Barney Frank: Feds Should Decriminalize Marijuana

Fast forward to about the 6 minute mark.

If we're left with choosing between the authoritarian socialism of today's GOP or the socialism-with-individual-liberty of Barney Frank, I'll take the latter in a heartbeat. We could do worse to have more like him in Congress.

Also, Bill Maher needs to read the newspaper.

More Frank eloquence on the subject of individual freedom here...

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  • Mike Laursen||

    "Make Room For The Serious Criminals Bill". Great title!

  • vault_dog4||

    Terrific!

    I can just hear the social conservatives now - "Well, if a openly gay democrat who had an escort service run out of his house thinks weed should be decriminalized, it works for me...."

    Next up, Osama bin Laden is against the Department of Education.

  • ||

    Wow, Barry Frank is such a douche bag after all. I kind of like the guy know.

  • ||

    IIRC, Barney Frank sponsored a decriminalization bill back in the late 70s or 80s.

  • Someone Who Doesn\'t Want to L||

    joe: He said something about that in the Maher clip. I believe he said it was as a state legislator, though, rather than in the US Congress.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    socialism-with-individual-liberty of Barney Frank

    How does that work? The government takes all your money and then doles out free weed to the poor?

  • ||

    Barney Frank has always been one of my favorite liberals. He even calls out his own party on the protectionist horse shit they've been bantering about for the past 8 years. Quoted Hayek(!) on the floor of the house in opposition to sugar tariffs and corn subsidies.

  • ||

    How does that work? The government takes all your money and then doles out free weed to the poor?

    Doesn't sound to bad to me.

  • ||

    I once had the honor of voting for that man.

  • some guy||

    socialism-with-individual-liberty

    When did words stop having meaning at H&R?
    Is it the election? It's the election, isn't it.

  • ||

    Speaking of Hayek, isn't the whole point of The Road to Serfdom that individual liberty can't survive socialism? I only read the comic book version, so maybe I missed some important points...

  • ||

    Warty, no one is saying Frank is a libertarian. Hes just a liberal who is actually good on what liberals are supposed to be good on.

    He still completely sucks on economics (exception: trade).

    Anyone else who watched Maher last night get really, really sick of the protectionist/income re-distribution circle-jerk that wouldn't let O'Rourke get a word in edge-wise?

    I also love how all three liberals assumed that of course, people who are for free markets would want a government bail-out of large corporations. Idiots.

  • ||

    Gee, where would they ever get that idea?

  • ||

    There's a comic book version of The Road to Serfdom?

    Oh, I get it you're being sarcastic, thanks for crushing my dreams Warty.

  • some guy||

    There's a comic book version of pretty much everything, even the Constitution. It's Nancy Pelosi's favorite. She likes the pretty pictures.

  • ||

    Does the fact that no nation has ever become totalitarian in the manner Hayek describes - by gradually enlarging its welfare state - but rather through revolutions and radical reorderings - indicate anything about how seriously we should take his ideas?

    Let's look at the history of totalitarianism:

    USSR
    Fascist Italy
    Nazi Germany
    Franco's Spain
    Red China
    Eastern Europe
    Vietnam
    Burma
    Cambodia
    Laos
    Cuba

    Not a single one of those places was a liberal democracy that adopted a social welfare role and gradually became totalitarian.

    Liberal democracies that adopted a social welfare state? Sweden. Canada. Great Britain. Ireland. The United States. West Germany. France. Not even the ones that adopted central economic planning as opposed to just a welfare state - Britain under Labour in the 50s-70s comes to mind - fell into totalitarianism.

    It's a plausible and internally logical theory Hayek articulated, but it fails the reality test. That's not how totalitarianism comes about, and that's not what happens to liberal democracies that create an economic safety net.

  • ||

    If we're left with choosing between the authoritarian socialism of today's GOP or the socialism-with-individual-liberty of Barney Frank, I'll take the latter in a heartbeat.

    I've been hearing liberals talking like that since the '70's. All I know about that is that not only is marijuana not legal yet, but now they're after your cigarettes, beer and trans fats as well. We won't even talk about your guns and your money.

    Caveat Emptor

  • ||

    Joe-

    Hayek wasn't talking about social safety nets so much as central economic planning. Central economic planning DOES lead to totalitarianism.

  • ||

    I cringe everytime Bill Maher calls himself a libertarian. I know he's for decriminalizing drugs & prostitution, but he has his head up his ass about everything else.

  • ||

    BTW, for all the conservatives out there, the first step on Hayek's road to serfdom was war.

    Hmmm....

  • ||

    BTW, for all the conservatives out there, the first step on Hayek's road to serfdom was war.

    Tell that to Lyndon Johnson, who not only gave us Vietnam, but also the Great Society.

    The Vietnam war has been over for decades, but Medicare is still with us.

    Moral of the story: Wars eventually end, but government programs are forever. Something you may want to think about before deciding the anti-war liberal is preferable to the pro-war conservative. Not that we have any reason to believe either one of them is telling us the truth about their intentions.

  • ||

    Well, Bush gave us Iraq AND no child left behind and medicare part D.

  • ||

    War makes people accept government regimentation, control, and compliance to authority like nothing else can. This ends up seeping into other things, like economics. Its impossible to have an Empire abroad and keep a Republic at home.

    As for the war ending, I think they've found a way around that since the neocon advisers McCain has love to go on and on about the "long twilight struggle" that could last 100 years.

  • some guy||

    You're not allowed to use "neocon" any more, Cesar. I believe they've come up with a new word, but it slips my mind...

  • ||

    You're not allowed to use "neocon" any more, Cesar. I believe they've come up with a new word, but it slips my mind...



    Yeah, fucking Naomi Klein. I guess I could say "Teddy Roosevelt Republican".

  • ||

    I don't think there is such a thing as a anti-war liberal. They just choose different types of wars to fight then conseratives do. i.e. Bosnia, Somalia, Dufar.

  • ||

    Travis-

    All too true and I hate the U.N./NATO backed "humanitarian" missions as well but they aren't as bad as wars like Iraq. We didn't have any Americans die in Kosovo.

  • VM||

    travis - GHWB went into Somalia to give clinton problems, prob'ly, but it was a herbert walker war... but the "humanitarian" use of troops is really for teh sukz

  • ||

    GWHB went into Somalia to save half a million human beings from starving to death during a famine, by stopping militia attacks on the food convoys that were trying to bring them aid.

    And it worked.

    People forget that. A population the size of Boston didn't die of malnutrition because of the Somalia mission.

  • ||

    Barney Frank is a Massachusetts socialist and deserves disdain for that. He is also intelligent and honest. He deserves credit for that. And he is absolutely right here.

    For those unsure of their masculinity, I hear he might be queer. Hate him for it.

  • VM||

    but... but... but... j sub. I dislike Dick Armey for a ton of things, and his derision of Rep Frank made the list.

  • ||

    Cesar,
    You're right about liberal wars being smaller scale, but we still have troops stationed in Kosovo a decade after the conflict and if an american soldier dies now or in the future it will be because of the war Clinton started back in the 90's.

    VM,
    You're right papa Bush started the conflict in Somalia.

  • ||

    Travis--

    Or if a Serbian terrorist detonates a bomb in NYC for revenge because of what we did to Belgrade, that will be because of Clinton too.

  • ||

    People forget that. A population the size of Boston didn't die of malnutrition because of the Somalia mission.

    It also weakened the warlords the U.N. now backs against the Islamists in that country.

  • Bill Clinton||

    *takes one of Travis's french fries*

    yuh see, it's the warlords

    nom nom nom

    and we need to get the food, say, your big mac, nom nom nom, from the warlords.

    nom nom nom

  • ||

    VM wins.

  • ||

    GWHB went into Somalia to save half a million human beings from starving to death during a famine, by stopping militia attacks on the food convoys that were trying to bring them aid.

    And it worked.


    I supported humanitarian intervention in Somalia. I'll never make that mistake again. If they starve, they starve. I'll mourn.

  • ||

    Hands off my french fries Bill or I'll go Somalian Warlord on your ass.

  • Brandybuck||

    Authoritarian-socialism or socialism-with-individual-liberty. The former is like getting raped in the ass, the latter like getting raped in the ass but with the courtesy of a reach-around. I don't prefer the latter, I prefer none of the above!

  • ||

    Are you kidding me? Barney Frank endorsed Hillary Clinton for President. He is a leftist asshole. Whenever he talks about individual rights, he's talking about the ones the government gives you the privilege of having.

  • javier||

    socialism-with-individual-liberty

    well considering this isn't possible. as we all know controlling the factors of production is controlling human life itself.

    start to question libertarian philosophical and intellectual foundation

  • javier||

    joe,

    Not a single one of those places was a liberal democracy that adopted a social welfare role and gradually became totalitarian.


    how the fuck was nazi germany not a liberal democracy that gradually became a totalitarian state??

  • Kolohe||

    ...no nation has ever become totalitarian in the manner Hayek describes - by gradually enlarging its welfare state - but rather through revolutions and radical reorderings...
    Let's look at the history of totalitarianism.


    I also, have only read Warty's comic book version. But that comic book version seems to pretty much describe the path of Bismark's republic to WW1 to Weimar republic to Nazi Germany.

    Is it an inevitable path - no probably not. Largely because if you have a sufficiently robust political, cultural and economic systems, you can absorb more prior to those systems experiencing undue strain. But many of the problems of Weimar Germany were the undeliverable promises of the welfare state started under Bismark - hence a downward economic spiral and political unrest.


    Also, and this is a stretch I know, if you combine the premises of 'the road to serfdom' with '1984' and 'it can't happen here' - well, it still has the potential to happen pretty much anywhere. Ironically, I think Venezuela becomes the next case study of this as the oil prices in a year or two revert to the mean and their recently built welfare state (with huge corruption) starts to experience overwhelming strain

  • ||

    @javier

    start to question libertarian philosophical and intellectual foundation

    Not a bad idea.

    Calling a political philosophy "libertarian" doesn't necessarily mean it will ensure liberty any more than calling one "progressive" will make it ensure progress...

  • javier||

    really sick of the protectionist/income re-distribution circle-jerk that wouldn't let O'Rourke get a word in edge-wise?

    I thought PJ was a joke at defending capitalism and explaining the problems of today. Peter schiff is one of the best out there.

  • javier||

    @ pig mannix

    i meant libertarian philosophical and intellectual foundation of REASON.

    anybody that thinks socialism with individual freedom is possible is a joke.

  • VM||

    that bismarck to weimar to NSDAP story is a bit of a stretch, IMO.

  • ||

    I'm totally getting this comic book version of The Road to Serfdom. SuperHayek to the rescue.

  • Elemenope||

    anybody that thinks socialism with individual freedom is possible is a joke.

    Yeah, Javier. The Swedish are really oppressed. I hear the UN is gonna send a mission into Scandinavia soon to rescue all those poor sods suffering under the yoke of socialist policies.

  • SuperMike||

    Barney Frank: Feds Should Decriminalize Marijuana

    Me: You're a fucking legislator; introduce a fucking bill!

    Did anyone hear Lewis Black's rant about the worthless hippie generation? They never managed to do anything, not even to get weed legalized. (in some cases, thank goodness!)

  • javier||

    how is sweden socialist?? there gov't consists of about 47% of their GDP. If you include local state and federal. that's about the same as the US.

    even though they have a heavy welfare system it is still mainly a market economy. if they are socialist, then so are we.

  • ||

    Sweden doesn't have central economic planning, folks. Neither do any of the other countries listed.

  • Elemenope||

    Me: You're a fucking legislator; introduce a fucking bill!

    Um, SuperMike? That's what's he's doing. You didn't actually watch the videos, did you?

    javier, cesar --

    People are awfully fucking selective around here depending on the overall topic just what is and is not considered to be Socialism. Just saying.

  • ||

    Its a mixed economy. We have a mixed economy. So does most of the world except a few exceptions like Hong Kong/Singapore (damn near pure capitalist) and North Korea (completely totally 100% controlled).

  • javier||

    my original quote from some guy (i forgot who) was "controlling the factors of production is controlling human life itself."

    Sweden while heavily taxed, most businesses and factors of production are still owned by private entities.

  • javier||

    Elemenope,

    i completely agree. Socialism is different to different people it seems. some think heavy taxation and redistribution is socialism. I think of it more as central economic planning.

  • ||

    European Social Democrats are kind of "smart" socialists who realize that funding their pet programs means keeping a functioning market economy so they'll have wealth to re-distribute.

  • ||

    if an american soldier dies now or in the future

    if a Serbian terrorist detonates a bomb in NYC

    I don't think you two understand exactly how much the need to write "if" throughout this exchange undermines your point.

    Man, I wish we could be speculting about what would IF an American soldier died.

  • ||

    javier,

    how the fuck was nazi germany not a liberal democracy that gradually became a totalitarian state??

    There was nothing gradual about it. A revolutionary movement seized power during an emergy and violently tore down the republic it had long denounced, replacing it with a highly-regimented militarist totalitarianism. The liberal democracy didn't develop into Nazi Germany; it was overthrown by Nazi Germany. That's not Hayek's road.

  • ||

    Cesar | March 22, 2008, 2:24pm | #

    Sweden doesn't have central economic planning, folks. Neither do any of the other countries listed.


    1. Suddenly, a welfare state isn't socialism or centralization.

    2. Suddenly, the adoption of a modern welfare state doesn't lead to central planning.

  • ||

    Joe, Hayek said WAR will lead to central planning. Then, some socialists will think "well, it worked in war lets try it in peace" and so on.

  • ||

    If you knew anything about Hayek, joe, you would know he actually endorsed a limited safety net.

  • Elemenope||

    In other news, the drug war claims more victims.

  • javier||

    joe,

    but the nazi's were voted in which is quite different than overthrowing.

    and yes chapter 9 of road to serfdom called "economics and security", hayek lists all the things government SHOULD do to ensure economic security. acts of god, education and health coverage for MAJOR medical.

    In a sense a lot of people are much more libertarian than hayek.

  • ||

    In other news, the drug war claims more victims.

    Apparently the Bush administration found some mountain dwelling indigenous people who don't hate America, and decided they had to do something about that. This is pure unalloyed genius! I humbly bow to their nuanced world view, their expertixe in inter-cultural relations.

  • ||

    For what they did in the link, Goddamn the federal government.

  • Elemenope||

    Apparently the Bush administration found some mountain dwelling indigenous people who don't hate America, and decided they had to do something about that. This is pure unalloyed genius! I humbly bow to their nuanced world view, their expertise in inter-cultural relations.

    LOL. And they got the UN to do their dirty work for them, too.

    That's the part of the drug war that people I talk to on a regular basis still fail to grasp: the amazing network of international agreements and treaties that lock pretty much every major country into fighting the same old way, with little room for local variations or experimentations with other policies.

  • TallDave||

    There was nothing gradual about it. A revolutionary movement seized power during an emergy and violently tore down the republic it had long denounced, replacing it with a highly-regimented militarist totalitarianism.

    No, Adolph Hitler was elected because the planners needed someone who could get things done. Hayek is pretty clear on that.

    What happened next was simply the inevitable result of giving gov't too much power.

    If we're left with choosing between the authoritarian socialism of today's GOP or the socialism-with-individual-liberty of Barney Frank

    True, I'm still not ruling out a vote for Obama, if he does the right thing for Iraqis and takes the sensible position on drugs. I'm from IL so it wouldn't be the first time supporting him.

    OTOH, when this starts happening people might change their minds.

  • ||

    Even YOU couldn't vote for Alan Keyes Dave? No wonder it was such a landslide.

    You're right about drugs, if Democrats put decriminalization in their platform they'd get a lot of closet pot smokers to come out for them.

  • ||

    I guess the drug war has so many bureaucratic trappings, few can see the forest for the trees. Go figure.

  • TallDave||

    Road To Serfdom, p 71:

    "The cry for an economic dictator is a characteristic stage in the movement toward planning...In Germany, even before Hitler came to power, the movement had already progressed much further. It is important to remember that for some time before 1933 germany had reached a stage in which it had, in effect, to be governed dictatorially....Hitler did not have to destroy democracy, he merely took advantage of the decay of democracy and at the critical moment obtained the support of many to whom, though they detested Hitler, he yet seemed the only man strong enough to get things done."

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    When the New Left morphed into the Eco-Fascist movement, the legalization issue sort of went up in smoke (heh).

    The Democrats are no more going to consider legalization of pot than they are likely to end the war in Iraq, which Pelosi promised to do something like 450 days ago. Hello..... [taps foot insistently]

  • TallDave||

    Cesar,

    Are you kidding? Keyes wasn't even from IL.

    It's sort of funny how the work turns. A Dem judge unsealed Ryan's divorce papers, handing the election to Obama. Now the Dems end up with a candidate who may be unelectable, because the guy was never vetted in a tough campaign.

  • TallDave||

    worm turns*

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Thanks, Tall One, America had gotten used to central control, from depression era top down solutions to war time planning and rationing. That was the concern at GM and by Hayek. Interesting that GM was less of the centrist corporate state monolith than we imagined.

    Shameless self promotion:

    HAYEK V HAYEK plus the Hayek scorecard.

  • TallDave||

    Actually Joe, much the same is true in the Russian Revolution too. They may not have been a liberal democracy, but the planners were opposed by liberals and moderates who wanted one.

    The leaders of the Petrograd Soviet believed that they represented particular classes of the population, not the whole nation. They also believed Russia was not ready for socialism. So they saw their role as limited to pressuring hesitant "bourgeoisie" to rule and to introduce extensive democratic reforms in Russia (the replacement of the monarchy by a republic, guaranteed civil rights, a democratic police and army, abolition of religious and ethnic discrimination, preparation of elections to a constituent assembly, and so on).[9]

    The Russian Civil War, which broke out in 1918 shortly after the revolution, brought death and suffering to millions of people regardless of their political orientation. The war was fought mainly between the Red Army ("Reds"), consisting of radical communists and revolutionaries, and the "Whites"-the monarchists, conservatives, liberals and moderate socialists who opposed the drastic restructuring championed by the Bolsheviks.

  • TallDave||

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Revolution_of_1917

  • ||

    Tell that to Lyndon Johnson, who not only gave us Vietnam, but also the Great Society.

    The Vietnam war has been over for decades, but Medicare is still with us.

    Moral of the story: Wars eventually end, but government programs are forever. Something you may want to think about before deciding the anti-war liberal is preferable to the pro-war conservative. Not that we have any reason to believe either one of them is telling us the truth about their intentions.


    I must've missed the part where Medicare bombed people in other countries or got U.S. soldiers killed on a daily basis.

  • ||

    I love me some Barney Frank, yes I do!

    Barney Franks rock and shock the nation/
    like the emancipation proclamation!

  • ||

    There's a fairly well established argument that major wars are in fact a principal driver of increased - and increasingly centralised - government authority. And of course all of the new techniques and organisations developed in the pressure of conflict don't magically go away when it's over, but are simply re-purposed for domestic use. The career path of Herbert Hoover is painfully instructive in this regard.

  • Geotpf||

    Travis | March 22, 2008, 12:27pm | #

    I don't think there is such a thing as a anti-war liberal. They just choose different types of wars to fight then conseratives do. i.e. Bosnia, Somalia, Dufar.


    I'm an anti-war liberal. 9/11 has convinced me of this. The US government should not get involved in conflicts halfway across the world where the "good guys" are hard to tell from the "bad guys", unless our country, or countries that we have mutual defense treaties with, are directly attacked. I might make an exception to stop an imminent or ongoing genocide, although in those cases an international organization, perferably the UN, but NATO in a pinch, should be the organization undertaking the mission, and even then I'm quite wary.

    This is to say, the danger of blowback from capricious wars is extremely great. I personally believe 9/11 was directly caused by the first Iraq war. Here's the timeline:

    1. Bin Laden et al, with our help, suceed in kicking the Soviets out of Afghanistan.
    2. Iraq invades Kuwait and makes threating moves towards Saudi Arabia (maybe-there's some argument here but the Saudis felt threatened).
    3. Bin Laden, looking for another fight, goes to the House of Saud and offers his services to protect the Kingdom.
    4. The Saudis tell him to go play in traffic and get a real army, America's, to do the job.
    5. Bin Laden gets his panties in a wad, stews for a decade, 9/11.

    The root cause of 9/11 was due to anger by the losing bidder for a military contract lashing out against the winner. That's it. Sure, there's religious trappings and bullshit there, some of which were partially due to us winning the contract (US female personnel serving in the Royal Kingdom of Islam not covering their head and driving cars! OMGWTFBBQ!) But what this shows is how blowback can be random and capricious and completely unpredictable. Bush Sr. could have never specifically predicted that 9/11 would occur due to his invasion of Iraq. Nobody could. But you can predict that attacks against foreign nations have a high risk of blowback, just not the specific type of blowback or when or where. You must factor that in when going on a "military adventure", and I don't think most people do.

  • Geotpf||

    Damnit, forgot to close the italics tab after the portion I quoted.

  • Geotpf||

    The Wine Commonsewer | March 22, 2008, 4:25pm | #

    The Democrats are no more going to consider legalization of pot than they are likely to end the war in Iraq, which Pelosi promised to do something like 450 days ago. Hello..... [taps foot insistently]


    Exactly how, in the real world, can a Democratic Congress which does not have a two thirds supermajority (or even a filibuster proof 60 seats in the Senate) end the war in Iraq?

    Basically, the only way they could do so would be to defund the entire defense department (since the majority of funding for the war is in standard DoD funding bills, and Bush will veto any DoD funding bill without Iraq monies). So, the armynavyairforcemarines no longer gets any funding. Yeah, that will happen.

    Plus, even if they actually performed such a crazy act, the war in Iraq wouldn't end. Under laws governing partial government shutdowns (which such would be), emergency and national security spending continues under the previous year's budget. Such as funding for troops overseas in combat. Rememver the Gingrich government shut down? The national parks closed, but the FBI still went to work. Same fucking thing.

    Once a war has started, it is impossible, as a practical matter, for a Congress that does not have a veto-proof majority to stop it if the President wants to continue it.

    The only way to stop the war in Iraq is to elect a Democratic President this November. Period.

  • Crackhead||

    if Democrats put decriminalization in their platform they'd get a lot of closet pot smokers to come out for them.

    Why would they do that when they already get all those votes (and half the drug-warrior votes) by merely pretending occasionally that maybe someday possibly they'd vote for some such similar thing, maybe, if it weren't an election year?

    Please.

    Potheads are straight-up suckers, and so reiably so that there's a decades-standing electoral strategy built around their suckerdom. It won't change. It works.

  • ||

    javier,

    but the nazi's were voted in which is quite different than overthrowing.

    Kinda sorta. The Nazis won a plurality of seats in Parliament and Hitler was appointed Chancellor, but from that position they launched what amounts to a coup against the republic, and replaced it. It wasn't a case of the existing state growing into a totalitarian one, but a fully formed totalitarian state being imposed on the ruins of the liberal state.

    But you've got a good point - just as there is Marx and there are Marxists, there is Hayek and there are Hayekians.

    No, Adolph Hitler was elected... Fail. Adolph Hitler was appointed to one office, and then seized others. He was never elected to anything.

  • ||

    TallDave, you should get your history from a more reliable source than Hayek, because that paragraph is nonsense - the twisting of the facts to support a pre-existing conclusion.

    Comem to think of it, no wonder you like him so much.

  • eoj||

    joe means \"a conclusion I don\'t like.\"

  • TallDave||

    No, Adolph Hitler was elected... Fail. Adolph Hitler was appointed to one office, and then seized others. He was never elected to anything.

    Never elected to anything you say?

    Hmmm, who to believe, joe or Hayek? Let's see what wikipedia says:


    The executive committee of the DAP eventually backed down and Hitler's demands were put to a vote of party members. Hitler received 543 votes for and only one against.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolph_hitler

    He may not have been elected Chancellor, but he was certainly elected head of his party.

    And then his party won pluralities:

    Having failed in overthrowing the Republic by a coup, Hitler pursued the "strategy of legality": this meant formally adhering to the rules of the Weimar Republic until he had legally gained power and then transforming liberal democracy into a Nazi dictatorship. Some party members, especially in the paramilitary SA, opposed this strategy; Röhm ridiculed Hitler as "Adolphe Legalité".

    Campaigning continued, with the Nazis making use of paramilitary violence, anti-Communist hysteria, and the government's resources for propaganda. On election day, 6 March, the NSDAP increased its result to 43.9% of the vote, remaining the largest party, but its victory was marred by its failure to secure an absolute majority, necessitating maintaining a coalition with the DNVP.[37]

    On 21 March the new Reichstag was constituted with an opening ceremony held at Potsdam's garrison church. This "Day of Potsdam" was staged to demonstrate reconciliation and union between the revolutionary Nazi movement and "Old Prussia" with its elites and virtues. Hitler appeared in a tail coat and humbly greeted the aged President Hindenburg. Because of the Nazis' failure to obtain a majority on their own, Hitler's government confronted the newly elected Reichstag with the Enabling Act that would have vested the cabinet with legislative powers for a period of four years. Though such a bill was not unprecedented, this act was different since it allowed for deviations from the constitution. Since the bill required a two-thirds majority in order to pass, the government needed the support of other parties. The position of the Centre Party, the third largest party in the Reichstag, turned out to be decisive: under the leadership of Ludwig Kaas, the party decided to vote for the Enabling Act. It did so in return for the government's oral guarantees regarding the Church's liberty, the concordats signed by German states and the continued existence of the Centre Party

    And we all know where that led.

    With this combination of legislative and executive power, Hitler's government further suppressed the remaining political opposition.

  • ||

    Of course. It's all "on the one hand, on the other hand." You don't have to worry about whether those hisotrical claims are actually "accurate" and "objectively true," just who's making and denouncing them.

    I took Critical Studies in the 90s, too. You must have pwned that class, eoj.

  • ||

    He may not have been elected Chancellor, but he was certainly elected head of his party.

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!

    Yes, TallDave, he carried leadership votes within the Nazi Party. Don't worry, that's a fine way to cover your ass after claiming he was elected to office.

  • TallDave||

    I said:

    No, Adolph Hitler was elected because the planners needed someone who could get things done. Hayek is pretty clear on that.

    He was also the most likely nominee for the Chancellorship, as his party won the most votes. He certainly did not seize power in a coup as you suggested:

    A revolutionary movement seized power during an emergy and violently tore down the republic it had long denounced,

    In fact, Hitler was given his powers by an elected parliament, exactly as Hayek describes.

  • ||

    No, Adolph Hitler was elected because the planners needed someone who could get things done. Hayek is pretty clear on that.

    And you were wrong. Hitler was not elected to office, and his leadership of the party was not based on "the planners need(ing) someone who could get things done."

    Read a book that is about history if you want to learn history, TallDave. Not a political book that incorporates history to back up its thesis.

  • TallDave||

    Probably beating a dead horse here, but:

    President Paul von Hindenburg died on 2 August 1934. Rather than holding new presidential elections, Hitler's cabinet passed a law proclaiming the presidency dormant and transferred the role and powers of the head of state to Hitler as Führer und Reichskanzler (leader and chancellor).[39] Thereby Hitler also became supreme commander of the military, whose officers then swore an oath not to the state or the constitution but to Hitler personally.[39] In a mid-August plebiscite, these acts found the approval of 84.6%[40] of the electorate. Combining the highest offices in state, military and party in his hand, Hitler had attained supreme rule that could no longer be legally challenged.

    This is why our Founders so wisely set up separation of powers, and why our beautiful Republic has endured so long.

  • Kolohe||

    The US government should not get involved in conflicts .., unless ... countries that we have mutual defense treaties with, are directly attacked.
    [and then stuff on how we shouldn't of stuck our nose in Gulf war 1]

    We had, for all practical purposes, a 'mutual defense treaty' with Kuwait. (see also the Tanker War of the 80's)

    We also had even more so a de facto if not de jure agreement to protect Saudi Arabia from aggresion - and in Sept '90 it was logical to assume to even the most casual observer that Sa dam's next step would be Saudi Arabia.

    And the coalition to restore Kuwaiti sovereignty was a multinational coalition unseen since early 50's Korea

    So, even though I buy your causal link between GW1 and 9/11 - though not through the mechanism you describe - your own parameters define GW 1 as a 'just war'

  • ||

    He certainly did not seize power in a coup as you suggested

    Mezza-mezza. It was certainly not an ordinary political situation, and he used extra-legal means to seize power well beyond that of the office he was appointed to.

    William Shirer's "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" would be a good resource. It's more of a straight history.

  • TallDave||

    joe,

    Sorry, he won election within his party, his party won the parliamentary seats, and he won approval of a plebiscite with 84%. To say he "seized power" as opposed to achieving it democratically and was "never elected to anything" is simply wrong.

    In the future, you might at least check Wikipedia first so you don't embarass yourself. It only take a minute.

  • ||

    sure, d00d, I'll be sure to keep that in mind. rolls eyes.

    There's also the fact that the Nazis convulsed the country in violence surrounding the 1932 elections, killing opposing party leaders and routing their events far beyond what we'd consider a legitimate election today.

    And if you read a bit more, you might not make such silly assertions as claiming that the plebescite was the only means Hitler used to expand his power.

  • Elemenope||

    This is why our Founders so wisely set up separation of powers, and why our beautiful Republic has endured so long.

    Really? Personally, I have always attributed our survival to luck and duct tape. But I suppose one could go with "wisdom of the Founders" if one wanted to.

  • ||

    Sorry, he won election within his party, Well, no, he was the party leader for a decade before that, and the party election consisted of his hand-picked supporters affirming his control

    his party won the parliamentary seats, His party won 34% of parliamentary seats.

    and he won approval of a plebiscite with 84%. After he had been appointed Chancellor, squashed other parties, and seized control of the political system.

    These are facts you can learn in actual history books, if you're interested in putting in more than "a minute" to gain an understanding of historical events you wish to use to back up your political musings.

  • TallDave||

    sure, d00d, I'll be sure to keep that in mind.

    Thanks, it'll save me a lot of explaining things to you.

    silly assertions as claiming that the plebescite was the only means Hitler used to expand his power

    Of course, I never said that, just as I never claimed he was directly elected Chancellor (which, of course, would have been impossible, as it was an appointed position). But hey, if you can't argue against what I actually said you can at least beat the hell of some strawmen, right?

  • ||

    I am arguing against what you said. You claimed Hitler came to power through the normal operation of democracy, and proceeded to spin the facts to try to make that point. I pointed out other facts that refute it.

    Go whine to your momma if you don't like the fact that I'm daring to refute you.

  • TallDave||

    His party won 34% of parliamentary seats.

    Which was enough, in the parliamentary system he operated in, for him to be appointed Chancellor.

    The Centre Party then voted him more powers, as noted above. He did not "seize" them.

    It's nice you know the names of some history books, but you can't seem to cite any support for your arguments.

  • TallDave||

    Go whine to your momma

    Great, I'm debating a 12-year-old.

    Well, your argument seems to be with the good people at Wikipedia. Why don't you head over there and edit out all the democratic means by which Hitler seized power? Be sure to cite your sources. Godspeed.

  • ||

    1% was enough for him to be appointed Chancellor, TallDave. The President could pick anyone he wanted to be Chancellor.

    You, yes YOU, can gain an informed understanding of the political system of the Weimar Republican if you would just READ A BOOK.

  • ||

    Yeah, I'll make sure I run right over to freaking Wikipedia to correct the mistakes from William Shirer made.

    I'll get right on that.

  • ||

    Something to keep in mind is that a key element in the consolidation of power was Hitler's accomodation with key conservative institutions such as the army and the big industrial concerns. That is to say, institutions that value a strong, stable government that has lots of money to hand out (the kind of government Weimar had frequently been unable to provide.) Part of that accomodation was the subsequent purge of certain radical elements of the NSDAP - including Rohm.

    I suspect Hayek had something to say about this dynamic, which is hardly uncommon in the establishment of fascist regimes.

  • ||

    Anyway, TallDave, I'm not sure what all of your crowing is about, since we haven't actually disputed any points of fact, but of interpretation and significance of those facts.

    Nobody is disputing the out come of the 32 elections, or that there was a plebiscite shortly thereafter that the Nazis won big. The question isn't whether there were legitimate claims of democratic legitimacy to Hitler's rise to power; there were. The point is that the Nazi's rule represented a violent break from the liberalism of the Weimar Republic, not an extension of it. It is true that this was achieved without a formal dissolution of the government, as it was in the USSR, but that isn't really the point.

  • thoreau||

    joe, I think you are right to observe that Hayek was largely wrong in his predictions of how events will progress. He was right, however, in identifying the role of information in determining the unworkability (or limiting the workability, however you prefer it) of many government programs.

    I think he correctly identified the weaknesses but made largely inaccurate predictions on the consequences of those weaknesses. So, insightful but not the be all and end all of economic theory.

  • thoreau||

    BTW, at the risk of sounding like I'm giving a reading assignment before you embarrass yourself any further, I urge all of you to Google for "Hayek." One word. You won't be disappointed.

  • Someone Who Doesn\'t Want to L||

    thoreau:
    Thank you.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Exactly how, in the real world, can a Democratic Congress which does not have a two thirds supermajority (or even a filibuster proof 60 seats in the Senate) end the war in Iraq?

    I dunno, Pelosi told me she would end the war if she was elected. Apparently she lied? Is full of crap? She didn't say anything about exceptions.

    Hell, I'd settle for medical mj.

  • ||

    I urge all of you to Google for "Hayek." One word. You won't be disappointed.

    Thanks thoreau, that Selma is something else.

  • ||

    anybody that thinks socialism with individual freedom is possible is a joke.

    "Socialism" and "individual freedom" are both continuums, not absolutes. The US is less socialist than (say) France, but it can still get better. The US has more individual freedom than (say) Saudi Arabia, but it can still get better.

  • ||

    Watch Hillary ducking sniper fire in Bosnia!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOsGo_HWP-c

    P.S. Sorry to go off topic but these Reason guys tend to leave for the weekend. As if there would be weekends without organized labor LOL

  • ||

    Barney Frank is great. He was my congressman for about ten years before I moved.

    When I wrote to him, I'd get letters back about why I was wrong rather than stupid ass kissing typical of most politicians. I have a strong sense he actually read them and respinded personally at times.

    I very rarely agreed with his economic policies, but the man is smarter and more honest than 99% of the people in Government. On individual liberty he is great.

    We could do far worse than having another 434 congress critters as smart and honest as Barney.

    Fred

  • ||

    It's still early in history. The great welfare states could still swing totalitarian in another 50 to 100 years. Britain already seems about 1/3rd of the way down that road. The U.S. about 1/4th. Give it time.

  • ||

    joe, now I get why you sometimes atract such vitriol from your opponents. Even when I sometimes disagreed with you, I thought you made some good or at least interesting points. Here, you just seem like a snotty little 12 year old. I lost of lot of respect for you in this thread.

  • ||

    Don't start salivating yet, folks. After all, it is an election year.

  • Edward||

    former joe fan

    Go fuck yourself.

  • Pablo Escobar||

    Here are the facts on the Hitler situation.

    Basically, the Nazi Party didn't win an outright majority - but they WERE elected as a minority opposition party. Then Hitler gained the post of Chancellor through shady backroom deals. But he was elected to parliament in the first place (although his party didn't get a majority).

    Being elected doesn't mean your party has to get a majority.

  • ||

    Here's the link:

    http://freedomspeace.blogspot.com/2005/04/what-hitler-was-not-elected.html

    (ignore the title, the author has an agenda -- namely proving that no democracies ever wage war. Hence he has an interest in pretending Hitler was not elected).

  • ||

    yes YOU, can gain an informed understanding of the political system of the Weimar Republican if you would just READ A BOOK

    Ha ha, OK Levar Burton. No, seriously, we love you, joe.

  • ||

    Watch Hillary ducking sniper fire in Bosnia!

    I've had friends in the Army get shot at and get shot. While Hillary's untruthfulness isn't damning, it certainly doesn't raise my opinion of her, either. LOL

  • some guy||

    Start with Barney Frank and end with Hitler.
    Seems about right.

  • some guy||

    By the way, Happy Easter, all. Nothing says "holiday" like a bunch of Christians celebrating the murder of a Jew by eating ham.

  • ||

    Eventually the drinking game will have to cover invoking Godwin's law itself.
    Happy Easter, Libertarian Nation!

  • VM||

    P.S. Sorry to go off topic but these Reason guys tend to leave for the weekend. As if there would be weekends without organized labor LOL



    ooh. a zinger. how clever!

    snorts. ambles off

  • Nephilium||

    Art-P.O.G.:

    I was reading the READ A BOOK line more like Handy and the Human Ton from the Tick.

    "READ A BOOK! You're making us look like idiots here!"

    Nephilium

  • ||

    I was reading the READ A BOOK line more like Handy and the Human Ton from the Tick


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=su9daHxMX_c

    Heh. I've just had "Reading Rainbow" on the brain a lot lately. But this clip is funny.

  • Sara Jane Olsen -- Back to Pri||

    I am laughing my ass off!

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080323/ap_on_re_us/sla_olson_14

  • Krusty the Klown||

    Give a Hoot - Read a Book!

  • Geotpf||

    The Wine Commonsewer | March 22, 2008, 10:01pm | #

    Exactly how, in the real world, can a Democratic Congress which does not have a two thirds supermajority (or even a filibuster proof 60 seats in the Senate) end the war in Iraq?

    I dunno, Pelosi told me she would end the war if she was elected. Apparently she lied? Is full of crap? She didn't say anything about exceptions.


    She did? Find a quote of her saying so, please. She never actually said that, because she knew she couldn't deliver.

  • ||

  • ||

    Hey, Warty. That's the best PSA I've seen since Schoolhouse Rock.

  • former joe fan||

    Unlike joe, Edward (unless you are joe's id), has actually never said an interesting thing on Reason in his life - and this roof brain spittle, witless comment further supports that.

    "Go fuck yourself"(said while picking nits out of belly button hair, lips movin' real slow).

  • ||

    His party won 34% of parliamentary seats.



    joe, you clearly don't understand parliamentry democracy or as it is also known "responsible government".

    With 34% of the seats all one needs is the support of another 16% plus one member to control the government. The party leader who can do that is who the President/Queen/King/Governor-General/Governor/Lieutenant-Governor/whatever will pick for Chancellor/Prime Minister/Premier/whatever. Hitler got that and held it for most of the time from '33 on. This is what passes for democracy* under that system.

    Whether he did it by intimidation or worse doesn't matter. This is the fatal flaw of that system.

    Of course, what we get here is what passes for democracy under our system, which is why I'm not a huge fan of "democracy".

  • M. Simon||

    Cesar | March 22, 2008, 12:05pm

    BTW, for all the conservatives out there, the first step on Hayek's road to serfdom was war.

    Hmmm....


    Yep. The war of 1775 to 83 has led us to serfdom. Then there was 1812 to '14. 1898. 1917 to '19. Then '41 to '45. And '48 to '88. And of course 2001 to 2008.

    Boy do I feel like a serf. Short rations, living under a bridge. We are so screwed. The Iraqis have one dictator less and we have one more.

    So what to do now that I feel like a serf? Serf the internet of course.

  • ||


    former joe fan | March 22, 2008, 11:32pm | #

    joe, now I get why you sometimes atract such vitriol from your opponents. Even when I sometimes disagreed with you, I thought you made some good or at least interesting points. Here, you just seem like a snotty little 12 year old. I lost of lot of respect for you in this thread.



    Been there, done that. You must be fairly new here.

    joe is very intelligent and a good debater. However, he uses many debating tricks like red herrings, suggesting but not saying things, attributing opinions to others, wilfully misinterpreting others, and sneers that get people riled up. He is also hypersensitive to the slightest perceived insult and immediately retaliates at a shrill maximum.

    If you choose to debate joe, keep your arguments strictly to the point and avoid any kind of humorous snark. joe cannot take a joke.

    Otherwise, do as the rest of us do and try to ignore him when you can't agree.

    Edward, OTOH, is always a total asshole.

  • M. Simon||

    Exactly how, in the real world, can a Democratic Congress which does not have a two thirds supermajority (or even a filibuster proof 60 seats in the Senate) end the war in Iraq?

    McCain has the answer. "We win, they lose."

    It worked against the Soviets.

    Let me paraphrase Lincoln:

    The world can no longer go on, half slave and half free.

    It causes too many problems.

  • M. Simon||

    BTW if you don't like McCain's answer there is always surrender and mass conversion to Islam. Just give them what they want. Then they will leave us alone.

    Oh yeah. We ought not feel too squeamish about rounding up and handing over the Jews. For some reason our enemies really hate Jews. The Jews are only a few % of our population and who would miss them anyway?

  • ||

    BTW if you don't like McCain's answer there is always surrender and mass conversion to Islam.



    What bizzaro universe are you living in? You honestly think the choice is between bombing Mecca and converting to Islam?

    Charles Johnson, is that you?

  • M. Simon||

    We might have to throw in Andalusia too. Is that too big a price to pay? I mean Andalusians don't even speak American. Besides they are just a bunch of effete Euros. Who would miss them?

    I can't wait to find out the new Caliph's name.

  • ||

    I also missed the part of the Cold War where we invaded the Soviet Union and toppled its government, after refusing to even talk with them.

  • ||

    Aresen, may I copy your 2:07pm comments for E-mail distribution to all H&R newcomers? I'll give proper attribution, of course.

  • M. Simon||

    Cesar,

    We know their demands. What is wrong with giving them what they want if it will end the war?

    I say we start by throwing the Iraqis under the bus. It is the least we can do. Self government is such an outmoded concept. Especially since we know Arabs can't handle it.

    Sharia is for every one. I've heard them say so.

    And no more offensive cartoons.

  • ||

    So uh, given "radical Islam" isn't a country and theres no Terrorland, what is "Winning"? The elimination of Islam as a religion?

    Yeah, good luck with that d00d.

  • M. Simon||

    Caesar,

    Liberating people by military means is so 1776.

    I'm against it.

  • ||

    One things thats weird about neoconservatives:

    On one hand, they tell us what barbarians Arabs/Muslims are.

    On the other hand, they say that they could form flowering Jeffersonian democracies tomorrow.

    How consistent. Which is it?

  • ||

    Liberating people by military means is so 1776.



    Oh yeah, the founders really supported huge standing armies, an imperial Presidency, and foreign wars in distant continents.

    Except, they didn't.

  • ||


    J sub D | March 23, 2008, 2:23pm | #

    Aresen, may I copy your 2:07pm comments for E-mail distribution to all H&R newcomers? I'll give proper attribution, of course.



    Might as well. I think I'm in for "shrill maximum retaliation" any second now.

    BTW, we've got an Easter thread going right now at you-know-where. Actually civilized conversation.

  • M. Simon||

    Caesar,

    We really made a mess of Europe since we conquered it in '45. We need to quit doing stuff like that. It really pisses off all those Presidents for Life.

    I guarantee you once every one in the world adopts the correct version Islam the wars will be over. Sunni or Shia? It is such a hard choice.

    So uh, given "radical Islam" isn't a country and theres no Terrorland, what is "Winning"? The elimination of Islam as a religion?

    I think you have pointed out exactly what needs to be done. Since they are hidden and we are in the open we have to convert at once.

    However, if you have a better idea I'm all ears.

    We must stop the war at all costs. Besides they have been at war for 1400 years. How can you defeat experience like that?

  • M. Simon||

    I for one will welcome our new masters and the new masters of the world.

    Surrender has always been a viable way to end wars. What is wrong with that idea? Seems like a good deal to me. Every body face Mecca and pray 5 times a day and the killing will stop.

    Plus we will make G-d happy. Isn't that worth something?

  • ||

    Cesar,

    Actually America did invade Russia back in the early 1920's in support of the white army they just don't teach that in our public school system.

  • M. Simon||

    Wait. I know what we can do to start. Just to test the waters. Give them Barney Frank. I'm told they hate homosexuals.

  • ||

    1. Iraq is just like Germany and Japan

    After all, Iraq is a homogeneous nation with a common language, religion, and ethnicity. Its not like its just a line on the map drawn by a bunch of British Imperialists in 1920 to group three oil wells together. I mean, that would be ridiculous!

    Furthermore, everyone knows that when Truman visited Tokyo in the late 40s he had to do it unannounced, in the middle of the night, with the lights in his airplane off.

    2. Tell them its what the Founders would want.

    After all, any moron knows Jefferson and Madison were known best for their love of huge standing armies, imperial adventures, a unitary executive, and torture.

    3. Talking to your enemies is for pussies

    Make sure to demonstrate to them that talking to the enemies of this nation has always failed. We didn't win the Cold War by sitting down with the Soviet leaders, goddamnit! We told them they were evil and then rolled right into East Berlin ending with a triumphant March of our men through Red Square!

    4. Saddam Hussein was a bad, bad, BAD EVIL man.

    Tell them again and again what a bad man Saddam Hussein was. Everyone knows that opposing the war means you were "objectively pro-Saddam" anyway!

    5. Quote Mark Steyn.

    Sure, they guy can't even get his demographic math right, but damnit hes the most brilliant commentator of our time!

    6. The Surge is Working (tm)

    Sure, tactical military success hasn't lead to any progress on the political front and means jack shit if the strategic decision was wrong to begin with. But the Surge is Working!(tm)

    7. Call them an anti-Semite

    Everyone knows theres no debate within Israel on their foreign policy, anyway. Nope, all Israelis/Jews are the same--unabashed supporters of Bush, Cheney, and McCain. Tell them those statistics that show American Jews voting for the Democrats 90% of the time are just a liberal media fabrication.

    8. Invoke 9/11.

    9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11.

    There you have it! You can't lose now. Go and show those America haters what its all about!

  • ||

    Actually America did invade Russia back in the early 1920's in support of the white army they just don't teach that in our public school system.



    Yeah, and how'd that work for us? Exactly.

  • ||

    Actually America did invade Russia back in the early 1920's in support of the white army

    Holy crap, you're right. Directly after WWI there were 'polyglot' troops, including US and UK forces supporting the White Army. Thanks, guess you do learn something new every day. I had to dig deep to find reference to that one.

  • ||

    I recall Reagan getting in trouble for that, too, since he told the Russians in the '80s no American soldier had ever "fired a shot in anger" at a Russian.

  • Diggs||

    100% control of health care, 0% control of drugs. Hmmm. So the bureaucrat behind the desk that stamps my application on whether I deserve a heart transplant or not is high most of the day?
    What could be the problem?

  • ||

    M. Simon,

    Islam is only practiced by 1/6th of the earth's population and the majority of muslims don't follow Al Qaeda or fanatical Shia Islam. You're telling me that the other 5/6th of the worlds population are going to be conquered by Islamic terrorists.

    This the same old paranoid domino theory bullshit (just exchange commies for muslims). If don't nuke now were fucked in the future.

  • ||

    No travis! All Muslims are the same, scary mass of people! No difference at all between non-practicing, moderate, or radical. No difference between Sunni and Shia. No local, national traditions at all. Its all the same! /end sarcasm

  • ||

    Cesar,

    I didn't work out well for America at all. All it did was give the Ruskies propaganda to teach in their school system about how imperialistic Americans are.

    Unfornately for us those commie bastards were right.

  • ||

    Unfornately for us those commie bastards were right.

    Yup, the pot can be telling the truth about the kettle.

  • ||

    If we're left with choosing between the authoritarian socialism of today's GOP or the socialism-with-individual-liberty of Barney Frank, I'll take the latter in a heartbeat.

    Now that is a load of Bullshit.

    Ron Paul is just as fringe as Barney Frank and the main stream Dems are even worse authoritarians as then main stream GOP.

  • ||

    Does the fact that no nation has ever become totalitarian in the manner Hayek describes - by gradually enlarging its welfare state - but rather through revolutions and radical reorderings - indicate anything about how seriously we should take his ideas?

    Hayek described Nazi Germany to a T and he came pretty damn close to describing FDR's administration.

    I guess if your name is Joe you can have lapses of unreality and ignore the Nazi party winning an election and Japanese Americans being put into concentration camps.

  • Stephen Wolf||

    Gosh Darn America!


    http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/stephenwolf/gGBnRB

    ^
    ^
    ^
    ^
    ^
    ^
    ^
    ^
    ^
    ^
    ^

  • ||

    Careful, Stephen. You might get featured on Sean Hannity!

  • ||

    Thats the most agreeable speech I've heard from a member of Congress in a long time.

    Regarding the "Socialism-with-Individual-Liberty" thing, it seems to me that Balko was sacrificing clarity for succintness. Barney Frank probably supports more government involvement/spending in things like healthcare; and perhaps higher taxes on upper incomes. But it is unlikely that he wants a Soviet-style command economy or anything close to it. And as indicated, he seems to support less government restriction of acts by consenting adults which harm nobody except possibly voluntary participants. So maybe "Somewhat-bigger-government, but less prohibitions/restrictions of personal individual pursuits".

  • ||

    Exactly how, in the real world, can a Democratic Congress which does not have a two thirds supermajority (or even a filibuster proof 60 seats in the Senate) end the war in Iraq?

    There is no Constitutional requirement for a supermajority of any kind. There is only a Senate rule on when a vote can be called. As the majority, the Dems can amend, revoke, or suspend that rule.

    They haven't, for the same reason the Repubs didn't when they had the majority. They have each made the political calculation that, when they are (inevitably) in the minority again, they would rather have the filibuster rule than whatever legislation they would suspend it for today.

  • ||

    Unfortunately, BG, as has already been demonstrated numerous times, the more the government pays for, the more it feels entitled to control. The more healthcare is socialized, the more behaviors which may be bad for your health are prohibited by the state.

    Socialism of any kind is inherently inconsistent with individual freedom of every kind.

  • ||

    "Aresen, may I copy your 2:07pm comments for E-mail distribution to all H&R newcomers? I'll give proper attribution, of course."

    I think H&R should offer a field guide to commenters:

    -joe: A small, nocturnal, liberal democrat, friendly when not provoked or disagreed with. Disagree at your peril

    -Jamie Kelly: Homo rat terrier libertitus. Sheds coat, brain in winter. See cautionary comments concerning joe above.

    -Neu Mejican: Laconic academic. Has the power of speech but communicates soley through the posting of links. Harmless drudge.

    -thoreau: Possibly going extinct. Rarely seen these days until 30th comment in on any thread. Agrees with Mike P.

    -Warren: Warning, warning, danger, danger, libertarian females!

  • Geotpf||

    R C Dean | March 24, 2008, 10:05am | #

    There is no Constitutional requirement for a supermajority of any kind. There is only a Senate rule on when a vote can be called. As the majority, the Dems can amend, revoke, or suspend that rule.


    Current Senate rules state it takes a two thirds majority to amend Senate rules. That, of course, is 67 votes, which is seven more than required to stop a filibuster.

    Plus, the supermajority I was referring to was the number of votes required to overturn a veto, which most certainly is in the constitution (for the Senate, the same 67 votes as to change Senate rules).

  • Paul||

    Not a single one of those places was a liberal democracy that adopted a social welfare role and gradually became totalitarian.

    No, joe, they adopted a social welfare role and instantly became totalitarian.

    See: Communist revolutions.

    Yes, that goes back to your remark about revolutaionary social change, but it was a revolutionary social change to a massive welfare state.

    And heck, I can be on board with eschewing the welfare part. Welfare was only one part of it. It was collectivism, which encomapasses welfare statism, that's at the core.

    Our fear here, joe, is when politicians want to subvert small liberties and freedoms for egalitarianism, that our big liberties and freedoms will come next. And really, it's not that much of a fear, it's a reality.

    See any Supreme Court ruling where it's been stated that we "no longer have an expectation of privacy" here or there.

  • ||

    Unfortunately, BG, as has already been demonstrated numerous times, the more the government pays for, the more it feels entitled to control. The more healthcare is socialized, the more behaviors which may be bad for your health are prohibited by the state.

    Thats true to some extent, but things are also more complicated than that.

    There are people and groups that advocate prohibiting non-infringing, personal acts for reasons that have nothing to do with the government paying for anything. And there are also countries and jurisdictions in which people have a high degree of personal freedom despite government spending being a higher percentage of the GDP than here.

    Also, not all acts of government spending/involvement are created equal. We should consider things like: "Does this act of government address some kind of collective action problem, or provide some similiar public benefit?" and "What is the type/magnitude of the imposition on particular individuals?" and so forth. I think Frank mentioned transportation in the gambling clip. One could make a pretty good argument that having the government build things like railroads, highways, and other transportation infastructure overcomes negotiation problems and other obstacles; and produces substantial public benefit. And it doesn't provide much of a rationale to regulate private behavior.

    To be clear, I don't support implementing a Western-Europe style healthcare system. But I could probably go for some type of system of healthcare vouchers. Aside from that, the government could concern itself with: 1) Informing people about what healthcare options are out there, and 2) Assisting in paying for conditions that are either purely genetic or require treatment to be given in less time than it takes to argue with your health insurer.

  • wizard of oz books||

    With many new announcement about the wizard of oz movies in the news, you might want to consider starting to obtain Wizard of Oz book series either as collectible or investment at RareOzBooks.com.

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