Don't Get Too Comfortable With the GOP's New Love For Libertarians

The party’s shift to a more limited government, civil liberties-conscious platform may not be as genuine as some believe.

GOP elephantDonkeyHotey / Foter / CC BYIn what many described as yet another indication of a monumental shift happening in the Grand Old Party, the Republican National Committee last week passed a resolution calling for an end to the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records.

But the party’s apparent shuffling to a more limited government, civil liberties-conscious platform may not be as genuine as some believe.

The RNC’s resolution, which passed by an “overwhelming majority,” declares “the mass collection and retention of personal data is in itself contrary to the right of privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.”

These are strong words for the party that stood by President George W. Bush when he secretly (and illegally) ordered the NSA to spy on the domestic communications of Americans without any warrants at all. Time magazine’s Zeke Miller branded the RNC’s resolution “the latest indication of a growing libertarian wing of the GOP.”

It’s not just on NSA surveillance that Republicans are choreographing a shift. Chris Christie, Republican Governor of New Jersey and expected 2016 presidential candidate, made headlines earlier this month when he condemned the “failed war on drugs” in his second inaugural address.

Departing from the traditional Republican orthodoxy that more prison beds equal less crime, Christie railed against the canard that “incarceration is the cure of every ill caused by drug abuse.”

Rand Paul (R-KY), another expected presidential candidate and the perceived leader in the GOP’s libertarian swing, has also worked in Congress to eliminate mandatory minimum sentencing for non-violent drug possession.

“[M]ore and more conservatives are clambering down from the prison ramparts,” wrote political scientists David Dagan and Steve Teles in a 2012 article in The Washington Monthly. “Change is coming to criminal justice because [of] an alliance of evangelicals and libertarians” on the right, they claimed.

Many libertarians have also been pleased with Republicans’ triumphant rekindling of anti-spending, anti-debt rhetoric, which seems to owe its rebirth to the election of Barack Obama as a catalyst.

All of this is done with an eye toward the poll numbers. Americans increasingly oppose draconian drug war policies, debt-ridden government, and excessively interventionist foreign policies.

But libertarians would do well to keep in mind a simple lesson of politics: Never trust a party out of power.

Time and time again, the party not occupying the White House and lacking full control of Congress opposes the status quo and hunkers down on purported party creeds, only to contradict those principles when they return to power.

The reality is that holding power brings perverse constraints, incentives, and perspectives on policy, while being out of power incentivizes politicians to exploit public discontent and capitalize on the political winds.

In the 1990s under President Bill Clinton, much of the GOP fancied itself downright noninterventionist in the realm of foreign policy. Republicans railed against Clinton’s meddling in Somalia and, especially after the “Black Hawk Down” incident, insisted on a pullout.

Republicans also resisted Clinton’s humanitarian interventions into the Balkans on the grounds that Bosnia and Kosovo were not vital U.S. interests and that it could potentially embroil the U.S. in a civil war that was none of our business.

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  • Sevo||

    ...“the latest indication of a growing libertarian wing of the GOP.”...

    More like the latest attempt to shake some votes from suckers it'll ignore once the votes are counted.

  • ||

    Yup. This.
    Two elections of being told to put my issues on the backburner for the good of the country. And in return they'll think about maybe getting around to not putting people in rape factories for smoking marijuana.

  • Square||

    Two elections? More like eight? Twelve?

  • ||

    If I was that old, yes.

  • Square||

    Poor child. You have many, many years of frustration ahead.

  • Plopper||

    Like all of the fools fawning over Cruz?

  • eyeroller||

    Right now, libertarians are seeing the relative benefits of divided government.

    If Republicans win the Senate and presidency, that will go away, and things will become worse than they are now.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The GOP resolution now against the surveillance state a GOP president ramped up could be partisanship or could be, if you allow me to put on my rose colored glasses, from the distance between now and 9/11.

  • Square||

    As dishonest and cynical as the posturing is on both sides, I do think it's a good sign that there is enough distance from both 9/11 and the drug war to start dialing them back.

    Both parties are betraying the same promises, which at some point has to start creating some sort of political advantage to actually acting on some of those promises. Which party will wind up actually doing it is like roulette.

  • Mike M.||

    Congressman seeking support to impeach Obama.

    "After walking out of Obama’s State of the Union speech upon hearing the president threaten to violate the Constitution and to rule by decree, Republican U.S. Congressman Steve Stockman of Texas says he is now seeking public support for introducing articles of impeachment. Recent surveys suggest that about 50 percent of Americans want to impeach Obama for a wide range of major scandals, and articles of impeachment have already been filed in the House against disgraced Attorney General Eric Holder, who is currently in criminal contempt of Congress."

  • R C Dean||

    Attorney General Eric Holder, who is currently in criminal contempt of Congress

    If he's not locked up (and he's not), then he's not really in criminal contempt of Congress, now, is he?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The Bush-Cheney campaign famously ran on a platform of a “humble foreign policy” and “no nation-building.”

    Watching Bill Kristol this morning on 'This Week' when he was asked about the fallout from Chris Christie's troubles he said the bigshits in the GOP had two words to say about it, "Jeb Bush".

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug|2.2.14 @ 12:33PM|#
    BUSH BUSH BUSH BUSH BUSH BUSH BUSH BUSH BUSH
    (slurp, Obo)

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Sevo, are you ready for a 2016 Bush vs Clinton smackdown? There is a damn good chance it will happen.

  • BakedPenguin||

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug|2.2.14 @ 12:56PM|#
    BUSH BUSH BUSH BUSH BUSH BUSH BUSH BUSH BUSH

  • fish_remote||

    I didn't think the American public could be duped into electing another Bush...but the Odummy administration has me convinced that they can!

    To paraphrase Jack Napier....this country needs an enema!

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    On the one hand, I hated W. On the other, the salty ham tears if we see the headline "President Bush signs repeal of Obamacare" might make it all worthwhile.

  • Square||

    If our choice is between another Bush and another Clinton, well. . . I just can't go on.

  • Jon Lester||

    I thought that was Commissioner Gordon's line.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "But, warns John Glaser, the party’s apparent shuffling to a more limited government, civil liberties-conscious platform may not be as genuine as some believe."

    It will become something like "genuine" once it delivers some victories. That's the way politicians function. There isn't anything genuine about any of them, and there never will be.

    They're trying a new advertising slogan, and if it works in the marketplace, they'll use it more often. If it works really well, they'll actually implement some of it in law, and use having done that for more advertising.

    As soon as being in favor of data collection wins more votes than it loses, they'll go the other way. The battle isn't over politicians, anyway; they're just a way of keeping score. The battle is over the hearts and minds of the American people, and glancing at this scoreboard, it looks like maybe we're winning on this one.

  • ||

    It will become something like "genuine" once it delivers some victories. That's the way politicians function.

    Yeah no. That is decidedly not how politics functions. For one thing, the socons own the Team Red base and will be driving policy rhetoric until those reins can be wrested from their hands. For another, victories may well make for campaign rhetoric but that has never influenced actual policy once in office.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I'm not sure the social conservatives own the GOP base anymore.

    I think that's part of what the war between establishment Republicans and Tea Party Republicans is all about.

    From the surveys I've seen, Tea Party people are much more concerned about things like NSA data collection and economic issues, and they care less about things like gay marriage and abortion. ...care less than the establishment Republicans.

    I know your standard Democrat voter imagines that Tea Party Republicans are more socially conservative than the average Republican, but I don't believe that's so.

  • Thomas O.||

    "I'm not sure the social conservatives own the GOP base anymore."

    Yeah, I'll believe that once the no-gay-marriage-for-you-amendment plank is dropped from their platform.

  • Virginian||

    For one thing, the socons own the Team Red base

    This is decidedly untrue. They have never ever gotten anything passed in law. The SoCons are the useful dupes of the GOP. The real powerbrokers in the GOP are the ones who keep the right kind of spending high. There's no crony money in socon issues. Not even the pittance that W's "Faith Based" welfare spending measures up to defense contractors, agribusiness, etc.

  • Dweebston||

    But the socon message does manage to scare off low-info independents and lite progs who might otherwise favor libertarian anti-corporatism. I agree, they're the reliable union voters of the Republican party, but they're toxic for winning over allies to the pro-free trade/anti-cronyism message.

  • Virginian||

    But the socon message does manage to scare off low-info independents and lite progs who might otherwise favor libertarian anti-corporatism.

    Maybe/kinda/sorta. But that's not what Warren was saying. He was saying that the socon voters drive the policy of the GOP, which is emphatically untrue. The policy of the GOP is driven by the establishment, which gives the socons rhetorical nods, but doesn't ever actually do anything.

    I agree, they're the reliable union voters of the Republican party

    Spot on, but for reasons other then you stated. What it really comes down to is social class. The elite suit wearing Beltway insiders of both parties went to the same schools, have the same neighborhoods and country clubs and friends. Their children go to elite private schools together. They date and marry each other. David Axelrod has far more in common with Karl Rove then he does with a West Virginia UMWA member.

    The Beltway bubble is real. Take something like NAFTA. Now, we here know free trade is good because we looked at the data. But the real reason NAFTA is never going to be repealed is that opposition to free trade is a plank of the rubes, of the unwashed proles. Ross Perot was terribly declasse, and Buchanan is even worse. Just the wrong sort, don't you know.

  • ||

    "There's no crony money in socon issues."

    You may be on to something there, maybe.

  • Procrastinatus||

    Socons are to Team Red what African Americans are to ream blue. That is, block voters who can be kept on the plantation with a wink and a nod, but nothing else besides.

  • Mike M.||

    Dude, if socons owned the Team Red base, Mitt Romney would never have had a prayer of winning the republican nomination.

    You do know that socons despise Romney, right? Because it kind of sounds like you were in a coma for all of 2012 or something.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Tea party republicans hated Romney. SoCons - not so much.

  • dbobway||

    SoCons think Mormons are are a cult. I hope Tea Party folks would consider the difference between Mitt and Obama worth voting for someone they hate.

  • ||

    But libertarians would do well to keep in mind a simple lesson of politics: Never trust a party out of power.

    Damn skippy. If the last hundred years have taught us nothing else, we should at least have learned that.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    But libertarians would do well to keep in mind a simple lesson of politics: Never trust a party out of power politician.

    Fixed it,

  • Almanian (yeah, I said it)||

    thanks

  • ||

    I'd trust a Ron Paul not to create new cabinet positions, government agencies, entitlement programs, or just start dropping bombs on brown people.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Don't trust him too much.

    I think a lot of politicians (particularly presidents) really intend to do the things they promise, yet when confronted with the situation as it actually exists rather than how they thought it exists, they realize the alternatives are not politically palatable.

    E.g. Closing GITMO. When presented with the actual files of the detainees (some very bad people) the question becomes, what do you do with them? You can't kill them. You can't try them in US court. You can't release them. And you've already denounced military tribunals...

    Result: GITMO remains open.

    Same with ending the war early. He used the Bush timetable because of all the agreements made to support the puppet governments. You'd take a HUGE political beating for blowing off your obligations if those action result in those governments collapsing.

    Our media doesn't provide us with 5% of what actually goes on.

    It would be interesting to see what a man of impeccable character (like Dr Paul) would do in the above situations.

    The correct action(s) is/are not to allow ourselves to be put in such situations to begin with. It's a lot easier to avoid than it is to unwind.

  • Dweebston||

    Incrementalism is impossible to resist. What's putting aside a few billion dollars for the Pregnant Orphan Narcotics Addicts in the grand scheme? It's such an obviously righteous cause, and in a three trillion dollar economy we can afford to take care of orphan addicts and their crack babies. And once that spending's baked into the budget, it's impossible to remove. And every little program looks cheap relative to the national budget.

    Multiply that by 535 and again by 365. It's incredible things aren't even more swamped by bureaucracy.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Incrementalism is impossible to resist.

    I don't disagree with that. That's why having principles is such a big thing for me. But the only thing harder than resisting incrementalism is trying to get rid of ANYTHING the government does. Honestly, I'm surprised we can have a drink in this country.

  • DenverJay||

    This touches on a pet peeve of mine concerning the WOD; if the Federal Government didn't have the authority to ban a drug (alcohol) without a Constitutional Amendment in 1919, why does it have the authority to ban any other drug now?
    Short answer: it doesn't. The WOD, like 90% of the modern Federal Government's actions, is unconstitutional. But a combination of things, including the take over of education by statists, the transformation of the 4th estate into Pravda, and the 17th Amendment, have removed any populist resistance to centralized government. And if the sheeple won't enforce limits on the government, it certainly won't voluntarily limit its actions by itself.

  • Free Society||

    They did have the authority, according to their courts, jurists and legislators (the law cartel) to ban alcohol without a constitutional amendment. The decision to make it an amendment was made because they had the political capital to get it done and it would be would be harder to repeal than a regular federal law.

  • John Galt||

    It's always much easier to stomach a Clinton bombing white people. White people have it coming.

  • Free Society||

    white peoples is racist!

  • RoninX||

    Politicians are like lawyers or mercenaries. You may need them to get out of a bad situation, but never for a moment believe that they have your best interests at heart.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Or perhaps they are bending to the will of the people?

    What? Politicians lie to get elected? I'm astonished!

    At least now they're saying the right things.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Witness Dems convincing pro-choicers to vote for them, even as they join with SoCons in telling women what kind of light bulbs can light their bedrooms, how many gallons their toilets can flush in their bathrooms...

  • SIV||

    SoCons vote for light bulb bans and low-flow toilets? I'm not saying they all don't but it isn't like those things have anything to do with pro-life and trad values.

  • Killaz||

    Well, Bush signed that monstrosity.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    SoCons have a bias towards telling people what to do.

  • ||

    But those are not socon talking points. Dems didn't "join" with them on anything.

  • R C Dean||

    Dems didn't "join" with them on anything.

    Well, not if you don't count the actual legislation, anyway.

  • Killaz||

    That particular talking point isn't, but this is why it is possible to get that kind of legislation passed without their opposition. They have a much higher level of tolerance of that statist crap than the fiscal conservatives. So long as their values are being pushed, limited government is a distraction that gets in the way. Often times, at odds with their goals, like in the case of abortion restriction.

  • Killaz||

    Obama's NSA surveillance policies violate Roe v. Wade. Surely, the feminist will not tolerate any incursion into their right to privacy, correct?

  • Nooge.||

    Obama's NSA surveillance policies violate Roe v. Wade. Surely, the feminist will not tolerate any incursion into their right to privacy, correct?

    Team members with the correct credentials (like being named "Clinton") can literally hatefuck the idea of feminism, and no shits will be given by the so-called feminists.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Better yet, Obamacare violates everyone's right to privacy, surely the SCOTUS will overturn in for violating the penumbra.

  • toolkien||

    Well, I still have the GOP assault on the libertarian faction of the party, circa 2003, on the brain; when the GOP were in complete power with their "Contract With America 'mandate'" jingling in their pocket. A systematic purge so resolute that several articles appeared in the National Review (I'm talking about you, Jonah Goldberg) dis-inviting the fiscally conservative/socially liberal from the party.

    Any rhetoric today MIGHT be taken as valuable if there hadn't been a decade of pissing on Ron Paul, shouting down anybody who dared talk about limiting unemployment welfare (beyond the actuarial amounts built into the forced insurance premium extorted from employers who ultimately take it out of employee pay), and marginalizing the Tea Party (in my opinion libertarian lite). If they are fractured along fault lines with the Tea Party, any come hither looks they give to baseline libertarians can only mean the screwing is going to go one way.

  • toolkien||

    Cont.

    And, whatever rhetoric I've heard requires libertarians to do the compromising and simply restore us back to the lesser of two evils conundrum. The GOP is simply too afraid of losing the very last of the Stosh and Stella portion of the party, not factoring in that the attendees of the super club circuit are a dying breed. They are hanging on desperately to the nearly irrelevant Boomers instead of reaching accord with the fiscally conservative/socially liberal Gen-Xers who could give the party a new life.

    A recasting of the debates toward fiscal matters is what should divide the political ideals, but so long as the Republicans continue on this socially conservative/fiscally liberal (and therefore diametrically opposed to libertarians) tack of theirs, the very last pieces of the corpora-fascistic shitbox we have will fall into place. The stakes are too high for the GOP to ask us to compromise our principals and choose the slightly slower developing corpora-fascism.

  • ||

    *points to toolkein*
    He ain't wrong.

  • JWatts||

    "Well, I still have the GOP assault on the libertarian faction of the party, circa 2003, on the brain; when the GOP were in complete power with their "Well, I still have the GOP assault on the libertarian faction of the party, circa 2003, on the brain; when the GOP were in complete power with their "Contract With America 'mandate'" jingling in their pocket."

    Negative Points to toolkein, because that's completely wrong. The Contract With America was from 1994, it had nada to do with the events of 2003.

  • Nooge.||

    nearly irrelevant Boomers

    JFC, if that were true, I'd throw a fucking time-exploding rave. Molly on me.

    The greediest, most selfish, most self-centered generation of cunts in the history of the world is anything but irrelevant. They are The Man now. They have all the power.

  • DenverJay||

    And, they completely monopolize rock stations on the radio. You've got country, hip hop, and classic rock, but little new rock. Believe it or not, as good as Zepplin, Floyd, etc., were, after listening to the same songs for 4 and 1/2 decades, I want to listen to something else. And, incredible as it may seem, there actually has been some pretty good stuff put out since the Boomer's graduated college.

  • ||

    fiscally conservative/socially liberal Gen-Xers

    Lol. Good one.

  • Killaz||

    I thought it particularly sad when the Republican establishment assigned to David Frum, a Keynesian and a Canadian, gatekeeper duties.

  • Almanian (yeah, I said it)||

    IT'S A TRAP!!

  • Ken Shultz||

    It's a cookbook!

  • ||

    IT'S PEOPLE!

  • Nooge.||

  • Unable2Reason||

    We need the Libertarian-leaning members to reach a tipping point where they can take their marbles and form another party to destroy the GOP if the system breaks down. If the GOP is staring down a future of Democratic dominated oblivion they may be more inclined to tow the line. Even better, the entire process could be accelerated dramatically if we were to simultaneously get rid of the far right GOP dinosaurs like Peter King.

  • Thomas O.||

    If we can convince a couple of the GOP's corporate sugar-daddies to switch their party allegiance and start funneling money into the LP (or at least seriously threaten to do so), then I might take that suggestion seriously. I've always said, as long as the GOP has their loyal big-money contributors, they can pretty much tell their base to go fuck themselves.

  • Sam Grove||

    Of the two parties, the GOP is least trustworthy as regards their rhetorical support for limited government/liberty.

  • Killaz||

    It's not that they are anymore or less trustworthy, but the other side is constantly yelling, 'gimme! gimme! gimme! what you got' and 'you didn't build that!' to justify taking it.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    They are more trustworthy, because the other side is led by those who openly oppose freedom.

  • Nooge.||

    As opposed to playing their reliable voting base for utter dumbshits and opposing it anyway?

  • Sevo||

    Sam Grove|2.2.14 @ 1:37PM|#
    "Of the two parties, the GOP is least trustworthy as regards their rhetorical support for limited government/liberty."

    That's only because the Dems don't even bother to claim any interest in those positions.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    And the anti gay marriage aborto-freaks in the GOP just know how to say "liberty" without practicing it.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug|2.2.14 @ 1:53PM|#
    BUSH BUSH BUSH BUSH BUSH BUSH BUSH BUSH BUSH

  • BakedPenguin||

  • Free Society||

    The same holds true for you and your ilk. People like you use freedom as the justification for the enslavement of their neighbors.

  • sarcasmic||

    At least the Democrats are honest when they say they want to grow government and punish the productive.

    Republicans preach the opposite, then to and do it anyway.

  • Mike M.||

    Bush and the republicans did a lot of awful things when they were in power, but punishing the productive at least wasn't one of them. Bush cut taxes for every single income-earner in America, including those evil one percenters.

  • sarcasmic||

    Taxation is not the only way governments punish the productive.

  • Free Society||

    He further cartelized economic institutions and drastically expanded the power and size of the federal government. And he financed it by borrowing against the tax receipts of unborn children. Did they not punish the productive, really?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Damn. Phillip Seymour Hoffman found dead in NYC.

  • ||

    Drugs are bad, mmmkay?

  • Libertarius||

    He was an arch-leftoid, a self-loathing neurotic coward who couldn't face reality, so he turned to drugs and collectivism.

  • Irish||

    Class, thy name is H&R.

  • Virginian||

    Class, thy name is H&R.

    We say cunt too sometimes.

    I've already seen the drug warriors tut-tutting. Ace of Spades has a long thumbsucking "drugs are bad mmmmkay" post. Because if drugs were legal, and Merck was selling carefully purified and measured doses of heroin, people would still OD.

    Fucking hell, it's really not a hard concept to get.

  • Irish||

    Ace of Spades has a long thumbsucking "drugs are bad mmmmkay" post.

    I saw that. The best part is that he compared Anderson Cooper making jokes about weed to people deciding heroin would be okay due to legalization.

    Because, as we all know, pot and heroin have equal chances of causing overdoses, so obviously if people don't think it's that big a deal to smoke weed they'd feel the same way about heroin.

    Solid logic there, Republicans.

  • Virginian||

    Yeah overdoses are caused by shitty quality control. Professional drug companies do not have shitty quality control. If professional drug companies were manufacturing the drugs, there wouldn't be unintentional overdoses IMO. You'd still see negligent or suicidal overdoses of course.

  • ||

    so obviously if people don't think it's that big a deal to smoke weed they'd feel the same way about heroin.

    Just in the interest of clarity, the libertarian position is exactly what he fears. I'd like to think the hypocrisy of those who want to see pot legalized but heroin remain illegal will be a point of concern for libertarians after they're done using them as useful idiots.

  • Zeb||

    Pathologizing people's political preferences is dumb whoever is doing it.

  • Lord Peter Wimsey||

    Hmm. A quick Google didn't reveal anything beyond the normal politics of hollywood (which, granted, is bad enough).

    I didn't dig deep, but usually the most outspoken or crazy views end up on their Wikipedia entry.

  • Nooge.||

    Harsh, man. Maybe he was just sick and needed help.

  • SIV||

    Surely Obama will reschedule heroin after the midterms...

  • Nooge.||

    Fuck heroin. If the federal shitbags would make Narcan something you could get over-the-counter at 7-11, this shit wouldn't fucking happen.

  • Mike M.||

    You should start doing heroin too, Weigel. Don't listen to what the doctors say, it's actually really good for you.

  • RBS||

    Is PB really Weigel? Not saying it doesn't make sense...

  • Mike M.||

    Yes, it's really him. Nobody else in the world likes calling people "ratfuckers", and he says a lot of the same exact stupid shit in his columns and his Twitter account that he does here. He posted the Hoffman thing on Twitter at almost the same time that he did here.

  • ||

    I still laugh when I remember his proclamation that Obama is an ardent defender of the second amendment.

    You cannot parody that level of mendacity.

  • Mike M.||

    He is without a doubt one of the most vile and dishonest members of the media I've ever seen in my life. And that's saying a lot when you think about how fierce the competition is.

  • C. Anacreon||

    He is a fellow Northwestern alum, so I'll give him that. But he was five years old when I graduated, maybe they only let in assholes now.

  • Virginian||

    I still laugh when I remember his proclamation that Obama is an ardent defender of the second amendment.

    Weigel or shrieks?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    They are more trustworthy, because the other side is led by those who openly oppose freedom.

    "Help! I've fallen down in this hall of mirrors, and I can't get out."

  • ||

    A breathtakingly idiotic statement, wasn't it. Oh well, there will always be the TEAM RED dead enders.

  • RBS||

    Over/Under on Phillip Seymour Hoffman pieces? I'm going with at least one from every editor and probably two-three from Jesse, Nick and Matt.

  • Ted S.||

    Is Lou Reed still dead?

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    I thought the President resurrected him?

  • Free Society||

    No he just issued him an Executive Order not to die, of which the treasonous cunt disobeyed.

  • Mike M.||

    I still get queasy in the stomach when I think about how they licked the dead balls of Roger Ebert, who was an arch-enemy of libertarianism and everything it stands for. The constant appeals to cultural Marxism around here are highly annoying and distasteful.

  • Zeb||

    If that makes you queasy, you really need to get out more.

  • Irish||

    Especially if you're still queasy like a year later.

    Move on.

  • Killaz||

    Libertarian class theory? It predates Marx by at least a few generations.

  • Nooge.||

    I still get queasy in the stomach when I think about how they licked the dead balls of Roger Ebert, who was an arch-enemy of libertarianism and everything it stands for.

    That is true, but he was also one of the most sincerely brilliant film critics who ever lived. Really.

  • Killaz||

    PSHs death was no surprise to Hollywood, though. They have been prepping Jonah Hill to take over the roles written for the type of characters he plays for a few years now.

    I haven't seen the new Scorsese to see how this is going to work out, but This Is The End? A scene where Hill is raped by a bull cock bearing demon was no where near as funny as that set up has every right to be.

  • Pompey||

    This Is The End was complete crap.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    I may be wrong but there were less Mandela pieces than Lou Reed - who I could have sworn I saw shopping at a nearby discount store.

  • sarcasmic||

    Libertarian noises. I like that.

  • rudolf a van balen||

    Take over the republican party.screw establishment republic
    Cans!!!

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Is Lou Reed still dead?

    He lives on.

    In my heart, and on my mp3 player.

  • BakedPenguin||

    He's never early, he's always late. First thing you learn is that you always gotta wait

  • Ted S.||

    Is threading comments dead?

  • Zeb||

    Only for P Brooks. Who is also dead.

  • montana mike||

    I have several Lou Reed records, I'm going to die soon.

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    I dare Reason to get rid of the autoplay daily show clip. Holy shit is that annoying.

  • Zeb||

    It had the be the most cringe inducing clip ever, too. God, that was awful.

  • Number 2||

    I guess Glaser didn't get the memo about pleasing his Reason bosses by only bashing Democrats. See, e.g., http://reason.com/blog/2014/02.....s-the-powe

  • The Late P Brooks||

    DOOOOOOOOM

    “Every day this drought goes on we are going to have to tighten the screws on what people are doing” said Gov. Jerry Brown, who was governor during the last major drought here, in 1976-77.

    Never let a tragedy go to waste, Jerry.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Headline: Severe Drought Has U.S. West Fearing Worst

    West = California according to NYT.

  • DenverJay||

    every time he is Governor there is a drought, coincidence?

  • Westmiller||

    Vigilance is always wise, but I don't think fatalism is necessary.
    Those who believe nothing can change will never make historic changes ... but they do happen.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Wut

    The Republican plan would be costly and disruptive — to millions of Americans who have already signed up for private plans or Medicaid or will do so in the next few years; to insurance companies; and to state insurance commissioners who have based plans on the existing law and spent substantial money carrying them out.

    Since when has the NYT Editorial Board cared about "disruption" or "expense" in the pursuit of political goals?

  • Sevo||

    "Since when has the NYT Editorial Board cared about "disruption" or "expense" in the pursuit of political goals?"

    Since the time when it would cancel that stinking mess their fave liar put out.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Instead of trying to replace the health reform law with an inferior version, the Republicans should work to make the current law better, perhaps by encouraging more states to expand their Medicaid programs and intensify their outreach to the uninsured.

    Yeah.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Introduce a Motor-Voter-Healthcare Act?

  • Sevo||

    "Instead of trying to replace the health reform law with an inferior version, the Republicans should work to make the current law better, perhaps by encouraging more states to expand their Medicaid programs and intensify their outreach to the uninsured."

    Yeah, since Obo was working with them so closely to get it passed to begin with, why they should return the favor.
    And JAM IT DOWN HIS THROAT!

  • pronomian||

    We need to remember there is no real difference between the two parties. This article is further proof of that. They are two sides of the same coin.

    "But libertarians would do well to keep in mind a simple lesson of politics: Never trust a party out of power."

    Whenever the "true" repugnicans ever get back in power libertarians will once again be the "whacko-birds."

    Why is there "wings" of the party that are libertarian. There should be a third party made up of libertarians. There would be no larger tent.

  • Virginian||

    There should be a third party made up of libertarians.

    The problem is that pretty much everyone outside of total communists is a "I'm libertarian, but"

    The "but" is the doom. Democrats can't take our gun rights stance, and of course they hate our economic beliefs. Lot's of Republicans won't tolerate gay marriage or legal abortion, or big cuts to the national security state.

    Everyone wants to shrink government somewhere, but only libertarians want to shrink all the government.

  • DenverJay||

    um... you mean like the Libertarian Party?

  • Thomas O.||

    Thanks to the machine currently in place, anyone threatening to vote 3rd party will most likely get bullied into submission by the buttsplitters (BUT you'll SPLIT the party! OTHERTEAMWINZ!)

  • Eggs Benedict Cumberbund||

    I'll take red over blue every time. Though, I have to admit the choice between crazy McCain and Obama is a toss up. Blue has authoritarian built into their genes...starting with Plato. Also the press will actually do their job when red is in the WH. Red is - almost - always a better choice.

  • Blueman||

    Yeah, I never thought GOP was actually going libertarian.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    While I take much of Glaser's point, I'd suggest that it is a little disingenuous to talk about the Republicans' shift in favor of interventionism under Bush without acknowledging that there was a little...incident in September 2001 that might have shifted thinking. To discuss the issue as simply a matter of getting into power without acknowledging that 9/11 might have had a little something to do with the shift doesn't do your argument much good.
    Don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting the Bush administration's response to the attacks was the right one. But, I think a shift in perceived circumstances explains that one a lot more than a shift in which party is in power.

  • TANSTaaFL||

    If invading Iraq and nation building is in any way a reasonable or possibly reasonable response to 9/11 the we should wipe out all birds in response to mosquito-induced malaria.

    It was just the excuse used to enact plans they were frothing at the mouth to put in action.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Except there's no real evidence supporting that interpretation. Prior to 9/11, admittedly a relatively short time frame, is there any evidence the Bush administration was pushing an aggressively interventionist foreign policy? If so, I haven't seen it.
    Yes, the Bush administration's response to 9/11 was a bad one. You won't get an argument from me about that. But, there's not a whole lot of evidence that that was what they intended from day one.

  • HenryC||

    The party is changing, unwilling, but changing. It is being dragged into a more libertarian viewpoint by voters and primaries. It is us, not them.

  • Thomas O.||

    So how does "us" muscle ourselves into actually changing the official GOP platform that still seems like "them" has an iron grip on it? As long as the pro-gay and pro-pot types can point to the platform and say "no thanks" to joining the GOP, that rush of new converts is just going to be a trickle.

  • GlobalPoliticalAwakening||

    The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty. --George Washington - See more at: http://globalpoliticalawakenin.....lpNlD.dpuf

  • Fr33Th1nK3R||

    I'm a Ron and Rand Paul fan. Not that I agree with everything both men have to say, but it's close enough. So I don't have a problem with the GOP taking on a more libertarian philosophy at this time. We all saw how the GOP treated Ron Paul. I don't know if Rand is taking a more stealthy approach with infiltrating the GOP (if that's indeed what he's up to), but I believe this would be the way to go. Infiltrate it and take it over.

  • Anvil||

    I'm with you on Rand's strategy. He seen how his dad was treated and devised a way to rise to prominence without compromising his Libertarian beliefs. I just hope it pays off in the long run and we see him in the White House in 2016.

  • uhclem||

    The lessor of three evils is still evil.
    As usual, the GOP is a day late and a dollar short when it comes to pandering.
    The Libertarian Party is no different than the Dems or the Reps: They want to be in POWER and tell everyone what to do and how to live their lives, and there's no proof anywhere that anything would improve under the thumb of Libertarians.
    The vast majority of Americans no longer trust political parties no matter what they promise: We all KNOW they're lying!
    Voting is an act of aggression and more and more Americans are refusing to vote for/against anyone.
    Politicians rule by the consent of the governed...we no longer consent to their rule!
    Voting proves consent.
    Burn your voter registration card, or better yet don't register to vote at all.
    If you love liberty, show it and stay home on Nov. 8th.

  • Anvil||

    Lesser of 3 evils? How so?

    D & R have both proven to expand govt. when in charge.

    Libertarian has yet to even be a part of the larger conversation of what will be done if/when in power.

  • Warren_28||

    I think this article suggest Libertarian defeatism. Libertarians can keep getting 3% of the vote and complain the Republican Party is only playing lip-service to Libertarian causes. Or Libertarians can have a positive approach, try to grow their 3% and take-over the Republican Party.

  • Anvil||

    I disagree, it is more about "cautious optimism", in that while it may be good the GOP is at least showing signs of adopting Libertarian elements, the sincerity behind doing so is still highly suspect.

  • Bill Goode||

    It's the establishment Democrats and Republicans that run candidates by party. The liberty / Tea Party movement doesn't do that. We run candidates as individuals, who for the most part happen to be Republicans. For me, the primary qualification for candidacy and political office is political integrity. How likely is it that the candidate will live up to his campaign promises? So for me, the adage: "Never trust a party out of power" doesn't apply. I'm looking at the candidate, not the party.

  • MoreFreedom||

    The only hope in the Republican party is for conservatives to vote out the RINOs in the primaries. There isn't any point in voting for a Republican if they're for more government.

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