The Third Way

There is another way forward for the Republican Party

In the wake of Clubber Lang's vicious defeat of Philadelphia's favorite son in Rocky III, the Italian Stallion reflected back on why he lost. It seemed he had everything going for him—but then he got caught up in his own glory. When Rocky finally hit bottom, his former nemesis, Apollo Creed, dramatically stepped in to offer some stock speech wisdom: "When we fought, you had that eye of the tiger, man, the edge! And now you gotta get it back, and the way to get it back is go back to the beginning."

Today's Republicans are in similar spot. After Barack Obama's massive win, they've been reviewing the fight tapes, only to discover that getting caught up in the glow of their own power eventually led to their downfall. They should've gotten the message in 2006, but this November's spectacular defeat (save Ted "Marion Barry" Stevens) has finally woken them up. Now the question is: What direction will the Republican Party take? Will the GOP "return" to some dogma of the past? Reaganomics would appease many in the Old Party "old guard" who think like Apollo Creed. Or will the party invoke Teddy Roosevelt's progressivism and shift more to the political center? These are the two options currently being debated by pundits on all sides, but the fact is that either option would spell doom for Republicans.

Consider David Brooks' most recent column in the New York Times, where he outlines what he sees as the GOP dividing into two warring camps now that they've been thoroughly defeated. It's the Traditionalists versus the Reformers. Reagan versus Teddy. Old Party power versus moderate centrism. But in reading Brooks' analysis, one is left wondering if there isn't another direction the GOP could head in order to return to power.

Brooks defines the "Traditionalists" as those who believe "the G.O.P. should return to its core ideas: Cut government, cut taxes, restrict immigration. Rally behind Sarah Palin." He puts Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Grover Norquist, and organizations such as the Federalist Society and Family Research Council into this camp.

Palin, Limbaugh, and Hannity truly do belong in the same wing of the GOP, the branch that has rejected intellectualism in favor of dogma, the group that believes passionate devotion to the "real America" will energize a Nietzschian-like will to power. Unfortunately, Brooks identifies this group as the defenders of the free market. That's not a reassuring thought for those who favor both free markets and free minds.

The second group Brooks sees the GOP splintering into is the "Reformers." This group tends to believe that "American voters will not support a party whose main idea is slashing government. Reformers propose new policies to address inequality and middle-class economic anxiety. They tend to take global warming seriously. They tend to be intrigued by the way David Cameron has modernized the British Conservative Party."

Brooks puts authors David Frum (Comeback), Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam (Grand New Party), Ramesh Ponnuru, and Peggy Noonan into this group—as well as himself, proving that his neocon spine has cat-like flexibility. These Republicans believe in John McCain's mission to take the party towards the center with the rest of the country—though most were critical of his methods during the campaign.

Given the Brooks analysis, here's the real problem for the Republicans: The Traditionalist defenders of capitalism wind up out of touch with America and grounded in rhetoric rather than political principle. Meanwhile, Reformers who want to "appeal more to Hispanics, independents and younger voters" have to abandon the small government model and become the conservative wing of the Democratic Party.

None of that spells long term success for Republicans. What the GOP needs are libertarians, those who believe not only in small government, but also in individualism and the truly liberating power of free markets. If the Ron Paul movement tells us anything, it's that the Republican Party can be more than a party of old white guys with bad hair cuts.

Brooks believes that the Traditionalist will win in the short term—led in 2012 by Sarah Palin—but that Reformers will win out in the end as the GOP continues to lose. He argues that once the GOP suffers more defeats, the Reformers "will build new institutions, new structures and new ideas, and the cycle of conservative ascendance will begin again."

Again, it's doubtful that Brooks' vision of a reformed, moderate Republican Party will be able to differentiate itself from a lukewarm Democratic Party. But even if they were to rise to power, it wouldn't be the small government, Goldwater-style GOP of old. It would simply be a new kind of party.

What does this mean for the future of free market economics? Perhaps today's libertarians will learn first hand the pain of Hayek, Friedman, Mises, and the rest at Mont Pelerin who had to confront a world that adversely opposed their ideas.

But perhaps not.

A new conservative movement that takes libertarian ideas seriously could use the inertia created by the nation's new progressivism to slingshot itself into the future on a platform of reduced government, lower taxes, and limited interventionism, while also respecting climate change (adjusting the tax code to encourage green reform without any expense to taxpayers) and reforming the immigration system (opening the borders as the market demands labor without sacrificing security).

The Republican Party has a chance to transform itself into something it has never been: a party of small government based on classical liberal principles. It doesn't have to be one of David Brooks' visions of the GOP. In fact, if the Republican Party wants to return to power it will recognize the flaws in both approaches, avoid them like Road Runner toying with Wile E. Coyote, and embrace libertarianism instead.

Anthony Randazzo is a research associate at the Reason Foundation.

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

  • ||

    We do all realize that Ron Paul couldn't even defeat John McCain in 1 primary in his own home state right?

    Sara Palin and Bobby Jindal are going to have to really go after the Obama Administration's economic principles, because let's face it any tax increase is going to leave a bad taste in many American's mouth.

  • shrike||

    Absolutely 100% correct, Mr. Randazzo.

    But don't bet any money on the libertarian option at Intrade.

  • 24AheadDotCom||

    Great job, but I would have thought that the GOP would have already considered becoming more libertarian due to the massive electorial successes of the LP. What's that you say? The LP only rarely gets more votes than the TranscendentalMeditationParty? Oh.

    The real problem with the GOP goes much deeper than which ideology they're going to have. They're like someone who could make more money easier doing something legit, but who just can't stop stealing.

    The best thing the GOP could do would be to decide to be clean, for real. They could fight against all the corruption associated with the Dems, and I don't just mean bags of cash. To do that, they'd need to get better thinkers than people like Brooks and the Hoover Institution's David Brady.

  • 24AheadDotCom||

    Did I mention I have a blog? Read MyBlog.

  • concerned observer||

    Libertarians are fucking idiots.

  • Jimmy Maas||

    What the GOP should do now?
    Turn off the lights, lock the door. They had their run, and then ran off the road. They don't deserve to survive.

  • JBinMO||

    Today Sean Hannity was talking about the fact that Obama was a far leftist but he hopped (I shit you not) "the aww and majesty of the presidency" would chang him. Majesty?

  • ||

    The Libertarian Party is not libertarianism. There are any number of Republicans and Democrats who qualify as at least "libertarian lite". Just because the LP doesn't do well doesn't mean that some level of libertarianism won't work. I think the Obama administration and Congress will make limited government a very popular concept to the GOP, and, perhaps, to others.

  • ||

    The blastocystophiles and homophobes on Eric Rudolph's side of the culture war--a minority faction of a minority party--have a stranglehold on the Republican Party. Why would anyone who cares about libertarian priciples make common cause with those who obsess about who sticks what into whom and what to do with the sometime product thereof?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    The blastocystophiles

    Ah, it's always best to impart perverse fetishisms on people with whom you do not agree.

    JIN, do you have a better abortion suggestion? And is it any more or less rational than others?

  • ChrisO||

    I think the Obama administration and Congress will make limited government a very popular concept to the GOP, and, perhaps, to others.

    One hopes.

    Individualism is a very basic part of the American identity, and the increasingly communitarian nature of the Democrats would seemingly make a libertarian focus more of a logical focus for the Republicans. Note that I didn't say this will necessarily happen.

    If economic troubles persist and deepen, I expect that the "culture war" stuff will recede. That crap is mostly pointless nonsense for people with full bellies and fat bank accounts to argue about. Republicans would do better to provide a real alternative to the Democrats on more important issues, something Bush and the neocons never did.

    No one seriously expects the GOP to become entirely libertarian, but going more in that direction is probably critical to its revival.

  • ||

    Today Sean Hannity was talking about the fact that Obama was a far leftist but he hopped (I shit you not) "the aww and majesty of the presidency" would chang him. Majesty?

    Sean Hannity cements his claim to the mantle of "Biggest Tool on the Airwaves".

  • Akston||

    When one argues against liberty, what is the alternative goal? Order? Control? Power? After answering that, maybe the next question would be "by whom?" or "over whom?"

  • Akston||

    I'd maintain that most who opt for something other than liberty have an easier time imagining themselves in the "by" group than the "over" group.

  • Mad Max||

    "Why would anyone who cares about libertarian priciples make common cause with those who obsess about who sticks what into whom and what to do with the sometime product thereof?"

    Well, start with the fact that everyone on this thread - including yourself - is the "product" of the process you describe.

    The products (ourselves) are kind of important, to the process leading to that product may have some significance, as well. Almost as much significance as monuments in public parks and the right of a kid to have a "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner.

  • Mad Max||

    "so the process leading," etc.

  • ||

    We do all realize that Ron Paul couldn't even defeat John McCain in 1 primary in his own home state right?

    Maybe I'm just being optimistic, but Ron Paul was battling against the Republican establishment during the primary. If they took libertarianism seriously and supported some libertarian candidates, I don't think they'd play such a marginal role anymore.

    Running for office isn't just about raising money and getting votes, as Ron Paul did show. (Crazy, eh?) You need some of the establishment to support and push you. You need the media, sitting politicians to support you, voter lists, and a ton of things an internet candidacy alone doesn't provide to get successful. The Party has to make a choice.

  • ||

    Unfortunately for Republicans there were two aspects of its makeup that did them in: their theocratic paranoid base, and their libertarian economics.

  • ||

    Great job, but I would have thought that the GOP would have already considered becoming more libertarian due to the massive electorial successes of the LP. What's that you say? The LP only rarely gets more votes than the TranscendentalMeditationParty? Oh.

    SHUT. THE. FUCK. UP.

  • ||

    Unfortunately for Republicans there were two aspects of its makeup that did them in: their theocratic paranoid base, and their libertarian economics.

    What over the last eight years would you describe as libertarian economics? Specifics are always appreciated.

  • Hibiscus||

    I think you mean their vaguely libertarian rhetoric on the subject of economics, TonyQ.

  • Joel||

    Palin, Limbaugh, and Hannity truly do belong in the same wing of the GOP, the branch that has rejected intellectualism in favor of dogma, the group that believes passionate devotion to the "real America" will energize a Nietzschian-like will to power. Unfortunately, Brooks identifies this group as the defenders of the free market. That's not a reassuring thought for those who favor both free markets and free minds.

    Dude. Get over it. That thing between you and the GOP, it's over.

    The GOP piled your clothes in the front yard, dude. It changed the locks, okay? Take the hint.

    If you live to be a hundred, the GOP is not ever gonna come crawling to the libertarians and asking if you can make it all better somehow.

    Not ever.

    Never.

  • Joel||

    Seriously, move on.

  • Lefiti||

    "...now is the time for the GOP to transform itself into something it has never been: a party of limited government based on explicitly libertarian principles."

    In your fervid, nutjob dreams. Libertarian "principles' are about as in fashion as sideburns. The whole country is moving to the center-left and away from free-market fundamentalism. Shove you liberarian principles up your fat zealot asses.

  • ||

    Yes of course, they weren't libertarian enough. And the theocrats think they weren't conservative enough.

  • Geotpf||

    Ben | November 14, 2008, 4:40pm | #

    We do all realize that Ron Paul couldn't even defeat John McCain in 1 primary in his own home state right?


    Thread over. The only things libertarians and Republicans have in common are support for low taxes and gun rights. That's it. Republicans don't believe in free markets-they believe in crony "capitalism". They don't believe in small government; they believe in playing Risk in real life and banning everything instead. They believe in blaming all their problems on liberals or gays or Mexicans or Muslims or gay liberal Mexican Muslims.

    Seriously, why do libertarians continue to bother with the Republican Party? They hate you almost as much as they hate liberals; they just want your vote so they pretend to tolerate you-but they don't really, as the reaction to Paul during the debates shows.

  • ||

    David Brooks is a blathering imbecile.


    Repeat as necessary.

  • Lefiti||

    "Seriously, why do libertarians continue to bother with the Republican Party?"

    Because libertarian are stupid beyond belief. How else can you explain Ron Paul and Bob Barr?

  • GILMORE||

    Anyone notice the "Is Your Man Gay?? (Find Out Now!)" ad on the side of the article?

    Neither here nor there.

    I thought of Lefiti & LoneWacko getting skullfucked by that model. It made me happy.

  • Lefiti||

    Stick it up your ass, GILMORE. You're a fucking zit-turd on the asshole of the world!

  • ||

    David Brooks LefTitty is a blathering imbecile.


    Repeat as necessary.

  • Jordan||

    Yes of course, they weren't libertarian enough. And the theocrats think they weren't conservative enough.



    Translation: I can't answer J sub D's question so I'll just move along.

  • T||

    Yes of course, they weren't libertarian enough.

    Observation would lead one to believe the party occupying the white house the past 8 years hasn't been libertarian at all. But keep insisting they were, against all available evidence.

  • GILMORE||

    Lefiti | November 14, 2008, 6:03pm | #

    Because libertarian are stupid beyond belief.


    har

    I think of you spending all this time repeating, "nya nya nya! you dumb! you zealot! in your asscunt!", and get mild pleasure from realizing what a total fucking waste of time your life is.

    the "fundamentalist" line is my favorite. Somehow being generally in favor of smaller government and liberal trade rules, makes a person a fundamentalist these days... i suppose that makes sense from the POV of someone so deep in the weeds of some kind of fantasy world.

    really, name a policy. Pick one. State what you think is a reasonable position. Discuss. I've never heard you have an opinion on anything, except a passion for poop slinging and masturbating in public

  • Doug||

    Today Sean Hannity was talking about the fact that Obama was a far leftist but he hopped (I shit you not) "the aww and majesty of the presidency" would chang him. Majesty?



    Conservative Talk Radio: Simple Answers for the Simple Minded


    In your fervid, nutjob dreams. Libertarian "principles' are about as in fashion as sideburns.



    Umm, the no-sideburns look went out of style about the time Reagan left office.

  • ||

    "Observation would lead one to believe the party occupying the white house the past 8 years hasn't been libertarian at all."

    I know that and you know that. I also know that they weren't conservative by any important definition of the word either. The question is, were conservatives defending their principles despite what the Bush administration did the whole way through, or are they just now coming to the realization? Were libertarians railing against their economic policies all these years or were they too busy poxing both houses while the American public was realizing that, regardless of the ideological foundation, Democrats were simply much better stewards of their economy?

    Indeed, the relationship between the Republican party and both libertarian economics and social conservatism was mostly one of rhetoric. But too many people bought it, and now social conservatives and libertarians are on the outs for a long time. A lot of people think Obama is a socialist (and possible terrorist) and they voted for him anyway because they'd rather have a socialist terrorist in office than another effing Republican.

  • ||

    If anyone gets past the scatology posted here, those libertarians who are interested in working within the Republican Party to change it are in the Republican Liberty Caucus ... which is doing quite well, thank you.
    www.RLC.org

  • ||

    Hey, Bill, I haven't written you guys off, yet. This defeat is definitely the best chance the RLC has to make real inroads in the GOP. Even without "taking over", a little more limited government flavor would be a great improvement.

  • James||

    All right, I'll bite.

    How will we know when the labor market is "demanding" that we open the borders?

    And how will opening the borders to people who are, lets face it, socialists, help the idea of libertarianism? We ARE still defining libertarianism as opposition to the growth of the state, right? I wonder sometimes.

  • James||

    "The blastocystophiles and homophobes on Eric Rudolph's side of the culture war--a minority faction of a minority party--have a stranglehold on the Republican Party."

    Riiiihgt.

    Meanwhile, which party just managed to get elected President a man who close ties to actual terrorists? Hint, it does not being with "R".

  • Akston||

    For those holding out hope for the panacea of a Democrat renaissance empowered by control over at least two branches of government - I, recent Republican experience, and that Lord Acton fellow would suggest that you might well be disappointed.

  • Just Plain Brian||

    Were libertarians railing against their economic policies all these years



    New here? If you're truly interested in the answer to that question (which is yes), the reason archives are all available, and the criticism of this administration's economic policies has been going on "all these years"

  • ||

    Maybe libertarian-minded folks should start supporting an electoral system that could keep the GOP closer to its roots.

  • Sam Grove||

    There is no "libertarian economics".

  • GILMORE||

    ...And how will opening the borders to people who are, lets face it, socialists...

    Oh, come on already.

    People come here to *work*.

    When you water down your definition of socialism down to "people who will vote Dem because they're less likely to get fucking deported or imprisoned", then whats the point of debate?

    "Socialism" has been turned into a buzzphrase these days with no substance to it at all. It's basically a style point, asserting the speaker is somehow "free market"?? But free market... up to a point where its Free for Me but Not for Thee. Free labor markets are a net boon to a free market economy, and a sensible and simple policy of immigration reform that lowers the barriers to honest people who want to contribute to our economy is not anti American in any way, and consistent with traditional liberal economic views. I mean classical liberal, not bleeding heart unionists obviously.

    Also, the claim that we're importing leftists is silly and lacking any serious awareness of how new citizens vote once they've got skin in the game. First generation immigrants may demand social services, but their children are usually among the first to demand ownership rights in our society, and are often the most vociferously patriotic and encouraging of maintaining a liberal free market system because that is the best possible system for people to advance from poverty or dependence into an improvement of quality of their lives and standards of living.

    the truth is, the most liberal and leftist citizens in this country are the naive offspring of our comfy middle class boomers. College kids who have never had a job, and have limited notions about political ideas or history, and are generally the source of the starry eyed weepyness about "the poor" or "minorities", people they do not know, and have no connection with on any real level. If you want to fight creeping leftists, your battleground is the halls of "higher" education, not the border. While I am no pro-lifer, if the GOP wanted to find a bloc that would advance restrictions on abortion, immigrants are probably the most pro-"family values" group in our country. What they want is a shitty job, and a chance for their kids to have a less shitty job. Demonizing immigrants as some sort of political movement that seeks to undermine the basics of a free market system is laughable, and should be abandoned if anyone wants to be taken seriously.

  • Joshua Holmes||

    Pundit's fallacy: The path to success is to adopt my ideas.

    The GOP lost because of a spectacularly lousy president who had the misfortune to be in office in the wake of an economic crash several months before the election.

  • ||

    The GOP needs to not be a Southern-led Party. The South has a lot of good points, but let's face it, it's pretty out of step with the rest of the nation, and to the extent that the South dominates the GOP it will be seen as this strange reactionary force...

    The South has and has had some real funky racial concerns that leads it to some pretty bizarre viewpoints. Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, and South Carolina comprise a mindset that is an interesting example of the century. The 18th century.

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    Oh, what a fantasy land we live in here at H&R. "The world is breathlessly awaiting the return of the Libertarians to save those poor Republicans from themselves!"

    Joel nailed it as far as I can see. I'd figure the chances that the R's are going to suddenly come to their senses and embrace libertarian principles is about the same as the percentage of votes that the LP drew ten days ago; what was that, about 0.4%? How many members of Congress show any libertarian leanings? I'll bet I could count them on one hand and probably wouldn't need the thumb.

    The most common perception about how things are done by the government is that "the reason we failed is that we just didn't try hard enough!" If anything, the R's will go more and more off the theocratic deep end.

    .. Hobbit

  • Kolohe||

    GILMORE-

    Hear, hear! (Here, here?)

  • ||

    The Deep South should just have its own party, if they don't want to think of new nomenclature they could just somewhat accurately call it the "Nazi-Taliban Party*" and they could get 20% of the vote every four years and we could just ignore them. Then the GOP could be a party of intellectual conservative (prudence) and libertarian (small government) and the Democrats could be the party of liberalism (John Stuard Mills) and I would have a real choice.

    * Racists and fundies

  • shrike||

    Good stuff, GILMORE.

    IMO, the problem with libertarianism (my default view on everything) is that they face up to life in a democratic republic.

    The vast majority of people prefer regulations for GOOD REASONS. (go back in time to see)

    Food inspection
    Child labor laws
    FDIC
    Anti-trust
    Union rights
    Disease control (CDC)
    HazMat control
    Bank regs

    etc etc etc

    The LP looks like fools to the average citizen for resisting these regulations.


    Yeah - I know the academic crap about "market self regulation" - but that is all that it is. People will fuck anyone over to make a dime.

  • shrike||

    CAN'T face up to democracy ,,,,

  • Kolohe||

    I also agree with CED. One of the steps in this direction is to re-engage with urban areas the way Jack Kemp and Rudy Giuliani did back in the day, but has fallen off the wayside over the last decade. Stuff like small business licensing reform, eminent domain reform, and other similar stuff that is color blind and in fact most affects the upwardly mobile but at present lower income urban dweller. The kind of middle class republicanism that used to blanket the ohio and misouri river valleys.

  • ||

    Of course, there's no libertarian economics. There's just defaulting to a position of no regulation or government interference of any kind and then saying well things weren't libertarian enough when it all goes to hell.

  • ||

    Libertarian "principles' are about as in fashion as sideburns.

    Not all of us are shallow or immature enough to just believe what's "fashionable."

  • Kolohe||

    The vast majority of people prefer regulations for GOOD REASONS.

    The vast majority of people are fine with regulations that they see in their interest and are perfectly happy as long as they're on other people. And the big stuff ain't going away. But the niche is to try to get rid of some of the micro-regulations that make it difficult to try to start out on your own. For instance the kind of stuff that was illustrated in Wire when the one guy tried to start up a youth boxing gym and was stymied until he got the corrupt state representative to intervene.

  • ||

    Naturally I agree with the gist of the article, but it's sort of predictable coming from a libertarian magazine. I'd be more heartened to hear David Brooks running around going "Hey, why doesn't the GOP get more socially liberal?"

    The battle in the Republican party isn't between traditionalists and reformers, it's between people who want to get more socially moderate, and those who want to move left on economics.

    I think we can both agree that it should get more socially moderate, it's just hard to convince Republicans that they need to spank their own base in order to win elections. Palin represents the tried and true formula. But there's no leader out there for the other side.

    I think the Republicans can't win on a socially conservative, big government platform. That was Bush, despite rumors to the contrary. Or even a centrist Democrat-lite platform (what Brooks wants). They just don't know it yet.

    I think they can win on a socially liberal, small government platform. It's just going to take a lot of hard work. It necessitates abandoning certain parts of the socially conservative base and winning over people who are currently centrist Democrats. It's going to be very difficult to convince Republicans that they need to do that.

  • Just Plain Brian||

    The vast majority of people prefer regulations for GOOD REASONS.



    Like making sure that the homeless don't get food poisoning from eating homecooked meals.

  • GILMORE||

    shrike =

    I think you need to get beyond the "ism" issue, and realize that many people of all political stripes realize that our system has overextended itself horribly beyond its basic mandates and has become an encroaching problem that affects our lives negatively in wide variety of ways.

    While there are many positive effects of regulation of the areas you mention, almost all have also been used for venal or stupidly political ends that drive people of "libertarianish" views to take pause and start to fight back so that these systems dont continue to become tools of a bloated political patrimony system, which frankly, almost all of the examples you offer have an element of =

    e.g.

    "Food inspection
    - ridiculous restrictions on foreign trade justified by isolated examples of bad actors like china and the melamine scandal recently

    Child labor laws
    - punishing corporations for bringing jobs to foreign markets where standards are lax and jobs provide some opportunity and improvement to lives of indigent subsidence-level classes

    FDIC
    - .... uh. Whens the last time free marketers got their panties twisted by the FDIC

    Anti-trust
    - libertoids are generally supportive of anti-competitive enforcement

    Union rights
    - oh, come on, fuck them.

    ... meaning, no one except the anarchists and some weirder fringe big L libertarians are so naive to think that we should abolish the regulatory elements in federal government = most simply want to roll back the thousands of horrible unintended effects of poor implementation and exploitation of these systems by political cronies and power hungry bureaucrats

  • ||

    "Stuff like small business licensing reform, eminent domain reform, and other similar stuff that is color blind and in fact most affects the upwardly mobile but at present lower income urban dweller."

    Kolohe is right (easy for me to say when he starts by saying he agrees with me, but hey, he is). GOP mayors that win in blue areas show that small government ideas can win anywhere as long as they are not wrapped in Huckabee-ism or Palin-ism. Small government can have a "cosmopolitan" face.

    You don't have to take everything that the ubran GOPers adopt (I think Bloomberg's gun control stuff is stinky), but looking to them would be smart.

  • shrike||

    Another good post, GILMORE. That is why I supported Ron Paul before I did Obama this year (but only as a Republican).

    RP is pragmatic. He knew Social Security was here to stay. The "weird fringe" types you point to are yelling "Socialism" to this view. This does no good for the cause. It didn't help McCain either.

  • ||

    The South is what? Um, why don't we just round up all those nasty Southerners then?

  • DannyK||

    Shrike, that's a good point. I've been in political discussions with a mixed group before and seen how people are genuinely interested in the libertarian viewpoint until you hit something like "No child labor laws!" or "No food inspection!"

    And then shutters come down over the faces and everybody stops listening to that guy.

  • Just Plain Brian||

    Um, why don't we just round up all those nasty Southerners then?



    They did - the south is where they put everybody. I don't know about you, but that's how I wound up living down here.

  • GILMORE||

    har har.

    the "South" represents some of the best and worst elements of this country. Pro L, you shouldnt get your fur ruffled. There's some truth to southern states being a bastion of social conservatism and semi-frequent hysterical xenophobia or racism... the dissing on the south is over 100yrs old. Much of it deserved. But most people who make generic pronunciations about "southern" issues often dont know what they're talking about in any detail.

    I think the rest of the country still has a lot to learn from "the south", or at least its better nature. I think my concepts of generosity, courtesy and dignity come from my southern family. Not that there's a tremendous dearth of these things... well ok, in northern cities, there often are, but elements of southern culture are certainly widely under-appreciated.

    collard greens, biscuits, whiskey and girls being my personal faves.

  • BDB||

    "GILMORE | November 14, 2008, 7:20pm | #
    "Socialism" has been turned into a buzzphrase these days with no substance to it at all."

    Thank God someone finally pointed out the obvious! I hate how that phrase has been used. Pretty soon it will end up being just as meaningless as "Fascism".

  • ||

    I'm hardly a blind apologist for the South, but it's a whole lot better and a whole lot more diverse than some people appear to believe. I find it interesting that the very people who seem to generalize about and express hatred towards Southerners are otherwise obsessed by identity politics. Odd.

    My family has been in the South for a very long time--way before the Civil War. And in my principal family lines, the commitment to character, education, and hard work seem to run strong.

    Mmm, whiskey and food. I'm down to one Southern girl, though--my wife. She's from Virginia.

  • ||

    "people are genuinely interested in the libertarian viewpoint until you hit something like "No child labor laws!" or "No food inspection!""

    Because that shit is nuts. Allowing child labor and barring government food inspections would limit more liberty than they would advance. Children cannot make contracts reasonably and so you would simply have parents willing to pimp their kids. And knowing that anybody who offers food to the public is open to public inspection, no matter how imprefect, makes people have more faith in food choices and so they do not have to fear everytime they buy food, freeing them up to do other things and worry about other concerns. Since bad food can KILL you this kind of thing is best not left to the market (where if food producer x kills dozens of people we can punish him by not buying his product; this is too late).

    "but it's a whole lot better and a whole lot more diverse than some people appear to believe."

    Well duh. But that doesn't mean that it is not comparitvely fucked up. I was born and lived 26 years in VA. There are many good things about the South. But politically, it's a Dark Ages type of scene.

  • BDB||

    It isn't anymore "dark ages" than the U of Ohio or Pennsyltucky, two very northern places.

  • BDB||

    Oh yeah, and Alaska. Yeah, thats far north and REAL enlightened. Not.

  • ||

    BDB
    I mean the political culture of the Deep South is very, very different than the rest of the nation. Shit, Alaska is not close to the Talibanocracy of Georgia, Alabama, etc.

  • BDB||

    Worse than Utah, CED? Really?

    Utah < Atlanta or Charlotte?

  • ||

    VA is not only not part of the fucked up Deep South, it's actually ahead of many states to the "north" of it.

    But VA has always been way ahead of the "South."

  • BDB||

    Would you rather live in Atlanta, or Wilkes-Barre?

  • ||

    Utah is a special case.

    Nutty religion out there.

  • ||

    I'd rather live in MD where I do, where we recently approved a pro-gambling referendum.

  • BDB||

    Gambling is illegal in VA. Unless, of course, it has to do with the lottery or horses.

    Even Bob Goodlatte, an anti-gambling extremist, makes exceptions for horses. No online betting on poker, but horses are a-ok!

  • ||

    Sadly "libertarian" economics can too easy be equated with opportunistic crony capitalism, and with more than a little justification. Until libertarians are will to invest some political capital, and loose a few corporate donations, by aggressively attacking the corrupt and exploitive aspects of business and corporatism, the general public is justified in their suspicion of "libertarian economics."

  • Hogan||

    Southern man don't need CED around anyhow.

  • SIV||

    Doesn't dissing the South get old for you guys?
    Georgia had the largest LP party election vote total of all time this year:)
    In the Senate race the LP candidate forced our incumbent RINO into a runoff.

    There is nothing wrong with being "socially conservative" as long as you don't wish to impose your views on others by force. What socially conservative policies has Governor Palin imposed on her fellow Alaskans?

  • Kolohe||

    MNG/CED-

    The ghost of Jerimiah Dixon is asking me "which side of the line did I put Maryland?"

  • ||

    Shit, Alaska is not close to the Talibanocracy of Georgia, Alabama, etc.

    You're MNG, aren't you?

  • ||

    I ask because, out of the people who comment here often, he/she/it expresses the most bigotry and hatred toward the "south," which to him appears to be some sort of trashy bucolic nightmare of incestuous orgies and the burning alive of dark-skinned people.

    Never mind, I suppose, that southern people have been among the most gracious, intelligent, and kind people I've ever known in my life, I suppose. Did you watch Deliverance at a young age and ingest it whole, uncritically?

  • ||

    I'll throw in another "I suppose" because I have apparently fucking forgotten that preview is my friend.

  • ||

    Oh, and if you are MNG, do you really wonder why I refuse to take you seriously? A PhD isn't an insurance policy against being a hateful dumbass.

  • ||

    If I understand him right, Ray Kurzweil
    (kurzweilAI.net) thinks the exponential application of nano to solar will solve
    most energy problems within 10 years.If that
    happens, carbon caps, carbon trading and all that will have been a huge waste.So much for
    "green reform."

  • ||

    I don't understand what David Brooks, et al want from the Republican party. Why don't they just become Democrats?

  • Mad Max||

    The Deep South should just have its own party, if they don't want to think of new nomenclature they could just somewhat accurately call it the 'Nazi-Taliban Party*'"

    Followed by an explanatory footnote: "* Racists and fundies"

    Perhaps New York could have two Corrupt Whoremongering Statist Parties. Wait . . .

  • DannyK||

    Ramesh Ponnuru, the theo-con, just posted a link to this Reason article, with the sarcastic comment:

    "That sort of Republican party would massively increase its support among voters named Anthony Randazzo, but I fear that accomplishment is unlikely to do much to help the party "return to power."

    Not a good sign when your enemies respond with scorn instead of anger.

  • Craig||

    Sounds good, except for the part about falling for the "global climate change" BS.

  • Ebeneezer Scrooge||

    Seth,

    Until libertarians are will to invest some political capital, and loose a few corporate donations, by aggressively attacking the corrupt and exploitive aspects of business and corporatism, the general public is justified in their suspicion of "libertarian economics."

    You're right, of course. But you're messing with the religion. We can't start drinking cherry kool aid *now*, it's *always* been grape or nothing.

  • BruceM||

    As long as the Republican party caters to Evangelical Christians, it will have a loud, vocal base but it will never be mainstream and it will never again win presidential elections. Somehow, over the past 20 years the radical, irrational, faith-based christofascists have hijacked the GOP with razorblades and have steered it on a suicide course towards Washington.

    Bring back the party of Barry Goldwater. Tell Pat Robertson, Jay Sekulow, and all the evangelical faith-based whackjob wingnuts to go fuck themselves. Just like Barry Goldwater did. They've destroyed the GOP, bastardized it - taken it from the party of small government to the party of spreading Christianity and enforcing Christian values upon all Americans.

    As these creepy assholes masturbate to visions of little boys praying in school, gays locked up behind bars, ten commandments festooned on every wall, and women forced by law to remain pregnant to give birth to another Christian Soldier, they fail to realize that the majority of the country finds their masturbatory dreams annoying and repulsive. Now that they've proven over 8 years that they cannot govern and they are NOT the party of small government, but rather lame, do as I say theocracy, they fail to offer even the ILLUSION of those principles to even the most uninformed electorate.

    Either the religion is excised from the Republican party, or the Republican party is excised from mainstream American politics.

    And I say this as a former Republican. Today's GOP is unrecognizeable. Barry Goldwater must be rolling in his grave.

  • Ebeneezer Scrooge||

    Not a good sign when your enemies respond with scorn instead of anger.

    Hey, the scorn is just a constant. The anger won't come with it until they loose an election.

    Assuming the Republicans can win another election. But then, that would be assuming the Democrats don't over do it too.

    If the Republicans wanted to go libertarian, they wouldn't already be where they are now.

    Oh sorry, that was so obvious we shouldn't have wasted time pointing it out.

  • Ebeneezer Scrooge||

    As long as the Republican party caters to Evangelical Christians, it will have a loud, vocal base but it will never be mainstream and it will never again win presidential elections.

    I theenk you are in for a reeeeelly beeg surprise, omeego. Because most Americans, they are believers.

    If Bush had actually been what he said he was in 2000, the Republicans would have been quite happy with him. But Bush always came across as kind of wishy-washy, and he was worse than that once elected.

    McCain wasn't even in the Republican ball park, he got the nomination only because the competition was worse and the media liked him.

    I bet that another Reagan could still win the White House.

    PS to Republicans: Palin isn't even orbiting a moon that's anywhere near the same planet that Reagan came from.

  • BruceM||

    Ebeneezer, most Americans will check the "Christian" box asking what religion they are, and to be sure the vast majority of Americans are non-freethinking sheep infected with the virus of religion. But the democrats are Christians too, Obama says "god bless America" at the end of his speeches, also. The republican party offers nothing but jack-off material to those people who put their religion before the well-being of themselves and their country. Yes that is a sizeable chunk of the American population but not enough to win presidential elections, especially in contest with an opponent that also embraces religion.

    My point is the number of people who will vote themselves into bankruptcy just to prevent gay people from getting married is significant, to be sure, but not significant enough. And the Republican party offers NOTHING else. It used to offer small gov't, lower taxes, less government intrusion in our lives, and fiscal responsibility - or at least the illusion thereof. Now it offers nothing but knuckle-dragging ape-men throwing their own feces at textbooks that teach evolution, and other such masturbation fantasies for Evangelical christofascists. That's it. And while Christianity is certainly mainstream, a political party that's only purpose is to provide jackoff material for Christians is completely and utterly fringe.

  • AntiFed||

    Good... except for the bit about open-borders. You can't have such a policy when your neighbouring country has tens of millions of Third World people of whom 60% want to live in our land. The US would be flooded (like it alrady is) and would quickly become unrecognizable and spiral to the depths of Mexico or Venezuela. No thanks. We can have liberty without becoming part of Greater Mexico.

  • ||

    Sorry to upset you Jim Bob, but while, as I noted, the Deep South has many good aspects, it's politically a theocracy/racist area. Don't hate me because I call it as I see it, hate the Southerners that make the Southern political scene so out of step with the rest of the nation. The Southern face of the GOP is one that is a losing one for them. Did you know that there is now not one GOP congressperson fron New England?

    Yes I'm MNG. I lost a bet with BDB and joe and have to post as Crow Eating Dumbass for the rest of the month.

  • ||

    In first grade I moved from Tennessee to Connecticut. I learned that northerners are taught to look down on southerners at a very young age. It must be some sort of inferiority complex, probably based on our shooting skills, or our pretty ladies. Southerners are more likely to want to be left alone, which fits them in with libertarians better than urban and northern nanny state lovers. Not all southerners are religious zealots. The GOP would be foolish to abandon the south, especially considering that we'll be taking congressional seats from the rotting north after 2010.

  • Some Guy||

    The GOP will regain power when Obama runs the country into the ground. They'll use that power to redistribute the wealth to to their buddies on Wall Street and start a few wars. Then the Dems will be back in power. This will repeat until the country collapses.

  • ||

    "Perhaps New York could have two Corrupt Whoremongering Statist Parties."

    Oh there is plenty of corruption and statism in the Deep South too my friend! As well as theocracy. I'm not excusing the problems in the Northern political scene by any means.

    "There is nothing wrong with being "socially conservative" as long as you don't wish to impose your views on others by force."

    Which they do in the Deep South. Regularly. Georgia was the state that locked that poor kid up, and wanted to keep him there forever, for having oral sex with a girl about his age. The South opposes drug legalization, porn and gambling with a vengance unmatched in other areas of the US (yes BDB I grant Utah can give them a run for their money, but they are a theocracy out there too)

    Conservative=theocrat I'm afraid.

  • ||

    The North can be nanny state, yes (of course so can the South). But they lack the funie nonsense. But I'd rather live in Sweden than Saudia Arabia any day.

    "As long as the Republican party caters to Evangelical Christians, it will have a loud, vocal base but it will never be mainstream and it will never again win presidential elections."

    And where do these evangelicals dominate? What region of the nation produces them in such large, influential numbers? Hmmm...

  • shrike||

    Very eloquent, BruceM.

    What is more troubling for the GOP is that the rest of the country is letting this stark truth seep into its mass consciousness - so that it will take years of undoing to negate.

    The great irony is that just four years ago - that wretched fucking hick from my home state of Georgia, (Zell Miller) was pushing his book, 'A National Party No More', pertaining to how his party had succumbed to provincialism. Of course, he unknowingly wrote it as a Republican.

  • ||

    Bruce

    To his credit, McCain doesn't really give a shit one way or the other on gay marriage and Palin stated she would allow the states to decide and uphold there right to do so no matter the outcome. I saw that as a step forward from the Bush mentality.

    Palin needs to keep hammering the fact that just because she believes one way doesn't mean she will thwart the law. She will please the church and the log cabin. I was done with Bush the moment he allowed Ashcroft to supersede states rights on medical marijuana and euthanasia.

    I think the best we can hope for from the republicans is Ron Paul light in Sarah Palin backed up by a centrist 2nd in command.

    Many republicans don't really care if gov't overall spends less, they just like the lingo, and they want money taken out of social programs, because for one they don't work, but more importantly for many republicans they are seen as a breading ground for liberals.

    As Libertarians I think you have to take your power grabs where they are available which is seldom in public office. Vouchers, Medical Marijuana, deregulating the health care system, etc… are issues we can win ground on. Libertarian transformation will be won one issue at a time. The whole message is to much for the mainstream. Small bites.

  • shrike||

    To his credit, McCain doesn't really give a shit one way or the other on gay marriage and Palin stated she would allow the states to decide and uphold there right to do so no matter the outcome. I saw that as a step forward from the Bush mentality.

    You cherry-picked his positions. Many voters know what kind of reactionary dog-whistle it is to evoke the call for "originalist" judges.

  • Mad Max||

    "Oh there is plenty of corruption and statism in the Deep South too my friend! As well as theocracy. I'm not excusing the problems in the Northern political scene by any means."

    Nor was I excusing Deep South corruption. The question is whether the South is so *uniquely* evil that the GOP should openly admit to abandoning it.

    So let us take your corruption examples to see how unique they are:

    "Georgia was the state that locked that poor kid up, and wanted to keep him there forever, for having oral sex with a girl about his age. The South opposes drug legalization, porn and gambling with a vengance unmatched in other areas of the US (yes BDB I grant Utah can give them a run for their money, but they are a theocracy out there too)"

    You may have heard of New York's Rockefeller drug laws. And, of course, when the Supreme Court heard that case about life sentences for drug crimes, that case came from . . . wait for it - Michigan. Michigan is, of course, the stoners' paradise which just legallized medical MJ, and good for them, but the life-imprisonment case was for "hard" drugs.

    The oral-sex charge in GA started as a rape charge. To be sure, the sentence is shocking, but it didn't come from cops doing random "oral sex sweeps." This is about the prosecutor and the judge disliking the jury's acquittal on the rape charge, and compensating by an excessive sentence for the oral sex. An argument for respecting the right to trial by jury - and why not ask a New Yorker how much they respect the right to jury trials for Americans charged with "war crimes" in international courts, or the right to jury-trial of those accused by administrative agencies.

    And haven't I heard something recently about racism in the Empire State? Ah, here it is:

    "In front of a courtroom at times crowded with family members of seven teens accused in a fatal hate-crime stabbing, a Suffolk prosecutor Monday said the group was "determined" to find a victim of Hispanic descent.

    "'In their own words, "Let's go find some Mexicans to ---- up,"' said Assistant District Attorney Nancy Clifford at First District Court in Central Islip."

    (Of course, the defendants may all be innocent)

  • Mad Max||

    "porn and gambling"

    Well, there was a famous prosecutor in New York who wanted to crack down on prostitution. Whatever happened to him, anyway?

  • Mad Max||

  • ||

    Mad Max
    Southern, Western and Northern states both have draconian drug laws, but the North and West also legalize medical mj and decriminalize mj, both of which are unthinkable in the theocratic South.

    Prostitution and porn are different things, the former illegal everywhere but the latter castigated more in Southern theocratic states.

    I do appreciate you didn't even try on the gambling thing, glad to know bloggers have some limits...

    Somehow I doubt you're disturbed by the South's theocratic tendencies at all.

    "This is about the prosecutor and the judge disliking the jury's acquittal on the rape charge, and compensating by an excessive sentence for the oral sex."

    Oh bullshit, this is about the strict idiotic statute Georgia had in place that the kid was sentenced under.

    "And in Georgia, that they'd had oral sex made matters worse. Until 1998, oral sex between husband and wife was illegal, punishable by up to 20 years in prison. In Wilson's case, even though he is only two years older than the girl, she was 15 and -- willing or not -- could not consent legally that night.

    Whatever their feelings about the law, jurors felt they had no choice but to find Wilson guilty of aggravated child molestation. Moments later, back in the jury room, jurors were told for the first time that the conviction came with a mandatory sentence of at least 10 years in prison. In addition, Wilson would be forced to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life."

    http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/legalCenter/Story?id=1693362&page=2

  • Mad Max||

    "I do appreciate you didn't even try on the gambling thing, glad to know bloggers have some limits..."

    You're quite right, I would lose all credibility if denied the obvious fact of the anti-gambling fever in Deep South states like Louisiana.

    The Georgia "Child abuse" law was stupid and oppressive because of the excessive sentences authorized. The court could have imposed a more lenient sentence, but went for the strict sentence because of the belief that rapists should walk because of some technicality like the jury not believing they're rapists.

    If only this guy had been prosecuted in the Deep South

    . . . Matthew Bandy, an Arizona teenager who faced a possible sentence of 90 years in prison because of nine images on his computer that the government identified as child pornography. Police, who (naturally) seized the computer during a ridiculously excessive military-style raid, apparently obtained a warrant based on Bandy's alleged visit to a website that included child porn. But that site was not the source of the images on his computer, and Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas could not prove the pictures had been deliberately downloaded (as opposed to planted by malicious software), let alone that Bandy had downloaded them. After putting the kid through hell for two years, Thomas tried to save face by charging him with a trumped-up felony that consisted of showing another boy a copy of Playboy. Bandy pleaded guilty to avoid spending the rest of his life in prison. To add insult to injury, Thomas tried to force Bandy, who had admitted to nothing but looking at legal pornography, to register as a sex offender.

  • ||

    Max
    Incidents of racism can be found and linked to from every area of the U.S.

    But structural conditions can be very indicative. The South had slavery far longer and more extensively than any other region. The South had peonage laws in which largely black prisoners were "rented" out to companies and put on chain gangs far more extensively and longer than any other region. The South enacted felon disenfranchisement laws, many of them in direct and quite blatant response to black enfranchisement (and many targeted to offenses which had higher black offending rates), and the South currently still disenfranchises more blacks than any other region more extensively. The South currently has a disporportionate number of hate/racist groups active in comparison to other regions.

  • ||

    Max
    Just as you've confused porn and prostitution you've confused porn and child porn. Every state is draconian on the latter, but the former is much more accepted in the Non-Southern states.

  • Mad Max||

    "Somehow I doubt you're disturbed by the South's theocratic tendencies at all."

    I said the South wasn't *uniquely* evil.

    If you could provide a definition of theocracy, showing how the South meets it and other states don't, and how this theocracy is uniquely evil - evil in a way that non-Southern, non-theocratic state are not evil - then that might be helpful.

  • ||

    % White vote for Obama

    Alabama-10
    Georgia-23
    South Carolina-26
    Louisiana-14
    Mississippi-11

    Nation-43

    Hmmm...Indicative of something?

  • ||

    I'll get in on this bash the south discussion. I've lived in the south (Virginia and Mississippi), the west coast (San Diego and Puget Sound), the Great Lakes (Detroit, it's inner ring 'burbs, ond Waukegan Illinois), and the East (southern Jersey). I don't know what region you would place the Maryland eastern shore in (Salisbury), but I've lived there also.

    Lots of fucked up to go around there, but the Maryland eastern shore and Mississippi gulf coast are tied for #1 in my personal fuckedupedness ranking system. Nonetheless, I have some good things to say about both of them.

    Make of that what you will.

  • ||

    A theocracy is where policy has a religious base, such as the religious opposition to gambling, abortion, homosexuality, pornography and drug use that is strongest in the South (I could throw in creationism as an example, but it does not impinge on liberty like these). It is evil in that it is restrictive of actions that do not violate Mills harm doctrine and are restrictions on liberty.

    Would you like to argue that opposition to the above list is not strongest in the South and that said opposition does not get significant support from religious groups for religious reasons?

    I argue that the South is out of step for two reasons, both of them bad: the strength of conservative Christians in that area (theocracy) and racism.

  • Mad Max||

    "Just as you've confused porn and prostitution you've confused porn and child porn"

    You seem to have confused Playboy with child porn. That's what the guy pleaded guilty to - showing a Playboy to another kid. It's for *that* he was threatened with sex-offender registration.

    If Georgia did *that,* would you try to minimize it?

    "The South enacted felon disenfranchisement laws, many of them in direct and quite blatant response to black enfranchisement (and many targeted to offenses which had higher black offending rates), and the South currently still disenfranchises more blacks than any other region more extensively."

    Here there's a germ of truth, but not nearly enough to make the point you want. Modern felon-disenfranchisement laws - that is to say, laws taking the vote away from convicted felons of all types - were not motivated by a desire to target black people. When a state actually wanted to target black people as such, rather than target criminals as such, it was very selective, *refusing to disenfranchise all felons because so many felons were white.*

    Mississippi, in 1898, distinguished between "black" crimes like petty theft and the like and singled out these criminals for disenfranchisement. At the same time, Mississippi allowed convicted rapists and murderers to vote, because rape, and murder and burglary considered "white" crimes. The state constitution was later amended to disenfranchise murderers, burglars and rapists, and a federal appeals court found that this removed the discriminatory features of the law. In other words, disenfranchising *all* felons is the very reverse of racial discrimination.

    Florida has been cited for its "racist" felony disenfranchisement laws, but these laws date back to 1845, when only white males could vote. In other words, there were no black voters to disenfranchise - every single felon disenfranchised was white. Again, the federal courts threw this "racism" claim out of court.

  • ||

    Here is a map of the now unconstitutional liberty restricting sodomy laws by state. Notice a pattern?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Map_of_US_sodomy_laws.svg

  • ||

    Brother, you picked the wrong topic because I just finished reading the top book on this topic, Uggen and Manza's locked out. They found that the racial origins of the laws, especially in the South and including many current statutes, were unmistakable.

    http://www.soc.umn.edu/~uggen/FD_summary.htm

  • ||

    The Arizona law is bad, the Georgia one is worse. I'm claiming comparative badness here.

  • ||

    List of states that have legalized medical marijuana, notice not a Southern state in there at all:

    http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/viewresource.asp?resourceID=881

  • Mad Max||

    "religious opposition to gambling, abortion, homosexuality, pornography and drug use that is strongest in the South . . . It is evil in that it is restrictive of actions that do not violate Mills harm doctrine and are restrictions on liberty."

    I am not aware that John Stuart Mill held the position that abortion was consistent with his harm doctrine, because it injures someone other than the perpetrator.

    "gambling"

    Did you know that Mississippi has more legalized commercial casinos than New Jersey? As does Louisiana. Those fundamentalist, theocratic New Jerseyites! No wonder they call the place New Jesus!

  • Mad Max||

    "drug use"

    Michigan passed a law requiring life sentences for a first conviction of possessing 650 grams of cocaine. The Supreme Court upheld the law, the Southern Justice (Marshall) dissented.

  • ||

    Max
    Casinos are legal in areas of all three states, that more are built and running in the two Southern States than the one northern one is not indicative of much.

  • Mad Max||

    I read an early version of Uggen and Manza's study, which listed Florida as having come up with felony disenfranchsement during Reconstruction in order to disenfranchise black people. I contacted one of the authors to point out that Florida actually started disenfranchising felons in 1845 - when all the felons disenfranchised were white. The guy wrote back to me to basically shrug and say, sure.

  • Mad Max||

    "Casinos are legal in areas of all three states, that more are built and running in the two Southern States than the one northern one is not indicative of much."

    It indicates that some states are more comfotable with legalized gambling others.

  • Mad Max||

    than others

  • ||

    Poll indicating support for whether consensual adult homosexuality illegal, notice the Southern number!

    http://www.albany.edu/sourcebook/pdf/t2992007.pdf

  • Lefiti||

    "Financial markets are inherently unstable and there are social needs that cannot be met by giving market forces free rein. Unfortunately these defects are not recognized. Instead there is a widespread belief that markets are self-correcting and a global economy can flourish without any need for a global society. It is claimed that the common interest is best served by allowing everyone to look out for his or her own interests and that attempts to protect the common interest by collective decision making distort the market mechanism. This idea was called laissez faire in the nineteenth century... I have found a better name for it: market fundamentalism.
    It is market fundamentalism that has rendered the global capitalist system unsound and unsustainable.
    ... it was only when Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan came to power around 1980 that market fundamentalism became the dominant ideology. It is market fundamentalism that has put financial capital into the driver's seat."
    --George Soros

  • BDB||

    CED--

    Please compare the % of the white vote to the % Kerry got to be fair.

    I think you will find the white vote went up for Democrats (following the nationwide trend) in all areas but Appalachia, Louisiana (Katrina diaspora), Arizona, and Alasaka.

    Also, there is a huge difference between VA, NC, GA, and FL on one hand and MS, AL, TN, KY etc on the other.

  • BDB||

    Don't bother arguing abortion with Mad Max. He is a Catholic fundie.

  • ||

    "It indicates that some states are more comfotable with legalized gambling others."

    That's crazy. It could indicate all kinds of other things. Do you really mean that?

  • BDB||

    I'd still like to know if CED would rather live in Atlanta or Wilkes-Barre.

  • ||

    "Also, there is a huge difference between VA, NC, GA, and FL on one hand and MS, AL, TN, KY etc on the other."

    Agreed, I indicated that above by referring to the "Deep South." But GA is in the Deep South. VA, NC and FL are hardly part of the "South" anymore. Hell, VA has economic, political and social indicators comparable to New England.

    "Don't bother arguing abortion with Mad Max. He is a Catholic fundie."

    Yeah, that's why I said upthread that it's ironic he's arguing the South is not more theocratic since he'd probably have little problem with a little theocracy.

    Max, you do realize that without the protection of seperation of church and state we could go back to those good ol' anti-Catholic laws?

  • BDB||

    Georgia is coastal south, not deep south. It is closer to NC than MS.

  • ||

    "Most American Catholics are aware that the spirit of New England's North American settlements was hostile to Catholicism. But few are aware of the vigor and persistence with which that spirit was cultivated throughout the entire colonial period. Few Catholics realize that in all but three of the 13 original colonies, Catholics were the subject of penal measures of one kind or another during the colonial period. In most cases, the Catholic Church had been proscribed at an early date, as in Virginia where the act of 1642 proscribing Catholics and their priests set the tone for the remainder of the colonial period.

    Even in the supposedly tolerant Maryland, the tables had turned against Catholics by the 1700s. By this time the penal code against Catholics included test oaths administered to keep Catholics out of office, legislation that barred Catholics from entering certain professions (such as Law), and measures had been enacted to make them incapable of inheriting or purchasing land. By 1718 the ballot had been denied to Catholics in Maryland, following the example of the other colonies, and parents could even be fined for sending children abroad to be educated as Catholics."

  • BDB||

    I bet the most tolerant colony for Catholics was probably Pennsylvania.

  • ||

    Louisiana against gambling, are you nuts? Casinos everywhere, not just on reservations. The horse racing business is huge down here, and they allow me to bet on the races from the comfort of my home. Until recently cock fighting was a gambling mecca. As for Mississippi, ask Naga Sadow about that. Alabama, dog racing and now slots at the tracks. Georgia is about the only deep south state that has a problem with gambling.

  • Mad Max||

    Here's the 11th Circuit decision upholding Florida's ban on felon voting, and pointing out that such a ban was in force since 1845, when all the disenfranchised felons were white.

    The article in which the authors Mazen and Uggen (with a coauthor) ignored the evidence and traced Florida's ban back to the 1868 Reconstruction constitution is this one:
    Ballot Manipulation and the "Menace of Negro Domination": Racial Threat and Felon Disenfranchisement in the United States, 1850-20021
    Angela Behrens, Christopher Uggen, and Jeff Manza, American Journal of Sociology, November 2003, 559-605.

  • Mad Max||

    It is the state of California, not some Deep South state, which wants to force Catholic organizations to provide birth-control to their employees.

    So Maryland reverted to the mean and became less tolerant of Catholics as time went on? In other words, it started becoming like other states (North and South)? What does that show - especially since you're criticizing only the Deep South?

  • Mad Max||

    The beef against the Catholic Church up through 1865 was that it supposedly had too comfortable a relationship with the South.

    Of course, Louisiana was a Protestant theocracy which had never even *heard* of Catholics!

  • Mad Max||

    "Max, you do realize that without the protection of seperation of church and state we could go back to those good ol' anti-Catholic laws?"

    "Separation of Church and State" was an anti-Catholic slogan invoked by the supporters of the 19th-century Blaine Amendment (no govt aid to parochial schools), and, oh, yes, also invoked by the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s.

    Americans United For the Separation of Church and State, the leading separationist organization, was founded in the 1940s as an anti-Catholic organization, calling itself Protestants and Others United for Separation of Church and State.

  • ||

    In their book Manza/Uggen report statistical evidence showing disenfranchisement laws coming in "waves", one wave being in response to the increased franchise during the Age of Jacksonian Democracy and one coinciding with Reconstruction and centered in the South. Their finding did not rest on Florida's data.

    "The beef against the Catholic Church up through 1865 was that it supposedly had too comfortable a relationship with the South."

    What are you talking about? That's crazy. The beef originated with the freaking Reformation. Englishmen didn't shed their history when they came over. They hated Catholics when there was no South.

    Protestants also were concerned that Catholics could not be democratic citizens because they were authoritarian and that the Pope was the anti-Christ (I was actually taught this in a large Southern Baptist Church as a child). They also noticed that heavily Catholic immigrant groups were growing in numbers and simple ethnocentrism took over.

    What a crazy statement!

  • ||

    "It is the state of California, not some Deep South state, which wants to force Catholic organizations to provide birth-control to their employees."

    Excellent!

  • ||

    And Max, that would be the OPPOSITE of a theocracy, so the fact it's not in the south bolsters my overall point...

  • economist||

    "It is the state of California, not some Deep South state, which wants to force Catholic organizations to provide birth-control to their employees."

    Excellent!"

    Some of us here are against forcing private employers to provide specific drugs in their health plans. Even though I disagree with the Catholics' contraception obsession, I figure if a Catholic employer doesn't want to provide contraceptives, he shouldn't be forced to.

  • economist||

    I believe in the right of people to hold their own opinions and associate (or refuse to associate) with others based on those opinions, even if I personally think they're giant douches.

  • economist||

    "Protestants also were concerned that Catholics could not be democratic citizens because they were authoritarian and that the Pope was the anti-Christ (I was actually taught this in a large Southern Baptist Church as a child). "
    So I see that you have some first-hand experience with insane fundamentalists. And while it's true that the Catholic Church doesn't teach that democracy is the only legitimate form of government (or that all democracies are legit), that in itself doesn't make them authoritarians. I think something similar in that vein, myself, although for different reasons.

  • Mad Max||

    "What are you talking about? That's crazy. The beef originated with the freaking Reformation."

    There were a lot of beefs. The alleged coziness with the South was was one of them.

    Take a look at this reply to this

  • Mad Max||

    I suppose this is as good a time as any to link to Walter Block's defense religion.

    (Walter Block is a libertarian atheist who is famous for his book *Defending the Undefendable,* which defends people like blackmailers and drug-dealers. To many libertarians, however, his defense of religion will be seen as the most indenfendable position of all.)

    "I am guided in this by the aphorism "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." While this does not always hold true, in this case I think it does.

    "So, which institution is the greatest enemy of human liberty? There can be only one answer: the state in general, and, in particular, the totalitarian version thereof. Perhaps there is no greater example of such a government than the USSR, and its chief dictators, Lenin and Stalin (although primacy of place in terms of sheer numbers of innocents murdered might belong to Mao's China). We thus ask, which institutions did these two Russian worthies single out for opprobrium? There can be only one answer: primarily, religion, and, secondarily, the family. It was no accident that the Soviets passed laws rewarding children for turning in their parents for anti-communistic activities. There is surely no better way to break up the family than this diabolical policy. And, how did they treat religion? To ask this is to answer it. Religion was made into public enemy number one, and its practitioners viciously hunted down.

    "Why pick on religion and the family? Because these are the two great competitors - against the state - for allegiance on the part of the people. The Communists were quite right, from their own evil perspective, to focus on these two institutions. All enemies of the overweening state, then, would do well to embrace religion and the family as their friends, whether they are themselves atheists or not, parents or not."

  • BDB||

    Uh, Mad Max, Thomas Harris was a Confederate General, not Union.

  • BDB||

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Harris_(disambiguation)

  • BDB||

    Eh, nevermind, there were two Thomas Harris's in the Civil War (and both generals!)

  • Mad Max||

    I have to give you credit, CED - you retreated faster than the Yankees did during the Peninsular Campaign (that is, *very* fast).

    Just to be clear, the general I was referring to was a Union general.

  • Mad Max||

    Oh, and, one more thing . . .

    (please click here)

  • ||

    "We thus ask, which institutions did these two Russian worthies single out for opprobrium? There can be only one answer: primarily, religion, and, secondarily, the family."

    This is twiddle-twaddle you know. Stalin made divorce very difficult to get, he banned abortion and made homosexuality punishable by years of hard labor. Stalin exalted the family in ways that would make a conservative Catholic very happy.

    economist-I certainly don't think Catholics are all authoritarian. I do think the Catholic Church as an institution is authoritarian. It's strongly hierachial, concentrates power in a leader, teaches that its authority is final, etc. I'd be interested in how they could be seen as not being so.

    Congregationalist churches are a good example of non-authoritarian churches.

  • ||

    Retreated?

    I'm not BDB if that is what you're getting at.

  • ||

    We were convinced that the people need and require this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out.

    - Adolf Hitler, Speech in Berlin, October 24, 1933

    "The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and cooperation. It will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life."


    Quote by: Adolf Hitler

  • Justen||

    Organized religion is an institutional control structure at least as deadly and dangerous as the state. Keeping the two pitted against each-other is much more productive in terms of personal freedom than letting either dominate, or in a terrible worst case scenario as in Nazi Germany or most of Europe in the dark ages, letting them operate as a single unit.

    Even so, life in communist Russia was probably better than life under the Pope in medieval Spain. Communism opposed the free practice of commerce, the Church is opposed any kind of freedom whatsoever (except the airy and insubstantial 'spiritual freedom' where you are brutally oppressed but still feel some kind of warped emotional freedom). Neither will ever be anything but the enemy of freedom, and an alliance of convenience with one or the other is bound to have a dangerous outcome.

    I would still take the enemies of commerce over the enemies of the mind, as a personal choice. The concept of an alliance between (little 'l') libertarians and the Republican party has never made sense to me. The better choice is to work earnestly to convince freedom loving people in both parties that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats are their allies.

  • Elemenope||

    "Why would anyone who cares about libertarian priciples make common cause with those who obsess about who sticks what into whom and what to do with the sometime product thereof?"

    Well, start with the fact that everyone on this thread - including yourself - is the "product" of the process you describe.


    I was immaculately conceived, you insensitive clod!

  • ||

    L thru P,

    Spawn of Satan, huh?
    I always suspected as much.

  • ||

    Sorry to upset you Jim Bob, but while, as I noted, the Deep South has many good aspects, it's politically a theocracy/racist area.

    What, exactly, is it you are seeing in the south? Names, dates, locations, and events put into context would help your arguments. Actually, scratch that- you've not made an argument, just some inflammatory remarks. Blanket statements about what you think the south must be like based on- what, exactly? TV shows? Movies? Gone With the Wind?

    Shirley Franklin is the mayor of Atlanta, MNG. Shirley Franklin is an African-American woman. I attend a private Christian university in the deep south that actively recruits minorities. African-Americans are involved in government, they are community leaders, they are businesspeople. Sure, I offer you some anecdotes, but that's more than you. So, flex your degree. Give me some numbers. Give me some facts and connect the dots, draw me a picture. Otherwise I'm going to continue to insist that you're talking out of your ass.

    I can't speak for people's private attitudes, thoughts, and opinions. But then, neither can you.

    What is it you want to see, MNG? Scary poor white people in trailer parks sent to education camps? Every white man, woman, and child born and raised in the south to be eternally judged because of the past? Are we all ignorant crackers to you? Do you really think that speaking in broad stereotypes makes you sound any better than any racist or bigot on earth?

    Fuck it. You see what you want to see, and you believe what you want to believe. It's not based on any logic or reason, but on preconceptions that simply must be true, because if they weren't, you might have to own up to your human responsibility to engage in a little critical thinking, instead of making broad caricatures out of people you've never even met.

  • ||

    CED | November 15, 2008, 11:28am | #
    Here is a map of the now unconstitutional liberty restricting sodomy laws by state. Notice a pattern?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Map_of_US_sodomy_laws.svg


    The pattern I see is that places with highly religious populations (Mormon Utah and Idaho, the Bible Belt) tend to want government enforcement of their religion-based morality.

    Was that the point you were trying to make? Because it seems incredibly obvious without even looking at the chart.

  • Mad Max||

    I'm very sorry, CED, I should have kept better track of my acronyms.

    "Stalin exalted the family in ways that would make a conservative Catholic very happy."

    Perhaps this is why Stalin regarded the Church as Public Enemy #1, and why the Church has been frequently criticized by liberals for its "excessive" anticommunism.

    "life in communist Russia was probably better than life under the Pope in medieval Spain"

    These victims of Stalin's terror-famine in the Ukraine would be glad to know that.

    "Adolf Hitler" blah blah

    Are you suggesting that Hitler was given to telling the truth in his public statements? What about his public statement that the Sudetenland was his final territorial demand in Europe? Do you believe that, too?

    Even critics who try to link the National Socialists with Christianity are forced to acknowledge that (a) the Nazis were anti-Catholic, (b) the version Protestantism they promoted was neo-Marcionite, that is, Christianity without the Old Testament, (c) key figures in the regime were pagans, including the head of the S.S., Shirach the head of Hitler Youth, and propagandist Alfred Rosenberg.

    "I was immaculately conceived, you insensitive clod!"

    So? You still haven't denied having a human father and a human mother! Or have you made the vulgar error of confusing the Immaculate Conception with the Virgin Birth?

  • JeffB||

    We should all, Dem/'Pub, left/right, lib/con, be able to get behind smaller, limited, more efficient government. After all, you know what happens when government gets behind you: you get screwed.

  • Kolohe||

    the vulgar error

    Golf clap for good use of alt def of 'vulgar'

  • tarran||

    Justen,

    I tend to rate economic freedom at a higher priority than the "freedom of the mind" for one simple reason:

    If I own my home and want to engage in illegal anal sex, then I have a reasonable chance of doing it without getting trhown in jail.

    On the other hand, if I am not allowed to amass property but am free to have anal sex in the apartment I share with two families - how much fun am I really going to have.

    Not to mention that economically illiberal regimes tend to be moralizing ones too. Witness the Nazi and Bolshevik campaigns against homosexuality and jazz music...

    For example, here in "liberal" Massachusetts, a man can get thrown in jail for selling a beer on a Sunday or for betting on a baseball game. Nor can a man marry two women at the same time with their consent.

    The fact is that with economic freedom, people can organize their private lives to their pleasure. without it, their lives suck.

  • Mad Max||

    The National Socialist abuse of the name of God was denounced in Pope Pius Xi's famous 1937 encyclical against the National Socialists:

    "7. Take care, Venerable Brethren, that above all, faith in God, the first and irreplaceable foundation of all religion, be preserved in Germany pure and unstained. The believer in God is not he who utters the name in his speech, but he for whom this sacred word stands for a true and worthy concept of the Divinity. Whoever identifies, by pantheistic confusion, God and the universe, by either lowering God to the dimensions of the world, or raising the world to the dimensions of God, is not a believer in God. Whoever follows that so-called pre-Christian Germanic conception of substituting a dark and impersonal destiny for the personal God, denies thereby the Wisdom and Providence of God who "Reacheth from end to end mightily, and ordereth all things sweetly" (Wisdom viii. 1). Neither is he a believer in God.
    "8. Whoever exalts race, or the people, or the State, or a particular form of State, or the depositories of power, or any other fundamental value of the human community - however necessary and honorable be their function in worldly things - whoever raises these notions above their standard value and divinizes them to an idolatrous level, distorts and perverts an order of the world planned and created by God; he is far from the true faith in God and from the concept of life which that faith upholds.
    "9. Beware, Venerable Brethren, of that growing abuse, in speech as in writing, of the name of God as though it were a meaningless label, to be affixed to any creation, more or less arbitrary, of human speculation. Use your influence on the Faithful, that they refuse to yield to this aberration. Our God is the Personal God, supernatural, omnipotent, infinitely perfect, one in the Trinity of Persons, tri-personal in the unity of divine essence, the Creator of all existence. Lord, King and ultimate Consummator of the history of the world, who will not, and cannot, tolerate a rival God by His side."

  • ||

    The problem with this theory is that a huge chunk of the modern Republican party is made up of the religious right. If the Reps were to adopt libertarianism, this wing would desert the party and leave a gaping hole.

    The social cons are the foot-soldiers of the Reps. The free-marketers provide the money- without both the party can't function.

    If what this author proposes was possible, it would have already happened. There is a reason the social cons are able to drive as much of the policy as they do. Republicans need those social conservative votes to win, and even now that doesn't look so good.

    The Dems are already perceived as about as socially liberal as a majority of the electorate is willing to tolerate, so greater social liberalism really won't attract a lot of votes.

    Also, most free-market libertarians already vote Republican. There are not enough in the ranks of moderate Democrats and independents to make up for the social conservative votes that would be lost.

    However much a relief it would be to see the Republicans take this path, it is probably untenable.

  • ||

    And to think, I was wasting all my time on that Bill Maher blog. This is where all the fun is.
    You guys crack me up (people who post comments, not the writers.)

  • ||

    There are just too many votes from the Christian Coalition for the GOP to change now. The only reason they lost was because they (CC) hate John McCain and didn't turn out. That's why, with all the record registrations, overall turnout was about the same as 2004.

  • ||

    The Republican Party does not need social conservative votes to win. What they need to do is begin offering true freedom to the American people both socially, such as the Democrat Party has successfully done for a while, and economically, which people will see the desperate need for in the next election. Social conservatism will die out in America exactly like it has in Europe. America typically fashions its social changes after the Europeans as in the issues of slavery and woman's rights.
    What the Republican Party needs is people like Sarah Palin and Ron Paul, which, by the way, would be a wonderful ticket in 2012, to remind the people of how America became the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world and can remain there for the foreseeable future. Right now people are losing faith in American strength as the entire Western World loses economic power to new giants such as China and Japan in the East, and America fails to succeed in Iraq. People must be shown that true equality comes in the shape of equal opportunity to equal assets, not the giving of equal assets.

  • ||

    Although I agree with much of your comment, this

    What the Republican Party needs is people like Sarah Palin and Ron Paul,

    is the wrong prescription.

    Ron Paul - too old in 2012.
    Sarah Palin - lacks the gravitas necessary to run for national office.

    But what the hell do I know? I predicted Giuliani vs Clinton for 2008.

  • ||

    "Was that the point you were trying to make? Because it seems incredibly obvious without even looking at the chart."

    Not to everybody, witness Mad Max...

    "So, flex your degree. Give me some numbers. Give me some facts and connect the dots, draw me a picture. Otherwise I'm going to continue to insist that you're talking out of your ass."

    Jim Bob, I know the quality of education in Christian colleges is sorely lacking and the South lags behind other areas in educational indicators, but surely you can at least read upthread to see the facts and numbers I give. Like my posts at: 11:13, 11:28, 11:28, 11:32, 11:40, 11:54,...Numbers from surveys and polls, historical facts, citing statutes...All the stuff you ask for, I've already given, in spades.

    Jim Bob, as a representative of the South you're kinda making my argument here! Your allegations of my supposedly irrational hatred of the South is funny, it looks more like you have some irrational tribalistic reason to defend your area's "honor." But I'll let the facts speak for themselves.

  • zoltan||

    Putting Palin and Paul in the same group is just a slap in the face to Paul and anyone else who is aware that there is such a study as economics.

  • ||

    although, CED, you should know that liberal alcohol laws and serving times (i.e. "last call") are more prevalent in the South than the North.

    Alabama and Alaska have the latest "last call" time for states (5 A.M.), but Georgia, Flordia, Tennessee and Louisiana all provide significant exceptions across their states to the standard 2 A.M. rule. Much more liberal than their "northern" counterparts.

  • Bingo||

    Some combination of Gary Johnson, Jeff Flake, Mark Sanford. Put two of the 3 on a bumper sticker and I'll vote GOP again.

  • Just Plain Brian||

    And to think, I was wasting all my time on that Bill Maher blog.



    Bill puts on a good show, but he thinks he's a libertarian because he's a liberal who likes to smoke pot (not that we don't, but there's a bit more to it)

    Welcome!

  • Just Plain Brian||

    Ron Paul - too old in 2012.



    Didn't you hear? We now have 120 year old mice! By 2012 we'll have found a way to keep Ron Paul alive until he's 140, at least. And who knows, maybe we'll find a way to ensmarten Sarah Palin between now and then.

  • Mad Max||

    "11:13"

    This is the post in which you cite slavery (you mean the South had slavery? Oh, shit, why didn't someone tell me?), and cite the "researchers" who attributed felon disenfranchisement to "racial threat." When I showed that these authors were full of shit, blaming "racial threat" for Florida's felony-disenfranchisement policy which started in 1845 when all the disenfranchised felons were white, you didn't think this reflected in any way on the scientific bona fides of the authors, but continued to cite them - their new line is that felony disenfranchisement was a response to recial threat or (the new line) Jacksonian democracy. Bear in mind that Jacksonian democracy means *white male* suffrage, so nice try with your "racial threat" nonsense.

    Nor did you even bother to respond to my point that states practicing racially-motivated felony disenfranchisement *allowed white felons to vote.* If felons are disenfranchised regardless of race, that tends to show that it's convicted felons, not members of particular races, that policymakers are worried about.


    "11:28"

    You cite two posts from 11:28. The first of these is where you engage in the reputable scientific technique of calling people names - "Taliban" and "nazi." You don't bother citing evidence. Then you assume that the reason Jim Bob isn't persuaded by his eloquence is that he lacks your high level of education.

    The second 11:28 post is about sodomy laws. You show that states which don't like sodomy are more likely to pass laws against it. Thus, these states are not libertarian polities. But bearing in mind that your are positing the South as *uniquely* evil, to the extent that political parties should seek votes from other states and not from the South, you still have to show that other states are more tolerant. To prove this, you will have to show that other states are willing to tolerate things which the people of these states disapprove of. When the rubber hits the road, other states are just as willing to ban voluntary, adult conduct they disapprove of as any Deep South state.

    You might want to check out this map of "smoke-free" laws throughout the country - see how it's *not* the Deep South which is most likely to impose such laws on smokers and private businesses. So I suppose it's a question of whether you are less bothered by the persecution of smokers or by the persecution of gays. (and laws against smoking in "public" places are more likely to be enforced, because there isn't that technicality of sanctity of the home to worry about).

    "11:32"

    Wait, that's felony disenfranchisement again. You're double-counting!

    "11:32"

    Mary G. Wanda. Well, at least those Yankees have something to take their minds off the tobacco bans.

    "11:54"

    Sodomy again - more double-counting!

    So your bill of complaint (omitting duplicative material) comes down to four points (a) sodomy, (b) medical MJ, (c) felony disenfranchisement, and (d) name-calling. Once we elimainate (d), and once we throw out (c) because it's a demonstrable non-starter, we're left with sodomy and medical MJ. Yet the non-Southern states have shown themselves quite willing to ban practices *they* dislike, like tobacco use - not to mention the conduct of private employers in providing health benefits to employees, and a few other things.

  • ||

    What they need to do is boot that moron dictator bush out of office and let Obama do his thing.

    Jigg
    http://www.anonweb.eu.tc

  • Lefiti||

    You free market fundamentalists are all queefabit cunt waffles.

  • Mad Max||

    And here is the federal appeals court decision upholding Mississippi's felony-disenfranchisement scheme. When the disenfranchisement provisions were first included in the Mississippi Constitution, there was a distinction between "black" crimes and "white" crimes. Murder and rape were deemed "white" crimes, and therefore *convicted murderers and rapists were allowed to vote.* Burglary was considered a "black" crime, so burglars were disenfranchised.

    Later revisions to the Mississippi Constitution enfranchised burglars while taking the vote away from murderers and rapists. That was enough to purge the state Constitution of its racially-invidious purpose.

    Mississippi's 1890 constitutional convention set the "gold standard" for racist felony disenfranchisement. Their scheme specifically allowed rapists and murderers to vote. How many modern state constitutions allow rapists and murderers to vote, while denying the suffrage to other felons? None! Maybe, just maybe, the states which disenfranchise felons are simply trying to disenfranchise felons of all races, not blacks.

    I know, it's a sad thought - when a state *really* wanted to use felony disenfranchisement as a pretext for racist disenfranchisement, it allowed convicted rapists and murderers to exercise the right to vote - demonstrating that it wasn't the felony which bothered them, but the race of the felon.

    Conversely, if you're sincerely concerned about felon voting, and you disenfranchising all felons, maybe you're not targeting a specific racial group. Unless you want to associate a specific racial group with *all* felonies?

  • ||

    MNG, you're a bigot, a black-and-white thinker, and walking proof that an advanced degree is no shield from confirmation bias. You seem to prefer to argue in innuendo and unspoken premises because you apparently want to avoid having to explain your reasoning. You work backward from an already-held conclusion.

    When you feel threatened, you lash out. Of course, MNG- I simply must be stupid because my college simply must be an inferior institution of higher learning. Why, it's the south! And those Christian colleges! Tsk-tsk! They're SO stupid and ignorant!

    What do you think, MNG? You think the professors tell people that Jesus rode on a dinosaur?

    We've been through this before. Do you remember? I told you to bring it via e-mail if you had the balls. You didn't then and you don't now. You were a dick and a coward then; you're a dick and a coward now.

    Do you realize that in all of this back-and-forth we have never once had a reasonable discussion? You can't or won't make an effective argument. You stick to snide barbs and sneering condescension because you don't have an actual fucking point to make.

    I think, MNG, if you could step outside of yourself and see how horrid you are, how you are driven by assumptions that reflect nothing but the shallowness and callousness of your own mind and soul, you would be as repulsed by yourself as I am by you.

    I'll make this easy for you. State a premise or several of them. Then, state a conclusion that is drawn from those premises.

    Can you handle that, Mr. PhD?

  • ||

    life in communist Russia was probably better than life under the Pope in medieval Spain.

    That difference would be a fine example to cite when explaining the concept of an "infinitesimal" in an introductory calculus class.

    -jcr

  • Mad Max||

    "That difference would be a fine example to cite when explaining the concept of an 'infinitesimal' in an introductory calculus class."

    (Let's omit a tedious discussion of the fact that the monarch of Spain (or, prior to the late fifteenth century, the rulers of Castile and Aragon, but why be picky) was the ruler of Spain, not the Pope)

    I think that the difference could illustrate the difference between "alive but subject to a flawed judicial system" and "starving to death or subject to mock trials based on communist 'justice', or else murdered or disappeared on the whim of a paranoid dictator who killed more human beings in a year than the Spanish Inquisition managed to kill in its entire existence."

  • Bingo||

    Okay whatever, personally, I disagree with MNG and his reasoning about 99% of the time.

    However the South has an immense groupthink thing going. True, southerners are really great people on an individual level. However, and as Jim Bob demonstrates, the moment you are an outsider - either ideologically, racially, or spiritually - you are shunned by the majority of people there. Southerners have a very defined set of values and any deviation from them is akin to heresy. It's an us-vs-them mentality, and there is no where else in the nation that such a xenophobic rhetoric is embraced. Worse than embracing, southerners often parade it around as a source of pride.

    No other part of the nation, geographically or culturally, is like this. Like the South, the Mountain West places a very strong emphasis on personal independence... but they are very welcoming to outsiders. Utah doesn't even compare to the outright hostility to debate that panhandle-Florida and the entire Gulf Coast region represents.

    The closest thing I can compare it to, off of personal experience, is a hardcore union neighborhood.

  • Bingo||

    And don't get me wrong, I like a lot about the South! The independence streak and food and outright kindness (southern hospitality is no oxymoron) is to be envied. However, it seems a lot of the Southern states define themselves culturally as "Not Northern States" and so they tend to skew authoritarian in the other direction. Even as an act of rebellion, it still brings us to a very authoritarian end.

  • Mad Max||

    Bingo,

    I think that depends a great deal on what *parts* of the South you visit. Athens, Georgia? The North Carolina Triangle? Atlanta? The Gulf Coast? New Orleans (between floodings)? Miami? Eastern Tennessee? It is hard to come up with a one-size-fits-all description, not that *certain people* don't try.

  • Mad Max||

    Rural or urban? Beef barbecue or pork barbecue? Bourbon or moonshine?

    Heck, we virtually *invented* diversity.

  • Hogan||

    as a lifelong outsider who grew up in the panhandle of Florida and now lives in coastal South Carolina, i call bullshit on that. "Southern hospitality is no oxymoron" but down there they're not "very welcoming to outsiders"...? us vs. them shit is everywhere (which side of this debate first got started with the "one part of this country is practically talibanazi!" line?) Trying to generalize about the characteristics of citizens in an entire region is fucking stupid.

  • Mad Max||

    Oh, I'm a good old rebel
    Now thats just what I am
    And for this yankee nation
    I do not give a damn.

    I'm glad I fit against 'er
    I only wish we'd won
    I ain't asked any pardon
    For anything I've done.

    I hates the Yankee nation
    And everything they do
    I hates the declaration
    Of independence too.

    I hates the glorious union
    'Tis dripping with our blood
    I hates the striped banner
    And fit it all I could.

    I rode with Robert E. Lee
    For three years there about
    Got wounded in four places
    And I starved at Pint Lookout.

    I caught the rheumatism
    Campin' in the snow
    But I killed a chance of Yankees
    And I'd like to kill some mo'.

    Three hundred thousand Yankees
    Is stiff in southern dust
    We got three hundred thousand
    Before they conquered us.

    They died of southern fever
    And southern steel and shot
    I wish they was three million
    Instead of what we got.

  • zoltan||

    Just so you guys know, Texas is not part of the South.

  • Bingo||

    Hogan:

    Yes, they are very welcoming to outsiders because they are optimistic. The South is the most optimistic region in the country, given what they've been though! As soon as you demonstrate that you do not walk in line with Christian-Republican beliefs you are labeled an outsider and that hospitality comes crashing down quickly.

    I have experienced it first-hand and its... well it makes you feel less welcome than outright hostility to begin with. Let's put it this way, bars in the South are the only place I hold my tongue for fear of my life. NYC or STL or CHI or PHX or LA, I don't care. Atlanta-burbs or Northern Florida or anything from Arkansas down is a scary place for dissent.

  • Mad Max||

    "Just so you guys know, Texas is not part of the South."

    Are you sure about that?

    "Texas played a part in the [Civil] war of which this and all future generations of Texans may be justly proud. Its people gave their full measure of courage and devotion to the cause. The commonwealth which, in the short space of forty years, had developed from a little group of three hundred families in the midst of a complete wilderness, sent more than seventy thousand men to the defense of the bonnie blue banner of the Confederacy. One hundred and thirty-five officers above the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the Confederate army were from Texas. Among these was one full general, Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, who fell at Shiloh in April, 1862; one lieutenant-general, John B. Hood; three major-generals, Samuel B. Maxey, John A. Wharton and Tom Green, the latter killed at Blair's Landing in April, 1864; thirty-two brigadier-generals and ninety-seven colonels. Of the thirty-eight generals of the above grades, thirty-three were promoted during their service from lower rank. This fact in itself is a tribute to the mass of the soldiers from Texas, for it was the exploits of the men which won promotion for the officers who led them. Besides this, Texas contributed an enormous quota of military supplies and provisions for the armies of the South. The state government spent more than three and a half million dollars at home for military purposes and paid more than thirty-seven million dollars of taxes, in Confederate notes, to the Confederate government. The whole population was put on a war basis throughout the conflict and all of the state's resources were unreservedly drawn upon to the limit to support the cause of the South."

  • Bingo||

    Mad Max:

    I don't think Texans think they are Southern. Texans think they are Texans.

  • ||

    The Republicans cannot cobble together an electoral majority without the social conservatives, but such support is a double-edged sword because it allows a facile caricature of Republicans an inhibits the party's appeal to the libertarian sensibilities of the average American.
    Taken individually, most Americans you meet on the street tend to be libertarians, without knowing it. How often have you heard someone say that people ought to be free to do whatever, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else? And Americans' loathing of taxes is legendary. Even within the African-American community (the Democrats' most loyal base), there is great suspicion of government and, for those who live in depressed neighborhoods and don't trust the police, support for the right to bear arms.
    However, the debate is hijacked by the 24-hour news cycle and permanent campaign to the point that politicians must run on a platform of what government will do for us if they are elected.
    For better or worse, a liberty-oriented Republican party will have to rely on its most reliable foot soldiers, the social conservatives in order to have the critical mass to influence events in this country. However, if the Republican party tilt toward liberty, its socially conservative supporters must content themselves with being protected from government intrusion into their faith (no small task), through the crafting of faith-friendly policies that enable the socially conservative to lead their lives and raise their children in a manner consistent with their faith. Think tax credits for private schools and other faith-based activities that nonetheless benefit the common weal.
    Only when the socially conservative supporters of the Republican party are satisfied, can real outreach begin to the socially tolerant, fiscally conservative mainstream of America.

  • Hogan||

    Sorry Bingo but again I say bullshit. I'm a libertarian atheist and have been since I's a child; in my younger days I was a semi-criminal/piss-everybody-off-however-you-can kind of punk, growing up in panhandle Florida. I know a bit about antagonizing southerners and I'd say most of them are plenty tolerant of eccentricity and difference, in a takes-all-types kind of way. I've only ever met a handful of people that fit the stereotype of backwoods Deliverance fear-for-your-life-in-this-biker-bar rednex.

    But anyplace you go people are going to be skeptical of "outsiders," that's diagnostic of being an outsider. They won't hurt you because they're pussies, but folks around Greenwich Village, where I used to live, can be just as townspeople-from-The-Lottery-esque as anyplace else when they confront a non-non-conformist.

    i've overused my hyphenated-compound-adjective quota for today so I will retire to finish watching Iron Man.

  • Bingo||

    Hogan: Haha, Iron Man is awesome, might even be worth a BD purchase!

    But I think that the Deliverance fear-for-your-life-in-this-biker-bar demographic is (currently) what gives the Southern states to the GOP and that the GOP isn't dumb enough to sacrifice it for a smarter and more agile free-market free-minds platform.

    Vote count matters, and the anti-pro-business (in the form of being against tax breaks for lobbyists in DC and subsidies) and pro-personal-freedom (in the form of more hyphens and getting the government out of your life) just isn't popular. Neither are nuanced yet principled worldviews. The GOP has a lot to gain from the South if they can frame it correctly. I believe that both of those principles are very fertile in the southern states, but they are unable to see around the great elephant (heh) that is partisanship.

    As a libertarian, I would like to see them as allies but they seem to want to be the anti-Northern-Democrat more than anything else.

  • SIV||

    Nothin' wrong with being anti-Northern-Democrat...

  • BruceM||

    Religion is a highly communicable mental disorder. Religion and homosexuality have one thing in common - neither is a choice. Religion is a disease that is highly contagious and causes symptoms ranging from homicidal and/or suicidal ideations, confusion, inability to reason and illogical though processes, hallucinations/hearing voices, extreme euphoria, violent outbursts, narcissism, odd sexual obsessions, homosexuality (yes homosexuality is caused by religion), and vivid delusions.

    More people have died because of this one disease than all other diseases combined. There is no cure, although a small percentage of the population has a natural immunity. But not only is well over 90% of the population is infected with religion, society intentionally infects children with the disease from a young age, while different strains of the disesae (Islam, Christianity) compete to infect as many people as possible. It's possible for one strain of the disease to mutate into another strain. Since people easily profit from those infected with a given strain, there is a HUGE market in catering to the infected.

    Any other disease would result in quarantines. But Hitler and the stupid fucking Nazis forever destroyed the concept of internment/quarantine based on religion. Any attempt to quarantine those infected with religion (quarantine does not mean starve, overwork as slaves, gas to death and burn in ovens) instantly gets lambasted as "Nazi" and "Hitler" ... so there is no way to control those infected with religion. But religious people should be locked up for the good of society. Free-roaming religionists are dangerous to every aspect of society, and make democracy impossible to function.

    While there's no cure for religion, it can be prevented by keeping children away from it until they're 15 or 16 years old. If they've been sheltered from religion up to that point, 99% will have developed an immunity and will be impossible to infect for the rest of their lives. Religious people know this, that's why they compete so hard over who gets to "teach" the children, from the youngest age possible. Parents want their children infected with the same strain of religion as they are infected with. If you're a Christian, it's not because you evaluated all the world's religions and settled on Christianity, it's because your parents infected you with it from the time you were born - you had no choice in the matter, nor do you have a choice now. There have been a few cases of people going into remission, but it's extremely rare and nobody knows what causes the body to be able to fight off the religion disease.

    The Republican Party has been hijacked by the shared delusions of these poor sick people in order to bring to life their odd sexual obsessions for masturatory purposes.

    The GOP now exists solely to give these severely mentally ill people better orgasms. It will consistently give them political wins in the South - the part of the country infected with the strongest strains of CRD (Christianity Religious Disorder). But that's all, and it takes more than that to win national elections.

  • ||

    As long as libertarians restrict themselves to a Pavlovian "free markets solve everything" and "government is the problem" rhetoric they will stay in obscurity, for the simple reason neither is true. (Ron Paul gained traction because he was the only republican candidate against the Irak & Afganistan wars, not because of his economic and governance philosophies.)

    As for the Republicans, they either get rid of the bigots or they will be driven even further down the road to insignificance.

  • PJ||

    Murray Abraham: libertarians stick to free markets as solution and govt as the problem simply because it's true. It is Europe that believes in precisely opposite and it's Europe that slides into obscurity, irrelevance and aging populations. This is no coincidence: govt is necessarily less efficient than private markets at managing the economy, so there are fewer opportunities in the economy for people; irrationally under influence of fear they tend to stick to the govt as it is associated with something free in their minds and not subject to "vagaries of the market", this massive attitude of course exacerbates and deepens the problems instead of reducing them. And America has worse professionals and less efficient govt than European countries do. So your version of European socialdemocratic nanny state is going to be much worse. If Europe is future of America, it's rather decrepit future.

  • slippy||

    since when do the Dems "make limited government a very popular concept to the GOP?" limited government has never been a tenant of liberal "ideology".. if they were able to reduce government size and still function effectively and this would only reinforce what the GOP has long stood for ...and expose the liberal hypocrisy



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MGT_cSi7Rs

  • ||

    BruceM

    Although I may share some of your views toward religion, I don't think you're solution is very practical. It would require a 2/3 vote of congress and 3/5 of state legislatures. Yeah, that dreaded constitution gets in the way of all good ideas on both sides.

    I think the republican party needs to try to split the social conservative vote. Divide and conquer. There are many young Christians who don't see abortion, gay marriage and stem cell research as the prevailing Christian values. They seem to be more concerned with poverty and world peace. If the GOP could tap into this, they could also gain a few centrist votes. But, they would have to back off of the anti New Deal policies and the "shoot first, ask questions later", cowboy diplomacy mentality.

  • Eric Evans||

    "Because libertarian are stupid beyond belief. How else can you explain Ron Paul and Bob Barr?"

    Lefiti, it's typically better to create a plural noun with an "s."

  • Eric Evans||

    Lefiti,

    Do you really believe government is good at solving problems? Has the War on Drugs defeated drugs? Has the War on Poverty defeated poverty? It's frankly concerning to me that liberals and conservatives alike seem to think that government force is a good way to solve a problem. I could give a damn less whether libertarianism is in fashion. Who gives a damn about fashion? I care about whether is is correct thinking, which of course it is. If Sam Adams and the rabble in Boston cared about what was in fashion, we probably wouldn't have had the Revolution. Party hacks on either side of the aisle make me want to vomit.

  • ||

    Bruce M,

    You sound more fanatical and authoritarian than most religious people I know.

  • ||

    I mean say what you want about religous people, but I think the vast majority of them (in the U.S. anyway) don't want to lock up people because of their beliefs.

  • ||

    No doubt about it. It is going to be quite interesting to see what happens when Obama takes the reigns in January.

    jess
    http://www.privacy.es.tc

  • ||

    Jim Bob
    Are you constitutionally incapable of making an argument? What is your major at that Christian "college", advanced Young Earth Creationism?

    Seriously, I haven't seen one argument from you other than to accuse me of not making one.

    My argument was that the South is more theocratic (which I defined above as policy substantially informed by religious concerns) and racist than other regions. To support my argument about theocracy I pointed to the stricter sodomy laws in the South, opposition to homosexuality in general, the stricter state of laws on medical marijuana, the higher levels of opposition to pornography, all demonstrated either by listing of policy/statute differences or poll numbers. As to the racist argument I point to historical facts (slavery, Jim Crow) as well as contemporary statistics (the low number of white votes for Obama in the South compared to the rest of the nation, the out of porportion number of hate groups in the South, the disparate impact and racial origins of felon disenfranchisement laws [and Max, you consistently miss the point that even if you are right about Manza/Uggen's classification of Florida law that this does not disprove the statistically significant GENERAL TREND they found], etc.). You see, that is an argument. I define what I mean, what I would expect to find, and then I give evidence and cites for that evidence so others can evaluate it.

    The closest thing to an argument I've seen from you is "I go to school in the south and they are real nice and like black people at the school."

    "You were a dick and a coward then; you're a dick and a coward now."

    I think I've asked this before, what Christian college do you go to with that potty-mouth? I mean really, why not give your name and your college, I'm sure they'd love to know how you "argue" here with confused profanity laced insults to anyone who disses your favorite tribe. Or are you too much of a "dick and coward" to identify yourself and your school? Maybe we can stop this silly false machismo thing now.

    People post under a variety of handles for a variety of reasons here, because what is supposed to matter is the free exchange of ideas and arguments. We're not here to make email buddies but because we enjoy political discussion. Try it.

    I'll make it easy on you. I've listed for you in plain numbers the posts where I give the evidence and arguments I make. If you think I'm wrong, then address them. If not, then shut the fuck up and take your spanking like a man. They do paddle at that Christian school of yours don't they (Proverbs 13:24?)?

  • ||

    Max
    I'll give you credit over Jim Bob, you seem to have some idea about what an argument or evidence is and attempt to address it. So let me reply to your various points:

    1. Please see above in my recent reply to Jim Bob my argument, which I made before, about your "Florida refutation" of Manza/Uggen.

    2. "If felons are disenfranchised regardless of race, that tends to show that it's convicted felons, not members of particular races, that policymakers are worried about."

    Not true if there is a disparate impact on one group. You and I both know that there is a dramatically higher felony rate in the black community. Now if Southern legislatures know that fact then their ostensibly neutral disenfranchisement laws could certainly have the intent of shooting down many more black votes (as a % of the total for each group) than whites. It certainly has that actual effect.

    3. The sodomy laws demonstrate that the South was much more likely as a region to make illegal this adult consensual activity. Do you deny that? Do you deny that this supports my argument? You then bring up smoke free laws. Smoke free laws do not ban the smoking of cigarettes in your homes or cars. Sodomy laws did ban sodomy in your home. But of course I provide several other points of reference than sodomy laws.

    4. Marijuana use should be an important factor to you as you just brought up cigarrete laws (for public accomodations) as a counter article of evidence. Do you deny that the South is less tolerant of medical marijuana than other regions? That they are supports my argument.

  • ||

    But CED, you still haven't explained why those governments began disenfranchising all felons instead of specific groups of felons.

    I'm not taking sides here; I'm just trying to be devil's advocate.

  • BruceM||

    The First Amendment guarantee of free exercise of religion does not mean freedom to spread disease. It's like saying your religion requires you to have smallpox and thus you can't be quarantined due to freedom of religion.

    Religious people would still be able to practice their religion all they want while held in quarantine. Just like people held in quarantine for any other communicable disease, they could have all the Bibles and say all the prayers they so desire. Free exercise of religion says nothing of location, and the right can be enjoyed from within a quarantine camp.

  • ||

    kusterdu
    Good point.

    As Max points out when these provisions were fist adopted by Southern states many of them DID only disenfranchise specific groups of felons, namely offenses which it was commonly known that blacks committed far more of the offenses.

    Some of these laws survived in their messed up form until they were struck down post-Civil Rights era (see Hunter v. Underwood where the court recognized the finding of the racial motivation of the adopters of the felon disenfranchisement provision of Alabama). Some, as Max notes above, the states simply changed to become more "neutral" so it would survive scrutiny. Of course by the time the change was made nearly every felony had a disporportionate number of blacks as convicted offenders and resulted in disparate impact on the black community. So it's not clear that this move "demonstrates" that the motivation of the laws is neutral dislike of felons in general.

  • ||

    "Religious people would still be able to practice their religion all they want while held in quarantine."

    Bruce
    With all due respect, that's fucking nuts man.

    You've let your "religion-disease" metaphor run amok with your thoughts. And I say this as a convinced atheist.

  • ||

    "Yet the non-Southern states have shown themselves quite willing to ban practices *they* dislike, like tobacco use - not to mention the conduct of private employers in providing health benefits to employees, and a few other things."

    My argument is that Southern invasions into liberty stem from religious motivations (theocracy). Hence an example such as a non-Southern state invading the liberty of people to discriminate according to their religious beliefs is, as I pointed out above, actually supporting my overall argument rather than countering it. You certainly can't say theocratic considerations guided that policy!

    Northern states invade freedoms to, I readily admit. But their invasions, like the smoking bans and the gay rights stuff cited by Max, are certainly not guided by religious motivations. Hence my argument, the South is a theocracy.

    I make a further argument that theocracy's are worse than secular nanny-states (though both suck).

  • BruceM||

    kusterdu: First of all, if they had their way, most religious people would happily have all people who don't share their own religiou beliefs either locked up, or executed. It's impracticable due to numbers, as is my idea for the 5% of religion-free individuals to somehow quarantine the other 95% of the population infected with religion. It's not gonna happen, there's no way it ever could. But it would be the right thing to do.

    Second, you use the phrase "lock up" in a punitive manner. Quarantine is not punishment, and I do not advocate punishing religious people. They simply need to be held in quarantine so they don't infect anyone. Quarantine should be made as comfortable as possible. I'm not advocating torture, hard labor, beatings, starvation, shackles, whippings, or anything even remotely related. We quarantine people all the time when they carry a dangerous, contagious disease. Religion is the MOST dangerous contagious disease, and it should not be treated any differently than smallpox, ebola, or tularemia.

    I am fortunate to be among the small 5% or so of humans with a natural immunity to religion. But I'm could be killed by a religious person due to their homicidal tendencies (some would like to kill me right now just for saying what I'm saying). Additionally, I'm still scared that the religion bug might mutate and cause me to become infected one day. What if I wake up tomorrow morning babbling about faith, hearing imaginary voices, and thinking I have a personal relationship with the creator of the universe? It's horrifying.

  • Lefiti||

    "Additionally, I'm still scared that the religion bug might mutate and cause me to become infected one day."

    If you're a libertarian, the bug has already infected you. We're talking a faith-based ideology with messianic overtones. If you don't find Ron Paul creepy and Bob Barr utterly repulsive, you're probably already too far gone to be saved. Good luck.

  • ||

    BruceM,

    I can certainly appreciate you're argument. However, CED, makes a good point. "that's fucking nuts man."

    It's not just a question of freedom of religion. What about freedom of speech and press? You can't isolate or quarantine without infringing on those rights, also.

    However, one might make the argument of religion being a mental disease. Then, they coould be isolated for their own good.

  • Eric Evans||

    How is libertarianism a "faith-based" ideology? Take a look at the recent Democrat presidential candidate for faith-based ideology. His entire campaign painted him as the Second Coming of the Messiah. He believes the state can save us by implementing his "great ideas." Then, there's the Republican VP candidate. She believes Jesus can save us. I believe it's up to me to save myself, at least until I'm worm food.

  • ||

    South=
    Christian Religion

    North=
    Health Religion

    Both based on faith assumptions vs. factual information.

    Explain to judgmental Christians that Christ repeatedly preached love and tolerance and you get ignored.

    Explain to judgmental heathists that the hard science on smoking gives them no bases for their assumptions and you get ignored.

    At this point in U.S. history the Health movement is much more threatening to our personal freedoms. The health movement is growing stronger while the Christian movement is doing everything it can to not lose ground.

    Smokers are becoming the new black people. It mattered less that Obama was black than it did that he smoked. But, he doesn't smoke anymore (at least not in public).

  • Elemenope||

    How is libertarianism a "faith-based" ideology? Take a look at the recent Democrat presidential candidate for faith-based ideology. His entire campaign painted him as the Second Coming of the Messiah. He believes the state can save us by implementing his "great ideas." Then, there's the Republican VP candidate. She believes Jesus can save us. I believe it's up to me to save myself, at least until I'm worm food.

    Magically you demonstrated how everything else is *also* a faith-based ideology, but still failed to rebut the original point.

    Good show!

  • ||

    CED

    If I accept your argument, Why is that so? Is it because there are more "like" religions in the south? When large groups of people share the same religious beliefs, they tend to make those beliefs law. There are not nearly the number of late 19th and 20th century immigrants in the southern states. Is it the fact that religion was used to justify slavery, racial segregation and deny racially mixed marriages? Does religion continue to fuel racism in the south?

  • Eric Evans||

    Elemenope

    Ummm. Belief in human freedom is "faith"? I'm not sure that makes sense. I wasn't exactly attempting to rebut the argument. I'm just wondering how liberty is a faith-based ideology. Can you tell me what faith I hold by saying that liberty is the solution to the human condition? Do you think government planning is the answer. I don't. Government planning typically leads to tyranny. I also don't believe that faith in a magical greater being the answer to our relationships. I believe that the answer is liberty, the human dignity to allow other human beings to experiment and fail as they see fit. I'm just wondering how that point of view is "faith-based." I don't have faith in anything. It's an obvious fact of human existence that people learn by doing and the more people that experiment with ideas the better off we will be. Relegating societal planning to a few elites on the left or right is dangerous. It leads to slavery, whether actual or structural. I have no "faith" in government or Jesus.

    Regards,

    Eric

  • Eric Evans||

    Elemenope,

    I did sort of tee-off against the sides without explaining the middle. I'll give you that. I just don't see how liberty is faith or needs any further explanation.

    Eric

  • ||

    My faith isn't faith cuz it's so obviously true.

    Gotcha.

  • ||

    Somehow, I saw that coming.

  • Eric Evans||

    Joe,

    So, liberty is somehow a religious faith? I just don't follow. I do follow how the recent election showed quasi-religious overtones on the part of the Democratic campaign, and true religious overtones on the part of the Republican VP. Liberty is not a faith of any kind. It's simply an idea which states that millions of individuals will make better decisions than hundreds of government officials. I ask again... how is that a faith? Let me give you two real-world examples to the extreme. Government planning did not work in the Soviet Union, and it is not working in Cuba and North Korea. You could argue that it works great if you want power and absolutely no criticism of the government, I guess, but such planning depresses the creativity of the people leading to a declining economy. I will not admit that these facts are somehow a faith. Facts are not faith and faith is not fact. Second, in Saudi Arabia, a country in which religious control has run wild, it is perfectly okay for the government to violate individual rights by committing such horrible acts as sentencing young women to gang rape for failing to wear head coverings. Is such oppression a mere faith that I have? No. It is fact. Government control, planning or whatever you want to call it typically leads to such excesses because power corrupts people. Placing the power in the hands of individuals... armed individuals... decentralizes power and guards against such excesses. How is that faith? It's a well reasoned argument based on facts. You can't spuriously suggest that something is "faith" just because you don't happen to agree with the argument. I know it's fun to snipe, but that doesn't help advance the exchange of ideas one bit. If you think right or left control of the mechanisms of the economy and by extension your personal liberty is something that seems like a good idea to you, then defend your position. Why is government control of the means of production a good idea? Why is a welfare state a good idea? or if you are more right leaning, why is a religious state based on Christianity a good idea? or a state based on Islam? Why are these a good idea? I believe I have explained that decentralization of power through personal liberty is better than these right and left solutions because power decentralization protects the people from tyrants. Refute my argument if you can. I enjoy a good debate.

    Regards,

    Eric

  • VM||

    a few paragraphs might not hurt. :)

    LoneWacko can teach you. Maybe, then, you could teach him how ToUseTheSpaceBar

  • Mad Max||

    "Max, you consistently miss the point that even if you are right about Manza/Uggen's classification of Florida law that this does not disprove the statistically significant GENERAL TREND they found"

    Two federal appeals courts examined the same historical evidence as Manza and Uggen and were unimpressed. Laws motiviated by a desire for racial disenfranchisement are unconstitutional under the Fifteenth Amdnement, but these two federal courts did not find a racist motive after looking at the entire historical record. They upheld felony-disenfranchisement laws in two Deep South states. I'm inclined to think that their historical analysis is somewhat less biased than that of some felon-voting advocates who - as you admit - have been guilty of basic historical errors in their eagerness to prove their own positions.

    Contrary to your claim, Hunter v. Underwood was not about felony disenfranchisement. It was about disenfranchising certain people who had been convicted of *misdemeanors.* The misdemeanor-disenfranchisement clause in the Alabama Constitution was found to be racially motivated, and was therefore struck down.

    Check this map to see which states restrict or deny the right to carry firearms (it's the yellow and black states).

  • Eric Evans||

    VM,

    :> Sorry, I was writing so fast, I forgot about the spacebar.

  • Eric Evans||

    ...rather, the enter key.

  • Mad Max||

    Here's another map along similar lines.

    The right to smoke dope doesn't mean much if you don't have the right to defend your stash, man.

  • VM||

    heh!

    have you seen TheLoneWacko's posts (aka OrangeLineSpecial)? they're something to behold!

  • Eric Evans||

    Mad Max,

    That's why I said ...armed individuals... No guns... no stash.

  • Eric Evans||

    It would totally such if you lost your hard-earned weed. Dude, like I'm totally losing my buzz, man!

  • Mad Max||

    Here is a map of states with stand-your ground laws, allowing self-defense against aggressors without a duty to retreat.

    At the time of this map, eight states had these laws affirming the fundamental right of self-defense. Four of these states were in the Deep South. In Yankeedom and the shallow south, the right to self-defense has less protection. (There's a lot of "legislation pending" states, but there's no guarantee their laws ever passed).

  • ||

    Eric,

    First, using the word "Liberty" in place of an accurate, reality-based term for your political philosophy is a pretty strong indication of your faith-based approach. Why not call it "libertarianism?" "Small-government conservatism?" Your use of the term "liberty," with its dual meaning as 1) a universally-recognized virtue and 2) a particular creed or ideology is an echo of the use of the term "Christian" in the phrase "the Christian thing to do." This sloppy elision between a set of doctrines and positions on the one hand, and some transcendent good on other other, is pretty strong evidence that operating on the level of faith. "Lilberty" - why didn't you just choose "wonderfulness?"

    Second, it's not a matter of whether this or that political philosophy IS inherently faith- or reality-based, but how particular individuals or groups approach it. You can have people for whom liberalism is a faith, and people who adhere to liberal principles while also strictly scrutinizing the evidence and subjecting their own ideas and the logic behind them to rigorous, rational analysis. Ditto with libertarianism, socialism, or any other philosophy. But then, the people who do that are going to be less dogmatic, more able to recognize the pitfalls and characteristic weaknesses of their philosophy in general, and end up being less devoted to ideological, rather than intellectual, rigor.

    I'm not seeing that in what you write. I'm seeing very broad statements about how things are always and everywhere forever and ever amen.

    I guess what I'm saying is that libertarianism qua libertarianism isn't a faith, so much as libertarianism as practiced by certain libertarians.

  • Mad Max||

    So, please explain to me why the Deep South is less friendly to freedom than the rest of the country? Or are the suppressions of freedom in other states more acceptable because "dude, at least they're not being all *religious* about it!"

  • Eric Evans||

    Mad Max,

    You mean I can only stand and fight for my weed in eight states? That's tyranny, man, tyranny.

  • ||

    The Republicans cannot cobble together an electoral majority without the social conservatives, but such support is a double-edged sword because it allows a facile caricature of Republicans an inhibits the party's appeal to the libertarian sensibilities of the average American.

    Republicans could cobble together an electoral majority from libertarians, economic conservatives who are secondarily so-cons, and economically moderate social liberals. They need to cut loose the Huckabee and Bush wings -- the big-government, fiscally liberal and socially conservative bastards who are the exact opposite of libertarians -- and let them tarnish the Democratic party's image for a change. It would lose a few elections at first, but look how much Bush has screwed over the Republican brand name. It would take only one president of the Huckabee variety to drive a bunch of swing states back into the column of a libertarian-leaning Republican party.

    Not that this eviction is likely to happen. Just sayin'.

  • ||

    See, look here:

    Government planning did not work in the Soviet Union, and it is not working in Cuba and North Korea. You could argue that it works great if you want power and absolutely no criticism of the government, I guess, but such planning depresses the creativity of the people leading to a declining economy. I will not admit that these facts are somehow a faith.

    The fact that you think these observations about North Korea and Cuba are somehow relevant to any policy debates currently underway in the United States is an indication of the faith-based nature of your approach to political thought. Even granting the highly-questionable assumption that the adoption of, say, a public system of retirement insurance is along a continuum with Cuban-style socialism, saying it is a "fact" that the failure of the latter discredits the former, without even needing to know or consider anything about the former, is the equivalent of trotting out the dead drunk in the gutter to "prove" that demon rum must be prohibited.

    There are many significant observations that libertarianism adds to political discussion, and liberalism is made better by rationally considering them and adapting itself to their insights - that's why I come here - but a lot of what I see in the way of libertarian thinking is, well, like what you wrote above. You take a real-world example that can be useful for illuminating a valid point, but instead turn it into a universal truth that is supposed to abolish the need for any skeptical thought. You, meaning too many libertarians, build the insights of libertarianism into a "seamless garment," and that is the act of somebody operating from faith.

  • Mad Max||

    A Gainesville, Florida native on the subject of standing one's ground. There may well be a pot connection, knowing the singer.

  • Eric Evans||

    Joe,

    I see what you're saying. I freely admit that there are problems with libertarianism. For one, less government typically yields greater danger. I would also suggest that in a libertarian world, there would exist the possibility of groups banding together to seize power. There are definitely problems with the philosophy, just as there are problems with socialism, communism, fascism and the rest of the political "isms."

    What I am saying is that libertarianism is, as far as I've seen, the better of any of the political philosophies I have thought about. "Liberty" isn't "wonderfulness." It's a word that means something specific. In this case, I am using the term in its primary sense of "freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control." On the other hand, "wonderfulness" means "the capability of eliciting astonishment." Liberty isn't astonishing. It's just good common sense.

    Liberty, property rights and the right to live one's life as one sees fit are all part of libertarianism. I'm sorry you saw fit to semantically deconstruct my argument, which I find to be a typical and typically disingenuous tactic of the intelligentsia. All the words I used meant something, and none of them had anything to do with faith. You could attack my argument based on faith if I told you that right at this very moment the Fly Spaghetti Monster was hovering over Los Angeles.

    I stand by what I said. Liberty is the solution to the human condition. People should be free to do what they want to and for themselves without violating the life, liberty and property rights of others, and government planning typically leads to tyranny.

    Regards,

    Eric

  • Mad Max||

  • Eric Evans||

    "Even granting the highly-questionable assumption that the adoption of, say, a public system of retirement insurance is along a continuum with Cuban-style socialism,"

    I would never suggest that a welfare state is the same a socialism. I understand that a state can be capitalist in economy and still provide welfare to the people. I further understand that socialism is in its classical sense government planning, which does not necessarily need to occur in a welfare state.

    Regards,

    Eric

  • ||

    In this case, I am using the term in its primary sense of "freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control."

    But, Eric, you're not. You're simply assuming the concepts of "arbitrary" and "despotic" into your thinking, to try to build your philosophy into an obvious good akin to "wonderfulness."

    Who's going to support "arbitrary and despotic government?" Nobody - not liberals, not socialists, not even Nazis are going to say that. They're all going to have reasons why their uses of government, like the defenses of property rights and other elements of the minarchist state, are neither arbitrary nor despotic, but reasonable and appropriate.

    What is, and what is not, arbitrary and despotic is the meat of political thought and argument. By assigning to your own ideology some unique opposition to the concept of arbitrariness and despotism, you're doing the same thing as people who call all good acts "Christian."

    That is, it's an act of faith. All good things come from Christ, so obviously, anyone who seeks the good should be a Christian, and all seeking of the the good means seeking Christ.

    It's not I who introduced semantics into this argument, but you, in the misappropriation of the terms "liberty" and "freedom from arbitrary or despotic government" as integral and unique elements of one particular political philosophy.

  • ||

    Eric Evans,

    Is it possible for someone who adheres to a political philosophy akin to your own - that is, small government, laissez-faire conservatism - to treat it as a faith and use it to understand the world in a manner akin to how a Christian fundamentalist uses their religion?

    Or do you think that adherence to your favored set of political and philosophical principles is, by definition, evidence of the application of reason?

  • ||

    Max
    You continue to miss the point I've elaborated.

    Do you think states that don't have stand your ground laws or firearm restrictions or have smoke free public accomadations laws do so because of the religious beliefs of the citizens and policymakers?

    Do you think the same of states that restricted sodomy or pornography, or medical marijuana?

    Now do you see my point, that the South is more of a theocracy than other regions?

    I'm not even sure I see any obvious relation between stand your ground laws and liberty btw. I support the former though.

  • Mad Max||

    Well, guys, me and my fundamentalist buddies are off to bet on the *Kentucky* Derby, drink some *Tennessee* whiskey, smoke some tobaccy (and maybe some primo Mexican weed), stare at some Daisy Duke pin-ups and hunt some varmints and/or revenooers with our constitutionally-protected guns.

    You Yankees have fun at your wine and cheese parties at your smoke-free bars. Be careful not to defend yourself against any belligerent drunks who attack you - self defense is frowned upon up there, and what will you use to defend yourself, anyway? Slingshots? Don't worry, I'm sure your nice nanny-state rulers would be happy to consider your application for a self-defense permit, and to review that application in a timely manner, so long as it's filed in triplicate.

    I can't believe we lost to *your* ancestors. Their stock has obviously degenerated since the 1860s.

  • ||

    I can't believe we lost to *your* ancestors. Their stock has obviously degenerated since the 1860s.

    Stock? Degenerated?

    And to think that some people say that Southern thought endorses antique racial theories!

  • Eric Evans||

    Joe,

    I believe it is possible for a person to adhere to any philosophy, even a political philosophy, as a quasi-religious faith. Yes.

    Further, I have at times in my life been a conservative and a liberal, not in that order. My "favored set of political and philosophical principles" is in a constant state of flux as I learn more and experience more. I believe that the shifting of my positions throughout my life has been based on the application of a mixture of emotion and reason.

    I do not think that I have the answer to the conundrum, which is my I think people should be as free as possible to live and explore. It is possible that this belief is faith-based, I grant you that, but I believe it is based on reason mixed as all "favored sets" of ideas are with a bit of emotion.

    I would correct you on one small point: laissez-faire capitalism is what I adhere to. I am not a conservative.

    It is possible if a set of ideas is adhered to without proof or reason that one could be acting as a Christian fundamentalist. I agree. In my opinion, libertarianism, is based in reason. I do agree with you that some libertarians blindly follow without question any doctrine put forward by the libertarian party. I, on the other hand, prefer to read Hayek, Friedman and Mill and then draw my own conclusions. It that the correct way to go about holding my favored set of political ideas?

    Regards,

    Eric

  • ||

    No, judging the validity of ideas based on their adherence to sacred texts is not the right way to go about formulating your political philosophy.

  • ||

    (and maybe some primo Mexican weed)

    Don't get caught, hillbilly.

    It's not like you're in Massachusetts.

  • Eric Evans||

    So drawing my own conclusions is "adhering to a sacred text"?

  • Eric Evans||

    Joe,

    My brain is hurting now. Thanks for the sparring. Unfortunately, I have to take the family to do something they think is fun. I really enjoy talking with people who challenge me and all my prejudices.

    Regards,

    Eric

  • Eric Evans||

    Joe,

    Even after all the challenging, in which you offered little of your own thought, I'm still an emotional adherent to liberty. Have a great rest of the weekend.

    Eric

  • ||

    The very definition of faith implies belief, where no fact exists. There is no "belief" necessary for one to exercise liberty. People who seek liberty are looking to free themselves from the needless restraints placed upon them by religion (among other things). There is no dogma or predetermined rules for one to do what he wants. There is a certain morality as to what infringes on the rights of others with respect to the exercising of free will, but this in no way implies any religious beliefs or faith.

  • ||

    "Or are the suppressions of freedom in other states more acceptable because "dude, at least they're not being all *religious* about it!"

    My main point was the nature of the restrictions in the South, they are theocratically based.

    But yes I think theocracies are worse than nanny-states. Nanny-states at least balance their restrictions with prevention of certain actual harms, theocracies restrict based on "my book says no x or y." This is why the sodomy laws are such a great indicator, even their supporters had difficulty making straight faced arguments there was much of a rational basis for the laws.

    "I'm inclined to think that their historical analysis is somewhat less biased than that of some felon-voting advocates"

    I wouldn't. You know Manza/Uggen are not the only folks who, in a peer reviewed academic study, have found felon disenfranchisement laws to be 1. connected historically to Reconstruction in their passage in many states 2. have a disparate impact on blacks and 3. are statistically significantly related to group threat right? Judges are political appointees and not historians nor statiticians, so they are neither bias free nor experts in the relevant fields.

    http://www.ohiolink.edu/etd/send-pdf.cgi?osu1054744924

    Preuhs, R. R. (2001). State felon disenfranchisement policy. Social Science Quarterly, 82(4), 733-748.

  • ||

    I don't like the gun restrictions any more than you probably do. I will say that I think sodomy, porn and drug laws are worse than stand your ground or gun laws. I mean, in 40 years I've never had to draw a gun to stand my ground on anyone but I look at porn rather regularly, have smoked grass here and there and have, without bragging, engaged in quite a bit of heterosexual activity that would have been prohibited by the sodomy laws the South so loved.

    "I can't believe we lost to *your* ancestors."

    I don't know what side my ancestors fought on. I live in MD now but I'm not sure you're aware that as far back as I know my family is from Virginia. You know, those guys who did all the heavy lifting for the Confederacy and supplied all the major generals?

    But yes, the North thumped the South. Even then the South was blinded by their own sense of right and divine favor and failed to take enough reality into account. And they got their asses kicked...Some folks never learn from history (not a physical threat, just a warning about how people that are obsessed with their own right and divine favor tend to do stupid things).

  • BDB||

    Gun laws operate on an urban-rural split, not a regional or even partisan split.

    Democrats tend to be elected in urban areas more than Republicans, so the split my SEEM partisan but it is much more about urban vs. rural.

    Petie King (R-NY), for example, isn't a big fan of gun rights, while the two Democratic Senators from Montana are.

  • BDB||

    You see it on the state level, too.

    Black, urban Democrats and white, Northern Virginia suburban Republicans both favor gun control while rural Democrats and Republicans are against it. This is why we were in the weird situation this year of replacing an anti-gun rights Republican Senator with a Democrat who was endorsed by the NRA.

  • BDB||

    Also, the reason the South has friendlier gun laws is, again, because there are fewer big cities in the South than the North. The Interior West has lax gun laws, too, for the same reason. Vermont, even, in Yankee New England has lax gun laws because it is rural (remember how Howard Dean got an A rating from the NRA?)

    It isn't anything particularly special about the South.

  • Mad Max||

    Y'all still here? You missed a great party! We got into this great discussion about North Carolina barbecue versus Texas barbecue - I was about to win when the cops broke it up. Good thing we hid the weed before they arrived.

    "Stock? Degenerated?

    "And to think that some people say that Southern thought endorses antique racial theories!"

    Dumb Yankees - can't take a joke. But then, that's understandable, otherwise y'all wouldn't be able to look in the mirror without laughing.

    "Or are the suppressions of freedom in other states more acceptable because "dude, at least they're not being all *religious* about it!"

    "My main point was the nature of the restrictions in the South, they are theocratically based."

    In other words, I *have* correctly interpreted your views. It's not the oppressiveness of the laws so much as their religious motivation.

    "I wouldn't. You know Manza/Uggen are not the only folks who, in a peer reviewed academic study, have found [etc.]"

    The study I cited, in which Manza and Uggen got the origins of Florida's felon-disenfranchisement laws totally wrong, was peer-reviewed. So I wouldn't put too much faith in the power of peer-reviewing, especially with authors who specialize in confirming the pre-existing prejudices of the editors.

  • zoltan||

    Mad Max: That means Texas fought for the South. That doesn't mean it is part of the South. As Bingo said directly below you.

  • Mad Max||

    zoltan,

    If they fought for the South, I'm not inclined to quibble against their assertion of regional identity. They were there when it counted.

  • BDB||

    Texas is a weird combination of the South, the Southwest, and the Great Plains in about equal proportions.

  • ||

    My stepfather, a born and raised southerner (Tennessee) had this to say about the locals after moving to Houston from Detroit (a long and interesting story).

    Fucking Texas mentality. What a bunch of blowhards.



    Having met many while in the Navy, I'd have to agree that the percentage of loudmouth idiot Texans who take false pride in shit they had nothing to with is higher than even those from the deep south states Alabama and Mississippi. Not all Texans are assholes,* just a higher percentage than from other states.

    * It must be noted however, that all Texans elected president were/are assholes.

  • BDB||

    LBJ and GWB were/are assholes, but was George H.W. Bush really THAT much of an asshole? I mean compared to the other two.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Second, in Saudi Arabia, a country in which religious control has run wild, it is perfectly okay for the government to violate individual rights by committing such horrible acts as sentencing young women to gang rape for failing to wear head coverings. Is such oppression a mere faith that I have? No. It is fact.

    Fact?

    I believe poorly remembered factoid would be a better description.

    The case I am pretty sure you are referring to involved a woman being sentenced to LASHES for being in an unrelated man's car. Her "crime" came to the notice of the court because she was the victim of a gang rape for which all the 14 rapists were sentenced to prison time.

  • Just Plain Brian||

    The case I am pretty sure you are referring to involved a woman being sentenced to LASHES for being in an unrelated man's car. Her "crime" came to the notice of the court because she was the victim of a gang rape for which all the 14 rapists were sentenced to prison time.



    Sounds like that story is being combined with the one where a tribal court in Pakistan sentenced a woman to Gang Rape, but that was a rural tribal court, and not the Pakistani government.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Regarding the "beliefs," "Faith" debate above.

    Nice discussion.

    I do think that any belief has an element of faith involved in it. Essentially, a concept that would be labeled a belief is one for which there is not objective support. Many axioms at the root of arguments, no matter how logical and well reasoned, are "beliefs" that require a leap of faith; faith that it can be assumed that the axiom is true without evidence or proof.

    Political alignment seems primarily alignment based on these unsupported beliefs. Whether or not an individual is "faith-based" in their political thought may have to do more with how much of belief system is based on deductions from these core beliefs.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Just Plain Brian,

    Indeed. A nice blending of two factual stories into a belief about the Saudi government. Not a fact, but a belief.

    Odd that both stories involve 14 men gang raping a woman. Synchronicity or is there something significant in the number 14?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Oh great, joe is back. Everything was so quiet, too.

  • ||

    ""My main point was the nature of the restrictions in the South, they are theocratically based."

    In other words, I *have* correctly interpreted your views. It's not the oppressiveness of the laws so much as their religious motivation."

    Max, you surely can read the sentence that comes directly below another one can't you? Because directly below the one you quote is a sentence of mine that says, in effect, no, you haven't. Then I argue why.

    Directly below.

    "My main point was the nature of the restrictions in the South, they are theocratically based.

    But yes I think theocracies are worse than nanny-states."

    "The study I cited, in which Manza and Uggen got the origins of Florida's felon-disenfranchisement laws totally wrong, was peer-reviewed."

    Jesus how many times can I say this: if they got one data point wrong it doesn't prove the statistically significant result they got from analyzing many data points.

    Try this at home. Put the % of the vote Kerry got in 2004 for each state and the % of the workforce that is unionized for each state into a spreadsheet. Correlate them. You will find a positive relationship.

    Now go in and change Florida's number for the unionization. Make up a %.

    Correlate them again.

    Does the positive relationship go away?

    Ok.

    And federal appellate judges, well they don't get anything wrong in their analysis.

    Good lord.

  • ||

    "doesn't disprove"

  • ||

    LBJ and GWB were/are assholes, but was George H.W. Bush really THAT much of an asshole? I mean compared to the other two.

    From the all knowing Wikipedia.

    Bush was born in Massachusetts to Senator Prescott Bush and Dorothy Walker Bush. Following the attacks on Pearl Harbor in 1941, at the age of 18, Bush postponed going to college and became the youngest naval aviator in US history. He served until the end of the war, then attended Yale University. Graduating in 1948, he moved his young family to West Texas and entered the oil business, becoming a millionaire by the age of 40.



    So George H.W. Bush , while not being a real asshole is also not a real Texan. This raises the age old debate, are the father and son examples of nurture over nature?

  • BDB||

    J Sub--

    Yes, but W. was born in Connecticut and went to both High School and College in New England. So under that definition, W. isn't a real Texan, either.

  • ||

    Thank you, Eric, and all the best to you and yours.

    An emotional attachment to liberty, like an emotional attachment to equality or opportunity or humaneness, is a fine thing.

  • BDB||

    Oh Christ. Guess who is coming back.

    Doesn't he realize his national reputation was totally trashed this year from his Presidential run?

  • joe||

    Oh, that silly Rudy G!

    New York City isn't Real America. It's not even in the pro-American parts of America.

  • joe||

    Run, Angry Opstimist!

    Run away! Hide, until I pass!

  • BDB||

    Seriously, has anybody fallen more in public esteem this cycle, aside from John Edwards, than Rudy 9iul1an1?

  • BruceM||

    MikeM

    It's not just a question of freedom of religion. What about freedom of speech and press? You can't isolate or quarantine without infringing on those rights, also.

    Then the same thing goes for quarantines of smallpox, bird flue, ebola, and other dangerous diseases for which we routinely quarantine people. Anyone could say their religius beliefs dictate that they be infected with those diseases and what, suddenly their First amendment rights prevent them from being quarantined against their will? That's ridiculous.

    And again, they can practice their religion all they want while kept in quarantine. You might be assuming that I want to strap them to chairs and try to beat the religion out of them. Like I said, quarantine is not about punishment - they should be made as comfortable as possible. They didn't do anything wrong. They never had a choice about getting religion and they are not in control of their own actions.

    However, one might make the argument of religion being a mental disease. Then, they coould be isolated for their own good.

    That's what I'm saying, well part of it. I said religion causes homicidal and suicidal ideations - they are a danger to themselves and others. And it's extremely contagious, hell they all WANT to infect others. They don't need rights, they need help. While there's no cure for religion, they need to be isolated - that's what quarantine means. Isolation of the infected from the uninfected. Again, I'm not talking about punishment, and while it's certainly an inconvenience I'd want to do everything to make quarantine as comfortable as possible. I don't want any sick people to suffer.

    As for the person who said i've taken a religion-disease metaphor too far, it should be clear that I don't see it as a metaphor. It's a real disease with real symptoms and it's really, really contagious. But again, I may be a lot of things, but impractical is not one of them - I understand and accept that 5% of the population can't quarantine the other 95%, even if it were something as blatant as smallpox. But especially when we're talking about a sui generis disease that's accepted and beloved by society, where people are intentionally infected and where there is money and power to be gained from keeping people infected. One of the most prominent symptoms of religious infetion is extreme euphoria. Like a rush of heroin. Functional MRIs of the brains of people infected with religion show the pleasure centers of their brains firing off like a heroin junkie while they're in a religious prayer-trance. Trying to take religion away from them is like trying to take heroin away from a heroin addict. They're not gonna be happy about it. Incidentally, this is why religions are universally against drugs - they see them as competition. Everyone rotting in prison for possessing the wrong powder leaf or pill is there because of an irrational policy made by religion to futher its infection of the masses.

  • Eric Evans||

    Neu Mejican,

    It's possible that it's poorly remembered. I have been known on occasion to accidentally turn fantasy into fact. If that's the case, then please consider this my retraction. It still doesn't negate the fact that the religious regime is Saudi Arabia is repressive, although maybe not as oppressive as I painted it.

    Eric

  • Eric Evans||

    Neu Mejican,

    Thanks for the balancing comment above. I would tend to agree that at its core any political ideology requires at least a small amount of "faith" in its adoption. By faith here I don't mean anything religious, I mean more the belief that my assumptions are correct. The future cannot be predicted with any regularity, but one can forecast based on present facts, even poorly remembered ones.

    Regards,

    Eric

  • Mad Max||

    BruceM,

    You better thank God for Godwin's Law, otherwise I might have some pointed comments about your Final Solution to the Religion Problem.

    CED,

    I yield to nobody in my skepticism of federal judges' wisdom, but if, examining the historical evidence, a federal court reaches a decision contrary to the conclusions of pro-felon-voting activists who have already been caught misusing evidence, guess whom I side with?

  • Mad Max||

    And this goes double if *two* federal courts reach such conclusions.

  • David Gagnon||

    Barry Goldwater !

  • ||

    All of the articles and dissertations that come to the same conclusion were caught misusing evidence? Is a mistake misusing evidence, because if so I can cite you quite a few federal appellate courts "misusing evidence."

  • ||

    The author argues that the GOP must follow the reformer wing's policies, ala McCain where sure success leads, or follow the failed policies of Reagan? In case you didn't notice it is the insanity of McCainism that suffered the greatest defeat the GOP has seen. It is the embrace of discredited me tooism policies that advocate bigger government and reject what remains the cornerstone of freedom in this country and what made it great.

    If the author's ideas are adopted I predict the GOP shall become another Whig party. Irrelevant, insane, and the fashion of the month for the out of touch.

    Hope to see more articles like this. It reminds me how out of touch the inside the beltway folks are.

  • ||

    I don't know if Reagan's polices were failures, but the guy was an electoral juggernaut. I hated the damn guy, but the GOP could pick a worse guy to emulate if they want to do better in elections...

  • BDB||

    The issues Reagan ran on have either been solved or become irrelevant. Chanting Reagan's name won't work.

    Crime? It has been consistently falling.

    Soviet Communism? It doesn't exist.

    90% marginal tax rates? Don't exist.

    Inflation? It was cured in the mid-80s.

    All that is left is abortion, flag burning, and school prayer. Good luck with that, GOP.

  • Mad Max||

    CED,

    You cited a work by two authors who were caught in an "inadvertent" mistake which happened to support their position and which was not detected by the peer-review process. Bear in mind that this was no minor mistake like misspelling some guy's name. This was about a Deep South state (one of the objects of your detestation) which supposedly decided to disenfranchise felons in 1868, having previously (before black suffrage) permitted felons to vote. This "mistake" goes to the very heart of the case against "racist" felon disenfranchisement. I showed that, far from originating in 1868, Florida's felon-disenfrancisement policy originated in 1845, when all of the disenfranchised felons were *white.*

    Then you cite other studies, and I'm sure the authors of these studies showed just as much scientific rigor as the first study you cited.

  • ||

    I would propose separating the Republican party into the Republican party and the Imperial party.

    Republicans: small government, low taxes, personal responsibility.

    Imperials: police the world, bail out wall street, buy votes with handouts.

    I'm sure the imperials would eventually merge with the Democrats.

    -jcr

  • BruceM||

    Mad Max, like I said in my first post, Hitler and the damn Nazis forever ruined any notion of quarantining people infected with religion, because any such attempt, no matter how benign, will be called Nazi and compared to Hitler, and automatically dismissed. I specifically said quarantine should be made as comfortable as possible and there is nothing punitive about it - no torture, starvation, shackles, gas chambers or cremation ovens. The Nazis were not trying to eradicate the religion of judiasm, they were trying to eradicate the jewish race. "I renounce judiasm" was no defense to being thrown into a Nazi concentration camp.

  • ||

    Inflation? It was cured in the mid-80s.

    You're kidding, right?

    -jcr

  • BDB||

    John C. Randolph--

    I'm speaking about the perception of the voting public, not actual facts. Sorry for the confusion.

  • BDB||

    I agree that inflation has not ended, the feds have just gotten a hell of a lot better at hiding it than they did in the early 80s.

  • Mad Max||

    BruceM,

    Uh, I'm still open to the possibility that you are kidding.

  • BruceM||

    Why should people with a dangerous, contagious disease that manifests as an incurable mental disorder not be quarantined for their own protection and the protection of everyone else?

    I'm only saying in a perfect world this is what we'd do. But I realize there's no way for 5% of the world's population to quarantine the other 95%. So I'm not saying we need to start working on building quarantine camps tomorrow. It's never going to happen. But if we could just recognize religion for the dangerous disease that it is, rather than treating it as a choice people make, it would be a good start to improving the human condition.

  • Mad Max||

    BruceM,

    Wait, I get it, this is a piece of performance art, right? You're seeing how many people take you seriously before you go, "psych! I can't believe you fell for that obvious line of bullshit!"

  • ||

    "In case you didn't notice it is the insanity of McCainism that suffered the greatest defeat the GOP has seen."

    Are you sure about that? I think 1936 and 1964 were a little worse for the Republicans than 2008.

    It's nice how people get hyperbolic about recent history, isn't it?

  • joe||

    This is ridiculous.

    Mad Max found one error in one study, and has now determined that he need not consider scientific or historical research when forming opinions about scientific or historical questions.

    Wait, I get is, this is a piece of performance art, right?

  • joe||

    I don't know, kusterdu, that sounds awful historically to me.

    What do you think, Max?

  • ||

    What do you mean it "sounds awful historically"?

  • ||

    It's worse joe, he found what he professes (I'm not sure he's ever provided proof for his point, not like it matters) to be an error in the recording of ONE DATA POINT in a statistical analysis of the relationships between two variables across MANY DATA POINTS. And for some reason he thinks that is endgame...


    That's Max's thing though.

    I put forward that there are a disproportionate # of hate groups in the South, and the anomalous white vote for Obama in those states, etc., and Max started linking to 1, then 2, then 3, etc., incidents of racism in the North in order to "refute" my evidence....

  • ||

    Oh, sorry Joe. I didn't see your first post for some reason. Well, finding a mistake makes the study suspect but doesn't discredit everything else in the studies.

  • ||

    CED, was the white vote for Obama any less than for Kerry? If you already addressed this, sorry to bring it up again.

  • ||

    Check out the 10:41-11:12 exchange here.

    Mad Max made the supposedly authoritative claim that "This is about the prosecutor and the judge disliking the jury's acquittal on the rape charge, and compensating by an excessive sentence for the oral sex."

    Notice he was conflating two charges I made (that the South has theocratic tendencies regarding sex especially and they are racist, I indicated the GA case as an example of the former yet he "refutes" it by linking to a case of racism in the North).

    Well, I had just enough time on my hands to click on his link to call bullshit and google a bit, and called him on his bullshit:

    "Oh bullshit, this is about the strict idiotic statute Georgia had in place that the kid was sentenced under."

    Max, like a classic apologist, knowing when it would be too perverse to push forward on such a front, just shifts quickly, admits "defeat" (while suggesting, hey, no big deal), and then, Protean like, flings feces in another direction:

    "The Georgia "Child abuse" law was stupid and oppressive because of the excessive sentences authorized....
    If only this guy had been prosecuted in the Deep South"

    Max has the answers before he starts. He'll keep flinging shit until hopefully some of it sticks!

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Run away! Hide, until I pass!

    There's a difference between "scared" and "irritated".

  • Mad Max||

    joe and CED,

    Put a sock in it. Unless you're prepared to show, with proper citations, the legal errors in the decisions of two federal appeals courts. I already provided the links for you. It should be simplicity itself to locate the errors in these decisions, just as I located the errors in the analysis of the authors who were *specifically cited by CED* to support his thesis.

    These two appellate courts were clearly wrong, weren't they? And I've linked to their opinions? Then go ahead and show all the flaws in their reasoning - I mean, you kinda sorta have to, since if you believe their analysis, then major components of the "racist felon disenfranchisement" thesis fall apart. Since these court decisions are obviously wrong, I'm sure that you will be able to refute them without breaking a sweat.

    The "one error in one study" is, in fact, an error by leading advocates of the "racist felon disenfranchisement" thesis, regarding a Deep South state which is central to their thesis. Florida isn't just any state, it's Ground Zero for the the rights-for-felons crowd. Florida is the locale of the Great Disaster of 2000 - that state's voting practices were subject to intense study, so as to find out What Went Wrong in ought ought. Florida's felon-voting laws were subject to intense scrutiny culminating in a federal court challenge. If the rights-for-felons crowd got it wrong *here,* with all the research and effort they put into it, that would tend to call into question the research they did in other, less vital states.

    The other federal appeals court decision, of course, involves Mississippi, and if you can't refute a federal court decision upholding *Mississippi's* felon-voter laws, you aren't really trying, are you?

    So feel free to review the evidence and point out where these federal appeals courts got it wrong.

  • ||

    Kusterdo

    "But in the deepest of Southern states, which are also the states with the highest African American percentages, Obama falls below the Kerry vote. Now this is based on just four states, GA, AL, MS and LA, but those are also the states in which Obama had his worst performance with white voters."

    Politco.com

  • BDB||

    Georgia was MUCH closer this time than in 2004, but Obama did worse with white voters than Kerry? That makes no sense.

  • BDB||

    I guess AA turnout was that much higher, then.

  • ||

    Mad Max, you are indeed making one think you are "mad."

    Do you know ANYTHING about statistics? In a broad statistical analysis how would an error in ONE DATA POINT be "central" to the thesis? Did you read my 4:49 post? Understand it?

    And, btw, several other studies by completely different academics and reviewed by different academics found the SAME THING. You haven't answered that yet, eh?

    Of course joe and I don't have to argue about MS felon laws (and, you know, two federal appellate courts can be wrong, the SCOTUS decides this all the time you know?), since we are defending studies of NUMEROUS states laws. MS and FL can BOTH be "racially totally neutral" (as I've shown they are certainly not in their effect, care to argue otherwise?) and the relationship in general can still hold. You do understand that, right?

  • ||

    The South has demonstrably more unfavorable sodomy laws and attitudes aboout outlawing homosexuality.

    Mad Max: "Well, but, the South is better on smoke free bars laws!"

    The South has demonstrably more hate groups and a history of racism and slavery.

    Mad Max: "But, sputter, yelp, the North has had some racists too!"

    The South has had demonstrably a tendency to adopt policies, such as one example felon disenfranchisement laws which have a greater impact on blacks.

    Mad Max: "But, I mean, two courts upheld Southern laws to that effect (ignore the courts that struck down such laws). Did I mention stand your ground laws?"

    Look at those fucked up GA laws targeting oral sex.

    Mad Max: "yeah, but I found a case of prosecutorial misconduct int he North! Look at it, please God look at it!"

  • Mad Max||

    promotional material for the book "Locked Out" cited by CED. One of the "facts" cited in the promotional material is: "The disenfranchisement of former felons in Florida who have completed their entire sentence likely swung that state toward George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential race, effectively deciding both the election and the course of American history."

    Note also, that, according to the promotional material cited above, the book "Proposes reforms that address the problem of the outcome of the loss of felons' vote on close elections, *loss of support for the Democratic Party,* rights of criminals, recidivism rates, reintegration of felons into the community and more." [emphasis added]

    Impartial social scientists who simply go where the evidence leads? Yes, of course. And I have this great bridge in Brooklyn just waiting for a buyer . . .

  • BDB||

    Oh, joy, a Florida 2000 discussion!

  • Mad Max||

    CED,

    So I take it that you're *not* going to try and show why these two federal court decisions were wrong - decisions upholding felony-disenfranchisement laws in two Deep South states and specifically rejecting the historical arguments of the plaintiffs that these laws were based on racial discrimination?

    What about you, joe? What arguments do *you* have? What evidence do you have to blow these decisions out of the water and show how wrong these two courts were?

  • ||

    It strikes me that Max, like his ancestors at Appomatox, or hell his Catholic forebearers in the Spanish Armada, will bow in defeat to me!

  • ||

    Max
    What are you arguing in your 9:45 post?

    That's called the "introduction" to a scholarly article, the "why this matters" part. And they say it matters because the laws determined an important election.

    So, wtf are you saying?

  • Mad Max||

    "Did you read my 4:49 post?"

    Insofar as that post is relevant to my challenge to you to produce evidence refuting those two court decisions, you said:

    "And federal appellate judges, well they don't get anything wrong in their analysis.

    "Good lord."

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I didn't notice any actual evidence in those remarks refuting the 5th and 11th Circuit decisions I cited.

  • Mike T||


    Why would anyone who cares about libertarian priciples make common cause with those who obsess about who sticks what into whom and what to do with the sometime product thereof?



    Aside from the fact that this is an oversimplification of social conservatism, the reason is that libertarianism has a more natural relationship with right-wing conservatives than left-wing liberals. For one, right-wingers the world over tend to be more inherently skeptical of how far the state can go toward fixing social problems. For another, dogmas like original sin make it easier to argue that government is inherently dangerous than it is to argue with liberals, who tend to believe that mankind is basically good, that government tends to hurt people more than it helps them.

    Ron Paul is a perfect example of how one can be a social conservative and a libertarian at the same time. What many libertarians seek is affirmation of their choices. People like Paul and I won't do that. We'll freely call your decision to fuck anything with legs and an orifice your right, between you and God, but tell you straight up that we think it's morally wrong.

  • ||

    Uhh, no Max. I don't have time to read the two decisions just like you obviously don't have time to read the non-Manza/Uggen articles I referenced. I'll trust various experts in the relevant fields before I trust political appointees not in the fields and from the areas being accused, yes. Silly me!

  • ||

    Max, I'm glad you recongize the excellence of appellate courts. So you think the 9th circuit got the religious monuments case right? lol

    Bow to me like your pussy Confederate/Catholic failure ancestors did! HaHaHaHa!

  • Mad Max||

    "What are you arguing in your 9:45 post?"

    I was interested in your claim that the mistake of your favorite researchers with respect to Florida was a minor "data point" not worth worrying about. It turns out that, according to these "researchers" (and I use the term loosely), the attack on Florida's felon-disenfrancisement laws is central to their case, not some marginal "data point" that they can discard without penalty.

    There also seems to be a certain degree of . . . lack of scholarly impartiality in their trumpeting the 2000 election results as a key illustration of why convicted felons should vote.

    "That's called the 'introduction' to a scholarly article"

    It's called a *promotion* to a *book,* putting the authors' best foot forward. Too bad that the authors' marginal data (which happens to be wrong) plays so major a part in the books' promotion.

  • ||

    Uhh, if you'd read the book you'd see that they are not limited to the argument that these laws were explicitly racial in origin. In fact the very thing you cite is clearly an argument about the later racially disparate impact of the laws. You seem unable to wrap your head around that.

    Like your ancestors could not wrap their head around the idea that if they rebelled against the North they'd have their ass handed to them...Bowing at Appomatox...

  • ||

    Or that Protestant England would hand Catholic Spain it's ass.

    And then go on to be a World Power while Catholic Spain and France wilted.

    What's up with these lame things you are associated with? Fail much?

  • ||

    Of hell, Max, the GOP which got its ass handed to em this election...

    I understand if you have an inferiority complex...try that Southern whiskey to help it...Several Southern states are still dry, right?

    Oh shit, all but Kansas are in the South!

    http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/controversies/1140551076.html

    Oh well, drink Dandelion wine!

  • Hogan||

    no such thing as a dry state

  • ||

    A little off-topic, but does anyone here consider Missouri to be apart of the south?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Max, I'm glad you recongize the excellence of appellate courts. So you think the 9th circuit got the religious monuments case right?

    That doesn't follow, CED.

  • BDB||

    "A little off-topic, but does anyone here consider Missouri to be apart of the south?"

    It depends on what part of Missouri you speak of.

  • ||

    TAO
    Max argued the other day about the crazy wrongness of the 9th Circuit.

    Today he argues that the fact that two circuits found Southern disenfranchisement laws to be racially neutral is "nuff said."

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Disagreeing with some of the crazier jurisprudence of the Ninth Circuit does not mean that one cannot ever cite Circuit Courts foreverandeveramen.

    So, no, not "nuff said".

    Some decisions are correct and some are not.

    Let it be known that I don't have a dog in this fight, but I don't find anything inconsistent with agreeing with certain judicial decisions and disagreeing with others.

  • ||

    I always like how most posters on these threads look at the party labels and ignore minor details like the actual actions of the parties.

    In other words too many people squeal about the republican socons and utterly ignore the democrat socons.

    The democrat president bill clinton signed the defense of marriage act, the democrat gores provided us with the music censoring parents music resource center, democrat hillary clintion's has been actively attempting to regulate games, the democrats are primarily responsible for the bans on trans_fats and foi gras, etc, etc.

    For some reason democrat actions restricting liberty are roundly ignored on threads like this.

  • ||

    TAO

    Do you you find anything inconsistent in arguing that, one day, a federal appellate circuit is horribly wrong in its analysis, and then another day, claiming that the very fact that two federal appellate courts ruled one way is proof of the rightness of the claims they ruled for?

    Max has made no claims that I know of the "especial" fallibility of the 9th.

    Shit TAO, I don't like you but you're smarter than that.

    If the 9th can be so wrong then so can the fucking 11th and whatever other one he cites so authoritatively.

  • BruceM||

    To say a criminal conviction is error-free and thus comports with objetive notions of justice and fairness simply because federal courts reviewed the conviction is the most disingenuous statement I've ever heard in my entire life. In my whole life.

    First of all, you have the harmless error doctrine. Second of all, you have the AEDPA's extremely limited scope of review. Both of these practically guarantee a criminal conviction will be affirmed on collateral review despite the degree of unfairness which took place during the trial. A biased judge who sentenced the defendant to the maximum sentence under the statutory sentencing range because he felt the defendant was guilty of an acquitted count will not, at a matter of law, be reversed by a state court of appeals, let alone a federal court reviewing the case on habeas corpus.

    Judicial review of criminal cases used to mean something, but that was before harmless error ruled the day, and well before the AEDPA turned the Great Writ into a meaningless, useless motion that must be denied as a matter of law. So please don't say a appellate review of a criminal conviction is evidence that the conviction and/or sentence is fair and just. It's an illusory process nowadays that exists solely so prosecutorial/law and order types CAN say a conviction is fair and just after being rubber stamped "AFFIRMED."

  • ||

    CED,

    Actually the 9th circuit is famous for being the most overturned court circuit.

    The judges of the ninth circuit are overturned far more often than all of the other circuits.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Do you you find anything inconsistent in arguing that, one day, a federal appellate circuit is horribly wrong in its analysis, and then another day, claiming that the very fact that two federal appellate courts ruled one way is proof of the rightness of the claims they ruled for?

    Well, no, because that analysis presumes that all Circuit Courts are equal, or should be treated as such.

    It is up to us to reasonably weight the evidence and come to a conclusion. I don't think it's proper to state that "Failing to recognize the correctness of one Circuit Court precludes cites to all of them".

    well before the AEDPA turned the Great Writ into a meaningless, useless motion that must be denied as a matter of law.

    I agree with the rest of your post, but refusal to consider habeas corpus motions usually rests on the merits of the claim. You're overstating.

  • Mad Max||

    I'm sorry CED lacks the time to look up data challenging your preconceptions.

    I looked up the *two* studies supposedly supporting your thesis of the uniquely evil behavior of the Deep South in regard to felon disenfranchisement. The first source I sought to locate through the JSTOR database, but they didn't have it.

    Your second source was Khalilah L. Brown-Dean's 2003 PhD dissertation for Ohio State University, entitled "ONE LENS, MULTIPLE VIEWS: FELON DISENFRANCHISEMENT LAWS
    AND AMERICAN POLITICAL INEQUALITY."

    Brown-Dean may not be your best source, due to her Constitutional illiteracy:

    "the Constitution prohibited forfeiture and corruption of blood for any crime other than treason." Bzzt . . . wrong! The real Constitution (as opposed to the Constitution in the author's head) provides that "no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted."

    It would be to joe and CED's advantage to acknowledge the author's historical illiteracy, so that they can repudiate the following statement by the author:

    "By the beginning of the Civil War, twenty-four states disenfranchised men who were
    convicted of committing serious crimes (Keyssar, 2000). Although this
    disenfranchisement was usually permanent, New York's 1846 constitution did
    create the possibility that the governor could issue a pardon reinstating the voting
    rights of these former felons."

    Did you say New York? Surely there must be some mistake! New York isn't in the South!

    The author discusses European countries which, administering a justice system directed almost exclusively at white honky oppressors, applied the doctrine of *infamy,* by which (almost uniformly white) criminals lost their civic status on account of conviction of serious crimes. Never mind voting, these convicts were generally not allowed to give court testimony. (Nowadays, of course, we have a much more enlightened attitude, and "jailhouse snitches" are allowed to testify against defendants based on all-too-convenient memories of incriminating conversations with said defendants. What a great progressive advance for poor people and people of color!)

    The author supports my point about the Mississippi Constitution of 1890 by saying: "By narrowing the scope of the disenfranchising crimes, Mississippi was able to reduce the eligible Black electorate without harming the size of the eligible white electorate." See - "narrowing the scope." The Reconstruction Constitution of Mississippi disenfranchised all convicted criminals, according to the author. But this was too strict for Mississippi's 1890 convention, because it would take votes from *white* criminals.

    The author actually bolsters my point by showing that racially-discriminatory disenfranchisement schemes actually allowed large numbers of white felons to vote.

    Then the author accuses the North of adopting felon-disenfranchisement laws in order to take votes from black people. This actually *undermines* CED's case, since he claims the Deep South is uniquely prone to such abuses. His own sources contradict him!

    Perpetrators of racist disenfranchisement, according to the author, are states in the "South, Southwest, and West." So, CED, if you're relying on this study, I suppose you would like the Republicans to write off the Southwest and West, as wall as the South? Bear in mind that this is a study you yourself cited.

    Then the author finds that states which saw an increase in the Hispanic population were more likely to be more strict with regard to felon punishment. Oops - that analysis targets states outside the Deep South, again undercutting CED's thesis of the South being uniquely evil.

    As to federal circuit courts, CED cited, as authority, academics who had demonstrably made boneheaded errors. I challenged him to provide *evidence* refuting two federal circuit courts' decisions. Note that I expressed interest in hearing his evidence - I do not regard federal courts as having any magisterial authority, as I have explained. Arguing with a federal court decision, however, means marshalling some actual arguments and evidence, as I did with the 10th Circuit (not 9th Circuit) decisions with which I disagreed.

    Despite my longstanding invitation, CED has produced no arguments of any kind against the federal court decisions with which he disagrees. He merely says that federal courts are capable of error, a point on which we agree. So show us the error in these particular decisions.

  • ||

    Max
    You are seriously retarded I think.

    You admit upthread that the 1890 Mississippi Constitutional Convention targeted their felon disenfranchisement laws towards offenses the delegates thought blacks would commit more. How could you not given the obvious historical record:

    "In 1896, the Mississippi Supreme Court endorsed with devastating clarity the discriminatory intent of disenfranchisement laws after Reconstruction. The Mississippi constitutional convention of 1890, wrote the court,

    … swept the circle of expedients to obstruct the exercise of the franchise by the negro race. By reason of its previous condition of servitude and dependence, this race had acquired or accentuated certain particularities of habit, of temperament and of character, which clearly distinguished it, as a race, from that of the whites - a patient, docile people, but careless, landless, and migratory within narrow limits, without forethought, and its criminal members given rather to furtive offenses than to the robust crimes of the whites. Restrained by the federal constitution from discriminating against the negro race, the convention discriminated against its characteristics and the offenses to which its weaker members were prone . . . . Burglary, theft, arson, and obtaining money under false pretenses were declared to be disqualifications, while robbery and murder, and other crimes in which violence was the principal ingredient, were not."

    Later Mississippi changed it's law to a more ostensibly neutral one, that of course still has a disparate impact on blacks (do you deny that?), and the federal court you cite upheld this version. But what was my argument? Does this holding (even if it is correct) refute my claim?


    My first mention of felon disenfranchisement laws at my 11:13 post. Here is the quote:

    "The South enacted felon disenfranchisement laws, many of them in direct and quite blatant response to black enfranchisement (and many targeted to offenses which had higher black offending rates), and the South currently still disenfranchises more blacks than any other region more extensively."

    So I argued that many Southern states adopted felon disenfranchisement provisions Post freeing of the slaves and granting of the vote (do you deny that?) and that many of them were targeted at crimes thought to be committed more by blacks. And you ADMIT that.

    Then you cite this federal court case over and over proving...what exactly? I've already won on this. Dude, I'm afraid of the score you must have got on the reading comprehension part of the SAT.

    Once again, to review, and slowly for you:

    As evidence of Southern racism I noted the following facts:
    1. That MANY (note I did not say all, so stop stroking your FL example) Southern States adopted felon disenfranchisement provisions during Reconstruction. Refute this if you can.
    2. That MANY targeted offenses thought to be committed more by blacks. (You admit this at 11:26)
    3. And that whatever the current form of these laws, they still disenfranchise a higher rate of blacks than whites. In fact a much higher rate.

    Dude, you've been chasing your tail here.

  • ||

    The very case you cite says this in its holding:

    "Although it appears that the constitutional disqualifying provision originally intended to discriminate against black felons, its recent re- enactment by the people of Mississippi has not been shown to bear that taint."

    And I argued that that the original intent of many of these laws was to discriminate against blacks. So thanks for the cite proving me right! lol

  • Mad Max||

    No, CED, you said that *current* felon-disenfranchisement laws are tainted by racist origin - the court said the opposite. The original Mississippi law allowed rapists and murderers to vote - ironically, that's closer to *your* position than to the modern disenfranchisement laws.

  • Mad Max||

    So now you think that 1890 was part of the era of Reconstruction? I don't see how that illustrates your historical knowledge.

    Plenty of non-Southern states had felon-disfranchisement provisions. Do you deny that?

    Mississippi allowed rapists and murderers to vote in 1890. Modern felon-disenfranchisement provisions have no such provision. Do you deny that? Or is it irrelevant because of your Willie Horton fantasies associating rapists and murderers with black people?

    The felon-voting people claimed Florida disfranchised felons for racisl reasons. They got their historically-illiterate asses handed to them when it turned out that the original provision in Florida disfranchised only white felons. Florida is central to the felon-voting case - it is the keystone of their arch. Why you persist in writing off this error as a minor "oops" which doesn't in any affect their credibility?

  • Mad Max||

    Nice attempt at retreat - "I was only analyzing historical data - I never said modern felon-disfranchisement laws are racist." You were saying that the Deep South - the *modern* Deep South - is so horrible that Republicans should write it off. Your "historical analysis" was designed to show that the *modern* Deep South is intrinsically worse than those other states.

    "Today he argues that the fact that two circuits found Southern disenfranchisement laws to be racially neutral is 'nuff said.'"

    No, I invited you to examine the federal courts' arguments and show why those arguments were wrong. Politically-inspired hack decision should be full of obvious errors, shouldn't they? Even I was able to find errors in your sacred social-science authors and their texts.

  • Mad Max||

    Here's one of the *additional* sources you cited upthread. (I tried to locate the other one on the JSTOR database, but they didn't have it). This is a source which supposedly buttresses your point about the uniquely evil nature of the South.

    "the Constitution prohibited forfeiture and corruption of blood for any crime other than treason." Bzzt . . . wrong! The real Constitution (as opposed to the Constitution in the author's head) provides that "no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted."

    It would be to joe and CED's advantage to acknowledge the author's historical illiteracy, so that they can repudiate the following statement by the author:

    "By the beginning of the Civil War, twenty-four states disenfranchised men who were
    convicted of committing serious crimes (Keyssar, 2000). Although this
    disenfranchisement was usually permanent, New York's 1846 constitution did
    create the possibility that the governor could issue a pardon reinstating the voting
    rights of these former felons."

    Did you say New York? Surely there must be some mistake! New York isn't in the South!

    The author shoots herself in the foot by acknowledging that European countries, administering a justice system directed almost exclusively at white honky oppressors, applied the doctrine of *infamy,* by which (almost uniformly white) criminals lost their civic status on account of conviction of serious crimes. Never mind voting, these convicts were generally not allowed to give court testimony. (Nowadays, of course, we have a much more enlightened attitude, and "jailhouse snitches" are allowed to testify against defendants based on all-too-convenient memories of incriminating conversations with said defendants. What a great progressive advance for poor people and people of color!)

    The author supports my point about the Mississippi Constitution of 1890 by saying: "By narrowing the scope of the disenfranchising crimes, Mississippi was able to reduce the eligible Black electorate without harming the size of the eligible white electorate." See - "narrowing the scope." The Reconstruction Constitution of Mississippi disenfranchised all convicted criminals, according to the author. But this was too strict for Mississippi's 1890 convention, because it would take votes from *white* criminals.

    The author actually bolsters my point by showing that racially-discriminatory disenfranchisement schemes actually allowed large numbers of white felons to vote.

    Then the author accuses the North of adopting felon-disenfranchisement laws in order to take votes from black people. This actually *undermines* CED's case, since he claims the Deep South is uniquely prone to such abuses. His own sources contradict him!

    Perpetrators of racist disenfranchisement, according to the author, are states in the "South, Southwest, and West." So, CED, if you're relying on this study, I suppose you would like the Republicans to write off the Southwest and West, as wall as the South? Bear in mind that this is a study you yourself cited.

    Then the author finds that states which saw an increase in the Hispanic population were more likely to be more strict with regard to felon punishment. Oops - that analysis targets states outside the Deep South, again undercutting CED's thesis of the South being uniquely evil.

  • Mad Max||

    Ah, already posted that - well, enjoy it again.

    Alexander Pope may as well have had you in mind when he wrote:

    A little Learning is a dang'rous Thing;
    Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian Spring:
    There shallow Draughts intoxicate the Brain,
    And drinking largely sobers us again.

    Having taking a couple sips off the old Pierian Spring, you get a huge buzz. You look at a book by a social scientist, and you go - "wow, look, a *book!* by an *academic!* With *footnotes!* Won't people be impressed when they see I've read it!" This isn't the same as critically analyzing the source material - in fact, it precludes critical analysis.

    You have a superstitious reverence for social-science research (so long as it buttresses your conclusions), a reverence which is the hallmark of the half-educated. Where the Protestant fundamentalist tries to stop thought and discussion with the phrase "the Bible clearly states . . ." the modern half-educated nitwit tries to stop thought with some variant of "studies show . . ."

    Just as the Protestant fundamentalist shrugs off any challenge to the inerrancy of his *interpretation* of Scripture, the modern halfwit is indignant at any challenge to his social-science scripture. Errors in the text? Planted by the devil!

  • ||

    We should thank Mad Max for his contributions here.

    Far, far too often, we see the term "ad homenim" used to mean merely "personal insult," without any connection to a statement about the legitimacy and accuracy of an argument.

    That's now what "ad homenim" means. An ad homenim is a fallacious argument that states "Argument X must be wrong because the person that made it is bad."

    See, for example, that statement that Mad Max need not consider the actual statistical analysis provided, or whether it does or does not demonstrate a robust correlation, because the authors of a study are Democrats.

  • BarryD||

    I don't really buy that Sarah Palin is "anti-intellectual." She's not an intellectual, but that doesn't make her anti-intellectual.

    Sean Hannity (like his partner Alan Colmes) isn't really anything. Hannity and Colmes each repeat some right or left dogma that I don't think either man is intelligent enough to understand, let alone articulate. They are codependent; either man looks dumb when faced with an intelligent opponent.

    Limbaugh is hardly anti-intellectual, and if one actually listens to what he says, he's one of the better defenders of some libertarian thought that we have in the popular media. Don't mistake a blustery style for anti-intellectualism, nor vice versa. (e.g. Ernest Hemingway was neither blustery nor an intellectual, but he was hardly anti-intellectual, either).

    Now, are some supporters of each one anti-intellectual? Most certainly.

    WRT the other list, these are people who stand for little or nothing in the political discourse. I've read a fair amount this year, particularly from Noonan and Brooks. I can't remember a damned thing either of them wrote.

    I can recall no great ideas, no memorable interpretations of events, nothing. Personally, I don't think that the list of "reformers" has had any real impact on the political discourse whatsoever, and I don't think it's because people aren't smart enough to listen to them.

    Where Hannity may be an icon of "know-nothingness", Noonan is an example of intellectual malaise.

    Brooks' Reformers have shown no indication that they should be looked to for leadership, or ideas. "Pathetic" comes to mind...

    I'm with Randazzo, but I'll take exception to his assumption that Palin and Limbaugh wouldn't be allies of a smart, libertarian GOP. I think he buys into the stereotypes of the left wing.

    That's a good thing, BTW. We would need allies. It's not like Ron Paul really went anywhere. OTOH, that may have as much to do with his Noam Chomsky foreign policy as his Harry Browne domestic policy positions...

    Maybe there isn't as much resistance to libertarian domestic policies as libertarians like to believe.

    And last I checked, libertarians (not necessarily those who still read Reason) don't all agree on exactly how to use the military, apart from gratuitous bashing of whoever is in the White House at the time. This is the luxury of those who don't have to worry about what to do if they win an election. It's a luxury I think libertarians would do well without.

  • ||

    . Don't mistake a blustery style for anti-intellectualism, nor vice versa.

    As much as I find it distasteful to agree with Al Franken, Limbaugh is indeed a big, fat idiot. The MSM loves him, because he's a caricature of a conservative that they can easily dismiss. He's just like Michael Moore.

    -jcr

  • BarryD||

    jcr-

    You sound like you've never actually heard him.

    Rush Limbaugh has, in his finer moments, done a far better job of explaining things that Reason commenters don't seem to care about any more, like free markets and why they're good, than just about anyone else who gets heard by anyone.

    You're buying into the caricature. Rush Limbaugh is not his caricature, and I don't see any parallel with Michael Moore, either.

    Sure, I'd love to have Thomas Sowell on the radio a few hours a day, but that's not going to happen. Rush Limbaugh is a very successful entertainer, so he gets a huge audience.

    I know I'm supposed to fall in line with the groupthink, but sorry, I don't.

    Personally, I don't listen to Limbaugh for long very often, now that he's not the best option here in his time slot when I'm in my car. However, I have heard clear, accessible and smart explanations of some of the principles that libertarians value, from Rush Limbaugh.

    He's not an idiot just because we're supposed to think so.

    (And Al Franken was never particularly funny, just because we were told that we were supposed to laugh, either.)

  • ||

    Here's an idea for the Republicans:

    1) Never, ever nominate for anything more than dog-catcher anyone named Bush.

    Just a thought.

    Bill Walsh

  • ||

    Absolutely spot on.

    Lean, least-intrusive gov't (sane libertarianism)

    versus

    right-wing socialism (social "conservatism" that isn't conservative at all)

    versus

    no public oversight through any regulation (fiscal "conservatism" that empowers the richest to dominate everything)

    Gen X and Gen Y voters don't want whacko evangelicals OR big-wallet fatcats running the show any more. What they want is for government to do the LIMITED things gov't is supposed to do well (hello FDA, SEC, ICE, CIA??!!)and get out of their faces otherwise.

  • ||

    We can look forward to a revival of the GOP when no discussion about its future includes a single reference to Jack Abranoff's cabana boy, Grover Norquist.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement