Who's the Radical?

Extremism on the left and the right

(Page 2 of 2)

2) Accuse your opponents of being the extremists.

Well, if the Democrats want to talk about crazy ideas, the Republicans have about two years' and a few trillion dollars' worth of them to discuss with the public.

David Harsanyi is a columnist at The Denver Post and the author of Nanny State. Visit his website at www.DavidHarsanyi.com.

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  • Suki||

    Good morning again reason!

  • Dividist||

    Suki, I am sure you agree that David correctly identities the operative question -

    "What's Worse?"

    - Is it electing a few incompetent and potentially batty Republican legislators to the mix? - OR - Permit One Party Rule by the Democrats to continue batshit insane out-of-control levels of government spending and debt? Clearly, the moderating influence of divided government is the more rational choice.

  • ||

    Hi Suki!

  • ||

    Well, if the Democrats want to talk about crazy ideas, the Republicans have about two years' and a few trillion dollars' worth of them to discuss with the public.

    I'm by no means happy with the Dems governance of late (I know, you're shocked) but I would like to throw a little cold water on the appeal of resurgent GOP.

    Them fuckers have not been in the wilderness long enough to learn any real lessons.

  • ||

    Well, in some cases it's not the same fuckers, but sure. Still, I don't think that it's the best thing for the country to keep unified control until the Republicans learn. Particularly since they'll never really learn, since not enough of the population (yet, if you're optimistic) is really libertarian.

  • ||

    John, I think more of the population is libertarian than either party would like to admit. We've just been shut out of the game because the two big parties have controlled media punditry for the last 70 years.

    Could you imagine how many people would instinctively flock to the libertarians if our platform was shown nightly on network and cable TV news...especially in comparison to the two other parties platforms (and how each of the three conforms to the Constitution).

  • Mo||

    People are very libertarian when it comes to other people controlling them. They quickly lose interest in libertarianism when they find out it means they can't control other people's lives.

  • ||

    ^This^

  • Mike the Grouch||

    Which is exactly why anyone listening to a Republican talk should equate "smaller federal government" with "we'll just take your freedom from you at the state level instead" (while running up deficits funding our imperialist military adventures).

  • ||

    If you don't like the State taking your freedom, then do something about it at the state level rather than bitching and moaning about it at the federal level. And we are a Republic. The fact is the states really can take a lot of your freedom. But again that is an issue for the states not the feds. And I will take my chances with the States since it is easier to move out of a state than it is the country.

    And as for our "imperialist adventures", if only. If we were actually imperialist, we would have declared Iraq a colony and pumped every drop of oil we could out of the place and kept the money.

  • zoltan||

    Not imperialist, rather--bungling, inept adventures in nation-building.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Wilsonian surrealists, pretending democracy can 1) spontaneously erupt in places is has never existed in, or long been absent from, and worse - 2)pretending that democracy is the most important item in a nation, above individual rights.

  • ||

    name all the places on earth where individual rights are respected but are also not Democracies. It is a pretty short list. Singapore? Where else? It may not be the "most important thing" but it seems to be essential.

  • ||

    Actually, you have Singapore a bit backwards. It does appear to have fair elections, they just always elect the "right" people. It lacks quite a bit of civil liberties and individual freedoms in some way, has a lot in others. It's very technocratic.

  • ||

    Singapore is a democracy in name only. One party rules everything.

  • ||

    One party rules everything in Singapore, but it does appear that they actually win the elections fairly. It's the other stuff that violates civil liberties.

  • ||

    Singapore has had the same ruling party for about as long as San Francisco. Does that mean that SF isn't really a democracy?

  • Metazoan||

    Hong Kong is definitely like that.

  • Eric||

    Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, and Kuwait are relatively respectful of individual rights. Luxembourg remains a state with a Grand Duke acting as an executive, and not just a titular head. Various other protectorates and dependencies around the world, particularly in Oceania. Some military forms of government (Haiti under the USMC was at least more protective of individual rights than the previous system). Gaza under the Israeli military (again, moreso than under popularly-elected Hamas).

  • ||

    And Wilsonianism is more about the enforcement of international law and standards that it is about fostering Democracy.

  • ||

    Exactly.

  • ||

    +1

  • ||

    Oops, threaded comment fail. I meant that for John's 12:39 p.m. post.

  • Sam Grove||

    You're thinking of colonial empires. Ours is an empire of influence, manipulation, and dominance.

    A political empire.

  • ||

    Yeah and we have so much influence and it gets us so much. LOL>

  • MWG||

    Regardless of what 'it gets us', we are seen by both our political masters here at home and much of the world outside the US as a powerful force.

    (See Iraq, Afghanistan, our military bases in Korea, Japan, and Germany (to name a few), Iran, our drug war currently being fought from Mexico to Brazil. The list goes on and on...)

    That's isn't to say our involvement around the world is always wrong and misguided, but Sam is absolutely correct when he refers to the US as "A political empire"... regardless of what it gets US.

    Remember, Britain always spent more to maintain it's colonies than what it received in economic benefit, but that didn't make it any less of an empire.

  • ||

    >And we are a Republic. The fact is the states really can take a lot of your freedom.

    That's federalism, not Republicanism. Learn your civics terms before you lecture the rest of us on them.

  • DLM||

    Ah. So you would prefer your freedoms taken from you at the Federal level instead of the State. Personally, I tend to think States are more vulnerable to change and at least limit the damage, but that's just me.

  • Mike the Grouch||

    If I am talking to two men and one of them lies to me, it does not mean the other is telling the truth.

  • CJ||

    anyone listening to a Republican talk should equate "smaller federal government" with "we'll just take your freedom from you at the state level instead"

    I'd rather have a choice of fifty varying degrees of awful than one unavoidable, universal awful. It also takes more work to screw up fifty systems than to screw up one.

    But it doesn't matter anyway since when a Republican says "smaller federal government" it's just a key phrase tossed around as a lie to draw in supporters of the idea.

  • AzA||

    Except that, the more local the government, the easier it is for the voters to keep an eye on it and hold it accountable. That was the entire point of federalism in the first place. Once authority goes federal, the bureaucracy and the professional pols hold all the cards.

  • BakedPenguin||

    +1

  • Doc Merlin||

    True.

  • Geotpf||

    Ron Paul got tons of press but almost no votes in the Republican presidential primaries. If the population had lots of libertarians, that would not be the case.

    Libertarianism is simply unpopular. The vast majority of voters in the United States like a large government of one sort or another.

  • Chinny Chin Chin||

    Agreed. "Free stuff" trumps "individual freedom" as a campaign promise.

  • Sam Grove||

    I think a lot of voters once again fell for "the other guy is so bad, we can't let him win" game.

    I know a lot of people who worked for Obama's campaign because they perceived McCain as a huge threat.

  • ||

    McCain was a big threat, but so was Obama. Why try to pick the lesser of two evils?

  • ||

    Yes, they are stupid.

  • ||

    Could you imagine how many people would instinctively flock to the libertarians if our platform was shown nightly on network and cable TV news...especially in comparison to the two other parties platforms (and how each of the three conforms to the Constitution).

    Yeah, about 5-10% of the people, compared to ~40%+ for the other two.

  • ||

    libertarianism has replaced worshiping God for worshiping a free market.

  • ||

    An intelligent choice.

  • This Dave||

    At least the market exists.

  • ||

    True, but that's why it's at least a little consoling that a bunch of these guys are political novices.

  • Ragin Cajun||

    So, the GOP has learned nothing and forgotten nothing? I think I might agree with that.

  • Jeffersonian||

    The fact that Boehner and McConnell are still in positions of leadership is all you need to know to confirm your suspicion.

  • ||

    Boehner was elected Leader after the damage was already done to the Republicans. He's a bit of a strange one; in the leadership election he positioned himself as the middle candidate between business-as-usual Roy Blunt and upstart Shadegg.

    Boehner didn't participate in most of the excesses of the GOP under Bush (and has never earmarked), but he wasn't exactly loudly complaining and trying to scupper compromises and upset pet projects, like Shadegg. He was the "moderate break with the past" choice at a time when the GOP's majority was already doomed.

    McConnell, there's no excusing.

  • ||

    There is no monolithic bloc of GOPers. There are individual candidates.

    The ones who didn't get tossed out of office are unlikely to be repentant about what they did in the Naughties.

    Some of the new candidates have learned a lesson, others, not so much so.

  • ||

    the hair do says it all.

  • ||

    If only the religious right would keel over and die, the GOP would turn pretty libertarian. But the Democrats actually prefer to keep the religious right alive, since it enables them to talk about something other than economics.

    Much easier to go LOOK! CRAZY BIGOTS! than to have a discussion of Keynesian economics.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    It would take a while to turn libertarian. I don't know any republicans over age 50 that don't support social welfare crap like medicare and social security, so those fuckers need to go also. They're taking their money with them, unfortunately.

  • BakedPenguin||

    If only the religious right would keel over and die...

    There are 8 Republicans in the primary running against Alan Grayson. I was actually going to vote Republican in the general election because Grayson is such an ass. But every one of the Republicans was simply trying to out-Jesus each other. That, and being anti-immigration, (and anti-Grayson) was all they had.

  • Brett L||

    More evidence that we need to make Orlando and the Disney area its own international territory. Like Lichtenstein or something. We'll just cede it to the Mouse in perpetuity for $10B/yr or a 99yr lease for $250B cash up front.

    My other solution is nuke it from orbit.

  • Vinny||

    I prefer your first option.

  • Joe C||

    There's actually a large number of libertarians around here. The Orange County Fl chapter of Campaign for Liberty is the largest in the country and Ron Paul speaks here all the time. Unfortunately, however, it seems to have a large number of Tea Partiers and Republicans in the mix though.

  • Geotpf||

    It's not just fundies (in terms of being anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-porn, anti-drugs (exactly what part of the bible says Thou shalt not do a doobie I dunno), anti-every-religion-except-fundie-Christianity). It's also the America Fuck Yeah contingent. There are lots of Republicans who aren't particularily religious but want Uncle Sam to kick some Muslim ass in some random country on the other side of the planet.

  • ||

    The two biggest problems with the GOP are it's war mongering and thumping.

  • it's always 4:20!||

    I would rather be governed by someone of the religious right who believes government to be the protector of liberty, than a statist who believes government to be the source of liberty.

  • ||

    will you have enough people discussing keynes to have a quorum?

    tastes great ... less filling

  • ||

    The GOP will never be a real home to free markets - it's the home of entrenched corporate interests and the military industrial complex. An entrenched institution, like a political party, will almost by definition never favor libertarian solutions if those solutions threaten the entrenched interest of the party. This is true for Democrats pandering to unions and minority "special interests" , just as it is true for Republicans pandering to business owners trying to miminize competition.

  • ||

    The GOP will never be a real home to free markets - it's the home of entrenched corporate interests and the military industrial complex. An entrenched institution, like a political party, will almost by definition never favor libertarian solutions if those solutions threaten the entrenched interest of the party.

    Which is why you should see some of the southern Democratic Parties. The NC Dem party is the party of entrenched corporate interests, unions not nearly so much. (Right to work, yes, targeted corporate tax breaks, yes, public employees collective bargaining, no.)

    The NC GOP is relatively free market because it's (almost) always the opposition. The NC Dems say "we need this special tax break to lure this company" and the GOP argues for broad-based lower taxes.

  • ||

    Speaking of the state government; those elected to federal office can be different.

  • Jack||

    You know, I had a thoughtful message to convey but pearls before swine and all that...

    I'll make it short. (yes!)

    I am a Christian libertarian. I believe Jesus was the son of God and died for my sins and yours. I also believe everyone has the right to sin all they want as long as they don't interfere with the rights of others.

    But, the hatred and insults I hear spewed from the mouths of those who claim to stand so righteously for the freedoms of others is troubling. It is no wonder the "Libertarian" party is so marginalized. It is filled with so many who stand and rant about all the things they hate. Why don't you just stand up for what you believe rather than tearing down everyone else for what they believe?

    In the end, mine is a message of love. You can continue to hate all you want...even hate me. I respect your right to do so. But know that there are many who hear what you say and just shake their heads. When you wish that all the Christians would just die, who are you trying to impress with the Libertarian cause? As one who believes in true liberty to fuck up all you want, but, also believes in redemption through Jesus Christ, how does that make me desire to support the Libertarian party? It doesn't. In your dream world, Libertarians somehow get in power and kill all the Christians? Neat. I can't wait.

    In the meantime, I will be praying for you and those like you. I will be polishing my guns. Voting for drug legalization. Opposing tyranny in all its forms and trying to get the fucking government out of my fucking life...and going to church.

    There are many who post on Reason who truly seem to get it. They are thoughtful and intelligent and downright funny. Then there are those who just seem to use it as a soapbox for spewing shit all over...perhaps that just extremism of the libertarians (trying to tie this to the article!).

    "Be the change you want to see in the world" - Ghandi

  • Vinny||

    I agree with you 100%. I find myself defending the rights of the religious among my mostly young friends constantly, though I'm not a believer myself. Just because I do not believe as you do does not mean you don't have rights, and even some supposed "libertarians" seem to believe the rights of the religious are somehow inferior because they are "irrational".

    I feel it is not my place to judge. If it enriches someone's life then it has value just the same as personal property, and equally wrong to deny or disrespect someone's right to the use of that good.

  • Doc Merlin||

    HERE HERE!

  • This Dave||

    As an atheist libertarian, I would bet you that most of that hostility would disappear the moment Christians stopped trying to put their doctrine into science classes and laws. I strongly believe in freedom of religion, but the very religious and their most outspoken leaders seem to treat that as a one way street. Freedom for them to believe what they wish, and to turn it into policies imposed on the rest of us.
    Although I don't believe in the "reality" of any religion because of intellectual reasons, I don't feel any particular hostility towards those who manage to practice their religions without trying to make our schools teach that the earth is 5,000 years old or whatever. And if you think I'm hostile to that religion, you should hear what I think about the one that burns little girls alive for going to school.

  • jacob||

    +1

  • DK||

    Are you talking about hostility from other libertarians or from the general secular populace? If you're speaking of the former, it doesn't seem that the religious warrant any more disdain for attempting to get their beliefs into school curricula than any other group of people who attempt to use the coercive power of the state. As a libertarian, it would seem more principled to rage against the basic concept of government-provided schooling than to be upset that another in a long list of groups is attempting to influence that public service. Perhaps the fact that we think of these indoctrination workshops as "our schools" is the true problem?

  • Eric||

    Agreed.

  • JoshINHB||

    But, the hatred and insults I hear spewed from the mouths of those who claim to stand so righteously for the freedoms of others is troubling. It is no wonder the "Libertarian" party is so marginalized. It is filled with so many who stand and rant about all the things they hate. Why don't you just stand up for what you believe rather than tearing down everyone else for what they believe?

    Well said Jack, but you have mistaken Reasonite libertarians for a political movement. They are no such thing, instead it's a debating club. They are more interested in scoring points against each other than persuading outsiders to embrace their ideas. Not to mention that at least half of the posters here don't believe a word of what they write, any more than the writers of Pravda believed in the dialectic.

  • Tony||

    Goddamn even the Christian right is a liberal conspiracy.

  • ||

    Am I suffering from deja vu, or was this exact same article elsewhere a few days ago?

    BTW, Dan, I'm just about 40 miles south of you in Visalia. Did the raw milk article hit home up there? My buddies in the biz were shocked when I linked it to them since their people sell it at the farmer's market here and in Tulare every week.

  • Max||

    Harsanyi is a Hungarian commie turned inside out. Go back to Budapest, you bloviating blowhard.

  • ||

    That is a really sorry effort Max. Your franchise is really hit hard times.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    That isn't the real Max. "Bloviating" is a word he cannot use correctly without Mom's help.

  • ||

    what a rambling, incoherent piece of text. This is how I sound when I'm drunk.

  • ||

    Winning elections is not a means to an end; it *is* the end. Don't let 'em kid you.

  • ||

    "A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that a quarter of Democrats—who, we can agree, are reliably rational people—are only "somewhat" or "not at all" confident in Obama's economic policies. Nearly two-thirds of those polled believe the economy has yet to hit bottom. Among those cynical souls, 67 percent want a GOP-led Congress."

    Let's break this down. Some unscientific poll found that out of democrats, who constitute less than half of voters (49%), 25% of whom aren't happy with Obama (49% X 25% = 12.25%), 66% of whom are negative about the economy (12.25% * 66% = 8.09%), of whom 67% want a GOP-led congress (8.09% * 67% = 5.4%). Even if this small percentage has an impact, who here wants a GOP-led congress?

  • ||

    If the alternative is two more years of single party government, I am thinking a lot.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    Agreed. That should be the GOP's slogan: We're a slightly better alternative than the Democrats.

  • ||

    I'm in. Divided government and gridlock are our only hope.

  • ||

    You are two late. In 2008 divided government was a hope. But now after the stimulus and Obamacare, divided government won't help. We have to reverse this shit to save ourselves. And you can't do that with gridlock.

    We are doomed.

  • ||

    Well, I agree, but the president isn't going to become something other than a Democrat during his term. If we could trust the GOP to undo the nonsense--including nonsense from before Obama's term--I'd be all for handing them the car keys. But you know and I know they'll do no such thing. In fact, they may not undo anything.

  • ||

    If we could trust the GOP to undo the nonsense--including nonsense from before Obama's term--I'd be all for handing them the car keys. But you know and I know they'll do no such thing. In fact, they may not undo anything.

    They won't have the power to undo thing, even if they would do it.

    It's always much, much easier to block legislation than to undo it. Which, of course, was the weakness in the "let's have unlimited Democratic power for a few years until the GOP gets better" argument back in 2008, as I said. (The weaknesses in the "so we have to have divided government" argument were obvious.)

  • ||

    A GOP Congress really could force the president to do some undoing if it had the balls to do so.

  • ||

    It won't have the balls unless it has the polls. They remember the government shutdown.

    Of course, this tendency of politicians isn't all bad. It's the same reason (from the other side) why the fear of a crazy lame duck session isn't that realistic.

  • mr simple||

    Um, no. You may want to go re-read that paragraph. Only the first number was among democrats. The second (the nearly two thirds) was of all people polled. The third was of the second group (2/3 * 2/3). Hope that helps.

  • ||

    what makes one think the people who choose not to vote are apathetic?

  • Max||

    Correction: Harsanyi should scurry off to Israel--the one form of statism he approves.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Juden raus!!

  • Max||

    Jews suck. Did I mention that earlier?

  • Subsidize Me!||

    Convenient omission: the recent campaign against the 14th Amendment.

  • ||

    You mean that thing forced on unwilling states contrary to the US constitution's guarantee of a Republican form of government? Certainly not libertarian to accept the use of force to compel others to accept a form of governance.

  • Mike the Grouch||

    Unwilling states? You mean the oligarchy of slaveholders and husbands? Fool.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    "Slaves"
    "States Rights"
    "Rockwellians Go Home!"
    "Lincoln fellators!"

    There. Argument over.

  • ||

    Rah, rah, Red Team.
    Boo, hiss, Blue Team.

    /whatever

  • ||

    SUMMER SLAM 2010…
    Rep. Melissa Bean (D-IL) brought Bruno the Bone-Crusher with her to a town hall meeting this weekend to threaten constituents. The meeting was held at Round Lake, Illinois Public library on Thursday August 12. The Obamacare-supporting democrat allowed the thug to roam around the room to intimidate constituents from asking questions.
    Where’d she get this guy, from the WWE?

    http://gatewaypundit.firstthin.....ing-video/

  • ||

    For sure. But unlike, say, the "stimulus" legislation, a plan to uncover the Hawaiian bunker with the president's Indonesian passport probably won't cost taxpayers $1 trillion and millions of jobs.

    I think that is the sound of Weigel turning over in his grave.

    Note: Grave in journalist terms is a slightly less paying job at slate.

  • ||

    A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that a quarter of Democrats—who, we can agree, are reliably rational people

    Whoops. Lost me on the first turn.

  • ||

    Your sarcasm detector doesn't seem to be working this morning, R C.

  • ||

    "2) Accuse your opponents of being the extremists"

    One good thing about Bush was that blaming him dropped this chestnut down to second place on the lefty list of attacks (along with "out of the mainstream" and "cruel and heartless"). The so-called extremists need to point that out, and ask the "mainstream" lefties why it is so extreme to want to stop spending billions on a Department of Education that does not teach, a Department of Energy that doesn't produce energy, and a Social Security ponzi scheme that denies ordinary citizens the right to choose how the 15% (including employer contributions) of their wages are "invested" for their retirement.

  • #||

    "right to choose how the 15% (including employer contributions) of their wages are "invested" for their retirement."

    Your silly. Don't you know that the "right to chose" begins and ends in the uterus?

  • ||

    "with" the uterus. Not much choice in it. Other than that, you are correct big brother.

  • Fire Tiger||

    a Social Security ponzi scheme that denies ordinary citizens the right to choose how the 15% (including employer contributions) of their wages are "invested" for their retirement
    Social Security is alot less dangerous than allowing politicians to tie retirement to the stock market. If they switched to a system that was more like the 401K, then the people running the investment funds available would be the same people who are running the public employee retirement systems. Personally I prefer a system where I know I am going to lose my SS contributions than a system where I not only lose that money but am also on the hook for a mythical guaranteed 8% return on investment.

  • ||

    Personally I prefer a system where I know I am going to lose my SS contributions than a system where I not only lose that money but am also on the hook for a mythical guaranteed 8% return on investment.

    Huh? You're on the hook for mythical guaranteed returns on investment with Social Security, too. They just don't even have to try to pretend that it has anything to do with investments; there's just a formula.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    The best thing the GOP has going for it are Ron and Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, and people in the tea party. Even on matters where we disagree, I think they provide the party with a strong ideological focus not seen since Reagan or Barry Goldwater.

    The Republicans just need to keep in mind that we don't want them regulating Super Bowl halftime wardrobe malfunctions, the private matters of a family grieving over a vegetative member, or constitutionally restricting access to abortions, gay marriage, and flag burning.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    I say "since Reagan or Barry Goldwater" because the 1994 Republican Revolution provided the foundation for the big-government GOP of the 90s and 00s.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Even Reagan was a big military guy and didn't pass up a few opportunities to pass restrictive regulation, but he was at least a charismatic advocate for the pro-freedom, pro-markets cause.

  • ||

    Well, that's a little harsh. The '94 GOP Congress wasn't exactly libertarian, but they leaned a bit that way (for a few years) on corruption, Congressional perks, welfare, farm subsidies, etc.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Yeah, but around the time that got control of the Executive branch, you started to see just how committed they really were to small, limited government.

  • ||

    Small-d democratic politics are usually matters of degree. These days Bush 43 is looking like a libertarian compared to Obama, is he not?

  • it's always 4:20!||

    Compassionate Conservative = Big Government Social Liberal who opposes abortion.

  • ||

    Compassionate Conservative was intended to be "Triangulating Third Way like Clinton, but opposing abortion."

    Just Third Way stealing ideas from the opposition Republicans (or, if you like, Republicans pulling to the right) ends up pretty different than Third Way stealing ideas from the opposition Democrats (i.e., tacking to the left.)

    Bush signing the "moderate" prescription drug benefit bill was the same sort of thing, in Third Way politics terms, as Clinton finally signing welfare reform, stealing the other side's popular issue. Of course, stealing the other side's popular issue for political gain means that the other side wins ideologically.

    A Third Way, triangulating Democratic President can be pretty good for conservatives, and also for libertarians, as opposed to Republican electorally. (Whether it's good for libertarians depends on whether the Democrat steals social or economic issues.) A lot of people lulled themselves into thinking that Obama would be that way, like Clinton.

    But a lot of people listened to Obama and heard what they wanted to hear, even when he said nothing at all. Many still do, though as President he's forced to clarify at times. (See the mosque remarks, where some supporters ran ahead of his carefully calibrated remarks.)

  • it's always 4:20!||

    Sounds like Politically Correct Totalitarianism.

    Get support from the lefties on what parts of government they want to expand, and get support from the righties on what parts of government they want to expand, and it won't be long before there's a law, regulation or program for EVERYTHING!

  • ||

    Well, as I said, you can triangulate different issues. It depends on which ones people choose.

    Bob Ehrlich in MD as governor actually used the clemency power (and in a very good manner), unlike the Democratic governors before and since, because of that power.

    The problem really is that the most popular parts of the Democrats' agenda are the statist parts, and that's generally true for the GOP as well.

    Some libertarian issues are popular, but things like free trade and immigration?

  • ||

    You also got to see the architects of 1994-- Gingrich, Armey, etc., all out of Congress. And the years between 1994 and 2000 saw the Republicans mostly slowly bleed seats, as Clinton triangulated his way to victory, the government shutdown stuff, associating the Republicans with Oklahoma City, etc. That's what made the Republicans go for "compassionate conservatism," seeing Clinton's elections and politics as a sign of where they had to go if they wanted to win.

    It's not like it was one continuous rule; not the consistency found in a parliamentary system. Armey stuck around for a couple years, but not long. Would that he had, instead of DeLay.

    Which reminds me that DeLay is one person happy, personally, about the Democrats winning, because it made it much easier for the DoJ to finally give up on their case against him, with no Republicans controlling it.

  • A is Awesome||

    Actually the best thing the GOP has going for them is Zombie Reagan.

    Then Rand Paul.

  • ||

    yep we like to keep fighting wars for a free market of free men to act freely or as individuals with a flag.

  • ||

    Threadjack ...

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/124.....enter.aspx

    Check the weekly trends...
    Obama has lost 10 points amount 18-29 years olds, 8 points in the east, and 5 points amoing postgraduates in the last few weeks.

    That looks to me like a break in urban academic elites support.
    What happened?

  • ||

    I think it is an outlier week. He is 54% and above every week before that. And now he goes to 46%. I bet it goes back up next week. And if it doesn't, maybe the little bastards finally had to get jobs.

  • ||

    It's too big of a drop to be an outlier, IMO.

    Plus, the categories he lost points in are pretty narrow - eastern, postgraduate, young people. Everything else is more or less flat.

  • ||

    I think it's more than just an outlier. His schtick just isn't working any more, the moderates sense it, and the left is getting embarrassed and frustrated.

  • ||

    Maybe so. Time will tell. If it is not an outlier it will stay there next week.

  • ||

    Oh, and those are weekly averages. Pretty hard to get a 10 point drop sustained over 7 days as an outlier.

  • ||

    Speaking of categories, a 36% approval rating among whites and a 93% approval rating among blacks could do wonders for racial harmony.

    There was always a (somewhat concern trolling) argument that "while I really want a black President, I think it would be bad for the country if the first black President was a really doctrinaire liberal or otherwise just had a disastrous Presidency."

  • Brett L||

    Jobs. There ain't any. If you didn't have one when the Recession set in, you can't get one now. What do you do if you're in that age range, don't want to go for more school, and don't want to join the military?

  • DJF||

    Yes we need more middle of the road policies like

    Hundreds of Trillions in debt.
    Trillions in deficit.
    Trillions bailing out everyone who has political connections.
    A Trillion a year in defense spending which does little to defend the US
    Pretending that you can have free trade with communist dictatorships or family owned countries
    Paying government workers more then private workers and then paying them even more when they retire.
    Thinking that a house gets you wealth and stability when in fact wealth and stability may get you a house.

  • ||

    Yup, pretty much every Dems and the Republican thinks these are great policies, or at least is afraid to attack them publicly. Future's looking pretty bright.

  • A is Awesome||

    "This is a perfectly useless arguement," said Eve Layton. "No intelligent person believes in free will anymore. The future belongs to social planning. Compulsion is a law of nature. That's that. It's self-evident."

    I could quote this every day.

  • Anonymous||

    +1 Rage

  • RyanXXX||

    Unfortunately, I kinda find myself "accidently" agreeing with the Dems. The tea party has given in to it's worst instincts, from what I can tell.

    What started as a quasi-libertarian grassroots movement against big government and corporatism has been co-opted and molded into a reactionary, xenophobic, nationalist, warmongering group of bible-thumpers, "led" by those purveyors of ignorance, Palin and Gingrich.

    You won't hear them complaining about the bank bailouts anymore, and their concern for civil liberties is non-existent. I have a feeling someone advocating non-interventionism, respect for constitutional protections, an end to the drug war, and an end to corporate welfare would get blank stares from them

  • ||

    as always

  • ||

    ... What started as a quasi-libertarian grassroots movement against big government and corporatism has been co-opted and molded into a reactionary, xenophobic, nationalist, warmongering group of bible-thumpers,...

    You won't mind providing some citations showing that the bulk of the Tea Party movement has changed as you describe above.

  • ||

    What started as a quasi-libertarian grassroots movement against big government and corporatism has been co-opted and molded into a reactionary, xenophobic, nationalist, warmongering group of bible-thumpers, "led" by those purveyors of ignorance, Palin and Gingrich.

    [citation needed]

    I see a bunch of establishment types trying to glom into the Tea Party movement. I don't see anybody exerting any kind of centralized control over it. As for the rest of it, as far as I can tell, there hasn't been any big nativist/reactionary lurch in the movement generally. Its really too diffuse for that, anyway.

  • ||

    It has as little central control, arguably less, than the antiwar movement. And certainly you couldn't go to an antiwar even without seeing people trying to hijack it for other causes, even often the organizers insisting that the cause of socialism was indivisible from being antiwar.

  • RyanXXX||

    Which is why the antiwar movement won't gain steam. Other than public apathy, the biggest obstacle to a vital, energized antiwar coalition is the Left. They refuse to even see the possibility of an alliance with conservatives/libertarians, and insist on bringing global warming, health care, and white guilt into the conversation

  • ||

    the very encouraging thing is that libertarians are clueless but generally not too mean-spirited like their neocon jack-booted brethren.

    is julain assange an extremist? no

  • ||

    an extremist is anyone who doesn't think ayn rand's shallow books are enlightened.

  • ||

    What started as a quasi-libertarian grassroots movement against big government and corporatism has been co-opted and molded into a reactionary, xenophobic, nationalist, warmongering group of bible-thumpers, "led" by those purveyors of ignorance, Palin and Gingrich.

    RC: While I agree with you, I would nit pick a little: Palin did her damndest to try and be a "leader" in the movement, and remains a leader among the type of people who are Tea Partiers. So she isn't a leader of the tea party, but she's a leader of the people who form the tea party. I know that sounds goofy, but it makes sense. I don't think tea party people reject her, but I agree with you that the movement is too diffuse to have a leader.

  • Tony||

    The GOP is the most corrupt political party in the western world. It is almost completely overtaken by anti-intellectual demagogues and rubes. It has no strategy other than playing to its old, white, frightened base, people to whom any remaining sane figures in their party are considered RINOs to be taken off the endangered species list by making them extinct. David Harsanyi's Krauthammer-esque sarcasm notwithstanding, these are all facts you can't dismiss by appeals to false equivalencies and beltway delusion that the mainstream conversations going on in the GOP are mainstream anywhere else.

  • Eric||

    The BNP, Cyprus Communist Party, virtually every party in Greece, Italy, and the Iberian peninsula, at the very least, would like to speak with you. (After the Dems get done with it, that is: they aren't the masters of city politics for lack of corruption.)

  • Eric||

    BTW, none of what you mention is "corrupt". Manipulative? Sure, but "corrupt" doesn't mean what you think it means.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Okay, Tony... now, be intellectually honest and tell us what's wrong with YOUR party, because there's plenty of shit you left out by way of just bitching about Republicans, who suck as well.

  • ||

    Like it or not, the Democrats look, well, progressive by implementing Obamacare, which many see as civilized and more "european". The Republicans stumble over each other to endorse "Your papers, Herr Gonzalez." It's not very forward looking, to say the least.

  • Glenn Beck||

    Progressive!?!? Don't you know there's been a "progressive" conspiracy to eat our babies since the days of the Norman invasion? MOUNTAIN DEW AND CHEETOS!!!

  • RyanXXX||

    Beck has been right to focus this country on the origins and history of Progressivism, BTW.

    It's a menacing ideology, one step below fascism/communism. it's main asset, and what makes it so dangerous, is it's insidiousness.

  • A is Awesome||

    On the other hand, he has been wrong to use slanted history books and make plenty of slippery-slope and strawman arguements.

    Also he cries like a bitch.

  • Glenn Beck||

    You really take my bullshit seriously, don't you?

  • RyanXXX||

    They look "progressive," huh? Are you sure you didn't mean "stupid", or maybe "completely out of touch"?

  • ||

    How things look /= how things work. Many people are capable of making that distinction.

  • Some Guy||

    1) Blame Bush. (A word of warning: At this economic trajectory, it won't be long before you get people reminiscing.)

    Isn't that like the Polish trying to decide whether they had it better under Hitler or Stalin?

  • ||

    "Also, please keep this in mind: Nationalizing health care is not radical. Tripling the budget deficit in two years isn't, either."

    Just because it has been done to a degree before doesn't mean it isn't radical or utterly irresponsible.

  • jb||

    "Radical" is the core issue.

    The core meaning is "root."

    Basic. Essential.

    The rest of the definitions and usages are political bastardizations.

  • surpa shoes||

    Sure, you freaks are free to chatter on your blogs or at your Klan meetings about "privatizing" Social Security or extending tax breaks for the "rich" (sorry, the super-rich) or shutting down green energy boondoggles or repealing "Obamacare,"

  • Scarpe Nike||

    is good

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