for the next president to perpetuate Bush's noxious principles and precedents.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? If Obama wins, a torrent of Washington conservatives will suddenly proclaim that the federal government poses a dire threat to our rights and liberties. I will miss the honest conservatism of the GWB era - when many conservatives stopped pretending to give a damn about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and denounced as traitors anyone who did not kowtow to the Commander-in-Chief.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? I would not want to see any of them waterboarded, but I would like to see all of them forced to disclose all of their presidential papers and compelled to sit under cross examination for as many weeks or months as it takes for Americans to learn the extent of their abuses in office. And they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for any crimes they committed.

James Bovard is the author of eight books, most recently Attention Deficit Democracy.


David Brin

1. Who are you voting for in November? For not a single "liberal" reason, I am voting not only for Obama, but for the GOP to be utterly spanked and sent into exile, where, perhaps, sincere men and women may remember Barry Goldwater and resurrect some kind of healthy, libertarian Conservatism.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? I could tell that the neocons were mad in 2000 and that their allies were fanatics or thieves. It was blatant in 2004. Those who act shocked (shocked!) and betrayed today were fools then and are likely fools now.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? Without any doubt. The most important issues at stake today have nothing to do with "left-vs-right" (and those who think so are reflex troglodytes.) No, the issue is light-vs-dark, in the sense that we have been subjected to a kleptocratic raid that depended upon one thing—quashing every possible system of accountability. Especially the U.S. Civil Service. If Obama does nothing else—passes no new laws or initiatives—he will save us simply by expelling those 10,000 enemies of accountability and promoting from within the Civil Service. Only then can we properly argue which civil servants are useful and which aren't

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? Their perfect purity of purpose. I have looked for a single example of their acting in the best interests of the American people, the republic, or even decent conservatism. There are no examples, whatsoever. Such perfection belies the "Standard Model" that they were merely venal morons. Such uniformity of accomplishment smacks of deliberate intelligence.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? I find this question offensive. I will swallow my anger when Bush pardons thousands...and then let Cheney pardon him. I am too busy for vengeance.

David Brin is a scientist and Hugo award-winning science fiction author whose novels include The Postman and Kiln People.


Drew Carey

1. Who are you voting for in November? Anybody but McCain/Palin. Seriously. I'm begging you.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? I voted for the Libertarian candidate both times just to be puckish.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? No. I believe the answers to all the problems we face as a society won't come from Washington, it will come from us. So the way we decide to live our lives and our decisions about what we buy or don't buy are much more important than who we vote for.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration?

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? None of them. The sooner we stop coming up with lists of people to waterboard, the better.

Drew Carey is the host of The Price Is Right and reason.tv, and a trustee of the Reason Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes this website.


Tim Cavanaugh

1. Who are you voting for in November? Barack Obama. All my life I've been waiting for a black president; Obama's not monumentally unqualified, and his solid-if-boring book at least had some unkind words for teachers unions. Also my kids like him.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? Michael Badnarik in 2004. Ralph Nader (IIRC) in 2000. And that should be "whom."

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? The 2000 election was the most important election of my lifetime, but nobody knew it at the time. Since I don't know the future this year either, I can't answer the question.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? The way George W. Bush singlehandedly destroyed John McCain's career—first by denying him the nomination he should have had in 2000, and now by turning the Republican Party into a leper colony.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? Lyndon Johnson. Because he was mean to dogs.

Tim Cavanaugh is a reason contributing editor.


Steve Chapman

1. Who are you voting for in November? Barack Obama, for two main reasons: The Republican Party, which has jettisoned its best inclinations and indulged its worst for the last eight years, richly deserves exile from the White House, and 2) because he shows an intelligence and temperament that suggest he will govern more pragmatically than ideologically—the best that can be hoped for from a Democratic president.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? In 2004: John Kerry. In 2000: Harry Browne.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? Ask me on my deathbed.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? Robert Gates, the only person ever to go from protesting the Vietnam War to running the Pentagon, and showing the world that the latter job can be done with humility, restraint, responsibility, and a respect for the rest of the world.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? None of them. I'm not immune to cruel impulses, but I try to resist them.

Steve Chapman is a columnist and editorial writer for the Chicago Tribune.


Shikha Dalmia

1. Who are you voting for in November? None of the above. I am afraid of McCaesar's foreign policy agenda and Big Oracle's domestic policy agenda. As for Bob Barr, he is a duplicitous, double-talking SOB and I'd rather pluck out my right eye than vote for him. I will vote Republican for Congress, however, because I want divided government and I am positively petrified by the prospect of a Democratic super majority with Obama in White House. In general, however, I favor a Democrat permanently in the White House and Republicans permanently in Congress.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? Wasn't a citizen in 2000. Voted for Bush in 2004 because I HATED Kerry. Even given the total disaster that Bush has turned out to be, I could never have voted for Kerry.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? How can one know? That will depend entirely on what the next president decides to do. But, yes, it might potentially be the most important election given all the disastrous policies that are now back on the table after having been driven out of polite company, such as socialization of home mortgages—aiyee, aiyee, aiyee.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? Oh please! Actually, Laura Bush's eyes.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? JFK and Ronald Reagan the liberal and conservative icons, just because I am a contrarian.

Shikha Dalmia is a senior analyst at the Reason Foundation.


Brian Doherty

1. Who are you voting for in November? See answer below.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? I don't vote, and don't expect I ever shall. Being even one-scintillionth responsible for placing the unbelievable and unspeakable powers of the current U.S. government in the hands of any of the people seeking it strikes me as irresponsible in the extreme. Besides, as everyone knows, those who vote have no right to complain about the outcome.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? It could have been, if either of the electable candidates had recognized to the bone the manifest or clearly forthcoming failures of the megastate when it comes to overseas adventurism, monetary policy, and the entitlement state. Alas, a true opportunity for change in the next four years has been assiduously missed by both Obama and McCain.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? I enjoyed and somewhat miss my 30s, which largely corresponded with the Bush administration. I might miss not having W. to kick around anymore, but I expect I won't.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? Woodrow Wilson, for presiding over the lock-in of the modern "cult of the presidency" in Gene Healy's apt term, and getting us involved in one of our most pointless and damaging wars that laid the groundwork for a century and more of foreign policy misadventures.

Brian Doherty is a senior editor of reason.


Nick Gillespie

1. Who are you voting for in November? I am not sure that I'll cast a ballot for president but if I do, I'll vote for Bob Barr. He's the closest to my beliefs and I think it's important to show that third parties have some support and influence in general elections.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? I didn't vote at all in 2004, not out of any sense of principle but a lack of enthusiasm. I don't fully remember if I voted for president in 2000. If I did, it would have been Harry Browne (who I think I voted for in 1996).

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? I'm not convinced that many elections in the United States are that important, but the tragicomedy of American life is that we have a generally representative government, which is a damning comment on us. Elections can be more or less interesting but this one, despite the trappings of generational and ideological shifts, is not.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? Nothing.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? I think Andrew Jackson's monstrousness on virtually every level of activity is generally (and woefully) under-remembered. He was a "great man" president, which unfortunately meant he could get things done and had no principles other than a "L'Etat, cest moi" mentality.

Nick Gillespie is editor in chief of reason online and reason.tv.


David Harsanyi

1. Who are you voting for in November? As an alleged journalist and editorial board member, I'd rather not answer. Neither candidate appeals to me. One is an ideologically confused populist and the other is a pure demagogue. And though Republicans might deserve another glorious thumping, I imagine, a divided and bitterly partisan Washington would be less capable of the massive spreading of wealth that a Washington of "Unity" and "Change"—two words that alarm me only a smidgen more than "Country" and "First"—would inflict on citizens.

Then again, Republicans have proven me wrong before.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? I voted for Harry Browne in 2000 and, reluctantly, for George Bush in 2004.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? Of course not.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? Dana Perino.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? Tough guy Teddy Roosevelt.

David Harsanyi is a syndicated columnist and editorial board member at the Denver Post.


Penn Jillette

1. Who are you voting for in November? Bob Barr, he's the Libertarian, right? I like people to know there are some of us out there. 

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? Always Libertarian. 

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? Nope. Not even close. 

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? I can't think of anything, but I'm sure Obamacain will give me something.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? No one. I'm against torture, and even this gag makes me a little uncomfortable. 

Penn Jillette is the larger, talkative half of the comedy duo Penn & Teller

*Note: Due to an editing error, this entry was omitted from the original version


Rob Kampia

1. Who are you voting for in November? I'm voting for Bob Barr, who is unfortunately only a write-in candidate in the District of Columbia, because he's the only presidential candidate who is in favor of reducing the size of the federal government while also supporting civil liberties.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? Michael Badnarik in 2004, Harry Browne in 2000.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? This election probably is the most important. Obama appears to be against wars of aggression, while McCain is clearly a war-monger. More generally, Obama is clearly deliberative and thoughtful and—while he won't often reach the same conclusions as I or other libertarians would reach—he's preferable to McCain, who relies on "gut feelings" and is as intellectually non-curious as George W. Bush.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? Nothing. I've disagreed with every single policy position the Bush administration has staked out.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? I'd never advocate water-boarding or otherwise torturing anyone, and I think even to joke about it is to diminish the horror of torture. Torture is like rape—is it okay to joke about which woman you'd most like to rape?

Rob Kampia is co-founder and executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C.


Bill Kauffman

1. Who are you voting for in November and why? Ralph Nader, because I never got the chance to vote for Gene Debs or Norman Thomas.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? I voted for Nader in 2004 and Pat Buchanan in 2000—the peace candidates.

3. Is this in fact the most important election in your lifetime? Nah, it's Coke vs. Pepsi. Though I'd prefer not to have Pepsi's finger on the nuclear button.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration?
Dana Gioia, chairman of the NEA, the best poet in government service since President Tyler sent John Howard "Home Sweet Home" Payne to Tunis.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? Oh, I'm anti-torture, but I'd piss on Woodrow Wilson's grave. Too bad the bastard's buried in the National Cathedral.

Bill Kauffman is an author whose most recent book is Ain't My America: The Long, Noble History of Anti-War Conservatism and Middle American Anti-Imperialism.


David Kopel

1. Who are you voting for in November and why?
Very torn right now between Barr and McCain/Palin. I agree much more with Barr than with McCain on almost everything except the war on Islamic terrorists, but that war is, in my view, a national survival issue. I also think that a President Obama plus an overwhelmingly Democrat Congress would be very destructive for civil and economic liberties—including the abolition of the secret ballot in union elections, and a broad effort (including reimposition of the so-called "Fairness Doctrine," and a Federal Election Commission crackdown on Internet speech) to suppress First Amendment criticism of Obama. I like Palin a lot. She has excellent judgment, and has more respect for libertarian values than anyone who has been on a national major party ticket in the last two decades. After several months of experience as Vice-President, with study of national security briefings and the like, she would be very qualified to serve as President.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? Bush in 2004. Nader in 2000.

3. Is this in fact the most important election in your lifetime? Every election seems supremely important when you're in the middle of it. From a historical perspective, we can see that Reagan's 1980 defeat of Carter was much more important than any other election since my birth during the Eisenhower administration. If we knew that President Obama would be checked by a Republican Congress (as Clinton was), I would say that even 2004 was a more important election than the current one; a Kerry win in 2004 would have resulted in a catastrophic defeat in Iraq, plus a Supreme Court solidly in the hands of Left. Among other consequences, the Second Amendment would have been nullified in the Heller case. But given that a President Obama would enjoy a very large Democratic majority in Congress, it is possible that an Obama presidency could change America at least as much as the Reagan presidency did. American exceptionalism would be over, and we would have a country a lot more like France: under the thumb of interest groups hostile to economic dynamism, and with a national government much larger and more intrusive than the bloated one we already have.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? John Bolton. He was Horatio at the Bridge, saving the Second Amendment from a full-scale assault at the United Nations.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? Richard Nixon. Terrible on civil liberties. Very destructive in both the short term (wage and price controls) and the long term (inflation and completing the transition to fiat currency) on economic policy. A true friend of dictators in foreign affairs. In the spirit of bipartisanship, I concede that Woodrow Wilson  deserves consideration too.

David Kopel is an author, attorney, analyst and the Cato Institute, and blogger at the Volokh Conspiracy.

Katherine Mangu-Ward

1. Who are you voting for in November? I never vote. Here's why.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? I was chivvied into voting at school in a state election in 1998, the first year I was eligible. I voted against my longtime Rep. James Moran (D-Va.). As far as I can recall, I haven't been inside a voting booth since.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? Maybe, but only insofar as all of the elections in my lifetime have been fairly unimportant. Cthulhu willing, that will continue to be so. In that context, I suppose this one could theoretically win by a hair when the great report card in the sky is finally completed.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? I've actually enjoyed the last few months of the Bush administration. Since virtually everyone agrees that he's awful, no one even bothers to get in the kind of dinner-party-ruining fights that used to plague my evenings. When we get a new guy to fight about, I'll miss the peaceful meals.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? James K. Polk. How dare he accept a compromise U.S. border at the 49th parallel?! 54º40' or fight!

Katherine Mangu-Ward is an associate editor of reason.


Michael McMenamin

1. Who are you voting for in November? As Jack Benny famously said when confronted by a gun-toting thief who demanded his money or his life: "I'm thinking; I'm thinking."

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? What part of the 5th Amendment don't you understand?

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? No, unless the new President (whoever he is) and a Democratic Congress with a filibuster-proof Senate manage to turn a normal recession into a re-run of the 1930s' depression, something they are all too capable of doing. Then, in hindsight, it will have been the most important election in my lifetime.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? White House Press Secretary Dana Perino, always the smartest person in the press room and way hotter than Sarah Palin. Faint praise on both counts but still true.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? So many choices, so little time. While LBJ is a tempting choice because he was trying to have me drafted and killed, it has to be Woodrow Wilson, the most racist President of the 20th Century, whose ill-fated decision to seek a declaration of war against Germany in 1917 directly led to the rise of Hitler and World War II.

Reason Contributing Editor Michael McMenamin's latest book is Becoming Winston Churchill: The Untold Story of Young Winston and His American Mentor.


Michael C. Moynihan

1. Who are you voting for in November? Besides being both exhausted by and disinterested in this election, I am once again feeling it unnecessary to vote. Contra Leonardo DiCaprio, who promises that if I fail to cast a ballot the country will be overrun by right-wing death squads, my vote truly doesn’t matter. I live in the District of Columbia, where the most current polling data puts Obama at 83 percent and McCain at 13 percent.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? In 2000, I reluctantly picked the tongue-tied, America-should-mind-its-own-business Republican. In 2004, while living in Europe, I abstained from voting.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? No, I don’t see this election as any more important than 2004—the one I boycotted. Way back then, Iraq was to soon reach its boiling point and the bruising fights over civil liberties and the War on Terror were just around the corner. Those who say that America is more divided than in it was in 2004 are delusional.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? I’ll miss the Bush administration’s ability to drive some of my commie friends into fits of apoplexy. And I’ll probably miss all those warnings of the impending fascist takeover.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? So many wonderful choices, but I’ll avoid the obvious (Jackson, Wilson, Nixon, Carter, etc.) and mix it up a bit: Give me a bucket, a slab of wood, and Gerald Ford. If pardoning Nixon isn’t enough to merit a vigorous waterboarding, Ford’s 1976 debate comment that “There is no Soviet domination of eastern Europe” surely is.

Michael C. Moynihan is an associate editor of reason.


Craig Newmark

1. Who are you voting for in November? Barack Obama, since he's a genuine leader, with a good program for cleaning up Washington, and will be very good for business.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? In 2004: Kerry. In 2000: The Libertarian candidate.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? Yes, I've been saying that "2008 is the new 1776," where networked, grassroots democracy begins seriously to replace big money politics.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? It's very good for comedy.

Craig Newmark is the founder of craigslist.org.


Grover Norquist

1. Who are you voting for in November? John McCain. Obama and a Democrat congress will change labor law and tort law to damage the forces of freedom in America for years to come.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? I campaigned for Bush both times.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? Reagan in 1980 was the most consequential.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? Some parts of it were less annoying than others.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? Dick Cheney....poetic justice. Teddy Roosevelt for advancing statism.

Grover Norquist is president of Americans for Tax Reform and author of Leave Us Alone: Getting the Government's Hands Off Our Money, Our Guns, Our Lives.


Charles Oliver

1. Who are you voting for in November? I won't be voting for president. If I did, it would be for Bob Barr because, as imperfect as his candidacy is, he's the only one who is at least talking about a noninterventionist foreign policy, rethinking the war on drugs, and shrinking the size of the federal government.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? To the best of my memory, the last presidential candidate I voted for was Ron Paul in 1988. I'd like to say I have some grand philosophical reason for not voting, but the reality is that no candidate since then has excited me enough to get out and vote.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? No, because, while John McCain and Barack Obama may differ on some particulars, they share the same fundamental view of government. Whichever one wins, there will be an expansion in the size and scope of the federal government, especially if, as is likely, the Democrats increase their majorities in Congress.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? I'll miss most all of those posts on National Review's The Corner that gushed over Bush (and Dick Cheney) like the diary entries of a school girl confessing her love for the Jonas Brothers.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? I guess I'd waterboard Woodrow Wilson because, among many other reasons, he led the United States into World War I and presided over the creation of the Federal Reserve. I'd say the world has been suffering from those decisions almost a century now.

Charles Oliver is a reason contributing editor.


Steven Pinker

1. Who are you voting for in November? Barack Obama, because he most exemplifies Reason and Free Minds (sorry, the country is in no mood for Freer Markets). The contrast between his discernment and eclecticism and the Republican ticket’s impulsiveness and idiot populism is vastly more important than any differences in their adherence to libertarian first principles.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? Gore and Kerry.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? It may be. From Reagan to Quayle to W to Palin, American politics has been in a tailspin of know-nothingism. The world is too dangerous to entrust its most powerful nation to a lying ignoramus and the irresponsible man who picked her.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? Nothing.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? I'm opposed to waterboarding, but I'd give a few lashes with a wet noodle to Jimmy Carter for offering a moralistic polemic on the Middle East rather than clever diplomacy, and to George H.W. Bush for inaugurating the modern era of mendacious campaigning.

Steven Pinker is Johnstone Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and the author of The Blank Slate and The Stuff of Thought.


Bob Poole

1. Who are you voting for in November? John McCain, as the less-bad option. I base this on his positions on free trade, taxation and spending, unions, and Supreme Court nominations, as well as the merits of divided government (given the near-certainty of strong Democratic majorities in both houses).

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? Bush, both times.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? I hope not. I think Goldwater vs. Johnson had a huge impact, laying the basis for a conservative/libertarian movement that produced Ronald Reagan's presidency.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? DOT Secretary Mary Peters, the best and most free-market-oriented Cabinet member in my lifetime.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? Richard M. Nixon, massive expander of big government, even to the point of wage and price controls.

Robert Poole is director of transportation studies at Reason Foundation, a free market think tank he founded. Poole, an MIT-trained engineer, has advised the last four presidential administrations on transportation and policy issues.


Damon W. Root

1. Who are you voting for in November? I'm wavering between Bob Barr and None of the Above, though I'm leaning strongly towards the latter. I really just want the Republicans to lose.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? In 2004 I cast one of New York City's 1,276 votes for Libertarian Michael Badnarik. Speaking proportionally, my vote actually made a difference that time. In 2000: Nobody.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? It's nice to think that one election could undo the damage from the Iraq debacle, or scale back Bush's radical expansion of executive power. But it won't.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration?
I'll miss the extremely slender possibility that Bush might have nominated Judge Janice Rogers Brown to the Supreme Court.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded and why? It's a toss-up between Andrew Jackson and Teddy Roosevelt. Old Hickory deserves it for his central role in the Trail of Tears, though TR, as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, did more than just about anyone to get America involved in a bloody imperialist war in the Philippines.

Damon W. Root is an associate editor of reason.


Ryan Sager

1. Who are you voting for in November? I am voting for Barack Obama, because I believe in hope and change and unicorns. Also, John McCain is dangerously mentally unfit to be president and has decided, with his choice of Sarah Palin, to complete the transformation of the GOP into a southern-centered party based on social division and cultural resentment.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000?
I voted for George W. Bush in 2004, based on the theory that America needed to send a message of resolve in the War on Terror and the fact that John Kerry was an irredeemable douche. In 2000, I didn't vote, but would have voted for Bush (and, as a result, feel hypothetical guilt over my non-choice).

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? We all thought that 2000 was the least important election of our lifetimes. That turned out to be incorrect.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? The Daily Show. Will there be anything funny about an Obama administration? Guilty white people say: no.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded and why? John Adams, John McCain's spiritual predecessor in speech-suppression. Good riddance to both of them. Hopefully.

Ryan Sager is author of The Elephant in the Room: Evangelicals, Libertarians, and the Battle to Control the Republican Party. He blogs at Miscellaneous Objections.


Julian Sanchez

1. Who are you voting for in November? Living in the District of Columbia, I see little reason to mar my as- yet unblemished record of nonvoting. But if I lived in Virigina or Florida, I'd be ticking the box for Obama—not because of any great affection for Hopey McChangeypants, but because I'm terrified of what happens to the Republican Party if eight years of military adventurism, unfettered executive power, and disregard for civil liberties aren't utterly repudiated at the polls.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? Had I voted, I probably would have voted for Kerry in '04, for largely the same reasons, albeit with significantly more revulsion. To my great chagrin now, I was pulling for Bush in 2000; absent 9/11, he might not have turned out quite so badly.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? In hindsight, I guess you could argue that the 2000 election gets that dubious honor, though nobody realized it at the time. But yeah, I think this is a potential realignment year, with the future shape of the conservative coalition as the stakes: The outcome will determine whether the Republican Party sees a need to fundamentally reconsider what they're about.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? So, so little. I will say, if you happen to write about surveillance and civil liberties abuses for a living, this crowd has been a steady source of work. And I suppose I'll be having a lot more arguments with my liberal friends under an Obama administration.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? Would it be totally insufferable of me to suggest that the impulse to engage in torture fantasies about your political enemies is part of what's fucked about our current public discourse? Probably. Sorry.

Julian Sanchez is the Washington Editor of the online technology news magazine Ars Technica and a contributing editor for reason. He is based in Washington, D.C. and blogs sporadically at JulianSanchez.com.


John Scalzi

1. Who are you voting for in November? I'll be voting for Obama, because I think as a nation we're about to descend into a pile of hurt, and I want someone who is smart, pragmatic, and not prone to temper tantrums working to get us out of it as quickly as possible. Also, the possibility of a President Palin makes me want to prepare a bolthole in New Zealand, and as a patriotic American, I should never have to feel that way. Finally, I think the GOP need a moment or two in the Time Out corner, don't you?

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? Gore in 2000; Kerry in 2004. In 2000 I suspected Bush might have the intellectual depth of a custard; in 2004, sadly, I knew it all too well.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? Don't know, don't care, and couldn't accurately tell you even if I felt it was. At the moment the 2000 election has ended up being the most important election of my lifetime, because of what it wrought for the following eight years, but at the time it didn't seem all that significant. You can't tell about these things when you're in the middle of them.

Anyway, the implication that an election has to achieve a certain level of drama and historical significance to engage the voter is kind of a bullshit sentiment. Every presidential election is important because of the scope of power the office holds, and this election is important right NOW, which is sufficient. I'll leave it to history to determine whether it's the most important of the last however many years.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? Not a goddamned thing.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? Dude, waterboarding is so 2006.

John Scalzi is a science fiction author whose most recent novel, Zoe’s Tale, was published in August.


Jack Shafer

1. Who are you voting for in November? Bob Barr.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? Remind me who the libertarian candidates were.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? I don't know how long I'm going to live, so I'll give that one a bye.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? It's failure to pass the "Yes Child Left Behind" act.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? That's a pretty silly question.

Jack Shafer is editor at large of Slate.


Michael Shermer

1. Who are you voting for in November? I’m voting Democrat because I think lawyers should run the country, because the last two years under their control has gone so well, because the government has done such a great job with FEMA that they should also be in charge of our school choices, health care choices, and retirement choices, because they protect me from crime so well that I don’t need a gun, because I want to pay more taxes (especially Capital Gains), because unions need to be stronger against evil corporations, because trade with foreign corporations is anti-American and we need to protect American jobs, and mostly because I’m tired of having so many choices and want someone else to make them for me.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? Republican, Libertarian.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? Ever since I came of voting age people have said that the next election is the most important election of our lifetime, so the answer is either “yes,” because they are all important, or “no,” because president’s cannot do what they promise and this is all hyperbole. I’ll opt for the latter.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? All the jokes from Leno, Letterman, Maher, Conan, Ferguson, et al.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? Teddy Roosevelt, because of his trust-busting inanities and the fact that he could probably hold his breath longer than any other President and I’d want him to be able to think about all his anti-capitalistic interventions during the waterboarding session.

Michael Shermer is the publisher of Skeptic magazine, an adjunct professor in the School of Politics and Economics at Claremont Graduate University, and the author of The Mind of the Market.


RU Sirius

1. Who are you voting for in November? Barack Obama. I could give 100 reasons, but I'll just say civil liberties. He's not perfect, and yes, he sold out on warrantless wiretapping, but on the whole, he's been better in this area than any presidential candidate in my voting lifetime.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? John Kerry in 2004. Ralph Nader in 2000.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? Maybe, because of the obvious crises and the extreme abuse of power by the previous administration, which might hopefully get dialed back. But it may also be the least important election, since the two men may just be running to see who gets to be captain of The Titanic.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? The unintentional hilarity. Although if we get Palin, it's only going to get better.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? Richard Nixon, who continued and escalated in Vietnam because it was politically expedient. But really, I only support waterboarding between consenting adults.

RU Sirius is Editor of h+ (www.hplusmagazine.com), the new Transhumanist magazine, and an occasional contributor to 10 Zen Monkeys. His most recent book is True Mutations: Conversations on the Edge of Science, Technology and Consciousness.


Tim Slagle

1. Who are you voting for in November? I'm voting for Palin. Maybe it's just the tendency of a guy with a big crush to project his ideology on that crush, but she just smells like a Libertarian to me. I'm probably wrong, but the alternative really frightens me. The darkest moments in world history have occurred during the confluence of a bad economy and a charismatic leader. Those videos of children singing and marching for Obama are really disconcerting. I don't care for McCain, but with Palin behind him, his age is an asset.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? In 2004 I voted for Michael Badnarik. There was too much that happened in the first four years of the Bush administration that I really didn't care for, so it was a way to lodge a protest. I voted for George Bush in 2000, and I'm still not ashamed of that. It helped keep Al Gore out of the White House. Subsequently, America never signed on to Kyoto, or joined the International Criminal Court. If Gore had won, right now we'd be in front of the ICC, defending ourselves, for causing the cyclone in Burma.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? Perhaps I'm just paranoid, but I think we are at a very critical juncture. With the Federal Government holding so many banks and a lot of the mortgages right now, I think it's important to vote for somebody who at least has the intention of giving everything back to the private sector. I see no inclination for Obama to do that. In fact it would not surprise me, to see him calling for more nationalization in his first term.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? I will miss hearing his opponents grate their teeth together, every time he says Nukular.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? Franklin Roosevelt. You wouldn't even have to board him, just tilt his chair back into one of the reflecting pools he built. And keep repeating it, until he ADMITS he was a Communist.

Tim Slagle is a stand-up comedian whose most recent album was Europa.


Doug Stanhope

1. Who are you voting for in November? The Libertarians were hijacked in some type of fishy Beer Hall Putsch by a neo-con with holes in his underpants, so I can't even vote with my heart this election. I will vote for Obama on behalf of everyone watching in the world, because he’s the coolest to watch on television.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? In 2004, I campaigned (by writing drunken endorsements on my website and sending in a couple bucks) for Badnarik but didn't end up voting because of a hand injury. In 2000, I actually did vote for the Libertarian but couldn't tell you his name to save my life. That's why bumper stickers from old elections can come in handy.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? On some levels, yes. I truly believe Obama has the potential to be another Kennedy—including the ugliest consequences to his own person. And I'd rather pay more taxes than give a step up to the religious armies, war-mongers, and anti-drug demons affiliated with the right.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? Nothing. The jokes got old five years ago. This administration even made war boring—something unprecedented in American history. Even the Spanish-American War had more people clamoring for details. The History Channel would go bust if it had to replace the WWII shows with Iraq coverage. The only thing I'll miss is the Schadenfruede of seeing him fail.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? I've never looked at any President with any reverence. I never saw any cause and effect between my daily life and a decision of the federal government. I did, however, hear the Nixon tapes and there is absolutely no reason that he shouldn't have been killed as quickly as Saddam based on that—the petty Watergate issues aside.

Doug Stanhope, a stand-up comedian, was, briefly, a candidate for the 2008 Libertarian Party presidential nomination.


Bill Steigerwald

1. Who are you voting for in November? No one.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? No one.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? No. Bipartisan business-as-usual will prevail—growth of government size, scope and nebbiness will continue.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? In addition to the neocons going back to their caves? The pathetic attempts by Republicans and alleged conservatives to defend his record of growing government, his insane blunder in Iraq and his betrayal of what little was left of conservatism's pretense of favoring freedom, limited government, fiscal prudence, and a non-interventionist foreign policy.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? Woodrow Wilson—an arrogant egghead crusader at home and abroad armed with stupid progressive ideals (and just two years of government experience before he became president); second choice: Teddy Roosevelt.

Bill Steigerwald is the associate editor of and columnist for The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

 
Roger Stone

1. Who are you voting for in November? McCain-Palin. Thought about doing the Black President thing gradually by voting for Bob Barr.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? Voted for Bush—so I am responsible for the war in Iraq.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime?
YES, Obama is a socialist and, no matter what he says today, pro-Palestinian. There is no turning back.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? Tax policy—little else.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded and why? Bill Clinton—embarassing low-class hillbilly.

Roger Stone is a well-known political operative whose writings can be found at Stonezone.com.

 


Jacob Sullum

1. Who are you voting for in November? Bob Barr. I admired Barr as one of the most libertarian members of Congress even when he was a Republican and a gung-ho drug warrior. I respect him more for having the courage to publicly change his mind about drug policy and, more broadly, about the wisdom and propriety of using the federal government to impose a socially conservative agenda on the country.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? 2004: Michael Badnarik. 2000: Harry Browne. I confess I had to look up the names.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? I think Reagan vs. Carter in 1980 was more consequential than this election will prove to be.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? The idea that $438 billion is a big budget deficit.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? Bruce Greenwood, until he reveals the location of the Book of Secrets.

Jacob Sullum is a senior editor at reason and a nationally syndicated columnist.


Jesse Walker

1. Who are you voting for in November? Bob Barr, despite my dismay at the campaign he's run.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? 2004: Michael Badnarik, despite my dismay at the campaign he ran. 2000: Harry Browne, despite my dismay at the campaign he ran.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? It's way too early to tell, and anyone who says otherwise needs a Valium. Ask me again in 2020.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? Remember back in April 2001, when the neocons and other hotheads were ready to go to war with China over a downed American spy plane? Remember how Bush handled the incident diplomatically instead? I'll miss that. Hell, I've been missing it for years already.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? Woodrow Wilson, for about a thousand reasons, but above all for the police state he installed during World War I.

Jesse Walker is managing editor of reason.


David Weigel

1. Who are you voting for in November? I’ve got the luxury of a guilt-free, zero-impact vote in the District of Columbia, which I would cast for Bob Barr if he was on the ballot. Since he’s not, I’m voting for Barack Obama, the only remaining candidate whom I trust not to run the country (further) into the ground with stupid and erratic decisions, and who (miraculously for a Democrat) has run a less brain-dead, faux-populist campaign than the Republican.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? Last time, it was that guy from Massachusetts who hated the troops and lied about his Vietnam service in a French accent. In 2000 I not only voted for Ralph Nader but served as an electoral college elector for him in the state of Delaware. I regret the Nader vote, but not the Kerry vote, as a weak Democratic president with a conservative congress would have been pretty tolerable in retrospect.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? Clearly the most important was 1988, when Americans rejected Mike Dukakis and spared themselves from a tax hike, a liberal Supreme Court justice, a pointless intervention in Central America, and a bungled handling of Soviet dissolution. But this is a close second, because I really don’t think McCain has the temperment to be president or the interest in standing up to a Democratic Congress, his only theoretical advantage over Obama.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? The withering of the Cult of the Presidency. It’s going to come back in force under President Obama, as I’m reminded whenever I walk down my street and see T-shirts with Our Leader’s gorgeous face on them.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? Lyndon Baines Johnson. While his children watch.

David Weigel is an associate editor of reason.


Matt Welch

1. Who are you voting for in November? I live in the District of Columbia, which will probably go 90 percent to Barack Obama, so I will probably throw a bone to the third-party candidate whose program most resembles my own: Bob Barr.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? John Kerry and Ralph Nader! I've had a bad decade....

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? I think the most important U.S. election of my lifetime was in 1972, when Americans picked the wrong guy (not that there was a right one, mind you).

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? He sent me a $600 check like in 2002, back when I was living below the poverty line, and we used it to buy a terrific, much-needed bed.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? Not necessarily waterboarded, but forced to listen to this song for 192 consecutive hours, or insanity, whichever comes first. Richard Nixon.

Matt Welch is reason's editor in chief and the author of McCain: The Myth of a Maverick.


Cathy Young

1. Who are you voting for in November? I can't in good conscience give my sanction to either of the two major-party candidates: McCain/Palin represent a GOP in thrall to troglodytes, while Obama will likely preside over an even bigger expansion of government than McCain would have. I think an Obama victory would be the lesser of two evils overall, but I will probably vote for Bob Barr.

2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? In 2004: Michael Badnarik. In 2000: Bush.

3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? Not sure; hopefully, my lifetime isn't over any time soon, so who knows what future elections might bring! I'm not sure the election of 2004 was of any less consquence—though Obama is much more of an unknown quantity than Kerry was, and his election will have far greater symbolic meaning.

4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? The Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS). It was often fun to watch, though ODS promises to be just as good.

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded and why? For some reason, this question made me think of an alternate-history short story by the brilliant Russian satirist Dmitry Bykov in which the 2000 Bush/Gore election dispute turns into a prolonged stalemate finally resolved by asking Vladimir Putin to be president of the United States...

Cathy Young is a reason contributing editor.

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  • Elemenope||

    Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded?

    Woodrow fucking Wilson.

  • fyodor||

    Q. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000?

    A. Libertarians, both times.


    He doesn't seem to remember who they are!! :)

  • Elemenope||

    I'd never advocate water-boarding or otherwise torturing anyone, and I think even to joke about it is to diminish the horror of torture. Torture is like rape-is it okay to joke about which woman you'd most like to rape?

    Hmm. Is it acceptable? No. Can it be funny? Ask George Carlin.

    He doesn't seem to remember who they are!! :)

    Would you?

  • Elemenope||

    I also thought Andrew Jackson was a good pick for "prick I'd like to waterboard".

  • ||

    VOTE FOR PEDRO

  • Richard Upton Pickman||

    Just out of curiosity about the less partisan Reason readers - Are any of you voting?

    I ask because I too have been converted to the "Not voting is sometimes the only morally acceptable option" school of thought.

  • ||

    Robert Gates protested the Vietnam War?

    Huh. I always thought that guy had a lot on the ball.

  • ||

    Tim Cavanaugh should get some kind of honesty award for admitting that he is voting for Obama because Obama is black. And he also subtly hints that Obama's success is the result of superficial emotional appeal ("Hope! Change!" by saying "my kids like him." Good work, Tim!

  • ||

    Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded?

    Wahsington. The country went downhill since he struck down the Whiskey Rebellion.

  • NoStar||

    Did I read the article too fast? The one reasonite, whose opinion most interests me, isn't queried??!!?

    Lisa Snell, how will you vote?

  • egosumabbas||

    Lots of contributors in the tank for Obama. Interesting.

    You'd think the only "reason"able choices would be Bob Barr or stay home and watch teevee.

  • egosumabbas||

    Or smoke a cancer stick and fire a rifle while you still have the freedom to do so.

  • Elemenope||

    Huh. I always thought that guy had a lot on the ball.

    And he's the inside baseball favorite for SecDef under an Obama administration.

    I ask because I too have been converted to the "Not voting is sometimes the only morally acceptable option" school of thought.

    Talking to an fifty-plus year old black guy from the South will cure you of that particular malady right quick.

  • ||

    You'd think the only "reason"able choices would be Bob Barr or stay home and watch teevee.



    Because nothing says "free minds" like demanding total party loyalty and conformity!

  • ||

    Drink!

  • Citizen Nothing||

    "The Libertarians were hijacked in some type of fishy Beer Hall Putsch."

    Stanhope has only himself to blame. If he hadn't wussed out, he'd have made a hella candidate.

  • ||

    What will you miss about the Bush administration?
    The tax cuts. And the comfort in knowing, really knowing, that we were accelerating our own decline as a nation.

  • rap||

    Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? Michael Badnarik in 2004. Ralph Nader (IIRC) in 2000. And that should be "whom."



    That should be "For whom did you vote..."

    (/pedantry)

  • ||

    "Lisa Snell, how will you vote?"

    Maybe she'll post it up over at TWC?

  • ||

    Funny, Weigel "trusts" Barack Obama not to run the country further into the ground. I think it was pretty fairly assumed that he was going to vote for Obama, but I don't know any libertarian who would ever uset the word "trust" to describe how they feel about any major party politician (let alone Libertarian Party politician)

  • ||

    Hmm...Woodrow Wilson seems to be generally despised by Libertarians. I'm not so much a fan of the Woodrow either, to say the least.

  • Nigel Watt||

    WOODROW FUCKING WILSON.

    You know the question.

    So glad to see everyone agrees with me there.

    Fuck Woodrow Wilson.

  • ||

    LMNOP
    I thought Carlin's "Think of Porky Pig raping Elmer Fudd" was the most unfunny thing he ever said. Not so much offensive, just unforgivably lame.

    For the record:

    1980: Ed Clark
    1984: David Bergland
    1988: Ron Paul
    1992: Andre Marrou
    1996: Harry Browne
    2000: Harry Browne
    2004: Michael Badnarik
    2008: Bob Barr

  • ||

    I don't know any libertarian who would ever uset the word "trust" to describe how they feel about any major party politician

    Yeah, I gotta stick with the old "X-Files" slogan, myself. I still plan to vote for Obama, though.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Is this the most important election in your lifetime? It's way too early to tell, and anyone who says otherwise needs a Valium.



    Hmmm. If we say otherwise, will reason give us a Valium? Because, otherwise.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Gee, Warren. You are as big a loser as I am.

    (For bonus points, without looking it up, who was Marrou's running mate?)

  • Seward||

    Nigel Watt.

    Wilson followed somewhat distantly by Thomas Jefferson.

  • ||

    2004: (my first time voting) Michael Badnarik.

  • ||

    Torture is like rape-is it okay to joke about which woman you'd most like to rape?

    I actually can't think of an answer to that question, since I'd have to think of a woman who didn't want to have sex with me in the first place. You can't rape the willing, as my mother used to say.

  • ||

    And I can't even remember who Badnarik's running mate was.

  • Nigel Watt||

    Art-P.O.G.: Campagna, but I had to think about it.

    I couldn't even vote in 2004, I don't know why I know this.

  • Jesse Walker||

    (For bonus points, without looking it up, who was Marrou's running mate?)

    Nancy Lord, of course. Every time Marrou gave an embarrassing interview to the media -- i.e., every time someone in the media decided to talk to him -- I would tell my friends, "But his running mate is OK..."

    A few years later she had an embarrassing appearance on Politically Incorrect. I was glad those friends weren't around to taunt me.

  • ||

    I ask because I too have been converted to the "Not voting is sometimes the only morally acceptable option" school of thought.

    Talking to an fifty-plus year old black guy from the South will cure you of that particular malady right quick.


    Uh, wrong. I get pretty sick and fucking tired of people insisting that I have to vote. You know what? Fuck you (not you personally, LMNOP). I don't have to participate in your immoral, bullshit system.

  • Elemenope||

    I too voted for Badnarik, and I can't remember who he ran with.

    A quick look at wiki sez it was Richard Campagna. Whoever that is.

  • PicassoIII||

    Kinda wish they were ALL specifically asked 'where' they're voting.
    Some made mention, but with others (unless it's obvious, ie teaches @ Harvard) such information is important in context.

  • Elemenope||

    Epi,

    I appreciate your feelings on the matter. However, I think the perspective of those who did not have the right to vote and fought pretty hard to get it is an important one.

    And since some are still alive to talk to...

  • Citizen Nothing||

    "Nancy Lord, of course."

    You're good, Jesse. You're good.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I can't even remember who Badnarik's running mate was.

    Three weeks after voting for him, I blanked when a friend asked me who I voted for.

  • ||

    With a Democrat supermajority in congress coming and a media that is too enamored with Obama to think straight,
    I had to hold my nose and vote McCain/Palin. Hey, at least Palin is nice to look at.

  • ||

    FDR was the worst president, followed by Wilson. Though some pretty compelling arguments for Wilson were made here. Maybe a tie?

    No on waterboarding, though. Instead, how about forcing them to read H&R threads non-stop -- but only the comments by joe, OLS, and the trolls.

  • ||

    (For bonus points, without looking it up, who was Marrou's running mate?)

    Nancy Lord!
    I hear her speak. How I wish she was at the top of the ticket. Especially in place of one of the Browne campaigns.

  • ||

    I couldn't even vote in 2004, I don't know why I know this.

    Impressive memory, but if I'm not prying too much, why couldn't you vote in '04? Are you that young or are you a felon?

    A quick look at wiki sez it was Richard Campagna. Whoever that is.

    I know the so-called MSM buried these guys (except for the odd, and I mean odd, Badnarik interview) but I don't recall seeing any definitive proof that this Campagna person actually existed.

  • ||

    Shoot, too slow. Jesse stole my thunder

  • ||

    Brian Doherty's answer to #2 is making my head spin. He considers voting irresponsible because it makes you responsible?

    If you have the right to vote and choose not to, you're just as responsible for the outcome, if not more so, than the person who votes for the candidate(s) who lose.

  • ||

    Three weeks after voting for him, I blanked when a friend asked me who I voted for.

    [chuckles, shakes head]

  • ||

    I too voted for Badnarik, and I can't remember who he ran with.

    A quick look at wiki sez it was Richard Campagna. Whoever that is.


    Yeah I couldn't have come up with Campagna if my life depended on it, and I drove an hour to here him talk in the basement of the admin building at Kalamazoo.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I'm personally hoping that Stanhope shows up at the 2012 LP convention so drunk/stoned that he forgets not to run.

  • ||

    I can't in good conscience give my sanction to either of the two major-party candidates: McCain/Palin represent a GOP in thrall to troglodytes, while Obama will likely preside over an even bigger expansion of government than McCain would have.

    If you can't, without looking, guess which Reason writer wrote this sentence, you haven't been around here for long.

  • Nigel Watt||

    Impressive memory, but if I'm not prying too much, why couldn't you vote in '04? Are you that young or are you a felon?

    I'm 19.

  • ||

    I'm 19.

    I'm impressed. You have that erudition of someone much older. FWIW, I'm 25.

  • Pedobear||

    17/f/cali

  • ||

    1. Who are you voting for in November?

    I always vote Libertarian

    2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000?

    See above

    3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime?

    No. Back in 1980 Sue Weise (girl) ran for class president and I voted for Steve Lang (jock) to keep her from getting in. Unfortunately Richard Dugan (nerd) gave a great debate performance just before the election and split the male vote. I wish I had voted for Richard instead of against Sue. I've never made that mistake since.

    4. What will you miss about the Bush administration?

    Uhhh hmmmm ... I uh ... OH, I bet I'll miss the way I was employed most of his time in office, and the way dollar bills were worth more than the paper they were printed on.

    5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded and why?

    I don't believe in torture. Ever. Under any circumstance.

    However, justice demands that anyone who votes for either Obama, or McCain have their flesh peeled from their body with a pair of vice grips.

  • ||

    I also voted for Badnarik in 2004 - I got a lot of slack for it too

  • ||

    Thanks, Reason staff, for posting this. I have been looking forward to it.

  • Mike Laursen||

    ...what they'll miss most about the Bush administration, and which president they'd most like to have waterboarded.

    I read on a liberal friend's blog this morning that the Bush Administration inserted language into a bill that they are trying to quickly push through Congress right now that pardons the Executive staff from any future war crimes convictions. Any truth to it?

  • Elemenope||

    I'm just surprised the obligatory "y'all are Obama supporters?! I'm canceling my subscription!" comments have not yet occurred.

  • Nigel Watt||

    I'm just surprised the obligatory "y'all are Obama supporters?! I'm canceling my subscription!" comments have not yet occurred.

    It's 1:15 on Tuesday afternoon. Drinking right now would cause problems.

  • ||

    I drove an hour to here him talk in the basement of the admin building at Kalamazoo.

    Was he good?

  • ||

    I mean, was it worth it? (Kalamazoo?)

  • hotsauce||

    2000 - Browne
    2004 - Badnarik
    2008 and beyond - principled nonvoter

  • ||

    Wow. I didn't know my father didn't vote the last eight years. Nor did I know he was going to be polled by Reason.

    I wonder if he gets the same moral outrage that talking about not voting gets in a college?

    I haven't been old enough for a presidential election vote yet. I would have been down with Badnarik, and certainly good old harry Browne. Barr makes me nervous. I might just go with None of the Above instead.

    Props to all the Wilson hate. And to Brian Doherty's "if you vote, you have no right to complain about the outcome." I am sick of being told that not voting means I "have no right to complain."

  • lunchstealer||

    And that should be "whom."

    If we're going to pick nits, it should be 'For whom will you vote?'

    I mean, sure you need to use the objective case with 'whom' but that's because it's the object of a preposition. Might as well get that preposition out in the front.

  • ||

    It's 1:15 on Tuesday afternoon. Drinking right now would cause problems.

    It's Wednesday. Have you been drinking?

  • ||

    Reinmoose | October 29, 2008, 1:07pm | #
    I also voted for Badnarik in 2004 - I got a lot of slack for it too


    Really, I didn't know you were a follower of Bob Dobbs

  • Nigel Watt||

    It's Wednesday. Have you been drinking?

    Not that I recall...

  • ||

    "I'm just surprised the obligatory "y'all are Obama supporters?! I'm canceling my subscription!" comments have not yet occurred."

    lmnop - anybody with a room level IQ who reads this site realized this long ago :~)

  • svf||

    So by my count that's...

    Obama: 11 / 35.4%
    Barr: 9 / 29.0%
    NOTA: 8 / 25.8%
    McCain: 3 / 9.6%

    I continue to be disheartened by all the NOTA/Stay Home sentiment here and elsewhere. Oh well, let's just let the statists and socialists decide everything for the rest of us. Woo hoo.

  • Abdul||

    the Bush Administration inserted language into a bill that they are trying to quickly push through Congress right now that pardons the Executive staff from any future war crimes convictions. Any truth to it?

    Presidential pardons don't have to go through congress, so it's not true as far as that goes.

    Also, the president can pardon people for crimes which they haven't been charged, or even investigated. (Cheney, you're next rape/murder spree is on the house!) so nothing could stop Bush from making those pardons now. Traditionally, controversial pardons are made in the last few days of the outgoing president's term.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I also voted for Badnarik in 2004 - I got a lot of slack for it too

    Was Badnarik Church of the Sub-Genius? I didn't know that.

    I'm just surprised the obligatory "y'all are Obama supporters?! I'm canceling my subscription!" comments have not yet occurred.

    reason sucks!

    That should hold you for another half hour or so.

  • ||

    Art-P.O.G.
    I was very involved in the LP in those days. There was no question of not supporting the party.

    He was a good speaker. But he was talking to an audience of about two dozen and half of them were only there for the coffee and doughnuts. So he was 'phoning it in'. It's got to be hard living out of a suitcase having to beg spare change for your bed and meals at every stop hopping you'll scrape by long enough to keep going till election.

  • squarooticus||

    Since it's pretty much assured the US is going to have a bad few decades as our currency collapses and business moves abroad to greener pastures, we may as well embrace change. Let's sing it all together: "God damn America! Go Barack Obama!" :-)

  • Sam Grove||

    Question 5 should have been framed in a Twilight Zonish manner.

    If you could magically swap a U.S. president for any innocent victim of water boarding...

  • Elemenope||

    I thought Carlin's "Think of Porky Pig raping Elmer Fudd" was the most unfunny thing he ever said. Not so much offensive, just unforgivably lame.

    For the record:

    1980: Ed Clark
    1984: David Bergland
    1988: Ron Paul
    1992: Andre Marrou
    1996: Harry Browne
    2000: Harry Browne
    2004: Michael Badnarik
    2008: Bob Barr


    I don't understand, Warren. Is this a list of dates and people that you've raped during them?

  • svf||

    1988 - Dukakis (shit!)
    1992 - Clinton (fuck!)
    1996 - Browne (what?)
    2000 - Browne (again?)
    2004 - Badnarik (who??)
    2008 - Barr (OMFG!?!?)

  • ||

    I read an old article and apparently Badnarik didn't even have a Secret Service detail. I guess if there's a plus side to being fairly anonymous, it's that Mark David Chapman types are unlikely to fixate on you.

  • ||

    BakedPenguin
    HA! Beat you to the slack.

  • ||

    It's got to be hard living out of a suitcase having to beg spare change for your bed and meals at every stop hopping you'll scrape by long enough to keep going till election.

    Please tell me you're exaggerating.

  • Elemenope||

    I am sick of being told that not voting means I "have no right to complain."

    Not voting means you have no right to complain.

  • lunchstealer||

    Oh, and

    2008 - Obama

    2004 - Badnarik
    2000 - Bush (Dammit, it was a protest vote against Gore, and it would've worked, too, if those morans in Palm Beach could read a damn ballot)

    Important? Meh - maybe. In hindsight, '00 and '04 may have been more important. And I certainly could argue that '80 was more important, although I was years from voting at that point.

    Waterboarding? The GOVERNMENT should not waterboard anybody, even presidents. And I probably wouldn't waterboard anybody. But I'd get a hell of a lot of schadenfruede out of seeing shadow-president Cheney tortured, also possibly Nixon and Johnson.

    Props also to the Wilson and Jackson hate. Jackson's expansion of suffrage was as mildly redemptive as Johnson's Civil Rights Act signature, but both were still abominable presidents.

  • ||

    Who are you voting for in November?

    As Jack Benny famously said when confronted by a gun-toting thief who demanded his money or his life: "I'm thinking; I'm thinking."

    That's, "I'm thinking it over!" Noob.

  • Guy Montag||

    So the difference between Slate and reason is the spelling of the title.

    BTW, for that who we voted for question in the comments:

    1980: John Anderson/Patrick Lucy
    1984: Bergland/Lewis (I think, but might have been another "third party" candidate)
    1988: Dukakis/Bentsen
    1992: Perot/Stockdale
    1996: Dole/Kemp
    2000: Bush/Cheney
    2004: Bush/Cheney
    2008: Barr/Root

  • ||

    I don't understand, Warren. Is this a list of dates and people that you've raped during them?

    "And, Mr. Kelly, in your sworn statement to police, you claim that the prisoner told you that if you didn't, and I quote, 'jam a bunch of stuff into your butt,' he was going to 'rape you so hard the room would stink.' And he was going to, quote, 'eat your butt and his son's butt in the stink until his stomach was full of ... your butts.' Is this correct?"

  • ||

    2000: Bush/Cheney
    2004: Bush/Cheney

    Ooh. ;)

  • Guy Montag Shocks My Socks||

    Though I have to admit the Dukakis pull takes me by surprise.

  • Elemenope||

    As to the question of the hour:

    2000: Nader/LaDuke
    2004: Badnarik/Campagna
    2008 (unless something changes in six days): Obama/Biden

  • Guy Montag||

    I read on a liberal friend's blog this morning that the Bush Administration inserted language into a bill that they are trying to quickly push through Congress right now that pardons the Executive staff from any future war crimes convictions. Any truth to it?

    Sounds about as truthful and 'logical' about that Bush draft bill rumor (only ones have been sponsored by Rep. Rangel (D) NY and other Dems.) that keep coming up every few months.

    As pointed out above, the President does not need any ok from the Congress for pardons.

  • ||

    I ask because I too have been converted to the "Not voting is sometimes the only morally acceptable option" school of thought.

    In a country with completely rigged elections, which the U.S. isn't, not voting is indeed the morally correct decision. I'm not saying not voting is immoral here, but casting your ballot certainly is not immoral.

    I get to vote for three Libertarians for federal office, not voting for the state house seat (the Dem is unopposed) and some of the ballot initiatives matter to me. There are some libertarians farther down the ballot (University Board of Regents, State Board of Education) that I'll reflexively vote for as well.

    Hopefully I'll get a chance to lie to an exit pollster as well.

  • Mike M.||

    Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded?

    Franklin D. Roosevelt, for putting into place the Bismarckian welfare state driving us towards inevitable bankruptcy, and for being the closest thing we've had to a genuine tyrant.

  • ||

    Jacob Sullum said:
    1. Who are you voting for in November? Bob Barr. I admired Barr as one of the most libertarian members of Congress even when he was a Republican and a gung-ho drug warrior.

    What? WHAT?! Wow! I'm sorry but I just can't take Sullum seriously anymore after that statement.

    That said, since I live in Illinois and there is no chance for McCain to win I will be pulling the lever (well technically connecting the line on my optical ballot) for Babar -- err Bob Barr. Not because I like the candidate or believe think his conversion to libertarianism is genuine, but because a message that libertarianism is appealing to voters is an important one

  • Guy Montag||

    Mike M.,

    FDR deserves some real torture, not an exercise in discomfort.

  • Boston||

    El,

    Not for Barr? Thats dissappointing. Any reasons why?

  • ||

    Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded?

    I too would have said Wilson over Nixon. Wilson was a creepy paranoid dude

  • ||

    Excuse me for geeking out here, but how do Postman and Kiln People get mentioned under David Brin but no Uplift books do? You'd think a saga of a lone race with the concept of free will against hundreds of species who think they are insane and often want them dead would really appeal to the Hit & Run regulars...

    Plus it has Chimps. Who doesn't love chimps?

  • Guy Montag||

    Plus it has Chimps. Who doesn't love chimps?

    Me. I don't even like them. Add to my list of dislike that includes rainbows, puppies and Socialists.

  • BakedPenguin||

    HA! Beat you to the slack.

    Aargh. It was the damn Valium they gave me on the other thread.

    Since we're all confessing:
    1988: Dukakis
    1992: Didn't vote, or else Marrou, I don't remember.
    1996: Browne
    2000: Browne
    2004: Badnarik
    2008: Barr (FL early voting)

  • ||

    When I was in college, Wilson was portrayed by my professors as God's gift to good government. I have since learned better. And since I believe he helped lay the foundation for much of what FDR later perpetrated, I nominate him, not for waterboarding, but for a good thrashing with a whippy, lightweight, walkingstick.

    I will, as usual, be voting in absentia, for "none of the above". And I propose to caterwaul mightily about the outcome.

  • kinnath||

    1976: Cant't Remember (I was 19, who fucking remembers anything from that age)

    1980: Ed Clark (And so begins the long dark descent into total cynicism -- and before the age of 25 no less)

    1984: David Bergland
    1988: Ron Paul
    1992: Andre Marrou
    1996: Harry Browne
    2000: Harry Browne
    2004: Michael Badnarik
    2008: Bob Barr

  • lunchstealer||

    (also, rap beat me to the pedantry thing)

  • BakedPenguin||

    Hey, Guy - check out this.

  • Hogan||

    2000 - would have gone Nader but was a minor at the time
    2004 - Kerry, alas
    2008 - McCain, alas

  • Naga Sadow||

    What? No votes for Cthulhu? Or votes for Caligula over at Urkobold? A tyrant is needed you fools!

  • ||

    2000: too young to vote
    2004: turned 18 two months before election, voted for Bush; didn't put too much thought into it.

    2008: Barr. Voting for a R or D just feels like a sticky, disgusting kind of yuck will follow me around for at least four years.

  • T||

    Not voting isn't really the answer to a corrupt/nondifferentiated two-party government. Voting third party is.

    We're stuck with craptacular politicians until people wake up and realize that they've got a better choice than the dumb and dumber they're offered every four years.

    Your failure to vote for a pair of objectionable goobs merely runs up the percentage numbers for the majority parties. It's imperitive we don't continue the falacy that we've only got two choices, especially when it takes a few hours at most to do your part to dispell it.

    Don't vote D or R or Mickey Mouse. Pick a third party.

  • ||

    Wilson was a creepy paranoid dude



    And Nixon wasn't?

  • ||

    Behold:
    http://www.zod2008.com/

  • ||

    I like how Cavanaugh seems to have enshrined "when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro" as his new political philosophy. We'd probably be better off if more journalists did. We'd certainly be better-entertained.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Not voting isn't really the answer to a corrupt/nondifferentiated two-party government. Voting third party is.

    I would, but the Libertarian Party keeps selecting candidates for whom I don't want to vote, for one reason or another. (Not just Presidential candidates, but my local and state candidates, too.) A few years ago, I realized I needed to stop being so loyal to the Libertarian Party, and do my tiny part to send the message to the LP leadership that they aren't coming up with good candidates.

  • Jim Lesczynski||

    White House Press Secretary Dana Perino... way hotter than Sarah Palin.

    Now that's just crazy talk.

  • svf||

    A few years ago, I realized I needed to stop being so loyal to the Libertarian Party, and do my tiny part to send the message to the LP leadership that they aren't coming up with good candidates.

    How's that working out for ya?

    Here's an idea -- why don't you get off your non-voting ass and run for office as a Libertarian then...?

  • ||

    ChicagoTom wrote:
    "Babar"


    Nice. ;-)
    And for Senator and Rep?
    Oh and WhereTF do i find any challangers for state offices. It's what's going on in Springfield that worries me far more.

  • ||

    1992 - Clinton
    1996 - Dole
    2000 - Did not vote (if i did it probably would have been Nader.)
    2004 - Badnarik
    2008 - Barr

  • LibertyMark||

    I put this comment in another thread, but it seems more pertinent here:

    I just voted, and, lucky me, I got to vote for Bob Barr AND Ron Paul.

    It's only because I live in Ron Paul's congressional district, and even though he's running unopposed, I still enjoyed voting for him again.

    And, even though when Barr talks, I can tell he doesn't quite "get" liberty from the fundamental, philosophical point of view, I still voted for him because that's the only way I can unambiguously register my disgust with both major parties, even in an infinitesimal way.

  • ||

    2000: Gore (because my parents were)
    2004: Badnarik (protest vote in TX)
    2008: Obama (For great justice)

  • svf||

    2008: Obama (For great justice)

    * spits beverage through nose *

  • ||

    88 - Paul
    92 - Marrou
    96 - Didn't vote
    00 - I either voted for Browne or didn't vote
    04 - badnarik
    08 - teh Hope Furher (probably)

    I don't like Obama, but the thought of canceling out the vote of one of my mouth-breathing fellow Virginians is as close to "making a difference" as I have ever been in an election.

    Of course I may get into the voting booth and choke. I'm not very coordinated.

  • kinnath||

    2008: Obama (For great justice)

    I understand that some people really believe that justice means taking from the rich and giving to the poor. And when Robin Hood stole from the entrenched aristocracy, there may have been some actual justice involved.

    But I have never understood why taking money from Bill Gates to give to an unmarried mother in an urban rathole is "justice".

  • ||

    1996 - Clinton
    2000 - Browne
    2004 - Badnarik
    2008 - Obama

    3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? No, 1996 was because it was my first time. It's like driving or drinking, the first time is exciting and cool. After that, it's just something to do for shits and giggles.

    4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? He did a lot for sub-Saharan Africa. He got no credit it for it, but he did a lot of good work there.

    5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? Jackson. I propose Cherokee Indians as the waterboarders. Also, if there's a president that ever decides to ignore the other branches, Jackson is the one that set the precedent.

  • ||

    1868: Horatio Seymour
    1872: Horace Greeley
    1876: Charles Darwin (write-in vote)
    1880: Darwin
    1884: Darwin
    1888: Darwin
    1892: Darwin
    1896: Darwin
    1900: Cthulhu
    1904: Cthulhu
    1908: Cthulhu
    1912: Cthulhu
    1916: Cthulhu
    1920: Cthulhu
    1924: Cthulhu
    1928: Cthulhu
    1932: Cthulhu
    1936: Cthulhu
    1940: Cthulhu
    1944: Cthulhu
    1948: Cthulhu
    1952: Cthulhu
    1956: Cthulhu
    1960: Cthulhu
    1964: Cthulhu
    1968: Cthulhu
    1972: Cthulhu
    1976: Cthulhu
    1980: Cthulhu
    1984: Cthulhu
    1988: Cthulhu
    1992: Cthulhu
    1996: Cthulhu
    2000: Cthulhu
    2004: Cthulhu
    2008: undecided

  • Hogan||

    OT, there was a story in the WSJ this morning about the Dutch owner of whatever property Obama lived on in Indonesia as a 10 year old. The only things he could remember about Obama were that he didn't like getting rubbed on his head and one time his pet white poodle ran away and he cried for two days. I'm heartless and I thought that shit was funny.

  • ||

    you guys voting for Obama (OR McCain!) freakin' baffle me. I really don't get it.

  • Elemenope||

    2008: Obama (For great justice)

    I understand that some people really believe that justice means taking from the rich and giving to the poor.


    Oh for the love of...catch up on your goddamned Net memes. Especially ones that are a decade old.

    Take off every zig, motherfucker.

  • ||

    And Nixon wasn't?

    Oh he was. I just feel Wilson layed the ground work for Nixon. He was sort of a trailblazer.

    But Nixon was a close 2nd.

  • Guy Montag||

    kinnath,

    I sort of took that one as the Ron Bailey approach too, after almost swallowing tobacco juice.

  • Elemenope||

    elder troll:

    Switch to Hastur so we can get the fucking thing over with, already.

  • ||

    All I can say is that when even the Reason crowd is all voting for Obama, we are well and truly fucked.

    Oh, well, let me practice: "I for one welcome our new Democratic overlords."

    Naah, that didn't come out right. Let me try again: "I for one welcome our new Democratic overlords."

    Hmm, sounds like I need to go practice some more until I can make it sound convicing.

  • ||

    While not as lopsided as Slate's slate, I find it appalling that so many self-professed "libertarians" are voting for Obama. Yeah, I know that McCain is a fascist, but that doesn't negate Obama being a socialist. There is an actual bona-fide Libertarian Party candidate that libertarians can vote for, but he only came in a distant second to Obama. At least there were several NOTA votes.

    When one of the biggest libertarian think tanks is is ignoring the libertarian candidate in favor of the unabashed socialist, then the movement is indeed dead.

  • ||

    picassoIII said:
    Oh and WhereTF do i find any challangers for state offices. It's what's going on in Springfield that worries me far more.

    I dunno man. My state Senator and my state Rep are both running unopposed.

    Now I like my state Sen (Harmon) well enought, but I wish Deborah Graham would get booted. The only issue she seems to focus on is gun control.

  • ||

    kinnath,

    There's a long philisophical tradition (that starts with the Catholic church, but is alive and well in many protestant forms) of defining "social justice" as ensuring that everyone has enough food to eat and enough free time to worry about their soul. This was done through a number of mechanisms, all nominally (if not always actually) voluntary. That same outcome is what a surprising number of contemporary people (even those without the educational background of why, exactly) define as "justice." And, since it's the 21st century and the government can do anything at all if it has 51% of the vote, why not make justice mandatory?

  • ||

    Not that I agree with making "justice" mandatory, I've just met a large number of people who thought that that was a legitimate line of logic.

  • svf||

    When one of the biggest libertarian think tanks is is ignoring the libertarian candidate in favor of the unabashed socialist, then the movement is indeed dead.

    free minds... well, I guess.
    free markets... nope.

  • ||

    It's not that I don't know or understand the arguments against voting Obama. It's that I don't find them particularly compelling.

    Ask the ghost of Schumpeter, we are already a Socialist country. It was inevitable.

  • ||

    Meet the new boss
    Same as the old boss



    I, for one, welcome our new same statist overlords

  • Guy Montag||

    I must withdraw previous statements and refrain from repeating what I thought I heard Nick say on the Bill Moyers, PBS show.

    I thought he said that he always votes for the Libertarian candidate. His response in this article seems to indicate otherwise.

  • SIV||

    Weigel voting for Obama? Wins for most obvious.
    I am slightly disappointed I guessed wrong that Welch would vote McCain.I figured the hate mail would sway him.

    I don't know how anyone could vote for President in 2004. There were no acceptable choices on the ballot.

    I may be breaking my pledge to vote for Barr this time. The lines are too long.I am not investing more than one hour for as useless a ritual as voting.

    KM-W is starting to give Sullum a run for the coolest REASON writer ideologically speaking.Even thugh she wants to waterboard my favorite President

  • Hogan||

    Meet the new boss
    Same as the old boss


    Romanian proverb: A change of rulers is the joy of fools.

  • Jesse Walker||

    Elder Troll wins the thread.

    Though it would have been even funnier if, in the middle of all those Cthulhus, he voted for Wendell Wilkie.

  • Mike Laursen||

    How's that working out for ya?

    About the same as when I did vote LP. I didn't really expect my little stand on principle to matter much.

    Here's an idea -- why don't you get off your non-voting ass and run for office as a Libertarian then...?

    Been there, done that. I also served on my county and state executive committees.

    And I do vote, by the way. Just haven't voted for a Presidential candidate in about a decade.

  • Geotpf||

    Here's how I've voted for president:

    1996: Clinton
    2000: Browne
    2004: Kerry
    2008: Obama

    I turned 18 in 1992 less than a month after the election, so I couldn't vote, although I do remember volunteering at Clinton's local office for a day.

    The 1996 election was boring and not worth discussing.

    I voted for Browne over Gore in 2000 because even then I knew Lieberman was an ass and I couldn't vote for him for any office. His censor-happy, culuture warrior tendencies pissed me off to no end, and the fact that Gore's wife (at least) had the same tendencies (remember, she attempted to ban rap music in the 1980's) made it a ticket I simply couldn't vote for, although if I lived in a swing state instead of California I might have stuck a clothespin on my nose and done so. Also, at the time, I thought Bush would be fairly benign, like his father was (although, as a rule, I don't vote for Republicans). Little did I know.

    In 2004, I voted for, donated money to, and drove to Nevada to volunteer for Kerry because Bush was such a disaster. Too bad Kerry was an idiot and his campaign sucked.

    I have already voted for Obama this time, although I haven't voluteered or given him money (he doesn't need it, frankly).

  • svf||

    Though it would have been even funnier if, in the middle of all those Cthulhus, he voted for Wendell Wilkie.

    and/or Pat Paulsen...

    "I belong to the Straight Talking American Government Party, or STAG Party for short."

    ah, the good ol' days...

  • picassoIII||

    Jacob Sullum said:
    1. Who are you voting for in November? Bob Barr. I admired Barr as one of the most libertarian members of Congress even when he was a Republican and a gung-ho drug warrior.
    ChicagoTom said:
    What? WHAT?! Wow! I'm sorry but I just can't take Sullum seriously anymore after that statement.


    You heard that right.
    All the way back in 1995 he was pushing for 'sunset clauses' on the comprehensive anti terrorism act. Ditto with patriot 03. This is not some overnight transformation.
    He's worked with the MJPP and the ACLU, testified in DC calling for a return to checks and balances and dialing back the power of the executive.
    All of this BEFORE he sought the LP nomination.
    I believe this is a real change of viewpoint. I've seem many a smoker realize that there is a connection between the war on drugs and the anti tobacco movement in terms of driving forces. They are feeling what it's like to have your rights of self determination utterly ignored.
    Bob Barr is a smoker.
    I highly doubt he's going to take up bisexuality but I think the big 'ah-ha' switch in his brain has been tripped.
    I could be completely wrong, but it doesn't matter. Voting for him makes little difference to the outcome of the election, it DOES make a difference for the next cycle in putting the LP on equal footing.

  • ||

    "you guys voting for Obama (OR McCain!) freakin' baffle me. I really don't get it."

    I dunno, it makes sense to me. If I were a libertarian I might be suspect of Barr (I'm not a libertarian and I'm not suspect of him, I think he's truly converted). The guy was a very unlibertarian fellow at one time. I can see how some folks may be sorry he was the nominee.

    And I can see how a libertarian, especially one in a swing state, might feel like the GOP has to be punished and the only way that happens is if Obama wins. And I can see why a libertarian would buy into the socialist rhetoric and want anyone but Obama and hence, if they were in a swing state, vote for McCain.

    It all seems reasonable to me.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    "When one of the biggest libertarian think tanks is is ignoring the libertarian candidate in favor of the unabashed socialist, then the movement is indeed dead."

    I think it's probably just a matter of wanting to be SERIOUS.

  • kinnath||

    There's a long philisophical tradition (that starts with the Catholic church, but is alive and well in many protestant forms) of defining "social justice" as ensuring that everyone has enough food to eat and enough free time to worry about their soul.

    When my priest badgers me into donating 1/10th of my income to serve the needs of the poor, that is social justice.

    When the government takes part of may paycheck, not so much.

  • ||

    1988 Dukakis
    1992 Clinton
    1996 Perot
    2000 Buchanan
    2004 Kerry

  • SIV||

    I look forward to voting for Sarah Palin in 2012.

  • ||

    SIV
    I hope you get that chance. It would be nice to have another two-term Democratic President...

    Who knows, if she keeps working with that voice coach she may have a British accent by then...

  • ||

    Neither major party candidate appeals to me. One is an Both are ideologically confused populist(s) and the other is a pure demagogue(s).

    Fixed.

  • ||

    My '08 ballot:

    Most Powerful Man Ever:
    Barr (L)- Duh

    VA Senate:
    Redpath (L)- See above

    House (11th dist, replacing Davis):
    Fimian (R)- This one required a little thought. As far as I can tell, all 3 people on the ballot are gigantic douches. I was torn between voting for the third party douche (Oddo) and the douche least likely to coronate Obama as Emperor for Life (Fimian.) I ultimately chose Fimian because I wanted to keep the district competitive and he's currently down by >30%.

    Parks Bond: Hell no.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Quite the rogues gallery, MNG.

  • Elemenope||

    When the government takes part of may paycheck, not so much.

    Maybe they should call it "Social Justice PLUS".

  • ||

    Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded?

    Couldn't you have left this question out given how ASININE it is and HOW MANY OF YOUR CONTRIBUTORS told you how asinine it was?

  • Chuck||

    I'll be wearing black next Tuesday in mourning. 19 months of nonstop campaigning by the two major parties and these two are the best they can come up with. And one of them will win. I already need a drink.

  • BDB||

    SIV has a death wish for his party, apparently.

  • Brian Sorgatz||

    Since this post has a photo from the movie Election, I'll go ahead and threadjack to explain how terribly overrated that movie is.

    That movie wants me to hate Witherspoon's character and sympathize with Broderick's. But it doesn't actually show good reasons to feel that way. On the contrary, it encourages me to root for Tracy Flick and wish Mr. McAllister would just drop dead. Flick's dishonest ambition is less objectionable than the script's contempt for her ambition. Good satire does not come from the cheap envy that inspires bumper stickers like, "My kid beat up your honor student." This movie mistakes that attitude for wisdom about American life. To make an analogy to the far superior One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Flick is the McMurphy to McAllister's Nurse Ratched. This movie's loyalties are all wrong.

  • ||

    I stick by every one of them.

    I didn't want more GOP rule post Reagan and I thought the GOP needed punishing in 04.

    The 96 and 00 votes were cast with an eye toward keeping viable a third party. I hoped the Reform Party would stick.

  • picassoIII||

    ChicagoTom,

    still curious about your choices for the other Fed offices.
    For me Durbin needs to go. If Sauerberg(?) is within striking distance i may have to hold nose, otherwise i'm free to go Stafford.
    As for Rep, Emmanuel (5th) is a lock so protest it is. I actually like Hanson the R somewhat, we'll see what he does in the future. Oh there's a green candidate *rolls eyes*
    I'm exited as all get out that the Trib is endorsing Miller over Davis (7th), and he did this with little support from the state GOP. Mostly it's been him, local C4L and LP.
    So much for these entities being useless.
    Speaking of the trib, guess Chapman is a bit more libertarian than i thought.

    The lawn signs go up today, Barr, Stafford and Hanson. If i can find out who's opposing Silverstein and D'Amico (architects of SB500 the IL smoking ban *grr*) i may consider putting up their signs. If they're pro-life, drug warriors, maybe not, but they'll still get the protest vote.

  • ||

    BDB

    Shhh! SIV is a libertarian, remember? Please, don't blow the man's cover.

  • kinnath||

    Maybe they should call it "Social Justice PLUS".

    Social Justice Minus maybe.

    My wife and I give about $3K a year to a local charity that deals with young, unwed mothers starting with prenatal education and continuing into early childhood development. They do great work and are woefully underfunded.

    Sending tax dollars to the feds so that 50% or more of it can be consumed by administrative costs before it ever reaches the people on the street is dumb.

    Having this opinion some how makes me an uncaring son of a bitch.

  • ||

    19 months of nonstop campaigning by the two major parties and these two are the best they can come up with. And one of them will win.



    But look on the bright side, one of them will lose.

  • ||

    I just wanted to fuck Witherspoon. I guess I missed the point of the film...

  • SIV||

    MNG BDB,

    Wrapped in the Flag and carrying a cross.
    Riding on one of Satan's Lizards.She will win in a 40+ state landslide if she can get the GOP nomination.

  • Liz A||

    But if we all wrote in Ron Paul????

  • ||

    Brian,

    The only character in that film that I liked was the lesbian girl who wanted to get kicked out of school so she could go to the Catholic all girl's school.

    I didn't feel like we were supposed to particularly like any of the characters. In that way, it really was like an actual election.

  • Tsu Dho Nihm||

    1992 - Ross "Charts 'n' Graphs" Perot
    1996 - Cthulhu
    2000 - Cthulhu
    2004 - Michael Badnarik (I mistakenly thought he was Chuck Bednarik)
    2008 - Cthulhu

  • ||

    Having this opinion some how makes me an uncaring son of a bitch.

    Because then you don't HAVE to give. If we make it optional, you might not participate. And if administrative costs eat up 50%, then we can just tax you for $6000 and the mothers see the exact same benefit.

  • BDB||

    SIV, weren't you the one saying McCain had totally clinched the election through picking Sarah Palin and resorting to psuedo-populism back in August?

  • kinnath||

    Because then you don't HAVE to give. If we make it optional, you might not participate. And if administrative costs eat up 50%, then we can just tax you for $6000 and the mothers see the exact same benefit.

    Coercion and waste, it doesn't get any better than that.

  • ||

    Oh, very well:

    1984: Reagan
    1988: Bush
    1992: Clinton
    1996: Browne
    2000: Browne
    2004: Badnarik
    2008: Babar

  • BDB||

    2004: Badnarik
    2008: Not McCain

  • Mike Laursen||

    SIV, weren't you the one saying McCain had totally clinched the election through picking Sarah Palin and resorting to psuedo-populism back in August?

    Give SIV a break. He probably said that before Palin started speaking in public.

  • BDB||

    Yeah that might be true.

    But thinking she would win in a 40 state landslide after all this? Yeah. In what paralel universe?

    She'd get Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Alaska, and Oklahoma.

  • ||

    "Wrapped in the Flag and carrying a cross.
    Riding on one of Satan's Lizards."

    You have to love SIV. That guy not only is for minimal government, he's for minimal sentences. Subjects AND predicates, what kind of commie shit is that?

  • ||

    Pro Lib,
    Isn't there a children's book about
    an elephant with that name?

  • aaa||

    nothing about baldwin?

  • BDB||

    Oh, she'd win Alabama too. But that's about it.

  • ||

    BDB
    She'd also get GA, LA, MS and the rest of medieval Europe.

  • BDB||

    No, she wouldn't get LA, MS, or GA. I'm serious here. She'd lose those.

  • svf||

    But thinking she would win in a 40 state landslide after all this? Yeah. In what paralel universe?

    never misunderestimate the infinite wisdom of the american electorate...

    ... like when we end up electing McCain as our next president next week, for example.

  • BDB||

    SC could go either way.

  • picassoIII||

    Warren wrote:
    Children's Book?

    Yup..
    Guess what, it's a FRENCH elephant!!!

    doom,
    Doom,
    DOOOM!

  • ||


    I dunno, it makes sense to me. If I were a libertarian I might be suspect of Barr


    So...Obama is the freakin' more libertarian candidate or something?

    Any libertarian voting one of the two big parties this year should not be taken seriously.

  • BDB||

    I hope the polls stay wide enough in VA so I can vote for Barr.

  • picassoIII||


    aaa wrote:
    Baldwin?

    Reason = cosmo > paleo

  • ||

    I hope the polls stay wide enough in VA so I can vote for Barr.

    Augh! Like your one vote for Obamania would matter anyway!

  • BDB||

    TAO--

    I want my vote to be "You done fucked up this year, GOP". I'm not sure which would best express that yet.

  • Bingo||

    I was going to not vote but then someone reminded me that Sheriff Joe Arpaio is up for re-election. Fuck. Looks like I'm obligated to head to the polls this year.

  • Mike Laursen||

    So...Obama is the freakin' more libertarian candidate or something?

    They're not voting for the more libertarian candidate. They're voting against the crazy candidate whose political party deserves to lose big.

  • ||

    BDB - That's an admirable goal. A vote for Obama is not going to express that, however.

    If you want to express that you're a pissed-off conservative, please vote Barr or Baldwin. Voting Obama makes your vote indistinguishable from all the yapping idiot undergrads who have bought into Hopey McChangerson.

  • ||

    They're voting against the crazy candidate whose political party deserves to lose big.

    And how does one vote "against" a political party, Mr. Laursen? I don't see that option on the ballot.

  • ||

    President I'd most like to see waterboarded?

    Martin Sheen.

    "Barack Obama, because he most exemplifies Reason and Free Minds (sorry, the country is in no mood for Freer Markets)."

    Surprised no one has commented on this one yet.

  • BDB||

    Well he has a solid ten point lead in VA at this point so it will probably be Barr, unless the race miraculously tightens to >2% McCain lead. That's when I vote for Obama. Thankfully that doesn't seem to be in the cards.

    I really wish I lived in DC or Utah so I could just vote for whoever.

  • ||

    2004: Bush, to my everlasting shame. I was 19, and stupid.
    2008: None of the above. Really wanted to vote Libertarian, but Barr's an ass.
    I sympathize with the effort to nominate a more mainstream, well-known candidate, but I think the candidate should come from the left, not the right. As for Barr's purported conversion, his weaseling on DoMA and the WO(s)D leave much to be desired. I would be much more convinced if we had a liberal candidate who became more free market-friendly over time and split with the Democrats. Not sure if that person exists though.

  • BDB||

    "I would be much more convinced if we had a liberal candidate who became more free market-friendly over time and split with the Democrats. Not sure if that person exists though."

    George McGovern. He's too old, though.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    You're a powerful guy, BDB.

  • Kolohe||

    A side digretion that has little to do with the main topic

    Huh. I always thought that guy [Gates] had a lot on the ball.

    And he's the inside baseball favorite for SecDef under an Obama administration.



    Gates is the current Secretary of Defense. It seems like he does a decent job. If things were like they were in '92, it would make sense to keep him on for a while. But the urge to purge (an appropriate one, I might add) will leave very few, if any holdovers from the previous adminstration remaining.

    Plus, Democrats need to get out of the habit of hiring republicans for Secretary of Defense. To be taken seriously on 'national security' issues, the Democrats need to take these issues seriously themselves. And this means not always bunting, but occasionally putting on the hit and run. Plus, from a big picture structural standpoint, it is worthwile to build up a bullpen with both left handed and right handed relievers.

    If there was an intrade market on such things, if Danzig was less than 50%, I'd buy. They could potentially bring back Perry, but he's awfully old, and does not quite fit in with the theme of change. I doubt they would could with Nunn either, as it would be too much of a stick in the eye to the base. (would the democrats filllibuster their own guy? that would be something). But if it's not Danzig, it's likely to be another AAA guy (or girl) that hasn't really been in the press all that much.

  • ||

    I am amazed at the constant (and justified) bitching and moaning and complaining and righteous indignation that intelligent libertarians hurl at the virtually-the-same two-parties ("Republicrats")...and you know what? A whole mess of you are going right back to the two-party system, like an abused wife goes back to her douchebag husband. "He'll be different this time!...I have good reasons for going back there!"

    For shame.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Right, jpok. You wouldn't want to risk that your vote might push Barr over the top.

  • BarryD||

    I can see the merits of a libertarian engaging in "strategic voting", e.g. Kerry in 2004. Kerry was without merit, but the bar was set pretty low in 2004, and divided government certainly has its merits.

    I also think there's plenty of evidence of BDS among many of the above libertarians. I'll miss a few things about the Bush administration, such as a policy of looking after our own interests at the UN instead of pretending the UN is benevolent. The same goes for Kyoto, the ICC, etc. Bush has not attempted to silence his critics, and those who think the Bush administration is dirty have very short memories.

    Obama has already tried to use the courts to silence his critics. This impulse does not bode well for civil liberties under an Obama administration. He favors "redistribution of wealth," by whatever means necessary, including through SCOTUS. He favors severe restrictions, or bans, on armed self-defense by law-abiding citizens. His major goals include raising taxes, raising government spending, and making health care a Federal program.

    For those who believe that Obama is an intellectual, so that makes him better, consider Wilson. Wilson had a PhD, and he'd be my vote for waterboarding. An erudite fascist is what? A more effective fascist? Wilson was quite effective -- in all the worst ways.

    McCain's baby, CFR, is an affront to liberty. McCain is a "national greatness conservative" who worships at the altar of TR. As someone who grew up with Goldwater conservatism, I don't see McCain as a conservative at all. I can surely see why a libertarian couldn't vote for McCain.

    Bob Barr offers a viable protest vote, without having to vote for either Pepsi or Coke. The GOP will still get their needed drubbing, if one votes for Barr. A vote for Barr (or any 3rd Party candidate, or a blank ballot) will still be a vote against the GOP.

    But how can a libertarian vote FOR Obama? I can find little about him that's not the polar opposite of what libertarians would want. We're not talking about a divided government in 2009, either, with a Democrat in the White House.

    Perhaps this article in the Guardian gets it right:

    Depending on what Kool-Aid you have been drinking, when it comes to Obama your glass is either half full, half empty or overflowing, or you've smashed it lest anybody else imbibes its poison.

    People come to Obama with extraordinary amounts of baggage and dump it at his door. For the most part their responses to him tell you far more about them than they do about him.


    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/jul/21/barackobama.uselections2008 (This article is positive about Obama, by the way.)

    It's a bit surprising to see the phenomenon manifested in a magazine called "Reason." Where are rational reasons for a libertarian Obama vote -- not just a vote against McCain or the GOP, but a vote FOR a candidate who is a far-left ideologue and a demagogue, to boot?

    Have otherwise smart, mature libertarians fallen under his spell, in that they, like so many naive liberal college kids, see what they want to see, in Barack Obama?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Same as it ever was, TAO

  • ||

    CN - seriously...I used to get beat down (deservedly so!) arguing that libertarians belonged with Republicans. Every time DONDEROOOO comes around, he's ruthlessly mocked...and yet, we have a bunch of libertarians who finally have a chance to vote for a high-profile third-party candidate (or two! Vote Baldwin for all I care!) and they're too addicted to the Two Big Parties that they can't walk away.

    It's astounding.

  • ||

    The two-party system is flawed of course, but for the love of god if you can't see a difference between the two parties you just aren't paying attention.

    Third-party supporting idealists who were "voting their conscience" might have done this country a whole lot of good by holding their nose in 2000. As I see it, contributing to a lost cause (and thereby helping the candidate who least represents your values) is the least conscientious choice there is.

  • kinnath||

    I can see the merits of a libertarian engaging in "strategic voting",

    Tactical voting would be to elect or defeat some particular candidate.

    Strategic voting would be preparing for future elections, primarily through party building.

    There is no fucking reason on earth for a libertarian to vote for either Obama or McCain in this election. The Democrats are going to control the House and the Senate. The president will either be irrelevant (McCain) or destructive to libertarian ideals (Obama).

    Your mileage may vary.

  • JL||

    talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face...how many of them said they have or will vote for a particular candidate solely because they didn't like "the other guy"?

  • ||

    Citizen Nothing - you could make that same case no matter who you vote or didn't vote for. And I would not strenuously disagree. But since I am going to vote (at least for all races and measures besides president), and Barr does not meet my standard of a believable libertarian, he does not get my vote. But yes, it certainly doesn't matter either way.

  • ||

    I'm not getting into this "Is Barr believable..." whiny bullshit again.

    It doesn't matter whether Barr is believable. He's not going to win. However, the whole point of his candidacy was to raise the profile of the LP.

    But it's OK, kids, go back to that abusive husband you call the Two Parties. And then when you get hit again, you have only yourselves to blame.

  • ||

    Skipper: McCain. Old navy guy.

    Gilligan: Obama. Frequently beaten by The Man.

    Mr. Howell: McCain. Several homes. Old.

    Mrs. Howell: McCain. Plasters on the makeup like a trollop, you...

    Ginger: Obama. Hollywood.

    Mary-Ann: Swing voter. Midwestern, rural, young, low-income.

    Professor: Obama. Graduate degree.

  • BarryD||

    Oh yeah...

    Obama "will be very good for business," Craig Newmark says? Huh? Maybe he would be good for Newmark's business (craigslist), but only because on-line ads for cash-payment services and bartering will become more popular... Or does Newmark think that the economy will become so depressed that everyone will be selling off their old crap on craigslist to pay the bills? I'd be interested in hearing what Newmark sees in Obama's policies that will be "very good for business."

  • Barry||

    Strategic voting would be preparing for future elections, primarily through party building.

    There is no fucking reason on earth for a libertarian to vote for either Obama or McCain in this election.


    There was a reason I used quotations marks, Mr. Potty Mouth.:-)

  • Fluffy||

    I suppose I can understand the bitching and complaining about the sheer number of guys in the article who are voting for Obama. I'm voting for Barr, and I'd like other libertarians to vote for Barr.

    But I do have to say: if the split among the respondents was between McCain and Barr instead of between Obama and Barr, would there be as much bitching? Somehow I don't think so. A libertarian voting for a Republican is somehow always acceptable, despite the GOP's atrocious record on libertarian issues. And that's crap. For all the times that the "choice" was between the Republican and Libertarian candidate, this time the choice is between the Democrat and Libertarian candidate. And that's the GOP's fault, and not libertarians' fault.

  • Mike Laursen||

    And how does one vote "against" a political party, Mr. Laursen? I don't see that option on the ballot.

    I agree with you that voting for the candidate running against the candidate or party you don't like is not exactly the same thing as voting "against" them. But, we weren't talking about how I vote. I've never done the voting "against" thing. I've only voted "for" or abstained.

    Having said that, if I lived in a swing state, I'd be voting for Obama just to help keep McCain, war-loving, ill-tempered, and impulsive, from being elected.

  • ||

    BarryD,

    One ridiculous aspect of public discourse is that it still hangs onto the obviously flawed notion that Republicans are good for business and Democrats are bad for it. Corporations have a religious-like devotion to the party that is absolutely responsible for the loss of trillions of dollars in our markets. Cutting taxes on the rich but nobody else means consumers can't buy the products of the rich people. Everybody, business included, suffers under Republicans. Ask any business what their numbers looked like during Clinton and what they look like now. If business leaders are still supporting Republicans then they're only doing it out of blind, religious devotion. Kudos to libertarians who see through the right-wing BS they've been throwing you for decades. They don't care about free markets, they care about using the government to launder money that they funnel to their plutocratic allies. I'm glad for the rare libertarian who sees through the propaganda.

  • picassoIII||


    "When one of the biggest libertarian think tanks is is ignoring the libertarian candidate in favor of the unabashed socialist, then the movement is indeed dead."

    Citizen Nothing wrote:
    I think it's probably just a matter of wanting to be SERIOUS.

    Exactly…
    There is little difference and from a libertarian point of view on stated platform. The worst case scenario future with McCain/Palin is much worse than with Obama/Biden.
    Best case probably goes that way too.

    "Unfortunately, Governor Bush is a Pat Robertson Republican who will lose to Al Gore. ... The political tactics of division and slander are not our values... They are corrupting influences on religion and politics, and those who practice them in the name of religion or in the name of the Republican Party or in the name of America shame our faith, our party and our country. Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance, whether they be Louis Farrakhan or Al Sharpton on the left, or Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell on the right."

    THAT McCain would be worth voting for, not this time.
    Not to mention that McCain was far more likely to live 4-8 years.

    I can take an unabashed PROGRESSIVE that has yet to advoacte anything as sweeping as a new 'new deal' or 'great society'. If I was in battleground, that could be enough to sway me. That would be a 'tactical' vote i guess, fortunately it's 'strategic' in teh liberal wasteland that is NE IL.

  • Hogan||

    Ask any business what their numbers looked like during Clinton and what they look like now.

    And then ask them about correlation and causation.

  • egosumabbas||

    "ChicagoTom wrote:
    "Babar"


    Nice. ;-)
    And for Senator and Rep?
    Oh and WhereTF do i find any challangers for state offices. It's what's going on in Springfield that worries me far more."

    The Illinois senatorial candidate Larry Stafford is actually *not a freak*. I heard him debate the Green and Constitution party candidates and he was a strong speaker, articulate, and could convey the libertarian message in a way that was both easy to understand and appealed to those not familiar with libertarianism. He stuck to libertarian principles and seemed to take the moderate position for issues that libertarians internally disagree with (e.g. abortion).

    If you google something like "miller politics third party debate" you might find it.

  • ||

    Ask any business what their numbers looked like during Clinton and what they look like now.

    Uh, with Clinton and a Democratic Congress, the numbers looked pretty bad. During the dot-com bubble, they looked pretty good. Of course, Newt Gingrich invented the Internet, and Bill Clinton made the economy sing. Or maybe politicians don't do anything productive, and therefore don't really "help business" except for a few businesses that donate money to them...

    I didn't say that Republicans are "good for business" or that Democrats are "bad for business." What I asked was what Craig Newmark sees in Obama's proposed policies that would be good for business. I'd love to know (and his interview didn't shed any light on anything, other than that he comes off as a pretty dim bulb on video).

    I'd be glad for the rare poster who doesn't invent a straw man so he can respond with a predetermined talking point. Again, where's the "reason" here?

  • pistoffnick||

    I find principled non-voting to be the ethical choice. But then I also feel that majoritarian democracy is nothing more than gang rape by a different name.

    OBTW, I'll still reserve the right to complain vociferously no matter which rapist wins.

  • ||

    "So...Obama is the freakin' more libertarian candidate or something?"

    On many issues he is the more libertarian candidate of the two with a chance of winning TAO.

    And of course a vote for Obama punishes the GOP and sends them a message. Any way they lose makes them have to re-examine their message as it was undoubtedly not a winning one.

  • ||

    majoritarian democracy is nothing more than gang rape by a different name.

    Well, in a gang rape, the victim doesn't usually get to feel involved in the decisionmaking process. Of course, the outcome is the same...

  • ||

    When the same correlation comes up enough that you can make the phrase "correlation doesn't equal causation" a macro on your Word settings, maybe it's time to step back and think a little bit.

  • Franklin Harris||

    As Jack Benny famously said when confronted by a gun-toting thief who demanded his money or his life: "I'm thinking; I'm thinking."

    That's, "I'm thinking it over!" Noob.



    Actually, it depends on whether you're talking about the two different times he did that bit on radio or the time he did it on TV. It was "I'm thinking; I'm thinking" on television.

  • ||

    On many issues he is the more libertarian candidate of the two with a chance of winning TAO.

    I am GENUINELY CURIOUS.

    How is he?

    Pre-emptively: I didn't say McCain is. I didn't say anything about the filthy Democans or Republicrats. I just want to know what proposed policies of Obama's are libertarian, or "more libertarian" or whatever. I really want to know.

  • cracker||

    I's votin for that Obama guy. That's so I don't got to listen to them NEEEEGROOOOES bitch about racism anymores.

  • picassoIII||

    TQ:

    While the Rs are certainly more 'guilty' of corporate welfare, both majors have gone to far in that direction.

    "...should more appropriately be called Corporatism. It is the perfect union of the state and the corporation. The individual does not count."

  • Franklin Harris||

    Ronald Bailey

    2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? George W. Bush and George W. Bush. I am disheartened and ashamed.



    David Brin

    2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? I could tell that the neocons were mad in 2000 and that their allies were fanatics or thieves. It was blatant in 2004. Those who act shocked (shocked!) and betrayed today were fools then and are likely fools now. [Emphasis added.]



    Um, I think Brin just called Bailey out.

  • hotsauce||

    Just when I think this NRO symposium is the most ridiculous thing I have read, now comes this, where self-proclaimed libertarians admit they plan to vote for a liberal Democrat without a single redeeming libetarian quality that every other liberal Democrat in the country doesn't already have.

  • Hogan||

    Too few data points, joe. Two dem presidencies in the last 40 years and I'd say they're batting .500 in the Harvest Good Under Leader from Donkey Clan metric.

  • ||

    While the Rs are certainly more 'guilty' of corporate welfare, both majors have gone to far in that direction.

    This year, the R's in the House tried to fight the "bailout."

    McCain rode in to "save the day" for the poor, helpless corporate welfare recipients.

    That's a good reason to vote AGAINST McCain.

    But I'm still wondering about why a libertarian would vote FOR Obama.

  • ||

    "And then ask them about correlation and causation."

    Alan Greenspan himself admits that the fault lies with his mistaken belief that markets regulate themselves. This is a man who calls himself a libertarian and who pretty much singlehandedly caused the housing bubble. He admits his worldview--the economic model on which our economy was based during his and Bush's tenure--is fundamentally flawed. Our economy prospers under Democrats and recedes under Republicans. Doesn't mean Democrats are perfect, it just sheds some light on the difference between pragmatic governance and ideological governance. "The fault isn't with libertarianism--it's with the world." Marxists said a similar thing when communism failed. Maybe you guys are right and we just haven't been ideologically pure enough. I challenge you to find anyone not on this web site who wants to give it a shot.

  • picassoIII||

    egosumabbas:

    Oh, i'm pushing for Stafford. Got signs already. But ... IF Sauerberg starts getting close it may be worth it to get Dickie Durban out of the Senate to balance an Obama prez.

    My concern with state government is there is borderline media blackout on these races.
    IF the opposition candidates are worth more than a protest vote i want some of their shwag to distribute.

  • ||

    Alan Greenspan himself admits that the fault lies with his mistaken belief that markets regulate themselves

    I actually listened to what he said. Did you?

    That's not what he said. He was talking about the financial markets, specifically WRT the (IMO fraudulent) use of opaque derivatives, not the markets for goods in general.

    TQ, you may claim pragmatism, but what you just wrote is pure ideology.

  • ||

    And when Robin Hood stole from the entrenched aristocracy, there may have been some actual justice involved.

    Robin Hood stole from the government and gave it back to the people.

    Obama steals from the people to give to the government.

  • Boston||

    Obama punishes the GOP and sends them a message
    But what message. I think this goes back kind of to Weigel's reporting of RP televising immigration commercials. That totally dilutes the protest angle of voting for him, because there are so many similarities between him and the other republicans on immigration. Who knows the message they get might be, "hey we lost this because we didn't do ENOUGH for the base we will get them next with Palin. Or we didn't offer the voters enough populism we'll get them next time with Huckabee" A vote for Barr, for all his faults I think sends a pretty clear message both to the republicans and more importantly, the LP.

  • ||

    How about this, Hogan:

    A complete and utter absence of correlation, bordering on and arguable well into the area of negative correlation, is a pretty damn good argument for the lack of causation.

  • hotsauce||

    Oh, and I'm particularly annoyed by the "I'm gonna send a message" voters. Let me explain something to you. When you vote, there's no comment box to provide context. Incredible.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Let me explain something to you. When you vote, there's no comment box to provide context. Incredible.

    Nonetheless, messages are transmitted, admittedly with a lot of noise, by the vote tallies.

  • BarryD||

    Boston's got it right.

    Political parties exist to get votes.

    If the GOP loses and sees Obama win with a solid majority, their response probably won't be "let's get another Goldwater!" If the GOP loses and sees Obama win narrowly, and the reason for Obama's win is that 5% of "conservative" voters went for Barr, then maybe they'll get some sort of message.

    A vote for a major candidate is seldom, if ever, recognized as a "protest vote" by anyone who counts.

  • Hogan||

    I agree joe, there aren't causal relationships between the clan of the Big Chief and the quality of the harvest.

  • Hogan||

    agree with Boston. if you want the Republican Party to be punished for straying from libertarianism, the only way they'll know that that's your concern is by voting for Barr.

    I would do so, but I have opted to vote for McCain as it antagonizes my Obama enthusiast social circle.

  • ||

    19 months of nonstop campaigning by the two major parties and these two are the best they can come up with.

    Pssh. Pessimist. Don't you remember Huckabee, Giuliani or John Edwards? Trust me, things could've been worse.

  • ||

    But I'm still wondering about why a libertarian would vote FOR Obama.

    Maybe there aren't enough Libertarians around to elect Barr...and we know it.

  • Elemenope||


    Plus, Democrats need to get out of the habit of hiring republicans for Secretary of Defense. To be taken seriously on 'national security' issues, the Democrats need to take these issues seriously themselves. And this means not always bunting, but occasionally putting on the hit and run. Plus, from a big picture structural standpoint, it is worthwhile to build up a bullpen with both left handed and right handed relievers.


    Most baseball analogies (and sports analogies in general) are mouth-breathing tarded. This one, however, is pretty damn good; perhaps the best I've seen.

  • picassoIII||

    Obama, Paul, Barr, Kucinich, Cox, Brownback and Gravel; YES.
    McCain ... NO.

    Oh and Art-POG, too true, too true.
    Huckleberry and Guili *shudder*

  • ||

    FWIW, I just ran the standard libertarian platform through four of those "choose your candidate" calculators. Each time it spit out Barr or Ron Paul (when Paul was available) and each time it rated McCain above Obama (sometimes by a little, sometimes by a lot), and both far below Barr and Paul.

    Mighty big grain of salt and all, but I'd still like to see a more rigorous test as to how Obama can be seen as more libertarian than McCain. It's not that high of a bar to clear, but I don't see him doing it.

  • ||

    Guys, this is really not complicated. Two voters who agree on every single issue can logically support different candidates.

    Priorities matter. There are reasonable libertarian justifications for supporting either Obama or Mccain.

  • ||

    BarryD,

    Yes, the conversation was about credit default swaps specifically, but Greenspan does admit that the flaw in his thinking was in assuming that the self-interest of firms would protect shareholders and their equity by itself. He doesn't go so far as to say the idea is flawed for all or most products, but if it didn't work here, why should it work elsewhere? The assumption was that officers of the firms themselves, since they obviously knew more about the risks than government regulators, would better manage things.

    It's a fundamentally flawed idea because it disregards the inherent conflicts of interest and disregards the entire point of government, which is to respond to the wishes (i.e. the general welfare) of the people, and not shareholders.

  • alan||

    Entertaining list, except for Pinker who was about as fun as finding out you have a brain tumor. For the record,

    1988 Dukakis, 1992 Bush, 1996 Browne 2000 Bush (high at the time) 2004 n/a 2008 Barr

    Jeez, the one time I pick a winner . . .

    Most important election: No. Recovery occurs within a year. Pelosi will be happy to settle for some symbolic shit, and a few gold plated signing pens, Obama will be the most cautious president in the nations history. It will be four years of Sunday Afternoons: The Great Tea Time of The Soul. Unfortunately, by 2012, the American people will be eager to invade another country again just to keep them awake.

    For that last question: FDR

  • Kolohe||

    The only real surprise is Poole. For his pet cause, McCain would not be a 'privatiser' (neither would Obama, but Barr would be). I'm a bit perplexed as to why he pays so much attention to 'supreme court nominations' from what I understand of Poole's background and policy preferences. I also think while Obama is 'bad' on trade, it won't make much of differnce due to other priorities and instituional inertia. (I also believe that those on the left that believe we are about to enter a new 'golden age' of unionization are going to find themselves disappointed.)

    Plus, if you find yourself on the same side of issue as Grover Frickin Norquist, you should reassess.

  • BarryD||

    Maybe there aren't enough Libertarians around to elect Barr...and we know it.

    That was not my question. Read anything I've posted. Barr would be a protest vote, and no more.

    Say you're a pragmatist who figures that there's no point in voting for a 3rd party, that you should pick the R or the D, whichever is closer to your views.

    My question, as clearly as I can state it, is this: why is Obama the "more libertarian" candidate? What proposals, policies, beliefs, or anything else, would flag him as the "more libertarian" major candidate?

    Like Voros McCracken, I'm still waiting for any concrete answer to this question. I am genuinely curious to know what one might be.

  • ||

    Vote for Democrats because they still believe in civil liberties. Economic libertarianism is dead anyway as a foundation for public policy, at least for a long, long time.

    This "not a dime's worth of difference" crap is such nonsense. If we'd elected Al Gore, how many people's torture would have been sanctioned? How many phony wars would we be engaged in? How much encroachment upon policy would the theocratic right have had? How many autocratic signing statements would have been composed? Why is this a difficult question?

  • BarryD||

    The assumption was that officers of the firms themselves, since they obviously knew more about the risks than government regulators, would better manage things.

    This was not the assumption.

    The assumption was that the officers of the firms would be motivated by self-interest to limit the risks to their firms, and more broadly, to the whole industry.

    You're right about conflicts of interest, and I do not utterly oppose regulation, particularly when it comes to transparency. Requiring a seller to disclose what he's selling does not violate libertarian principles, IMO. As I said, I believe the CDO and related derivative markets to have been fraudulent. This is the most serious threat to our economy and our economic system. On this, we agree, I think.

    However, Greenspan didn't assume that things would go fine because the CEO's knew more; he assumed that the various self-interested parties would end up managing their assets in a way that would manage risk. As it turns out, fraud is more profitable, and more fun, than just running a boring old stable investment bank.

    He underestimated the perversion of self-interest by fraud. That is not about the government expressing the "general will" over that of the shareholders. In this case, regulation would have helped the shareholders most of all, in the long term.

    Regulation to prevent fraud is different from regulation based on a belief that central planning works better than a market kept honest by a stable, effective legal framework.

  • ||

    BarryD,

    You must recognize that the two candidates have different policy proposals, right?

    If you vote based primarily on income taxes, McCain is closer to the libertarian position.

    If you vote primarily based on foreign policy, Obama is.

    I recognize that neither one is anywhere near the actual libertarian position, but clearly one can be closer.

  • ||

    Like Voros McCracken, I'm still waiting for any concrete answer to this question.

    I've already seen this question answered repeatedly. Perhaps you missed it or the answers were not to your liking.

  • ||

    If we'd elected Al Gore, how many people's torture would have been sanctioned? How many phony wars would we be engaged in? How much encroachment upon policy would the theocratic right have had? How many autocratic signing statements would have been composed? Why is this a difficult question?

    Some of that depends on whether you believe that Al Gore wouldn't have continued Clinton's policies. Al Gore was never President, so it's hard to say what he would have done. It is fair to guess that, after Clinton's relatively popular administration, he would have continued similar policies and kept on some of the same personnel.

    Clinton's administration was a gross violator of civil liberties. Read critiques from that time. Clinton's administration engaged in phony wars. Again, look back at what people wrote back then. Gore may not be a right-wing theocrat, but he's an environmental theocrat. What policies of Bush's "theocratic" leanings caused the damage that a big carbon tax would?

    Blinded by BDS, you probably have already stopped reading. But in case you still are, that's not a defense of Bush -- it's an illustration of why this isn't such a simple question, just off the top of my head.

  • ||

    And here comes TQ to pimp for his "favorite son" half of the Republicrats.

    f we'd elected Al Gore, how many people's torture would have been sanctioned? How many phony wars would we be engaged in? How much encroachment upon policy would the theocratic right have had? How many autocratic signing statements would have been composed?

    1. I don't know. Counterfactuals aren't my game. How many Wacos have there been under Bush?
    2. What do you call the Kosovo War?
    3. How much encroachment would the theocratic/environmental left have on policy?
    4. Where did the USA PATRIOT Act originate?

  • ||

    Mike-

    Is there a libertarian foreign policy position?

  • ||

    So, when you vote Obama, you send this message to the GOP: "Had you been more like Obama, you might have garnered my vote"...

    Why would any libertarian do that?

  • ||

    Is that a serious question?

    Oh god, you're that "Randian" aren't you?

    Yes, there is a libertarian foreign policy position. You don't share it.

  • ||

    Tim Cavanaugh: thank you. It should also be 'whom' instead of 'who' for Q 1. and 'which' instead of 'what' in Q 5.

    1. Who are you voting for...
    2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? Michael Badnarik in 2004. Ralph Nader (IIRC) in 2000. And that should be "whom."

    5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? Lyndon Johnson. Because he was mean to dogs.

    Drew Carey: thank you. Rights, like the right to free speech, to religion, to avoid cruel and unusual punishments etc., are only rights if your worst enemy has them as much as your BFF.

    5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? None of them. The sooner we stop coming up with lists of people to waterboard, the better.

  • ||

    "Priorities matter."

    The thing is though that ratcheting up the priorities of one issue and ratcheting down the priorities of another is a convenient way to arrive at a predetermined destination. I mean I can get McCain more libertarian than Ron Paul if I screw with the priorities scale enough (Immigration is all that matters). Hell I could probably make a libertarian argument for Pol Pot over Milton Friedman if you let me tinker with the priorities lever enough.

  • lois griffin||

    This "not a dime's worth of difference" crap is such nonsense. If we'd elected Al Gore, how many people's torture would have been sanctioned? How many phony wars would we be engaged in? How much encroachment upon policy would the theocratic right have had? How many autocratic signing statements would have been composed? Why is this a difficult question?

    911

  • ||

    Why would any libertarian do that?

    I do whatever I can live with myself after doing. If you really believe the GOP's that retarded...

  • ||

    "The thing is though that ratcheting up the priorities of one issue and ratcheting down the priorities of another is a convenient way to arrive at a predetermined destination. I mean I can get McCain more libertarian than Ron Paul if I screw with the priorities scale enough (Immigration is all that matters). Hell I could probably make a libertarian argument for Pol Pot over Milton Friedman if you let me tinker with the priorities lever enough."

    Yeah, you could. Priorities still matter, but obviously you have to have perspective.

    What's the alternative? Weight every issue equally? That seems like a pretty silly way to decide your vote, but to each his own.

  • ||

    Art, if Obama wins in a landslide, you know which Republican looks good for 2012?

    Hint: He comes from Arkansas. (shudder)

  • ||

    Mike, for your edification, most "Randians" share the libertarian foreign policy perspective, at least as it was elucidated by Ayn Rand.

    Some Objectivists, unfortunately, have gone off the reservation with this war stuff.

  • picassoIII||

    TAO wrote:
    Hint: He comes from Arkansas. (shudder)

    Second...

  • ||

    Voros,

    Also, my remark was directed at the sentiment that "No True Libertarian would ever vote for Candidate X!" Obviously libertarians (like every political ideology) make philosophical sacrifices when they vote. I may fundamentally disagree with the sacrifices they make, but I wouldn't call into question their ideology. Their perspective, maybe.

  • alan||

    The Angry Optimist | October 29, 2008, 5:21pm | #
    And here comes TQ to pimp for his "favorite son" half of the Republicrats.

    f we'd elected Al Gore, how many people's torture would have been sanctioned? How many phony wars would we be engaged in? How much encroachment upon policy would the theocratic right have had? How many autocratic signing statements would have been composed?

    1. I don't know. Counterfactuals aren't my game. How many Wacos have there been under Bush?
    2. What do you call the Kosovo War?
    3. How much encroachment would the theocratic/environmental left have on policy?
    4. Where did the USA PATRIOT Act originate?


    Well covered, I will only add that the Clinton Administration with much show of support from Gore also had signed into law a declaration of intent to overthrow Saddam Hussein. The Washington establishment left and right wanted that war in Iraq, and it is highly unlikely a Gore administration would have rejected a call to feed those animal spirits.

  • ||

    "Mike, for your edification, most "Randians" share the libertarian foreign policy perspective, at least as it was elucidated by Ayn Rand."

    Wasn't Rand a cold warrior? I might be wrong. In any case, retracted.

  • ||

    Hint: He comes from Arkansas. (shudder)

    Wow. Two days from Halloween and that's the scariest thought I've had in some time.

  • ||

    Ehn...I don't know if she had a position WRT defense spending (other than to spend what you need to spend), but she was opposed to U.S. involvement in WWI, WWII (pre-Pearl Harbor), Korea, Viet Nam etc. etc.

  • alan||

    Wow. Two days from Halloween and that's the scariest thought I've had in some time.

    It certainly gave me the creeps. I remember watching a documentary in school on William Jennings Bryan, and thinking something along the lines of, 'thank God, I didn't have to listen to his horse shit in real time.' Well, if you live long enough your curses get answered.

  • texas_libertarian||

    Hey, where the fuck is Kerry Howley?

  • Freedom||

    Obama is the most "libertarian" of candidates.
    Obama will:
    Legalize gay marriage
    End federal War on Marijuana
    End corporate welfare
    Stop the Republican secret draft plan
    Restore our civil liberties
    End student loan debt slavery

  • Geoff||

    Whoa!!!

    Stop the Republican secret draft plan

    Since when is Charles Rangel a Republican?

  • ||

    Art-P.O.G.,


    I'm definitely not arguing for McCain but my question is:

    Given that none of us know the future and any number of unforeseen events could occur in the next four years, isn't a more broad outlook on potential policies more wise? I'm not arguing that such an outlook favors McCain (although the vote calculators did), but I've yet to see a broad based argument for Obama. All I've seen are minimalist ones where everything is off the table except Iraq and the Patriot Act.

    My personal view is that I'll vote for a Chicago Democrat for president as soon as never (at least not personally, they might still be voting in Chicago for me), but that's not really the point. I'll probably pull the lever for Barr (an LP vote is something of merit I guess). I just want to know why an Obama vote by a libertarian is anything more than a figurative obscene gesture directed at Republicans. That's fine I guess (though literal obscene gestures would be more fun), but do like Cavanaugh and don't make it out to be more than it is.

  • ||

    Freedom - that is a pile of lies.

    And know your audience: I don't believe in "student debt slavery"; I see adults having to pay back what they've obligated themselves to pay.

  • alan||

    Legalize gay marriage No. He takes a pass there.

    End federal War on Marijuana With Biden as Obama's running mate? Who are you kidding?

    End corporate welfare You are doing this on purpose with a wink and a nod, right?

    Stop the Republican secret draft plan He has got a few ideas about 'volunteerism' of his own. Though I doubt he is serious on that score.

    Restore our civil liberties Might be something there, but the Biden pick makes me wonder if he is serious on this score.

    End student loan debt slavery
    Pay your damn bills, and stop making it more expensive for the rest of us.

  • ||

    I'm under no illusion about the excesses of Democrats, but I'm a realist. We have two options. Either a Democrat or a Republican will get elected. I'm no shill for Democrats but I do believe in evidence. Which party has been better for civil liberties?

    And no, it wasn't the entire establishment that was gunning for war in Iraq. It was the cadre of middle east hawks led by our current vice president. The two parties are not in bed with each other; they hate each other. Equating the two is ignoring history and reason in favor of a simplistic throw-your-hands-up cynicism. We won't get to anyone's ideal world in four years, libertarian or otherwise. What we can get is a government that believes in evidence and pragmatic policymaking, which is what Obama offers. It's the best you're gonna get.

  • ||

    TQ - you ARE a shill. The only reason that "one of the two parties" will win is because people like you, every four years, come around like clockwork and talk about how we've just "GOTTA vote for the better party this year, man! You can vote on principles next election!"

    The two parties are not in bed with each other

    McCain-Feingold.
    No Child Left Behind.
    AUMF in Iraq.
    Medicare Part D
    The Bailout.

  • Craig||

    1. I'm writing in Ron Paul. He's a qualified write-in in California, and he's looking even better now that we are in the midst of the financial collapse he tried to warn us about. The fact that he doesn't want to be president clinches the deal.

    2. I proudly voted for Harry Browne in 2000, and Michael Badnarik in 2004 -- and I have the autographed copy of "Good to be King" to prove it. I wish more people had the guts to tell state governments what they can do with their driver's licenses.

    3. The most important election of my lifetime was 1992, because it was the only realistic chance to show the two "major" parties what we really think of them. If only Perot hadn't dropped out temporarily, or if only people knew then that talking about Republican dirty tricks didn't mean you were paranoid, it meant you were perceptive.

    4. I will miss Condoleeza Rice reminding me continually that some of the smartest people in the world can be the most clueless.

    5. I wouldn't wish waterboarding on anyone, but I would rank Abe Lincoln as the worst president, for launching the deadliest war in our history after seven states peacefully seceded, then convincing people that crushing dissent with military power was somehow protecting government "by the people".

  • ||


    Oh god, you're that "Randian" aren't you?

    Yes, there is a libertarian foreign policy position. You don't share it.


    Huh?

    No, I'm not that "Randian" nor any other randian. And how would you know what I share?

    However, there are several schools of thought, ranging from Heinlein to Chomsky, that have been labeled libertarian foreign policy.

    So there may be a Mike foreign policy, but I'm not sure there IS a common libertarian foreign policy.

    I'm a pragmatist. Jefferson found out how well a trade-only, military-isolation policy worked in the early years of the Republic. So I figure that I don't want to get into a war except that which is necessary to protect national interests (trade, territory, etc.). That's not uniquely libertarian, by any stretch of the imagination!

    What's your foreign policy?

  • alan||

    If you are arguing simply that Obama is the lesser of two evils of the two parties than yes, I've conceded that along time ago.

    However, my pragmatic reason for voting a Libertarian ticket is to keep that party alive for a hoped for time when it will make a difference, as it needs a certain percentage of support to be able to stay on the ballot for the next election in my state.

  • ||

    ahh, another neo-Confederate, in the tank for Ron Paul!

  • Geoff||

    How does everyone feel of Europe's influence on the next president? Is Obama going to try to please them too much, and overextend ourselves(financially)?

  • ||

    BTW I understand that there is a lot of room for debate on what a "national interest" is. And I hate the term.

    However, when Jefferson had to confront the Barbary Pirates, he wasn't defending our country's soil. I don't object to what he did. So one has to use some term to describe what he was defending.

  • ||

    "What's the alternative? Weight every issue equally? That seems like a pretty silly way to decide your vote, but to each his own."

    There's no reason it has to be equal and on a few issues on the calculators I wasn't. But my argument is that given that so much of what is going to happen is unknown, unusually narrow focuses can be a little presumptuous. The key issue could be economics, it could be military adventurism (national greatness or humanitarian flavored). It could even be trade if things swing unusually protectionist. It could be something really off the wall like cloning (say they find a cure for cancer, but have to clone you to do it). I mean what _could_ happen is a pretty large scope. Why shouldn't a look at the candidate's positions be similarly large? I'm not saying such an outlook benefits McCain, but I don't agree with narrow scope outlooks regardless of who it favors.

  • Geoff||

    Call the grammar police! Posting while working never ends well.

    How does everyone feel about Europe's influence on the next president? Is Obama going to try to please them too much, and overextend ourselves(financially)?

  • ||

    Obama is the most "libertarian" of candidates.
    Obama will:
    Legalize gay marriage
    End federal War on Marijuana
    End corporate welfare
    Stop the Republican secret draft plan
    Restore our civil liberties
    End student loan debt slavery


    You slay me.

  • ||

    How does everyone feel of Europe's influence on the next president?

    As the son of people who emigrated from Europe, I feel like the entire left side of the political spectrum got its rose-colored ideas about Europe when they went there and had a good time on Spring Break.

    Is Obama going to try to please them too much, and overextend ourselves(financially)?

    If the renowned fiscal restraint of the Pelosi/Reid Congress don't keep him from doing it.

  • ||

    More grammar offenses!

    "...Congress DOESN'T..."

  • ||

    Voros, I understand that and respect it.

    The only reason that "one of the two parties" will win is because people like you, every four years, come around like clockwork and talk about how

    Eh, too many other people to blame. Non-voters, the MSM, people already "in the tank" for one of the majors, etc.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Hey, where the fuck is Kerry Howley?

    I think she's off studying at some college in Iowa or something like that.

  • picassoIII||

    Freedom = shill
    *duh*

    Links to moveon.org

  • ||

    Art - fair enough. But the only reason "one of the two parties will win" is because enough people support "one of the two parties". It does not have to be that way.

    And what gets my goat is that we have libertarians going through mental and linguistic gymnastics to justify voting for the Republicrats.

  • ||

    my pragmatic reason for voting a Libertarian ticket is to keep that party alive for a hoped for time when it will make a difference

    Makes good sense to me.

    If you've got no reason to vote FOR either major candidate, why not vote AGAINST both, while using your vote FOR something you believe in?

    THAT'S why I don't understand the above enthusiasm for Obama. He'll win or lose with or without one vote. If one is a libertarian and wants to cast a vote against the GOP and McCain, why would one vote for a Democrat who's a left-wing demagogue when there's a Libertarian on the ticket?

  • picassoIII||

    Oh, one more time.
    Transparency.


    Oh as for my record...
    Libertarian (if available) every time since 1988.
    Otherwise anti-incumbent.

  • ||

    And what gets my goat is that we have libertarians going through mental and linguistic gymnastics to justify voting for the Republicrats.

    LOL

    Feminists sold out in the mid '90s, when many blindly supported Clinton and lashed out at women whom he had sexually harrassed and dared say so.

    Conservatives sold out in 2004, when they felt they had to talk up George Bush because they wanted him to beat Kerry. Liberals sold out at the same time, for the same reason but the opposite candidate. I remember seeing REM perform at some Democrat rally/concert, with a Michael Stipe in a Kerry t-shirt; he was a Deaniac at heart and you could see it in his grimace.

    Lately, it's been disgusting to listen to people like Hugh Hewitt, once a Reaganite for better or worse, shill for the GOP over and over.

    Fortunately, many other commentators still write or say what they really think, even if it's critical of their preferred lesser evil. One would hope that, if conservatives and liberals can do it, that libertarians could, though.

    Last time aroung, Bush and Kerry both sucked.

    Newsflash: so did Bush and Gore, and so do McCain and Obama. Clinton won because, of three candidates, he was the one who seemed to suck least, so he got a plurality of votes.

    As many have said, 300 million people and this is the best we can do?

  • ||

    Geoff | October 29, 2008, 5:46pm | #
    Whoa!!!

    Stop the Republican secret draft plan

    Since when is Charles Rangel a Republican?


    Right after he was proven to be more corrupt then Stevens. Apparently only republicans are capable of kicking their own out of congress so the dems moved him to the other party.

  • picassoIII||

    I don't know if it's been mentioned, but the Goldwater 'family' has endorsed Obama.
    May explain why McCain might not carry his home state.

  • ||

    Oh, one more time.
    Transparency.


    Uh, given Obama's attempts to hide a lot of his past (and Michelle's), and his not-at-all transparent campaign contribution system, among other things, why in the world would one believe this pledge?!?

    For all his many faults, McCain actually has a record of opposing earmarks, as well as transparency. I'm not campaigning for him here; I'm just wondering why someone would cite transparency as a reason to vote FOR Obama?

  • ||

    Pardon the excessive posts, but the Goldwater family does not support Obama. One of his granddaughters does. His son, for one, clearly does not.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/barry-m-goldwater-jr/why-barry-goldwater-could_b_137389.html

  • alan||

    I remember seeing REM perform at some Democrat rally/concert, with a Michael Stipe in a Kerry t-shirt; he was a Deaniac at heart and you could see it in his grimace.

    I remember passing by Stipe on a street in Athens Ga around 1990 and being overcome with what smelled like raw sewage.

  • ||

    ""What proposals, policies, beliefs, or anything else, would flag him as the "more libertarian" major candidate?""

    Easy. Independent assessments of Obama's tax cut plan shows that under it more people would get more tax relief than under McCain's. Pretty much everyone on this thread would have to pay less tax under Obama's plan than under McCain's.

    "I'm just wondering why someone would cite transparency as a reason to vote FOR Obama?"

    The bill he co-sposnored with Coburn might be a place to start.

  • ||

    "How much encroachment would the theocratic/environmental left have on policy?"

    I can tell TAO is on his period today, but I can't let this goofy shit pass.

    Yeah, all those thousands of theocratic scientists from around the world and from varying organizations. You know, 95% of the experts in the relevant fields. WOuldn't want them to have any influence on our environmental policy. That would be "theocratic."

  • ||

    MNG - most of that isn't tax "relief"; it's welfare.

    And frankly speaking, a simultaneous increase in deficit spending AND raising the United States' already ridiculous corporate tax rates is not appealing to this libertarian, anyway.

  • ||

    "MNG - most of that isn't tax "relief"; it's welfare."

    That's bullshit TAO.

    "raising the United States' already ridiculous corporate tax rates is not appealing to this libertarian"

    Oh Noes, the poor corporations!

  • ||

    1. Libertarians generally oppose progressive taxation schemes, and massive spending plans.

    2. Who sponsored that bill, again, Mr. Nice Guy? Coburn, Carper, Obama and McCain.

    Since Obama and McCain are running against each other, and both were cosponsors of the bill, why is this a reason to vote for Obama instead of McCain (or vice versa)?

    The answer to that question might be a place to start. Maybe then I'll "get it."

  • ||

    Really TAO. You would have to pay less money under Obama's plan but you would be upset because you'd have the knowledge that corporation taxes went up?

    I don't know whether to say "congratulations on being so principled" or "man, you are f*cking nuts."

  • ||

    MNG - no, it is NOT bullshit. Part of the Obama plan includes an expansion of the EITC. Welfare, dude.

    And you might not have a lot of sympathy for the big "nameless, faceless corporations", but I do...those corporations are composed of hard-working people who provide a valuable service and are employed. Raising taxes on corporations is reverse trickle-down: the detriments trickle-down to the consumer and the employee.

    And I'm not talking about scientists when I talk about the "environmental theocrats"; I'm talking about the ridiculous individuals who think that humans and their artifacts are some kind of strange, unnatural aberration that are distorting the Earth's "natural" climate.

  • ||

    Oh Noes, the poor corporations!

    That's a silly response.

    Uh, most libertarians who can read are aware of the effect of the corporate income tax: companies incorporating outside the US.

    It's not about the "poor" anyone, other than the poor US economy.

  • picassoIII||

    BarryD wrote:
    Pardon the excessive posts, but the Goldwater family does not support Obama. One of his granddaughters does. His son, for one, clearly does not.


    Ah, good find Barry. I didn't catch the follow-up.
    Still, notice the fact that Jr did NOT endorse McCain (at least in that article).
    Now CC was speaking for herself and others.
    "Myself, along with my siblings and a few cousins, will not be supporting the Republican presidential candidates this year."
    "Nothing about the Republican ticket offers the hope America needs to regain it's standing in the world, that's why we're going to support Barack Obama. I think that Obama has shown his ability and integrity."

    Link

  • ||

    "most of that isn't tax "relief"; it's welfare"

    It's the "most" part that's bullshit and you know it. The EITC is involved but it in no way accounts for "most" of the money involved.

  • ||

    You would have to pay less money under Obama's plan but you would be upset because you'd have the knowledge that corporation taxes went up?

    For one, I'm a deficit hawk, and I doubt that Obama's plan is going to work without an increase in deficit spending.

    Two, yes, I care that corporate taxes go up. Most of my friends and family work for the "big bad corporations" and I care if their place of employment is taxed to the point that the corporation has to downsize.

  • ||

    Some nuts believe that global warming is a threat that must be addressed and have some related nutty ideas. Gore seems influenced though by the 95% of the scientists who believe the same, sans the nutty ideas...

  • Twisted Nerve||

    picassoIII, why should i care what Goldwater's granddaughter thinks about anything? I dont believe in reinarnation.

  • ||

    MNG - you're probably right, "most" was a poor choice of words. However, a not-unsubstantial portion of Obama's so-called tax "cut" is not a "cut" at all...it's a transfer payment.

  • ||

    "For one, I'm a deficit hawk"

    Good, party of the President who last balanced the budget anyone?

    "Most of my friends and family work for the "big bad corporations" and I care if their place of employment is taxed to the point that the corporation has to downsize."

    Somehow I think most companies will make it...Besides, look how well they did under the tax raising Clinton and how poorly under the tax cutting Bush

  • ||

    TAO
    I will say I've thought about and I think you are right when you say that a vote for Barr would in many contexts send more of a libertarian message to the GOP than a vote for Obama would.

  • ||

    The EITC is involved but it in no way accounts for "most" of the money involved.

    It accounts for most of the promised 95% of Americans who get "tax relief." Given the number of Americans who pay no income tax, and the number who pay very little, and the fact that we already have tax cuts in place (due to sunset), it couldn't work any other way.

  • ||

    Still, notice the fact that Jr did NOT endorse McCain (at least in that article).

    Neither did I.

    I'm still asking why Obama, not why not McCain.

    And CC can write whatever she wants, but she can't "speak for others" any more than Barry Jr. can.

  • ||

    Good, party of the President who last balanced the budget anyone?

    No clue. And if you're talking Clinton, that was projected. Although kudos to him for that anyway.

    And balancing the budget is like balancing your checkbook: it's a basic life skill. It's not something that we (should) get erections about.

  • picassoIII||

    BarryD
    1. Libertarians generally oppose progressive taxation schemes, and massive spending plans.
    2. Who sponsored that bill, again, Mr. Nice Guy? Coburn, Carper, Obama and McCain.
    Since Obama and McCain are running against each other, and both were cosponsors of the bill, why is this a reason to vote for Obama instead of McCain (or vice versa)?
    The answer to that question might be a place to start. Maybe then I'll "get it."

    1. McCain voted for the bailout. So there IS little difference there. While it's clear Obama is not a fiscal conservative i don't see McCain ACTING much more like one either.
    Now libertarians are also socially liberal, who fits that?
    McCain/Palin is far more of an issue than Obama/Biden too. Oh and of course the supporting casts that are then given power and/or favors post election.
    2. McCain DIDN'T sign the oath.
    Why?

    Don't forget, i'm voting and campaigning Barr, BUT i can completely understand almost any libertarian making this Obominable choice.

  • Twisted Nerve||

    Mr Nice guy, are you advocating voting for the fellow that will reduce your income tax burden? IF so, why dont you want to pay your "fair share"?

  • picassoIII||

    Clarification...

    BUT i can completely understand almost any libertarian making the Obominable choice in a battleground state.

  • ||

    This whole list of people's answers for the most part left me numb with disdain. The number of your respondents who don't vote because of (fill in your ever-educated snarky reason here) was amazing.

    Intelligence most be tempered with simple action, making choices, participating next to your fellow man.

    This whole list (with obvious exceptions) seemed like self-congratulatory drivel from people not human enough to put a quarter-million bucks of Ivy education to good use.

    -Karl

  • economist||

    Karl Gajdusek,
    You need to get that sound out of your vagina. It's making you cranky.

  • economist||

    I enjoyed the comment about waterboarding Lyndon Johnson while his children watch.

  • Mike Laursen||

    For one, I'm a deficit hawk, and I doubt that Obama's plan is going to work without an increase in deficit spending.

    What does it matter if McCain's campaign statements about how he would manage the budget sound better than Obama's, when we know that McCain is a war-loving neo-con who is more likely to get us all involved in a war with Iraq that will completely blow the lid off spending?

  • picassoIII||

    TAO wrote:
    ...balancing the budget is like balancing your checkbook: it's a basic life skill. It's not something that we (should) get erections about.


    Should we castrate DC or give em Viagra.
    I'm so confused.

  • ||

    "Mr Nice guy, are you advocating voting for the fellow that will reduce your income tax burden? IF so, why dont you want to pay your "fair share"?"

    Yes I am. And under Obama's plan people like me and you will pay less money to the government than we would under McCain.

    I think that is a "fairer share" btw.

    "It accounts for most of the promised 95% of Americans who get "tax relief." Given the number of Americans who pay no income tax"

    People pay taxes other than income taxes. Those people deserve to get back some too if we want less "government theft"

  • ||

    Mike Laursen - I'm not talking about McCain. In the context of the discussion, MNG asked me if it was possible that I would care that corporations are getting a tax hike if it benefits me in the short term. I said yes for two reasons: 1. increased deficit spending and 2. decreased jobs and depressed economy.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Mike Laursen - I'm not talking about McCain.

    My apologies. It's hard to keep up with some of these enormous comment sections.

  • ||

    Obama has come out against the wiretapping stuff Bush does.

    He's also offered a much better position on medical marijuana than McCain.

    He wants to end a war which involves government force to kill people and occupy a nation at great financial cost to our nation.

    Obama has stood up for people who are the in the most danger of imminent harm at the hands of the government: the accused. And he has done so in ways unthinkable for McCain to have done

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/03/AR2008010303303.html

    I mean, there's a good deal of reasons why a libertarian might like him better than McCain...

  • Twisted Nerve||

    Mr Nice Guy, I would wholeheartedly agree if the government reduced its spending to the point that all tax payers were taxed at a lower rate. What I dont understand is how asking someone else to shoulder your share of the burden is fair. How do you arrive at that assesment?

  • ||

    MNG - for one, I could rattle off a list of things McCain is better about than Obama. Free trade, for one.

    But that's not the point.

    Obama has come out against the wiretapping stuff Bush does.

    Uh, FISA Bill.

    He's also offered a much better position on medical marijuana than McCain.

    Even if true temporarily, he's backpedaled on this. And I'm not even convinced he'll do anything better when in office.

    He wants to end a war which involves government force to kill people and occupy a nation at great financial cost to our nation.

    And likely expand another one (Afghanistan) and maybe dink around in the Sudan for a while.

  • ||

    Balancing the budget should be easy enough for our pols, but the reality is that it is not in our recent history. Therefore I think it is quite important that the last time it was done it was done under a Democratic Presidency.

    If one values balancing the budget at all then one would be nuts to vote for the GOP presidential candidate, because their party's Presidents have not done that in a long, long time.

  • ||

    TAO-I'm responding to the folks upthread who said "give me one area in which Obama is more libertarian than McCain"

    But as for your specifics:

    He voted for the whole package of the re-done FISA bill. He worked to limit the wiretapping, some of what he wanted made it into the bill, some did not. The bill was certainly better than what came before it.

    "Even if true temporarily, he's backpedaled on this. And I'm not even convinced he'll do anything better when in office. "

    He eventually settled on a position much better than McCain's, as Sullum noted here on Reason. And of course if we go on "well I really think he will do X in the future" then of course we can get nowhere in this discussion. For that matter I could say "well I really think McCain when he gets in will be worse on free trade no matter what he states as his position now.."

    "And likely expand another one (Afghanistan) and maybe dink around in the Sudan for a while."

    An expansion in Afghanistan that would be much less overall committment than what McCain wants (Iraq and Afghanistan). Nothing I've heard from Obama makes me think he has committed anymore to military involvement in Sudan than McCain.

  • ||

    TAO
    I'm not getting the connection between the tax hike on corporations and the budgeet deficet. As deficets are created by spending more than revenue brings in a tax increase which increases revenue will be on the good side of that equation. Unless you are arguing that the net effect of such a raise will be less corporations left to pay the tax because of the negative effects of the raise?

  • ||

    "What I dont understand is how asking someone else to shoulder your share of the burden is fair."

    Well, I do believe in progressive taxation. As Jesus recognized the widow's penny is worth more her than the millionaire's hundred dollar bill is to the millionaire. So I consider fairness in that light.

    But I think corporations especially can shoulder more while individuals shoulder less. The government does a lot more for these legal entities than it does for real ones.

  • ||

    "The only reason that 'one of the two parties' will win is because people like you, every four years, come around like clockwork and talk about how"

    No one person can change the behavior of the aggregate. To end two-party rule you have to fundamentally change our laws and our system. Even though two-party rule has been warned against since before the country existed by its own founding fathers, our system unfortunately promotes it, and has since just after the founding.

    Since bloody revolution is not an option (I hope), you have to get there incrementally. I don't think unfortunately that the unfettering of us from the two parties is going to happen anytime soon, but can't we at least vote for the one party that isn't trying to turn the country into a banana republic?

  • ||

    TQ - the problem is, I don't know which party that is.

    You say there are obvious differences, and I'm just not seeing them.

  • alan||

    But as for your specifics:

    He voted for the whole package of the re-done FISA bill. He worked to limit the wiretapping, some of what he wanted made it into the bill, some did not. The bill was certainly better than what came before it.


    No, he didn't.

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/06/21/obama/

    In the past 24 hours, specifically beginning with the moment Barack Obama announced that he now supports the Cheney/Rockefeller/Hoyer House bill, there have magically arisen -- in places where one would never have expected to find them -- all sorts of claims about why this FISA "compromise" isn't really so bad after all. People who spent the week railing against Steny Hoyer as an evil, craven enabler of the Bush administration -- or who spent the last several months identically railing against Jay Rockefeller -- suddenly changed their minds completely when Barack Obama announced that he would do the same thing as they did. What had been a vicious assault on our Constitution, and corrupt complicity to conceal Bush lawbreaking, magically and instantaneously transformed into a perfectly understandable position, even a shrewd and commendable decision, that we should not only accept, but be grateful for as undertaken by Obama for our Own Good.

    Accompanying those claims are a whole array of factually false statements about the bill, deployed in service of defending Obama's indefensible -- and deeply unprincipled -- support for this "compromise." Numerous individuals stepped forward to assure us that there was only one small bad part of this bill -- the part which immunizes lawbreaking telecoms -- and since Obama says that he opposes that part, there is no basis for criticizing him for what he did. Besides, even if Obama decided to support an imperfect bill, it's our duty to refrain from voicing any criticism of him, because the Only Thing That Matters is that Barack Obama be put in the Oval Office, and we must do anything and everything -- including remain silent when he embraces a full-scale assault on the Fourth Amendment and the rule of law -- because every goal is now subordinate to electing Barack Obama our new Leader.

  • ||

    Unless you are arguing that the net effect of such a raise will be less corporations left to pay the tax because of the negative effects of the raise?

    Well, not necessarily less corporations, but less revenues. Obama's plan is "roll back the Bush tax cuts and give that exact amount back out", either to people who pay taxes in lower brackets or people who do not pay income taxes at all.

    My point is that said raise in taxes is not going to facilitate a commensurate rise in revenues, requiring deficit spending, especially since I've seen no indication Obama's going to cut spending.

  • Twisted Nerve||

    Mr Nice Guy, I can't follow you on the Jesus thing, sorry. Deities dont figure in my worldview. If that is the foundation of your fainess assesment, I dont think we will find common ground there. However, I am curious about your concept theologial progressivity. Dopes it apply only to taxation or would it apply to all aspects of ife? Should food be proegressivly priced? What about Labor? How far does this biblical fairness go, and are you suggesting a government based on the gospel? How do I as an "unbeliever " fit in your Biblical version of government?

  • anarch||

    Hey, at least Palin is nice to look at.



    Is that exactly Tim Cavanaugh's rationale?

  • anarch, typing with mittens on||

    I meant "Isn't"

  • Justen||

    I find it kind of alarming that so many respondents abstain from voting as a habit. I understand the protest concept - that no matter who you vote for you're getting screwed, I think most people feel that way these days - but one's vote has a symbolic as well as practical purpose. When you vote for someone, if nothing else, you're saying "this candidate is the one least unlike my ideal candidate".

    Knowing that any given one of them are going to suck, what you're going to do here is tell the powers that be that you want a little more of some of what this guy has going on. Through a long selective process you can contribute to giving us less and less sucky candidates over time. If you abstain, on the other hand, you are telling the powers that be that you don't give a rat's ass.

    "Screw me however you like, it all hurts and I can't be bothered to care anymore" translates to "I like getting screwed, more please sir" in the minds of the twisted bastards that apathy has put in office these past decades.

  • rhywun||

    I might vote next week (hell, it might even be Barr) but I'm more looking forward to voting against Bloomberg next year for that stunt he's pulled. That, and voting for whichever non-Democrat runs in my city council district. These posts have far more effect on me that the -- pfft -- president.

  • ||

    I'm undecided. Vote Libertarian or write in Ron Paul? Better choices than the last election, when I wrote in my own name.

  • ||

    And I'd like to have all former presidents waterboarded.

  • ||

    I had a lot of fun reading this, but what's with all the humorless or downright indignant responses to the (obvious joke) waterboarding question? As if getting uptight about ironic hypothetical questions makes you a more conscientious and caring human being...

    Rob Kampia's response was particularly obnoxious. It made me want to give him a wedgie. Or better yet, answer his question. Yes Rob, I think it's ok to JOKE about just about anything, so long as you don't actually hurt anybody. And If you're wondering who I would choose to molest: Well, You, of course.

    Just kidding Rob. And so was the questionaire. Lighten up, man. I don't think anyone here actually supports rape or torture, or thinks it's anything less than god-awful. I just think a warped sense of humor is a better way of dealing with an f'd up world than straight-laced self-righteousness.

  • ||

    We're spoiled in Louisiana as well as in Montana. The only reliable constitutionalist in the world managed to be on the ballot.

  • ||

    I'm struck by how many staffers at Reason Magazine manifest no reasoning ability.

    Reading the whole rundown -- from people who I would guess have expensive educations and fancy themselves to be intellectuals -- makes me leery of democracy.

  • ||

    Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded and why?

    FDR, because handicapped people are so much more fun to watch suffer.

  • economist||

    I find it incredibly annoying when someone says that corporations should pay more because they get help from the government. Some corporations do. Others don't, and are simply getting screwed over. In any case, the best way to deal with that is to get rid of whatever special privileges (subsidies, land grants, eminent domain) that the government gives them, not to use to justify more socialism.

    And, MNG, Biblical references don't get so much attention here. Just sayin'.

  • economist||

    I'm not paying attention to Obama's 95% claim, because it's bullshit. At some point, he will either a. go back on it by raising taxes on lower tax brackets when revenues inevitably stagnate, and possibly fall, after a few years b. He will engage in more deficit spending, which will continue the federal government's slide into fiscal insolvency.

    I base this on the fact that his promises don't add up. He is promising to balance the budget, introduce a wide array of new programs and domestic spending, is unclear on how much will go to foreign interventions, claims he will give a significant tax break to 95% of the population, and will somehow finance all this by taxing the rich more. Doubtless this might work for a year or two, until the well-known effects of such a steep income tax set in. Then something will have to give.

  • ||

    It was no surprise to learn that Obama was the overwhelming choice of journalists writing for Slate. But for Obama to also come in first place for the writers at a LIBERTARIAN magazine? Huh. I was not expecting that.

  • ETJB||

    Well let me see here;

    (1) I think I voted for George Bush senior in a mock school election way back in 1992. A ballot without only two choices. Clinton as the lessor of the two viable evils in 1996.

    I supported Dr. John Hagelin 2000 attempt to be the sane (more or less) Reform Party nominee and create an independent/third party coalition by working on electoral reform issues.

    Have voted for some Libertarians and Greens in local or legislative races, but tend to be frustrated with their inability to work together on electoral reform issues via an interest group.

    Voted for Kerry in 2004, because Bush & Co were doing serious damage to our Constitution and running an totally inept foreign policy, and the bigoted attacks on gay marriage but thought Kerry ran an incredibly inept campaign and his campaign manager should probably be banished.

    Will be voting for Obama and Al Fraken with sincere support. Have little respect for Barr or Nader (but they do sometimes say some good things).

    Still trying to drum up support for electoral reform...

  • ||

    Americans need a good 20 years with a dictator - a real good one- at the helm.

    Too spoilt for choice - that is the All American problem.

    Each of you thinking ( and really believing) that YOUR opinion counts.

    Get out and vote for McCain or Obama and stop believing your own PR.

    To begin with, NONE of you, and that includes BOB BARR ( THE ALTERNATIVE OF CHOICE) can do diddly squat about running a complex country like America .

    Uou have 2 choices, none of them perfect ( and what HAVE YOU DONE to deserve perfection either in a mate or a leader, may I ask?) but both of them BETTER than anyone on this blog!

  • ||

    TO TWISTED NERVE WHO ASKED:
    How do I as an "unbeliever " fit in your Biblical version of government?

    Well the Lord says he makes the rain to fall on the just AND on the unjust - so according to GOD, you will make out just fine- It is not God's will "that ANY man should die" and that is the purpose of the Parable of the LOST SHEEP>

    The shepherd looked as conscientiously for that lost ONE sheep as he looked after the 99 that were safely in "the shelter of the fold"

    SO DON"T WORRY _ YOU TOO WILL BE PROTECTED< FLOURISH and GROW!

  • Virgil Texas||

    5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded?

    Calvin Coolidge, for refusing to talk.

  • ||

    I just happened upon this survey via a link on another site. Very interesting results. Good clear thinking in evidence, I am an independent voter who has some Libertarian leanings, certainly on the social side. On balance, I tended to vote Republican a bit more but Bush has alienated me so much I voted against him in 2004 and will vote for Obama. I respect Libertarians as, for the most part, having an intellectual construct that seems absent in the Republicans of today.

  • elephant_logic||

    I'm surprised at the number of non-voters... I can certainly understand the logic of not wanting to vote for president but there's way too many local races where my vote actually matters.

  • Gene Berkman||

    I wrote in John Hospers in 1972, and every few years he does something to make me regret it.

    I voted for MacBride 76, Ronald Reagan in 80, NOTA in 1984, and for the Libertarian candidate in every election since.

    I backed Ron Paul this year, and will vote for Bob Barr in order to pump up the Libertarian vote total.

  • ||

    I find a lot of hilariously contradictory, half-baked concepts here, like "The Bush Admin. has been disastrous" and "elections don't matter" in the same sentence. Am I the only one who sees the glaring, monumental incoherence in that statement?

    I am a liberal and a progressive and I think Libertarians represent some of the better elements of conservatism. But so many here seem very cynical and self-righteous, as if they were part of a small minority that knows better than anyone else. Please vote this year and grow up.

  • ||

    Once again proves that socialists control the media including Reason. How can the so-called libertarians vote for the 0? I just don't get it.

    I am voting Palin because she is nice to look at on TV and she seems to be the most libertarian of them all. Also I hope Palin wins, I want to see some media people drop dead on TV on election night. The MSM coverage has been the worst as far as I can tell.

    My prediction:

    Palin - 49%
    0 - 48%

  • ||

    Gee, is libertarianism supposed to cause so much ennui? Such lassitude leading to a vote for Obama certainly isn't a strong advertisement for LP membership. The contributors have spent too much time in Foggy Bottom.

    This year, a vote for Obama is a vote for Pelosi and Reid to run roughshod over America, as well as saying hello to the Second Bill of Rights. Sometimes you have to vote against the bad candidate.

    I have always been intrigued with a libertarian approach. As soon as libertarians figure out how to accommodate children and a real foreign policy, I would support their take-over of the Republican Party in a heartbeat. Until then, irrelevance will continue to lead to more ennui.

  • ||

    Wow! I've been thinking that old style liberals were splitting into Libertarians and Leftists but I hadn't realized how far the split had gone.

    Of course, with so many of you disdaining to vote at all, I don't see much of a future for y'all.

    You sound more like a bunch of liberals who have realized the contradictions in your old ideology and decided to embrace "A plague on both your houses!"

    Here's a clue. If a society is only successful if it perpetuates itself, how does your libertarian ideology contribute to a successful society? Or are you all resigned to following Britain, Rome and Greece into the past?

  • nonPaulogist||

    KMW is my new favorite reasonoid. Voting is for suckers.

    And ditto all who wished Wilson waterboarded.

  • nonPaulogist||

    Why does that fat fucktard Penn Jillette think it's okay to joke about murder (as he does numerous times in his act) but not rape or waterboarding????????????????

  • Asharak||

    The continued comments about Reason supposedly being in the tank for Obama are pretty funny considering the magazine's staff combined who support Barr, NOTA and McCain outnumber the Obama supporters.

    And here's my voting record:

    2000: David McReynolds
    2004: David Cobb
    2008: Bob Barr

  • Asharak||

    Once again proves that socialists control the media including Reason. How can the so-called libertarians vote for the 0? I just don't get it.

    I am voting Palin because she is nice to look at on TV and she seems to be the most libertarian of them all. Also I hope Palin wins, I want to see some media people drop dead on TV on election night. The MSM coverage has been the worst as far as I can tell.

    My prediction:

    Palin - 49%
    0 - 48%


    It's no more moronic than so-called libertarians like you voting for Palin because you think she's attractive.

  • jweaver||

    Reading these answers I now know why the LP never will succeed and why there is little movement on embracing freedom. To make the GOP pay you all are going to ensure a socialist take over of government by all three branches. You will burn the village to save it???? AS a libertarian conservative you make me sick. Obama is the most openly Marxist candidate in five generations and you "small government" freedom lovers are there to vote him in? Have you heard spread the wealth around? Civilian National Force? Redistributive change? Wake up and get over yourselves. Thank you for your article, it did clarify just why you are on the fringe - intellectually bankrupt people that will sacrifice ideals to punish the better of the two parties?

  • liberty||

    I am sickened that so many libertarians are thinking of voting for Obama. He is by far the most socialist candidate who has run for president in this country in recent decades. He is the most dangerous to our economy since FDR, even counting Carter and Nixon!

    I am no big McCain fan, but it disgusts me that any libertarian, despite wanting to punish the Republican party, would cast a ballot for Obama.

    Consider just a few of Obama's domestic policy proposals, things he favors and will push through:

    1. The Employee Free Choice Act (government mediated wage setting, and no private ballot -- allow union intimidation).

    2. The Fairness Doctrine (the end of free speech in media).

    3. Public Works / Employment programs including "Transition Jobs" and his National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank.

    4. Windfall Profits tax

    5. "Fair trade" programs that are just blatant protectionism and will hurt the workers who can no longer sell to us.

    Actually, why bother listing all these - just check out his website. I defy you to find one libertarian policy on his "economics" page or his "poverty" page. Even his "tax cuts" are mostly welfare credits for non-payers, and come directly from raising taxes on "the rich", most of whom are actually small business.

    Start here:
    http://www.barackobama.com/issues/economy/

  • Never Forget||

    "The darkest moments in world history have occurred during the confluence of a bad economy and a charismatic leader. Those videos of children singing and marching for Obama are really disconcerting."

    One of the best, most succinct explanations of why I will NEVER vote for an anti-Right- of-Self-Defense candidate like Obama... (Or McCain for that matter).

    There is only one non-negotiable Issue in politics - and that is your Right to Keep and Bear Arms... because without that, NOTHING is negotiable. After that it doesn't matter who is in charge. Communist or Facist, Left or Right, history doesn't lie. With no RKBA they are in charge and you kowtow or die.

  • Creepy libertarian basement dw||

    Wait a minute, where's Kerry Howley? And Katie Hooks?

  • Jeff Perren||

    Bravo to 'liberty', one of the very few who apparently understands the issues and is actually connected to the real world.

    If the list of 'big names' on the main article is any indication, the Libertarians are far worse than I remember, when I paid attention to them in the 1980s and 1990s. Clearly, while they may in theory adhere to libertarian principles, their beliefs in action have zero connection to the real world if they could give Barack Obama any assistance, direct or indirect, in gaining the White House.

    And, yes, there is no question this is the most important Presidential contest in the past ~80 years (post the first FDR campaign). When major media outlets are gleefully declaiming, with Obama, the 'end of a failed ideology', to help support him to actually achieve that tips those listed in the article past the point of reasonable difference of opinion.

    McCain is confused, pragmatic, and commits a great many sins. But his errors and actual evils pale in comparison to what Obama stands for, is, and will be if elected.

  • ||

    Are you guys brain death? You are voting for Obama because you think McCain isn't libetarian enough! Obama is a guy whos ideas are straight from Nazi-Germany or Soviet Union.

  • Ben1||

    @svf: "I continue to be disheartened by all the NOTA/Stay Home sentiment here and elsewhere. Oh well, let's just let the statists and socialists decide everything for the rest of us. Woo hoo."

    Look, here's the thing. Obama wins. McCain wins. Here are the things that will not change:

    1) We'll still be at war

    2) We'll still have hundreds of expensive
    military bases in foreign countries

    3) Our liberties will continue to erode

    4) The drug war will continue

    5) The war on sexuality will continue

    6) The government will continue to grow

    7) Taxes will continue to increase

    8) Economy will continue to be manipulated for the rich

    9) constitution will become even less(!) relevant

    10) biz in washington will be trading earmarks

    11) religion will continue to infect 85% of the population

    12) education will continue to be a low priority

    13) medical care will continue to be a low priority

    14) oil will continue to be the fuel of choice

    15) states will continue their slide into federal vassalhood

    16) "save the children" will continue to enable the most corrosive and coercive legislation, followed closely by "terrists!" and "global warming!"

    17) Our financial system will continue to fly, peter-pan style, by force of imagination, misplaced trust, and out of control printing presses

    ...you understand? If the dems get in (congress AND executive), some left wingery will get funded. If the reps get in, some right wingery will get funded. None of which we can actually afford. Nothing else will change.

    This game is RIGGED, and it is a depressing measure of your susceptibility to propaganda that you don't even know it.

    You wanna vote for Obama to punish the republicans? Go ahead. I bloody well guarantee that you'll be voting for republicans to punish the dems next time around. The humor here is that all electable candidates are selected by the same machine. That's why the results are always the same.

  • ||

    BAD news for PA and WV from Associated Press: Obama Tells SF Chronicle He Will Bankrupt Coal Industry By P.J. Gladnick November 2, 2008 - 07:26 ET Barack Obama actually flat out told the San Francisco Chronicle (SF Gate) that he was willing to see the coal industry go bankrupt in a January 17, 2008 interview. The result? Nothing. This audio interview vanished. Here is the transcript of Obama's statement about bankrupting the coal industry: "Let me sort of describe my overall policy. What I've said is that we would put a cap and trade system in place that is as aggressive, if not more aggressive, than anybody else's out there. I was the first to call for a 100% auction on the cap and trade system, which means that every unit of carbon or greenhouse gases emitted would be charged to the polluter. That will create a market in which whatever technologies are out there that are being presented, whatever power plants that are being built, that they would have to meet the rigors of that market and the ratcheted down caps that are being placed, imposed every year. So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted. Story Continues Below Ad ↓ That will also generate billions of dollars that we can invest in solar, wind, biodiesel and other alternative energy approaches. The only thing I've said with respect to coal, I haven't been some coal booster. What I have said is that for us to take coal off the table as a (sic) ideological matter as opposed to saying if technology allows us to use coal in a clean way, we should pursue it. So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It's just that it will bankrupt them."

  • Terry M||

    Yeah, it's pretty disheartening that so many self-proclaimed libertarians could actually consider voting for Obama. Bush and McCain at least mouthed the words of freedom; Obama is telling us outright that our liberties will be taken away. And you idiots are taken in by the fact that he is black. Deny it if you will, but white guilt is going to win this election for a socialist. Maybe it's time for some thoughts about moving to Australia.

  • ||

    Not voting is voting for the status quo. The big government allies don't construe a non-vote as anything but a thank you for business as usual.

    Voting your conscious, voting for the candidate who best represents your views helps those views gain traction. It also rewards that candidate for his hard work and sacrifice. It also rewards those who helped the campaign with their time and money.

    There is no bigger slap in the face for candidates, their supporters and contributors who promote free minds and free markets than to have editors for the premier magazine which shares those views encouraging their readers to NOT vote.

  • ||

    In sum, libertarians will never vote Republican again and would love to water board Woodrow Wilson. I see this as a new future demographic!

  • Dedalus||

    Grover!!!

    Ha ha! What a dick!

  • قبلة الوداع||

    thank u

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