Palin Exposes the Tea Partiers' True Colors

Why trading liberty for security is not consistent with a limited government philosophy.

The tea party movement started as a welcome protest against the alarming growth of federal spending and federal control. It had a strong anti-statist flavor, or seemed to. But judging from the applause for Sarah Palin at its convention, the movement's suspicion of government power is exceeded only by its worship of government power.

Her keynote address at last week's gathering in Nashville may have been the curtain raiser on a 2012 presidential campaign. "I think that it would be absurd to not consider what it is that I can potentially do to help our country," she told Fox News when asked about that option.

I'm glad it was she and not I who first used the word "absurd" in relation to a possible Palin bid for the White House. Because if her speech made anything clear, it's that the shallow, ill-informed, truth-twisting demagogue seen in the 2008 presidential campaign is all she is and all she wants to be.

When it comes to economic affairs, the tea partiers agree that—as Palin put it—"the government that governs least, governs best." When it comes to war and national security, however, her audience apparently thinks there is no such thing as too much government.

The conventioneers applauded when Palin denounced Obama for his approach to the war on terrorists. Why? Because he lets himself be too confined by the annoying limits imposed by the Constitution. "To win that war, we need a commander in chief, not a professor of law," she declares.

Is her point that Obama is allergic to the use of military power or can't bear to fulfill his responsibility as head of the armed forces? That would come as a surprise to Iraqis, who have seen Obama stick to President Bush's timetable for withdrawal.

It would come as a surprise to Afghans, who have seen him embark on a massive buildup of U.S. troops in their country. It would come as a surprise to Pakistanis, who have seen an increase in U.S. drone missile attacks on their soil.

Palin accuses Obama of "reaching out to hostile regimes" and "apologizing for America," with pitiful results: nuclear tests in North Korea, repression in Iran. What she doesn't mention—though, to be entirely fair, she may not know it—is that the first North Korean nuclear test came in 2006 and that before Obama arrived, the mullahs in Tehran did not rule with a gentle, loving hand.

Her chief gripe, though, is that federal agents read the alleged Christmas bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, his Miranda rights shortly after his arrest, at which point, she claims, he "lawyered up and invoked our U.S. constitutional right to remain silent."

Not for long, he didn't. The FBI says Abdulmutallab provided a wealth of useful information under questioning after he got a lawyer. For that matter, as FBI Director Robert Mueller and National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair said last week, he is still being interrogated.

But facts have never been Palin's strong suit. Nor do they matter, because what infuriates her is the mere idea that constitutional protections would apply to "a terrorist who hates our Constitution and tries to destroy our Constitution."

This is not some bizarre paradox. Lots of people who despise our Constitution—Nazis, communists, Klansmen, Alaska secessionists—enjoy its protections. Does she think the Bill of Rights should apply only to people who share her views?

That would not leave much of the document she and the tea partiers claim to revere.

Besides, Obama didn't invent the heretical notion of accepting limits on the government's latitude with jihadists. The Bush administration turned hundreds of terrorism cases over to the federal courts, without audible complaint from the right. The Supreme Court has ruled that the Constitution extends even to accused foreign terrorists held at Guantanamo.

The advantage of having a former law professor in the Oval Office is that he doesn't have to be tutored in such elementary realities. But Palin evinces a bitter resentment of any information that contradicts her blind faith in a benevolent, all-powerful security regime. She's more than willing to trade liberty for safety.

That went over conspicuously well in Nashville, where tea partiers cheered a leader who places excessive trust in government, disdains constitutional freedoms, and promotes a cult of personality. So remind me: What is it they don't like about Barack Obama?

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  • Suki||

    Good Morning reason!

    Happy Gatorade Shootout Day!

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Epi/Warty is going to cry about your comment in the morning.

    BTW, Danica is not in the shootout, she races on Saturday in the Busch Nationwide 300.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Don't mistake rank annoyance with tears, little one.

  • ||

    "You are the ones who are the ball-lickers!"

  • Bünzli||

    I love that movie!

    "In a world gone mad, we will not spank the monkey, but the monkey will spank us."

  • the rest of the readers||

    Yeah, you guy(s) are super irritating. You've become the least-favorite poster, passing shrike. Congratulations.

  • Jimmy 'Crack' Corn||

    +3

  • Warty||

    What the fuck is a gatorade shootout, and why would it make me hate you and your realdoll even more?

  • zoltan||

    His ROXXXY, Warty.

    Her name is ROXXXY.

  • Almanian||

    The early-Suki gets the worm - good morning Reason and Suki!

    Thanks for the reminder on the twins tonight. Watched the ARCA race - DP did a great job.

    Of course, some of us are more excited for the start of the MotoGP season...bikes @ 200MPH, then leaned over at +45 degrees through the corners...that is some good racing.

  • affenkopf||

    This is not some bizarre paradox. Lots of people who despise our Constitution—Nazis, communists, Klansmen, Alaska secessionists—enjoy its protections.

    Don't forget a number of libertarians. Bring back the Articles of Confederation!

  • TheOtherSomeGuy||

    Coming from a rural, Southern Baptist background, I can safely admit to y'all that I've known women like Sarah Palin my entire life.

    Here's my word of advice: These women have a high potential for being crazy.

    Ever meet the overzealous school board marm?

    That's Sarah Palin, in a nutshell.

    We do NOT want this woman elected.

  • Suki||

    We shouldn't confuse that with an endorsement for Nancy and Hillary either, right?

  • ||

    overzealous school board marm? Don't you mean the Gym Teacher from Donnie Darko? Isn't that stereotype you're shooting for? Or do you mean the pageant coordinator from Little Miss Sunshine? Get your two-dimensional characterization right. (It's the same actress by the way).

    Hey...ever meet the gasbag with the Che posters in his dorm room who is always agreeing with everyone he meets, trades on people's assumptions about his competence, cheats off other people on his writing assignments, and loudly proclaims Zinn and Chomsky is where it's at?

    Yeah, that guy is a hoot too.

  • Butts Wagner||

    If Palin promises to reassemble Sparkle Motion, I'd vote for her.

  • TURDUCKEN!||

    her commitment to sparkle motion is seriously in question

  • zoltan||

    TheOtherSomeGuy:

    Here is a rule when posting here. If you're going to talk about the Sarah Palin/George Bush fuck-ups of the world, you'll need to mention some fuck-ups of the blue big government persuasion. And vice versa. Or people will give you shit that you're a leftist who likes Obama and death panels.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Beth Grant is an amazing actress.

  • Todd Palin||

    Please, PLEASE go back to the kitchen honey.

  • Todd Palin||

    ...wearing nothing but kitchen apron.

  • Fluffy||

    I'd demand that she iron my shirt, but she'd probably fuck that up so I will stick with my dry cleaner.

  • zoltan||

    She could probably iron your shit pretty well though.

  • hmm||

    The advantage of having a former law professor in the Oval Office is that he doesn't have to be tutored in such elementary realities

    Really? Because so far the simplest of Constitutional issues seems to elude the current Law Professor and Chief.

  • Suki||

    To be fair he did teach us that there are 57 states.

  • Tacos mmm...||

    Iraq, Afghanistan, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Israel, Guam, U. S. Virgin Islands.

    Sounds about right.

  • ||

    Didn't he say 57 and one more state that he hasn't visited?

    Also, he taught us about the Profits-Earning ratio.

  • Suki||

    I think so.

  • ||

    I wonder if he's visited that 58th state.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    What state did he live in when he worked "behind enemy lines" in the private sector?

  • Spartacus||

    That's a trick question. Did he ever work in the private sector?

  • boomshanka||

    like what?

  • fact checker||

    Obama was never a law Professor. He was a lecturer. Huge difference.

  • TripleB||

    Republican=Democrat

  • Bobb Hale||

    Be a Patriot, don't vote! (click me)

  • ||

    The advantage of having a former law professor in the Oval Office is that he doesn't have to be tutored in such elementary realities.


    Are you serious?

  • Mad Elf||

    The advantage of having a former law professor in the Oval Office is that he doesn't have to be tutored in such elementary realities.

    I'm glad he finally closed Guantanamo.

  • Jimmy 'Crack' Corn||

    +1

  • Xeones||

    The advantage of having a former law professor in the Oval Office is that he doesn't have to be tutored in such elementary realities.

    This is hilarious, unless you meant it.

  • ||

    It sounds good in theory.

    There must be some sort of electronic device that wipes out knowledge about the Constitution upon entering the Whitehouse. I'm not just talking about Obama either.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Other than the "elemental realities" part, this was a brutal and truthful takedown, and a rare moment of Chapman in attack-dog mode. MOAR PLZ.

  • ||

    Nah - if I want attack dogs I can look to the Extreme Angry Left or Extreme Angry Right.

  • Ziggy||

    "The advantage of having a former law professor in the Oval Office is that he doesn't have to be tutored in such elementary realities." what?? the same could be said of an economist, but we know many economist who HAVE to be tutored in "elementary realities".

    As for the tea party, it was started by Ron Paul supporters and soon the neocons and religious zealots of the right realized its potential and took it over.

  • ||

    Yup, and in my experience it has been fruitless to try to explain this fact to those same neocons and religious zealots of the right.

  • ||

    Ya know, maybe libertarians shouldn't abandon their successes so easily. If you walk away from the idea of the Tea Party protests shaking your head and muttering about "religious zealots" then you're just making an easy excuse to give up.

    There simply not enough "pure" liberatarians to create a movement capable of rolling back the excesses of the state and preserving liberty. Like it or not, to be relevant you need all kinds of people that can at least agree on the overall goal of shrinking gov't.

  • Ziggy||

    But they (neo-cons and religious zealots) have no interest in shrinking government. Only in certain areas. Look at what 8 years of republican rule did to the size of government, did you hear many on the right complaining during that time?

  • fact checker||

    There were many complaints from the right during the Bush administration. The Bush administration even hired Tony Snow as press secretary in order to silence his criticism.

  • Ziggy||

    really? most of the complaining I heard was not on the size on government but on how the "was on terror" was not being fought "hard" enough. Not much on the size and spending, in fact I would say most wanted more spent on the military.

  • fact checker||

    The Bush administration and the Republican controlled congress was routinely criticized for increasing the size of government. Some key complaints: creating the prescription drug entitlement, increasing the role of the federal government in K-12 education, passing a massive highway spending bill, creating a new government union to handle airport security and increasing government spending overall.

    There was little, if any, complaining from the right about military spending. There was also little complaining from the left about military spending in the period shortly after 9-11.

  • Ziggy||

    as trickyvic said, most criticism came after his presidency. But during it who? Ron Paul? I live in a republican filled area and there where not many complaints against him, except that he was not fighting the war properly. So who on the right was criticizing him? not the "right wing media" or the majority of republican voters.

  • ||

    He did much of that in his first term, and they gave him a second term. Having a republican screwing up the country was more important than letting a dem take the oval office and screw up the country.

  • ||

    The right didn't critize Bush much until he was no longer eligible to run for President again.

  • ||

    You do have a point here. Especially in the period after 9/11, people naturally rallied and looked to the most pressing issue - defense - first. It is also natural to prefer the lesser of two evils.

    With that being said, the folks that I know who are concerned with politics are *not* using the deficit as just a bludgeon with which to beat a Democrat - they are genuinely shocked by the sheer size of the thing.

  • ||

    I voted for Bush in 2000. I saw his true colors in his first couple of years. I voted for Kerry in 2004. I know Kerry would have sucked too, but I can't give a crappy President a second term.

  • ||

    +1

  • Patrick||

    Or at least libertarians should allow such views in so we could play them against each other.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    What seems to be getting missed here, is that the Tea Party convention wasn't necessarily representative of the Tea Party movement.

    Considering Palin's presence was advertised months in advance, who did you think was going to show up for it, especially at $500 a pop? Her enemies?

  • zoltan||

    Excellent point.

  • Ziggy||

    yeah but people in the movement or who wanted to be in the movement will get discouraged if they see palin is their spokesperson.

  • Calibos||

    Exactly. I just got through explaining to someone that the Tea Party movement was NOT represented by Tancredo, Palin, Farrah, or even Glenn Beck. That they were interlopers trying to ride the wave and turn it into some "astroturf" Republican organization. That the TRUE Tea Party movement was about as grassroots as you can get and had no centralized leadership to speak of. Yet every article or radio broadcast I have seen that covered this event took it as the official voice of the Tea Party. Even Reason Magazine, it seems, is now conceding the Tea Party to Palin and her fear mongering "Know Nothing" movement.

    We shouldn't be rolling over and letting the movement get hijacked. We should be offering an alternative and tightly focused (anti-debt, anti-taxes) message that does NOT alienate everyone with a higher than 6th grade education or a political ideology even slightly to the left of Mussolini!

  • mikheil||

    ummm doesn't an anti-debt, anti-taxes message alienate everyone to the left of Mussolini?

  • ||

    Well good thing then Palin herself expressly told the Tea Party not to take on a leader. She was not there to be a spokesperson, she was there as a motivational speaker. Do not forget initially there was to be no press at the convention...

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Guys? If you want to distinguish yourselves from Republicans and their lackeys, you might not harp on the one dumb line and, instead, bask in the brilliance of the rest of it.

    This is a mainstream antiwar column, for zog's sake. you don't get many of those (that are truly antiwar and not just anti-Republican-wars).

  • ||

    "This is a mainstream antiwar column, for zog's sake. you don't get many of those (that are truly antiwar and not just anti-Republican-wars)."

    And for that, it is thoughtful and well-written.

    What is unfortunate is its attempt, judging from the title, to indict all the millions who indicate sympathy with the Tea Party as "shallow, ill-informed, truth-twisting demagogue[s]," based on the fact that Palin got some applause for one line of one speech delivered at one convention.

    That implication strikes me as shallow, ill-informed and truth-twisting.

  • BakedPenguin||

    The last paragraph was gold. A wonderful slap in the face for TEAM RED! / TEAM BLUE! cheerleaders.

  • ||

    "1. Who are you voting for in November?

    Barack Obama... because he shows an intelligence and temperament that suggest he will govern more pragmatically than ideologically—the best that can be hoped for from a Democratic president."

  • BakedPenguin||

    And that changes the last paragraph how, exactly? Also, would you like it better if the intevening months had taught Chapman nothing?

  • ||

    Obama and Kerry voter trashes Sarah Palin and the Tea Party. Film at 11.

    Considering I still think Obama is grounded in constitutional "realities" it suggests I haven't learned a damned thing.

  • BakedPenguin||

    "...tea partiers cheered a leader who places excessive trust in government, disdains constitutional freedoms, and promotes a cult of personality. So remind me: What is it they don't like about Barack Obama?"

    Try again.

  • ||

    What makes you think I didn't know that beforehand and voted for him anyway? I mean we're from the same town and you'd have to be really freakin' stupid to not see all that coming down the pike by summer of 2008.

    Your mistake is in thinking this article comes from my love of liberty instead of a hatred of Republicans. My track record on that score is pretty clear.

    Like most party loyalists, my devotion to my party is from a hatred of the other, not a love of us.

  • ||

    "Like most party loyalists, my devotion to my party is from a hatred of the other, not a love of us."

    So you'll stick with your gang of lying thieves because there's another gang of murderous thugs who are worse in your eyes? Maybe it's time to start wasting your vote.

  • ||

    ""So you'll stick with your gang of lying thieves because there's another gang of murderous thugs who are worse in your eyes?""

    Welcome to modern day politics.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    If you have such a love of liberty, why do you vote for either Brand X Party?

    Okay, okay, I'll be generous... there might be a handful of Rs and Ds who actually give half a coil of dog shit about liberty. Maybe half a dozen or so. And I'm being VERY generous.

  • ||

    If you have such a love of liberty, why do you vote for either Brand X Party?


    Because I really hate Republicans, like I explained. So if it means that to keep them at bay I have to write articles on here saying that Obama shouldn't be called a socialist and that his health care bill is really just a privitization plan, that's what I'll do.

  • Extra! Extra!||

    OBAMA SUPPORTER SLAMS SARAH PALIN

    would you like it better if the intevening months had taught Chapman nothing?

    No but that's the way it is.

    Why do all of you support inflating our currency anyways?Clearly if you agree with Chapman here you are supporting everything else he ever said.

  • ||

    So Steve has been proven entirely correct so far. Obama has governed "pragmatically" not "ideologically", which is why he's losing support on the left. So far Obama has shown no sympathy whatsoever for the Ayers-Wright view of the world. Unless you're one of those people who view continuation of Bush's foreign policy and bailouts as "radical socialism".

  • ||

    Obama has governed "pragmatically" not "ideologically",

    You can tell how pragmatic he's been by the success of his signature issues:

    (1) Health care reform
    (2) Cap and trade

  • fact checker||

    Further evidence for Obama's lack of sympathy for the Ayers-Wright world view and his lack of ideological bent can be found in

    1. His deliberate insults to the British government.
    2. His knee-jerk reaction to the Cambridge cop incident.
    3. His bullying of corporate executives, condemnation of executive compensation, etc.
    4. His support for the AGW scam even as the depth of the scam is being revealed.
    5. His crotch bows to non-white foreign leaders.
    6. His insistence that economic recovery can only be promoted by massive government spending.
    7. His attempts to minimize, marginalize, ridicule and generally ignore the concerns of his critics.
    8. His establishment of a huge number of Czar positions and then his filling of those positions by people who are on the far fringes of the American political spectrum.

  • The Happy Pessimist||

    the shallow, ill-informed, truth-twisting demagogue seen in the 2008 presidential campaign is all she is and all she wants to be.

    Ouch. And she's a mirror to those who worship her.

  • ||

    "Not for long, he didn't. The FBI says Abdulmutallab provided a wealth of useful information under questioning after he got a lawyer."

    The FBI says.....comeon man. Where's Balko when you need him.

  • Jimmy 'Crack' Corn||

    Shirley,
    And that wasn't a self serving comment by the FBI director who was appointed by Obama, was it?

  • Mad Elf||

    Not for long, he didn't. The FBI says Abdulmutallab provided a wealth of useful information under questioning after he got a lawyer.

    Anyone that has ever watched an episode of 24 knows this is bullshit. The only way to extract information from terrorists is by torture or threatening to kill their family members.

  • Suki||

    They said they flew his family members in and they encouraged him to cooperate. At least in one version of the story that was claimed.

    The part about the women bombers in training looked like it was recycled from a January 2008 Philippines story.

  • Cookie Kwan||

    And what did he get in exchange? I can't believe he just gave up information simply because he was bestowed by our generosity and grateful for his lawyer. Some sort of deal was likely made.

  • ||

    The only way to extract info is to wait five weeks, give him a nice meal, and fly his parents in. Because Al Qaeda is so cocky they no longer even bother with silly things like moving their camps or changing passwords. Information is perishable?? I drink my milk 3 months after expiration, and it tastes.....perfect-ish.

  • Jack Bauer||

    WE'RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME!

  • ||

    DAMMIT CHLOE! I'M GIVING YOU ONE LAST CHANCE...

  • Mark||

    So what is your answer -- to torture it out of him?

    Setting aside debate about the relative merits of plea bargaining as an abused prosecutorial tool, in this case it worked; it provided a means to encourage cooperation without physical violence.

    This is the way our criminal justice system works. While it has many flaws, and while I might join you in pointing out the times when I believe it has failed, I can at the same time believe it is the best in the world at balancing the security/liberty scales.

    If we give up the basic system of protections for individual liberty that makes us who we are, if we selectively apply law in the name of political and religious ideology rather than under the fundamental belief that all are entitled to equal protection under the law, if we give in to the base vigilantist in all of us, then we likewise give up our standing as an example of liberty and freedom for the rest of the world to emulate, and the terrorists will have won.

  • JoshInHB||

    You're a typical Liertarian dumbshit.

    Who are "we" are you a Nigerian terrorist that just attemped to mass murder 300 people?

    If not then you're not "we" with Abdultallub.

    Oh I know, if we (america) treats a mass murdering enemy comabaant one this way, next thing you know they'll be waterboarding pregnant women for speedind.

    You're a jackass.

    Get real dipshit.

  • BakedPenguin||

    God, what an asshole you are. I'll explain this real slow for you.

    While it may be obvious that an asshole trying to light his undewear bomb is a terrorist. Not all matters are so black and white. Not everyone gets caught in such obvious situations. Since those people may or may not be terrorists, it is important to keep Constitutional protections around.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Um, if someone is willing to sear their crotch off with explosives with a goal of killing a planeload of innocents, they should damned well fall into the terrorist category. Where else would he go?

  • BakedPenguin||

    TLG, my point was that some people who will be prosecuted won't have underwear bombs. They might have given $2,000 to an "Islamic charity" or have some "hateful" literature or something.

  • K-Y||

    Or perhaps they are just kinky. And muslim.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    I was speaking specifically about the Taint Bomber, BP, and others who are caught in the act of doing something far more dangerous than printing agit-prop leaflets.

  • ||

    Not all matters are so black and white BUT THIS ONE IS. If you can't treat THIS matter with clarity then you are really screwed on the rest.

  • Mark||

    JoshInHB said: '...if we (america) treats a mass murdering enemy comabaant one this way...'

    Who is the 'enemy?' Terrorism? Terrorism is a tactic, not an enemy. There are people all over the globe willing to use terrorism to make a point, some even live here in the US -- remember Timothy McVeigh? Why wasn't he tried by military tribunal?

    An insane jerkoff who stalks through a crowded mall shooting 20 or 30 people is using 'terrorism.' Using your logic, should he be tried under military tribunal too?

    I have no problem with using a military tribunal to deal with war crimes committed on the battlefield by an enemy declared so by the US Congress -- that's how it's done according to the US Constitution. This case involved neither a war crime, nor a war criminal.

    JoshInHB said: '...next thing you know they'll be waterboarding pregnant women for speedind.'

    So what you're suggesting is we have no reason to fear our government might overstep the bounds of constitutional law in the name of national security?

    Like when it completely trampled the rights of some 120,000 AMERICANS who were not even accused of a crime and imprisoned without due process during WWII?

    No, our government would NEVER overreact like that... No way.

    JoshInHB said: 'You're a jackass.'

    Indeed. I guess since you have no logical argument to present you must resort to name calling.

    Thankfully my Mom taught me long ago how to deal with such horrors. Sticks and stones, sir, stick and stones...

  • fact checker||

    "An insane jerkoff who stalks through a crowded mall shooting 20 or 30 people is using 'terrorism.'"

    This logic is flawed. The insane jerkoff may not have been trying to terrorize others. For instance, the jerkoff may have been trying to get attention while committing suicide by cop.

  • Mark||

    A mass murderer bent on 'suicide by cop' is using the tactics of terrorism (indiscriminately killing innocent people) to get the attention of -- and a reaction from -- law enforcement. How is that different from 'terrorists' using terrorism to garner international attention and an international reaction?

    To me, it's a matter of scale; I see no flaw in the logic.

  • ||

    The difference is that the second sort belong to an international terror organization that declared war on the US. I think things would be a bit clearer if we had officially declared war on Al Qaeda on 9/12/01. I don't understand why they decided not to do so.

  • fact checker||

    Terrorism is a tactic used to achieve a political end. Killing a bunch of people may be done without a political motive and with no intention of instilling fear. For revenge. For attention. For fame.

  • K-Y||

    What exactly do you think terrorists do?

  • JoshInHB||

    Mark, Baked Penguin

    It doen't surprise me one that you can't tell the difference between a terrorist and a criminal.

    You're classic dilletantes that wring their hands worrying about our freedoms while adults are out protecting yours.

    Thank god only a small minority are so wrapped up in their own bullshit that they are incapable of self defense.

  • Pepe||

    Just remember: Anytime a scary looking, brown person does something illegal they are probably a terrorist and we should assume so. You are innocent until proven guilty unless you are obviously guilty in which case we can just assume so without due process. It makes it so much easier.

  • Mark||

    In the eyes of the Constitution there is no difference between a terrorist and a criminal when no war has been declared.

    As regards self-defense, your assumption is not based on fact. I'm fully prepared, willing and able to provide for my own defense.

    On the other hand, the government has proven time and again it is incapable of the same, at least at the individual level, which is where criminals and terrorists work best.

  • Jimmy 'Crack' Corn||

    +1

  • gillicuty||

    JoshInHB,

    Your childish outrage over Constitutional law prevents your little mind from 1) spelling correctly, 2) ignorantly assuming that because we actually believe in the Bill of Right we aren't willing to defend ourselves, 3)believe that sending 200K troops to some back water, third world piss-hole that posed no military threat to this country without the required declaration of war is self defense. Like all right-wing war mongering fools, you're an idiot.

  • libertybill||

    Like all right-wing war mongering fools, you're an idiot.
    __________________________---

    Not to mention a coward as well.

  • ||

    I think the distinction is pretty clear: if the attacker mowing people down in a mall is a US citizen, then he (or she) shall be tried in court. If not, then he shall be tried by military tribunal. I'm not sure what is so difficult about this...

  • Doug||

    Anyone that has ever watched an episode of 24 knows it's a work of fiction. At least most of us do.

  • ||

    Not true, I've gone 24 hours without eating or hitting the head.

  • ||

    Like other viewers, I love seeing the "lunch episode" each season.

  • ||

    Neither has Jack Bauer.... there's plenty of time during a commercial break to hit the head.

  • Cookie Kwan||

    And self defense does not preclude liberty either! This is one thing that I disagree with most Libertarians on. We may disagree on what constitutes self defense but in order to have a free society, we also must protect it. As far as how the "enemies" are tried or whether or not they have lawyers, we can argue that all day, however, I wonder if enemy combatants automatically get rights under the constitution.

  • ||

    Wouldn't it depend on the jurisdiction of their crimes? A non-uniformed combatant in Afghanistan wouldn't fall under the US Constitution or Geneva Convention. Wouldn't he be treated the same as a spy?

    Perhaps there is an important distinction made for guys like KSM whose crime is conspiracy to commit murder in the US. But then you certainly can get into a gray area where hypothetically you could have a wave of non-uniformed militants coming to our shores acting as an army. Not sure how to handle that. Seems more than simple first degree murder when they kill someone. Do you apply full Constitutional rights or just capture and imprison or kill without due process?

  • Cookie Kwan||

    Does it have to be all or nothing? If we apply Constitutional rights to everyone in the world, aren't we forcing our ideals on the world as well? I think that's why there's so much debate on this issue - nobody really knows what the hell to do with these captures. Military tribunal? Federal Courts? Mirandize them? Do they get the same rights as me and you?

    There has to be some sort of due process to ensure that the innocent go free, however, war is a little more complicated in that "enemies" are not playing by the same rules. They don't adhere by rules of engagement or the Geneva Conventions, so do we trade our common sense for liberties for our enemies? Again, I just don't know...

  • Mark||

    The so-called 'underwear bomber' was captured attempting a crime within the sovereign boundaries of the United States. According the Supreme Court precedent, his citizenship is immaterial; if he committed a crime in the US he is subject to the US criminal justice system.

    The idea that we somehow empower a terrorist by providing him the same criminal protections we give our own citizens is completely wrong-headed, primarly because it is based on a single premise -- that we can get more information if the case is processed through a military tribunal.

    Even if such could be proved, even if we could get more information via torture and/or the threat of indefinite incarceration without due process, to use these methods is selling our collective soul; it is admitting the ends justify the means.

    There is a balance between liberty and security. I will always accept the transitory danger of less security for the eternal benefits of more liberty.

  • ||

    Agreed.

    Any thoughts on how to handle the guys that are picked up in Afghanistan or Iraq who have not committed a crime in the US? Return them to where they were found? In what capacity? Or something else?

  • Idea Guy||

    How about using the stimulus money to give them job training and relocating them in the US?

  • Mark||

    My answer would be we never declared war on either Afghanistan or Iraq -- we shouldn't be there.

    In the world's eyes -- even using our own Constitution as a guide-- those we are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan are not the criminals, we are.

  • ||

    One could also say the the Operation Pastorius saboteurs were captured while attempting to commit crimes in the US. But they were also acting as soldiers for a foreign state that had declared war on the US, and were out of uniform and thus in violation of the laws of war. I see no reason to treat the underwear bomber any differently.

  • Mark||

    The difference is:

    1. What is the uniform for 'terror?'

    2. We were in a Congressionally-declared state of war in 1942. That is not the case today.

    3. Even if we were in a declared war, torture and indefinite incarceration are not permitted by the Geneva convention.

  • ||

    1) There isn't one, too bad for them they automatically lose on that count then.

    2) The congress authorized war against Iraq and Afghanistan, and you are in a war when any group declares one against you regardless of what you say. You don't say when the war is done, the people who declare it do.

  • ||

    ""Wouldn't he be treated the same as a spy?""

    Like Johnny Span?

    People threw a fit and wanted justice when that spy was killed on foreign soil.

  • ||

    Why does Google return nothing for "Johnny Span?" Never heard of him. If he was an American spy who was killed in some foreign land, he had to know that was a possibility, right? Everyone knows spies get killed if they're captured. That people are upset isn't surprising, but do they have an argument that his rights were violated?

    My point is to find out if anyone here can come up with a good way to prosecute these "enemy combatants." Their actions and/or locations don't comply with our existing legal structure, or do they?

  • ||

    His last name is spelled "Spann," and he was a CIA employee killed in a prison riot, so TrickyVic's characterization is off-base and rather disgusting.

  • ||

    I'm pointing out the inconsistancy of when our judical system applies to non-citizens on foreign soil.

    Nothing off-base or disgusting.

  • ||

    He was murdered by Islamists in a prison riot because he was an American, not because he was captured as a "spy," so yeah, you were off-base.

  • ||

    A prison riot from which charges were filed against John Walker Lindh.

    An American was charged in federal court for something he did on foreign soil.

  • ||

    A spy need not be captured.

  • ||

    Maybe the Chinese had something to do with it. But a search in Yahoo pulled this as it's first result.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Micheal_Spann

    That incident also brings up an issue of American legal jursidiction. John Walker Lindh. How can an American be tried in US court for something he did in a foreign land?

    ""If he was an American spy who was killed in some foreign land, he had to know that was a possibility, right? ""

    Absolutely, everyone in cover CIA ops knows if you're caught, don't expect much help, and you are at the mercy and will of the foreign government. But the Bush admin and some media played it as if he was a military hero that didn't deserve being killed like the spy he was.

    ""My point is to find out if anyone here can come up with a good way to prosecute these "enemy combatants."""

    We have a structure to try enemy combatants in military tribunals. The problem occurs when you realize that the existing standards for a military tribual are not relaxed enough to get a guilty verdict.

    Bush could have already had them in front of a military tribunal long ago. But he wanted to re-write rules by his own hand, which the Constitution doesn't allow. That's specifically charged to Congress. So he had to get Congress to do something, and they did. But then you have the question of retroactivity, since the laws were passed after they were captured.

    I'm not against using military tribunals, though I prefer not to treat them like combatants in order to parade them as fools, not warriors whom we bicker about their combatant lawfulness.

  • ||

    So they don't have to be uniformed soldiers to qualify for military tribunals? Just asking for clarification, because if that process requires they be uniformed soldiers, like Geneva Convention protections, then we still have a gray area.

    If they don't need to be uniformed, and can simply be anyone we engaged in military conflict, and we don't have any crime to charge them with, wouldn't we have to return them to their country or where we found them? Indefinite detention without charges or an ongoing legal war is something I don't think we can tolerate and maintain any moral authority any more.

  • ||

    Libertarianism must be an awful big tent for Steve to be comfortable publishing this garbage.

    "The advantage of having a former law professor in the Oval Office is that he doesn't have to be tutored in such elementary realities."

    Seriously? You really believe that Obama has been a case study in living within the bounds of the Constitution? What've you been smoking, dude?

    WRT Palin, her position is that *foreign citizens* engaged in essentially *military* actions against the US should be tried in *military* courts - just as has been done since the founding of the nation. You may disagree with her but to act as if it is somehow a horrifyingly new turn or stunningly stupid or wretchedly fascist or whatever just makes you look like an idiot.

    Palin was one of the most libertarian of all of the governers seated in the last century when she actually wielded executive power. But somehow, having a uterus and a folksy, downhome manner just drives some people batshit crazy.

    You know, she is certainly not *my* first choice for President. But neither does she seem particularly worthy of the wrath and vitriol I see pouring in her direction. She's a pretty typical local-quality Republican pol (especially once you figure out that the charges that she wanted to ban books and outlaw abortion, etc. were made up out of whole cloth). Thus, to see a (supposed) Libertarian compare her unfavorably to Obama (seriously?) and to engage in the same slimy name-calling we see on the hard left is really disturbing.

    Remember folks - we're supposed to be the ones who actually *think.*

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Palin was one of the most libertarian of all of the governers seated in the last century when she actually wielded executive power.

    Flat-out lie, no matter how wide you stretch the concept "libertarian".

    "I was for the Bridge to Nowhere before I was against it!"...a 442 million dollar earmark, dude! Running what is essentially a mineral republic isn't exactly libertarian, either.

    And I don't particularly care how she was as a governor, anyway - she's now a national politician who would gladly give the DoD 2 trillion dollars, if it asked. Get a grip.

  • ||

    I always liked how taking money from oil companies and the lower 48 and redistributing it to Alaskans is the new libertarianism.

  • brotherben||

    Not to mention the huge increase in the amount of tribute extracted from those oil companies doing business in Alaska. Because Alaskans deserved it.

  • Extra! Extra!||

    "LIBERTARIAN" GARY JOHNSON IS A WELFARE QUEEN

    New Mexico is the biggest beneficiary, with a federal spending-to-tax ratio of 2.00.

    That rules him out.Next candidate please.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Johnson has been out of the NM governor's office... how long, now?

  • fact checker||

    The "federal spending-to-tax ratio" is not a good measure of whether a State is a giver or a taker. Give me 5 billion dollars today and I will give you back 5.1 billion dollars a year from now.

  • ||

    So check your facts to see if Alaska has paid that back yet.

  • fact checker||

    I mention that the ratio is not a good measure because denizens of populous, politically well-connected States, particularly in the NE use the ratio to suggest that their States are supporting other States when, in fact, they are dipping their hands deeply into the national piggy bank.

  • ||

    Ok, maybe it's not a good measure for states doing that, but I don't think Alaska is claiming to support other states.

  • ||

    A lie? No. A simple observation of the balance of laws supported. Your inability to look at Palin and see anything other than "stupid female" says more about you than her.

    And the Dem talking points are so tired I have a hard time staying awake trying to respond. A "mineral republic"? "Bridge to Nowhere"? So, Obama can essentially rape American taxpayers to pay off the politically connected and he's all well and good. But Palin demurs for awhile before deciding against accepting an earmark (brought to her on a silver platter by people with far more political experience than she had at the time) and you are up one side and down the other. The sheer double-standard here is breathtaking.

    Explain to me how charging oil companies to use Alaska's natural resources is somehow "unlibertarian" - or is it only "libertarian" if Exxon makes even larger piles of money than they do already?

    Or is the real problem her use of oil revenues to knock taxes back to near zero? Is it only "libertarian" for you if she uses it to fund a huge state bureaucracy filled with lifers with 80% retirement guarantees?

    Since when did "Libertarian" become a synonym for ignorant Leftist?

  • Cookie Kwan||

    >

    I actually agree with this.

    I, personally, don't like Palin because I don't think she very astute or curious. She's like a female GWB, but perhaps a little less savvy, IMO.

  • Butts Wagner||

    You're just jealous because Sarah is number 1 on both the East and South side.

  • Cookie Kwan||

    LOL Butts Wagner.

    Talk about an obscure reference.

    +10

  • Doug||

    WRT Palin, her position is that *foreign citizens* engaged in essentially *military* actions against the US should be tried in *military* courts - just as has been done since the founding of the nation.

    Actually under Reagan the official counter terrorism policy was to treat them as criminals at try them in the court of law, thereby delegitimizing their cause. Read your history and learn from it.

  • ||

    They want a war, a jihad. Reagan was right. Giving them the perception that it is a war only justifies what they are claiming.

    They want to be warriors, so treat them like common thugs instead.

  • JoshInHB||

    They'll kill you and your family in a second if they had the opportunity.

    How you treat them is irrelevant to their hatred for you.

    Or do you think that the Jew did something to piss off the NAZIs and were partially responsible for their fate?

  • ||

    """They'll kill you and your family in a second if they had the opportunity."""

    I walk around in public, in NYC, without a security detail, they have ample opprotunity.

  • Q b4 A||

    Do you think the German people became angry at Jews simply as a result of Nazi propaganda or do you think that Nazi propaganda amplified existing grievances?

    How come every discussion always turns into a discussion about the fate of the Jewish people?

  • JoshInHB||

    My point was that radical islamics hate us for their own irrational reasons.

    They aren't going to change their world view if we're nicer to them.

  • Q b4 A||

    Militant Islamic radicals have repeatedly stated that they want the influence of western powers out of their countries. Is that irrational? The radicals may not represent a majority view in their countries, but they are not "irrational haters". Saying they are is simply a cheap way of dismissing their grievances.

  • ||

    Ok, so you have a group of radical islamics. We are not trying to be nice to change their minds, we are trying to show the people that have yet to join them why their cause is bullshit. Or that they have no real cause at all.

    It's about recruiting and the prevention thereof.

  • Jimmy 'Crack' Corn||

    "They aren't going to change their world view if we're nicer to them."

    What? That is Obama's current foreign policy towards our enemies.

  • gillicuty||

    They have actually been very specific about their hatred. It has very little to do with Islam and much to do with US foreign policy.
    We were fairly well thought of in the ME before the CIA installed the Shah. Since then we have supported every brutal two-bit thug and monarchy and stuck our noses and our bombs in their business for so long that is where the hatred comes from.

    Read OBL's declaration of war. He was very specific about the reasons and his goal. That goal to obtain victory was NOT about planting the flag of Islam in the US. It is to BANKRUPT the US.

    Guess what? He's winning.

  • Maxwell||

    "How come every discussion always turns into a discussion about the fate of the Jewish people?"

    new to the internet? It's Godwin's law;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hitler_argument

  • JoshInHB||

    Qb4A-"Militant Islamic radicals have repeatedly stated that they want the influence of western powers out of their countries. Is that irrational? The radicals may not represent a majority view in their countries, but they are not "irrational haters".

    gillicutty-"They have actually been very specific about their hatred. It has very little to do with Islam and much to do with US foreign policy."

    Ah yes, the standard University Leftist reply that "it's America's fault".

    Obama truelly is your president.

  • JoshInHB||

    TrickyVic-"Ok, so you have a group of radical islamics. We are not trying to be nice to change their minds, we are trying to show the people that have yet to join them why their cause is bullshit. Or that they have no real cause at all."

    What makes you thinkg these savages are capable of understanding the nuances of the American legal system?

    The likely recruits agree with you that the US is an evil empire.
    The judicial systems in their own countries are the enforcement arm of whatever shitbag is in charge. And Obama has guaranteed that KSM will be found guilty. Any potential AQ recruit will be sure that this is nothing more that a show trial.

    Meanwhile, the terror leaders will learn intelligence sources and other useful information from open court proceedings.

  • ||

    Who said they would understand the legal system?

    Your a fucking idiot if you think I think the US is an evil empire.

    What makes you think it would be an "open" court? Classified information had been used in courts before. But hey, if the US doesn't like it, they should have thought about that beforehand.

  • JoshInHB||

    Yes we have all those things as part of the military justice system. Including defense attorneys.

    So what exactly is the point of moving KSM to a civilian court in NY?

    Other than a show trial?

  • ||

    """So what exactly is the point of moving KSM to a civilian court in NY?""

    I have know idea what their point is, I don't speak for them.

    I have given my opinion as to why I think they should be in federal court.

    I'm not necessarily opposed to military tribunals. But the Bush admin couldn't setup enough of a kangaroo court to proceed. Those military defense attorneys you speak of, and SCOTUS did a good job of sinking Bush's idea of a military tribunal.

    If you're really pissed off about it, take it up with Bush. He had almost his entire presidency to try them. But instead of sticking them in front of a regular tribunal, he wanted to screw around with the rules to game the system.

  • JoshInHB||

    "I'm not necessarily opposed to military tribunals. But the Bush admin couldn't setup enough of a kangaroo court to proceed. Those military defense attorneys you speak of, and SCOTUS did a good job of sinking Bush's idea of a military tribunal.

    Except that Obama has reaffirmed the validity of of the Military Justice system for foreign terrorists.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....03783.html

    Again, why move KSM?
    Unless a show trialis the whole point.

    And yes, you are correct that Bush initially set up the system by executive order, instead of through a normal congressionally passed law. This was an unnecessary mistake.

    I'll ask again.
    What is the libertarian obssession with treating foreign terrorists the same as drunk drivers?

  • ||

    I like the idea of trying them in a manner that delegitimizes their cause. I've thought all along, we should ridicule them as part of policy to make them appear weak as opposed to ramp up security to make them appear strong, and that works great for the shoe or underwear bombers and for KSM, but is there a legal standing for them in civilian court if they are picked up as enemy combatants in Afghanistan?

  • ||

    Interesting fact. Also completely immaterial to the discussion.

    Your position - and Steve's - is essentially that Palin's position shows her to be an idiot despite the fact that her position A) agrees with the vast majority of Americans, B) asks us to follow the same practice that we've used in the *vast majority* of cases for two centuries, and C) is widely supported in military circles most intimately familiar with these cases.

    Any why is she an idiot? Because you can think of a case where Ronald Reagan tried an alternative strategy?

    How's this: Palin disagrees with you. She has a well-reasoned, traditionalist approach to non-uniformed combatants to which you have reasonable objections. She's not a moron, an extremist or a Nazi.

    Can you do that? Or is there simply no room for you to even consider that a woman might have a reasonable argument to which you have to respond like an adult rather than a petulant child?

  • Mike Laursen||

    WRT Palin, her position is that *foreign citizens* engaged in essentially *military* actions against the US should be tried in *military* courts - just as has been done since the founding of the nation.

    I'm pretty sure I heard her, in her speech to the Tea Party convention the other day, criticize the Obama administration for not spending an hour or so torturing a U.S. citizen suspected of terrorist activities before trying him in civilian courts.

  • fact checker||

    During the speech, Palin criticized the Obama administration for only questioning the underwear bomber for an hour before letting him "lawyer up".

    The underwear bomber is not a US citizen.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Thank you, fact checker. I mistakenly thought that the underwear bomber was a U.S. Citizen.

    Of course, I think trial-related rights like the Habeas Corpus, etc. should be extended to all people, not just U.S. Citizens. But that's a separate debate.

  • Cookie Kwan||

    ""

    Of course, I think trial-related rights like the Habeas Corpus, etc. should be extended to all people, not just U.S. Citizens. But that's a separate debate.""

    Then why not allow the entire world to vote in our elections?

  • ||

    Let's don't be stupid about Habeas Corpus, otherwise you may think we have a right to vote in Britan's elections.

  • Mike Laursen||

    How are those two things related?

  • ||

    Mana Carta

  • ||

    magna carta

  • fact checker||

    "Thank you, fact checker. I mistakenly thought that the underwear bomber was a U.S. Citizen."

    My pleasure.

  • Jimmy 'Crack' Corn||

    Wildmonk

    +25

  • libertybill||

    Palin was one of the most libertarian of all of the governers seated in the last century when she actually wielded executive power.
    ________________________________

    Bullshit, Gary Johnson blows her completely away.

  • ||

    Well, actually I agree. I like Johnson a lot and hope that he has a future in national politics. That is why I said "ONE OF the most libertarian".

    Thus....no need for the "bullshit" declamation.

  • RockLibertyWarrior||

    Palin if you go by her comments, is a war mongering, Israel first, big government Pentagon, neo con. That faction has taken over the tea party movement and will destroy it with their hypocrisy. People of the anarchist/libertarian persuasion need to get out of this movement or try to take it back from the statist Republican party.

  • ||

    war mongering big government Pentagon, that sounds like Obama who is gaily murdering civilians in Yemen and Afghanistan. That at least should be the liberal talking point, except that when democratic presidents wage war, left wing anti war movements disappear. As for Israel, let's see Obama take it on. He has obviously decided to leave Israel alone.

  • ||

    Obama who is gaily murdering civilians

    I hate to be a pedant, but gay is spelled with a 'y'.

  • Cookie Kwan||

    Actually, it can be spelled either way, "gaily" or "gayly", so get your gays straight.

  • ||

    It was a joke, dude. I assumed they meant to say "daily."

  • Cookie Kwan||

    I actually hoped that s/he did mean to say "gaily".

  • Mike Laursen||

    You seem to be under the impression that commenters here who are criticizing Palin are therefore supporters of Obama. This is a libertarian site -- we're critical of everyone in power.

  • fact checker||

    This site gives Ron Paul a blow-job-in-prose on a regular basis.

  • Mike Laursen||

    That's funny. The reason staff is regularly criticized by diehard Ron Paul supporters for undermining his campaign by talking too much about his racist newsletters.

  • fact checker||

    addendum: The Reason staff criticizes Ron Paul. Site posters are the ones who typically give Ron Paul a blow-job-in-prose.

  • Mike Laursen||

    The commenters here do a lot of things that shouldn't be discussed in polite company.

  • Extra! Extra!||

    Sarah Palin has been out of the AK governor's office...how long,now?

  • Mike Laursen||

    OK, I'll amend what I said ... everyone in political power and everyone seeking political power.

  • ||

    Which is one reason libertarians are so marginalized: they spend lots of energy attacking everyone, even people who are largely sympathetic to many libertarian positions, because they don't agree with every detail in the party platform. "Splitists!"

    The country didn't get into the semi-socialized, public-employee-unionized, nearly bankrupt mess that it's in because leftists were purists and only voted for politicians they agreed with 100%. We got here because they compromised, worked on the margins, and made alliances when they had to, and didn't demand everything at once.

    Libertarians ought to be clever and realistic enough to see that the tea partiers and even Palin are probably the likeliest means they'll have to gain any major influence on the federal government in the next few years. Yes, it will mean working with icky Republicans and traditionalist Christians. Yes, it will probably mean that libertarian foreign policy goals will have to be set aside, because most Americans want to kill foreigners who are out to kill Americans. But there is a major mass movement happening that is largely sympathetic to smaller government and lower taxes. It would be foolish for libertarians to be purist nitpickers on the sidelines when they could jump in and actually have some real-world influence.

  • nj||

    PapayaSF

    War is the health of the state. Never forget that

  • confused||

    I thought whore was the wealth of the ... oh never mind.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Your comment is really confused. Are you talking about Libertarians or little-L libertarians? Because little-L libertarians are often involved in parties other than the Libertarian Party, and do make the types of compromises that you advise.

  • ||

    I meant both, though obviously it's problematic for actually big-L candidates, who can't support some other party's candidate. I'm registered as a Libertarian, and often vote that way when it doesn't matter (e.g. against Pelosi), but the big races are almost always R v. D., so it makes more sense for me to vote R to stop the D, who is usually worse on the issues I care most about.

  • ||

    PapayaSF - THANK YOU! I feel like I am banging my head against the wall to make this point to libertarians most of the time.

  • ||

    Better yet, maybe the Tea Party people can take back the Republican Party from the progressives.

  • ||

    "Cult of Personality"

    “And during the few moments that we have left, we want to talk, right down to
    earth, in a language that everybody here can easily understand.” (Malcolm X)

    Look in my eyes, what do you see?
    the Cult of Personality
    I know your anger, I know your dreams
    I've been everything you wanna be ohhh. . .
    I'm the Cult of Personality
    Like Mussolini and Kennedy
    I'm the Cult of Personality
    the Cult of Personality
    the Cult of Personality

    Neon lights, Nobel Prize
    When a mirror speaks, the reflection lies
    You won't have to follow me
    Only you can set me free

    I sell the things you need to be
    I'm the smiling face of your T.V. ohh. . .
    I'm the Cult of Personality
    I exploit you; still you love me
    I tell you one and one makes three ohh. . .
    I'm the Cult of Personality
    Like Joseph Stalin and Gandhi ohh. . .
    I'm the Cult of Personality
    the Cult of Personality
    the Cult of Personality

    Neon lights, Nobel Prize
    When a leader speaks, that leader dies
    You won't have to follow me
    Only you can set you free

    (Guitar solo)

    You gave me fortune, you gave me fame
    You gave me power in your God's name
    I'm every person you need to be ohh. . .
    I'm, the, Cult, of, Per, Son, Al, Ity

    I am the Cult of (x8)
    Personality

    “Ask not what your country can do for you. . . .” (John F. Kennedy)
    “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” (Franklin D. Roosevelt)

  • brotherben||

    I loved that show. Jim Carrey was awesome as the firechief.

  • Mad Elf||

    OK, that was pretty funny. +1 internet to you good sir.

  • I See What You Did There||

    +1

  • A is Awesome||

    God Dammit reason! Stop making articles about Sarah Palin!

  • ||

    why don't people who write articles like this admit that there is a risk of an attack on the NYC subway system that could lead to hundreds or thousands being killed or on the Brooklyn Bridge or Battery Park. Start from there and then argue how the people who are planning such things deserve to be treated like any other criminals. Admit the risk.
    Liberals deny the risk of an attack and insist only on the risk of losing civil liberties.
    Liberals also refuse to admit that civil liberties depend on a very wide consensus that people will not get on planes and bomb them or do things that will kill hundreds of people in buildings or tunnels or department stores. Maybe we can one such incident and still preserve civil liberties. But two, five, six or twelve - that means no civil liberties.
    Civil liberties are not magical. The citizens create them by their actions. They have to be deserved. Countries with a low sense of public order don't have civil liberties. No one can be trusted.

  • Tony||

    They have to be deserved.

    This reminds me of something Rep. Michelle Bachmann said about the underpants bomber. "He doesn't DESERVE our rights!"

    Deserve? As if basic constitutional rights were things to be parceled out based on who's earned enough brownie points. A guy who murders 30 hookers "deserves" more rights than a guy who harmed nobody but himself in a botched terrorism attempt? It's not about who deserves what, it's about what the law says.

    How many people have to die to make it ok to tear up the constitution? Give me a number. It better be big, though, because there are 1000 ways more people die each year than terrorism and nobody's arguing ignoring the constitution to stop any of those.

  • J_L_B||

    Constitutional rights are reserved for those accused civilian crimes (littering, grand theft auto, extortion, embezzlement, etc.). Constitutional rights do not extend to those committing acts of a military or warfare nature. During WWII and subsequent wars, we captured soldiers intending on committing those against us and held them as POWs until the end of the war. The same treatment with current detainees is warranted: indefinite detention until Osama comes out of his cave waving a white flag.

    Trying belligerents who commit acts of war against us in federal or state court would have had us, after Pearl Harbor, send Honolulu's finest over to Japan to arrest Emperor Hirohito and arraign him on charges of discharging an explosive device on government land.

  • TP||

    I believe Congress issued a Declaration of War against the Japanese, but I could be wrong.

    Even if there were a Declaration of War against suspected terrorists (if that were even possible), our government is still bound, by the Constitution, to the Geneva Convention, which basically says, a prisoner must either be considered a POW or a criminal.

    You can't have it both ways, unless of course, you swing both ways.

  • J_L_B||

    I believe Congress issued a Declaration of War against the Japanese, but I could be wrong.

    Fine, but the Geneva Convention does not require a declaration for its provisions to be enforceable, otherwise we could still be holding all POWs from all conflicts on this side 1960’s (the last time Congress declared war… on poverty). Giving them POW status is beneficial to us given Al Qaeda’s pride and resulting propensity to engage in a perpetual fight. We can hold KSM and other detainees until they need walkers and dentures without running afoul of any law or convention.

  • TP||

    I wasn't aware that the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 was a formal Declaration of War. But anyway...

    Fine, if the government wants to treat them as POWs, they must be granted all of the provisions of the Third Convention. That means that they can not be tried in a court law (military or civilian) to be held accountable for their crimes and they must be released at the end of hostilities. If they are accused of war crimes, they must be tried in an International court. Are you willing to accept that?

  • J_L_B||

    I wasn't aware that the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 was a formal Declaration of War.

    It's a joke TP. Haven't you heard that phrase, the last war Congress declared was on poverty?

    ... they must be released at the end of hostilities

    The conflict will outlive them, which is why granting them all those provisions is fine. We're not compelled to try them in any court, domestic or international, and as mentioned earlier, their fanaticism and ego is too much for them to give up in KSM's lifetime or even the 25 year-old underwear bomber’s lifetime.

  • TP||

    Constitutional rights do not extend to those committing acts of a military or warfare nature

    I think there are federal statutes on the books regarding terrorism. I'll have to check.

  • J_L_B||

    They define an act, not the intention or scale of the crime being committed. It goes back to the example Emperor Hirohito being guilty of conspiracy to discharge an explosive device on government property. The scale and intention of their acts were of a military and not civil crime nature. It needed to be dealt with in a military fashion: war, POWs, invasions, armies, etc.

  • TP||

    The conflict will outlive them,

    Not so sure about that. The "conflict" will only last until the next one comes along. I'd rather see them answer for their crimes, and be convicted by a jury. Then, there's no doubt about what they'll be doing for the rest of their natural lives.

    But to say that all of these suspected terrorists should be held indefinately begs the question...Are any of them innocent? Unless they were captured on a battlefield, there's always going to be some doubt. Should our government be able to hold anyone they so chose indefinitely?

  • J_L_B||

    Asking about guilt or innocence is the wrong question to ask. Military tribunals are appropriate to differentiate civilian from soldier but not to try, convict, and sentence. The Geneva Convention allows us to hold POWs without trial until the end of hostilities, and I'm damn well sure Al Qaeda will NOT surrender in the liftime of these detainees. You'd be naive to think otherwise.

  • Cookie Kwan||

    J_L_B - great information.

    I have always wondered how it is that people want to debate the status of war criminals as felons. Without acknowledging the unique differences and circumstances, then we might as well draw up thousands of warrants and send our police force overseas to simply arrest these terrorists.

  • ||

    From a legalistic perspective, war is armed conflict between sovereign states. So we can't declare war on Al Qaeda or the Taliban, because they aren't sovereign.

    Just sayin'.

  • ||

    We declared war on the Barbary pirates, so why can't we declare war on Al Qaeda, who's declared war on us?

  • ||

    Can we use the military and declare war on DVD pirates? ;-)

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Say, Tony... what's your take on the Tenth Amendment?

    Yeah, that's what I thought.

  • Tony||

    I pretty much agree with what the case law says about it.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Well, that's a candyass answer, but not surprising coming from a liberal.

  • Extra! Extra!||

    there are 1000 ways more people die each year than terrorism and nobody's arguing ignoring the constitution to stop any of those.
    reply to this

    Haven't you heard of the DemocRAT health care plan?Saves 45000 uninsured people from dying each year.
    Wanna make an omelet? Gotta break some constitutional eggs.

  • ||

    tony, what the law says depends on what people do. If a nation is always having tribal warfare and one village is always attacking another there are no civil liberties. There aren't any in Somalia. Maybe there is a writing somewhere with the rights, but it does not matter and no one cares about it.

    First comes a very high order and lawfulness. Then the people say we are civilized, we can trust each other, so we will have these rights. Terrorism makes civil liberties impossible. It is a breach of the agreement that people have that we won't do certain things that will destroy the rights. We can put up with a lot of crime. Terrorism is different. But even crime if it gets to a certain level may result in a loss of civil liberties.

    It took a long time to get to that point in the west and many are not there yet.

    I think an attack on the NYC subway that killed riders could destroy the constitution, maybe not for Obama or you, but for most people. There is your answer.

  • K-Y||

    In Israel, you would be considered a pussy.

  • TP||

    If I am not mistaken, Civil Liberties are derived from Unalienable Rights, or Natural Rights, that are endowed by a Creator. These Rights can not be "given" by any government, they can only be denied.

    Civil liberties are rights and freedoms that protect an individual from the state. Civil liberties set limits on government so that its members cannot abuse their power and interfere unduly with the lives of private citizens."
  • JoshInHB||

    Yes and to militant Islamist the most basic right is the right to kill infidels like you at any time.

  • TP||

    Unlike you, I would rather die in a terrorist attack, than sacrifice my personal freedoms. Too many of my freedoms have been taken away already, in the name of "safety". Do you hate freedom so much, that you would be willing to just hand over you liberties?

  • ||

    ""Unlike you, I would rather die in a terrorist attack, than sacrifice my personal freedoms.""

    As someone who lives in Manhattan, they've had two shots at me. 1993, and 2001. And the threat of them taking another shot is very real. And I agree with your statement. But what can I say, I'm pro-liberty, so I'm biased like that.

  • ||

    Get a little perspective, dude. Yeah, the Man requires you to get a driver's license and plates for your car, so you're Oppressed. That's a bit far from being murdered.

    The Franklin quote everyone mangles is about giving up essential liberty for a little temporary safety. Even he saw the necessity of giving up a little liberty for essential safety.

  • ||

    """Even he saw the necessity of giving up a little liberty for essential safety.""

    How many littles make a lot?

    And do you think Franklin would draw the line. Do you think he would accept full body scans at airports? He would probably shake his head every time an airport termnal is cleared because someone went through the wrong door.

    Hey, I've argued that the random bag checks the NYPD have been doing in the subway system are reasonable due to the real threat. Many disagree, and that's fine.

  • ||

    I think the full-body scans are probably stupid and a waste of money, but yes, it's all a matter of degree. I am far more concerned about the powers of government used against citizens and ordinary criminals than I am when they are used against Muslim militants trying to destroy the country. I don't think Franklin would be too upset about Guantanamo and harsh interrogation of dangerous radicals trying to destroy the US, though.

  • K-Y||

    No! Franklin would agree with ME and that's final!

  • ||

    Them today, you tomorrow.

    Consider the mission creep of the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. act. The government assured us it was for fighting terrorist. Shortly after it was past, the DoJ was doing siminars on how to apply it to law enforcement.

    I would more inclined to agree with you if government could show from friggin restraint.

    I don't know if Franklin would agree or not, some of the framers believed in unalienable rights, and the right to challenge your detention should never be denied.

  • ||

    I am not a fan of most slippery-slope arguments. If something is misused, stop the misuse, but possible misuse shouldn't stop you from using the correct tool for the job in the first place.

  • ||

    From their perspective, it's not misuse. The DoJ probably never intended to apply the aforementioned act to only terrorism. Dispite how it was sold to the American people.

  • ||

    taking off shoes at the airport does not give me "essential safety". In flight 253 the government put the underwear bomber on the plane, they will do it again if they want to cause another PR blitz. Kurt Haskell bitches!

  • ||

    really, you would rather die? also your family and children? at least you are willing to go the distance with your ideas. You realize the implication of your beliefs. Most liberals just evade the issue.

  • libertybill||

    Most liberals just evade the issue.

    _____________________________-

    I love this argument from statist conservatives, I really do. Its the typical "counter-argument" when they cant debate a Libertarian. "When in doubt call them a commie"

  • JoshInHB||

    TP-"Unlike you, I would rather die in a terrorist attack, than sacrifice my personal freedoms."

    Wallow in your specious moral superiority.

    If enough people in the country really believed bullshit like this,
    then your ideals would be murdered along with you.

    In this parallel universe future subjects of the caliphate will admire your ideals. Except that they never would have been exposed to them.

    In the real world people see the value of your moral masturbation.

    Which is less than nothing.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Start from there and then argue how the people who are planning such things deserve to be treated like any other criminals.

    Yup, I think they should be tried like other criminals. The only reason to be opposed to doing so is that one doesn't really have any evidence against the suspect.

  • JoshInHB||

    "Yup, I think they should be tried like other criminals. The only reason to be opposed to doing so is that one doesn't really have any evidence against the suspect.

    Except that criminals are caught after the fact and punished mainly to prevent further criminal activity on their part.

    Treating suicidal mass murders this way is itself suicidal.

    Acts of terrorism must be prevented, not prosecuted after the fact.

  • ||

    ""Except that criminals are caught after the fact and punished mainly to prevent further criminal activity on their part.""

    You might want to rethink that.

    Never heard of anyone be prosecuted for attempted murder, or conspiracy to commit...?

  • JoshInHB||

    Yes,

    The prisons are full of people convicted of conspiracy charges.

    You really need to get out of granma's basement more often.

  • ||

    "civil liberties depend on a very wide consensus that people will not get on planes and bomb them or do things that will kill hundreds of people in buildings or tunnels or department stores."

    That's rich! You go out and stir up fear that everybody is at risk of getting blown up in a suicide attack (in reality you are more likely to get struck by lightning), then you claim we need to clamp down on civil liberties because the fear that you unreasonably spread requires it. Stated in another way, just because you can't get through the night without soiling yourself with fear doesn't mean the rest of us are uninformed about the threat.

  • JoshInHB||

    How many people in Manhattan were struck by lightning in the last decade?

    Cause I can think of 3,000 that were killed by a suicide attack.

    Fact is that the nasty stuff the government has been doing to prevent another attack, has in fact prevented other attacks.

    But yeah we're living in a totalitarian state now, with people randomly dis-appearing just for criticizing the gov.

    So it'd be better if we had a 911 sized attack every few years.

    Right?

  • ||

    "How many people in Manhattan were struck by lightning in the last decade?

    Even better: How many people were struck by lightning while working in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001? Well, I know around 3,000 people who were killed by a terrorist attack.

    And we've had a major terrorist attack just about every decade, so spare me the "he kept us safe, except for that one thingey that was the biggest attack in history" line. It's pure partisan bullshit, the kind where you explain away your own guy's failures while claiming the other team is fully responsible for everything terrible.

  • Mark||

    If I had to choose between your vision of life in America -- trusting in an all-knowing, all-powerful government that will never abuse my civil rights because I'm not a terrorist -- and a 911-sized terrorist attack every... well we're going on nine years now...

    Hmmmmmm.

    3,000 dead by terrorism every nine years... Versus 6,000+ who will die in boating accidents; versus the nearly 400,000 who will die in traffic accidents; versus the some 4 million who will die of cardiovascular disease.

    People die in this country for all kinds of reasons. If we aren't willing to give up our liberty and personal freedom to prevent boating, driving and cardiovascular deaths, why should we do so to prevent deaths by terrorism.

    With the benefits of liberty and freedom comes the sacrifice of security.

    I think I'll take the attacks and keep my boat, car and pizza.

    Thanks for helping me clarify my thoughts on that!

  • ||

    Ugh, I hate this overly-rationalized argument. There's a big difference between accidents and murders, psychologically and legally. People are quite justified in being more concerned about terrorist murderers than about accidents that are a similar, or even greater, risk.

  • ||

    A "regular" murderer targets a person whereas a suicide attack does not take into account the individuals that might be present. As such, being a victim of a suicide bombing is more like an accident, unfortunate happenstance.

  • ||

    No, there's a big difference. Let's say you had a choice between working working at two companies. At Company A, there are accidents and one person dies every year. At Company B, there are no accidents but there is a serial killer who murders one employee every year. These are equivalent as statistical risks, but not equivalent psychologically, and for good reasons. (E.g.: accidents aren't intending to kill you.) Most people would choose A, and they'd be correct to do so.

  • ||

    I would alter your hypo to reflect that accidents kill way more people than terror. So at Company A, 150 people out of 1,000 die from accidents every year, while at Company B, 1 person every 10 years dies from a psycho killer. Where would I work?

  • ||

    The whole point of the hypothetical is that all other things being equal, people are more concerned about intentional violence directed against them than about accidents, and rightly so. The intention is critical, more critical than the bare odds.

    And I don't think you want to apply your "what are the odds" reasoning to other libertarian concerns. What are the odds you'll be unjustly convicted of murder based on bad forensic evidence? What are the odds a SWAT team will kill you because they got the wrong address? What are the odds you'll be waterboarded? By your reasoning, those are all less of a concern than the dangers of lightning.

  • ||

    Back up, PapayaSF. Way up there when this sub-thread started, I was responding to the assertion that "civil liberties depend on a very wide consensus that people will not get on planes and bomb them". My argument is that there should be a wide consensus that people will not get on planes that are bombed and, hence, our civil liberties need not be curtailed. As support, I noted that the chances of getting on a bomb-doomed plane are essentially nil. People's fear will transform this zero chance of getting bombed into a "consensus" that we are all at risk, but I attribute that to an unnecessary and politically motivated fearmongering.

  • ||

    Given recent history, fear of being hijacked or bombed on a plane or elsewhere is entirely rational. Your odds-based arguments are unconvincing for the reasons I stated above. Dealing with rational fears is not "fearmongering." How security and liberty are balanced is a complex and tricky business. I usually don't jump to criticize the authorities when I sense they are actually trying to do their job, and protecting the country and its citizens from foreign threats is one of their basic Constitutional duties (unlike most of the stuff they spend their time on). I think it's glib cynicism to think that (e.g.) Bush (and now Obama) put captured jihadists in Guantanamo and put troops in Afghanistan because they just really wanted to, and 9/11 gave them an excuse.

  • Mark||

    I don't make the argument the government was looking for an excuse to go to foreign lands. Indeed, it is clearly a constitutional duty of teh government to provide for the common defense.

    But neither does the Constitution say national defense takes precedence over individual liberty. In fact, more than one patriot has observed those who would give up liberty for security deserve neither.

    If you don't like comparisons between traffic accidents and terrorist attacks try straight up death by gun violence. In the nine years since 9/11 some 90,000 Americans have died as a result of gun violence, yet the public has made it very clear we are willing to accept that risk to keep our rights under the Second Amendment.

    All I'm saying is there are many, many deadly threats that are intrinsic to living in a free society. I neither expect nor desire a draconian response from my government as regards my civil liberty every time a nutcase decides to kill someone.

  • Cookie Kwan||

    ""With the benefits of liberty and freedom comes the sacrifice of security.""

    That's absurd. Neither are mutually exclusive.

  • K-Y||

    Then figure out a way to secure the country without violating the rights of foreign prisoners.

  • Cookie Kwan||

    Really? K-Y?

    How about capturing POWs and trying them? How about that?

  • JoshInHB||

    Mark-"If I had to choose between your vision of life in America -- trusting in an all-knowing, all-powerful government that will never abuse my civil rights because I'm not a terrorist"

    This type of duchebag libertarian rhetoric alienates people that agree with you 90% of the time.

    I am not trusting in an all-knowing, all-powerful government. In fact, I'd like to see about 90% of what the feds eliminated.

    In the real word, as opposed to your ideological construct, there are evil people that want to kill us. Collective self defense is in fact a legitimate function of government.

    The government actions in the war on terror Have:
    1) Reduced successful terrorist attacks on the US and our citizens

    2) Not turn the USA into some totalitarian hell hole.

    The slippery slope arguement is largley bullshit. Always has been.

    -- and a 911-sized terrorist attack every... well we're going on nine years now...

    Of course you'll never give any credit for this to all the evil things the government has done in the last 8 years.

  • Anonymous||

    I have a rock that prevents terrorist attacks that you may be interested in. I've had it with me since 9/11 and I've been free of terrorist attacks since...

    (Oh, and learn to spell--how old are you? eight?)

  • JoshInHB||

    I have a rock that prevents terrorist attacks that you may be interested in. I've had it with me since 9/11 and I've been free of terrorist attacks since...

    Right,
    It's just a coincidence that a 10 year pattern of escalating attacks by a well organized terrorrist organization that had declared war on the us and its citizens end after the US government began using all the evil tactics that you hate.

    (Oh, and learn to spell--how old are you? eight?)

    You've lost the arguement when you start ctitiquing grammar.

  • Mark||

    Uh, the attacks haven't ended yet...

  • ||

    How would you know when they have?

  • ||

    How many people have been saved by spending trillions dropping bombs on Iraq/Pak/Afghan....? oooh you mean that actually killed many MORE people? including thousands of US soldiers? wow.

    The Anthrax attacks came from the US military. The Underwear bomber was put on the plane by a government agent, Kurt Haskell bitches! And Lee Hamilton who was head of the 9/11 comission says it was set up to fail so basically the govenment is hiding what really happened on 9/11.

    "In the real word, as opposed to your ideological construct, there are evil people that want to kill us. "

    The neo-cons and Palinites here seem to think that evil people in the world are happy to avoid positions of real power and influence...whereas the obvious move for a truly evil person who wants to kill us would be to get involved with the US government. No that could never happen...Fox News and ABC agree that we need to trust the government.

  • JoshInHB||

    Gabe

    Yeah right it's all America's fault.

  • ||

    so you are willing to risk being killed more than I am? Or at least you like it more than I do.

    will you at least admit that the reason for you lack of fear (relatively speaking) is because as George Orwell said, you know that there are men armed with guns ready to protect you? Orwell said that is how we all sleep safely at night. Or do you pretend that nothing is wrong and that neo cons are making it all up?

  • Kolohe||

    Civil liberties are not magical. The citizens create them by their actions.
    The stator and rotor being hooked up to a grave in Monticello will now allow Gov McDonnell to declare Virginia's energy independence.

    They have to be deserved. Countries with a low sense of public order don't have civil liberties. No one can be trusted
    What like those those sense of low sense of public order places like North Korea, China, or even Singapore?

  • ||

    Bottom line: when the time comes I WILL vote against BHO.

    "The advantage of having a former law professor in the Oval Office is that he doesn't have to be tutored in such elementary realities." -- he doesn't seem particularly well versed in corporate law (Citizens United v. FEC ), but when has that ever prevented him from spouting his gloriously ill-informed opinion.

    "So remind me: What is it they don't like about Barack Obama?" One more time for the hard of hearing: Public option, Van Jones, bowing, stuttering when teleprompters go on the fritz, a fawning media, Cap & Tax, overtly threatening banks, having no understanding of how payrolls, inventory, overhead and the minutiae of small business works.

  • Trueofvoice||

    How does his take on Citizens United suggest he doesn't understand corporate law? This is where I get very confused regarding libertarian defense of corporations. Libertarians seem consistently of the opinion that corporations are voluntary associations of private individuals, even though corporations are entities created by government and given special priviledges.

  • prolefeed||

    The actual group Citizens United was a bunch of people who pooled their resources to make a movie attacking Hillary, and ran afoul of McCain-Feingold. SCOTUS reaffirmed the 1st amendment right of such individuals to engage in free speech.

    So, in this and many, many other instances, Prof. Obama has chosen to ignore the clear meaning of the Constitution.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Next time Michael Moore makes a political propaganda movie, let's see if the Federal Election Commission does to him what they did to Citizens United.

  • Jimmy 'Crack' Corn||

    +1

  • Raven||

    Not to be nitpicky, but Citizens United was not a corporate law case. It was a constitutional law issue (1st Amendment)- which actually makes his position even more egregious, since he was a con law prof.

  • Trueofvoice||

    I suppose it depends on how you look at it. One could make the argument that as the decision reframed how corporations are able to operate, it is a de jure case of corporate law. I could be wrong though.

  • ||

    "Corporate Law" usually refers to corporate governance and not just any issue that affects corporations.

  • fact checker||

    Once again, Obama was never a professor. He was a lecturer.

  • fact checker||

    sunny black forgot to mention that the Obama administration promoted the violation of contract law by bullying the owners of preferred stock into surrendering their property rights during the GM bailout.

    To be fair, there is no evidence that the Obama administration was not aware that it was promoting the violation of the law.

  • ||

    If the owners of the preferred stock didn't learn how to deal with bullys in grade school, that's their fault.

  • ||

    Because grade school taught you how to deal with a President and Congress and the UAW stealing from you, while the media cheered them on...? I guess you went to a far tougher school than I did....

  • ||

    Yeah, yeah, it's not like Milhouses has a choice when Nelson wants his lunch money.

  • fact checker||

    The coercive power of government exceeds the coercive power of bullies in grade school.

  • ||

    So the answer is to give in?

  • ||

    lastly, Palin's bit about the law professor -- you are reading way too much into it. her direct aim with that sentiment is to emasculate him into an urkel-style egghead with hypogonadism AND atrophied testes (which, by the way, i'm all for considering his general all-purpose douchiness which i find more repellant than palin's aww-shucksterisms [for now]).

  • fact checker||

    It is well-known that Obama no longer possesses testes since they were removed in a rough surgical procedure by his wife shortly after the birth of the couple's second child.

  • >||

    Did he try to teabag her?

  • fact checker||

    I don't think so. Obama doesn't seem to like teabaggers very much.

  • Jimmy 'Crack' Corn||

    Rahm has been teabagging Barry ever since this procedure.

    (Citation currently not available)

  • ||

    "[Palin's] chief gripe is that federal agents read the alleged Christmas bomber his Miranda rights shortly after his arrest, at which point, she claims, he 'lawyered up and invoked our U.S. constitutional right to remain silent.'"

    I like it! The terrorists are so incredibly sophisticated that we must ratchet up the military budget, torture suspects and militarize our police forces, but the terrorists are so incredibly stupid that they forget to tell their agents to shut their mouths if they get arrested. Right now in the deep, deep heart of Pakistan Al Qaeda is having a meeting:

    Terrorist leader: "Where did this go wrong?"

    Terrorist Lt. Col.: "We forgot to tell him not to speak to the American police"

    Terrorist leader: "Doh!"

  • fact checker||

    The key point is not that the bomber was informed of his rights, but that he was allowed protection under the US Constitution.

  • ||

    That's a big leap of opinion for your "fact checker" handle.

  • fact checker||

    Your post ridiculed Palin or, perhaps, her supporters by suggesting that either she or they thought that terrorists lacked the wit to not talk when captured by those whom they consider to be their enemies.

    Clearly, Palin and those who cheer her on this issue are unhappy with giving the bomber Constitutional protections and not merely with the act of informing the bomber of those protections. Recognizing this is hardly a big leap of opinion.

  • ||

    That distinction means nothing, especially since Palin has gone on record numerous time saying that terrorism should be a military issue and not a law enforcement issue. Saying that they are unhappy about giving Constitutional rights to bombers is a sidestep, especially since they don't believe that Americans should have most of those rights. Terrorism doesn't change their view that Miranda or other Constitutional protections are anti-law and order.

  • fact checker||

    "they don't believe that Americans should have most of those rights."

    Please provide a reliably reference.

  • ||

    Aren't you the "fact checker"? Well, Nixon ran on a plank against the decision in Miranda. George W. Bush apparently didn't think warrants, or even a paper trail, were necessary to spy on Americans, and many conservatives supported that. So there goes the 4th and 5th Amendment. There are many others, but I suspect you know that.

  • fact checker||

    Please provide an example that shows that Palin and/or her supporters believe that Americans should be denied most of their Constitutional rights.

  • Jimmy 'Crack' Corn||

    Hold his feet to the fire, fc!

  • ||

    Please point to where I said, "Americans should be denied most of their Constitutional rights."

  • ||

    A key point is that dispite the possiblity of being given that protection, he talked.

    Now, you could argure the truthfulness of what he said, but that argument would exist if he was handled any other way.

  • Jimmy 'Crack' Corn||

    " A key point is that dispite the possiblity of being given that protection, he talked. "

    Again, a self-serving statement by an Obama Administration appointee.

  • ||

    Lay off the crack Jimmy, I am not a Obama Admin appointee.

  • ||

    Your point means far less than you think. It's pretty standard in wars for both sides to make smart and stupid moves. Anything that involves large numbers of individuals has that characteristic. Heck, even individuals often do both.

  • ||

    "It's pretty standard in wars"

    I've yet to see Congress declare war, so until that happens, spare me the martial rhetoric.

  • ||

    What, it can't be a war unless Congress declares it so? I guess Korea and Vietnam don't count as wars, huh? Or just change what I wrote to "war-like events" or whatever and address my point.

  • ||

    This is not a standard "war". It is a "war" that neocons made up to garner support for militarizing anti-terror activities. They use the undeclared wars in Vietnam and Korea conflicts as evidence that war doesn't need a formal declaration when those were essentially traditional wars with traditional armies with traditional materiel.

    So while the fog of war and sheer size of the hierarchies cause errors in command decisions, that is not really an acceptable response because every militant, hell everybody in the world, knows that you're not supposed to talk when the enemy catches you. This is not unique to Al Qaeda, the US or anybody. It's common knowledge. Even if it weren't, you are saying that the Miranda rights are what caused the bomber to shut his mouth when you're only evidence of that is your "fog of war" theory. Not buying it.

  • ||

    It is a "war" that neocons made up to garner support for militarizing anti-terror activities.

    You're drifting into Truther territory here.

    It doesn't take traditional armies to have a war, or to have combatants make smart moves and dumb ones and to fall prey to human weakness.

    And yes, by all reports the underwear bomber was talking for 50 minutes, stopped talking when read "his rights," and only started talking again later. So it does look as if "the Miranda rights are what caused the bomber to shut his mouth."

  • ||

    "You're drifting into Truther territory here."

    Because I said that neocons frame issues in terms of war? I don't think that's really in dispute. The War on Drugs has assisted in the militarization of police forces. The War on Terror has given right wingers license to disregard the the Constitution, as if we were invaded by a foreign power.

    "And yes, by all reports the underwear bomber was talking for 50 minutes, stopped talking when read "his rights," and only started talking again later. So it does look as if "the Miranda rights are what caused the bomber to shut his mouth."

    But the argument has been that reading him his Miranda rights caused him to get "lawyered up" and refuse to give further information when, as you admit, the information flowed later on. From my experience, the law enforcement were doing a good job of protecting an eventual conviction. They read him his rights then wait for the lawyer. The lawyer arrives, perp is free to talk to authorities and does so.

  • JoshInHB||

    "But the argument has been that reading him his Miranda rights caused him to get "lawyered up" and refuse to give further information when, as you admit, the information flowed later on.

    The information that he provided immediately after the attack would have been actionable.

    Him "talking" 6 weeks later.

    Not so much.

  • ||

    Actionable? You don't even know what he said.

  • ||

    ""The information that he provided immediately after the attack would have been actionable."""

    You got something to support that claim?

  • ||

    The Underwear bomber was put on the plane by a government agent. The governemtn has lied so much about Flight 253 that they are not credible about any of what happened now. Google Kurt Haskell

  • ||

    I don't think this Tea Party Convention, or Sarah Palin, exposed the Tea Partiers 'true colors.' There were only about 600 people at that convention which was put on by people with questionable backgrounds. I still think the movement is mostly libertarian.

  • Raven||

    I completely agree that Abdulmutallab should be tried in a federal court (and also that KSM should be tried in a federal court), but I think Obama's arguments for doing so are hindered by his simultaneous arguments that military tribunals are okay for certain defendants and that the US can hold people indefinitely without trial. And where the US tries a defendant should NOT be an outcome-based determination. The issue just gets muddied when you use the argument that Abdulmutallab talked to the FBI even though he was Mirandized and had an attorney. That makes it sound as though it would have been a mistake to Mirandize him and give him a lawyer if he hadn't talked. Whether he ended up talking or not, the US system, as embodied in the Constitution, requires that he be given the same rights as an alleged drug dealer in Detroit. If somebody wants to change Constitutional rights for people accused of terrorism, look into a Constitutional amendment. The Constitution is there for a reason- precisely for a situation like this, when a majority wants to cast aside the values it claims to hold in calmer times.

  • fact checker||

    It is still an open question as to whether non-citizens, who are not part of the American political compact, actually possess rights under the US Constitution. The fact that non-citizens do not posses Constitutional rights does not mean, of course, that they cannot be afforded some other set of rights or rules of due process.

  • ||

    I find it oddly reassuring that Sarah Palin's brand of tea party pressures Washington to torture more terrorists when the original Boston tea partiers would have been considered terrorists themselves.

  • ||

    According to the FBI definiton. Our founding fathers were terrorist, and George Washington was the OBL of the day. Well, maybe France was the OBL of the day since they mostly funded the rebel's war against the state.

  • ||

    I find it oddly reassuring that Sarah Palin's brand of tea party pressures Washington to torture more terrorists when the original Boston tea partiers would have been considered terrorists themselves.

    Remind me again, how many civilians, specifically women and children, were killed in the Boston Tea Party?

  • ||

    The same number as killed by the Christmas Day bomber.

  • ||

    OK, smartass, how many did the Boston Tea Party try to kill?

  • ||

    "OK, smartass, how many did the Boston Tea Party try to kill?"

    The Sons of Liberty tried to kill as many as they could throughout their various chapters until disbanded in 1783. Let's not pretend they were a bunch of Gandhis running around.

  • ||

    They weren't a bunch of Gandhis, but they were even less a bunch of bin Ladens.

  • ||

    And they killed thousands.

  • ||

    Of women and children? I don't think so. This is moral equivalence of the basest sort.

  • ||

    There is not a single definition of terrorism that excludes acts that target only grown men.

  • Almanian||

    I'm sorry, I didn't read the article - I couldn't get past the picture of a hot chick with a gun. The Creem Dream!

    (anyone remember Creem Magazine...anybody....Bueller?....back to the pic)

  • Almanian||

    ...and why isn't Steve Chapman on vacation??!!

  • prolefeed||

    The people who paid hundreds of dollars to hear Palin talk are a small and I would guess unrepresentative subsection of the Tea Party movement.

    So, extrapolating from them to the larger group is a logic FAIL.

  • ||

    From what I've seen, the Ron Paul/small government types have given up on the tea party movement because it is now just a platform for the GOP's whiner base.

  • AJs||

    Sadly I agree, that's what I have seen as well.

  • Extra! Extra!||

    Whining about the size and power of government.Whining about the policies of the Republicans and Democrats. Whining about high taxes and deficit spending. Whining about the civil liberties of Americans too much and terrorists too little.Bunch of whiners...

  • ||

    Whining about the media, whining about effete elites, whining about birth certificates, whining about real America, whining about torturing brown people, whining about damn foreigners, so....yep. Whiners.

  • ||

    Ann Coulter has made a career whining about the whiners.

  • ||

    I wasn't at this Tea Party convention, so I can't speak for them - but from other Tea Party events, I can say that they're deeply divided on the war issue, and many who oppose the war in private won't make a big noise when the crowd is cheering. As for me, I intend to make that big noise even if I'm the only one - and I doubt that I am.

  • Edwin||

    "when the original Boston tea partiers would have been considered terrorists themselves"

    I'm sick of this bullshit. People who say this are fucking retards. The British, even in their war against Americans, would NEVER have compared the Americans to people who blow up pizza parlors, stone women for getting an education, shoot random villagers just to assert dominance, and generally carry on like maniac animals. The British considered the Americans traitors to the crown, but not "terrorists" in the modern sense of the word. The British did have honor; if there was a war somewhere else at the time where their enemy was behaving in a way that modern terrorists do, they never would have compared them to the Americans.

  • ||

    Unless the British, circa 1776, had access to a time machine, they couldn't have compared the patriots to people who blow up pizza parlors. But I thank you for your analysis of why 1776 is not 2010. I, for one, was unaware of the time lag and how language and culture has changed over time. To me, history is just the present day with funny hats.

  • Edwin||

    actions similar to what the terrorists do can and were done throughout history. It's called an allegory, retard - you don't need a time machine

  • ||

    And if you look at the FBI's definition of terrorism, the Boston Tea Party fits right in:

    "The unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives." 28 C.F.R. Section 0.85

    I don't see any reference to pizza parlors, do you?

  • Edwin||

    I'm not talking about the FBI's definition - I'm talking about making a comparison between the American revolutionaries and people who behave as the modern terrorists do.

    Nice strawman though.

    You lose.

  • ||

    Like most Palin freaks, you're in your own corning talking about what YOU want to talk about without any connection to reality. I said the original tea partiers would have been considered terrorists, and the definition in use is clearly applicable. You then went off about pizza parlors and shooting random villagers, and you say that I'm constructing a straw man? Sorry.

  • ||

    *corner

  • Edwin||

    who said I'm a fan of Palin? And who the hell set the FBI definition as the standard? WHO would have considered the American Revolutionaries terrorists?

    I keep telling you that the British back then never would have compared the American Revolutionaries to people who do what modern Middle Eastern terrorists do, because it would be a ridiculous comparison (unless you only compare on the broadest of terms).

  • Edwin||

    if you take any comparison between the American Revolutionaries and modern terrorists seriously, then YOU are in the one disconnected from reality. Try asking any typical American (which is an important thing, because guys like you make libertarians look like kooks)

  • ||

    Thanks for playing, Edwin. You can stop lashing out at anything and everything. Nobody proclaimed the FBI definition of terrorism the correct true definition just like nobody blew up a pizza parlor in 1776. The original tea partiers didn't fly airplanes into buildings and they didn't produce videotapes of beheadings. But what they did is consistent with at least one credible definition of terrorism. If you can't find any useful parallels then you just aren't trying, or more likely, you are trying so hard not to see it because "how dare somebody dishonor the American Revolution"! I'm not. I'm dishonoring Sarah Palin's rhetoric. And nobody said you were a Palin fan, but that is the topic of this thread, so....

  • Edwin||

    "You can stop lashing out at anything and everything"
    What the hell is that supposed to even mean? All I'm trying to do is make people see how ridiculous the modern-middle-eastern-terrorist vs. American Revolutionaries comparison is. And I think I've done that pretty well. This whole paragraph of yours doesn't even my point.

    "Nobody proclaimed the FBI definition of terrorism the correct true definition"

    But that's how you tried to discredit what I was saying. I show fault in your reasoning (the use of the FBI's definition) and then you turn around and say nobody was using it?

    "But what they did is consistent with at least one credible definition of terrorism"

    I wouldn't call it a credible definition of terrorism; it's too broad, and it sure as heck doesn't match what most people think of when they think of the word "terrorist". Furthermore, I kind of alluded/predicted the point you're trying to make here - look at my other post: 'unless you only compare on the broadest of terms'. The key word here being "broadly". This ties into your other sentence:
    "If you can't find any useful parallels then you just aren't trying, or more likely, you are trying so hard not to see it "
    Again, take the same thing I said in the previous post ("broadest comparisons") - another way to put it is, I can find parallels, but not USEFUL ones. I can find parallels between basically any two things, doesn't mean they'd be meaningful parallels.

    I'm not trying hard to not see parallels, I'm just saying they aren't very meaningful. You on the other hand are trying to... well I don't know what the hell you're trying to do. Alls I've ever been saying here is comparisons of American Revolutionaries and Middle Eastern Terrorists are silly and meaningless, and I'm quite sure I've proven my point. Where was any of my logic incorrect?

  • Edwin||

    I GUESS you could say that the British were demonizing the Americans, just as we demonize the terrorists, which brings up the general point that people tend to demonize their enemies - but it's a pointless point. It tells us nothing about who is actually CORRECT or morally right in their demonization, or about ethics in fighting wars and choosing when to fight wars.

  • ||

    "American Revolutionaries and Middle Eastern Terrorists"

    Kindly note that my original post made no mention of "middle eastern" terrorists. Just "terrorists".

  • Jimmy 'Crack' Corn||

    Lamar loses, Edwin wins.

  • ||

    You are correct, Jimmy "Crack" Corn. The Sons of Liberty would not have been considered middle eastern terrorists.

  • ||

    That isn't a strawman....that is what the government is preaching to their agents.

    You, Edwin, are merely debating meaningless theoretical rhetoric. Want to see the video showing the subject matter being taught by governemnt agents?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcGpjc-fR8E

  • monolith||

    Its quite different in that the "Americans" were essentially British.

  • ||

    To me, history is just the present day with funny hats.

    I think I see part of the reason you seem to have a problem understanding Al Qaeda terrorism....

  • ||

    To me, history is just the present day with funny hats.

    I think I see part of the reason you seem to have a problem understanding Al Qaeda terrorism everything.

    FTFY

  • ||

    Decisions, decisions: Do I respond to a literal comment to my sarcastic comment with more sarcasm, or do I let it go?

  • ||

    No, the British never had a sense of honor, but the American revolutionaries did.

  • JoshInHB||

    "I'm sick of this bullshit. People who say this are fucking retards....would NEVER have compared the Americans to people who blow up pizza parlors, stone women for getting an education, shoot random villagers just to assert dominance, and generally carry on like maniac animals."

    Don't forget killing their own family members for shaming the family by getting raped.

    And now we have another example of Islamic respect for human dignity.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl.....ive-turkey

  • Jimmy 'Crack' Corn||

    But, but she had rights under the Constitution!

  • Narcissus||

    I'm beginning to wonder if Reason is jealous of the Tea Parties because they're actually getting results.

    Perhaps if so many Libertarians hadn't been so busy jumping on the the Left's Tea Party bashing bandwagon over these past several months, they could have provided a guiding voice for that movement, and prevented the entry of people like Palin.

    No, no, no-- it's better to sit on the sidelines, scratch your chins thoughtfully, and throw out criticisms as the greatest political opportunity that's ever presented itself for libertarians marches right past you. After all, what's really important is that Janeane Garofalo-types perceive you as being "open-minded".

  • Tom||

    I agree. It's a shame the libertarians haven't been more involved. Their message of free markets and strong national defense aligns almost perfectly with the sentiments of the tea parties that I've been to.

  • ||

    See my other comment here regarding the MA special election for US Senate. The Libertarian candidate billed himself as one of the Tea Partiers' own, as opposed to Scotty-come-lately Brown, the "born-again conservative populist." But the Tea Party organization actually actively supported Brown and campaigned against the Libertarian, Joe Kennedy. By throwing in with the GOP moderate candidate and throwing under the bus a candidate who actually espoused Tea Party principles and positions, the Tea Party organization seemed to expose itself as a rah-rah squad and recruitment vehicle for the GOP, rather than as a true independent movement. Libertarians should AVOID getting involved if their only option is to sit down, shut up, and get with the GOP machine program.

  • ||

    In the Brown/Coakley election the Tea Partiers supported the guy who actually had a chance of winning, and did. If they'd supported Joe Kennedy, we'd have a Senator Coakley right now. Please explain how that would further the libertarian or the Tea Party agenda.

  • Thorbie||

    I agree 100%. What we are seeing is candidates getting elected who are still much more libertarian than Republican candidates just 2 years ago. Bob McDonnell even did an interview with Reason.tv. Tom Campbell did one too and he's currently only 4% away from Boxer in the latest poll without having even won the GOP senate primary yet. While the rising GOP tide is largely due to a resurgence of libertarian ideas in an amount unseen since 1994 or perhaps Reagan, now's not the time for stricter libertarian purity tests or distancing ourselves from the wave of dissent that's occurring nation wide.

  • ||

    Now is the time for stricter libertarian purity, otherwise Sarah Palin will be president soon and the country will be fucked. "Free Markets" will have an even bigger PR problem than they did after W.

  • Thorbie||

    We should always be pushing for libertarian ideas and candidates, but promising to never vote for a GOP candidate, no matter how much more libertarian he/she is than in a typical election year doesn't make sense when people are finally paying attention to libertarians for the first time since the 1980s. Libertarian purity tests just alienate other voters. I still say that Republicans like Bob McDonnell and Tom Campbell are different than Sarah Palin, because they do in fact lean libertarian and the fact they even did interviews with Reason.tv shows they are aware of libertarian constituents. I'm going to vote for Campbell in the Senate race against Boxer in CA, even though he has stepped back from his once strong legalization of drugs stance. Regardless of who anyone here votes for in November, I just don't want to see libertarians completely uninvolved in the midterm elections or the primaries preceding them out of libertarian purity.

  • ||

    I voted for Kennedy...Coakley is just as bad as Brown...the wars are a bad strategic move and Brown and Coakley were both pro-war. Brown is only helping to shif the power backt o neo-cons...how does that help anything?

  • Michael||

    You're kind of right. Libertarians have yet to master the art of righteously unaware self-parody.

  • ||

    +1

  • ||

    Well, I doubt libertarians (or anyone) could have "prevented the entry of people like Palin." As I commented upthread, the best tactic is often to work with people on the issues you agree with them on. On domestic issues, the Tea Partiers are about as libertarian as mass movements get in the country these days, so it's stupid to nitpick from the sidelines.

  • Narcissus||

    I agree with your other points, but Palin was inevitable? She's a ticking time bomb. I don't dislike the lady, but she's on an inevitable collision course with a devastating interview or sound byte. She's not a very deep thinker, to say the least.

  • ¢||

    From what I've seen, the Ron Paul / small government types have given up on the tea party movement because it is now just a platform for the GOP's whiner base.

    "Ron Paul / small government types" are TEAM BLUE!'s bitch.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Well, Ron Paul was a guest on Rachel Maddow's show this week...

  • TP||

    Yeah? I saw him on Bill Maher a couple times.

  • Useful or not||

    "The FBI says Abdulmutallab provided a wealth of useful information under questioning after he got a lawyer." Has anyone heard a screaming lawyer? A deal this early? What does a "wealth of useful information" include? The declaration we plan to kill more?

  • Tom||

    This article is intellectually dishonest for trying to equate one convention in Nashville with the entire Tea Party movement. I'm a Tea Party activist myself and I think Sarah Palin is garbage. Most of the tea party events that I've been to have been all about domestic issues. I've rarely, if ever, heard anyone speak about national security or nation building or any of what Palin talked about.

  • Thorbie||

    Exactly! That's my biggest problem with the article. There are definitely things wrong with this convention. Why falsely connect it to the rest of the Tea Party movement which are truly made up of disaffected libertarians of all political affiliations, rather than accept the liberal narrative that it is really made up of pissed off neoconservatives.

  • ||

    true dat

  • ||

    Remember in Jan 2008 or so, after the successful 2007 Tea Party events for Ron Paul, tReason had Ron Paul on the cover of an upcoming issue. Then, Jami Kirchickenhawk published a nasty smear on Paul the day before the NH Primary and the smug dipshit tReason editor when on Fox News with his stupid leather Fonzie wannabe greaser jacket and threw Ron Paul under the bus?

    I do. Fuck tReason.

  • ||

    Libertarians can be such useful idiots. One big reason government keeps growing in this country is that those who are mostly independent of either party are always more spooked by the crazies on the right than the left. The reason is that the stereotypes are more fun to ridicule. A more reasoned perspective would inform us that the result is the opposite of what you say you want. Maybe you just aren't that serious.

  • ||

    Indeed. Too many libertarians prefer to be powerless purists rather than compromise and bide their time and get some of what they claim to want.

  • ||

    Drink! And the obligatory response: Show me a deal in which the Libertarian can settle for PART of what he wants, without having that be negated by losing part of what he already had. The usual deal doesn't entail compromise, it requires Libertarian capitulation. The political dealbrokers are expert in putting together packages that contain the glitter and sizzle that might attend the real substance wanted by Libertarians, and offering the former to them as a "compromise." For instance, an agreement to make victimless drug crimes the lowest law-enforcement priority is offered as a "compromise," when what the Libertarian wants is repeal of the law that creates such crimes in the first place -- or general acknowledgment and acceptance that passing such a law in the first place is not within the proper powers of government. The "compromise" does nothing to keep the government from reasserting itself in the area, and will probably come with strings attached (e.g., registration or taxation of some kind). But because the government is willing to "bend," the Libertarians are painted as unyielding and hopelessly idealistic if they turn up their noses at the government's fool's gold.

    Libertarians SHOULD accept "half-loaf" deals, if they get to keep and enjoy the half-loaf. Unfortunately, the tricky pols generally attach a string to the half-loaf, and then jerk it back into their own hands at the first opportunity.

  • ||

    Show me a deal in which the Libertarian can settle for PART of what he wants, without having that be negated by losing part of what he already had.

    As I said upthread, libertarians now have a Republican Senator from Massachusetts who is not necessarily a vote for every big government Democrat plan, the way Ted Kennedy was and Coakley would have been. What did libertarians lose? A Senate seat went from "safely statist" to "somewhat opposed to big government some of the time," and may have stopped Obamacare. That's a pretty big win in my book.

    Is Brown an ideal libertarian, the way you think the Libertarian candidate was? Of course not. But Brown is the closest thing you'll see to a Libertarian Senator from Massachusetts and he had a chance of winning, and Kennedy (L) simply did not. There's just no way around that.

  • TP||

    Who said that Libertarians want a Republican? Libertarians do not want either. Republicans and Democrats are both part of the same Big Government Party. Republicans are just as guilty of expanding government roles as are Democrats (although possibly to a lesser degree). I might consider voting for a far-left Democrat, before a middle Republican in the hopes that it might bring about an end sooner. Some have said Republicans will take us to the same place, only not as fast. Personally, I would rather get there faster. Because once we "get there" it will collapse, and the sooner it collapses, the sooner we can rebuild.

  • ||

    I don't see it that way...brown will safely vote for war and torture and killing random brown people at every opportunity and drug wars. Coakley was a bitch too...so Kennedy was the only sane choice.

  • ||

    those who are mostly independent of either party are always more spooked by the crazies on the right than the left

    Well yeah. The crazies on the right tend to be well armed and often have military experience, and are also sometimes well financed by right-wing businessmen. The crazies on the left tend to be pot smoking vegan pussies who at best hold academic positions but very little real power. Who would you be more scared of? The only time the left had any credibility as a force for terror in this country was the late 60s when they managed to co-opt a few tough black criminal gangsters like Huey Newton, but that didn't end well for the left.

  • ||

    Being worried about armed takeover is making my point perfectly. The left has already taken over your country with the help of your paranoia, and even after watching it happen before your eyes, you're more concerned about something that never has nor will happen.

  • ||

    The hard left owns the media, all of the acedemic establishment, the entire education system, and most of the federal, state and local bureaucracy. But, hey lets worry about some dork handing out John Birch pamplets at a gun show. That guy is really the threat not the crazies who own the government and all of its coercive power.

  • the wise yes man||

    +1

  • ||

    ""The hard left owns the media, all of the acedemic establishment, the entire education system, and most of the federal, state and local bureaucracy. ""

    Are you saying Fox news isn't media?
    Bob Jones University isn't rightwing?

    Seriously John, you make it sound like the right-wing has no one to give their money.

  • ||

    Way to make John's point. OK, the left owns the media except for Fox News, and the universities except for Bob Jones. Feel better?

  • ||

    You think they actually own everything but those two?

  • fact checker||

    John forget to mention that the hard left also controls most of the entertainment industry and their attitudes exert a considerable influence on corporate executives.

  • ||

    Of course the hard left controls the country. That's why Dick Cheney and George Bush have been arrested, Fox News has been banned, Goldman Sachs and AIG executives are all in jail, Robert Reich is Secretary of Treasury, the US has withdrawn its troops from Afghanistan, the marginal tax rate is 90%, the minimum wage is $15/hr, any fired employee is guaranteed one year's salary trumping any other claim on the company, banks are required to lend based on "social benefit" rather than return on investment criteria, gasoline taxes are $6/gallon, we've reregulated interstate trucking, utilities and airlines, we have government wage and price controls and we have universal health care. It's so obvious.

    Really, "hard left controls the country"? Are you just a defeatist? You've apparently never been to a country where the left actually did control the country, the US still hasn't returned to 1972 levels of leftism, never mind "hard left controls the country!" Thanks for reminding us all just how far this country actually still is from where it could be (and was in living memory).

  • fact checker||

    The hard left occupies most of the key positions of influence in American society (except for talk radio). It does not actually exercise complete coercive control over the country. Better?

  • monolith||

    Do you actually think thats true?

  • Extra! Extra!||

    The crazies on the right tend to be well armed and often have military experience, and are also sometimes well financed by right-wing businessmen.

    Considering how much the libertarians agree with the (other) far right crazies(85%+) you'd think they would want to align with the above.

  • IceTrey||

    "because what infuriates her is the mere idea that constitutional protections would apply to "a terrorist who hates our Constitution and tries to destroy our Constitution."

    I'm no Palin fan, but I think it's a little unfair to put this onus solely on her when you see the talking heads saying the exact same thing day after day on the cables news networks.

  • ||

    First, Chapman needs to shut the fuck up with the "demogogue" bit. Palin is a politician. He may not like her or agree with her, but she is not a "demogogue". To use such over the top language just reveals Chapman to be a Cosmotarian dousch.

    Second, maybe it has escaped Chapman's notice, but Obama has continued virtually all of Bush's terror policies. He still has indefinite detention. And after getting killed by both sides of Congress for treating the 12-25 bomber as an ordinary criminal, I bet he starts declaring enemy combatants to. And oh by the way he has stayed the course in Iraq and escalated the hell out of Afghanistan.

    So it would seem odd that Chapman is so convinced Palin is a "demogogue" in love with big government, yet still defends Obama who practices the exact same policies that make Palin a "demogogue". Chapman needs to accept that fact that he and other libertarians have lost that argument. The majority of the country demands that people like the 12-25 bomber be treated like a war criminal. And both major parties are terrified of being seen as easy on terrorism and having an attack occur on their watch. So if Chapman wants to engage in anything beyond intellectual masterbation, he better figure out some other major issue to vote on, because no election is going to change those policies.

    In the end, Chapman is just a culture warrior. He ignores Obama's record on terrorist civil liberties and wets his pants over Palin's advocating those same policies because Obama is of the culture that he likes and Palin isn't. That is really all there is to it. Obama is bit coastal elite and looks cool and all of the people Chapman wants to impress like him and hate Palin. It really doesn't matter what Palin or the tea party people say. They are just too unfasionable for Chapman and his ilk and nothing is going to change that. Better to have "one of the right people in charge" and live with socialism and objectionable terrorist policies than have "those people" in charge and have maybe less socialism and objectionable terror policies.

  • ||

    +1

  • Jimmy 'Crack' Corn||

    +1

  • ||

    I'll bet that if a Tea party chapter in California set up an Obama kissing booth, and a green hybrid car called "TARP III" at next year's Burning Man festival, Chapman would find a place in his heart for them...

  • ||

    tReason could have rode the Tea Party wave and perhaps used it to build some influence, instead it got scared of being called an antisemite racist by Marty Paretz and his puppets at The New Republic.

    Now it sits on the sidelines, feckless, worthless, bitter, condescendingly mocking and poking fun at those that actually are exploiting the movement they ran away from like cowards at the first sign of identity politics spin.

    How pathetic.

  • ||

    Reason's position are driven by culture more than self interest. They will sell the left socialists the rope to hang them with rather than work with or be associated with someone from the mainstream middle American culture Reason so despises.

  • Edwin||

    +1

  • Narcissus||

    ++1. As soon as a right-of-center libertarianism began to emerge popularly, it seems the more left-oriented writers here at Reason were pushed to center stage to conform to the dialogue in the MSM.

    It's really disappointing. The Tea Party critics here at Reason certainly deserve to be heard, but I'm perplexed as to why their articles seem to outnumber the positive articles 2 to 1.

  • ||

    I've gotten the impression over the past year or whatever it is that Reason is generally sympathetic to the "Tea Party" movement. I think they've done a good job of refusing to drink the Kool-Aid being offered by both the mainstream Tea Party analysis and the Palin Fanboys. I'm not about to go back and start categorizing posts, but from a distance I didn't see any identifiable anti-Tea Party consensus emerge here.

  • Freddie B||

    Can't believe the shallowness of the article. Not a lot of facts are provided as to what kind of Military Kingdom would Mrs. Palin govern. Criticizing her as a demagogue while seemingly defending Obama creates a division even in this forum. Truthfully, Libertarians may agree with some ideas on the left and some on the right and despise all others since they trump on our basic liberties (I do not want anyone telling me what to do with my property). As a minarchist, I understand the necessary evil that is Government in order to protect me from others. I would rather have the less obstrusive Sarah Palin in power than the I-know-what-is-best-for-you Obonehead.....anytime. Different degrees.

  • ||

    This is going to be the Republican frontrunner? You can make intellectual arguments for or against Obama, but if Sarah Palin is really who the bulk of our electorate is looking up to, our country is in trouble. This is a dangerous time for America.

  • ||

    Is this Joe Boyle? If so, welcome back! I agree with you here Joe. It seems the media and the establishment likes Palin more than the people. The big wigs picked her to run with John McCain, not us. The media features her in articles and TV constantly for months even while many of us complain about it.

    The masses voted against her ticket in the election. She helped support the bailout just like McCain, Biden and Obama...she is pro-war and torture just like Obama, Cheney and Bush.

  • ||

    The difference between the "Nazis, KKK, etc." that Chapman cites as enjoying the protections of the constitution, and the BVD bomber, is that former are citizens of the US, and the latter is not. Constitutional protections apply to citizens.

  • ||

    Actually, Constitutional protections apply to anyone in the jurisdiction of the US, not just citizens.

    The 14th: ..."nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

  • TP||

    Would that be extended to someone in the custody of a US official outside its jurisdiction? Does an occupied territory provide jurisdiction?

    Just asking.

  • ||

    I'll believe that the Tea Partiers are serious and principled in their alleged opposition to larger, more intrusive, more expensive government when I see them not only endorse, but be instrumental in the election of Libertarian candidates (or freedom-loving, independent or third-party candidates). So far, the whole Tea Party movement seems to have acted as an instrument to promote the Republicans or to spank/purge the GOP's more moderate members or candidates. The Massachusetts special election for US Senate was instructive. There, a Libertarian candidate (who ran as "independent") went up against a previously very moderate GOP guy and the Democrat gal who expected to be elected into "Ted Kennedy's seat." The Tea Party organization actively campaigned for the moderate Republican (who voted for RomneyCare, for example) and against the Libertarian (who said he had previously been a member of the Tea Party movement!). The Republican had to backpedal on many previously espoused positions in order to appear populist. The Libertarian campaigned almost as if the Tea Party platform were his hymnal. But to no avail.

    The Tea Partiers could have shown their strength and their dedication to their espoused ideals, had they made a big push for the Libertarian (who also had the advantage of being named Kennedy -- "no relation[tm]") and put him in the Senate. Instead, it seemed as if they were all too happy to take the path of least resistance: holding their noses, ignoring their principles, and voting for Mr. "barely good enough," as long as the hated Demos were defeated.

    We don't need another rah-rah squad to drive/attract sheep to the GOP. We need a seismic shift that topples the status quo. The Tea Partiers in MA had the chance to trigger such an earthquake, and they blew it, imho. Let's watch a few more contests, to see if the Tea Partiers continue to show the same colors.

  • ||

    The Brown election was "a seismic shift that topples the status quo." True, it didn't go as far as many would have liked, but even in today's political climate there is zero chance that a Libertarian is going to be elected Senator from Massachusetts. It's just not possible. We don't have a parliamentary system or ranked voting, so if Tea Partiers voted for Kennedy (L), we'd have Senator Coakley. Painful but true.

    Socialism got to where it is today in America and Europe because of Fabian tactics, not huge seismic shifts. Libertarians should take note.

  • ||

    So no one who identified with the Tea Party can be realistic? The voters in Massachusetts did their part to stop ObamaCare by taking the 60th Senate vote away. They could have held to your standards and let ObamaCare happen. How is that helpful to the cause of liberty?

    And are all Tea Partiers libertarian? I don't think they all are. Hell, I am libertarian, and I would still run as a Republican in my state (NY) if the goal is to win the seat and change the vote of one New York Senator on every issue. If my state were dominated by R's I'd run as a Democrat for the same reason. Running as an L wins nothing for liberty here because it doesn't gain the seat in Congress.

    There is such a thing as being too stubborn for your own good.

  • TP||

    The Mass race did pose the unusual circumstance of a 60th seat. But that's over now. Let's see where the dice fall, now.

  • ||

    I miss the libertarian 19th century true Democrats, the ones who followed Jefferson and Madison, not the ones who now follow Rousseau and Marx, as cited in The Changing Face of Democrats on Amazon and claysamerica.com.

  • Thorbie||

    I think this piece makes the incorrect assumption that the Tea Party Convention is representative of the entire Tea Party Movement. The Tea Party has never been a centralized group under a single banner. FreedomWorks and don'tGo have no relation to Tea Party Nation, the group which popped up to start this convention (and charge $500 a plate).

    What this seems like is an attempt to take over the movement with social cons by the Tom Tancredos of the world. I don't disagree with the problems addressed at the convention, but I do think failing to distinguish this $500 plate convention run by a Tennessee lawyer started up to simply profit off the movement from the spontaneous protesters last year who rallied under no party's banner gives the left fodder to claim the tea party movement is what they always said it was, namely a Fox News and GOP collusion that really just wants Bush back in power.

  • monolith||

    I see that John is talking his usual rubbish.
    The massive government spending that palin supports is a free market issue not a cultural issue.

  • ||

    It isn't necessary to criticize Sarah Palin in order to say that she has exposed the tea party's true colors. There was a question early on about the soul of the movement. Ron Paul made a mark on the GOP nomination, and many people viewed the tea parties as extensions of the Ron Paul, small government brand of conservatism. Well, it turns out that the heart and soul of the tea parties prefers the Sarah Palin brand of conservatism and not Ron Paul. Hence, true colors have been exposed.

  • ||

    The heart and soul of the tea parties prefers Sarah Palin, or Sarah Palin jumped on the bandwagon and brought her followers with her and now the movement has morphed? I think there needs to be that distinction.

  • fact checker||

    "Ron Paul made a mark on the GOP nomination"

    Please provide evidence for any influence beyond a few gapes in the media about some of Ron Paul's money raising.

  • ||

    (1) Money raising (2) 25% of the vote in Montana (3) Finishing 2nd in Nevada (4) Giuliani kerfuffle at debate.

  • Ratko||

    Guess I'm missing something here. Palin is "government power"?

    This is what I get for not following the Palin news, I wasn't even aware she held political office let alone had become a power in government.

    *shrugs*

  • ||

    I don't understand this libertarian distinction:

    Nation-building, forced export of democracy = bad (i.e. foreigners freedoms are not worth our intervention, even if undergoing genocide by chemical warfare)

    But...

    When they commit terrorist attacks/acts of war, they are entitled to the freedoms and rights accorded by our own Constitution.

    So, kinda, they aren't worth spitting at from a Rule of Law/Rights standpoint UNLESS they are trying to blow people/shit up. Then, somehow, a violation of their (phony) rights are a cause for alarm?

    This kind of muddled reasoning is why more people do not vote for the Libertarian candidates.

  • Tony||

    I don't think that's the reason. But you've made a good argument for the liberal side. You can be a liberal and support both humanitarian intervention and civil rights.

  • ||

    Yes, and many libertarians are unconcerned with violations of innocents' rights abroad but unduly alarmed when terrorists are not treated exactly like American citizens. That was my point... try to kill some Americans and suddenly many "libertarians" become your ardent advocates.

    The liberal argument is intellectually reasonable (but wrong in my opinion).

    The conservative argument is intellectually reasonable (foreign terrorists are not protected by U.S. Constitution).

    Only the libertarian argument is a contradiction in terms (i.e. protect the guilty but not the innocent).

  • Tony||

    foreign terrorists are not protected by U.S. Constitution

    Assuming the terrorist is on American soil, this isn't intellectually reasonable because it's false.

  • ||

    Cite for me where in the U.S. Constitution it declares that foreign spies are accorded due process rights, por favor.

    Even the Geneva Convention allows for ununiformed spies to be summarily executed.

  • ||

    Tony didn't say spies, he said terrorist. And those held in Gitmo do have a right to challange their detention.

    http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/S.....amp;page=1

  • ||

    Alright, let's call them (the terrorists) saboteurs instead of spies. Either way, if there is a war on, and you are caught "behind enemy lines" out of uniform, you can be summarily executed according to the laws of war. And I asked to be shown "in the Constitution", and not in a Supreme Court case. It is not clear from that article that somebody who has been charged as an illegal enemy combatant would have any rights under this ruling.

  • TP||

    When they commit terrorist attacks/acts of war, they are entitled to the freedoms and rights accorded by our own Constitution.

    I can't speak for all Libertarians but...

    A government, any government, can not grant Rights. Natural or unalienable Rights are endowed by a Creator to all men. Governments can either recognize or deny Rights. If you are unfamiliar with this concept, look into the philosophies of John Locke. That's where Franklin and Jefferson got their ideas when drafting the Declaration of Independence.

    Libertarians also believe that our government should not interfere with the internal workings of any foreign, sovereign nation.

    There are exceptions, but these exceptions should not be entered into lightly. Exceptions expand the role of government, and Libertarians generally frown on that.

  • ||

    Ahhh, but perhaps you missed Locke's arguments on the "state of war" and the "state of nature"?

    The whole point of entering into a society is to avoid the many plagues and difficulties involved in a "state of war". It is the responsibility of a government to protect its citizens (who have necessarily ceded some of their rights to that government), not to protect foreign terrorists AT THE EXPENSE of the safety of those citizens. I fail to see how providing the protections of the US Constitution to terrorists in a "state of war" with the US benefits any of the citizens it is sworn to protect.

  • ||

    The same arguments used to defend excesses and denial of due process to suspected terrorists can also be used just as well deny the rights of other classes of suspects. You can't even talk about a slippery slope, we are already at the point where ruthless official can take everything you have on a whim.

    I am much more worried about the long term threat by the FBI, CIA, TSA, etc than any terrorist group. Even in the most disordered societies terror and random violence tend to kill far fewer than organised statist violence.

    The rule of law and procedural rules are our best defense against these more serious threats.

  • ||

    It is not a slippery slope. U.S. citizens are afforded all due process protections, whereas foreign terrorists are not. The distinction, in my opinion, is clear as day.

  • ||

    You assume that U.S. citizens are currently protected, but often that is already not true. I am not making an argument about some "hypothetical slippery slopes" but rather that much of the damage has already happened.

    The argument that odious police powers will only be used against terrorists or foreigners ignores that these powers are already used for mundane purposes such as seizing valuable fossils. (T. Rex Sue)

    BTW - I travelled a bit in East Germany during the 80s; what you advocate differs only by degree. Occasional terrorist attacks are the lesser evil.

    You may see a distinction, but the people sifting through you phone records don't worry about those distinctions.

  • ||

    I think you present a false choice here. The existence of a bad law, or any abuses which arise from a badly-interpreted or executed law, does not obviate the possibility of creating a "good law". The problem with these laws (well, frankly, most laws) as they are written is DELIBERATELY vague language, often rotten with ambiguity and circumlocution, which allows for broad interpretations and, subsequently, abuses of power.

  • ||

    Mike, I'm not arguing a some "fringe" Libertarian position. In 2008 we had the same discussion on the floor of our state Repulican Party Convention. Most Republican delegate in my state agree with the Libertarian position 100%, and we wrote it into our state parties platform and several related resolutions.

    It isn't about good and bad laws but increasingly between following the rule of law, or just making it up as you go along. You appear to want to invent exceptions for certain groups and offenses, and I see this as dangerous. Our ancient legal traditions and the literal words of the constitution are pretty clear on these sorts of issues.

    When the congress passes acts to provide retroactive immunity to ISPs and telecoms, then laws are cetainly being broken. When h. corpus is denied then indefinite detainment is illegal.

    "Patriots" used to think that torture and illegal confinement were hallmarks of tyranny. The Gestapo, KGB, and Stasi all used the same methods that our government has now adopted for both foreign and some domestic suspects. If we didn't need these methods during WWII and the cold war, why the sudden rush towards barbarism when our current foe is so much weaker than either Fascism or Socialism?

    BTW - You do keep ignoring the fact the due process with all of its rules and protections is how our system figures out who the real bad guys are. There are plenty ofg examples of people going to jail (or Gitmo) based on mistaken or confused identity.

    Hell, both Teddy Kennedy and former Senator Stevens' wife Catherine were both put on the no fly list because of mistaken identity. If that happened to us, we might be able to clear our names with some effort. IF a similar mix-up lands someone in Gitmo, and there are numerous examples, there is no way to correct the mistake because of limits on due process. How does imprisoning the wrong guy make us safer? (I'm admit that putting most member of congress on a no-fly list might have some actual merit.)

  • ||

    Again, I am asking you where (under what law) the rights accorded to U.S. citizens under the Constitution are by default applicable to enemy combatants? Didn't Obama re-sign the 2006 law passed by Congress (after the US Supreme Court invalidated some of the Bush Administration's practices and kicked the issue back to the Congress) which allows for these guys to be processed through the military?

  • ||

    Mike, you ask about the law. You might start by reading the constitution. Look to Article 2 section 3 of the U.S. constitution, the 5th amendment, and anything about habeous corpus. Only a few parts of the constitution (e.g. the 14th amendment) treat citizens and non-citizens differently.

    Both the declaration of independence and the constitution presume the existence of basic human rights. The 9th amendment recognizes these rights and makes them part of out legal system. By definition, everyone has the same human rights, so yes such ethereal concepts do impact the law. An additional issue is that our government has signed a number of treaties and these treaties are legally binding.

    Treaties do have the force of law, and our government is obliged to follow them.

    If someone is actually an enemy combatant then they have a different legal process, but they are guaranteed due process and certain legal rights by treaty. Incidentally these (legal) rights include a level of treatment better than that given to most criminals. You don’t just get to seize people, torture them, and then hold them indefinitely without trial because you claim they are the enemy.

    Also Mike, enemy combatants go home once the war ends. You can’t hold them forever. Since there isn’t a declaration of war, we have no justification for detaining them as combatants. Holding them without cause violates habeous corpus, and is in thus in conflict with legal principle that were ancient when the U.S. was founded.

    I’m not sure what you are getting at with Obama. Certainly your position is very close to that of Obama, but as a conservative with libertarian leanings, I’m not that fond of Obama. All I see him doing is continuing and amplifying Bush’s progressivism.

    Mike, I've adressed your arguments. I don't see you doing the same.

  • ||

    The article is a mess, the teaparty is not a politidal party and Palin is obviously feared for all the reasons the author fabricates.

    Heck, she probably could beat the tar out of Obama right now but he's doing a great job all by hisself.

    Get the teabags off your tonsils and speak clearly, author.

  • libertybill||

    Actually in Florida their is a third party calling themselves the Tea Party

  • ||

    This is a crappy article.

    Example: Chapman groups Alaskan secessionists with Nazis. Since these "secessionist" boogymen are actually libertarian conservatives or even card-carrying Libertarians, does that mean that Mr. Chapman hates the constitution since he write for a libertarian magazine? Is doing real research no longer required?

    The only thing I'm convinced of is that Chapman shares Palin's lack of intellectual depth. What a waste of time!

  • ||

    That is a crappy comment.

    The reference to "Alaska secessionists" was obviously a joke about the First Dude. More importantly, Suderman's point is that even (or especially) unpopular viewpoints deserve Constitutional protection. For a libertarian to consider his own viewpoint "unpopular" just displays a basically accurate perception of reality.

    You'll also need to provide evidence that libertarianism has anything to do with secessionist sentiment. Sort of a tough charge to level against a group of people especially intent on maintaining a Constitutional government.

  • ||

    Duuuh, Chapman, not Suderman, my bad.

  • ||

    Well OK let’s dig into the details. What Chapman actually wrote is that Alaskan Secessionists oppose the U.S. constitution. That is an easily test-able assertion, if it was part of a joke.

    The first plank of the “secessionist” Alaskan Independence Party is:

    1.To effect full compliance with the constitutions of the United States of America and the State of Alaska.

    Oops. Sounds like Chapman didn’t do his research. Google gave me that little gem with less than 60 seconds of effort.

    Chapman’s assertion that Palin doesn't support constitutional protection isn't consistent with her actual records as governor. On of Palin's first acts as governor was to veto popular legislation that would have been discriminative against homosexual state employees. Her argument for the veto was based rights declared in the AK constitution.

    Chapman could have more accurately written that Palin isn’t consistently conservative or perhaps that Palin is an opportunist. Both of those statements could have been supported.

    I could go on endlessly nitpicking Chapman and Reason’s coverage of Palin. My point that Chapman doesn’t know what he is talking about, and it he’d spent an hour googling he would have written a better article.

    In response to other point you raises in your comment.

    You Wrote
    > You'll also need to provide evidence that libertarianism
    >has anything to do with secessionist sentiment.

    Well I personally know several hardcore AIP members including their 2008 U.S. senate candidate Bob Bird. Check out his website (birdforsenate.com). Most of his campaign volunteers were Libertarians, Ron Paul Republicans and a few folks from Alaska RTL.

    If you don’t believe me, you can track the money. All donations for all Alaska races are online on the Alaska Public Offices Commission website. You’ll see Libertarians, AIP candidates, and RP-Republicans all supporting each other.

    You Also Wrote:
    >Suderman's point is that even (or especially) unpopular
    >viewpoints deserve Constitutional protection

    I agree to a point, but then both you and Chapman (not Suderman) assume that secessionist sentiment is unpopular. It isn't in Alaska. “Secessionist” votes cost Ted Steven’s his re-election and played a role in handing the Dems that only recently lost super-majority.

    Nobody in Alaska thinks secession is possible, but there is certainly is an undercurrent going back generations. You might read Democratic Gov. Ernest Gruening’s “Let Us Now End American Colonialism” (http://xroads.virginia.edu/~cap/BARTLETT/colonial.html)

  • JoshInHB||

    Chapman is a MSM liberal pussy that doesn't have courage to call himself a liberal.

    So voila,
    Now he's a libertarian.

    Much more cutting edge.

    Still a lazy douchebag.

  • Fuck off and die, Chappedboy!||

    Chapman, you are a fucking commie faggot traitor bastard, and you should be fired from this shitty magazine. All the rest of you Palin haters, I sure hope you enjoy lots of splinters in your balls, because we actually intelligent people are going to tar and feather your traitor asses before we run you out of town on a rail. Go fuck yourselves, faggots!

  • ||

    Thanks for improving the already stellar reputation of internet blog thread commenters. You've done a great service to us all.

  • ||

    Don't be too tough, it's his first time posting somewhere other than AOL. ;-)

  • ||

    What people like Chapman can't stand about Palin is she doesn't waste time on people who are never going to support her. Like Reagan, she doesn't court her enemies. That makes her even more despised. Remember the New Yorker columnist who couldn't believe Reagan won because she didn't know anyone who voted for him. Your tirade, however, gives ammunition to the enemy-it's the stereotype they're desperate to reinforce.

  • Hetriedtokillmydad||

    We will go on a crusade

  • ||

    Most people who lean in a libertarian direction on domestic issues are also in favor of strong defense, including defense against terrorism. That is because such people tend to be rational, and to understand that the protection of American citizens is a necessary function of our government, and that the idea that enemy combatants should be treated the same as American citizens is absurd.

    Being for liberty at home but unwilling to take necessary steps to defend it against violent enemies bent on its destruction is not at all rational. Forty percent of Americans self-identify as conservative. How many identify as libertarian?

    Given the attitude of many libertarians toward defense of this country and its people we are fortunate that they are so few in number.

  • ||

    I thought libertarians didn't want the government supporting imperial ambitions with an overextended military. Why have 700+ foreign bases? (Ron Paul).

    It is clear that the war in Iraq is to open resources for western oil companies, to establish a "free market" nation in the middle east, as well as, privatizing defense as much as possible. Is this what libertarians want to throw money at in the name of strong on defense?

  • ||

    A law professor is tutored in elementary realities? Gawd, you're a fucking moron, Chapaman!

  • ||

    Chapman is right that the focus on the Tea Party movement should remain on limited government and more freedom. That sentiment also exists on the left. Sarah Palin's life places her at a unique place in the current political environment. She is of modest means, she has run her own business, she took on an incumbent politician in her own party to become governor, and her personal belief system is in the mainstream of America. Our elites-intellectual, cultural, and financial-have left us in a mess. We've had enough of smart people; someone like Palin is what the public is looking for. She may or may not be up to the task, but we won't know that for awhile.

  • ||

    PALIN COMES IN LIKE A FIREBALL AND FLAMES OUT. SHE DID IT AS A VISE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE AND SHES DOING IT AS A POSSIBLE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE.THE ONLY DIFFERANCE IS NOW SHES MAKING ALOT OF MONEY,BUT THERES NOTING WRONG WITH MAKING MONEY AS A CELEBRITY. SO IN THAT REGARD, SHE IS A SUCCESS ALREADY AND HAS THE FAME TO GO WITH IT.JOE CAPRIO

  • ||

    The first legitimate function of government is to protect property. I don't see the disconnect.

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