Whose Votes Are Really Being Wasted?

“A wasted vote,” says Gary Johnson, “is a vote for someone you don’t believe in.”

“Could a truly honest politician become president?” asked The Washington Post earlier this year. Gary Johnson is offering a real-world test case.

Johnson is a two-time governor who won the Libertarian presidential nomination after being shut out of the Republican primaries. In a recent interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch Editorial Board, he said things like this: “I just find it remarkable that at the debate the other night, [Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were] debating over who’s going to spend more money on Medicare, when we need to slash Medicare spending. The alternative is no health care at all for those over 65.” Medicare is “very simply, a benefit that you and I pay $30 for and get $100 back. . . . In any way, shape or form, is that sustainable? Well, it’s not. We all know it. We all know it. And yet this was the debate that went on last week.”

So does he think we should zero out all social-welfare spending? No: “There are those that are truly in need. . . . Without government, there are no goods and services that those truly in need would be able to receive.”

Still: “We need to slash Medicare spending” is one of those uncomfortable truths no one in Washington dares to speak – not even would-be budget hawks such as GOP vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan, whose own ostensibly austere budget does not balance the books for a quarter-century.

Johnson promises to submit a balanced budget for fiscal year 2014. How?

For starters, he would cut military spending 43 percent. To Republicans such as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who think government bloat does not create jobs except in the defense sector, even the looming 12-percent cut from sequestration is vastly too deep. Nonsense, says Johnson – who points out that a 43-percent cut would bring back Pentagon appropriations only to 2003 levels. Was the U.S. economically or military prostrate in 2003? Of course not.

True, cutting military spending might require changes in U.S. foreign policy. To Johnson, that would be a good thing. Example: He thinks the U.S. should stop threatening Iran over its nuclear program. “The largest demonstration in the world in support of the United States after 9/11 was in Iran, in Tehran,” he told the newspaper. “Over a million Iranian citizens showed up in support of the United States. And we’re going to bomb Iran? We’re going to make ourselves another hundred million enemies [if we do].”

The answer to the nuclear threat posed by the Iranian government, he says, is deterrence: “Did we bomb Russia when they were going to develop a nuclear weapon? Did we bomb China? Pakistan? India? No, we opened up trade with these countries.” Israel, he argues, “has 300 nuclear warheads” and is entirely capable of taking care of itself. If Iran were to attack Israel, then Iran’s “entire country [would] be obliterated.” But “to pull the trigger first – that’s what we’ve been doing. And look at the results.”

It is easy to see why Johnson is not a good fit with conservatives – whose candidates compete for the title of most aggressively militaristic. But neither is he a good fit for liberals  – who, as William Voegeli says, “don't want the government to grow indefinitely. They just want it to be bigger than it is right now.” As Johnson told Larry King in an earlier interview, he is – like other Libertarians – “fiscally responsible and socially accepting. The choices that you make in your life should be your choices, not the government’s.” He is fine with gay marriage and would legalize marijuana.

Hence, he could have an unusual effect on the election. In North Carolina and Michigan, he is siphoning votes from Romney. In Colorado and New Mexico (where he was governor), he is drawing votes from Obama. A Public Policy Polling survey last week shows him taking votes from Obama in Nevada as well. This bipartisan appeal should not come as a great surprise. The Democratic critique of Republican social policies is that they are insufficiently libertarian. That is also the Republican critique of Democratic economic policies.

Unfortunately for Johnson, each party also thinks the other party can be too libertarian – Republicans on economics, Democrats on social policy. He also faces the third-party Catch-22: He doesn’t get much media coverage because he doesn’t have much popular support – which he cannot get without media coverage.

Besides, many people do not want to vote for someone who cannot win. A vote for a third-party candidate, they think, is a wasted vote. Johnson disagrees. “A wasted vote,” he says, “is a vote for someone you don’t believe in.” By that standard, millions of Republicans and Democrats will be throwing their votes away on Nov. 6. Johnson voters – what few there are – will not.

This column originally appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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  • Whiterun Guard||

    I don't know what a wasted vote is, but I know there will be at least one wasted voter.

    Well wasted non-voter. Screw you and your poll taxes.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    Well wasted non-voter. Screw you and your poll taxes.

    Don't know where you live, but you should vote. Those tax increases are not going to vote themselves down.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Yeah WG, your vote could really make the difference in those bond measures.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • Whiterun Guard||

    I live in Liberia and vote in Florida. And "we're" not going to vote them down either.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I live in Liberia...

    Silly libertarian, Somalia's on the other side of the continent.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    I thought it said Libertaria! I should sue them for false advertisement or something.

  • pradaguccioutlet@gmail.co||

    Unfortunately for Johnson, each party also thinks the other party can be too libertarian – Republicans on economics, Democrats on social policy. He also faces the third-party Catch-22: He doesn’t get much media coverage because he doesn’t have much popular support – which he cannot get without media coverage.cheap nfl jerseys Besides, many people do not want to vote for someone who cannot win. A vote for a third-party candidate, they think, is a wasted vote. Johnson disagrees. “A wasted vote,” he says, “is a vote for someone you don’t believe in.” By that standard, millions of Republicans and Democrats will be throwing their votes away on Nov. 6. Johnson voters – what few there are – will not.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    I live in Liberia

    I should remember that as you have said that before.

    And "we're" not going to vote them down either.

    I guess is depends on the size of your voting district. Where I live it is pretty small, so voting against tax increases, bond increases, etc. actually has an impact. Plus I get to absentee vote so no big deal as far as time is concerned.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Yeah, last time I was overseas in an election year was 2000, and they sent my ballot to me. This time, they would only e-mail me a ballot, and then I am supposed to buy stamps to mail it home.

    And honestly I don't know if (1) the embassy here even sells stamps or (2) if they'd mail it home for me, since I have no way to access the USPS or anything that connects to it (for free (actually maybe the Marine guys here could hook me up, but I don't like to talk to them)).

    Now I COULD pretty easily put it in DHL, but I don't care that much.

  • BakedPenguin||

    If your ballot is Florida (and you haven't voted yet), make sure you check out the 2 independent Senate candidates. They're both better than Mack or Nelson.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    And if you define "wasting food" as eating food that doesn't taste good, then throwing away all your veggies every meal isn't wasting food, in fact it's the avoidance of wasting food.

    A secret ballot is a really strange and counterproductive platform to express your beliefs, so Johnson's self-serving definition of "wasted vote" is pretty dubious. And arguing based on dubious assumptions is an exercise in intellectual masturbation.

  • Pro Libertate||

    What's strange or counterproductive about it? Votes are publicly counted. It's not going to happen this time, but what if 15-20% of the voters opted for the LP candidate? I'd say that would have a significant effect on politics. Taking each election off to stave off some hated GOP-Democrat hasn't done us any good so far.

    Romney benefits from a widespread aversion to a truly awful president. Which is what got Obama elected. Perhaps removing the latest awful president alone isn't enough to solve our problems?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    It's not going to happen this time, but what if 15-20% of the voters opted for the LP candidate?

    The emboldened part is key.

    If you get to the point where more than 30% of the electorate is seriously considering voting LP, then it won't be a wasted vote because they WILL have a chance to win.

    The problem with getting 20% only is that, even though it would be a big story, it's not clear that either party would embrace libertarian ideals more than rhetorically. The GOP would lose the sociocons if they dismantled the drug war, and the Dems would lose the welfare sucks and unions if they embraced economic freedom. Both of those are larger constituencies than libertarians.

    Plus, if we embrace GJ's definition of wasting your vote, then voting for a 50% libertarian Democrat, for instance, would still be wasting your vote. If both parties recognize that libertarians are simply impossible to win over, they'll totally ignore us.

  • Randian||

    If you get to the point where more than 30% of the electorate is seriously considering voting LP, then it won't be a wasted vote because they WILL have a chance to win.

    Who said that "voting for someone with a 'chance' = not wasting your vote?"

    The fact is that Gary Johnson does have a CHANCE to win. Once you admit that, the rest of your argument falls apart.

  • wareagle||

    in dictionary terms, so does Cynthia McKinney. In reality, not so much.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Bull.

    He doesn't have a chance, first of all. It's more likely that life on Earth would be wiped out by a meteorite impact between now and Election Day.

    And even if he did have a chance, say 10% of winning, it's still possible that a vote for Romney would be the optimal libertarian strategy. You'd have to balance the payoff with the probabilities. But that's not necessary since he has negligible chance to win.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    it's still possible that a vote for Romney would be the optimal libertarian strategy.

    How so?

  • Lisa||

    "The GOP would lose the sociocons if they dismantled the drug war"

    The #1 issue for social conservatives is abortion, not the drug war. The GOP won't stop the drug war because they don't feel sorry for people who get arrested for being involved with illegal drugs.

  • Tonio||

    And the homos are the #2 issue for most Socons. I'm guessing that porn is #3. So WoD is #4 at best, possibly lower.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I would say the WoD is more of a neocon thing actually. It's our number 1 excuse for intervening in Latin America and our number 2 excuse for intervening in Asia.

  • ||

    Perhaps removing the latest awful president alone isn't enough to solve our problems?

    You win a Kewpie Doll, Pro'L Dib.

    Arguably, both of these poo-filled colostomy bags represent the majority's desire for more "free" stuff and re-distributionist policies, though each of their Rorshach test visions are somewhat different from the other in terms of scope and scale.

    I blame the entitled electorate, simply put. Fuck democracy.

  • Rasilio||

    Actually the secret ballot is exactly why he is correct.

    With a secret ballot it is impossible to know whether a vote for Obama was a representation of someone supporting him or holding their nose and voting against Romney. However if everyone actually voted for the candidate who closest represented their beliefs regardless of their chances to win then at least the result would in the aggregate be representative of the beliefs of the people and a President Obama who wins 38% to 32% over Romney with Johnson pulling 11%, Stein pulling 8%, and the remaining candidates combining for the last 11% would not be able to claim any serious mandate for his policies and would have to govern cautiously towards the middle because he know he hasn't got the support of much of the populace. On the other hand an Obama who beats McCain 56% to 42% with all others combining for less than 2% can easily believe he has a mandate of people supporting him and policies like Obamacare start to look realistic.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    That's what opinion polls are for.

    You could make a similar argument that a vote for GJ is ambiguous. Does it represent personal frustration with Romney and BO? Or does it represent libertarian belief?

  • Rasilio||

    Except once you leave the 2 party dichotomy Gary Johnson is NOT the only opion. In my life there has almost always been some combination of 3 - 4 parties on the ballot in all 50 states, sure it is usually not the same 2 - 3 minor parties on each states ballot but there will not be simply a single 3rd option to select from. Further if 3rd parties started getting measurable support for President then you would see them running more viable candidates for lower tier offices and occasionally winning them which would lead to even more 3rd party options. Sure, the majority will still vote for the Republicratic party but in any given year 15 - 25% of the electorate would vote some other way providing far more information about the preferences of the electorate.

    As far as opinion polls, the problem there is there is no such thing as an unbiased opinion poll and as a result they tend to be more useful at bias confirmation than actually divining the will of the people.

  • T||

    And arguing based on dubious assumptions is an exercise in intellectual masturbation.

    Well, this explains why you post here more succinctly than I ever expected you to...

  • Tim||

    I live in Vermont, so it doesn't matter who I vote for. Now you guys in those swing states like Florida and Ohio...

  • ||

    No one's vote matters, and the fantasy that it does is one of the more hilarious bits of self-delusion one sees. It doesn't matter if you're in a swing state or not.

    Your vote is statistically meaningless. People need to stop being so fucking stupid. If you really feel you must vote, vote your conscience. Because it doesn't mean jack shit anyway.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Epi's waking up with Zeno's Paradox again. Was it good for you?

  • ||

    And you're shilling like the asshole you are. Is it good for you?

  • BakedPenguin||

    Hey, he's a law-and-order libertarian. Next, he'll be telling us how we screwed up by not voting for Giuliani.

  • ||

    Giuliani offered the world ORDER!

  • ||

    He gave me...sixty seconds.

    THERE'S NOT ENOUGH TIME, MAN!!!!!

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Come on man, you can't win it if you ain't in it.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Even then...

  • Calidissident||

    Screaming "Zeno's Paradox" doesn't refute anything

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    No, the arrow paradox is exactly what Epi et al. are doing.

    Every duration of time is composed of instants.

    An arrow is never moving if you consider one instant of time. (this is the "one vote doesn't count" analogue)

    Therefore, the arrow can never move during any duration of time.

  • ||

    You're such an absolute idiot. I love it.

  • T||

    Missed calculus, did you? I recall we refuted Zeno pretty thoroughly.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    It's not so much a refutation as a reframing. From the POV of mathematical analysis, the assumption that an interval of time is "composed of instants" is impermissibly vague, and we develop the concepts of limits, as you know, to describe how to deal with situations like this.

    But yes, Zeno was wrong. As are the glibbies in this case.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    Zeno's arrow paradox is about motion, not voting. As T states below, calculus (convergence) handles this in a fairly straight-forward way.

    If you are discussing Arrow's paradox

    In short, the theorem states that no rank-order voting system can be designed that satisfies these three "fairness" criteria:

    If every voter prefers alternative X over alternative Y, then the group prefers X over Y.
    If every voter's preference between X and Y remains unchanged, then the group's preference between X and Y will also remain unchanged (even if voters' preferences between other pairs like X and Z, Y and Z, or Z and W change).
    There is no "dictator": no single voter possesses the power to always determine the group's preference.

    , then you may be correct. But the two are not related.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    I'm referring to the arrow version of Zeno's Paradox.

    Arrow's Impossibility Theorem is not really related, as you say.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    I'm referring to the arrow version of Zeno's Paradox.

    How does this relate to voting?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Each vote is an instant, and the target is the vote total needed to win the election.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I don't completely agree with this sentiment in that we're already opting out to let the total statist morons call all the shots, but I do agree that you should vote for who you think is the best candidate. One vote isn't going to matter, and you don't mysteriously affect the course of the election by voting one way or the other. Beyond that one vote, anyway.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    If one vote doesn't matter than it still doesn't matter when you're voting your conscience.

    Arguing with you guys is like nailing jello to a wall. When I bring up the necessity of getting rid of Obama, one vote doesn't matter. But when you guys are arguing for the shock value of 20% voting for Johnson, all the sudden one vote does matter.

  • Calidissident||

    "Arguing with you guys is like nailing jello to a wall."

    That is Tonyesque self-awareness (or lack thereof)

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Another assertion with no evidence to back it up.

    Where have I "moved the goalposts" as you guys call it? If I'm doing it but you guys can't point to where, then you're the one with the awareness problem.

  • Randian||

    I don't think getting rid of Obama is necessary. I think electing Gary Johnson is necessary. Hence the vote for Johnson.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    If electing GJ is necessary we're fucked. Not enough people seriously consider him.

  • Randian||

    You're part of the problem, not part of the solution, just so you know.

  • Harvard||

    Tell this to Rand Paul then. He obviously feels getting rid of Obama is precisely the necessity.

  • ||

    Tell this to Rand Paul then. He obviously feels getting rid of Obama is precisely the necessity.

    I don't think Rand Paul endorsing Romney this election is quite like Tulpa's insistence that our 3rd-party votes don't matter. I don't begrudge Rand's endorsement and probable vote, because I see an actual chance for it to help build libertarian support in the Republican Party. I DON'T see that happening with libertarians in general voting for Romney. Just the opposite.

  • ||

    If electing GJ is necessary we're fucked.

    For this election cycle? Most likely. But that's part of why you're wrong. You look at piddly, short-term gains that may not even exist, instead of building support toward a long-term goal. Voting for shit year after year in the hope it will magically turn into gold is ridiculous.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'm not voting for shock value. I'm voting for the candidate that best represents my view of the proper role of government. I hope others will join me.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    So you're writing in Ron Paul?

  • Pro Libertate||

    You're becoming deranged in your Romney support. On my ballot, the best candidate is Gary Johnson. I'm voting for him. I voted for Paul in the primary, and I have donated money to both candidates.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    So why are you allowing the ballot to determine which candidate you are allowed to vote for?

    If all that matters is who you agree with most, why let a piece of paper/Diebold machine limit your options?

  • Randian||

    How the else would you suggest he vote, Tulpa? Mail something in?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Well, I could write in myself, I suppose. President Libertate--look upon me and despair!

    Or I could vote for the best candidate available, eschewing the vote or writing in someone if the listed candidates all offended me. Fortunately, that's not the case this time.

  • wareagle||

    that sentiment is the best counter to the "wasted vote" argument. Not my business which candidate fits the mold you describe, but it's an honest reason for casting a ballot.

  • ||

    Alas, Pro'L Dib, I am primarly voting with feet, the vote that most ultimately matters to me. I did vote by absentee ballot though, and GJ was not on ballot in my state.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I have a dream that someday, you will be practicing medicine in the outer reaches of the solar system, in a space-based libertopia. Where all the nurses are hot and the fees free of insurance and government interference.

  • Rob||

    @Groovus Maximus

    So you're stuck in the outer pits of hell Michigan too?

  • Proprietist||

    Exactly - EVEN assuming the race DID come down to your one vote, they'd immediately have a recount that would find a different number, lawsuits would be filed and the court would rule on the final outcome. Outcome-based voting is the stupidest of all forms of voting.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    So if a government agent came to your door and said you, Proprietist, and only you, would go to jail if you didn't vote for Obama, would you comply?

    After all, one vote doesn't matter.

  • Proprietist||

    Under duress, sure. Since "only my" vote won't matter. But what does that have to do with how I should act when I'm not under threat of imprisonment?

  • Proprietist||

    And why are you throwing that random non-sequitur out there instead of addressing the criticism of outcome-based voting?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Your criticism applies even more to all other types of voting. If one vote doesn't matter when voting for an outcome, then voting your conscience has no effect either.

  • Proprietist||

    Voting my conscience makes voting worthwhile TO ME. I frankly don't care whether it is worthwhile in determining the final outcome, since I know it won't be.

    Sticking a middle finger at the status quo won't change the status quo, but it makes me feel better that I spoke up. The problem is that principled non-voters are often confused with lazy non-voters, while voting for a third party is a clear and unquestionable middle finger.

    If I'm one grain of sand in a sandcastle building contest where the biggest castle always wins, I'd rather be on the best designed castle (or the furthest one from the tide), even if it isn't the winner.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's occurred to me that the LP (or, at least, "libertarian") numbers may be quite a bit lower than the number of voters that lean their direction, only because libertarians tend to not view the world as centered on government and might be less likely to bother voting or otherwise participating in the political process.

    How much of a difference it would make if more of these people voted, I have no idea. Certainly we see a decent number of libertarians here stating that they won't bother voting. That apathy is probably not limited to Hit Run commenters.

  • Pro Libertate||

    AND

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Voting my conscience makes voting worthwhile TO ME. I frankly don't care whether it is worthwhile in determining the final outcome, since I know it won't be.

    But, you argue below that someone who wants to write in Ron Paul shouldn't do it because their vote won't be counted. So you're not consistent on this point at all.

  • Randian||

    1. Sow division among libertarians
    2. ??????
    3. VOTE FOR MITT ROMNEY!

    /tulpalogic

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    And here I thought it was only statists who thought questioning the groupthink was "sowing division".

  • Proprietist||

    When did I ever say they shouldn't do it? I think you're putting words into my mouth I never said. If casting a vote for Frank Zappa makes you feel better, do it. I was on the verge of doing a random write-in in 2008. It's basically the same as voting "NOTA."

    Ron Paul is not on the ballot, is not currently running for President and his write-in votes will only be counted in about a dozen states.

    I am advocating for people voting for the best candidate on the ballot that will be counted, and think Gary Johnson should be an acceptable substitute for most Ron Paul voters. But I think people should vote for whoever they want the most, since their ballot won't ever determine the final outcome.

    If everybody did that, we'd probably have a very different political system.

  • Proprietist||

    And to clarify, I agree that a not-counted vote is "wasted" as their little middle finger won't even be reported. Don't mistake that for me saying that a voter shouldn't do it if it makes them feel better about themselves.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    The problem is, your standard for wastedness appears inconsistent. Are you arguing for the idea that a vote for a candidate you agree with is not wasted, or are you requiring that the vote "be counted" in order to not be wasted (even though you're also arguing that one vote doesn't count).

    If you're saying that a non-wasted vote is one for which the person is on the ballot and you agree with them more than anyone else on the ballot, you have to defend the first requirement. It's not at all obvious, and is going to be hard to justify given that you think one vote doesn't count.

  • Proprietist||

    It's not inconsistent. From my perspective the only vote that is not wasted is the vote for the best candidate on the ballot that will be counted. This determination of "best" should be devoid of any outcome-based expectations, since those expectations would be have to be based on extremely unlikely statistics.

    Voting for the "best" when that candidate is an unlikely-to-win third party candidate additionally has the benefit of telling the status quo and the media that they aren't representing you and that you don't buy into their fallacious logic, "so f--- off". If this is the message you want to send, voting for someone who won't be counted is not an effective way of sending that message.

    But people should still vote for whoever they want, and that vote is less "wasted" than settling for hoping to win the lesser of two evils lottery, with your one vote changing the outcome.

  • Proprietist||

    And, by the way, in Oklahoma, I think people would not be wasting their vote to choose the better between Romney and Obama, since other candidates aren't represented.

    I know some will say that voting complicity in their duopolism, and agree that, while staying home may be a waste of a vote, at least it isn't a was of one's time.

  • Tim||

    "No one's vote matters, and the fantasy that it does is one of the more hilarious bits of self-delusion one sees. It doesn't matter if you're in a swing state or not."

    Maybe so, but I can still defy the School District on the teacher's pay raise and vote no on that fucking bike path.

  • Tonio||

    And no single raindrop is responsible for the flood, yet somehow floods happen after heavy rainfall.

  • ||

    That's a Tulpa-level analogy, Tonio. If the possibility of your vote deciding the election is so unbelievably minuscule as to be essentially zero, then your vote does not have an effect.

  • Tonio||

    Yet somehow elections do get decided by vote counts. I think by stressing the insignificance of individual votes you miss the big picture. I respect almost all your other views, but this is where we disagree.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Precisely. We've got a bunch of followers of Zeno here.

  • Rasilio||

    No the point is not
    "Your vote doesn't matter so why bother voting"

    the point is
    "Your vote will not be the deciding factor on the election so strategic voting for the lesser of 2 evils buys you nothing so you may as well vote for the candidate who closest resembles your views."

  • Hugh Akston||

    Doesn't matter who people in OH or FL vote for either.

  • Tim||

    Tell that to Al gore.

  • Randian||

    Regardless of whether it matters, I live at Ground Zero for swingiest states and I still plan on voting for Johnson. And I hope the recount does come down to a one-vote margin.

  • Tonio||

    That would be sweet.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Even Socrates recognized that he could not convince a person who refused to listen.

  • Randian||

    So what you're Socrates now? /bidensnicker

  • Calidissident||

    It just gets better and better doesn't it. Why am I not surprised Tulpa is involved in academia?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    You have a lot in common with Biden. Your problems with stating falsehoods are currently the most obvious.

    Where did I say I was Socrates?

  • Randian||

    If you want to call me a liar, Romneybot, just do so already.

    Mockery is all you richly deserve, because you consistently fail to engage the arguments.

  • Delroy||

    I'm in Ohio and will vote for Johnson.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    You mean Obama, right?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    The Democratic critique of Republican social policies is that they are insufficiently libertarian.

    As long as we define gun rights, school choice, environmental regulation, and property rights as something other than social.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    And if RP had by some miracle gotten the GOP nom, the Dems would be ripping him on his opposition to the Drug War. And all their leftie troubadours would be keeping their mouths shut for the TEAM.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'd like to see Democratic ads in the alternative universe where Paul was nominated.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    I give your TV two commercial breaks before you smash the screen with a beer bottle.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Alternative Universe Debate Question: "Congressman Paul, why do you hate the black man?"

  • ||

    Something about being "fleet of foot?"

    /snark

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "As long as we define gun rights, school choice, environmental regulation, and property rights as something other than social."

    Exactly - and I would love those who thump their chests on social issues and scream "Tolerance!" explain what they intend to do on gay marriage - specifically, what concrete steps (not just rhetoric) do they intend to take to make sure that private businesses who define marriage as 1 man plus 1 woman to enforce their definition without government interference.

    The result? A great grinding of gears as they try to process the question, followed by vehement denunciation of hatemongering korprashuns who fail to recognize marriage equality.

  • Randian||

    So...vote Republican?

    More logic fail.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    When did I even mention the republicans? I am looking at a specific argument in the article, which attributes libertarian sentiments to Democrats on social issues.

    It just ain't so.

    And in the interests of balance, I should mention the most republicans aren't very libertarian on economic issues, either.

    So that old talking point needs to wither away and die.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Yes, let us by all means fantasize about a universe in which Democrats were libertarian on social issues, a universe in which:

    -Democrats support school choice. "We're pro-choice, remember? Why should we care what's taught in the schools so long as the parents are OK with it?"

    -Democrats want pot to be legal. "We would be such hypocrites if we put people in prison for doing what most of our politician spent most of the college years doing!"

    -Democrats don't force private businesses to endorse their social views. "Sure, we believe in gay marriage, birth control, abortion, and so on, but we're not going to force private enterprise to implement our agenda on these issues - we're the party of free enterprise! If a company doesn't want to include birth control in its employee health insurance, or if it only wants to provide partner benefits to married opposite-sex partners, that's their business and not ours!"

    -Democrats allow the possession of arms for self-defense. "Sure, we personally oppose the bearing of arms [except by our bodyguards], but why should we *impose* our preferences on other people?"

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    And the Jello rips through the nail and falls on the floor again.

  • Tonio||

    Wow, someone is really exercised about the homos.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I think the people who want to force private actors to endorse some faction's beliefs about sexuality would fall into that category, don't you think?

  • Tonio||

    Angry commenter is angry, blames historically powerless groups for downfall of society, wishes they'd go away.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    I don't see where he did that.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Don't you see? You just need to read between the lines.

    When I say that private businesses should be allowed to decide for themselves how to define marriage for the purpose of employee benefit plans, it's a clear dog-whistle indicating that I would like to bury gay people alive and topple walls onto them like the Taliban.

    You simply need to have the imaginative capacity to see and hear the things others don't.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    That must be the same way I'm a nativist xenophobe despite favoring increasing legal immigration. Along with a bunch of legal immigrants I know, who apparently are afraid of themselves.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    That's the worst kind of xenophobia!

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    "YOU TOOK UR JERBS!"

  • Tonio||

    Talk about intellectual dishonesty. I said "wishes they'd go away" and now you're all butt-hurt (SWIDT?) because the Tonio in your head is accusing you of homocide. The real Tonio who posts here didn't do that.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Yes, I can see how in your high moral dudgeon you are fully capable of understanding sarcasm.

    Far from wishing gay-rights folks to go away, I would have a serious sad. Their absence would deprive the world of much-needed entertainment.

  • Rasilio||

    One thing I do have to question Gary on, is whether it is even possible to cut military spending by 43% in a single year. To do so would mean releasing hundreds of thousands of military personel and closing dozens to hundreds of overseas bases and then returning all of the important or dangerous equiptment stored there back here to the states. None of that comes cheap.

    Note, I am not questioning the desirability of such a cut, it is just that the actions such a cut would require would in and of themselves represent significant additional spending that is not now occurring counteracting the short term benefit of the cut. Realistically to cut by 43% in a year you would need to cut operational and acquisition costs by 75% or more for that year and the problem with the acquistion costs is many of them are already baked in with contracts that can't be withdrawn.

    A more realistic plan would be to have a balanced budget within 3 years with the Militaries operational acquistion budgets being cut to 57% of what they are today but the actual budget only being cut by 25% in year 1, 32% in year 2, and finally 43% in year 3 at which point all the relocation and decomissioning activities should be complete.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    One of the advantages of knowing you can't win is that you don't have to match your rhetoric with reality.

    So Reason will (justly) rip into Romney's tax plans as being unrealistic but give a total pass to GJ's fantasies because we know he's unelectable.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    One of the advantages of knowing you can't winrunning for political office is that you don't have to match your rhetoric with reality.

    FIFY

  • wareagle||

    true, but knowing you won't win gives extra space for floating outlandish balloons. It's too bad really; there is a significant group looking for a viable alternative but numbers like 43% are anything but viable.

    Tell me you'll freeze spending and work from there; no more baseline budgeting. That at least has a chance if you make the case for it well. People understand their budgets/salaries do not automatically go up every year "just because", so why should that of govt?

  • Calidissident||

    "One of the advantages of knowing you can't win is that you don't have to match your rhetoric with reality."

    Like the candidates who "can win" actually do this

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    You must have missed the part of my post where I said it was right to criticize MR's unrealistic proposals too.

  • Calidissident||

    Then you should have rephrased your first paragraph

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Right, I should never write in a way that requires you to read the entire comment. My fault, totally.

  • BakedPenguin||

    TULPEROOOOOOOOO

  • Tonio||

    My coworkers just asked if I was OK. Thanks, BP, now help clean the soda from my monitor.

  • Proprietist||

    GJ's fantasies are still infinitely more realistic than two candidates that have no interest in making the necessary, politically unpopular reforms the country desperately needs. That's why he gets a pass.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Lesser of two/three evils?

    Note that I said Romney's tax plan is unrealistic, so the shill accusations are even more ridiculous than usual.

  • Proprietist||

    Unlike the Paulbots, I don't think anyone, anywhere has ever claimed Gary Johnson to be the perfect ideal. He still supports some things that uberprincipled libertarians find "evil" - safety nets, Guantanamo, the FairTax, government-issued gay marriage licenses, etc.

    But we're not voting for the lesser of three (or more) evils, we're voting for the best candidate on the ballot that the votes will be counted for. The "lesser of two evils" is criticized as a fallacy because there are actually more than two options. But using fallacies to falsely accuse libertarians of using fallacies seems to be your specialty.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Lesser of two evils isn't a fallacy, it's a strategy. The fallacy of false dichotomy is what you're probably referring to, which is when a situation where there are more than two options is distorted to force a LOTE strategy.

    But here, we really only have two viable options. You're more likely to get struck by lightning before January than to see Gary Johnson getting inaugurated.

  • Randian||

    And yet people get struck by lightning all the time.

    What was that about Zeno again?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Proprietist thankfully does not get struck by lightning all the time.

    I wasn't referring to the probability that a human being somewhere in the world will be struck by lightning.

  • Proprietist||

    I'm not voting for Gary Johnson with the expectation of seeing him inaugurated. I'm voting for him as the best candidate on the ballot.

    And you clearly understand the false dichotomy fallacy yet then you jump straight into the hole. Amazing.

  • Lisa||

    Tulpa, agreed. If Johnson won, he would be subject to the same narrow "honeymoon" window that every other TEAM president has. He would be lucky to get 2-3 things done from his 100+ item libertarian fantasy to-do list. Plus, he has a zero chance of either house agreeing with everything he wants to do.

  • Tonio||

    Yeah, Lis, but he could veto the *^%$#@! out of legislation. Things wouldn't necessarily get better, but he'd stop the slide. Also, Congress would be revealed for the impotent, mendacious *^%$#@! they are.

    And there is a lot of good he could do by changing the priorities of certain government agencies.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    The slide is built in. Freddy Kruger is in the house and now benefits from the bars on the windows. To do what GJ proposes he needs repeals, not vetoes (which in many cases would probably be overridden).

    While he could do a lot to restrain the state simply by executive orders and restructuring, thanks to Congress' habit of passing empty shells as bills, it wouldn't be enough to do what we're dreaming of.

  • Randian||

    So vote Romney y'all!

    Please explain that logic.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    A Romney victory doesn't stop the slide. I've been very up front about that.

    It's going to take a total upheaval of every level of govt to stop the slide.

    But before you stop you have to slow down.

  • ||

    But before you stop you have to continue speed up, just maybe a little slower.

    Fixed.

  • Randian||

    He would be lucky to get 2-3 things done from his 100+ item libertarian fantasy to-do list.

    Which would still be 2-3 things more than Mitt Romney will do for me.

    What was your point again?

  • Whiterun Guard||

    I don't know, kill $100M out of OM by shutting down Afghanistan right quick. Cut another $100M out of procurement, and then you're only $40M short.

    Although you say shutting down overseas bases like it's a bad thing.

  • wareagle||

    have the countries where bases are located pay for the privilege of 1) the security we provide and 2) the economic bang from our presence.

  • Rasilio||

    Oh no I was not implying that closing the overseas bases was a bad thing, rather just that it was not a cost free activity, especially doing it as quickly as 1 year.

    Hell as a purely practical matter I'm not positive that the military has the necessary transport capability to retrieve all of our heavy equiptment from every overseas base in a single year. 60T M1 tanks don't just move themselves across oceans.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Has Johnson presented a specific plan for these cuts? Maybe he has something in mind. Exiting from our active interventions is probably a big part of it.

  • ||

    I would be much more impressed at his plan to reduce discretionary spending and all these unfunded liability albtrosses currently occupying a larger share of out collective necks.

    Defense does need to be scaled back and is low-hanging fruit, but pales in raw numbers compared to the aforementioned.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Maybe Romney has a secret plan to make his tax policy work, too!

    Oh wait. MR isn't TEAM YELLOW so he doesn't get the benefit of the doubt.

  • Pro Libertate||

    What the hell are you talking about?

  • Tonio||

    Needz moar chem trails.

  • Proprietist||

    If Mitt Romney came out today and said "I vow to cut total government spending by 43% and balance the budget next year and veto any spending bills until we pass this budget," I'd probably vote for him, even if the plan is vague.

    Instead, all I hear are BOTH status quo parties saying they are going to cut taxes, increase spending on their favored special interests and promise to balance the budget in 20-30 years after they'd be out of office.

  • Proprietist||

    ...and save entitlement obligations with magical monopoly money.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's like a team that needs a quarterback but keeps drafting punters with its number one pick.

  • Proprietist||

    Perfect analogy.

  • sarcasmic||

    As usual I will predict the outcome of the election by taking the inverse of my ballot.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    But people who waste their votes on losers suffer from impaired self esteem.

    And- to all those people who say, "If you don't vote, you have no right to complain " I say, fuck you; we are the only ones who DO have a right to complain. You can't hang any of those bastards around our necks.

  • Rhinonamous||

    ^This. The if you don't vote you can't complain line is one of the most infuriating things I have ever encountered.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'm a citizen and a human being. If I'm being oppressed I damned well can complain, regardless of whether I vote or not. And I usually do, but that's my choice.

  • Tonio||

    A strained and self-serving justification of cowardice and disengagement.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Of course you have the right to complain.

    And then we have the right to ask you why you didn't use your ability to prevent another BO term if you feel so strongly about it.

    Freedom of speech isn't freedom from criticism.

  • Randian||

    I'm not voting for Obama, so I consider that I did 'my part' to serve your goal there.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    That's only half of your part.

    If you carry a person halfway out of a burning building, don't be surprised when people are pissed at you.

  • Randian||

    Now that is a braindead analogy.

    In order for Barack Obama to win, he has to receive X# of votes. He will receive X-1 of those votes thanks to me.

    So what's the problem?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    If you voted for Romney, you raise the number of votes BO needs from Y to Y+1 (you need two variables here). So the gap increases by 2 if you vote for Romney but only 1 if you vote for Johnson.

  • ||

    Don't you see, Randian!? It's your responsibility to vote for Obama's twin! He's the only one who has a chance to beat Obama, and implement slightly different policies of the same types!

  • Calidissident||

    Isn't Randian voting for Gary Johnson? So he is doing the other half.

  • wareagle||

    no choice is still a choice; not participating does not grant you absolution. Voting is one way of complaining. So is running for office. Being self-righteous about CO status, however, is a bit much.

  • ||

    Pretty sure everyone has a right to complain. Except dead people.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    And arguing based on dubious assumptions is an exercise in intellectual masturbation.

    I defer to your widely acknowledged expertise.

  • wareagle||

    why is it wasted to vote your principles? Please. Any single vote is wasted; it's in numbers that they count.

  • sarcasmic||

    Because you're supposed to vote for the winner! Duh!

    Elections are like horse races!

    You don't choose the person who you believe best represents you, you choose the one who you think has the best shot at winning!

  • Tim||

    Whoa, dude makes a lot of sense.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    If I were trying to vote for the most-likely winner, I would be voting BO.

    So your misrepresentation of my position is clearly faulty.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Really? Because I think Romney is headed towards a fairly significant win. The wheels have fallen off the Obama bus.

  • ||

    I respectfully disagree, Pro'L Dib. The Zero is a lock, methinks.

    Is he spectacularly awful? You bet. Will people overlook that for the misguided notion of "Free Shit"? I don't think so.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    BO's got a lot of MSM mules trying to drag the bus across the finish line.

  • T o n y||

    Why didn't they declare him the winner of the first debate then?

  • wareagle||

    because he was so stunningly bad that even they could not pretend otherwise. And having done so would shredded their last remaining thread of credibility.

  • T o n y||

    They're so clever.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Things are looking a lot better than they were a few weeks ago, that's for sure.

  • sarcasmic||

    I wasn't talking to you.

    Had I said "Hey there! I need some fuckstain to set up some straw men and move the goalposts!" then you'd know I was talking to you.

    But I didn't.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Pleasant as always, sarcasmic. One wonders how you haven't won over the masses to libertarianism yet.

    And I don't need your permission to point out the stupidity of your feeble attempt at an argument.

  • Randian||

    Gary Johnson can't do what he says he'll do -- so vote Mitt Romney!

    Johnson would be blocked by Congress --- so vote Mitt Romney!

    Your arguments aren't much better.

  • sarcasmic||

    It was sarcasm you fucking idiot troll.

  • Randian||

    If I were trying to vote for the most-likely winner, I would be voting BO.

    So your misrepresentation of my position is clearly faulty.

    Right, you said that you should vote for someone who has 'a chance', and I pointed out that everybody has a 'chance' and you just said 'nu uh' and stamped your feet.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Actually I gave an argument why the chance of GJ winning was negligible. As usual, you edited my remarks to make yourself look better.

    Not one of your more endearing habits, that's for gorram sure.

  • Randian||

    This is what you said that was so mathmatically ignorant, which is strongly ironic for you:

    Bull.

    He doesn't have a chance, first of all.
  • wareagle||

    GJ does not have a chance. No third party candidate does. Or ever has. On occasion, one can influence the outcome but that's as far as it goes.

  • Randian||

    Does anyone here know the definition of the word 'chance'? Anyone at all?

    Gary Johnson's 'chance' is 1%. Romney's is somewhere around 40%. Can you tell me what magic number a candidate has to be at in order for you to consider him 'having a chance'?

  • sarcasmic||

    Gary Johnson's 'chance' is 1%.

    It's closer to zero.

    Can you tell me what magic number a candidate has to be at in order for you to consider him 'having a chance'?

    It's not a magic number, it's a magic party. And there are only two of them. Take your pick. Or not. You're fucked no matter what.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    No f-ing way Johnson has a 1% chance.

    If you're referring to poll numbers, those aren't the same as probabilities of victory. The Cubs won roughly 40% of their games this year; that doesn't mean they had a 40% chance of being MLB champions.

  • Randian||

    Whatever number it is, it is still a chance, something you very ignorantly denied.

  • sarcasmic||

    Whatever number it is, it is still a chance

    Zero is not a chance.

    He has as much of a chance of scoring a White House win as I do of bedding Bar Refaeli.

    zee-fucking-row

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Must be nice to be you, Randian.

    You make a pretty obviously false assertion while insulting me; I call you on it; you move the goalpost and insult me further; and no one except for myself and maybe a couple of others will call you on it.

  • Randian||

    What? You said he had no chance. I said he did. You repeated that he had no chance. I asked you what the definition of 'chance' was that you were using, and that if MR's is 40% and GJ's is .01, where in that range does it turn from 'chance' to 'not chance', and yet you continue to whine?

    I am using the term 'ignorant' with its literal definition. If you want to remove the label, look up the phrase 'chance' and edify yourself.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    If we wanted to be rigorous about it we would compute the expected value of a vote for MR vs a vote for GJ.

    So if we assign the value of a BO victory to be 0, and MR's and GJ's values as the amount that they're better than a BO victory. If MR's probability of winning is 10,000 times higher than GJ's (a low estimate) then GJ has to have more than 10,000 times the value of MR for a vote for him to be advisable.

  • Proprietist||

    If we're going to use math, Gary Johnson has a far, far better chance of winning the presidency than the chance that my one vote for Romney or Obama will change the outcome of the election. So we're still more on the side of logic than you are.

  • wareagle||

    have it your way: Gary Johnson (L-Webster's) has a "chance", just like Virgil Good does. I also have a "chance" to play in the NFL.

    To your question, the ability to win a plurality qualifies as a chance, something no third party candidate in my lifetime has done. None has come close.

  • Randian||

    To your question, the ability to win a plurality qualifies as a chance

    A plurality of what? You either get 270 or it goes to the House. What number defines a plurality?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    And whoosh go the goalposts.

    He was talking about the popular vote, obviously.

  • Randian||

    Only one candidate will receive a plurality too, you know.

    He said "To your question, the ability to win a plurality qualifies as a chance,"...well, Johnson has that ability just like everybody else. To define it otherwise means that Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have no 'chance' either, because not both of them are able to win a plurality.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    You're not very good with probability, Randian. There are values between 0 and 1.

  • ||

    Yes, and "not 0" /=/ 0.

  • Randian||

    Attention libertarians! Gary Johnson might be blocked by Congress, so vote for the big-spending grandfather of Obamacare! Mitt Romney promises to sabre-rattle and possibly start a war with Iran! Mitt Romney opposes state drug legalization! Mitt Romney has a vague, ill-defined 'plan' to do...something about the budget!

    The choice is clear.

  • Proprietist||

    But, all sarcasm aside, I'm willing to cast a blind eye to Romney's problems and declare him a libertarian because he promised to take 3% less than Obama from the top 1%.

    That money was already set aside for their expensive monocle collections and urchin servants. Obama is just a job killer who hates capitalism! Mitt cares.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    All you guys have left is lying, obfuscation, insults, and distorted mockery. Sad to see.

  • sarcasmic||

    All you have left is straw men and moving the goalposts.

    Oh wait... that's all you ever had.

    Never mind.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    More lies. Not that you or Randian or Epi or the rest of the peanut gallery is ever going to be called on it. I gave up on H+R's commenters having a modicum of honor a long time ago.

    The experience of Randian calling me a racist for opposing illegal immigration (while supporting increased legal immigration) and not having a single commenter come to my defense was certainly an eye-opener.

  • Randian||

    Then get out, Tulpa.

    If we are all just so terrible, then leave.

    For the record, I apologized for calling you racist when nativist and xenophobe would have worked better and more accurately.

  • sarcasmic||

    If we are all just so terrible, then leave.

    He's like one of my cats. Any attention is good attention. Throw this one across the room and it'll come back purring.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    If the good people leave things will just get worse.

    And of course, that's not an apology, and is still a false accusation. By that standard, most of the legal immigrants I know are nativist xenophobes too.

  • Randian||

    Yeah, they probably are.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    You're either a despicable liar or a total fucking moron. I don't expect you to choose in public.

  • Proprietist||

    If you, John, Joe and Tony left, we'd have far fewer fallacies we'd have to waste our time on. I'm all for differing opinions - my views on corporations, bankruptcy, externalities and land value taxation are pretty darn contrary to most here. But I try my best to argue without fallacy, until it's obvious that I am arguing with someone who is so deep in their dissonant little fallacyland that mockery and parody is the only worthwhile expenditure of breath.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Why are you not pointing out any specific instances of these fallacies then?

  • Proprietist||

    I always do the first few times. When I hear the same fallacy 100 times from the same person's mouth, I'm not going to waste any time showing them any respect, especially when they consistently ignore the fundamental criticisms.

  • Proprietist||

    For instance, in this very thread I've already called you for both non sequitur and false equivalency without response.

    There are ways to argue "your one vote does count and you should vote for Romney" non-fallaciously, but you seem to have trouble doing so.

  • sarcasmic||

    I've already called you for both non sequitur and false equivalency without response.

    By not responding he can claim that he never read it, and from there claim he was never called out.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    I explained why it wasn't a nonsequitur above.

    Where did you specify a false equivalency?

  • Proprietist||

    You never explained how whether I'd vote for Obama under threat of my imprisonment since my solitary vote doesn't count has to do with whether a solitary vote counts in the scheme of a democratic election. It was a total non-sequitur to avoid the point that even if your vote was the deciding factor, they'd probably have a recount with a different final outcome.

    And the idea that there are only two "viable" options is a false equivalency since every candidate that is qualified to win the Presidency is technically "viable" if not "likely." You even admitted it was a fallacy resulting directly from the fallacious lesser of two evils debate.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    It wasn't a non sequitur. If you had refused to vote for Obama under those circumstances I would have caught you in a contradiction.

    As it stands, you escaped from my trap...this time.

    Actually, you're referring to a false dichotomy (I think) in the second paragraph, and that's not what I'm doing. The fact that refusing to choose between viable options is also a choice does not mean there are more than two choices.

  • Proprietist||

    No you wouldn't have - my vote probably wouldn't determine the election either way. Therefore, no contradiction - whether I'd vote for Obama to avoid jailtime, whether I'd still vote for Johnson and go to jail, or whether I'd "waste" my vote by not voting out of principle in opposition to the compulsion and still go to jail.

  • sarcasmic||

    Why are you not pointing out any specific instances of these fallacies then?

    Haaaaaaaaaa ha ha ha ha!

  • sarcasmic||

    I gave up on H+R's commenters having a modicum of honor a long time ago.

    I think you are confused as to who gave up on who.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    You didn't give up on me, you gave up on the truth. The two are not the same.

  • ||

    You didn't give up on me, you gave up on the truth.

    You guys say the WACKIEST things.

  • Calidissident||

    None of those are lies

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Romney did not invent Obamacare.

  • ||

    Romney was one of the people who invented the Massachusetts health care insurance reform law, and the one who added the individual mandate, one of the the defining features of the law. Obamacare is functionally identical.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    The individual mandate goes back to the Heritage Foundation in 1993 (and probably even earlier). It certainly wasn't invented by Romney.

    And Obamacare is not functionally identical to MassCare. For starters, it's a federal program, which introduces all sorts of constitutional questions. And the details of implementation are totally different.

    MassCare is a failure and a travesty that MR would have been better off disowning, but it's not some progenitor of Obamacare. If anything it provides a cautionary tale that BO refused to heed.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    And then we have the right to ask you why you didn't use your ability to prevent another BO term if you feel so strongly about it.

    Before I call the Secret Service, I just gots ta know: What's in it for me?

    I mean, just supposing I felt THAT strongly, what are you offering? Because if you were to leave a cardboard box full of nonconsecutive unmarked fifty dollar bills in a locker at the bus terminal in Gillette, Wyoming....

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Obviously that's not what I mean. Even beyond the moral and legal considerations, you don't want President Biden.

  • Randian||

    Have you donated all of your free time and income to Romney?

    If not, why not?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Losing my job and life savings with Romney winning would leave me worse off than having Obama win. Not that you're actually asking an honest question, you're just throwing shit at the wall and seeing what sticks.

    Of course, you'll present another insult disguised as "argument" in a few moments as if you had never made this ridiculous display.

  • Proprietist||

    And Tulpa should know. He is an expert on asking dishonest questions.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    you don't want President Biden.

    Are you suuuuuuuure?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    distorted mockery.

    I regret that I have but one life to give...

  • jili5||

    Republicans are either too stupid to listen to a small government man like Johnson or they're too in bed with the military industrial complex to give a crap.

  • Locris||

    If you think Obama is the superior choice, then vote for Johnson.
    He is wasting his influence by running for President.
    We would be far better served had he run for the House or Senate where he could write bills and serve possibly for life.
    The only mention of his run will be when he gets votes that may have otherwise gone to Romney.
    Don't bother me about the lesser of two evils is still evil.
    The worst candidate is still better than living in Hell

  • pradaguccioutlet@gmail.co||

    Since the program’s creation, the Energy Department has guaranteed $16 billion in loans for a total of 26 projects. Although Section 1705 is mainly known for funding such high-profile bankruptcies as Solyndra and Abound Solar, the companies it helps generally do well. That’s because most of the loan guarantees have gone to projects backed by large and financially secure companies. For instance, the energy producer Cogentrix, recipient of a $90 million guarantee, is a subsidiary of the investment bank Goldman Sachs. There’s every reason to believe Congentrix could have obtained a loan on its own.cheap nfl jerseys State backing confers subtler advantages as well. In 2010 the Government Accountability Office concluded that federal subsidies signal to investors that a company is relatively safe, a perception that helps attract additional private capital. During a July 18 statement before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Craig Witsoe, former CEO of Abound Solar, one of the Section 1705 companies that recently went under, explained that his company managed to collect an additional $350 million from private investors after it had secured its government guarantee. Much of that funding could be the product of the security that the federal support implied.

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  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

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