Does Barack Obama Inspire Buyer's Remorse?

Catching up with libertarians who voted for the president.

Back in the fall of 2008, Reason asked dozens of people—staffers, contributing editors, broadly defined fellow travelers—who they were planning to vote for in the presidential race. Arguably the most surprising result was the baker's dozen of characters (out of more than 40 respondents) who said they were voting for Barack Obama. Some wanted to punish the Republicans, some believed in Hope and Change, some hedged that they would only do so if the election in their state was close. But they did say they'd vote for a guy whose policies have led to what is likely to be a historic shellacking for the Democrats.

Reason intern Armin Rosen caught up with the Obamaniacs to ask three follow-up questions just before the midterm elections: Do you stand by your vote for Obama?; have the policies and laws passed since Obama took office benefited or hurt the country?; and what's the first thing that the new Congress should do upon taking office in 2011?

Peter Bagge

1. In 2008, you told Reason.com that you were voting for Barack Obama. Do you stand by that vote? I believe I said I'd vote for him if McCain had a chance of winning my home state of Washington, since I regarded him as the lesser of two evils (if utter lameness could be considered an "evil"), and that otherwise I'd vote for Bob Barr. I wound up voting for Barr, and I stand by THAT vote more now than I did then!

2. Have the federal policies and laws passed since Obama took office benefited or hurt the country? Hurt would be putting it mildly. Potentially fatal wounds are more like it. He's leading the same parade down the crapper that Bush had started, only he's quickened the pace.

3. What is the first thing that the new Congress should do upon taking office in 2011? Kill themselves.

Peter Bagge, a Reason magazine contributing editor, is a cartoonist whose most recent collection is Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me and Other Astute Observations.

Ronald Bailey

1. In 2008, you told Reason.com that you were voting for Barack Obama. Do you stand by that vote? As I explained, I voted for Obama to punish Republicans for their terrible policies under Bush. On the surface my vote worked since the Republicans are now at least paying lip service to enacting better fiscal policies and shrinking the size of government. 

2. Have the federal policies and laws passed since Obama took office benefited or hurt the country? For the most part they have harmed the country.

3. What is the first thing that the new Congress should do upon taking office in 2011? Enact economic growth policies like eliminating the corporate income tax and eliminating all subsidies. The number of truly awful policies enacted by both parties over the past four decades is so great it's hard to know where to start, but it's a target-rich policy environment for killing off bad programs and policies.

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

Bruce Bartlett 

1. In 2008, you told Reason.com that you were voting for Barack Obama. Do you stand by that vote? If I only knew what I knew on Election Day 2008 I would certainly vote for Obama again. Knowing what I know since and given only a choice between Obama and McCain, I would still vote for Obama. McCain has not done or said a single thing since Obama became president to make me think he would have been a better president. I discussed this in this column.

2. Have the federal policies and laws passed since Obama took office benefited or hurt the country? On balance, I think Obama’s policies have helped the country—certainly more so than the “do nothing” policies of the Republicans. 

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

  • Joe M||

    Can you actually find them? I figured they would've all gone into hiding or committed suicide out of shame. Or at least career suicide (cough*Weigel*cough).

  • BakedPenguin||

    Weigel's comments were - by far - not the dumbest ones made.

    Peter Bagge's were - by far - the best.

  • ||

    The craigslist guy's comments were pretty dumb. Or maybe my vote for dumbest will go to scifi writer guy #2.

    We are voting on this, right*?

    *I only vote in elections where my vote is statistically significant, and this is the one.

  • BakedPenguin||

    We are voting on this, right*?

    Sure, why not?

    I'd have to say Scalzi was the worst. I would have said Bartlett, but it's obvious he's a progressive whose agreement with libertarians was contingent on GWB occupying the White House.

  • Hooha||

    Tally one more for Craig "Craigslist Guy" Newmark; I read over his answers five or six times looking for any HINT of actual libertarianism, to no avail.

  • Joe M||

    3. What is the first thing that the new Congress should do upon taking office in 2011? Campaign finance reform.

    Seriously? SERIOUSLY? What a clown.

  • Amakudari||

    The biggest irritation for me was the idea that we had to choose between McCain and Obama or else our voice didn't matter.

    Anyone who votes because they think their vote is the one that will matter is an idiot. The odds that a presidential election will hinge on your vote are infinitesimally small. Everyone in the country back in '08 should have known that Obama would win, so there's no point pretending that voting for Republican or Democrat made your choice matter any more than voting Libertarian or Zod. If you just care about feeling like a part of one of two big ideological groups, say so, but don't pretend it's because you're pragmatic.

  • ||

    One doesn't "vote" for Zod. One simply kneels before him.

  • ||

    Excellent point sir.

  • Amakudari||

    Well, to pledge your own allegiance, yes. The vote itself was to force others to submit to his will as well (among other means).

  • ||

    Tell me more about this Zod - what is his position on deficit spending and porn.

  • ||

    Zod will take all resources for his own use but will never spend what he hasn't seized. Naturally, crumbs that fall from Zod's plate will be shared with his slaves.

    Zod cares not about your autoerotic mechanisms, but he does insist that most porn films include Zod as the male lead.

  • Amakudari||

    On the national debt:

    The public debt shall be expunged from all official records and there shall be a freeze on all attempts to liquidate U.S. government securities. Let that be a lesson to any foreign investors that engage in profiteering of this mighty nation, and to those domestic troublemakers that dare deprive me of spoils. Truly, how can you vote for Ron Paul or Hillary Clinton when they cannot promise you a zero public debt? Unshackle yourselves and kneel before Zod at the ballot box!

    On sexuality:

    If honest expressions of sexual love are allowed, it will be difficult to foster the hostility that already exists between people in Western, and other repressed societies. Will you promise to crush these natural human tendencies toward physical pleasure? As you know, when natural sexual energy is repressed, it tends to release itself in other ways, such as pathological sexual perversions, neurosis, and violence.

    Truly, it has been years since I've heard such wisdom spilling from the lips of you impudent mortals. You all - listen to this man! His words are a beacon of salvation. Mistrust amongst fellow men shall focus your minds squarely on your work, giving you more possessions for yourselves and more tribute to give to your ruler. Hell-On-Earth shall be a mere stepping stone to a world of greatness and protection. Prostrate yourselves! All swear allegiance!
  • ||

    From Zod's 2008 campaign?

  • Amakudari||

    Indeed.

    Zod listens here and here.

  • ||

    I hope he runs again in 2012. I think he withdrew due to some electoral shenanigans perpetrated by the Son of Jor-El.

  • Zod||

    If there is a deficit of porn anywhere, I am opposed to it.

  • smartass sob||

    Everyone seems to forget that the president isn't elected by popular vote anyway. The electoral college chooses the president and though they might promise to follow the direction of the popular vote, they are not legally bound to do so.

  • ||

    Scalzi is scifi guy #2, right?

    Anyone who wants congress to "do something" about the economy is not to be taken seriously.

    Bartlett's an obvious shill, so he is a no go.

    Brin was strange, and I think that he may need to be committed to an institution. He is obviously a danger to himself and society at large. Whether he is dumb though, I don't know.

    I am going to vote craigslist guy. His post was short and contained the highest stupid/words ratio out of all of the commentary.

  • KingTaco||

    If you read Scalzi's blog, you'll quickly realize he's an absolutely stereotypical liberal. Republicans are always evil/stupid, Democrats always mean well but can't defeat the Right's 'Dirty Tricks', Obama the only adult in government. He's very nasty to any right-of-center comments. How this guy is labeled as a libertarian is beyond me. David Brin falls in that category too.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    "How this guy is labeled as a libertarian is beyond me."

    Probably the same way Bill Maher's flattered himself as a libertarian for all these years.

  • DJ Drugs||

    Scalzi wrote a funny piece on failed Christmas specials. The highlight? "Ayn Rand: A Very Selfish Christmas."

    Google that son of a gun for a chuckle or two.

  • mr simple||

    Yeah, what the he'll does this even mean?

    But given that when Obama took office things could easily have gotten much worse very quickly, but were unlikely to get much better very quickly, and in fact things did not get much worse, I’d have to say that his policies benefited the country.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    I think it means "I love the taste of Obama's semen."

  • SIV||

    I would have said Bartlett, but it's obvious he's a progressive whose agreement with libertarians was contingent on GWB occupying the White House.

    So he hangs out at Grylliade now too?

  • A random Grylliader||

    Wait just a damn minute, you...

  • ||

    I'm torn between Bartlett and sci-fi author #1 (Brin) as worst of the bunch. I don't know how either of them are considered libertarians; neither seems fiscally conservative from what they posted.

    Bagge's change at the polls and his answer for Congress' policy definitely put him at #1 in my book.

  • Yonemoto||

    Brin's suggestion to triple the science budget is so fucking stupid. I just took a DOE-funded job in green energy, and now I know why we don't fucking have green energy.

  • Yonemoto||

    hint: it's not a lack of money.

  • DJ Drugs||

    "Kill themselves"

    Priceless.

  • ||

    "Just gridlock yourself off of that bridge there, sparky."

  • mad libertarian guy||

    If only they would.

    Or if only someone would do it for them.

  • Cyto||

    John Scalzi:
    Obama's been pretty successful in doing much of what he hoped to do despite being confronted with monolithic opposition on the Republican side of Congress and marginal competence at best on the Democratic side, so I've gotten my vote's worth so far.

    This meme is so covered with stupid that it defies proper description. Yet it manages to find traction with some.

  • Sam Grove||

    so I've gotten my vote's worth so far.

    Does he realize how worthless his vote was?

  • Amakudari||

    Yeah. I'm really struggling to parse how "monolithic opposition" exists with a de facto Democratic supermajority. Now, frankly, I'm glad that the administration was too incompetent to wield that more effectively than it did, but people who believe this are rewarding failure. And you know that if Democrats had been more united and forceful, they would say he's "effectively utilizing the Democratic mandate" or some other BS.

    Hats off to Republicans for at least delaying the dumber impulses of Democrats (in a way that I wish Ds had done when Rs were in power), but they definitely got an assist from the White House.

  • cellar dweller||

    I can't believe that my light saber was defeated by this new metal. The Democratic juggernaut is so powerful.

    Why is cancer or aids a problem today? You'd think it would be solved?

    Cliche Alert...

    Pull up your own bootstraps and make it happen, For today, this is still Amercia, do it! bunch of wimps

  • mad libertarian guy||

    He had so much opposition that he was able to pass Obamacare.

    I love that though Obama has had various bills pass without a single republican vote, it's republicans who are holding him back.

  • Von||

    Yes, if regurgitating liberal talking points was the point of the interview, this guy won hands down.

    How some of these people self identify as libertarians is beyond me.

  • Anonymous Crank||

    Agreed. A miracle that one can be a talented writer, while still being clearly, and clinically retarded.

  • MattXIV||

    I'm voting Weigel as worst solely on the basis of defending the GM bailout; I can't think of another policy that has done nearly as much to reward failure. Perpetuating the existence an auto company who couldn't make money selling cars and only could temporarily make money in it's finance wing by participating in an asset bubble that would later substantially damage the entire economy is a failure in and of itself.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Bagge, Cavanaugh and Chapman were the only non-puke worthy replies.

  • Hooha||

    first?

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    Ought to be a busy thread.

  • Joe||

    That was painful.

  • Southerner||

    Damn.

    I think we've just been shown every last jackass at this magazine who needs to be fired to return sanity and intellect to the staff. These ought to be exit interviews, people.

  • cellar dweller||

    +5

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    But at least he proved sincere about letting the civil servants get back to the jobs we pay them to do. Morale among those men and women has skyrocketed and they are back at work. Whatever your abstract libertarian yearnings, you should be glad of that. After all, you are paying their salaries.

    No, actually, I want them committing suicide out of total despair.

  • JoshINHB||

    No Shit.

    What kind of "libertarian" want an energized effective federal bureaucracy?

  • Kommander smz||

    But Brin's long, rambling answer proves his smartz. He could have just said I voted for the Big O because I wanted to feel good about myself.
    And I do not know one libertarian who wants a pumped-up federal bureaucracy.

  • Raven Nation||

    After reading Brin's answer, I no longer feel bad for not liking his books. And, I have a Scalzi lying around that I haven't read yet. Now not sure if I will.

  • ||

    he wrote one good book and it was just a fun beach-read scifi adventure. Definitely not a must-read for the genre.

  • betterThanU||

    ... scifi ... genre

    I don't understand

  • cynical||

    I think The Transparent Society was one of those books that was before its time, anticipating a lot of the tech/ethical issues we have today along with the authoritarian fight against sousveillance that Balko discusses all the time. In fact, I wouldn't mind an article where RB interviews DB for his thoughts on the accuracy of his predictions, what he would change, and so on. I've never bothered with his fiction, though.

  • ||

    Only George Will and maybe a couple other national pundits have consistently pointed out that "gridlock" is a good thing, that the Founders built it into the Constitution with the three branches and all the assorted checks and balances because they didn't trust one-party rule and the whims and passions of a fickle, unpredictable and often irrational electorate. Americans get it, if only subconsciously. It's the collectivists and authoritarians and apparently most of the mainstream press who want strong, one-party rule with meek and compliant and subservient minority parties. But the "Party of No," which happened to be Republicans this time around, proved again to be a feature of the Constitution, not a bug.

  • Raven Nation||

    "It's the collectivists and authoritarians and apparently most of the mainstream press who want strong, one-party rule with meek and compliant and subservient minority parties."

    Which is usually disguised by calls for bipartisanship.

  • Bipartisanship||

    Guys... why can't we all just get along??

  • Newman, Al||

    Yes, the best way to fix a "broken" Gov't is by making sure that it remains that way via "gridlock". Exactly what the Founders were aiming at, touchè. Will of course profits off perpetuating perfunctory partial permutations of poop.

  • marlok||

    Define "broken government". I have a feeling your definition is something like "one that doesn't pass everything on the DNC wish list after a successful election."

  • ||

    Right. It's only "broken" when you don't get your own way. Look who's throwing a tantrum now.

  • Sudden||

    Alliterations are not a viable substitute for cogent and well-rationalized arguments.

  • ||

    You could say that alliteration is the last refuge of the incompetent writer.

  • ---||

    Does that apply to positronic panopticon?

  • ||

    I for one am willing to make an exception for positronic panopticon.

  • Sam Grove||

    Better a "broken" government than a broken economy.

  • ||

    If by "energized" you mean bathed in enough ionizing radiation to effectively make them quit, well, I'm one libertarian who is for it.

  • Raven Nation||

    LMAO!

  • Bruce Majors||

    +1

    With all the dirty bomb scares on the DC metro last month, and the entire Obama regime tucking tail and running to India this week after the election loss, if you are near DC I would recommend worrying about that.

  • cynical||

    I think Brin unwisely assumes that these government jobs have some nonzero value (which may or may not be less than what the job pays). He doesn't consider the possibility that a civil service job could be inherently harmful.

    I mean, if there was a government agency in charge of ogling and sexually molesting citizens (for our hypothetical scenario, let's call it the "Tsardom of Sexual Assault"), I'd rather not have the insult of paying the fuckers compounded with the injury of them actually doing the job they were paid to do.

  • Southerner||

    I mean, if there was a government agency in charge of ogling and sexually molesting citizens...

    It's called the Kinsey Institute.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Isn't it awesome that we we have high morale for a bunch of jackbooted thugs feeling up my fucking nut sack at the airport because I'd rather not have them laughing at me in some other room because I have a small dick.

    Fucking great, huh?

  • -|-|-||

    There is nothing great about having a small dick. Not that I would know personally.

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    Shorter article:

    "I've already worn out these kneepads, let me get another pair and some kleenex for my chin".

  • Hooha||

    In This Article;

    Pride blurrs the hindsight of otherwise reasonable and logical individuals.

  • Southerner||

    Pride blurrs the hindsight of otherwise reasonable and logical individuals.

    You're really reaching.

  • Hooha||

    lol, alright, you got me. I wrote the comment before I'd REALLY reflected on the majority of the answers. Honestly, I was giving them the benefiet of the doubt because I USED to respect Tim Cavanaugh.

  • ||

    Bruce Bartlett is an idiot, because he's repeatedly praised Obama for doing exactly what he criticized GWB (effectively!) for doing in his book. He also refused, even when confronted with roll-call votes, to admit that any Democratic Senators voted for Medicare Part D, much less that their votes were necessary for it to pass.

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    I guess they're still angling for MSM jobs to get them away from a mere ideological mag. It makes sense that Obama supporters would also be stupid enough to think that's a good career move.

    No references to "ratfuckers" guys? You disappoint me.

  • Hooha||

    It kills me that most of the answers to question one can pretty much be summarized as "I stand by my vote; McCain might have been as bad as Barry!"

    If you can't admit that a completely random unknown would have LIKELY been better than Obama, maybe you shouldn't be voting. Seriously, pick a name out of a hat and the nation would probably have been better off for it. (so long as it wasn't "Pelosi")

  • nekoxgirl||

    Considering I think McCain would have already declared war on Iran, I believe he would have been worse than Obama.

  • ||

    That's fine, but I think that that's an entirely ridiculous belief.

  • Hooha||

    War with Iran would have been cheaper than Stimulus, Omnibus, Obamacare, etc etc. So unless it's the worlds' view of America that keeps you up at night, I'm going to have to respectfully disagree.

  • BakedPenguin||

    We're running out of soldiers; he might have had to re-instate the draft. While I'm too old to be affected, and 4-F anyway, I still think that would be a bad thing.

    Having said that it's sad that so many "libertarians" and fellow travelers are apparently unaware of the Libertarian Party.

  • Hooha||

    Why do people keep talking about McCain like he was a radical of the same calibre as Obama? He was far out in Right Field, sure, but if you remember the campaign, the concern was that he was a 'liberally prone' coot too old and frail to actually do ANYTHING. Bush didn't go for the draft, McCain CERTAINLY wouldn't have!

    I can't believe we're letting history color him as some sort of foaming-at-the-mouth neocon when the LIBS were bashing him as a dead fish.

    And I'm not even a McCain voter! When they didn't give me Ronny, I abstained!

  • DLM||

    I can't believe we're letting history color him as some sort of foaming-at-the-mouth neocon when the LIBS were bashing him as a dead fish.

    Remember the meme on the far right was that he was a 'RINO', which means he wasn't too close to the center for them. I lived in Arizona and McCain would have much better than Obama, especially given Democrats has control of both Senate and House. Now we see (again) how well one-party government turned out.

  • Hooha||

    Yes, I'm fairly partial to the JibJab video "time for some campaignin'", that has so wonderfully preserved the mindset on both sides of that election.

  • nekoxgirl||

    Why do you think those other things wouldn't have happened too? Bush passed a stimulus plan in 2008 (albeit a smaller one) and no one heard anything about it. Why? Because it was in the best interest of the Democratic majority AND Bush administration to support it. The past two years really haven't been that much different from the eight years preceding it, despite what the MSM would like you to believe.

    If McCain had been President, he would have supported a stimulus plan and the health care bill. The politics would have been different but the results would have been the same. The health care bill, as passed, was essentially what the corporate branch of the Republican party has been pushing for decades. They are only calling it socialist now because the Democrats have complete control. If McCain had been in office it would have been the "pro-business solution to the health care crisis"

    I hate all the bulls**t about how the 1990's was some glorious era of gridlock. What it really was about was cover for Bill Clinton to support a bunch of pro-corporate policies liberals hated but could blame on Gingrich. And in turn, cover for Gingrich to support a bunch of big government polities conservatives hated but could blame on Clinton.

    The only reason the Republicans have been "The Party of No" is because they are out of power. You really think they saw the light about smaller government because Barack Obama got elected? Maybe a few that get in thanks to the tea parties will be different, but most will be part of the same group of a**hats that helped screw up the country during the '00s.

    Oh, and I could give a rat's a** how the rest of the world views America. Invading Iran would send oil prices up to about $10 a gallon, and likely be the catalyst for the destruction of our fiat currency. That doesn't sound too cheap to me.

  • ||

    Bush passed a stimulus plan in 2008 (albeit a smaller one) and no one heard anything about it.

    Amusing, because people now are complaining that no one knew about Obama's payroll tax cut compared to that one. Still, the 2008 tax cut is better than extra spending.

    The health care bill, as passed, was essentially what the corporate branch of the Republican party has been pushing for decades...

    The only reason the Republicans have been "The Party of No" is because they are out of power.

    I'm highly confused as to how you could believe these two things and not be shocked as to why the GOP failed to pass this plan that they've been pushing for decades during the years 2002-2006.

    Invading Iran would send oil prices up to about $10 a gallon, and likely be the catalyst for the destruction of our fiat currency. That doesn't sound too cheap to me.

    And all that becomes arguments for why it wouldn't happen.

  • nekoxgirl||

    "And all that becomes arguments for why it wouldn't happen."

    John, I think you are overestimating the intelligence of the people running the country.

  • ||

    What are you smoking? Before Bush invaded Iraq he spent at least 7 months drumming up support at the UN and among Dems in Congress. If France hadn't agreed to 'significant consequences' and half the Dems in the Senate (and just under half in the House) hadn't voted to give Bush authority Iraq wouldn't have happened.

    The same calculus means that Iran wouldn't have happened under a President McCain. We know where the UN stands and the Dems would be all but 100% against. Iraq killed any chance for Iran under a President McCain. Doesn't anybody remember the lead up to the Iraq war?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    "Amusing, because people now are complaining that no one knew about Obama's payroll tax cut compared to that one. Still, the 2008 tax cut is better than extra spending."

    I'd be really careful about calling Obama's payroll reductions a tax cut. Everything I've read about it always ends up qualifying it as the result of a tax credit, which isn't exactly the same thing.

  • ||

    I don't support war with Iran but wouldn't the destruction of our fiat currency be a blessing in disguise in the long term?

  • nekoxgirl||

    True...

  • Hooha||

    Neko, what John said, mostly. Also, I don't agree with you about an unavoidable healthcare bill, which is adressed downthread.

  • nekoxgirl||

    I guess we'll see what happens if a Republican gets elected President in 2012. I'm curious to see what conservatives do if the Republicans won't repeal it.

  • Hooha||

    Repeal strikes me as much more difficult to initiate than passage is to stop. An ounce of prevention, as they say...

    These social entitlements are insidious like that. I haven't got much hope for repeal, which is tragic, really, because it honestly feels to me like another nail in America's "#1 superpower" coffin.

    I'm already keeping an ear to New Zealand and China, in case the motherland starts building a wall around California to keep me and my comrades in.

  • Amakudari||

    I think it's more likely that Republicans try to poison some of the provisions. Repealing the laws about refusing coverage to children or dropping coverage of those who fall ill won't happen. They have to do something to establish credibility.

    Of course, that could turn out to be the worst of all possible worlds, but I'd say it's somewhat likely.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    This.

    Republicans have no interest in repealing Obamacare; they want to improve it.

  • DJ Drugs||

    Not so much the world's view of America. It's more that whole killing brown people thing. I guess that's just my hangup, though.

  • DJ Drugs||

    I just think America should be killing more yellow people, that's all.

  • DJ Drugs||

    Is the other DJ trying to make fun of me or adding to the sarcasm?

    If that were an anti-DJ Drugs post, it seems to be adding to the sarcasm of my original sentiment.

  • Ben P.||

    Honestly, I think this article is a waste for the same reason I think that most of the comments will be:

    The question seems to presuppose that not-voting-for-Obama would have yielded some better results, or that the people who initially said they'd vote for Obama now no longer believe what they believed then.

    Look at most of the responses in this article -- the responses are, for the most part, "I still don't think McCain would have been better."

    Unless there's some way of going back to 2008 and making the alternatives to the man now occupying the Oval Office any more palatable for these people, their answers will not change.

    Nor should they.

  • ||

    Unless there's some way of going back to 2008 and making the alternatives to the man now occupying the Oval Office any more palatable for these people, their answers will not change.

    Such a thing is easily possible if they believe that President Obama is worse than they thought he'd be. Most, however, don't.

    This article also reminds us that no one actually gives a damn about free trade or agriculture supports, at least from the libertarian side.

  • ||

    Unless there's some way of going back to 2008 and making the alternatives to the man now occupying the Oval Office any more palatable for these people, their answers will not change.

    Nor should they.

    Your logic is badly wrong. They had an estimate of how Obama would be, and how McCain would be. They made their decision based on that incomplete information, as we all have to do.

    If Obama turned out to be worse than they thought, it's entirely an illogical and insufficient answer to say that "well, maybe McCain would also have been worse than I thought so I can't answer that question." That's ridiculous. We know more about President Obama than we did two years ago.

    They have two logical alternatives:

    1) "Even though Obama may be different from what I expected, he's still not worse than what I expected McCain and all the alternatives to be, so no regrets."

    2) "Obama is different from what I expected, and while I thought he would be better than all the alternatives, his actual performance is now below what I expected from one of the others, so I would change my vote."

  • ||

    +1

    also, I would pick #1, but I voted for Barr, and I'm in CA

  • ||

    sorry, I mean I would pick choice 2

  • ||

    David Brin, also a moron, because he thinks that the Interstate Commerce Commission was eliminated in 1995 "by Democrats," though one certainly grants that the Staggers Rail Act certainly reduced its powers greatly.

  • ||

    Interesting that the vast majority of this crowd of "libertarians" are disappointed that President Obama hasn't intervened more in the economy.

    Those who do admit to being disappointed with him care about civil liberties, but those who claim to be satisfied don't really care.

  • Masturbatin' Pete||

    Interesting that the vast majority of this crowd of "libertarians" are disappointed that President Obama hasn't intervened more in the economy.

    Except for a few notables, when someone who associates closely with Democrats and other lefties tells you that he's a "libertarian," what he means is "give me the Democratic party's platform, but let's try to keep the top income tax bracket under 95%, okay?"

  • ||

    Many of them still haven't been able to grok the difference between "libertarian" and "libertine", methinks.

  • Masturbatin' Pete||

    With "libertarians" like these, who needs Nancy Pelosi?

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    This goes well beyond "but McCain sucked also".

    On balance, I think Obama’s policies have helped the country—certainly more so than the “do nothing” policies of the Republicans.

    Government policy has dramatically improved with the Obama administration, particularly including support for military veterans. That includes educational and medical benefits, and other areas like pay for stop-lossed vets.

    But given that when Obama took office things could easily have gotten much worse very quickly, but were unlikely to get much better very quickly, and in fact things did not get much worse, I’d have to say that his policies benefited the country.

    I think by and large they have benefited the country, but the problem is the benefit has been in keeping the country from being worse off, not having it become noticeably better.

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    "Yes, he increased the size and scope of government. Yes, he's saddled us with massive new debt. Yes, he forced a poorly, half-written healthcare plan down our throats. Yes, he's been just as bad on civil liberties as Bush. All that pales in comparison to my self image as not being a Palin voting WalMart shopper."

  • ||

    That's not really a fair summary. Several of the people, including whom you quoted, actually are 100% in favor of increasing the size and scope of government, of more economic intervention, and massive new debt.

    Combine this with not giving a shit about civil liberties, and I don't understand why they're "libertarians."

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    Their "libertarianism" is just a pose to seem somewhat "naughty" around the govt social circuit w/o being lumped in w/ pew jumpers and the like.

  • Masturbatin' Pete||

    +1

    Yes. Most of these soi disant "libertarians" are just liberals who get boners for the Singularity, are being contrarian because it's the easy way to get your stuff published at Slate, or have one or two positions that depart from the leftist orthodoxy and don't want anyone to think that they're wandering off the reservation.

  • Raven Nation||

    I think a lot of people adopt the libertarian label when they're in opposition. So a lot of these (fairly obvious) leftists (and Bartlett from the other direction) claim libertarian when they were opposing Bush. Just like a lot of Republicans are claiming that kind of mantle now.

    What might make a difference is if a chunk of the Tea Party crowd rip into Republicans who spend too much, etc.

  • Hooha||

    *sniff sniff*

    Smell that?

    *sniff*

    LINO droppings...

  • duh||

    Combine this with not giving a shit about civil liberties, and I don't understand why they're "libertarians."

    They are libertines, not libertarians. Libertines like to call themselves libertarians because they like to think their political desires are based on reason rather than unthinking self-indulgence.

  • ||

    The worst part of this is that if someone were to see this article, they would be led into thinking all of these people are libertarians, and that most of them are okay with Obama's policies.

    This is really bad reporting or at least headline-writing by Reason.

  • Reason Editorinators||

    "This is really bad reporting or at least headline-writing by Reason."

    We're covered. We're going to blame the intern.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Is that some sort of -inator from Dr. Doofenschmirtz?

  • ||

    Weigel:

    He voted for the bailout, as did Obama, but Obama seemed to understand why he was doing so.

    McCain voted for the bailout because of the huge numbers of economists telling him that the world would end if he didn't, and then has being whining about being misled or lied to. I guess Weigel is saying that Obama philosophically approves of the bailouts, so that's better.

    Once again we see that a politician ever admitting to not being omniscient is a political liability. People really, really want someone who pretends to know it all.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    It's interesting that Weigel believes this, because the impression I got is that Obama was highly irritated about the whole thing, and wanted to get back to his adoring crowds on the campaign.

    Obama certainly never said anything profound or insightful about why the bailouts were justified or how things had gotten to that particular point. So Weigel's contention seems to be a mere projection of his own preferences.

  • ||

    On balance, I think Obama’s policies have helped the country—certainly more so than the “do nothing” policies of the Republicans.

    I had to check that twice to make sure. Did James Carville write that line?

  • -||

    Sounds more like Donna Brazile.

  • Schadenfreudian||

    Today I'm going to party like it's 1994.

  • Juice||

    Woohoo! That was the beginning of the end. We're nearing the end of the end, so might as well party!

  • the power of one||

    If you voted for Obama, has the tingle in your leg stopped yet?

  • Chris Matthews||

    It was a thrill, you hack, not a tingle.

    "It's part of reporting this case, this election, the feeling most people get when they hear Barack Obama's speech. My, I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don't have that too often."

  • It's Pat||

    So, you got a hard on?

  • Rachel Maddow||

    I'm leaning forward.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Two years on, some of these contributors have caught on to the appeal of gridlock. Lip service aside, Democrats are just as bad as Republicans at all the abuses to civil liberties and interventionism. Add to that their stated intent to branch out in new and exciting ways into healthcare, energy and financial regulation, on the whole they become worse. Much, much worse.

    Voting for Obama was voting to hand the these people full control of government. For a libertarian, that was idiotic.

  • Hooha||

    Well played, FoE...

  • ||

    Goddamn you Reason, you made me go back on my promise to never read another word written by that raving anal sore, Brin. I must have read at least 10 words before the urge to vomit took over.

    Scalzi lives up to the rule of never learning the politcal views of authors you like.

    Bartlett is a blithering idiot who aptly makes the case for anarchy better than anyone.

    Love Bagge's #3 answer.

    And What The Fuck was with putting names at the very bottom of the page, only to have their answers on the following page with no name attached?

  • editor's response||

    "And What The Fuck was with putting names at the very bottom of the page, only to have their answers on the following page with no name attached?"

    The use of a hard page break is considered by us to be too authoritarian.

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    A vote for McCain was a vote for having one of the two major political parties continuing to care about civil liberties. Someone explain to me how that is bad from a libertarian perspective.

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    Replace "care" with "pretend to care" above.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    -Do you stand by your vote for Obama?-

    Lawl, hell yeah! The bruthas needed some blackup!

  • Southerner||

    Sit in your coffin and rot, Californicator.

  • Jerry||

    And racial issues have moved forward—or at least become less boring—since Obama took office.


    This. Although race issues regarding (illegal) immigration are still not solved...

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    And if you think we shouldn't pick the president based on his race it's just because you're racist teabagger scum.

    I sure am glad we're post-racial now.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Race issues have definitely moved forward.

    It's clear: everyone who doesn't support Obama is a racist and should be ignored.

    If that's "forward", I'll take any other direction.

  • ABC||

    The Reason crowd are such pussies when it comes to the race issue.

  • ||

    Peter Bagge gave awesome answers, especially to question #3.

    Tim Cavanaugh has some stones, admitting that he voted for Obama 'cause he's black. I will refrain from remarking on Tim's filthy Irish heritage for one week out of respect for honesty.

    The craigslist guy, what? Huh? See also: the scifi guys.

    Meh.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I will refrain from remarking on Tim's filthy Irish heritage for one week out of respect for honesty.

    I would have too, but the Mick's probably too drunk to care.

    I know the party is messed up, but if you're going to vote, why not vote Libertarian? What the fuck is there to lose?

  • ||

    Yup, if I do get a bug up my ass and go to vote today it will be L's all the way down.

    Why not? At least in two years you won't have to be scribing excuse filled mea culpas.

  • BakedPenguin||

    With early voting, I already did. Because FL has some nasty ballot requirements, the only L on the ballot is Snitker for Senate.

    I wrote in John Wayne Smith for governor - he stated that the Sec. of State screwed over his campaign, which they deny. Isaac Bartram mentioned that he met the guy, and he's a few pegs short, but one of the good things about "throwing your vote away" is not having to worry about how the person would actually govern.

    Shame Snitker didn't get shit for press coverage, though. He was a pretty credible candidate. Crist actually mentioned that he thought Snitker should be invited to the debates. That's obviously because Crist thought he would "take" votes from Rubio, but in general Snitker ran a decent campaign.

  • ||

    I have been thinking lately of ballot requirements, and how they need to be the next thing to go. When voting is done on an electronic screen you could have a thousand candidates...just scroll down. With mail in paper ballots, make people write in the name or party they wish to vote for in a blank space and don't mention any specific candidates.

    If anyone is an expert and knows whether ballot access has been an issue for the courts, I would be interested to know about it.

  • ||

    I voted the same way, BakedPenguin. Snitker did get hosed for exactly the reasons you said; Rubio was probably nervous that he would pull some Tea Partiers away from his campaign.

    Meek is his namesake in this state... way too meek. His campaign never had a chance when Crist changed to Independent. Still, I can't believe the number of people that are voting for Crist. A politician's a politician, but how do you not see Crist for anything BUT an opportunist seeking higher office?? If he ran the same campaign it would be one thing, but he changed his position on like 6-8 different topics so that he could appeal to more Democrats.

    One last thing: there's a radio personality out of Tampa that I despise but can't stop listening to in the mornings. Bubba The Love Sponge is adamant that his listeners/followers/idiotic herd will come out en masse and vote Charlie Crist today, and that their numbers haven't been represented accurately in the polls. I have nothing but laughs for that.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    There wasn't a single L on my ballot. In fact nothing other than R or D.

    I voted in one race (Rand Paul) and left everything else blank.

  • ABC||

    ¨I´m Tim Cavanagh and I voted for McCain because he's white.¨

    Oh wait...forgot. Mustn't forget the double-standards.

    I'm going back to LRC. They might be assholes with racist inclinations and too many articles about acupuncture, but at least they´re principled when it comes to matters of the state.

  • Fluffy||

    I voted for Barr, but I am perfectly content with the McCain defeat.

    McCain would have proceeded in virtually the same way as Obama.

    He would have done some kind of Romneycare crap.

    He would have passed a stimulus package. Different people would have gotten the graft, but there would still have been graft.

    I'm sure he would have bailed out the auto companies. Again, the details may have been marginally different - the unions might have gotten fewer extralegal gifts - but Government Motors would still have been a reality.

    McCain would have been better in that I don't think he would have gone for the financial regulations piece Obama has gone for. But you never know with McCain.

    But the trade-off for that would probably have been war with Iran.

    No sale.

  • Hooha||

    while the assertation that repubs would have attempted any sort of healthcare legislation at all is questionable, the implication that it would bear even a passing resemblance to Obamacare is asinine. Stop trying to color Obama as 'not so bad by comparison' long enough to put down the pipe.

  • Fluffy||

    Most of the GOP caucus is currently on record as supporting several of the most egregious elements of Obamacare, including the requirement to cover pre-existing conditions, and the use of community rating pricing.

    And we're talking about JOHN FUCKING MCCAIN here, who has not been a reliable supporter of any principle since two days after he got back from Viet Nam.

  • Hooha||

    Right, soooo.... you readily point out McCains "liquid" political nature, and somehow that's supposed to build the case that he'd force through one of the biggest and most controversial pieces of legislation in history? Ya lost me.

    And claiming support of some elements of a law they were forced to choke on is a far cry from reason to believe the GOP caucus would have even entertained the notion of such legislation under a red commander-in-chief.

    We're on the same side here; I'm merely suggesting you might be letting the Liberal BS machine tint your hindsight goggles a bit. They'd desparately like us to believe that "Obama's not REALLY that radical, because everyone else would have been SO MUCH crazier!"

  • Fluffy||

    To me the continuity between the last two administrations is striking.

    But we also have to consider the fact that McCain was pro-carbon-rationing legislation.

    Obama was not able to push cap-and-trade through, due to the opposition of the GOP in the Senate. But if the GOP was being undermined in opposing cap-and-trade by a sitting Republican President, in his first year of office, would cap-and-trade have been stopped? Or would McCain have gotten substantially the legislation he wanted and signed it?

    Maybe you're right that we wouldn't have gotten the health care debacle. But if we got cap-and-trade instead, are we any better off?

  • ||

    But if the GOP was being undermined in opposing cap-and-trade by a sitting Republican President, in his first year of office, would cap-and-trade have been stopped? Or would McCain have gotten substantially the legislation he wanted and signed it?

    I don't know, what happened with W's immigration plan? I suspect that that's the proper analogy for cap-and-trade, which has never had the necessary level of support in polls as, e.g., free drugs for seniors.

  • ||

    That is a good point about Cap and Trade. McCain would have gotten the moron twins from Maine and broke the filibuster. Also, if healthcare died in the fall of 2009, like it should have, no way does Brown win in Mass.

  • ||

    No, because he would have lost coal state Democrats Senators who were extremely happy to see the bill die a quiet death in the Senate.

    Remember the House bill roll call? The Dems were 211 ayes, 44 noes. (GOP 8 ayes, 168 noes.)

    That's a bill that Democratic Senators are glad to see die whilst blaming Republicans, and when push came to shove it would "mysteriously" die under President McCain just as W's immigration plan did. (Not that I feel the same about the two.)

  • ||

    Someone would offer an amendment in there about tariff and other retaliation against the PRC and other countries that don't restrict their own emissions, and support would splinter.

  • ||

    Obama was not able to push cap-and-trade through, due to the opposition of the GOP in the Senate. But if the GOP was being undermined in opposing cap-and-trade by a sitting Republican President, in his first year of office, would cap-and-trade have been stopped? Or would McCain have gotten substantially the legislation he wanted and signed it?

    I don't think you understand our two party system. If McCain had become president, then the majority Democrat party would have become the party of NO. There would have been the gridlock that we claim we need. Yes, John McCain ran as a Maverick that could break the aisle barrier, but if he got in office on the Republican ticket, there would have been very few Democrats that would give him YES votes, just as there are very few Republicans giving Obama YES votes. Unfortunately right now, the Democrats need less Republican votes than visa versa had McCain been elected.

  • nekoxgirl||

    If McCain had been President if wouldn't have been forced. Instead it would have went something like this:

    Step 1 - Democrats put forth a single-payer plan. McCain vetoes it.
    Step 2 - Democrats put forth a public option plan. McCain vetoes it.
    Step 3 - Democrats put forth the same health care plan as they did at the beginning of 2010. McCain signs it into law.
    Step 4 - Democrats celebrate that health care was finally passed, but are slightly sadden they couldn't get a public option/single-payer. They vow to win the 2012 elections, putting a Democrat in the White House, and finally getting single-payer.
    Step 5 - Meanwhile, Republicans celebrate stopping those crazy liberals from completely destroying private health care. The plan is not their ideal health care bill but at least it's "pro-business."

  • ||

    Step 3 - Democrats put forth the same health care plan as they did at the beginning of 2010. McCain signs it into law.

    The ridiculously unpopular one? I hardly think so.

    Now, if you claim that Wyden-Bennett would have passed, or a bill limited to "no pre-existing conditions, cover children at 26, mandatory issue, community rating" (still a bad idea), then, yes, I'll agree.

    A *popular* bill could have passed. But the idea that an unpopular one would have? I disagree.

  • nekoxgirl||

    It was only so unpopular because part of the MSM (the Rupert Murdoch part) was pointing out its flaws. If that same part of the MSM had instead supported it as a way to help John McCain, at least 50% of the country would be in favor.

  • ||

    Without the support of the President, Obamacare would have never been passed as it. Don't forget how much they brow beat the Dems in swing districts into voting for it.

    McCain is nothing if not someone who reads the political winds. When the tea partys broke out in August of 09, he would have backed down. Would the leftists have compromised with McCain just to get something passes? Or would they have torpedoed the whole thing to keep healthcare as an issue for 2012 hoping to hit the jackpot with a Democratic President?

    I bet it would have been the latter. McCain would have never gotten a healthcare bill through. But he would have probably gotten some kind of amnesty bill through, which last I looked libertarians supported.

  • ||

    You make a big assumption: in that tea parties would be a factor under a McCain administration.

  • nekoxgirl||

    How do you know the tea-party movement would even exist? It likely still be a purely fringe/libertarian movement if it wasn't for Fox News publicizing them. I doubt they would have done so with McCain in office.

  • ||

    The tea parties broke out over the bailouts. They would have totally broken out under TARP supporting McCain. And the conservatives despised McCain. You think people would have just sat around and let McCain pass Obamacare because he was a Republican? That is crazy. They didn't sit around and let Bush pass amnesty did they?

    To believe your point is to believe that the Tea Parties are about Obama personally rather than his policies. And that is a gross misreading of the facts.

  • nekoxgirl||

    The tea parties have gotten as big as they have because of publicity through the MSM. Yeah, voters would have still been angry about TARP, but how far would they have gotten with a media black-out?

    The defeat of amnesty wasn't just due to grass-roots opposition but because some powerful interests didn't want it passed. You think big agriculture wants to be forced to pay migrant farm workers minimum wage (of course, minimum wage is part of the real problem but no one is going to touch that)?

    I don't see what powerful corporate interest group would have stopped health care reform. Sure, smaller insurance companies will be put out of business, but the big guys, like Blue Cross/Blue Shield, will be raking in the money when the mandate comes into effect.

  • wackyjack||

    You have a point. Well, sort of.

    The tea parties are a very loose collection of angry voters. They got their start with TARP, and Obama's bailouts and stimulus programs catalyzed the movement. Had McCain not pushed those programs, the tea party would probably not exist in the same form.

    But the underlying motivation would still be there. The people would still be disillusioned with government and probably would have rallied around opposition to the healthcare bill instead of the earlier stimulus bills.

    The problem with your comment is that you believe that there is some sort of cohesive movmement with party lines and structure. Oh, and SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT FOX NEWS

  • wackyjack||

    Dammit John.

  • nekoxgirl||

    "SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT FOX NEWS"

    Not until people stop ignoring the effect the MSM has in building any political movement in this country. Without the support of Fox News, there would be no tea parties, at least not in the mainstream political consciousness of the country.

    How hard is it to understand that if one of the three 24 hour news channels don't cover it, it didn't happen? If McCain had been President, conservatives would have still been angry. But unless they were spending all their time on political blogs, I doubt they'd have any clue other people were just as pissed as they were.

    There is a reason the tea parties didn't become mainstream until 2009. And it has nothing to do with black Presidents.

  • ||

    Without the schoolgirl crush the MSM had on Obama and their lack of curiosity about his past and associates, he wouldn't be president.

  • wackyjack||

    So the American Revolution, abolition, prohibition, civil rights, anti-Vietnam War movements never happened?

    And if you want a reason why they didn't become mainstream until 2009, you could take a look at a little thing called the ARRA of 2009. Or the rant that started it all, Rick Santelli.

  • ||

    You sound like you went to the Jon Stewart rally, railing against the MSM. I'm against them as much as you are, but the Tea Parties started under Ron Paul conservatism, and just as many Ron Paul supporters hated John McCain as they did Barack Obama.

    If you're going to make wild arguments about how the Tea Parties wouldn't be as potent if McCain were president, then I'll counter you by saying they'd actually be more potent, because they wouldn't be watered down by heartbroken Republicans. They'd be truly fiscal conservatives, and might get some Democrats in them on civil liberties issues. Although I admit that last part is a bit more of a stretch.

  • ||

    And we're talking about JOHN FUCKING MCCAIN here, who has not been a reliable supporter of any principle since two days after he got back from Viet Nam.

    Cato disagrees, on free trade and protectionism.

  • ||

    Why is the implication in Fluffy's assertion "asinine"?

    Mitt Romney stands behind his health care scheme, as does conservative fad hero Scott Brown. Not to mention that the republican answer to hillarycare was similar to obamacare which is similar to romneycare*.

    I think that the republicans would have tried something in the realm of health care reform, as it was such a big issue. Take the issue away from the democrats as it were. Whether it would have been exactly like obamacare, I can't say, but I would venture that some of the key features would remain.

    Another thing we must take into consideration is the make-up of the house and senate. In our hypothetical universe does pres McCain have the same as Obama, or is it republican controlled. Each has its own dynamics that must be accounted for.

    Also, why can Fluffy not put down the pipe? Is it because in his coloring of Obama he speaks with his hands? Are you anti-italian?

    Fluffy don't bogart tha shit, maaaan!

    *it's good to know that so many people "care"

  • Hooha||

    "Also, why can Fluffy not put down the pipe? Is it because in his coloring of Obama he speaks with his hands? Are you anti-italian?"

    I lol'd. +1

  • ||

    Not to mention that the republican answer to hillarycare was similar to obamacare which is similar to romneycare*.

    Although, one must note that the Republicans utterly failed to pass their "answer to hillarycare" despite having the votes to do so. So that's actually in my mind evidence against them passing it, not for. Evidence for them passing something to "take the issue away." would be, oh, Medicare Part D-- which Bruce Bartlett at one point hated but now wishes that the GOP had done the same thing on health care reform recently.

    No excuse for Romney, though.

  • ||

    My predictions on what would have been with health care is 25% intellectual and 75% visceral*. It seemed at the time to be one of those issues that people wanted congress to "do something about" that I believe some sort of legislation was inevitable, no matter who gained power. Obamacare in reality now is unpopular, but remember back to the election and how the issue was framed. Also the importance to, again, "do something".

    And, not to belabor the point, but do you guys think that the populace that elects a pres McCain is going to elect democratic super majorities**? Any hypothetical must take the legislature's split into account.

    *being that politics is 95% instinct and emotion, I don't think that I am far off.

    **a rising tide lifts all boats, or something...whatever.

  • ||

    At least Romneycare only applied to one state, so we can compare the results with other states. No matter how bad Obamacare becomes, proponents will claim it works, and it'll be hard to convince people it doesn't with just what-if scenarios.

  • lupers||

    the republicans would have tried something in the realm of health care reform, as it was such a big issue

    It was only a big issue because the Dems were lusty for a gov't takeover and pushed health care as a crisis to be fixed. It was not inevitable that health care reform was to be the defining issue of the time.

  • nekoxgirl||

    You do know the presumptive front-runner of the Republican party, Mitt Romney, campaigned on essentially the same type of health care bill that was passed by the Democrats? Or how about the fact that Bob Dole put forth the same ideas way back in 1993 as an answer to Hillary-care.

    Please back way from the Fox News and turn off the Limbaugh.

  • ||

    Or how about the fact that Bob Dole put forth the same ideas way back in 1993 as an answer to Hillary-care.

    And since the GOP passed that plan in the 1990s as a compromise... wait.

    And since the GOP passed that plan in the 2000s once they got unified con... wait.

    Why is that part evidence of GOP seriousness in passing that plan again?

    Yeah, sometimes politicians will indeed pass the "less bad" option, as happened with Medicare Part D, when the overall policy is popular.

    And that likely would have happened with a "ban pre-existing conditions and recissions and institute mandatory issue" bill, which would have been very popular in polls. (And a bad idea.) The full-on "alternative" plan would not have passed, due to its unpopularity.

  • nekoxgirl||

    I'll give you that. The Republicans did leave the issue alone during the 90's and 00's but I find it suspicious when suddenly come 2008, everyone, Democrats and Republicans, are talking about health care, like it's the biggest problem facing the country.

    I don't think it's because they all started watching Michael Moore documentaries. Considering that the GOP party favorite, Mitt Romney, was essentially pushing for what the Democrats ended up passing, makes be very suspicious of how different the parties really have become on this issue.

  • ||

    You keep saying the GOP party favorite as if you didn't notice that your GOP party favorite didn't win the primaries. McCain turned out to be the 'favorite'. Romney was left by the wayside--possibly his healthcare stance had something to do with that? even a little? I know I hated it then--as did quite a few on the right.

    Perhaps you might consider backing away from whatever it is you're basing your stance on?

  • Hooha||

    You're citing a few FAILED elephants' most constituency-alienating platforms as your clencher? Come on, Neko, I've seen you do WAY better than that. And an Ad-Hominem follow up? I haven't even been a Republican since '06, when I realized defending Dubya was a losing battle. In my defense; I didn't know what a 'libertarian' was, beyond an obscure Futurama reference, until late '07. I was "independant" in the meantime.

    Just remember, we're on the same side, and I'm wearing a cup. ;p

  • nekoxgirl||

    Sorry, didn't mean to be so harsh. I'm just very cynical about all the hype surrounding the impending take-over of the Congress by the Republicans. It doesn't seem that either party stands for anything except getting/keeping themselves in office.

    I've watched the liberals abandon civil liberties, endless wars, gay rights, the war on drugs, etc. now that their "team" is in control. I'm expecting to see the same thing from conservatives on small government.

    BTW, I'm also a relatively new libertarian but I come from the other side of the political spectrum. Because of that it's probably more obvious to me when Republicans are being hypocritical. Given your background, I would guess the reverse would be true of you.

  • Hooha||

    lol! Probably a damned good assessment, I'd say. But I think it's safe to say that ALL libertarians are with you, myself included, about worrying over the Repugnantcans screwing the pooch if they get the reins again. In fact, I feel it's pretty likely. :(

    Why do you think we get so pissed off when the Palins hijack our Tea Party?! At least we managed to keep Coulter out.

  • nekoxgirl||

    My only solace is that Americans many finally start waking up if the Republican Congress shows themselves to be the same as the Democrats we just voted out. It might take a Republican President in 2012 though...

    I just have to believe that the country isn't completely asleep. Sooner or later, Americans have to come to their senses and realize both major parties have been playing us.

  • Hooha||

    It didn't happen in the UK. :(

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Being that the TSA has just instituted pulling on my ball sack as a standard portion of a pat down (when opting out of "voluntarily" going through a dick-sizing machine, and there isn't a massive uproar/protest/political violence because of it, I'm convinced that Americans won't be waking up to anything at all.

    I fear we all know how today's vote will end. It will end in more government, more taxes, less freedom, and we'll just go ahead and vote the demotards back in, rinse and repeat.

  • Peanut Gallery||

    US politics' greatest irony, liberals hate liberty and conservatives hate conservation.

  • ||

    Lots of things to dislike about McCain, though I am amused at your speculations that are entirely counter to his record, his campaign, and his actions since, often all three. You would have done better to focus on the actual bad spots in his record.

    He would have done some kind of Romneycare crap.

    The proposal that McCain did in the campaign was significantly better than Romneycare, and of course got attacked precisely because it was too straightforward in trying to convert the subsidies for employer insurance to a more neutral format. (And because people don't understand the difference in value between a credit and a deduction.) Replacing the employer deduction with a universal tax credit is a definite step in the right direction, even from the status quo.

    He would have passed a stimulus package. Different people would have gotten the graft, but there would still have been graft.

    The alternative stimulus package bill that McCain wrote and sponsored was entirely the extra unemployment insurance and a larger temporary payroll tax cut, and cost about half as much as what passed. Still an improvement on the margin, and less opportunities for graft.

    I'm sure he would have bailed out the auto companies. Again, the details may have been marginally different - the unions might have gotten fewer extralegal gifts - but Government Motors would still have been a reality.

    Probably, though this one is harder to read, I'd come down that this is likely true.

    But you never know with McCain.

    Well, you know with McCain that he's better than the vast majority of politicians on both free trade and agriculture subsidies, just ask Cato. But no one cares about that.

    But the trade-off for that would probably have been war with Iran.

    Now you're really trolling.

  • Fluffy||

    So what you're saying is that even when a candidate openly and repeatedly states that he wants war with a country, and sings a song about how much he wants war with a country, it's trolling to assert that his election to the Presidency would result in war with that country?

  • ||

    and sings a song about how much he wants war with a country

    Yes, I too remember how we went to war with the Soviet Union in 1984.

  • Fluffy||

    So basically you're saying that because Ronald Reagan told a joke one day, it's not fair to believe any candidate when they state their position on an issue of war and peace...forever?

    McCain repeatedly stated that he wanted to take military action against Iran.

    I'm supposed to not take him at his word just because John Thacker says so? Nope. Sorry.

    If I can disregard his statements during the campaign and make up for him any positions I want, then I choose to make up a position where he wanted to rape everyone's dog. John McCain, universal dog rapist.

    Is that how it works now?

  • ||

    Iran gets a vote in that to. I will give you better than even odds that Obama ends up in a military conflict with Iran in the next two years. When he does, he is going to make a fool out of people like you.

  • nekoxgirl||

    I thought about adding that to my earlier post. If Obama does go to war with Iran, I might then regret not voting for McCain.

  • Fluffy||

    It's also fucking hilarious that the people here who actively crave war with Iran and who supported McCain in part because they thought he would give it to them are now turning around and whining about the fact that I, too, assumed McCain was much more likely to take military action against Iran.

    This is exactly the same kind of mealy-mouthed duplicitous fuckery that the GOP always gives us.

    You're wrecking election day for me. Here I was, getting ready to enjoy watching the Dems go down today, and you just HAVE TO GO AND REMIND ME of the worst things about Republicans.

  • ||

    First, I don't crave war with Iran. I defy you to find a single post where I ever have. Second, my position has been very consistent on this. War with Iran is not a product of the single will of the President. It is a product of outside events and the actions of Iran as well. And no President has control over that. Obama or McCain are just as likely to end up in a war with Iran. In fact, McCain might have been less likely because Iran might have actually been afraid of him and backed down. No chance of that happening under Obama.

    You really live in a fantasy world Fluffy if you thin voting for the right guy is going to keep the US out of wars. It doesn't work that way. George Bush campaigned against foreign intervention and nation building in 2000. Was he lying? I don't think so. I think he really believed it. But circumstances drove him to be the complete opposite. Bill Clinton wanted to continue the New World Order started by Bush only to do nothing about he genocides in Bosnia and Rwanda. Presidents don't control their own destinies. I am sure Obama doesn't want war with Iran. But that doesn't mean circumstances won't drive him to it. As I often say, the enemy gets a vote and it doesn't matter if you are interested in war or not, it is often interested in you.

  • Hooha||

    "It's also fucking hilarious that the people here who actively crave war with Iran and who supported McCain in part because they thought he would give it to them are now turning around and whining about the fact that I, too, assumed McCain was much more likely to take military action against Iran."

    Who HERE fits that description, I wonder?

  • ||

    even when a candidate openly and repeatedly states that he wants war with a country

    Yes, I would think it would be trolling to say that Obama wanted to go to war with Pakistan, despite his repeated statements.

  • Fluffy||

    Obama said he would take military action inside the borders of Pakistan whether the Pakistani government liked it or not, and that's exactly what he did.

    It's the one promise the motherfucker kept.

  • ||

    So what you're saying is that even when a candidate openly and repeatedly states that he wants war sanctions with a country

    Or, you know, whatever. But maybe you do have links where he's actually calling for war.

  • Fluffy||

    McCain included in his stump speech a statement that he preferred military action against Iran to an Iran with nuclear power.

    Since Iran has fired up its first nuclear reactor, that means that if McCain was actually serious we would have been at war by now if he was President.

    And you simply can't compare McCain's joke to Reagan's. Reagan was goofing around on a mike he didn't think was live, and McCain offered his song as a specific and intentional answer to a question posed to him about what to do about Iran. Reagan's joke was a self-deprecating jibe at the fact that he was seen as a warmonger, and McCain's joke was a momentary slip of the mask that showed what he really thought.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    Blowing up one building isn't a war either. It's a "military action".

  • Hooha||

    Shit, you're on FIRE, Thacker! Also, I just want to throw this out there; While I also think McCain might have been 'pro-Auto-Bailout', if we're assuming he'd have a Dem congress, there's no way in hell it would have passed, not under a red prez. It would have been a shitstorm of 'corporate pandering' this and 'buying votes' that all over CNN and MSNBC.

  • Fluffy||

    Oh, and I left out the most important part:

    To the extent that the GOP is turning over personnel and putting forward candidates who may actually try to cut spending, it's because of the 2008 humiliation.

    If McCain had won in 2008 it would have remained business as usual.

  • ||

    Oh, I don't know. Lots of people are pissed at what Pelosi and Reid have done since 2006. I suspect that even with President McCain much of that anger would still be there.

  • Swift's broken quill||

    What is the first thing that the new Congress should do upon taking office in 2011?

    I couldn't help but notice that none of the respondents replied with "legalize drugs" despite that most important issue this election, Prop. 19.

  • ||

    This. I'd trade the passage of Prop 19 for the defeat of every pol I'll vote for. I'd be a single-issue, end-the-fucking-evil-war-on-drugs voter if there were any viable candidates running on that platform.

  • nekoxgirl||

    Right there with you Slocum.

  • ||

    Probably because nobody, anywhere, believes that drug legalization will happen via Congress. The CSA will be the last place drug policy changes, not the first.

  • Swift's broken quill||

    An alternative explanation is that Prop. 19 is, in fact, not the most important issue this election and not that many people really care about legalizing drugs.

  • ||

    That might be true in general, but I don't think it very accurately describes the viewpoints of many of the respondents here. Most of them seem to be covering Prop 19 and drug policy fairly extensively.

  • Craig Newmark||

    -Do you stand by your vote for Obama?-

    Um, hello? He like, TOTALLY won a nobel prize and stuff. Plus, he's like, WAY cuter than that McBane guy.

    -How is the administration doing?-

    Oh Em Gee, like, they totally help old people and stuff! That's good, right?

    -What should Congress do in 2011?-

    Hey gais, you did you know you misspelled 'liberal' on this little questionairre thingy? It totally says 'liberaltarian' or some shit...

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    I particularly like the "I can only judge my vote based on what I knew then" cop out. Nice to know they refuse, as a matter of principle, to ever learn from experience.

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    Anyway, off to vote against Houston's red light cameras and scrawl "Anarchy Now!!" in my own blood across the rest of the ballot....

  • Hooha||

    In a few hours, I get to help legalize pot in California! It makes me all tingly to think of all the stoners I won't have to compete with for jobs :D

  • ||

    It makes me all tingly to think of all the stoners I won't have to compete with for jobs

    Ah, but the bill (in its arguably worst provision) includes a bit about not letting employers discriminate against stoners.

  • ||

    OK, it's an amendment/proposition, not a bill.

  • Hooha||

    *Darth Vader-style* NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

    (That might have actually crushed my spirit, if I thought for even a moment that any of those losers wouldn't give their employer a veritable cornucopia of 'legitimate' reasons to terminate them at any given moment. And honestly, if they're not, then they SHOULDN'T be fired.)

  • ||

    Are employers allowed to require that all workers be teetotalers? If they can require alcohol abstinence (as opposed to on-the-job sobriety), then yeah, they should be able to fire or refuse to hire people because of the presence of non-psychoactive metabolites stored in fatty tissue.

  • Swift's broken quill||

    "Are employers allowed to ..."

    Gawd, I hate the very phrasing of that. How have we come to the point where everything is discussed in terms of what a person or organization is "allowed" to do? What happened to the presumption of freedom? My heart weeps.

  • ||

    Uh, ok, whatever.

    Does the fascist government illegally and immorally prevent private employers from requiring abstinence from alcohol (or sex, or Big Macs, or whatever) as a condition of employment?

    Better?

  • Hooha||

    Yes, but you can point it out without being a dbag, like I did; If it affects their job performance, the corp will be able to pwn them scott-free. If it does not, the corp has no reason to terminate, so what's the issue?

    I suppose a corp should be allowed to choose not to hire potheads in the first place, since it's more likely that they'll have issues with the substance then, say, someone who doesn't use it. But of course, successfully suing for such discrimination would be nearly impossible, so it's one of those laws where everyone wins! Corps don't have to hire druggies and can't really get penalized for not doing it, but we all get to feel self-righteous and smug 'cuz everyone's getting treated 'equally'. Even though they don't necessarily deserve it. And if someone slips through the cracks, they'll fall into the category in the first paragraph; employable, or legally terminatable. Gosh, that's such an insideous loophole, I sure hope it's not being abused by the evil corporations to avoid hiring alcoholics, cleptomaniacs, or other potentially rotten employees!

    Crap, I set out to argue your side, Rhay, and ended up pinching off a big, steaming pile all over it. My B.

  • ||

    Hah, no worries. For the record I think employers should be allowed to hire/fire for whatever reasons they choose. They also should not be constrained by bullshit like the ADA or the "Drug-Free Workplace" insanity.

    The ones who make smart personnel decisions based on reasonable criteria will be better employers, will attract better employees, will run a better business, etc. The ones who want to be dicks will be dicks and will get dicked.

  • Swift's broken quill||

    I didn't mean to sound as if I picking on you in particular, Rhayader. It just strikes me at times how much political discussions are now framed from a gov't-centric perspective. The phrasing always seems to be about individuals being "allowed" to do something or the government having the "right" to do something. That language, as much or more than anything else, is an indication that the political axioms of the US have been completely inverted. Newspeak is here.

  • ||

    It's all good, I agree that typical political language places the burden of proof on freedom, and not on restriction of freedom like it should. Subtle but worth keeping in mind.

  • ||

    No worries. All they have to do is the same thing they do with alcohol - if you show up unable to do your work or miss too much work, ciao.

  • Swift's broken quill||

    But the provision will still make employers act defensively to avoid lawsuits and further condition the public to the idea that its business is the gov't's business.

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    Back from voting. No lines.

  • Cyto||

    Turnout was light at my precinct as well. I wonder if this bodes ill for the "tidal wave". Of course, I'm in a pretty far left district, so maybe this is the "unmotivated left" in action. Either way, in and out in 10 minutes for me.

  • Spoonman.||

    Uh, at my early voting precinct they had electronic voting machines, so while scrawling in blood on it would have been pretty metal, I'm not sure anyone would have seen it on your ballot.

    Also voted against those evil red light cameras, and straight LP otherwise (even though Kathie Glass gives me the creeps).

  • Fluffy||

    BTW:

    David Brin is an OK guy, and I enjoy chatting with him on Facebook, but can we dispense with the absurd notion that he's some kind of libertarian?

    I can't remember the last time he said or wrote anything that could remotely be characterized as libertarian.

    Not only that, but it seems impossible for him to ever actually do so, since in the absence of the "dogma" he decries, authoritarian statism is the default state.

    You know what my #1 dogma is now? That people who decry dogma should STFU. When one side in the policy debate wants to, for example, make routine torture the official policy of the US government, it's really not appropriate for us to "put aside dogma" or not be "sanctimonious" or to "find some way to compromise" or "be adult". You tell the other side to go fuck themselves, and you undermine them any way you can, and if you can stomp their guts out, you do it, and then point at their guts on the floor and laugh.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Anybody who voted for Obama isn't a libertarian - period.

  • dave||

    Period and exclamation point!

  • CatoTheElder||

    And anybody who doesn't regret an Obama vote in 2010 is an out-and-out statist.

    Jeez, McCain was awful, thoroughly unworthy of a libertarian vote, but that's no excuse to have voted Obama. Small-l libertarians should at least consider voting Libertarian. It's not like your individual vote is going to change an election outcome anyway and, given the choices given in 2008, Barr was the least bad candidate. Even if the libertarian purist could not stand Barr, not voting was better than voting Obama.

    Given that either McCain or Obama were destined to win, I'm not too unhappy with the Obama victory. McCain would probably have governed like Nixon; give in on every Democrat initiative on the domestic agenda so that he can get his way on foreign policy. Whether that included Bomb-Bomb-Bomb--Bomb-Iran is uncertain, but certainly more likely than under Obama. We'd probably have Cap'n Trade legislation now, too. Thanks to the tea partiers, Cap'n Trade is dead for the time being.

    Obama's over-reach has also caused small-government conservatives to think about whether the GOP establishment actually represents their political ideals. McCain's appeals to patriotism would likely have anaesthetized the critical thinking capabilities of conservatives, thus preventing the tea party movement.

  • DLM||

    It's not like your individual vote is going to change an election outcome anyway...

    And you can guarantee that by voting Libertarian.

  • ||

    Anybody who voted for McCain isn't a libertarian - period.

  • Hooha||

    Nah, doesn't work as well that way; lots of Libertarians broke for McCain in a futile attempt to prevent an untested, potentially FDR-like candidate from taking office. Alas, Obama was the Sum of all Fears.

  • Leibnitz||

    "Obama was the Sum of all Fears"

    { All Fears } is infinite.
    Sum[ { All Fears } ] is unbounded.
    Obama is (thankfully) finite.

    Thus, the proposition is disproved.

  • BakedPenguin||

    So Obama is going to nuke Baltimore? Tell Jesse Walker to take his family and leave first - I like his columns.

  • ||

    Show your work on the last part for full credit.

  • Leibnitz||

    I would except that I am having trouble defining a mapping from the elements of { All Fears } to the real numbers since some Fears are imaginary.

    I suppose I could doctor things up by using a definition for Sum[ ] which is valid for complex numbers.

  • Cyto||

    I don't know... You take it as axiomatic that {All Fears} is infinite, but I'm thinking that a good case could be made that it is at best a bounded set.

  • ||

    And lots of libertarians broke for Obama in a futile attempt to prevent another potentially Bush-like candidate from taking office. What the hell is the difference?

  • Hooha||

    A Libertarian would not 'hedge his/her bet' on a potentially socialist candidate. Unless, perhaps, the only other contender was a Marxist.

  • ||

    Oh ok, now that we all know exactly how every true libertarian should think -- thanks to some dude named Hooha -- we all know how to vote in every race for perpetuity. Thanks for the help.

  • Hooha||

    Oh, you flatter me. But I'm not responsible for the definition of liberitarian, silly! But if you're going to post around here, you might want to read up on it a bit. :)

  • ||

    I post around here all the time, and I have a reasonable working knowledge of typical libertarian thought. I just don't see ideological uniformity as necessary or even particularly desirable. Disagreement is important for growth.

  • Peanut Gallery||

    How can you be happier with Dems in senate, house, and exec; versus rep in exec, and dems in house and senate. seems like such an easy choice...

  • ||

    Hear, hear.

    -jcr

  • ||

    I voted for Bob Barr, no born again virgin for me:P

  • asdf||

    Same, fuck them both.

  • Rich||

    Maybe [our kids] can ditch the absurd dogmas and mantras and go back to the American genius for pragmatic problem solving and negotiated solutions.

    This is "hope you can believe in". Somewhat surprisingly, given the pervasive brainwashing, I do see people in their twenties getting pumped up along these lines.

  • Rich||

    Fluffy?

  • Fluffy||

    Q. If people who want no government control get together and "negotiate a solution" with people who do want government control, what outcome do you get?

    A. The current federal regulatory and tax codes, in all their tens of thousands of pages.

  • ||

    If you could have such a negotiation once and be done with it, it might be okay. But the government control people never give up or go away. So the anti control people try to be reasonable and take half a loaf. Then a few years later the pro control people come back and restart the negotiations and take half of the half a loaf the anti- control people have. And so it goes until the anti-control people have a few crumbs left but somehow still get blamed for all the world's problems.

  • Rich||

    The dynamic I observe is more like:

    "Q. The current federal regulatory and tax codes, in all their tens of thousands of pages.

    A. This is bullshit, and if you don't think so we'll agree to disagree, even though you're an idiot."

    Exactly what form the "agree to disagree" will take is, of course, the rub.

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    I got to vote for a guy named "William Bryan Strange" today. I have no idea who the hell that is, but I punched straight Libertarian for the hell of it, then voted 'No' to every initiative, even the one for...wait for it....ROADS!!!!!

  • Hooha||

    YOU FOOL! WE NEED TEH GUBMINT ROADS!

    I especially like when simple jobs like shoulder-widening take months, the work always has to be done during rush-hour, and the way they put those stupid white cement barriers a good 6 inches INTO the lane.

  • Spoonman.||

    I can't imagine why anyone would vote for a tax on roof area to go into an unspecified fund. But it doesn't say that's what it is on the ballot. "Pay-as-you-go" makes it seem like they actually have a clue what they'd do with the money.

  • George V||

    In Massachusetts, a Yes vote for all ballot initiaitve was the way to go.

  • DJ Drugs||

    Even on taxing doobies? Did anyone read what No. 4 actually said?

    I didn't vote on No.3 as it seemed to be exclusively method to fast track permits for gov't subsidized housing.

    The anti tax ones felt nice, of course.

    I voted straight No Ones except for some guy from the Tax Revolt Party.

  • ||

    "2. Have the federal policies and laws passed since Obama took office benefited or hurt the country? On balance, I think Obama’s policies have helped the country—certainly more so than the “do nothing” policies of the Republicans. "

    Seriously, how can you say that and call yourself a "libertarian"? I can see saying Obama is less bad than the Republicans, although even that is a stretch. But to say his policies have been on balance good for the country is to out yourself as anything but a libertarian. Name one Obama policy that a libertarian should find appealing? I can't think of one other than a bit of lip service on medical marijuana.

  • ||

    I did it. Just for the bailouts that fall.

    I felt like I expected Dems to be bought by the banks as usual, but McCain needed to be punished for rushing back to DC to lobby for the handouts. O had the usual excuse for his support, McC had a choice.

    Would do it again to vote against a doofus like McC.

    Not a solid O vote, but who cares, one vote doesn't matter anyway

  • ||

    Who gives a fuck what a bunch of fake libertarians have to say about their huge mistake of voting for Obama?

  • cellar dweller||

    I agree with Bagge, "kill themselves"...to save us the bullets. Bartlett, on the other hand is Anti-Libertarian, Do Nothing is far better than Do Violence. Brin takes the tunnel. What an ASS. The public unions are probably the largest Anti-liberty, Anti-freedom force in America. Unions should only exist where the ability of a competing product/organization can exist. They represent the largest monoply and gov/union collusive force in the country. Mcrosoft and the old Standard Oil could only Dream about this collective power.

    I don't typically pay to much attention to the listed author of articles on Reason, but now that I think of it, the number of Libertarian articles are outnumbered by the "My Power" articles. Looking at the responses of these "staffers, Editors..." I see that Reason.com is no more promulgating the libertarian message than Cristine O'Donnel is. Now Piss Off!!!

  • Anonymous||

    At least Cristine is *male gaze*-friendly.

  • Bingo||

    2. Have the federal policies and laws passed since Obama took office benefited or hurt the country? On balance, I think Obama’s policies have helped the country—certainly more so than the “do nothing” policies of the Republicans.

    Oh for fucks sake... someone revoke Bartlett's decoder ring.

  • ||

    I may disagree with Obama on many points. He likes regulation more than "I do. But at least he proved sincere about letting the civil servants get back to the jobs we pay them to do. Morale among those men and women has skyrocketed and they are back at work."

    Does Brin honestly think that the agencies are now "doing their jobs" as opposed to the political bidding of their masters? Any more so than under Bush? If he does, he is clinically retarded and probably shouldn't be living unassisted.

  • Fluffy||

    I think he believes in the Myth of the Just Magistrate, also known as the Myth of the Good Czar, where everything would be OK "if only people were honest".

    To me, the regulatory state is all-corrupting whether it is adminstered honestly or dishonestly.

    Consider something like the humble zoning board. All zoning boards routinely make decisions that make some property more valuable and some property less valuable. This makes some people rich and some people poor based on nothing more than the will of an instrument of the state. To me, this makes the fortune acquired by the "lucky" person corrupt in and of itself and by its very nature, and it quite frankly does not matter if the zoning board sincerely thought it was serving the public good or not.

    The rest of our multi-level regulatory state is the same.

  • ||

    Word. I can't think of a single example of fact that supports Brin's idiotic assertion.

  • DJ Drugs||

    What if I told you it were backwards day?

  • Hooha||

    Then you'd be lying. You'd have to tell him it's NOT backwards day...

  • Juice||

    A libertarian voting in a presidential election is like a Jew eating shrimp carbonara.

  • Woody Allen||

    Jew eat yet?

  • George V||

    How many times are they going to put Annnie Hall on!

  • DJ Drugs||

    In retrospect, I've found Annie Hall to really suck as a movie,given that it was filmed as a murder mystery then edited to have a whole new plot.

  • ||

    I always thought "Bananas!" was his best flick, but Annie Hall had its moments.

  • DJ Drugs||

    I agree with the moments, but as a movie it feels strung together. I liked it a lot when I first saw it but now it feels like a strung together collection of scenes/sketches; some of which are very funny.

    I loved the translator bit in Bananas.

  • ||

    Annie Hall gets worse with age. Pretty soon all of Allen's earlier, funny movies will just be earlier.

  • cellar dweller||

    Although this is a worthwhile and topical article, the subtitle is ridiculus. "Catching up with libertarians who voted for the president" involves an oxymoron. No Libertarians could have possibly voted for Obama. Prehaps completely discouraged and frustrated Liberals could have, but not One Single Libertarian. The reason is because Gridlock would have been the better option for a Libertarian. NOT a house, senate, president coincidence.

  • ||

    Bleh, some of you guys really like this LINO-exposure thing. Philosophical definitions are pretty meaningless when you drill all the way down to voting decisions. I doubt you'd find a single major-party voter here who wasn't thinking "lesser of two evils." That's not ideological betrayal, it's just pessimistic participation. Sheesh.

  • cellar dweller||

    Rhayader|11.2.10 @ 9:57AM|#
    Bleh, some of you guys really like this LINO-exposure thing. Philosophical definitions are pretty meaningless when you drill all the way down to voting decisions. I doubt you'd find a single major-party voter here who wasn't thinking "lesser of two evils." That's not ideological betrayal, it's just pessimistic participation. Sheesh.

    What about Bob Barr. And "pessimistic participation" is what some of the cops did around Rodney King. Even 1% of the vote causes a slight recognition of the issue. Stick to your principles. Obama votes were for a unified US gov where they could have enacted all their progressive crap.

  • ||

    I've got no problem with a vote for Bob Barr. But if your main concern was defeating Republicans, maybe a vote for Obama was the best tactical choice. I just think it's a bit silly to insist that "libertarians" all have to vote a certain way to maintain their cred. I don't really get my panties in a bunch if somebody else calls himself a "libertarian" but nevertheless disagrees with me about some things. I wouldn't expect anything different actually.

  • cellar dweller||

    I'm not talking about "maintaing cred". I'm talking principles. If smaller Gov is what you want, (What is Lib??) then Gridlock is better than an Organized, Agreeable gov/citizen union against You and Me.

    We don't need to agree on all details, but a Strong Gov defeats both your and my goals!

  • ||

    It's so easy to explain though: if you really, really wanted the Republicans to lose -- a desire that's eminently justifiable for any libertarian -- then maybe you swallow the pill. What about "lesser of two evils" is so confusing?

    I'm not saying it objectively is the lesser of two evils -- I'm saying it's a judgment call and, absent a clear good choice, really not worthy of extensive criticism.

  • ||

    "I've got no problem with a vote for Bob Barr. But if your main concern was defeating Republicans"

    Why should that have been the main concern in 2008 since the Democrats were going to hold both houses of Congress?

    Voting for McCain in the hopes of at least some form of Gridlock would have been an understandable position for a libertarian just as voting for Kerry in 2004 would have been. Not what I did, but it's understandable at least. Didn't vote for Barack either however.

  • ||

    Yeah, I'm not trying to justify any particular decision -- just pointing out that reasonable people can arrive at a whole variety of different decisions without willful betrayal of principle.

  • cellar dweller||

    Rhayader|11.2.10 @ 1:18PM|#
    Yeah, I'm not trying to justify any particular decision -- just pointing out that reasonable people can arrive at a whole variety of different decisions without willful betrayal of principle.

    Then what is the point of speaking? If your'e not trying to justify a particular position, then why are you here? My position is that rational thought and logical ideololgy brings us to the same place.

  • ||

    Not sure what you're really getting at. My main point is pushing back against this stupid "these people/this site are non-libertarian frauds!" response.

  • KingTaco||

    Rhayader 2:28PM:

    "My main point is pushing back against this stupid "these people/this site are non-libertarian frauds!" response."

    Rhayader 9:52AM:

    "Anybody who voted for McCain isn't a libertarian - period."

  • Hooha||

    *facepalm* in Rhayader's defense, you're taking that 9:52 comment horribly out of context. If one were actually to go READ that quote chain, it's obvious that he was attempting to argue that someone's similar claim about voting for Obama was an invalid, closed-minded, one-sided view.

    I disagreed with him, but you can't just cut/paste someone until they look terrible. That's Micheal Moore territory, man...

  • MNG||

    I find it hard to believe that conservatives could find it so incredible that anyone could find someone running against John McCain to be the lesser of the two evils. I can remember the intense McCain hate among conservatives even if they suddenly now cannot...

  • MNG||

    IIRC in some districts, such as DC where a fair number of writers will live, the LP candidate was not on the ballot...

  • Juice||

    I live in DC and Obama got 93% of the vote. There was no point in my sitting in line all day, so I didn't.

  • ||

    I can understand why people found it to be a lesser of two evils. But to think that, you had to have believed Obama's rhetoric. If he really had been a centrist post partisan and had served as a mediator between the country and the crazies running Congress, he would have been a lesser of two evils. But as things turned out, he was the front man for the crazies running Congress.

  • ||

    I can believe someone thinking that at the time, even though I thought it was obvious at the time that it was false, especially because I predicted at the time that Obama would do exactly what he's done on civil liberties.

    In light of what's happened since, though, yes, I find it faintly ridiculous to hold that belief.

  • MNG||

    There's also the idea of voting for Obama as a sound rebuke to the GOP. You have to admit his election seemed to be the catalyst for a growing movement that has some pretty serious rhetoric about cutting the size of government. I don't think that happens with a third GOP term in a row.

  • ||

    Yeah, this is an important point. A Republican win would only delay any sort of sanity creeping into the Republican ranks.

  • asdf||

    Completely agree, if McCain won there would be no tea party. Would have been business as usual.

  • Bingo||

    So many of these people have justified their vote with "Well, McCain is really bad so I just had to vote for Obama!" What about, you know, not voting? Or writing in Mickey Mouse or your dog? I don't see how one candidate being terrible excuses giving public support to a candidate that is just slightly less terrible. As the saying goes, the lesser of two evils is still evil.

    Also Cavanaugh is probably one of the few people in the world saying that white guilt motivated him, which is fine, if only a little collectivist ;)

  • ||

    If Cavanaugh really cared about the plight of African Americans, he never would have supported a race baiting, dimwitted radical as the first black president.

  • MNG||

    As candidate I don't remember Obama as being much of a race-baiter.

  • ||

    Bitter clingers?

  • ||

    That's more culture baiting. A better example would be typical white grandma.

  • MNG||

    I agree with Charles Murray, that speech was hardly race-baiting.

  • ola||

    "grandma was a typical white person".

    maybe she was. i don't know. but sitting and listening to jw for twenty years pretty much could lead you to belief he was "a typical black person".

  • ||

    Sorry about that.

  • squarooticus||

    Are any of these people actually libertarians? E.g., read the craigslist guy's response: campaign finance reform? Really? *Really*?

  • MNG||

    A person can't be a libertarian and be for some campaign finance reform? I mean, I remember when Citizens came out a lot of long timers here in the discussion said they were fine with disclosure laws just not any restraints. Are they not libertarians now? And perhaps they also mean things like ending the federal funding schemes for President and such.

  • ||

    We must purge all people who don't meet arbitrary and unstated requirements for being a "true libertarian". Better to be completely marginalized than ideologically impure.

  • cellar dweller||

    Definition of LIBERTARIAN
    1: an advocate of the doctrine of free will
    2a : a person who upholds the principles of individual liberty especially of thought and action b capitalized : a member of a political party advocating libertarian principles

    so yes Rhayader, "We must purge all people who don't meet arbitrary and unstated requirements for being a "true libertarian". Better to be completely marginalized than ideologically impure.

    Do you really think that as 1 in 131 MILLION votes you were not marginalized. Think again....

    Lightning-related fatality, injury, and damage reports in the US were summarized for 36 years since 1959, based on the NOAA publication Storm Data. There were 3239 deaths, 9818 injuries, and 19,814 property-damage reports from lightning during this period. On average, 90 people are killed every year in the U.S. by lightning. Vote your true heart and let the dice lie as they be.

  • ||

    Do you really think that as 1 in 131 MILLION votes you were not marginalized.

    I was talking about marginalization of the very loosely affiliated group of people who describe themselves as "libertarians," not about my personal marginalization. I have no delusions of grandeur.

    Definition of LIBERTARIAN

    ...can be interpreted in all sorts of different ways, and can lead to even more different policy preferences, and even more different justifications for voting decisions. Stop worrying so much about labels, they mean nothing.

  • cellar dweller||

    Prehaps..Ok Yes, I was being antagonistic. The problem is politics is implicitley antagonistic. There are many people who want Something from the gov. Protection, Regulation Tax Credit.. I want nothing. Prot, Reg or credits... Just go away. The Lib party is for that and any Concerted gov effort is against that. If there was an Anti-Control party possible, I would vote for that, but there isn't. The only thing I can hope (vote) for is no further incursions on my freedom.

  • ||

    Hey man, vote however you want. More power to you. I just don't get the whole obsession with casting others away as "non-libertarian" simply because they see it differently.

  • cellar dweller||

    "I just don't get the whole obsession with casting others away as "non-libertarian" simply because they see it differently."

    Prehaps I was Inarticulate, I don't wish to cast anyone out. I wish to use logic and rational thought to reel them in.

    I believe that any government power is bad, that government power is, in and as itself, the lesser of Two evils. Anything that restricts gov power is therefore good. House, Senate and Pres agreeing will result in a stronger federal gov, and this is bad. When the direction is wrong, A house divided is better than a house united.

  • ||

    I don't disagree. I just don't write off disagreement as inherently foolish and indicative of non-libertarianism. Reasonable, informed, freedom-oriented people can honestly hold different ideas about political choices, especially when it comes to something as granular and impossibly bad as a presidential race.

  • ||

    Yes, I suppose you can call yourself whatever you'd like. But when so many people, with so many different points of view on government call themselves libertarian, it renders the term meaningless.

    Calling yourself libertarian while complaining about a 'do nothing' congress or appauding the takeover of GM? What does being "libertarian" mean anymore? Nothing.

  • ||

    Christ, who gives a fuck about what any term means? That's just abstract labeling, like "conservative" or "liberal" or anything else.

    There's plenty of room for disagreement with a lot of the stuff in this post. Bitching about how these people "aren't libertarian" is probably the most useless response of them all.

  • Lily||

    Because, if words don't actually mean anything - how can we have a conversation?

  • ||

    Words mean plenty. Self-applied titles, not so much.

  • Hooha||

    It IS a word, not a title. It defines a loose (semi-rigid by comparison to other parties) set of political ideals that the interviewees in this article seem to have placed themselves - barely to noticeably - outside of, on the liberal end of the spectrum.

    I don't know what you're hoping to accomplish by attemting to degrade the definition of Libertarian. Grow our support base via inclusion? Admirable, but I'd just the same not let the nut jobs subvert our party into being "Misguided Progressives" or "Neo-Neoconservatives".

  • asdf||

    Purity tests aside, calling yourself a libertarian and not being kind of insane on first amendment rights seems semi retarded.

  • ||

    From the desk of David Brin:

    There is asolution. Let a consortium be formed with one aim, to collect names and public statements, with an openly stated goal:

    "These people clearly have followed a pattern of obstructing humanity's efforts to come to grips, to innovate and to solve a desperate threat to our nation, world, children and planetary survival. Their eagerness to jump from one failed rationalization to another has only one common theme -- a relentless eagerness to block civilization's efforts to become more energy efficient.

    "Since there are NO other commen elements to their positions, we shall operate under the assujmption that blocking energy efficiency is their central goal."

    This consortium should go on to make a simple declartion:

    "From this moment on, we serve notice. All evidence gathered will go toward building a case for civil lawuits, to be filed in future years, holding these people financially responsible for tort damages done to our nation, people, children, civilization and planet, by a conspiracy whose sole aim was to prevent the amelioration of a deadly threat to public health and public welfare. Based upon the utter consistency of their behavior -- similar to that of the tobacco companies, during their own denial and obstruction epoch -- we plan to reduce some of the pain and damages that this conspiracy will have caused, by seeking civil damages plus major punitive penalties.

    "Individuals have perfect freedom of speech. But when lies are spread with malicious and selfish intent that results in palpable harm to others, the victims (we and our posterity) do have recourse in court. Participants in this conspiracy are served notice. They should step back and view their relentless campaign against energy efficiency in this light."
  • ||

    What a fascist fuck. And Reason calls this clown a "Libertarian"? This is what I most hate about Reason. They are too much a part of the beltway liberal good old boy club. They would never condone or tolerate someone who said such crazy shit from the right. But they will welcome Brin. It is because at heart they are cultural leftists and culture means more than ideology or beliefs.

  • Me Myself||

    So why do you hang around? It must be a terrible burden.

  • ||

    For your benefit sweetheart.

  • SIV||

    I'd like to see Brin forced to eat those dim, mercury-containing curly light bulbs...every... last.. one... of them.

  • Fluffy||

    You know what I have discovered about those fucking bulbs?

    They don't work right if your house is below 62 degrees.

    My wife bought some of them with a coupon, and I didn't like them, but I thought, "Well, we've already got them, and they use less electricity, and last for years, and blah blah blahdy blah I guess I'll put them in."

    And in addition to flickering and not turning on right away when you throw the light switch, if it's under 62 degrees in the house they KEEP flickering and sometimes never come on all the way.

    So basically, in order to use the fucking things "to save energy", I have to not turn down my heat after the kid goes to bed.

    Thanks green dickwads.

  • Hooha||

    What's really sick is that Light Emitting Diode Array lights are brighter, emit a more pure light, use less energy, last many, MANY times longer, are more reliable (no temp issues), aren't filled with toxic materials, run cooler, and only cost a few cents more than CFLs. But 'ol Al Gore didn't have his greasy little hand in the LED producers' pockets, did he?

  • laser jock||

    What's really sick is that Light Emitting Diode Array lights ... emit a more pure light

    "Pure" light, i.e. monochromatic light, is undesirable. It is hard on the eyes.

  • Hooha||

    Then they can add some yellows to the array WOOOOAAAAHHHHHHHH pseudo-problem solved.

  • ||

    Are LED's really competitive from a cost standpoint? I know they're the new craze in high-end indoor marijuana cultivation (big advantages with energy usage, heat dissipation, control over spectrum, etc), but currently LED arrays are prohibitively expensive for most growers.

    Maybe home-use options are significantly simpler and cheaper though, I have no clue.

  • Hooha||

    It's true, they are actually a significant initial investment COMPARATIVELY, but if you factor in their lifespan and reduced energy costs, they make it up in time. How much time, I don't really recall, and I would assume it varies a decent amount given the two lights you're compairing.

    Also, one assumes that if there was a competitive market for them, they'd get cheaper pretty quick.

  • cheechy bastard||

    "they're the new craze in high-end indoor marijuana cultivation"

    It's always all about the drugs, isn't?

  • ||

    It's always all about the drugs, isn't?

    Yes.

    Seriously though, weed-growing is both lucrative and highly scientific. Very fertile ground for innovation in related technologies -- lighting, energy optimization, HVAC, odor control, hydroponics, etc.

  • BakedPenguin||

    LEDs can also be used for regular lighting. They will make up their cost... eventually. If you have kids, pets, or other potential sources of smashed LED bulbs, however, be careful where you place them.

    What I like about them, besides low energy usage, is that they can potentially last up to 20 years. for lazy asses like myself, not having to go buy something is a big incentive.

  • cellar dweller||

    Ok, But now Iv'e been burned on the Expected Lifetime on CFL's, which is total bullshit....wolf wolf wolf

  • ||

    Surely you're not really this dumb. There's multiple ways they spread the wavelength.

  • ||

    I buy the Commercial Electric brand that Home Despot sells. They are a fairly good approximation for incandescent light temp and are fairly inexpensive too. I haven't had the flickering problem you describe and use them year-round outside.

    They take longer to get up to operating temp in the cold, but they do get up eventually. But the idea that they "last for years" under regular use is mostly a myth. They burn out fairly regularly inside where they're turned on and off frequently, but the lights outside which are turned on and off once daily, do last for years.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    When we moved in our house 3 years ago, we replaced every bulb with a CFL. Only 1 has burned out prematurely.

    I also have them outside, and nothing resembling not firing completely/flickering has happened.

    I'm okay with the bulbs, just not with them being forced down our throats under mostly false rationalizations.

  • C'mon man||

    This makes perfectly good sense: because everyone knows that the more efficient things are (manufacturing, households, automobiles, etc) the less people consume. For instance, when car manufacturing and vehicles become more efficient, and less expensive, demand goes down and people use less!

    What a fucking joke.

  • cellar dweller||

    + + 5

  • ||

    Wow, I never knew Bruce Bartlett was that big of an idiot!

  • ||

    Really? He's been showing his ass for years now.

  • cellar dweller||

    and I admit, not the guy above, but I have paid to little attention to the Name of the Authors of some of the garbage espoused by so-called Reason.com. This is supposed to be the Libertarian flag pole. I think some writers and editors need to be hoisted on their Petards.

  • ||

    Such a lame and predictable take. A site where every single contributor held exactly the same viewpoint about every single issue would be pretty goddamn boring and useless.

    OMGZ1! Someone who thinks differently than I do was allowed to speak! Screw this site!!

  • Creeps||

    wait, I thought the whole idea of this site was to publish a bunch of articles by people who think the same about things (libertarian). Isn't what you are asking for really just realclearpoliltics?

  • ||

    The site is whatever it publishes. The motto is "Free Minds, Free Markets." That leaves quite a bit of room for exploration if you ask me.

  • Creeps||

    ok fine, where can i find a libertarian website then? i crave the echo...

  • ||

    I dunno, try the Libertarian Party website maybe?

  • cellar dweller||

    I thought the point was to put forth ideas of libertaianism..IE. smaller gov in very way, and open the floor of discussion?

  • ||

    I would say Weigel did that to himself pretty good.

  • ||

    Please stop listing David Brin with the libertarians. I'd sooner take political advice from Ignacio Metz.

    Someday, Dr. Brin will wake up and realize that President Obama (a-Socialist-ul-Biden-ul-Reid-ul-Pelosi) and his liberal patrons are the ones who want to indenture us all.

    Someday (today?), people will wake up and realize that government doesn't create wealth. Keynesianism didn't work for the U.S. in the 1930's, didn't work for Japan in the 1990's, and isn't working for the U.S. now. It has had the same effect wherever it's been practiced.

  • ||

    Oh jesus fucking christ, there is only one thing these people needed to say and that is, "d'oh."

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Knowing what I know since and given only a choice between Obama and McCain, I would still vote for Obama.

    This is such complete bullshit. McCain was terrible on multiple levels, but everything about Author/Community Organizer/State Senator/U.S. Senator Barack Obama screamed that he believes government is the solution for every fucking problem you can think of. How is that appealing?

  • ||

    How is that appealing?

    How is appeal necessary for picking between a Republican and a Democrat? Repulsion is an equally suitable motivator.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Accepted. So how is that belief system not repulsive to anyone leaning anywhere close to libertarian?

  • ||

    It's a question of relative repulsion, not absolute repulsion. I find it hard to criticize sliding to one side or the other of an equilibrium of shittiness.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Once again, I agree with you in general. But this is a candidate who was not going to see any solution that didn't involve a larger insertion of government into the mix. And government solutions always ultimately involve a threat of agents of the state pointing a gun at you. He was going to be handed a supposed mandate and full power to enact those solutions. No liberty-minded voter should see that as anything remotely acceptable.

  • ||

    I'm still trying to get my mind wrapped around Brin's point #1. It struck me as suggesting that as a condemned man I should be glad that the hangman has become more efficient. I think on net I might prefer gridlock, despite the economic loss...

  • ||

    If you can't get it right with 20/20 hindsight, you must be a writer, an occupation where admitting a mistake wipes out the value of your finished product. I understand.

  • ¢||

    All right, Cavanaugh. You're the only one quoted who isn't full of shit and/or evil, so WTF's with this:

    And racial issues have moved forward—or at least become less boring—since Obama took office.

    Do you have a "Cloward Piven"-type view of revolutionary racial healing? Like, we need to be polarized to the point of RACE WAR! before something (what?) snaps and we all go "What's with all this fussin' and a-feudin'? There's no reason for it. We should have been cool all along! Let's do that now?" Like, the system (of racist thought, I guess) has to be pressured to breaking, then suddenly everything's fine? Because that's the only possibly "forward" motion that's happening.
    And I find field prep for RACE WAR! extremely "boring" (except when it's funny). You don't? That's weird.Is there some personal thing you're projecting outward? Some black guy who doesn't shit-eye you anymore because he knows you voted for the slightly blacker asshole in '08?

    Out here in actual-land, people are racially hating each other more than they have since the '60s, partly because for the first time since then, racial hatred is President-approved.
    So...WTF?

  • Hooha||

    And partly because our perverse persuit of 'diversity' is preventing the cultural assimilation that should be unifying our nation - hang on a sec, there's this crazy red dot sliding up my che[q00- Q#$

  • ||

    Indeed. And I suspect many white people are thinking "I just knew affirmative action would eventually mean an underqualified black man as President. And now every time I disagree with what he does, someone calls me a racist."

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    So buy him the T-shirt.

  • ||

    Bruce Bartlett doubles down and confirms for those few holdouts that he is, indeed, one of the least intellectually honest or capable commenters to be found in the libertarian-O-sphere today. He is little more than an MSNBC/DNC talking point reader.

  • Realist||

    Only a stupid fuck would have voted for Obama, so who wants to hear more of their shit?

  • ||

    How stupid! Libertarians that voted for Obama. We are supposed to vote for MORE FREEDOM...not less!

    What's next? Will chickens vote for Colonel Sanders?!

    Ugh.......

  • ||

    This article, more than any I have ever seen, is a perfect example of why Libertarians are useless and also completely full of crap. It seems they also have an ENORMOUS capacity to rationalize poor choices and refuse to admit when they are wrong. Obama has not done ONE THING that any Libertarian should be for and yet they sit here and support their decision. McCain, who I agree is an idiot, would have *never* put forth anything like ObamaCare or the failed trillion dollar stimulus.

    Thanks for this, I was on the fence on whether to renew my subscription and this helped me make my decision.

  • Realist||

    I had already decided, but this shows I made the right decision.

  • ||

    McCain, who I agree is an idiot, would have *never* put forth anything like ObamaCare or the failed trillion dollar stimulus.

    Citation needed.

  • ||

    Ummmmmmm, he voted against Obama/Dem Congress stimulus? And I don't think he voted for Health Care either.

    Was that really so hard? Two actual votes. Two actual 'no' votes.

    McCain is no prize but he knows people that know how to take care of the cow. Obama's friends just want to carve up the cow and have a barbecue.

  • ||

    As East Bay Jay noted, McCain was a vocal opponent of both of those policies. His stated positions during the campaign also do not correspond with the legislation that was eventually put forth.

    Libertarians struggle mightily to stick to their meme that Republicans and Democrats are the same. There are similarities but there also important differences in terms of degree.

    The National Taxpayers Union grades politicians on their votes regarding spending and taxes. Republicans always outscore Democrats in these ratings. There are RINO's who have gone along with big spending programs. However, the conservative small government types at least have a voice in the Republican party. The tea party for example is working to get rid of big spending Republicans within the party itself.

    On the Democrat side, it is pretty much big government all the way and that is what we have seen since Obama has been elected. Libertarians don't like Conservative Christian people from a cultural standpoint. They are more culturally similar to Liberals. As such, many of them vote that way. Libertarians enjoy being condescending to average people, throwing in with the libs satisfies that need. They truly believe people like Obama are "smarter".

  • DLM||

    They truly believe people like Obama are "smarter".

    Even if that were the case, it doesn't matter. What matters is what is done, not how 'smart' the people doing it are.

  • ||

    You should have asked...

    "What sound does a duck make?"

    Bruce Bartlett is an idiot.

    Who knew that electing a nobody leftist extremist with ties to the New Left would result in buyer's remorse...you clowns...how many goddamn copies of Liberty do you have to read to figure shit like that out...

  • ||

    In what sense are these people actual libertarian?

  • ||

    PS - I guess this proves that the folks at Reason have far more in common with Bill Maher (who claims to be Libertarian but is really just a far-left liberal) than Milton Friedman.

  • Vaccine||

    Dude, most of these interviewees are only tangentially related to Reason. You might note that the article polled 40 people to find the 12 retards who voted for Obama.

  • Tony||

    Looks like lots of people are pissed that libertarians refused to vote for President Palin. Sen. McCain should be flogged for inflicting her on the world. What do you people want? Do you think war with Iran would be good for freedom?

  • John McCain||

    "Sen. McCain should be flogged"

    I haven't been flogged since 'Nam. I liked that a lot. I could really use another good beating.

  • Amakudari||

    Because it's a binary choice: McCain or Obama. At least in my mind, you could have picked any of Barr, Nader, McKinney, Baldwin and whomever else, along with not voting, or even writing down the names of any other American/human/fictional character. In states like mine (California) that went overwhelmingly one way in an already-landslide election, it's all to the same effect. So it's really a question of principle (since no one's claiming their vote is meaningless), and whether you overlooked something that led you to the wrong judgment.

    I'm pretty sure people here just don't like the rationalizing about choosing Obama since he's been impressively bad on any libertarian issue even with low expectations. I thought he'd be slightly better on the war, but we have the Bush status quo. I thought he'd be a teensy bit better on state secrets (although FISA was a red flag), but we have new assertions of presidential power, including assassination lists. Maybe we'd get some backing off on drug policy, but we got unasked-for condescension from him and his DOJ toward marijuana legalization and intimidation of Prop 19 supporters. I didn't like his health care platform in the first place, but we got a bill that doesn't even credibly address the issue of cost.

    Yet, the only person with a hint of regret about some affinity toward Obama was Bagge, who didn't even vote for him. If anything, I've learned to almost completely disregard (as opposed to discount) what any candidate says when he doesn't have a track record of defending his beliefs against strong opposition. So I'd expect libertarians, given the variety of areas in which Obama has underperformed, to at least meet me part of the way there. Instead, they're tacking in the opposite direction, and I'm getting the impression that many of the respondents are either not committed to individual liberty (obvious for a few) or are incapable of honest reflection.

  • DLM||

    Looks like lots of people are pissed that libertarians refused to vote for President Palin.

    More PDS. BTW, Palin was the VICE-presidential candidate.

  • ||

    No Tony. Obama's election was the best thing that could happen for libertarians. Now in quick succession we have the example of a statist-progressive republican followed by a vastly more statrist-progressive democrat.

    It's very difficult for people to avoid drawing the correct conclusions right now.

    The criticism here isn't not voting for McCain, the criticism is the things these nominal libertarians say to justify their vote for Obama, and their reasons for saying they would do so again.

    Some of this is just plain embarrassing.

  • asdf||

    This

  • ||

    Uhhh..I thought you were interviewing libertarians. Seriously, these people call themselves libertarians? These people, WHO WORK FOR REASON MAGAZING, are actually rationalizing the fact that they voted for the most Leftist president in history. No, Bruce Bartlet. It's Ayne Rand who's spinning in her grave.

  • Hooha||

    Easy cowboy; he's not as bad as FDR.... yet.

  • ||

    Not one of these clowns qualifies as a libertarian in any meaningful sense. Just because they call themselves libertarians of some sort doesn't mean they have the slightest idea what libertarian thought is all about.

    Mostly, they're liberals who want to be ahead of the trend, and 'libertarian' sounds cool when the rest of your Democrat friends start sounding like communists.

    John Stuart Mill would turn in his grave.

  • ||

    My spouse, who is a libertarian in the classic sense, keeps telling me that we need to subscibe to Reason Magazine and 'support the work Reason does'.

    I tell him. Dude, you need to go to Reason.com and actually READ what they write. You would not want to support this work.

    That Reason holds these people out as 'libertarian' supports my case. Don't hold your breath for my subscription order.

  • ||

    Yeah, who wants to read a site that actually airs differing viewpoints and interpretations? Much better to find a safe echo chamber that confirms one's viewpoints all day every day.

    I read Reason because it features a lot of smart stuff from a lot of smart people, not because I agree with every word that comes from the place.

  • Lily||

    I'm very interested in smart conversation and debate, but I generally do not support publications with my money who have strongly differing points of view from my own. I have found that Reason too often supports big government intervention like in healthcare. And here, they offer up 'libertarian' views from people who strike me as the very antithesis of 'libertarian'.

    I believe I said my spouse's point was to 'support those guys at Reason'.

  • ||

    Reason too often supports big government intervention like in healthcare.

    I dunno, we must be reading different sites. I haven't seen too much support for the health care act in these parts.

    And here, they offer up 'libertarian' views from people who strike me as the very antithesis of 'libertarian'.

    Most of the people expressing clearly non-libertarian viewpoints are rare contributors, not regulars. Besides, they specifically chose the people who voted for Obama in the first place; obviously whatever "progressive" tendencies exist at Reason will be found in that subset. There are only a few regulars included in that group, and most of them were ambivalent at best about their voting choice from the start.

  • Lily||

    I have been perplexed at several articles here - expecially some written by Matt Welch where he discusses how wonderful European Socialism is and how happy people are under this system. Hmmmm.

    For myself, I prefer liberty. Your happiness is your own business.

  • ||

    Got any examples? Not trying to be a dick, I'm just really scratching my head because I don't remember anything that would fit that description.

  • Lily||

    I'm sorry, Rhayader, that I didn't keep a file of Matt Welsh articles that irritated me. You'll have to take my word for it. But I have gotten into a converastion with Mr. Welsh and others (in comment sections) about how wonderful European socialism is (or isn't). Mr Welsh seemed, if I recall, quite impressed with it.

  • ||

    Matt did a piece comparing France's health care system to ours and pretty much came out on France's side. Mostly because he takes from their system without putting much into it.

  • Amakudari||

    Why I Prefer French Health Care

    Although, to be frank, I've had my own experience with the Japanese socialized health care system. I prefer every aspect of it to the American one. That's not to say I even like socialized health care, but that the American system combines the worst side effects of both purely private and purely public networks.

    As for the tagline, I'd say it's more to be provocative. It sounds like he's advocating socialism instead of pointing out the flaws in our mixed system versus France's mixed system.

    In the comments section, he writes:
    "I'd start with breaking the link between employment and health care, removing state barriers to insurance competition, rolling back various government mandates, breaking up some of the more unnecessary licensing rackets, freeing most pharmaceuticals to my side of the counter, and so on."

    See, I'd reach the same conclusion, that if we look at other health care systems we would see how deeply flawed the American one is, and in many cases the difference would be more regulation on our part, not less.

    (Also, both of us pay more than our fair share into both systems. It's not an issue of liking free care at the expense of others.)

  • ||

  • ||

    You voted for Obama, didn't you?

    Differing viewpoints are fine. Differing libertarian viewpoints, or libertarian takes on the views of other parties/people--great. Liberals spouting leftism while pretending to be libertarians, not so much.

  • ||

    You voted for Obama, didn't you?

    I abstained actually, not that it matters even a little bit.

    Liberals spouting leftism while pretending to be libertarians, not so much.

    Who is the arbiter here? How do we decide who can accurately claim the title "libertarian"? It's like "liberal" or "conservative" -- meaningless. I'm more interested in what people have to say than I am in whatever title they choose for their group of changing and often internally contradictory political opinions.

  • ||

    So much political thought is infused with reflexive leftism--things ingrained in us through school, media, and social interaction that it corrupts ideas that are it's antithesis.

    Frequently here I see people referencing 'brown' people as something that 'we' are being racist about, I see classism and mountains of PC bullshit that have no place in an ideology that is purportedly advocating individual liberty. Even I, at times, find myself reflexively taking a leftist stance or apologising for an opinion that is outside the prevailing leftist orthodoxy on the subject.

    I welcome debate with opposing viewpoints--but I take issue when those viewpoints are expressed as part and parcel of what I see as my stance. You can't be a statist and a libertarian at the same time, and no amount of interest in what people have to say can change that.

    Have a stance, but be honest about where it comes from.

  • asdf||

    Diversity of opinion makes this place fun. How boring would it be here if every poster was John?

  • ||

    Indeed. Every time I think I should break down and subscribe to Reason, I see something like this and I go lie down until the feeling goes away.

    Poltroons, the lot of them.

  • Vaccine||

    Again, you might note from the article that most of these interviewees are only tangentially related to Reason. The article polled 40 people to find the 12 retards who voted for Obama.

  • Radical Libertarian||

    ITT: LINO's either making excuses for their rape or rationalizing that said rape was actually love making.

    Good job. Perhaps you'd like a little more rape with that rape? I'm sure McCain would of used spittle while Obama would of used syrup. Yeah, bend over and take it like a man they say.

    Kill me...

  • ||

    From their comments, none of these people are liberterians. This is pathetic.

  • x,y||

    I see Ron Bailey still refuses to answer this question:

    Would have been possible to 1) vote, and 2) punish the Republicans, all without voting for Obama?

    Care to show your smug face on this thread Bailey?

  • cynical||

    Like, smirk and take a picture, and post a link to the picture, or... ?

  • pmm||

    I decided that the Libertarian "movement" wasn't for me back in 2008 after I read the article this follows-up on, since the writers seemed much more about posturing than getting libertarian policies enacted. Glad to see that I wasn't being hasty. Maybe the Tea Party can get around to reforming libertarianism when it gets done cleaning up the Dems & Repubs.

  • asdf||

    Every movement is going to be a disappointment, collectivism is always fail.

  • DLM||

    As I explained, I voted for Obama to punish Republicans for their terrible policies under Bush

    Some didn't notice Republicans had already been 'punished' in 2006 with a Democratic takeover of both houses. Why does everyone else have to be punished in order to further punish a party that was out of power except for the white house?

  • Old Mexican||

    On balance, I think Obama’s policies have helped the country — certainly more so than the "do nothing" policies of the Republicans.

    Helped the country into what?

  • Paul||

    what is likely to be a historic shellacking for the Democrats.

    Could we stop using the word "Historic"? The party turnover in the house and senate is "historically" turning over in shorter and shorter intervals. At the current rate, it will turn over again before the next election.

  • Amakudari||

    I'm cool as long as it's not "an historic" from an American writer. I recommend folks who write with an affected accent to look into becoming an hero.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    The last time I bothered to read the Cornell Chronicle, there was an op-ed in it that contained 3 references to Obama's historic election.

    In the first 3 lines it also contained the Tina Fey SNL quote as something coming from Palin, so I shouldn't be surprised.

  • alan||

    I'm standing here awestruck at Bruce Bartlett's answers. It is hard to imagine someone consuming that much of the Kool-Aid with out the strychnine stopping his heart by now.

  • Paul||

    Instead, he pulled a jiujitsu move and presented a slightly modified version of the Republican Alternative Proposal that the GOP, under Newt Gingrich, presented back in 1993, as their response to Hillarycare.

    Proof that Democrats are full of shit.

  • Paul||

    If every portion were in full action now, we'd still have the least socialized health system in the industrial world.

    I know I feel better.

  • Paul||

    3. What is the first thing that the new Congress should do upon taking office in 2011? Triple R&D and make schools teach science. More than half of our GDP growth in the last 60 years came from technological breakthroughs.

    So get the Federal Government more involved in the local school curricula... NCLB, we hardly knew ye...

    How is this guy a libertarian again?

  • Paul||

    Oh, Tim Cavanaugh wins.

    And Craig Newmark isn't a libertarian. He'd be cheering the Democrats on as they bent him over a fence, dropped their pants and...

    Wiegel: "I actually think that the GM rescue worked"

    No it didn't. Moving on...

  • ||

    "On balance, I think Obama’s policies have helped the country—certainly more so than the “do nothing” policies of the Republicans."

    I think each person is entitled to his/her opinion, that includes Mr Bartlett. However, based on this comment I have a very hard time accepting he is a libertarian. Did I miss something?

  • Lisa||

    That's what I was thinking. If you don't see a "do nothing" approach as a good thing, I don't know how you can possibly claim to be in favor of individual liberty.

    In fact, I'm sure that most libertarians think that Republicans do entirely too much.
    Unless he was being facetious, that guy's a true blue democrat.

  • ||

    Yes Bartlett is an idiot. I don't want Congress "doing anything" unless it is repealing their previous interventions into the private sector. Aside from tax cuts, there hasn't been a piece of major legislation that has been "good" for the country in 50 years.

    EVERY DEMOCRAT PROPOSAL IN THE LAST 40 YEARS INVOLVES STEALING FROM ONE GROUP AND GIVING TO ANOTHER TO BUY VOTES, BAR NONE. NOBODY THAT CALLS THEMSELVES A LIBERTARIAN SHOULD SUPPORT THAT.

  • ||

    Useful column. I have long suspected the majority of Libertarians to be run-of-the-mill liberals who take themselves too seriously, and nearly to a man these reinforce that belief.

    The biggest cooption of individual liberty since Roosevelt, and this group would double down on the O Man.

    Libertarian indeed.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    But... but... but... Gay marriage! Open borders!

  • ||

    And the dope smokin' thingey, never forget the dope smokin' thingey.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    And the saved/created jobs!

  • alan||

    Harvard men know little about statistical sampling? Making a general observation about a group based on a select portion of said group selected on the idiocy of their voting choices where the answers to their question had no where to go on the idiocy quotient than up? Pretty weak stuff, Tulpa. It is you, right?

  • cynical||

    How exactly does an article that specifically singles out people that voted for Obama (many of whom do not self-identify as libertarians, much less Libertarians) say anything about the majority of Libertarians?

  • asdf||

    God you're stupid, generalize much? I guess Anne Coulter speaks for all conservatives yea?

  • alan||

    2. Have the federal policies and laws passed since Obama took office benefited or hurt the country? On balance, I think Obama’s policies have helped the country—certainly more so than the “do nothing” policies of the Republicans.

    Compared with any other administration in this nation's modern history of the last hundred years, the Obama administration domestic policy record is the worst. I don't think Hoover interventions, nor the New Deal, or Wilson's War Socialism and Johnson's War on Poverty were as big a self inflicted wound as the accumulative effect of Obama's Porkilus, TARP II, bank reg reform, and Obamacare. Though there were long term consequences to the policies of the previous presidents I mentioned, the middle class has generally worked around them while lower classes felt the blunt force, but this time, it's going to be much more difficult to climb out of this morass of bad policy. It will be in the order of the downfall of Spain in magnitude if left unchecked.

    Just as a fair comparison, Lenin's original five year plan to reverse the ill of previous Communist measures was more smartly put together than this horse shit. Afterall, what did Obama do to reverse Bush era mistakes? Blamed a phantom menace called 'deregulation', doubled down on corporate cronyism, created a great swathe of middle class dependency with the 99ers, prolonged the pain by subsidizing previous malinvestments, and added the greatest debt burden in the history of the world to our troubles.

    Frankly Bartlett, you really have no business being in the field you are in. Your judgment is deeply impaired and one hundred and eighty degrees skewed from reality. When your articles are put out there, assuredly as a securitized subprime loan, someone has bought a load of crap.

  • Lisa||

    I took Thomas Sowell's advice and read David Freddoso's "The Case Against Barack Obama" before the election. It took me awhile to get a hold of it because, I kid you not, the copy at the public library that someone had ordered mysteriously disappeared (not checked out, just disappeared off the new books shelf) from a few weeks before the election until shortly after. When I asked a librarian about it, she tersely replied that there was no way it could be found. I still smell conspiracy, especially because of it's timely reappearance after it was too late to affect the election outcome.

  • Lisa||

    btw, I did end up buying it and it was a very informative read. I already knew I wasn't going to vote for Obama because I've got a natural distrust of vague rhetoric spoken by popular politicians, but the book gave me very good reasons to back it up.

  • alan||

    The first lesson of Freddoso's book for a candidate going up against him, probably especially a primary challenger, court seals on divorce papers wont do you any good. Neither will running a clean campaign help in the least, unless less than useful lukewarm praise from the media is what you are really seeking.

    Sell your soul to Satan as Obama is the favored of old line, mainstream religious interest going back to the Archangels Gabriel and Michael, and find a good necromancer who can get you in touch with Lee Atwater. We need him now more than ever.

  • doctor k||

    What is the first thing that the new Congress should do upon taking office in 2011? I have no idea.

    These people work for "Reason"? Is it April Fools Day? Anyone who did even the most cursory due diligence on Obama would have known he was bad for the job. And that's not taking into consideration his Marxist, progressive, anti-American leanings. The guy had never held a bottom line executive position in his life and these "libertarian" peeps felt it was ok to hire the "dude" for the top executive job in the world? They wanted to punish Republicans? The GOP was punished in 2006. By giving the Dems all three branches given the knowledge that they would be headed by the likes of Obama, Reid and Pelosi these anti-Reason employees punished America.

    Libertarians my ass...

  • Vaccine||

    Fuck, did all you retards come here from Facebook? The stupid in this thread has gotten unbearable.

    Most of these interviewees are only tangentially related to Reason. The article polled 40 people to find the 12 retards who voted for Obama. So considering the interviewees as an example of "Reason's Libertarians" is like saying all dogs hop based on a poll of three-legged dogs.

  • ||

    +1

  • Three-legged dog||

    Faith, hop and charity.

  • asdf||

    So true.

  • ||

    What a shocker. Bruce Bartlett still has a hard on for Obama. I'm sorry anyone who calls themselves a libertarian and voted for Obama has a serious identity crisis. Not saying I don't vote for two party candidates. Voted for some today. To me, there was no libertarian case for either Obama or McCain and the most tragic part of the '08 election was that they couldn't both lose.

  • reader||

    I think some of RU Sirius' comment was botched / deleted? Like there should be a non-parenthetical clause in his point (c) ?

  • ||

    Wow. I didn't expect every person that works at Reason to be libertarian, but I'm shocked that there were actually this many people who not only couldn't possibly be libertarian, but were incredibly uninformed about Obama before the 2008 election. Anyone who had done rudimentary investigation knew that he was 180 degrees from libertarian principles and that his agenda was diametrically opposed to everything libertarians and/or conservatives believe in.

  • Amakudari||

    FYI, tallies, reasoners bolded and strongly implied votes asterisked:

    BARR (12, 6 reason)
    Radley Balko
    Jacob Sullum
    Jesse Walker
    Matt Welch
    Drew Carey *
    Cathy Young *
    Peter Bagge
    Gregory Benford
    James Bovard
    Penn Jillette
    Rob Kampia
    Jack Shafer

    OBAMA (12, 4 reason)
    Ronald Bailey
    Tim Cavanaugh
    Steve Chapman
    David Weigel ("I would cast for Bob Barr if he was on the ballot." Uh, write-in vote?)
    Bruce Bartlett
    David Brin
    Craig Newmark ("Barack Obama, since he's a genuine leader, with a good program for cleaning up Washington, and will be very good for business." Herp derp.)
    Steven Pinker
    Ryan Sager
    John Scalzi
    RU Sirius
    Doug Stanhope

    FUCK EVERYONE (9, 6 reason)
    Shikha Dalmia
    Brian Doherty
    Katherine Mangu-Ward
    Michael Moynihan
    Damon Root *
    Nick Gillespie *
    Charles Oliver
    Julian Sanchez
    Bill Steigerwald

    INDETERMINATE (4, 1 reason)
    David Harsanyi (journalistic objectivity cop-out)
    David Kopel (Barr or McCain)
    Michael McMenamin
    Michael Shermer (implied Republican? Hell if I know. You tell me.)

    McCAIN (4)
    Grover Norquist
    Bob Poole
    Tim Slagle
    Roger Stone

    NADER (1)
    Bill Kauffman

    So, by my count, I've got 42 votes (17 reason), 12 (4 reason) of which went to Obama. Honestly, I think it's safe to say that there are some LINOs in here and some reasoners with questionable reasoning, but making inferences about reason or the libertarian movement based on a very particular sample doesn't make sense.

  • ||

    Thanks for tracking that down. And yeah, it's pretty solid evidence that all these people who want to tar and feather Reason are taking a pretty narrow view here.

  • Ayn_Randian||

    In other words, of those polled, 28% voted for Obama. In the specific constituency of reason employees, the number is even lower, at 23%.

    Wow, BFD, indeed.

  • Amakudari||

    Yes, and all the reason folks except Weigel backed off Obama (especially Cavanaugh), although in Weigel's case he noted that Barr wasn't on his ballot. (I still say a write-in is a valid option, but whatever.) For all of them, support was tepid in the first place.

    More tallies, of the folks who actually voted Obama (and ignoring beneficial side effects):

    MORE BAD THAN GOOD (3, 3 reason)
    Ronald Bailey
    Tim Cavanaugh
    Steve Chapman

    I'M OKAY WITH THIS (3, 1 reason)
    David Weigel
    David Brin
    RU Sirius

    WOULD OFFER SELF TO OBAMA (3)
    Bruce Bartlett
    Craig Newmark
    John Scalzi

    MIA (3)
    Steven Pinker
    Ryan Sager
    Doug Stanhope (considers politicians mere entertainers)

    And since none of the MIA folks seem particularly enthused about Obama, that's about 3 out of 42 potential ringing endorsements (~7%), none from reason. Maybe I should be more conservative, but I don't see the MIA folks fawning over Obama or anyone who didn't vote for him backtracking.

  • ||

    Holy crap. With a couple of exceptions there's some profoundly ignorant people calling themselves 'libertarians' in this piece.

    Bagge being the notable exception.

  • The One Pluser||

    +1

  • MattXIV||

    I voted Barr and stand by it, but I've gone from thinking Obama would have been marginally better than McCain than to thinking McCain would have been better, although almost entirely for gridlock reasons.

    Breaking it down:

    Civil liberties - Initially thought Obama would have made mostly cosmetic improvements (the telecom immunity vote was a good indicator that he wouldn't do anything substantial), but has actually made things worse. McCain's agenda wouldn't have been better, but he would have got more pushback from Congress and criticism in the press, so the results would be as bad or slightly better depending on just how little spine congressional Democrats would end up showing.

    Healthcare reform - Probably no bill, which would be better than the bill that did pass; the only thing that could get passed with McCain would be a "biparstisan" bill not doing much of anything to either solve or exacerbate any problems.

    DADT - Getting repealed via lawsuit, so we'd be in the same position in either case. Fun Fact: Since the suit was file by the Log Cabin Republicans, one can accurately say that in 2 years of Democratic control of congress and the White House, Republicans have done more to advance gay right than Democrats have - now that's pathetic!

    Various Wars - Largely the same. Obama's not withdrawing from Iraq any faster than the Bush timelines. McCain would have also escalated in Afghanistan, and with Dems in Congress wouldn't have been able to anything other than sabre-rattle regarding Iran.

    Economy - Stimulus package would have been slightly smaller and had similar impact. Probably would have similar monetary and bailout policy. Might have avoided GM bailout, although I don't see McCain pushing back on this much.

    I can't think of any area where Obama has resulted in substantialy better policy results than I think McCain would have, and there are a some (DADT, civil liberties) where there is no excuse for Obama not being able to do better.

  • Amakudari||

    Also note that the administration's DOJ appealed the DADT decision and requested an emergency stay. So even with this stuff handed to them the Obama fights back.

  • Amakudari||

    And I came to the same conclusions. IMO, McCain as an individual would have been worse, but given the dynamics of a Democratic supermajority, gridlock and the continuation of the status quo were preferable to most changes from the Obama administration.

  • asdf||

    I would agree but tarp and bailouts sailed through a republican president and democrat congress (gridlock? please?). Nothing leads me to believe McCain would have been any different, and then we wouldn't have any republican resistance to spending.

    Just like how the democrats magically don't give a fuck about endless war and torture now.

  • Amakudari||

    Okay, you're right about saying "gridlock." Still, TARP and bailouts were amenable to Democrats in the first place. It took some arm-twisting (to be polite) to get the Republicans to join in. So there is opposition to certain policies. It's similar to how Republicans would not oppose a surge.

    And I'd agree on spending, but at the same time, for all the Republican opposition, we have Obamacare. With McCain in office, I think we would have a defanged health care bill. Meanwhile, the Dems would impose checks on war in a way that the Republican minority can't effect on spending. Most likely we'd see a continuation of the status quo, that is, the same timeline, but with the president unable to assert new powers, like targeting American citizens for assassination.

  • Just A Thought||

    Other than Peter Bagge, why are any of these people contributing to reason? It feels like about 80% of this could have been taken from The Nation or The Daily Kos or HuffPo.

    Voting for Obama, because Bush was bad is probably the best excuse I've seen thus far, but the rest actually think Obama is doing a good job??? And not only that, but to desire more from Obama makes my brain explode.

  • Realist||

    "Voting for Obama, because Bush was bad is probably the best excuse I've seen thus far,..." Bush was not running against Obama and you can always just not vote!

  • Just A Thought||

    Agreed. Btw, I wasn't endorsing the excuse. I was just pointing out how that was the only excuse I could see from these reason contributors that had even a scintilla of sense. I agree with you. A terrible excuse.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Christ on a cracker, are these people serious? When Weigel makes more sense than you, you know you're into rubber-room territory.

    A libertarian applauding Obamacare????? Did I go through a fucking wormhole or something?

  • asdf||

    Haha yeah I thought the same thing, they are not really libertarians though. Kind of cute they want to brand themselves that way though!

  • Bill Maher||

    Hey! I'm a real libertarian!

  • ||

    Hehe you made me LOL at work. My office mate gave me a look.

  • ||

    Seriously, some of these guys call themselves libertarian? How can you be for big government and still be libertarian? How can you want taxes and freedom killing legislation and still be libertarian? Most of these people aren't libertarians, their socialists or neo cons masquerading as such because it is the hip thing do.

  • Bruce Majors||

    It's very sad. Before people assault Reason magazine for the statism and snarky evasion of these posters, I will defend them (the magazine; send half the responders to the firing squad now) and point out that the MOST libertarian response was from the one who actually is a writer at Reason magazine (currently) and the third or fourth most libertarian response was from the person with a CATO affiliation, and the rest are unaffiliated with an actual libertarian group. Thank god.

  • Jim Treacher||

    If we're going to assume there's any information encoded in a vote for a major party candidate—beyond "one" and "zero"—the passage of Obamacare is the only area where we can say for certain that Barack Obama is worse than John McCain would have been.

    "Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the theatre?"

  • Hooha||

    Holy CRAP, it took me two or three reads, but when it clicked, I was ROLLIN'! XD

  • Woodrow||

    Most of these boil down to "OMG McCain was unhealthy and will probably die soon even though we predicted he would be long dead by now anyway".

  • Bruce Majors||

    That's what happens when you palm the job off on an intern. I mean, I have enjoyed Armin's pieces, but you told him to call up some libertarians and ask them if they still liked Obama. And from the answers it's clear he picked up the wrong list of names.

    Can you please get someone to call the libertarians now?

  • ||

    To give the OP credit, and I do give credit whenever anyone speaks truth about the AMA. It may be that it's hard to find real libertarians who were dumb enough to fall for Obama in the first place, so he may have had no choice but to ask these bozos.

    The best reason to vote for Obama is that it would lead to a renewed interest in libertarian thought. I wish I had thought of that. The downside is Obamacare is going to be a bitch to undo.

  • Tim||

    Wait, I thought these were libertarians. Most of them sound like liberals. This doesn't give me much confidence in Reason, or maybe there are just so few libertarians that they have to hire liberals.

  • Hooha||

    lol, fluffing the ranks with the enemy? It's FOOLPROOF!

  • ||

    I cannot understand why a supposed Libertarian would even consider throwing away a vote for a Liberal (now Marxist) Democrat or his evil brother, a big government Neo-Con Republican. Where is the Libertarian mindset in that? Voting for your slave-master? Nah.

  • ||

    I'm amazed that you found so many Libertarians that think big government control, more government limitation of choices, excessive borrowing and driving the country toward bankruptcy is a good thing.

    Anyone can call themselves a libertarian; if any of these people promoting these ideas took a test to see their actual leanings; it wouldn't show libertarian.

    But good job taking them at their word; if they'd said they were space aliens from Jupiter would you have accepted that as well; or looked for some sort of evidence?

  • cynical||

    Note to whiny conservatarians who aren't quite paying attention: This is a followup to an article asking 42 people, not all of whom were libertarians, about their vote. Only those who seemed like Obama voters were consulted for this article. The original breakdown went like this (2 in this article claimed not to be Obama voters, but 2 Obama voters in the original article were not included):

    12: Barr
    8: No Vote
    5: McCain
    1: Not Obama
    1: Nader
    12: Obama
    3: No clear answer
    That's 29% for Obama.

    Of the current semi-regular/regular Reason contributors, the breakdown was as follows:
    7: Barr
    5: No Vote
    3: Obama
    1: No clear answer

    That's 18% for Obama. Not as good as 0%, but hardly worth the wailing and gnashing of teeth we see on this thread.

    Just FYI.

  • ||

    Well, I voted for him as the lesser of the two evils. Oklahoma's horrible ballot-access laws wouldn't allow any choices other than Obama or McCain.
    I still hate McCain, but I'm no longer so sure Obama is the lesser evil.

  • prolefeed||

    Honestly, I was giving them the benefiet of the doubt because I USED to respect Tim Cavanaugh.

    You do not read Cavanaugh for Teh Respek. You read him for the lolz.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Go back to journalism school and learn how to write interview questions, intern. I know these were just standard questions emailed to everyone, but jeeze.

  • WhiskeyJim||

    Question: How can free markets expect to prevail when one of its premier on-line sites can't even hire free market writers who can articulate free market ideals?

    Wow. All I can say is that Reason seems to be going the way of the Economist. They were actually a decent magazine to read decades ago.

    I'm not sure I read a libertarian in the whole bunch. What a joke.

    I say return to the one trick pony of getting marijuana legalized. That way you stay out of from under and bark to your size.

  • Isildur1||

    Brilliant stuff from Bailey:

    "As I explained, I voted for Obama to punish Republicans for their terrible policies under Bush. On the surface MY VOTE WORKED since the Republicans are now at least paying lip service to enacting better fiscal policies and shrinking the size of government."

  • ||

    Can Tim Cavanaugh please shut the fuck up with this tiresome TeamBlue talking points?

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  • Ross Kaminksy||

    Perhaps most enlightening about these answers is that it proves how many of these people just want to call themselves libertarians. Interesting how bad the answers of the "science fiction" writers are.

    I understand not voting for McCain; I argued against McCain. But that's a far different thing from saying that Obama has been a good president in any way.

    When I read things like these answers, it becomes more and more clear to me why libertarians have so little electoral success.

  • Mark||

    No libertarians voted for Obama or McCain.

  • Joe M||

    Reading this again, I see that Bruce Bartlett is a serious idiot. He should be excommunicated from Reason permanently for saying something as gobsmackingly stupid as:

    On balance, I think Obama’s policies have helped the country—certainly more so than the “do nothing” policies of the Republicans.

    I mean, is that some kind of joke?

  • Free Health Care||

    I votes for Obama to get Obama money. And Free Health Care. I'm a libertarian when it comes to me, but I vote Democrat when I need something.

    I never vote Republican because they are all wear top hats, twirl moustaches and want to control women's vaginas.

  • ||

    I stopped reading after two pages or so. These gentlemen are NOT libertarians. I might also add that they are suffering from some kind of continuing Obama delusion.

  • ||

    Wow. Just Wow. I applaud Reason for publishing this. Very brave.

    Between listening to the occasional libertarian Lew Rockwell podcast and reading this libertarian Reason piece featuring libertarians, I now see into the heart of Libertarianism.

    And if this is what passes for "Reason" amonst Libertarians, I'll have none of it.

  • Carl Hardwick||

    >These gentlemen are NOT libertarians. I might also add that they are suffering from some kind of continuing Obama delusion.

    I agree. Those were all LINOs, Libertarians in Name Only. Incredible that they voted for Obama in the first place and even more incredible that they're not remorseful.

    Reason must be a disguised leftist organization because if the senior editors aren't remorseful about voting for Obama by now, they must be closet leftists.

  • ||

    I voted for Obama to punish Republicans for their terrible policies under Bush.

    Thanks, Ron. That made me laugh out loud through the tears.

    -jcr

  • Rob||

    Is this Reason's "crack staff", or just Reason's staff on crack?

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  • Trident||

    Most of these people are utter morons.
    And from what i can tell, none of them are libertarians.

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