Misreading the Tea Party

A new book misunderstands the libertarian-leaning portion of the Tea Party movement and exaggerates the importance of the movement's social conservatives.

The Teavangelicals: The Inside Story of How the Evangelicals and the Tea Party are Taking Back America, by David Brody, Zondervan, 272 pages, $22.99.

In The Teavangelicals, Christian Broadcasting Network correspondent David Brody sets out to persuade readers of an already well-known fact: Many Tea Partiers are socially conservative Christians. He calls these conservatives "Tea-vangelicals" and argues that they are reinvigorating the religious right. Brody supports this thesis with anecdotal evidence taken disproportionately from the South, and he does not reach a convincing level of intellectual rigor. But he does get across an often-overlooked fact about the Tea Party movement: that it is a coalition compromised in roughly equal proportions of social conservatives and activists who lean toward libertarianism.

Alas, Brody tends to misunderstand what libertarian-leaning Tea Partiers believe, what drives them, and why they are allied with evangelicals. In turn, he misinterprets the evangelical half of the Tea Party milieu and its impact on politics. And then, having misread the movement, he urges it to shift some of its focus toward social issues. Having done research of my own in this area—most recently, a paper written with David Kirby for the Cato Institute—I can't endorse Brody's Tea Party portrait.

Brody assumes libertarians are all Randians, declaring that Ayn Rand's "philosophical views are at the core of libertarian belief" and that "the very nature of libertarian thought and the Tea Party movement as a whole is derived from [Rand's] philosophies." He then concludes that, since Rand was an atheist, most Tea Party libertarians are atheists too. He also assumes that libertarian-leaning Tea Partiers are consistent libertarians across the board, writing that they "pretty much want government to stay out of the way on everything including social issues (drugs, abortion, gay marriage, prostitution, drugs, gambling, and so on)."

This interpretation is absurd. There is no evidence that half the Tea Party movement subscribes to Rand's Objectivist philosophy. Nor does such a large group want to legalize drugs and prostitution. Libertarian-leaning Tea Partiers are clearly distinct from social conservatives in that they are very fiscally conservative and also socially moderate or even liberal; they do not believe it is the government's role to promote traditional Biblical values. But that does not mean they take this as far as the typical reader of Reason.

Brody states, correctly, that libertarian and evangelical Tea Partiers both favor a return to constitutionally limited government. But then he declares that this is synonymous with "a return to Judeo-Christian principles." How exactly is constitutionally limited government a return to Judeo-Christian principles? How does Brody define Judeo-Christian principles, and how does he conceptualize constitutionally limited government? He might be correct that some evangelical Tea Partiers joined the movement to advocate Judeo-Christian values, but this does not likely explain other Tea Partiers' goals, or the goals for the movement as a whole.

Brody also overinterprets evangelicals' role in the Tea Party movement by claiming evangelicals who enter politics are necessarily a part of the Tea Party: "when a pastor decides to engage in the economic, social, and moral issues of the day, then that pastor turns into a 'Teavangelical preacher.'" This may explain why Brody somehow designates former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who raised taxes in his state 21 times, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who voted for Medicare Part D, No Child Left Behind, and raising the debt ceiling six times, as Teavangelical heavyweights. My research with David Kirby concludes that the Tea Party is very fiscally conservative. So does the research of the Harvard political scientists Theda Skocpol and Vanessa Williamson. It is hard to argue that either Huckabee or Santorum is very fiscally conservative.

Although Brody contends that these religious figures are Tea Party, he also argues these Teavangelical preachers will not "suddenly start to change their preaching style by concentrating on Tea Party–type issues like the debt or national healthcare. Some of their sermons may touch on these issues, but that isn't their main goal." Yet Kirby's and my analysis of dozens of national and local surveys, as well as our interviews with Tea Party leaders throughout the country, indicate that the movement's main goal is economic, not social. For instance, a New York Times/CBS News poll found that only 14 percent of Tea Party supporters believes that social issues are the most important issues facing the country.

Since Brody is overly inclusive in whom he defines as Tea Party, he finds more evidence of religious political activism than is really there, concluding that "Tea Party rallies are the next wave in [the religious right] revolution." But 46 percent of Tea Partiers either have not heard of or report no opinion about "the conservative Christian movement sometimes known as the Religious Right." Moreover, less than half of Tea Party supporters attend church every week and consider themselves evangelical. Given that, it's hard to argue the Tea Party is a reincarnation of the Religious Right. It is distinct, unique, focused on different issues, and comprised of a different coalition of individuals.

On a side note, Brody has kind words for two libertarian-leaning politicians, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and his son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. The senior Paul, Brody writes, "will go down in American history as a man whose ideas challenged the status quo and changed the conversation in this country. He's considered the godfather of the Tea Party, and his trendsetting economic message of fiscal responsibility ushered in Teavangelical support." And indeed, Ron has significantly shifted the conversation in this country, as has the Tea Party movement that he helped inspire. But his impact has been felt in fiscal issues and foreign affairs, not culture-war battles.

There surely are some Tea Party activists who conform to Brody's stereotypes of Randian libertarians and reincarnated Religious Rightists. But this picture does not comport with more systematic analyses of the Tea Party milieu. The movement is comprised of very fiscally conservative Americans, of which about half are socially moderate to liberal and the other half are socially conservative. It is their fiscal conservatism that unites them, distinguishes them from previous conservative movements, and has impacted the political debate.

Find this and hundreds of other interesting books at the Reason Shop, powered by Amazon.

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.

  • sarcasmic||

    This interpretation is absurd.

    Most straw men are.

  • wareagle||

    in whose fevered imagination is the original TP conflated with so-cons? As I recall, the tea party formed due to fiscal concerns. Period. Exclamation point. People who ran for Congress under that banner were motivated by one thing - the spending and cutting it.

  • sarcasmic||

    Come on!

    It's code!

    When someone says they want to cut government spending they really mean they oppose abortion and same sex marriage!

    Everyone knows that!

  • wareagle||

    So there really are big differences between the 5th and 6th editions of the code book. Damn.

  • Robert||

    That's how the publisher stays in biz.

  • R C Dean||

    SoCon tries to get the Tea Party to jettison libertarianism and focus on SoCon issues.

    Film at 11:00. On CBN!

  • Hyperion||

    I think that has already been accomplished to a great extent. So disappointing, I thought the TP had a lot of promise and energy. But it does seem that it has been largely co-opted by the SoCons. Looks like it is up to us Ls to take down the behemoth.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Give me an example of the Tea Party movement becoming an extension of the SoCon movement.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Beat me. And beats me.

  • Hyperion||

    Well, for starters, there was that huge Glen Beck rally in DC, where all he talked about was God. Also, a lot of the so called Tea Party candidates have been more SoCon than Libertarian. What about all of them that were backing Rick Santorum? Why were the entire Tea Party not backing RP? I think RP might have actually won at least a few states if the TP had been backing him and not the SoSon Santorum or even that nutbag Grimgrinch.

  • sarcasmic||

    SoCons jumping in front of the TEA Party parade and pretending to lead it doesn't mean the people in the parade are all SoCons.

  • Hyperion||

    I know that, sarcasmic, but my question is still, and I know I am being redundant. Where was the TP support for Ron Paul, and where is it for GJ? The TP say that they are for smaller government. So how could they support Rick Santorum or Gingrich, or Romney and Ryan?

    I have only personally known about 3 TP members who actually attend rallies. I agree with them on most issues, but when you mention the foreign wars they go all hawkish on you, and forget about discussing the WOD, you aren't going anywhere with that one. In other words, they are slightly, very slightly Libertarian leaning Republicans. And I am not trying to generalize here, sure there are real Libertarians in the TP, but I think they are the minority.

  • wareagle||

    hyperion,
    you are right about this: "I thought the TP had a lot of promise and energy."

    You know what happened? The budget 'deal' last year when members of either team were united in tossing TP folks under the bus, as though a problem decades in the making was the freshmen's fault.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    you are right about this: "I thought the TP had a lot of promise and energy."

    You know what happened? The budget 'deal' last year when members of either team were united in tossing TP folks under the bus, as though a problem decades in the making was the freshmen's fault.

    America's political system is built to inherently resist change. To actually accomplish change requires sustain focused effort for many election cycles - up to several decades worth.

    The idea that everyone is going to get excited and change the trajectory of government right away is foolish.

    As is getting petulant when that does not happen after on election.

  • BigT||

    Or, in the case of immigration and his arrogance, Mr Obama, an executive order.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    So what did they think was going to happen? They were gonna show up in Washington and suddenly everyone was going to do whatever they demanded? If an inability to instantly get everything they wanted was what caused them to lose energy, then they were a bunch of friggin idiots.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I know a lot of tea party people of various levels of commitment and none of them are rabidly pro-war, on drugs or in the middlle east.

    Most of them do see themselves as patriotic Americans and react viscerally to the crypto anti-americanism coming from certain libertarians. The thing is that they already believe in non interventionsim but the whole Blame America bs just sets them off.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Blame America == anyone who doesn't think America is absolutely perfect in every way

  • acidovorax||

    Most of them do see themselves as patriotic Americans and react viscerally to the crypto anti-americanism coming from certain libertarians.

    I am not sure what "crypto anti-americanism" you are referring to, but I will give you that some of the Paulites that I see on forums can be very annoying and ignorant in their positions and causes conservatives to shut off discussion.

    The thing is that they already believe in non interventionsim but the whole Blame America bs just sets them off.

    I have seen very few examples of "non-interventionist" Tea Partiers, besides the random libertarian types. And having debated on enough conservative forums, "Blame America" is simply a ploy to shut down debate when you don't hold their schizophrenic view that government doesn't work, but the military is super-duper awesome and is never the source of any problems.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "Well, for starters, there was that huge Glen Beck rally in DC, where all he talked about was God."

    Because being Glenn Beck and talking about God changes the fundamentals of a movement. This is some simple thinking.

  • Hyperion||

    Not at all, CYP. I was expecting a reply like that from someone. Glen Beck sometimes sounds like a Libertarian, but then he seems to go all SoCon. He is a little goofy.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Glenn Beck is not the tea party either.

  • sarcasmic||

    GB pretends to be libertarian when he wants TEA Party street cred, but then turns into a preacher.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Glenn Beck is just a modern day P. T. Barnum. Anyone who was listening to his show before 2005ish knows he doesn't actually believe anything he says. He saw an untapped market or crazy people, and decided he was willing to cater to their insanity in exchange for millions of dollars.

  • ||

    I flipped through GB's latest book because it had a chapter on libertarianism.
    It even quoted Hayek, Reason Magazine, and Ron Paul. Then he basically argued that you can be libertarian, and still support Israel, a fence around Mexico, the drug war, and not care about sound money or social issues.

  • Robert||

    This is the art of coalition bldg. (although in his case it might just be book selling). You always try to put together a coalition big enough to have clout, but you know some members of the coalition are going to be cheated by putting in a hell of a lot more than they'll get out of it. You may know in advance which parts of the coalition those are, or you may not, and the various members of the coalition may think they'll be the winners and others the losers. It's like playing Diplomacy.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Well, for starters, there was that huge Glen Beck rally in DC, where all he talked about was God.

    I don't think that anyone ever said that the tea party was an atheist movement.

    It's a pretty broad based movement for fiscal responsibility and smaller government. Neither of which conflicts with the beliefs of most So Cons.

    For example, a lot of So Cons are outraged by public schools pushing pro-homosexual theme on their kids and are getting into home schooling as a result.

    So wanting to expand home schooling and end indoctrination in schools are big SoCon issues right now, and they are also small l libertarian in that they seek limiting government action in specific ways.

    What about all of them that were backing Rick Santorum?

    The guy that tied for fourth place in the republican primaries?

  • acidovorax||

    So wanting to expand home schooling and end indoctrination in schools are big SoCon issues right now, and they are also small l libertarian in that they seek limiting government action in specific ways.

    From what I see, their only desire is to remove the materials they disagree with and replace it with materials they agree with. Very little discussion of privatization of education.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    They've been pushing various forms of school choice for decades.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    Rubio.

    Santorum.

    It is entirely debatable wheter these guys True Teaparty or not. But the labels do get applied to them at times.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Meh, if a con-man fools a bunch of rubes, does that mean the rubes were in on it?

  • Robert||

    Lost

  • R C Dean||

    Various TPs often lines up behind candidates with SoCon agendas, with Santorum being the glaring example, and without much in the way of libertarian bona fides.

    The TPs mostly seemed to stay away from libertarian who don't tow the SoCon lion (Ron Paul?).

    And they have shown zero willingness to support third parties (Gary Johnson?), becoming an auxiliary to the SoCon Republican Party.

    I would say the SoCons have pretty much co-opted the TPs. When was the last time the TPs rejected or objected to the big gov aspect of the SoCon agenda?

  • robc||

    Every time Rand Paul has pissed off the Senate leadership?

  • R C Dean||

    Specifics? I'm looking for some public stand a TP has made in opposition to the SoCons.

  • robc||

    The blocking of the drug laws to those new drugs (the fake pot ones).

  • Hyperion||

    Can you clarify that? Link please?

  • robc||

    It was fucking discussed on here in multiple articles. Use the search at the top or google.

  • robc||

    http://reason.com/blog/2012/02.....-drug-bans

    First page of a google search for "Rand Paul Senate Block".

  • R C Dean||

    OK, I see Ron Paul bucking the SoCons there, but I don't see a syllable about the Tea Party.

  • Hyperion||

    This. That is why I couldn't find it, I was looking for links about the TP, not RP.

  • acidovorax||

    Every time Rand Paul has pissed off the Senate leadership?

    Should we consider Rand Paul as typical of the Tea Party?

  • Enough About Palin||

    I don't see the TP's love for small government/fiscal responsibility and hating gays and abortion as being contradictory. I suspect Thomas Jefferson wasn't a fan of gays and abortion either.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Yes, let's take lessons on sexual morality from the serial rapist.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Those who identify as Tea Party in virtually every state during the primaries voting in droves for the likes of Santorum and Romney, when they had a perfectly good option of voting for Ron Paul.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    It doesn't look that way in Texas.

  • Lost_In_Translation||

    i'll cross my fingers on Cruz, but I won't hold my breath.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    It's not just Cruz. Establishment Republicans got reamed in state elections.

  • robc||

    Doesnt this article say the exact opposite?

    You seem to be making the same mistake Brody made.

  • Coeus||

    thought the TP had a lot of promise and energy. But it does seem that it has been largely co-opted by the SoCons.

    There's been an attempt in Texas to mitigate that by refocusing and rebranding the Texas branch "Tea Party Express".

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The neo-cons were able to essentially take over the republican party though a defacto alliance with the so cons. Which mostly involved neo-cons ego stroking and concern trolling the socons.

    Libertarians would be wise to do the same thing.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Interesting point. SoCons are pretty stupid they should be easy to lead.

  • John||

    Well the Libertarians ain't exactly sharp political operators either.

  • Hyperion||

    I would say that what has been taking place in the states with the RP supporters pretty much taking over, you might not be giving the Ls as much credit as they deserve.

  • John||

    What states would those be? And I thought the Tea Party had been co-opted by SOCONS. So their victories don't count.

  • Hyperion||

    John, I am talking about the Ls here and not the TP. Maine, Iowa, LA, to name a few.

  • John||

    Libertarians run Maine? Really? Louisiana? What am I missing here?

  • RBS||

    I'm pretty sure he's talking the state parties and the fight for delegates to Tampa.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    John, Hyperion is correct. RP's delegates PWNED the establishment in a bunch of states and got themselves elected/appointed/caucused/etc based on those states' Team Red delegate rules. The Team Red Establishment, consequently, has moved heaven and earth to change the rules in many of those same states (SURPRISE!) so the RP delegates don't count, or can be changed to Mittens delegates, etc. etc. etc.

    Funny to watch - and yet sad. I'd like Team Red to not be Team Blue, but they keep acting like Democrats. "Not following our own rules when it suits the party elites" is Team Blue 101.

  • Hyperion||

    The articles were right here on Reason.

  • John||

    I don't care about delegates in a losing Presidential Race. I am talking about actually winning elections and getting something done.

  • RBS||

    So taking control of the state party would not be getting something done?

  • Hyperion||

    ^THIS^

  • John||

    RBS,

    The Paul people are taking control of state level Republican Parties?

    I am not saying that is a bad thing. I am just saying I haven't heard that. I hope you are right. Honestly.

  • Imissbuckley||

    http://www.minnpost.com/politi.....-state-gop

    http://www.lvrj.com/blogs/poli.....ml?ref=156

    There have inner party battles for control of the states parties in these states as well as in Louisiana, Maine, Missouri and other states. They've certainly had their losses, but we should applaud their efforts.

  • Hyperion||

    Well, I think that taking over important positions within the state GOP party so that you move into a position to influence future elections is getting something done. Come on John, you know what I am talking about.

  • RBS||

    If this week has proven anything it's that John's ability to Tulpify any issue knows no bounds.

  • John||

    Honestly Hyperian I don't. Contrary to popular belief on here I am really not some mad Republican and pay little or no attention to inside baseball Republican stuff.

  • BakedPenguin||

    ...inside baseball Republican stuff.

    Is that hosted by Mel Allen West?

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Taking over a few caucus meetings and filing a lawsuit to have a few delegates recognized at the convention isn't exactly what passes for political astuteness

  • ||

    Except when they've gotten themselves elected to all levels of the GOP establishment in multiple states.

  • Zombie Jimbo||

    But don't the Tea partiers all have guns?

    That's the important thing, isn't it?

    wrings hands

  • Brandybuck||

    Not all of them. Some have bows.

  • aelhues||

    I vaguely consider myself a TP'r (been to rally's), and I have both.

  • John||

    Ayn Rand's "philosophical views are at the core of libertarian belief"

    Did Rand even express an opinion about things like drugs and prostitution? If she did, I am not aware of those being particularly important issues to her.

    Brody also overinterprets evangelicals' role in the Tea Party movement by claiming evangelicals who enter politics are necessarily a part of the Tea Party: "when a pastor decides to engage in the economic, social, and moral issues of the day, then that pastor turns into a 'Teavangelical preacher.'"

    Because everyone knows, there is no such thing as a left wing minister.

    Wow.

  • Te Amo||

    Did Rand even express an opinion about things like drugs and prostitution?

    Yes. She thought drugged-out hippies were disgusting wastes of life and that prostitution was pathetic and degrading for all concerned, and that neither should, however, be illegal, so long as all actions were voluntary and/or consensual.

    I am not aware of those being particularly important issues to her.

    The right to one's own life and body was particularly important to her. You might say it's fundamental. Because it is.

  • John||

    My point is that I don't think you can say that Ayn Rand = Libertarianism and you certainly can't say that Libertarianism = Ayn Rand. A lot of objectivists tend to be Libertarians. But not all of them.

  • Te Amo||

    Put another way, all objectivists are classical, small-l libertarians, but not all (or even many) libertarians are objectivists.

  • acidovorax||

    Put another way, all objectivists are classical, small-l libertarians, but not all (or even many) libertarians are objectivists.

    I don't know about this. Maybe. While I agree with much of Rand's writings, she herself and her followers supported some immoral positions. Rand rationalized the theft of Indian lands on the position that they didn't really "own" it. Peikoff advocated the use of nukes on the Middle East.

    As for libertarianism, Rand was vocally against it. She considered it to consist of contradictory philosophies and therefore irrational.

  • RBS||

    Apparently John thinks libertarians only care about hookers and blow.

  • Lord Humungus||

    It's just a hobby, really!

  • John||

    A man needs his hobbies doesn't he?

  • Lost_In_Translation||

    your hobbies are wrong, report to reeducation camp, pronto.

  • John||

    But I like hookers and blow.

  • Enough About Palin||

    So who do you blow?

  • John||

    Because "things like" is clearly an inclusive clause meaning they are the only things Libertarians care about.

  • Restoras||

    The right to one's own life and body was particularly important to her. You might say it's fundamental. Because it is.

    Well, yes, but only if that right is granted by a government.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    She was wrong on intellectual property/monopoly/regulation.

  • Te Amo||

    I'm guessing you haven't read any of her essays on property/monopoly/regulation, or--if you have--they were a translation, written in a language you cannot read.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    Yes. Because it is impossible to read the Ayn and not agree with her. Therefore Broseph must not have read her.

    Here is where a Randian (not the Randian) would say "check your premises" and walk away all self satisfied.

  • Brandybuck||

    Holy shit! I just checked my premises, and it turns out Mozart was indeed a red!

  • Te Amo||

    That was a strange coincidence.

  • Te Amo||

    Maybe you could get Broseph to elaborate a little. Would anyone take me seriously if I pronounced Mozart "wrong" on his approach to the piano sonata? Perhaps, inasmuch as I offered no proof or examples, they'd be justified in asking me if I'd ever heard any of Mozart's piano sonatas.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    Well shit, brother, sorry I didn't submit an essay on the topic.

    I've read Rand's "Patents and Copyrights", in the English language if you must know, though I appreciate your witty zinger. Intellectual property isn't a natural right, because it doesn't exist. To have property you need more than just a creation; you need scarcity, which doesn't apply to ideas. If I think up the same idea as you, have I stolen from you? If you want to think your idea is property, fine, but don't restrict my property for the sake of your fantasy.

  • Te Amo||

    scarcity, which doesn't apply to ideas

    It does in your case.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    $

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Tambem te amo.

  • sarcasmic||

    GOP activist kidnaps and rapes movie date.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....dates.html

    You know what that means?
    Yup! All GOP activists are rapists and murderers! Every last one of them!

    Run away!

  • VG Zaytsev||

    American liberals metamorphosis into socialists has made the phrase fiscally conservative; socially liberal meaningless.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Every one seems to forget that the Tea Party began with this epic rant by Rick Santelli.

    It is about bailouts, government spending, government control of the economy. I sincerely hope that the Tea Party doesn't get wrapped up in SoCon bullshit. But it probably will.

  • Cytotoxic||

    There's little evidence that is happening despite endless cynical snark from HandR posters from day 1 of the TP.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Fair enough. I don't attend TP events, or visit TP websites, etc. so I really don't know. I guess I was just adding to the cynical snark.

  • Robert||

    I can only say that the Tea Party of the Bronx looks like the John Birch Society used to.

  • John||

    I have never gotten the snark. The Tea Party is the first mass movement in my lifetime that even pretends to be about smaller government. And a good number of Libertarians snark and hate on it. It just doesn't compute.

  • Lost_In_Translation||

    If the Tea Party puts forth and supports candidates I can get behind, great. If they proclaim Rick Santorum to be their godsend, gag me (to be fair, I haven't seen them promoting him so much as him promiting himself as a Tea Partier).

  • robc||

    Well, pretty much by definition, the tea party cant put forth candidates, because its not an organization.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "to be fair, I haven't seen them promoting him so much as him promiting himself as a Tea Partier"

    And the most outrageous thing about the claim is he is on the record as being AGAINST the tea party movement.

  • Rasilio||

    Yes but importantly there have been no significant Tea Party Rejections of him, or of Bachman when she annointed herself the head of the Tea Party Caucus in Congress.

    The real problem with the Tea Parties is that with no centralized hierarchy it is impossible for them to maintain a message or control who speaks for them, however when a mainstream politician claims to have their support and polls back up his claim at least in part and nobody does or says anything to contradict him it is pretty fair to say that at the very lease he has significant backing from the group.

    The fact that ANY Tea Partier would choose to vote for Gingrich or Santorum over even Romney** (forget Paul) shows either that they are completely disingenuous when it comes to fiscal conservatism being all important or how abjectly ignorant of economics they actually are.

    ** = Note: This does not mean that Romney is a good choice for a Fiscal conservative, merely that he is obviously a better one than the other two options.

  • Robert||

    Fundamentally the Tea Parties have been anti-politicians, not in favor of them. They know who'd they'd like to turn out of office, but disagree on who they'd want in their place.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I have some real concerns about this movement withing the republican party, the tea party movement, to redefine what it means to be conservatire - Rick Santorum

    Why do libertarians keep claiming that this asswipe is a tea party leader?

    You'd have more credibility claiming that Obama is.

  • Robert||

    I think Tea Partiers who supported Santorum in presidential primaries y caucuses were just doing politics (which they had little experience at) in trying to figure out how they could put together a winning coalition. There was no groundswell of support for him there. Around here Tea Partiers talked up Paul y Bachman the most, but were willing to run to Santorum, Cain, Perry, or whomever if they thought it would get the Tea Party leverage vs. the GOP establishment.

  • John||

    The Tea Party is responsible for Dick Lugar and Bob Bennett no longer being in the Senate. They did a hell of a lot for Rand Paul in Kentucky.

  • robc||

    I was in Owensboro for a funeral just before the primary. Their was a TP event going on about 2 blocks from the church.

    Drove by it and across to Bowling Green that afternoon. Literally 100% of the yard signs in that part of the state (and at the TP event) were for Paul. The McConnell crony had no chance thanks to the Tea Party.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Again, if a con-man fools a bunch of rubes, do you blame the rubes or the con-man?

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Because all of the cool kids spout "Team Red" and "Team Blue" and snark about everything that isn't a true libertarian solution because intermediate steps are all equally evil.

  • Te Amo||

    all of the cool kids spout "Team Red" and "Team Blue"

    If by "cool" you mean the anarchists, I find it odd that they try to shout down any political debate that takes place on a political blog. I mean, like it or not, the U.S. has a two-party system. Removing the Ds and the Rs from the debate doesn't leave you with much.

  • John||

    And they all love Johnson and willingly over look his faults. But remember only other guys play on team.

  • RBS||

    John, come on. Ask anyone here that supports GJ about his flaws and I'm sure they will tell you about them. Stop acting like a child because we don't want to vote for Romney.

  • John||

    The same people who argued the Palin was an evil big government statist because her town build a hockey arena while she was mayor, think Johnson giving subsidies to the movie industry is no big deal.

    I have yet to read jack shit about Johnson's actual record as governor on here. My guess is that the average Johnson's supporter couldn't tell me much of anything about Johnson other than he claims to be a libertarian and isn't Bob Barr.

  • RBS||

  • John||

    That is over a year old RBS. And every candidate got one of those.

  • RBS||

    You said:

    I have yet to read jack shit about Johnson's actual record as governor on here.

    There is more if you care to take five seconds and search.

  • robc||

    I have yet to read jack shit about Johnson's actual record as governor on here.

    Me and Neu argued about it years ago. You need to read more carefully.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    It has nothing to do with reading, but with having selective memory.

    being a TEAM player will do that to a man. Even a smart one like John.

  • Te Amo||

    The last time I looked, the Libertarian Party was a political party, i.e., a "team," and their current captain is Gary Johnson. So all the TEAM bullshit isn't coming from serious people but rather from anarchists who boast about not voting and who label anyone who does vote as a sucker and a rube.

  • ||

    Except (L)ibertarian =/= anarchist.

    Hell even (l)ibertarian =/= anarchist.

  • Hyperion||

    John, did you support sweater vest before Romney was your guy? Come on, just admit it already.

    Sure Gary Johnson has faults. They are much more acceptable than the Obamney's faults.

  • John||

    Hyperion,

    I fail to understand why anyone on here thinks I am a SOCON. And I hate Santorum more than anyone on here.

    And I would prefer Johnson to Romney. But that doesn't make Libertarians any less team players than Republicans.

  • Hyperion||

    John, I don't know if you were paying attention, but a few days ago I was on here defending the fact that you are a Libertarian when a lot of posters here were calling you a Republican. So, clearly, I don't think you are a SoCon. And I'm not sure where you are getting that impression from. The thing I said about you supporting Santorum.. /Sarcasm.

  • John||

    I know and thank you. I appreciate it.

  • wareagle||

    intermediate steps are all equally evil.

    that encapsulates it. It also ignores reality. Large steps are practically impossible. Even imperial DC needed a long time to get where it is. Changing it won't happen on a dime.

  • ||

    That's right, if you don't buy into the two party system you're a true scotsman libertarian.

    Intermediate steps in the GOP haven't produced jack and shit.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Intermediate steps in the GOP haven't produced jack and shit.

    Have fun being angry and willfully blind.

  • Te Amo||

    A good number of Libertarians snark and hate on it. It just doesn't compute.

    It computes if you understand that the overwhelming religiosity of the TP is unsettling for those of us who cite the supremacy of reason over faith and tradition, and understand how critical reason is is any political debate.

  • John||

    The vast majority of people in this country are religious. If you can't deal with and work with and convince religious people, you better be prepared to spend your life as a political loser.

  • wareagle||

    but religion is one area where discussion is impossible. I see old friends, many on FB, constantly begging prayers for some issue or another, or endlessly praising god for whatever happened. But ask them if a bad outcome meant god doesn't like them or if the person involved didn't pray enough, and it's like you killed Santa.

  • John||

    So what? Religion isn't politics.

  • wareagle||

    tell that to the hard-core socons. In many ways, they are not much different from liberals. Each is willing to use the power of govt; they differ on the areas. I'm just saying they can be extremely difficult to reason with since, by definition, organized religion is exclusive.

  • T||

    it's like you killed Santa

    That's what the fat fuck deserves for breaking and entering.

  • Enough About Palin||

    Why do you sit there so strange?
    Is it because you are beautiful?
    You must think you are deranged
    Why do police guys beat on peace guys?

    You must think Santa Clause weird
    He has long hair and a beard
    Giving his presents for free
    Why do police guys mess with peace guys?

    Let's get Santa Clause 'cause;
    Santa Clause has a red suit
    He's a communist
    And a beard, and long hair
    Must be a pacifist
    What's in the pipe that he's smoking?

    Mister Clause sneaks in your home at night.
    He must be a dope fiend, to put you up tight
    Why do police guys beat on peace guys?

  • aelhues||

    You need new friends. I discuss religion frequently, and without any resultant hard feelings.

  • John||

    In other words, it computes if you understand that a lot of libertarians are bigots against religious people.

    Do you really think anyone who is religious is by definition illogical in all of their thinking? If so you are not just a bigot but a profoundly ignorant one.

  • Te Amo||

    anyone who is religious is by definition illogical in all of their thinking?

    No, just their metaphysics and ethics. I guess that makes me a profoundly ignorant bigot. Because I get my ethics from reason, not faith.

  • John||

    If you get your ethics from reason and honestly think you can come to any sort of conclusion beyond what you like, it just means you haven't read Hume. Or if you did you didn't understand him.

  • T||

    it just means you haven't read Hume. Or if you did you didn't understand him.

    First off, appeal to authority. Second off, there exists the possibility that Hume might be wrong. Some guy named Kant had a few disagreements with his ideas if I recall correctly.

  • John||

    And Kant was just as full of shit. Virtue by virtue of a virtue? Really.

    Here is where the categorical imperative gets you. The Nazis show up at your house demanding to know where the Jews who are hiding in your basement are located. And you tell them because lying is bad and if everyone lied the world would be much worse.

    Lying and killing are wrong except when they are not. Try again Emmanuel.

  • sarcasmic||

    I get my ethics from using the non-aggression principle and the concept of self-ownership as premises, then applying deductive reasoning.

    I'm sure that that makes me a dirty atheist in your book John, and frankly I couldn't give a shit.

  • John||

    Whatever fantasies and preferences you have sarcasmic are your own business. Just don't pretend they work for anyone but you.

  • sarcasmic||

    Just don't pretend they work for anyone but you.

    I never made that claim. But no Red Tony thread would be complete without your distorting what people say and then slaying a man of straw, now would it?

  • John||

    I never made that claim.

    Then you agree with me. Good to know.

  • robc||

    The Nazis show up at your house demanding to know where the Jews who are hiding in your basement are located. And you tell them because lying is bad

    1. You just dont tell them. That isnt lying.

    2. You shoot them in the face for being Nazis who are trying to kill Jews.

    I dont see how either violates the categorical imperative.

  • John||

    The problem assumes they ask you where they are. So you have to lie.

    And shooting them in face is killing someone. Killing is wrong. What if everyone killed anyone that confronted them? The Kantian thing to do is turn the Jews over.

    You can do this stuff for hours. The categorical imperative is just fancy question begging. What if everyone did this? Well you are not everyone and this isn't all of the time. And that is kind of the whole issue isn't it?

  • Hyperion||

    I favor option 2

  • John||

    So do I Hyperion. And that is obviously the right answer in some cases. But Kant's system can't account for that. And that is why it is wrong.

  • acidovorax||

    If you get your ethics from reason and honestly think you can come to any sort of conclusion beyond what you like, it just means you haven't read Hume. Or if you did you didn't understand him.

    For those who don't know, Hume is not the be all of ethics. Aristotle solved Hume's dilemma of "is/ought" centuries before. To paraphrase: the good is what ought be done. It is illogical to think otherwise. Of course, what is "good" is a huge debate.

    Regardless, I never understand this position of morality by authority from believers. One, the Bible is very contradictory in regards to what God finds acceptable and unacceptable and two, people still reject moral propositions they believe are from God.

  • Hyperion||

    Most Libertarians I know, and seems to me just about everyone here, do not hate on religion at all, and defend peoples rights to believe what they want to. The only folks I see hating on religion, are progressives.

  • Dylan||

    And SOCONs hating on other religions.

  • sarcasmic||

    Progressivism is a religion. Government is their god, and since they are fond of saying "We are government", it is actually a form of self worship. They believe they are gods.

  • Hyperion||

    Very true this. They project themselves into being their own God through government. Governemnt represents them in their quest to finally purge the universe from evil capitalists, so that utopia will finally appear on earth and social justice will prevail.

  • Hyperion||

    There is an amazing amount of similarity between the Bible and the Quaran. I haven't read all of the Quaran. Except that a lot of the Quran seems to be built around blaming Jews for everything, apparently for not obeying all of Gods many commandments, like good Muslims do, of course. But it is pretty clear to me that both religions have a founding in the same texts.

  • John||

    I just finished a book debating the existence of an historical Muhammad. Basically there is a growing movement among historians that Islam was originally a branch of Judaism and that the Koran was written a couple of hundred years later as a justification for the Arab empire. I won't bore you with the details but it is pretty interesting stuff.

    And Islam and the Koran are closer to the Old Testament. Muhamad was a man and prophet in the Old Testament mold. Jesus in contrast is something completely different.

  • RBS||

    Islam was originally a branch of Judaism

    I'm sure that will go over well at the Taliban Book Review.

  • Hyperion||

    We'll probaby be receiving some death threats from guys who all have the same first name, any time now.

  • John||

    There is a German professor who converted to Islam and then after years of study and research concluded Muhammad never existed and left the religion and wrote a series of articles and books about his doubts. I am frankly surprised the guy is still alive.

  • Enough About Palin||

    The Jewish G-d (the G-d of Abraham) gave man the law and said we must follow it or go to hell. It included things like stoning adulterers and gays.

    Then along comes the Christian G-d (the G-d of Abraham) who said the law is not achievable for man so by grace you are saved from hell. It included things like forgiving adulterers instead of stoning them.

    Then along comes the Islamic G-d (the G-d of Abraham) who said let's go back to stoning people for being adulterous and gay.

    There is only on conclusion here: Either Islam is late addition bullshit or else G-d is one fickle motherfucker.

  • Robert||

    Isn't there another interpret'n?: that Xt as savior was a 1-time offer, and that those who didn't take it then should go back to stoning people?

  • wareagle||

    I have never gotten the snark.

    hard to put into words but the snark is ever-evident here whenever thought turns into movement or action, into something organized. Then it has to be marginalized because, you know, it might morph into some kind of Team. Snark is a means of pretending you have all the answers without ever having to see if your ideas really are worth a damn.

  • Robert||

    That was abundantly evident when it came to Howard Stern for governor, and even Jesse Ventura for governor. Not Invented Here, and/or good=impossible.

  • Hyperion||

    I think there is plenty of proof that it IS happening to at least some extent. If not, then where is the TPers support for Gary Johnson? He is the only candidate running for POTUS that will try to shrink the size of government. Where was their support for RP? I am standing my ground on this one.

  • robc||

    Did you compare Pauls vote totals to 2008?

    There is your answer.

    The tea party is much smaller than you think, apparently.

  • Hyperion||

    Well, you see, what I am saying is that the TP didn't support Paul, they supported Santorum and Gingrich for the most part. The tea party is not so small that they have not influenced a lot of elections, they clearly have. So they could have made a difference with Paul, but they seemed to have chose not to.

  • robc||

    I think they mostly supported Paul.

    Its pretty much a True Scotsman, if you supported Santorum or Gingrich, you arent a TPer.

  • R C Dean||

    2/3 voted for Romney or Santorum.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "2/3 voted for Romney or Santorum"

    And the article is about So-con involvement in the tea party. What So-Con agenda have you seen Romney push?

  • R C Dean||

    Santorum got a plurality of TPers, followed by Romney, yes?

    That supports the idea that there is a strong libertarian, as opposed to SoCon, streak in the TP, how, exactly?

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "Santorum got a plurality of TPers, followed by Romney, yes?"

    I have no means to verify that. I know what Santorum said about the tea party movement.

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

  • John||

    The only real SOCON in the Republican field was Santorum. He got very little Tea Party support. If the Tea Party were controlled by SOCONs, Santorum would be the nominee. But he got killed.

    They should have supported Paul. But I think Paul's opponents were able to paint him as a weak apologist on foreign affairs and that did him in. It was his views on the war that killed him. And that is not a social issue.

    And Johnson didn't resonate with anyone who doesn't post on Reason.

  • R C Dean||

    Santorum got a fair amount of support from TPers. The thinking is that TPers are just an unusually pissed off conservative Republican, and "conservative Republican" maps pretty well to SoCon.

    http://www.theamericanconserva.....y-support/

  • wareagle||

    the so-con support Santorum got was due solely to his being the last one standing. Bachmann, Perry, Noot, all were found lacking in some regard. Cain had TP support but chose to quit after the harassment allegations. The only fire-breather left was Ricky from PA because those folks didn't like Romney from the start.

  • R C Dean||

    last one standing.

    Ron Paul?

    Santorum was the last SoCon standing, which kinds of proves the point that the TP is at least as much SoCon as libertarian.

  • Robert||

    ...the last one standing who didn't have a dangerously naive view of Islamic extremism. It's why I said I'd've been frightened to have Ron Paul in the White House. Yes, for all the hell Obama, Bush Jr., etc. could've wrought or actually did in foreign affairs, Dr. Paul, whom I enormously respect, would've been scary. All those other presidents may have brought on slaughter and mayhem, but at least they weren't naive enough to possibly get us all killed -- well, except maybe for Kennedy. (Nixon y Clinton may have gotten us killed for venal reasons, but at least they weren't dumb about it.)

  • Lord Humungus||

    what wareagle said - it was more of a anti-Romney statement.

  • R C Dean||

    And when they want to go anti-Romney, do they go with the liberarian candidate, or the SoCon candidate?

    The SoCon.

  • crazyfingers||

    Santorum got a ton of self-identified 'Tea Party' support. In fact he got a clear plurality among the GOP field.

    www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/02/14.....torum.html

    "In a nationwide poll taken last Wednesday through Sunday, Pew found that among Republican and GOP-leaning voters, 42 percent of tea party backers preferred Santorum. Rival Mitt Romney was far behind at 23 percent."

  • John||

    But Santorum was the only self professed SOCON in the race. What about the other 68% that didn't vote for him?

  • R C Dean||

    Big Gov Mitt and SoCon Romney got nearly 2/3s of self-identified TPers. Pretty damning, IMO.

  • John||

    Who else were they going to vote for? Paul pissed away his chances because of foreign policy not social issues. Johnson couldn't sell heaters to Eskimos.

    That is damning of the Republican field not the Tea Party.

  • Hyperion||

    RPs position on foreign policy IS THE Libertarian position. And that position is absolutely necessary for a reduction in the size of government. So how can you be for liberty and smaller government if you think we have to continue to break the bank on military spending and run around the world bombing the shit out of poor villagers?

  • John||

    Hyperion,

    First, we are not breaking the bank on military spending. We spend less than 6% of GNP on defense, an historical low number.

    Second, we will get peace when our enemies give us peace. Running home and saying we are sorry for existing isn't going to do us a damn bit of good beyond get us killed.

    Third, defending yourself is essential for a free society. It doesn't prevent it.

  • robc||

    Defending yourself can be done from here (in most cases -- Iraq was one of those cases, Afghanistan not as much).

  • Calidissident||

    Yeah, John because clearly we've only been going to war and occupying the world because of our "enemies." Our government has been forced into all of it, right?

    And why should military spending be in any way correlated with GDP? We're spending more in real terms than at the height of the Cold War. That's absurd.

  • John||

    And why should military spending be in any way correlated with GDP?

    It doesn't have to. But the fact that it is such a small percentage of GNP puts lie to the ridiculous claim that we are going bankrupt because of wars. If you think we spend too much on defense, you may be right. Just don't claim that we are going broke because of defense because that is objectively not true.

    Yeah, John because clearly we've only been going to war and occupying the world because of our "enemies." Our government has been forced into all of it, right?

    Right now we only occupy one country, Afghanistan. And we would go home tomorrow if we knew the Taliban would not take the place back over and go back to allowing people to train and plan attacks on us there. So, yes, our enemies determine when we go home not us.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    And all federal government is only spending 24%, so clearly the government isn't going bankrupt?

  • Bill Dalasio||

    False dichotomy. It assumes the only argument against massive military spending and foreign policy intervention is the "Why do they hate us?" meme. Paul chose that approach and it went over like a lead balloon. He could have done a lot better with a simple "It ain't worth it" argument.

  • Robert||

    RP's policies on foreign affairs are pretty libertarian, but I wouldn't say his position is. His position seems to be that the USA has as enemies only those the USA makes enemies of (the opposite of Boston Blackie), when all evidence says things don't work that way in int'l affairs.

  • Robert||

    Plus, at least some of the time, Dr. Paul treats as foreign enemies those who are mostly not even enemies, but just foreign, i.e. illegal immigrants. So there's another way he's like the opposite of Boston Blackie.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    58%

  • Hyperion||

    This is what I have been trying to say. If you want smaller government, then you clearly do not support a sweater vest wearing asshole who comes right out and says that people cannot decide for themselves on moral issues, but need direction from big and powerful government.

  • robc||

    I think a lot of self-identified Tea Partiers arent self-identifying correctly.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "Where was their support for RP?"

    http://www.freedomworks.org/se.....mit=Search

  • CampingInYourPark||

  • robc||

    Except it didnt. It began with the Paul tea party moneybomb.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Did not know that. The first time I ever heard the phrase (in a modern context) was when I was watching Santelli on CNBC. It seemed like that was the event that brought it into my consciousness. It was one of the reasons I started to explore libertarianism, actually.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Lots of hand-wringing based on nothing stated by anything called the "Tea Party". When the groups calling themselves the "tea party" start harping on social issues, then this might not be BS.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "this" meaning the stupid book

  • The Late P Brooks||

    And then, having misread the movement, he urges it to shift some of its focus toward social issues.

    [insert exclamation of shocked disbelief]

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Brody assumes libertarians are all Randians

    In other words, Brody is a mouth-breathing imbecile.

  • Old Mexican||

  • Lord Humungus||

    that's the best defense of liberty that I've ever read. It should become the rallying cry of our generation.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

  • robc||

    Derivative.

  • Lord Humungus||

    I like Old Mexican's version better - it had more flair.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    Pootie Tang did it first

  • Broseph of Invention||

    Who will build the roads, if not us? Socialism, for 300.

  • ||

    Went to a Tea Party rally a few years ago -- attendees were all over the map -- conservative Republicans, so-cons, libertarians, Randians, Oath Keepers -- pretty much anyone who was not a modern liberal was represented somewhere in the crowd.

    Saying they were half Objectivists means the person making that assertion either never attended such a rally, or doesn't know what a Randian is.

  • Lord Humungus||

    the only Tea Party rally I accidentally attended - I happened to be walking at the park it was held at - was definitely geared towards reducing the cost/scope of government.

    During an open mic session, one woman stood up and started wheezing on about god 'n' such in that evangelic fervor way I find annoying. The crowd stayed politely quiet during that portion, and continued huzzaing once the next speaker went on about TARP and such.

  • Lost_In_Translation||

    Can there be any denying it? He wrote a book, not conducted a research project.

    Atleast 90% of what is published is absolute crap.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    And 78% of statistics are made up on the spot.

  • John||

    How many actual no shit Randians in the world are there? There can't be more than a few hundred thousand or maybe a million in the US. The Randians couldn't get someone elected dog catcher. Yeah, they are really going to form a mass movement to try to take over a major political party real soon.

  • Randian||

    We're just biding our time.

  • ||

    Not even close to a million. There's barely a million Jews in the US, and there are orders of magnitude more of them than Objectivists.

  • Randian||

    Objectivists are like libertarians: a small band that consistently punches above its own weight.

    That's what being smart will get you.

  • John||

    How do Libertarians punch above their weight? And Objectivists claim to be a philosophical movement yet are virtually absent in the mass culture or the academic world.

    You want to know who punches above their weight? Marxists. There are very few real Marxists in the world. But their language and ways of thinking have infiltrated damn near everything in society.

  • Randian||

    I have very little doubt that if I attempted to demonstrate some examples, you would just quibble and bicker. Feeding you might be the dumbest thing I would do this week, and it's only Wednesday.

  • John||

    I will ask you again. How is it that Objectivists punch above their weight? I am not saying they are wrong. But they look more like Casandras than anything approaching punching above their weight.

  • Randian||

    You aren't asking me anything, John.

  • John||

    Objectivists are like libertarians: a small band that consistently punches above its own weight.

    I will ask you again. How is it that Objectivists punch above their weight?

    I am not asking you anything Randian? Really? No you just talked out of your ass and don't like it that I called you on it.

  • Randian||

    Pearls before swine.

  • tarran||

    TO be honest, I think Objectivism is a dying religion. Ayn Rand's religion won't survive her by too many generations - by the end of her life it was a cult of personality that actively sought to expel serious thinkers who might come to different conclusions than the messiah.

    There is no Peter or Paul to push things forward.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Thanks for the BS Mr. Buckley.

  • wareagle||

    That's what being smart will get you.

    so what's it gotten the tribe politically? It's not like the objectivists are the only smart kids in the class.

  • Randian||

    I said "only"?

    Is it Miscomprehension Day on Camp Stupid?

  • wareagle||

    no, no you didn't say "only", not to post I responded to. But you did reveal your key flaw - this belief that you are just so much smarter than everyone else when, in fact, you're just a bigger jackass than most people. Not to mention emblematic of why the club you run in has such limited membership. People can only take insufferable for so long.

  • Randian||

    Where did I say I was "just so much smarter than everyone else"?

    This is how envy manifest itself. Someone has the audacity to say something good about himself or herself, and the low-minded feel the need to come in and tear him down.

  • wareagle||

    now it's envy. Sure, sparky. You don't say it explicitly; it seeps through in every post to someone who dares have a different point of view.

    I asked you what your exclusive membership in the Objectivist Society has yielded. You point to a missing "only" as indicative of being in camp stupid. And there are numerous other examples. The other kids must have been harsh when you were younger.

  • Randian||

    You sure do seem to have a vested interest in tearing me down for someone without an emotional motivation to do so.

    "He dared to say he was smart! Lack of humility shown! Crab bucket effect...GO!"

  • wareagle||

    no, I would settle for you answering what political or social gain has come from the group that punches above its weight. The responses have been heavy on snark, devoid of substance. Re-read them yourself. It's who you are.

  • ||

    And, come to think of it, all this talk of Objectivists lately reads an awful lot like Jew-bashing in the old days.

  • Randian||

    I cannot imagine why a movement that had Alissa Rosenbaum, Nathaniel Blumenthal, Alan Greenspan, Leonard Peikoff, Michael Berliner et. al. as members gets the same treatment as the Jews. :P

  • Alan Vanneman||

    "But he does get across an often-overlooked fact about the Tea Party movement: that it is a coalition compromised in roughly equal proportions of social conservatives and activists who lean toward libertarianism."

    The Tea Party is indeed a much compromised coalition, Emily, but I think you meant either "composed" or "comprised".

  • ||

    Shut the fuck up, Vanneman.

  • Randian||

    com·pro·mise, n.
    ...
    2. Something that combines qualities or elements of different things: The incongruous design is a compromise between high tech and early American.

    One of my greatest little joys in life is whenever Vanneman comments on an article. Because not only is he always wrong, he seems to delight in being so.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    ALAN VANNEMAN, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! SAY HELLO TO ALAN VANNEMAN! ALAN VANNEMAN EVERYONE!

  • Te Amo||

    It's funnier when you type all in funny caps!

  • Eric||

    The problem is thus: Libertarian thought has nothing whatsoever in common with social conservatism (in fact in practice, they're diametrically opposed). However, the Republican party platform gives lip service to small government and traditional values, and has thus built a tent around two unrelated constituencies. These two constituencies have existed somewhat harmoniously since the 80's when Reagan convinced both groups that they were equally welcome in Team Red's big tent. There have always been a wizened group of libertarian thinkers who know that the Republican party is using them, and took the ass-raping of 2008, and the Bush II train-wreck to heart. They formed the Tea Party. However, once McCain lost and the Republican brand was as good as destroyed, many social conservatives, feeling homeless and lost, found the Tea Party whilst drifting in the wilderness. They, and other outcasts from Team Red, far outnumbered the little band of principled libertarians in the Tea Party - and co-opted their club. The media, bored with celebrity nip-slips, decided to stick cameras in the faces of the most vocal idiots they could find at the Tea Party rallies, and thus a new meme was born. Now, this little band of libertarians must once again choose to continue to be aligned with Team Red, or find their way by themselves. My solution: Vote Gary Johnson.

  • John||

    If the Republican brand was destroyed how did they have their best election since the Civil War in 2010?

    And if the Tea Party is all a bunch of SOCONs, why isn't Rick Santorum the nominee?

  • Eric||

    #1: Obama and the D congress reinvigorated the R's for 2010. Overreach generally helps to focus and unite your enemies.

    #2: I didn't say that the R's were all SoCons. And the fact that Santorum went as far as he did (along with Bachmann) speaks volumes about the current makeup of the Republican party.

  • John||

    It says the SOCONs vote Republican just like they have since the 1980s. This is news to you?

  • Eric||

    What it says to me is that the Republicans have purged moderates and libertarians to the point that they are so saturated with SoCons and their ilk that a frothy mixture of shit and lube could contend for their presidential nomination.

  • John||

    Who exactly has been purged? Bob Bennett? Now you are just concern trolling.

  • Hyperion||

    The GOP establishment are clearly trying to purge the Libertarians. They have been saying so, what else do they need to do to prove it?

  • John||

    Now that is true Hperion. The establishment is terrified of losing their goodies.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The GOP establishment are clearly trying to purge the Libertarians.

    Sure,

    But Tea Partyers have been purging the establishmentarians.

  • Randian||

    John, this is another one of your fallacies. "The Tea Party cannot be SoCon, because Rick Santorum is not the nominee"

    The fact that Santorum almost was the nominee is apparently not sufficient evidence for you.

  • RBS||

    He only cares about victories not failed presidential bids.

  • wareagle||

    Santorum's finish had zero to do with the Tea Party and everything to do with his being the last fire-breathing conservative type left standing. Look at the list of would-be kings of the right who were found wanting: Bachmann, Perry, Cain, Noot, to name a few.

    Santorum was in single digits when it all started but, by the hawkeye cauci, he was the only non-Romney left unbruised. He was all the socons had left.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Romney - 9,809,662
    Santorum - 3,909,460

    Almost?

  • CampingInYourPark||

    The Nigerians almost beat the USA in basketball at the Olympic games
    USA 156
    Nigeria 73

    LMFAO

  • Randian||

    What the hell vote count is that?

  • CampingInYourPark||

  • Randian||

    What a joke. That page counts the votes held after Santorum withdrew.

    Jesus wept.

    That page tells me Santorum won 11 states. He got some major endorsements.

    But no, you're right, the total vote count that was harvested after he suspended his campaign totally proves you right.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    And at the beginning of the game, the Nigerians were within a few points. They almost won.

  • Randian||

    *shrug*

    I am right, and you are not. You can persist in this ridiculous analogy, be my guest.

    Major news media outlets projected what the vote of Obama-Santorum would be for two months straight. Go see how many headlines there were "If Santorum wins...". That is, headlines that were A1 above the fold.

    As I said, major endorsers switched their endorsements, or abstained from endorsing either until they could figure out which way the wind was blowing.

    But, no, you're right, major party members, the media...they all got it wrong and you're definitely not engaging in MMQ.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "But, no, you're right, major party members, the media"

    Because the media and some party members have not interest in a "close" political contest. I agree to disagree with your premise.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    What's a joke about it? He withdrew because he got the shit kicked out of him. The only reason he was ever remotely considered is because some voters were for anybody but Romney. He proved to be more pro-gov't than Romney. He lost big. End of story.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    He pulled out before the PA primary because he didn't want an embarrassing blow there.

    Santorum the fascist SoCon's political career ended in 2006.

    Accept it, let go of that Boogie Man.

  • John||

    He wasn't even almost. He didn't even get close. If Santorum was almost the nominee, so was Herman Cain.

    And again who were they going to vote for? There wasn't a small government candidate in the race other than Paul and Paul lost because foreign policy not because of social issues.

    If anything the fact that they didn't vote for Paul says they cared more about foreign policy than small government.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    I'm going to think Randian didn't follow the GOP primary because ignorance is the only possible explanation here.

  • Randian||

    Right. Santorum didn't win any states or anything.

    /eyeroll

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "Right. Santorum didn't win any states or anything."

    You didn't say he won some states...you said he was almost the nominee, and he wasn't any closer to being the nominee than Nigeria was to beating the USA in basketball.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Nigeria scored some baskets. They were close to winning.

  • Calidissident||

    Paul's main problem may have been foreign policy, but if you read conservative blogs and comment boards, there's a ton of posts about how he want all the kids to shoot up heroin and bang prostitutes. So it's a combination of FP and social issues

  • robc||

    Almost? Paul came closer than Santorum.

    Hell, Paul won Iowa.

  • Randian||

    This is silly. For a few weeks there, it looked like the entire Republican establishment was ready to toss Romney overboard. Senators and Governors changed their endorsements. That never happened with Ron Paul.

    I can't believe how many people have forgotten what February was like. Santorum almost won Michigan, won three states on Super Tuesday, and swept the South.

    Did Ron Paul do that?

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "For a few weeks there, it looked like"

    And then there were votes counted. Please...this is some ridiculous argumentation.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    I saw some political hacks on TV telling us that Santorum was a sure thing, therefore it must have been true. For a moment he was a shoe in! LMFAO

  • Randian||

    11 states. Major endorsements.

    You know, for someone who allegedly was no threat to the nomination, Mitt Romney sure did spend a lot of money combating him.

    This is just Monday morning quarterbacking on your part.

  • R C Dean||

    There's a joke in there somewhere about Santorum and the memory hole.

    A little help, here?

  • Hyperion||

    Correct. If the majority of the tea party were real small government types, then I think RP would have been in the same position as Santorum. There is nothing at all small government about Santorum, and yet he gets most of the TP support. I think this is clear evidence.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "If the majority of the tea party were real small government types, then I think RP would have been in the same position as Santorum."

    Because you know exactly who the Tea Party is and how they voted and for what reasons. Oh...and your generation is more sane and rational than any other.

  • Randian||

    Look out guize, we gots us a Republican who's mad that the libertarians don't love him.

    Look dude, if you want to be a libertarian, be one. It isn't your job to rehab the Tea Party to us.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Look out, we got an expert in GOP politics that doesn't know what the vote count was. Look, if you want to be a libertarian, be one, and use some reason and facts instead of ad hominem and your own fantasies about motives.

  • Randian||

    Relying on a vote count that is counted after one person quits running is dishonest.

    Be proud of your dishonestly, and party on, SoCon Tea Partier.

  • Hyperion||

    Are you gonna beat that dead horse all day? I already responded to you about the generation thing. You clearly cannot be bothered to read responses to your own responses.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The fact that Santorum almost was the nominee...

    In what alterante universe was Santorum "almost the nonminee.."?

  • Hyperion||

    The GOP were not destroyed, just badly wounded. They bounced back fast by virtue of the TP, but the GOP establishment continues to make the same mistakes they did in 08, namely, nominating that RINO. Santorum or Gingrich would have been a worse mistake for sure, then Obozo would have won in a landslide instead of a squeaker.

  • Hyperion||

    The only future the GOP has is with Libertarians. The SoCon message will not continue to sell well, it is a dying cause. People are sick to death of the NeoCons endless wars. Libertarians are all the future that the GOP has. But the old guard NeoCons and SoCons are not letting go easily. It will be a bitter fight, and I hope we win. And yes, solution is to vote GJ for this round.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    I hope you are right, but I fear you're mistaken. I think SoCon will always be with us - the nature of the Kultur WArzZZ may change, but people are people and I think it will always be there.

  • Hyperion||

    They will be with us, but not as a majority.

    I like to look at clear evidence as to the way things are trending. The reason that the Repubs need us Libertarians so badly is that we are their only future. We can bring the young votes, take them away from the Dems. Clear evidence for this is the RP rallies that drew so many enthusiastic youths. Obama had nothing like that.

  • John||

    First socially conservatives have many more kids than those who are not. Second, almost all of the immigration into this country is coming from areas that are much more socially conservative than the current US.

    If anything, the trend is the opposite. It is just being hidden by the fact that the Dems have convinced minorities and immigrants Republicans hate them. But that won't last forever or if it does the Dems will have to start accommodating the socially conservative views of its constituencies.

    Right now the the Dems are telling Hispanics and blacks to go fuck themselves on social issues. That won't last forever. I think the country is going to be more socially conservative in the future.

  • Hyperion||

    First socially conservatives have many more kids than those who are not

    But those kids do not necessarily turn out to be social conservatives. I could argue the exact opposite based on real life experience. When I was in high school, the wildest, most crazy kids, the ones that smoked the most weed and were much more likely to try anything, were always the kids of hard line SoCons. The kids of evangelical ministers, those were the absolute most wild of all.

  • John||

    Anecdotes aside hyperion, the number one predictor of the social views of kids is the social views of their parents. Sure not every kid whose parents are socially conservative end up that way. But a large majority of them do.

  • Robert||

    You're both right. They rebel the most, then eventually tend to settle back to what their parents were like, because they figure that's the role they're supposed to play. Some don't, of course, and they become Norma Jean Almodovar, Teresa "Darklady" Reed, etc.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Well, the way things are going, the budget won't leave them much choice.

  • Robert||

    Just as per Almanian's Evil Twin. Trads/socons will keep losing ground, so the ground shifts over which they fight. They lost over race mixing, then over birth control, etc. But there'll always be more ground for them to lose, so they'll always be there.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I have it on good authority that "Tea Party Republicans" are a bunch of insane troglodytes who will criminalize abortion, turn Citibank into a payday lender, starve the poor, privatize whatever few government services they do not do away with entirely, give the national parks to Big Tree Farm, strip mine the majority of the country and gratuitously pollute all the lakes and rivers. And a bunch of other laissez faire capitalist deviltry I can't remember off the top of my head.

  • Lord Humungus||

    now that's a platform I like!

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    Newsletters, interest, etc.

  • Hyperion||

    Oh yeah, well just let me tell you what us Libertarians will do. We will take away health care and let the childins starve in the streets, by the millions. We won't even bother to remove the bodies, we'll just run right over em and see it as a possible solution for potholes, because God knows we sure as fuck aren't building any roads and bridges. We will take away all the rights from the Wimin folks and make them get their hineys back in the kitchen where they belong, and barefoot too! And the brown folks? Well, we'll sell them off to 3rd world countries so that we can pay down the debt a little. Then we will dwindle the military down to near nothing, and use what's left to invade the Amazon and cut down every single tree that is left there. Those TPers got nothing on us, damn pussies!

  • crazyfingers||

    I tried to get involved in the local Tea Party here in Connecticut but the religious overtones were just too much for me. The last rally I went to had a creepy procession with giant crosses, followed by several self-identified "social conservative" speakers whom pushed a moralist-interventionist agenda.

    And this was in probably one of the most secular states in the country; the situation down south where the 'movement' is strongest is no doubt even more steeped in the culture wars.

  • robc||

    Nope.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    It seems like the TP is a very decentralized movement. So local chapters may reflect the few organizers' values. Looks like you found a Christian group. Maybe start your own?

  • Loki||

    The last rally I went to had a creepy procession with giant crosses, followed by several self-identified "social conservative" speakers whom pushed a moralist-interventionist agenda.

    Let me guess: they were also wearing white robes and hoods, right? Hint: that wasn't a Tea Party rally.

  • tarran||

    I think it depends on where you are:

    In areas where the Socons dominate the political system, they have no interest in insurgency.

    In areas where they are marginalized, they will participate in alliances of convenience with an insurgent movement.

    Here in MA, the tea party had a lot of so-con types because they outnumber small government people 1000:1 and they feel like political outsiders. Since the tea party was completely decentralized (anyone could set up a group and call it a tea party group - whether a baptist or a lesbian butch biker chick), the groups that coalesced under that banner were dominated by so-cons.

    But move to a state where the socons feel politically represented, they will not feel a need to join an insurgent movement when they already control the levers of power.

  • Robert||

    It does seem to me that in the most "liberal" polities, trads outnumber libertarians by quite a bit in practice. I think that's because anybody inclined to oppose the "liberals" sees traditionalism as the path of least resistance -- correctly, AFAICT.

  • Hyperion||

    Ask one of them about legalizing all drugs and see how Libertarian they are. Ask 100 of them that question. Let us know the results.

  • R C Dean||

    The TPers share one trait with the "socially liberal, fiscally conservative" types:

    The fiscal conservative/small government side never wins the argument when there is a conflict. The social side always prevails. And the social side (whether conservative or liberal) almost always calls for more government.

  • Robert||

    That's basically because people see the social side as having a greater chance to win against "liberal" opposition, because "liberals" don't oppose "conservatives" as strongly -- in some cases not or hardly at all -- on social issues as they do on economic ones.

  • ||

    Why should we care what is in the latest throw away political book-of-the-week? Is anyone going to remember this book in 6 months to a year? Does anyone remember what the title of Al Franken or Ann Coulters last polemic was? I fucking don't. The only people who read this crap are Team Red or Team Blue partisan idiots, and nothing they think matters because theor votes are already decided.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    *stops, thinks*

    Of course you're right, Hazel.

    Good point :)

  • swampleg||

    So in the following sentence, is "compromised" a typo (for comprised) or is the reviewer trying to make some point that haveing libertarians and social conservatives "compromises" the principles of each.

    "it is a coalition compromised in roughly equal proportions of social conservatives and activists who lean toward libertarianism."

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    My [last-remaining] aunt and uncle on my mom's side are into the TP rallies. They're mega-Christians, but they never talk about that in the context of the rallies and their fellow TPartiers. So from what I've seen vicariously, their experience is very much focused on fiscal and monetary concerns, and explicitly on reducing the size of government (including so called "entitlements").

    It does sound like there are lots of local variations of kind and degree, which I would expect with a collection of pretty much decentralized, loosely- to not-really-affiliated groups.

    And I always laugh when the Newz Idiots and various anti-TP zealots talk about the threatening, neo-Nazi Tea PartiersZOMFG!!11one!! I picture my frail, elderly aunt and uncle, poor, drag their asses to these events on their own nickel cause they believe in smaller gov't, see a bunch of people who look like them....yeah, they're scary as hell.

    Yeah, I know, it's a n=1. But between them and other friends and acuaintences who actually go to these events, that's what it looks like to me.

    LEAVE BRITNEY THE TEA PARTIERS ALONE!!!

  • AuH2O||

    Has anyone proclaiming "Judeo-Christian" values as the foundation for this country ever read a bible?

    Would love to hear their views on, say, polygamy, or Jesus' plan to tear families assunder.

  • T o n y||

    Trying to figure out who comprises the Tea Party is difficult since anyone who aligns with them rejects other types of people who claim to as well. It's true however that small-government dogmatism and religious conservatism in this country are at least of a coalition. That guy in public office who says we should never raise taxes and the guy who thinks Jesus had a pet dinosaur is more often than not the same guy. Which of course raises the question, why do libertarians think that people who believe in Jesus's pet dinosaur somehow manage to get the study of economics right?

  • sarcasmic||

    ad hominem, straw man and false equivocation

    Are you trying for a record for the most fallacies used in one post?

  • Lord Humungus||

    what is the record? I'm sure Guinness would be most interested.

  • sarcasmic||

    I dunno, but it's probably a three-way tie between Tony, Tulpa and, now that he's gone full-retard, John.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "That guy in public office who says we should never raise taxes and the guy who thinks Jesus had a pet dinosaur is more often than not the same guy."

    Except when they are Obama and he wants to raise taxes while believing Jesus had a pet dinosaur.

  • Lord Humungus||

    herp-a-derp.

  • Randian||

    Aren't most Democrats Christian? Or is that just my imagination?

    Which side are the Reverends Jeremiah Wright, Al Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson on again?

    How about the religious leadership of the Catholic Church?

  • T o n y||

    I'm distinguishing between evangelicals and others. Democrats tend to believe in a scientific worldview. Republicans tend to take everything, including economics, on faith.

  • Randian||

    Democrats tend to believe in a scientific worldview.

    Only in your wildest fantasies.

  • sarcasmic||

    C'mon Randian. They believe in a scientific worldview!

    They follow the New Scientific Method!

    hypothesis-experiment-conclusion is so, well, quaint.

    Now we have... Consensus!

    That's it! One step! Consensus!

    Go science!

  • T o n y||

    Whereas the Old Science is... believe whatever Koch-funded hacks tell you to believe, until those same hacks finally give in to what the rest of the world's scientists are saying, at which point you stop believing them too.

  • Hyperion||

    Weren't most dinosaurs Christains? Or were they soulless Democrats? I think it was the latter, which caused God to destroy them with a 6 mile wide rock from the heavens.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    What is the magical, sacrosanct taxation level, Tony? 39.6%? Or higher?

  • Hyperion||

    70%! But only on fatcat billionaires making more than $40,000 a year. Hey, we had to lower the bar a little... need more revenue...

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Seventy percent? Shit, leftists wouldn't settle for just taking 7 pennies out of every dime "earned" by Evil Rich People!

    Just ask Tony.

  • Hyperion||

    leftists would dig up dead people and steal the pennies out of their eye sockets, because they didn't quite pay their fair share.

  • T o n y||

    Whatever is sufficient to pay for the things the people want.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Rational people would say "the current tax rates are sufficient"... but then, you're not rational.

  • T o n y||

    They clearly aren't, since we're running a rather large deficit.

  • Beefkins||

    Figures you would blame the people having their money taken from them instead of the people doing the taking.

    Here's a hint: our huge deficit isn't because taxes aren't high enough, it's because government spending is too high.

  • Restoras||

    ShitForBrains still has shit between his ears.

  • Hyperion||

    Yeah, right, Tony. Everyone here, or in the TP, who thinks that we are taxed enough already and that the government wastes most the money anyway, we believe that Jesus had a pet dinosaur. Right. And you wonder why no one here takes you seriously?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Isn't it telling that leftists take their religion - worship of the state - as seriously as the most-radical religious types? Both worship magical, all-knowing power sources (God, the Federal Government), and both get mighty upset if one dares tump their Favorite Graven Images.

    This shit's fun, isn't it?

  • T o n y||

    Nobody actually worships the state. Plenty of people actually worship invisible sky grandpa.

  • Hyperion||

    Come on Tony, just admit that you have a little graven image of Obama in your house, right beside your chairman Mao painting.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    The fuck you don't. D.C. is like Mecca to you leftists.

    And to so-cons, though D.C. would be second-place to Heaven for them.

  • T o n y||

    No Mao, but I did for a time have a likeness of Obama on my fridge drawn by friend's young daughter, titled "Strong Black Man." I assume, however, that he does not create universes.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Wow. You let the filthy offspring of a *breeder* put her child-minded "artwork" on your fridge?

    I am amaze.

  • Hyperion||

    But he does create a fictional reality for anyone who is weak minded enough to believe in it.

  • Fluffy||

    Do you really think anyone who is religious is by definition illogical in all of their thinking?

    No, just some. But then I have to wonder what nonsense they're going to spring on me at any moment.

    And there are degrees of irrationality among the religious, surely. If I meet some Irish Catholic engineer who only says he's Catholic because he kinda sorta thinks there's a God and his sainted Irish grandmother would die of heartbreak if he said he wasn't Catholic any more, the odds are that guy is not going to spontaneously try to murder me with daggers because he thinks I'm the antiChrist. But if we're talking about somebody like Michelle Bachmann, there's NO TELLING what crazy shit that bitch might decide at any moment in time. She might decide that God has sent her a message to pour acid on my pants to scare the devil out of them. Who knows?

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    She might decide that God has sent her a message to pour acid on my pants to scare the devil out of them. Who knows?

    Dear God! That's terrifying!

  • John||

    Since Bachman has gone crazy and murdered or maimed numerous people in her life, that is clearly a legitimate concern there fluffy. I feel the same way about atheists. You never know when they are going to start contemplating the abyss and say fuck it and start killing people for fun and profit.

  • sarcasmic||

    There goes Red Tony defending his TEAM again!

    Go Red Tony! Woo hoo!

  • John||

    Better to be team tony and than team Shriek sarcasmic. Why don't you just start posting cristfag on every post.

  • sarcasmic||

    Because while I am indeed an atheist, I am not an anti-religionist.

    But if you really want me to call you a fag, I will. Just don't get any ideas, K?

  • John||

    Then let go of your hard on about me. It has gone past the point of tiresome. I don't stalk you. If you don't like my posts, don't comment on them.

  • sarcasmic||

    But it's so fun watching you get your panties in a twist!

  • Randian||

    Go Red Tony!

  • John||

    Don't be so mean to sarcasmic Randian. He is dealing with a lot of issues here. Cut him some slack.

  • Te Amo||

    John vs. sarcasmic. It's just like Stalingrad. Or a sandbox fight. If only both sides would annihilate each other.

  • Hyperion||

    No offense to John, but that is funny as hell, I am RFLMAO, Red Tony, fuck!

  • John||

    Sarcasmic just needs a hug.

  • Fluffy||

    Since Bachman has gone crazy and murdered or maimed numerous people in her life, that is clearly a legitimate concern there fluffy.

    So what you're saying is that when people tell me they have a personal relationship with God and God sends them messages telling them what to do, I'm not entitled to take them at their word?

    "Don't take what I say about my religion seriously!" is this year's "The parts of the Bible that embarrass me are metaphors!"

  • John||

    So what you're saying is that when people tell me they have a personal relationship with God and God sends them messages telling them what to do, I'm not entitled to take them at their word?

    And their word is that they are going to kill you? My wife calls me every day. Does that mean she might call me one day and tell me to kill the guy across the hall?

  • RBS||

    Depends, is your wife God?

  • sarcasmic||

    For some reason I read that as "My wife tells me that every day."

    And I wasn't surprised.

  • John||

    Sarcasmic,

    Are you in love with me? Do you need to work through some feelings here? Is that why you keep posting weird shit on every thread I am on? It is okay if you need to work through some things.

  • sarcasmic||

    whoof!

  • John||

    It is okay sarcasmic. If I wasn't so creeped out by it, I would probably be kind of flattered.

  • sarcasmic||

    *armpit fart*

  • John||

    Social awkwardness and new feelings of attraction can be hard things sarcasmic. Its okay, I understand.

  • sarcasmic||

  • Fluffy||

    I do have to say, John, I thought your sudden freakout about the "John likes fat chicks" joke was a bit hypersensitive and neurotic.

    It seemed like nothing bigger than a Morning Links in-joke and an excuse to post competing pictures of chicks to me. I was surprised when all of a sudden you went all Sensitive Bullying Victim on it.

    It's like when you've been friends with a guy for 10 years and all of a sudden one night he breaks down and weeps and tells everybody he's always hated his nickname. WTF, dude, it's been your nickname for 10 fucking years.

  • John||

    I am not freaked out. It has just gotten tiresome. I am not mad. I am just bored.

  • Fluffy||

    If you read the Bible and think about what God might want, or read Augustine and meditate on the nature of sin, you're a little bit irrational, but not disturbingly so.

    Hearing voices that tell you to do stuff, OTOH, is psychosis. Maybe those voices are all sweetness and light today, but that could change tomorrow. What if the God from the Book of Job shows up for work one Monday?

    I'm sure that the vast majority of people who describe themselves as born again are full of shit, and they aren't actually getting personal messages from God, but say they are because it's socially expected in their religious circles - but how am I supposed to guess who the liars are in advance?

  • John||

    Fluffy,

    If you conclude that you know that there is no God and could not be a God, you are more than a "bit irrational", you are completely irrational and have at best a crude understanding of epistemology. Are most atheists full of shit and really don't know what they claim to? Probably. But hey, maybe I should take them at their word and think I am dealing with someone with a poor grasp of reality. They might be dangerous. I don't know.

    And most of the world has had some kind of religious or paranormal experience. Every single human culture has laid claim to people having some kind of other worldly experience. It seems to be innate in humans to have these sorts of experiences.

    I have never had one myself. And apparently neither have you. But given their prevalence throughout all of human history and across all human cultures, maybe it is you and I who are the psychotics.

  • Fluffy||

    If you conclude that you know that there is no God and could not be a God

    Who says they know there could not be a God?

    you are completely irrational and have at best a crude understanding of epistemology

    I think the problem is that the meaning of the verb "to know" was corrupted, first by the Pythagoreans and then later by the Scholastics, to mean "know as the result of an ontological proof". That's not how I use the word.

    For the time period where I have seen no evidence of God, I "know" there is no God. If you present me convincing evidence tomorrow, what I "know" will change.

    To me it's the people who think there's a qualitative difference between agnosticism and atheism who strike me as epistemologically confused. Most people would say they "know" there are no unicorns, but would change what they "know" if someone caught one and rode it down the street. A definition of atheism that requires your statement of non-belief to be your final word, with eternal certainty, and calls everything else "agnosticism" is applying an invalid standard of proof, one I'd never accept for anything else.

  • Hyperion||

    Oh, holy fucking shit. A God conversation. I have been waiting for this one.

    There most definitely could be a God, and anyone who denies the mere possibility of that, are not very open minded. There could not only be a God, but there could be many.

    I am not talking about a spiritual God, but a creator. Are we not creators ourselves? We create things all of the time. Our science has us on the very verge of being able to create life forms. How can we say that in the entire lifetime of this universe, 15 billion years, that there was not a civilization advanced enough that they could have created life forms on a planet and just left them to evolve? It seems very plausible to me, and in fact, likely.

    Also, as some have theorized and they are not all conspiracy theory nuts, if we met up with a very primitive isolate tribe and showed them all of our technology, they might believe that we are Gods. They wouldn't have any explanation for our technology, so they might naturally assume that it was magic.Even with what little tech that the Spanish had in the 1500s, the Aztec King thought that they might be Gods.

    Ok, now, let the flaming begin, you ignorant sluts.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "Some time in the year 386, Augustine and his friend Alypius were spending time in Milan. While outdoors, Augustine heard the voice of a child singing a song, the words of which were, 'Pick it up and read it. Pick it up and read it.' He thought at first that the song was related to some kind of children's game, but could not remember ever having heard such a song before.

    Then, realizing that this song might be a command from God to open and read the Scriptures, he located a Bible, picked it up, opened it and read the first passage he saw. It was from the Letter of Paul to the Romans."

    Guess Augustine wasn't the best example of "a little bit irrational".

  • Fluffy||

    That could have been serendipity, like the comet that Constantine thought was an omen from Christ. Not necessarily an auditory delusion.

  • sarcasmic||

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Devout left-wing statists are just as dangerous as the most-dangerous far-right religious nutburgers. Both types should be scorned, shunned, mocked, derided, and punched in the throat for good measure.

  • T o n y||

    You take an awfully violent approach to your political foes for someone who thinks he should be minimally governed.

  • Hyperion||

    If you want to go by the body count that either group have left in their wake, I think the leftists get the prize so far.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Hey, Tony... what's the difference between the Klan and the New Black Panther Party?

    Trick question... there ISN'T a difference.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Notice how he didn't comment on my anti-socon statement, folks...


    Besides, private acts of violence beats the hell out of state-sanctioned ones. Every time.

  • T o n y||

    In what way?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Wow, you really took the bait and thought I was serious about physically harming other people based on their political leanings.

    And you call yourself college-educated. What a gullible bastard you are.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    's been fun, Tony, but I hafta go back to work. Have fun playing with yourself.

  • Hyperion||

    The black panthers are an oppressed minority, so we need to look past their racism.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Actually, there is ONE difference:

    The Klan has committed violent acts in the past; the NBPP may commit them in the future.

  • T o n y||

    Minor thing.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    There's a weird confluence of interets between social conservatives and the left in describing the Tea Parties. Both groups have a vested interest in overinflating the role of social conservatives in the evolution of the Tea Party. The social conservatives to shore up their status as dominators of conservative conversation and the left to turn everyone else off against the Tea Parties. Yes, many social conservatives participated in the Tea Parties. But, they didn't participate so much as social conservatives as fiscal conservatives who happened to be conservative socially. The fact is that the leadership of the social conservative movement was ambivilent to downright hostile to the Tea Parties. At the time they were rising, Santorum openly stated that he didn't like what them might do to conservatism. The more socially-minded writer at the National Review were pooh-poohing them. It's really only after they proved their effectiveness that the leading social conservatives came around. And, even then, they were trying to co-opt the message to something that the Tea Parties were completely unrelated to.

  • Carlsbadip||

    The Tea Party movement has been driven by fiscal conservatives. The very idea that it is a socially conservative group has no factual support.

  • Robert||

    The issue is confounded by the strong ass'n in the USA between social y fiscal "conservatism". The current ass'n stems mostly from the tax revolt of the late 1970s. Evangelicals are mostly Calvinist to a large degree, and Calvinism is opposed to redistribution.

    The funny thing is that I'm with a bunch of pagans who mostly consider themselves much more trad/socially "conservative" than Xtians, and who are also very attracted to movement libertarians. These are the people who fault the Xtians for acceding to or even promoting race mixing, so we're talking very traditionalist/socon.

  • Brian from Texas||

    This Brody character doesn't have a clue. His analysis of the Tea Party Movement is just as misinformed as some Hollywood Liberal calling the Tea Party a bunch of racist hicks.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    You don't know me. I'm not some kind of your little toy. You don't own me...

  • TangaBooo||

    lol, tea parties are for little girls with invisible friends lol.

    www.Anon-at.tk

  • Fredda Cusack||

    He also assumes that libertarian-leaning Tea Partiers are consistent libertarians across the board, writing that they "pretty much want government to stay out of the way on everything including social issues (drugs, abortion, gay marriage, prostitution, drugs, gambling, and so on)."

  • Ardelle||

    " He then concludes that, since Rand was an atheist, most Tea Party libertarians are atheists too. He also assumes that libertarian-leaning Tea Partiers are consistent libertarians across the board, writing that they "pretty much want government to stay out of the way on everything including social issues (drugs, abortion, gay marriage, prostitution, drugs, gambling, and so on)."

  • Baal||

    What happened to the middle age folks wearing tricorn hats in small towns in the early days ? That was the cool tea party.

    There was one such rally in my town. I think it's the only rally of any kind in this bedroom community the entire 7 years I've lived here.

  • Fredda Cusack||

    He then concludes that, since Rand was an atheist, most Tea Party libertarians are atheists too. He also assumes that libertarian-leaning Tea Partiers are consistent libertarians across the board, writing that they "pretty much want government to stay out of the way on everything including social issues (drugs, abortion, gay marriage, prostitution, drugs, gambling, and so on)."

  • Charm||

    Ekins has written an analysis of the Tea Party I can mostly agree with. The fiscal conservatism is the main point of the Tea Party and what has been amazing to me is that few people grasp it. The Tea Party has been saying it, but either people don't listen or they just want to distort and smear the Tea Party for political purposes. However, limited government and freedom is also included in that fiscal conservatism and that is in conflict with big government central control types.I've been in the Tea Party since the begining and never have I heard anyone say they want less freedom and more government central control. Tea Partiers I have met realize government's endless effort to grow itself and suffocate freedom.

  • Jay Deaux||

    Straight from the horses mouth. Teaparty.org.

    First page, third paragraph. "The Tea Party includes those who possess a strong belief in the foundational Judeo-Christian values embedded in our great founding documents. "

    First page, third to last paragraph at the bottom. "Commonsense, Conservative, Constitutional Self-Governance Is Our Mode Of Operation. Yes, we are a Christian nation. However, you do not have to be a Christian to enjoy freedom. The Tea Party welcomes all red-blooded U.S. Citizens."

    Yes they may leave it vague enough to insinuate that it is only some members subscribe to this belief system. But they still make it blatantly obvious that this is the core belief of the party and what they stand for.

  • numnumnum||

  • Henry Massingale||

    Dear Emily Ekins,
    Just for you, I will share a thought that is growing within the Tea Party. A concept of Independence, a freedom lost because of what we see. A Trust lost that the words written by Republicans Of Office or Democrats within, we just do not trust no more. As if we are to be Assimilated, into a system that holds no moral value. A Pharmaceutical Heroin, that both of these Parties turn to and not for the better good of this economy.
    How do we as Tea Party Americans feel, we are lost in thoughts as we see small children killed in school, and Narcotics in part seems to be there, but still we do not see our Officials as we should....
    Who we was and who we are becoming, is within the Independence and right therein. The Uniting Of The Tea Party, has become much more then a dream....Just a little riddle for you.
    Henry Massingale
    Founder and Director of the
    International Boycott Of The Arabic Drug Empire

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement