When You've Lost Hitchens...

The scribe who said he was "slightly for Bush" in 2004 has endorsed the man from Honolulu. Just like in the Bible, the blame comes down on a woman.

The most insulting thing that a politician can do is to compel you to ask yourself: "What does he take me for?" Precisely this question is provoked by the selection of Gov. Sarah Palin. I wrote not long ago that it was not right to condescend to her just because of her provincial roots or her piety, let alone her slight flirtatiousness, but really her conduct since then has been a national disgrace. It turns out that none of her early claims to political courage was founded in fact, and it further turns out that some of the untested rumors about her—her vindictiveness in local quarrels, her bizarre religious and political affiliations—were very well-founded, indeed. Moreover, given the nasty and lowly task of stirring up the whack-job fringe of the party's right wing and of recycling patent falsehoods about Obama's position on Afghanistan, she has drawn upon the only talent that she apparently possesses.

It therefore seems to me that the Republican Party has invited not just defeat but discredit this year, and that both its nominees for the highest offices in the land should be decisively repudiated, along with any senators, congressmen, and governors who endorse them.

For once, Hitchens isn't alone. McCain is trailing Obama in newspaper endorsements, losing (so far) five newspapers that backed Bush over Kerry four years ago. (You remember that election, right? The one that inaugurated the permanent Republican majority?) From the San Bernardino (CA) Sun:

McCain's recklessness, which in our opinion is evidenced by his selection of the unworldly Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice president, makes us uneasy. We view the selection of Palin as putting cynical politics ahead of the national interest.

From the Stockton (CA) Record:

If elected, at 72, [McCain] would be the oldest incoming president in U.S. history. He's in good health now, we're told, although he has withheld most of his medical records. That means Gov. Sarah Palin could very well become president.

And that brings us to McCain's most troubling trait: his judgment.

While praiseworthy for putting the first woman on a major-party presidential ticket since Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, his selection of Palin as a running mate was appalling. The first-term governor is clearly not experienced enough to serve as vice president or president if required. Her lack of knowledge is being covered up by keeping her away from questioning reporters and doing interviews only with those considered friendly to her views.

The Express-Times of Easton, PA:

McCain's choice of Sarah Palin for a running mate seems as shockingly amateurish and ill-advised today as it was in August. Nothing that has happened on the campaign trail has changed this.

The spirit of Lee Atwater and Karl Rove seems to be the energizing force of the McCain/Palin Express, and it's the opposite of straight talk. Slimy campaigning is headed for another all-time high. While the nation is seeking guidance on economic and national defense problems of momentous proportion, this election seems to hinge on the guilt-by-association grenades that Republicans keep lobbing up, hoping to bring down Obama.

If this is a manual for how a McCain/Palin partnership would guide the nation out of a morass, we'd opt for Bob Barr or Ralph Nader first. Their campaigns look like beacons of integrity in comparison.

The Canton (OH) Repository doesn't mention Palin, but it scorches McCain's response to the mortgage crisis. (The Wisconsin State Journal of Madison doesn't much discuss McCain.)

The events of the last two weeks have provided another telling contrast between the two candidates. Obama has stressed the need for a bipartisan agreement on a financial bailout and reform package that includes strong accountability measures. McCain has indulged his penchant for drama. He declared that if he were president, he would fire the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission — action that a president doesn't have the authority to take. Then he abruptly refused to debate Obama on Friday — at a time when Americans need to hear directly from both men about their reaction to the financial crisis — but, fortunately, McCain changed his mind again.

I can hear you: "Big deal! The liberal media always endorses the Democrat!" Well, for one that's not true, and for another it's never been true for McCain. As Matt Welch recorded during the primaries, McCain was boosted in state after state by newspaper endorsements that praised his character (sometimes even fudging his POW experience to make it sound better!) and blasted the Romneys, the Huckabees, and the rest of 'em.

These endorsements won't swing the election, but McCain's on track to keep losing them. Newspapers don't like Palin and they don't like negative attacks, and McCain is offering up plenty of both. It's been 10 days since Palin opened up the front on Bill Ayers. How have the polls moved since then?


But I'm sure if McCain just talks about it some more, then voters will rush to him.

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  • ||

    Hitch doesn't want Palin near the White House because he thinks she can't be funny.

  • LGF Fan||

    ELITISTS!

  • Elemenope||

    But...but...but...we're still waiting on "Teh October Suprizzzze!"

  • BDB||

    Wasn't Hitchens the guy who said Obama would be "the next Dukakis" back in August?

  • ||

    Elemenope,

    If McCain's got him right where he wants him right now, think about the stranglehold McCain will have at 12 points behind. A landslide election by Obama will be playing right into McCain's hands!

  • Hogan||

    I also remember a Hitchens piece in Slate last year along the lines of "if Obama is deluded enough to think he can actually win the presidency."

  • ||

    Hitchens (IMHO, an asshole)

    The most insulting thing that a politician can do is to compel you to ask yourself: "What does he take me for?" Precisely this question is provoked by the selection of Gov. Sarah Palin.

    San Bernardino (CA) Sun:

    McCain's recklessness, which in our opinion is evidenced by his selection of the unworldly Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice president...

    The Express-Times of Easton, PA

    McCain's choice of Sarah Palin for a running mate seems as shockingly amateurish and ill-advised today as it was in August.



    Former supporters all. As I was reassuring a paranoid leftist friend, it's over. The only question remaining is how bad will McCain get beat?

  • BDB||

    Remember when everyone thought Palin would win over all those Hillary supporters and totally win the election for McCain, and anyone who didn't think that was an elitist/sexist/panicked?

  • Warty||

    I want to take insult lessons from Hitchens. That dude is scorching when he wants to be.

  • TallDave||

    Yawn. Hitchens is a leftist. This is about as shocking as an endorsement from an Obama staffer. Ooh, what a shock, he doesn't like Palin's history but has no problem with Obama's.

    Hitchens supported Bush because of Iraq. Now that the war's won, he's back to default position.

  • ||

    The war in Iraq is over. Hitchens no longer has a reason to support Republicans. The guy is a socialist. It is not suprising he would support one for office.

    One small matter

    "He declared that if he were president, he would fire the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission - action that a president doesn't have the authority to take."

    That is not fucking true.

    "SEC chairman: Articles in Section A on Sept. 19 and 20 about the financial rescue plan said the president could not fire the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The statute governing the SEC does not explicitly give the president the authority to fire the commission's members. However, federal courts have held that the president can remove members of independent commissions like the SEC "for cause," including "inefficiency, neglect of duty or malfeasance in office." The president can also demote the chairman of the SEC without removing him or her from the commission."

    http://volokh.com/posts/1223166313.shtml

    Dave if you wouldn't mindlessly repeat bullshit, I wouldn't think you were in the tank for Obama. Something tells me had the lie been the other way, you would have noticed.

  • ||

    Hitch has always been a loony leftist. He was just a LL that wanted to kill Saddam Hussein. Now that that's been taken care of, and the larger crusade is going about as well as The Crusades, he's crawling back into the moonbat cave.

    Which is not to say McCain and Palin aren't as pathetic as he paints them. Takes one to know one.

  • JP||

    I want to take insult lessons from Hitchens. That dude is scorching when he wants to be.

    I think it's something they only teach over in Brit universities. Like how to say lines of Shakespeare without sounding like you're trying to class it up.

  • ||

    If Obama does win, I think douchbag extaordinaire Jon Stewart may finally get his. I saw the other day where he said that the only satire he was going to do on Obama was going to be to over the top about how great he is. No kidding. See that is the humor, Obama is the messiah, he is going to make the water into wine. Yeah, that sounds real funny Jon.

  • BDB||

    Stewart stopped being funny about five years ago. I'm more interested in what Colbert (who is still funny) will do.

  • Hibiscus Monkey||

    Read the Reason interview of Hitchens - he sure doesn't come off as a "loony leftist". He's just a military hawk without a lot of insight on anything but a narrow set of topics.

  • Hogan||

    meh. Hitchens is pretty good at insults, but not any more so than a middleweight backbench parliamentarian, two-thirds cirrhotic and jowled like a hog, spewing forth the half-remembered bitternesses of his golden years Marxism towards what sots and widowers are still around towards the later hours at his second-tier club, fearless in battle against absent nuns and clergymen but unwilling until a few drinks further off to stagger onwards to his bloated nag spouse.

  • ||

    BDB,

    I never found Stewart funny. I refuse to beleive that anyone is really dumb enough to watch him in lieu of real news, despite claims to the contrary. It is not just because I don't agree with him. George Carlin was a leftist whackjob and up until about the last five years or so of his life when he just became mean and nasty, he was hysterical. Stewart is just not funny. I think people watched him because they liked to hear him slam on Bush. Now, he won't be able to do that or if McCain loses slam on him. Thirty minutes a day of Stewart with his tongue up Obama's butt, will get old pretty quick.

  • Jay||

    Soooo...we are supporting the Democratic presidental candidate who is less qualified than the Republican vice presidential candidate because he is more "wordly" and delivers a nice speech?

    Palin's affiliations are "bizarre", so we are going to ignore the actual governance, which was moderate? Not to mention that we are in the chilling position to accept those affiliations expressed in those terms.

    I was hoping to see a true citizen/politician in the White House, who would actually know what everyday people go through and could govern accordingly. Looks like we will get the "experts" again...

  • Tacos mmm...||

    Dave if you wouldn't mindlessly repeat bullshit, I wouldn't think you were in the tank for Obama.


    Drink!

  • ||

    John,

    I don't think that Stewart fellates Democrats nearly as deeply as you imagine, and there will be plenty to ridicule regardless of who gets elected.

  • Ben||

    Hitchens is a leftist asshole who is simply going back to his roots with this unsurprising endorsement of the mulatto dope who is high on hope.
    Now his brother Peter, is just as big an asshole but far more brilliant and interesting.

  • BDB||

    I find the newspaper that endorsed Obama even though they haven't endorsed a Democrat since 1936 to be more surprising than Hitchens.

  • rhywun||

    Yeah, that sounds real funny Jon.



    Do you think that might have been, I dunno... a joke?

  • rhywun||

    I never found Stewart funny.



    Of course you don't, because you are a humorless partisan. Yes, Stewart is partisan to a point, but not nearly as much as you are.

  • ed||

    The only question remaining is how bad will McCain get beat?

    Indeed, that's all the MSM has left. They're beating a dead horse race.

  • ||

    McCain may escape with his dignity. Palin is destined for Celebrity Boxing

  • ||

    "Yeah, that sounds real funny Jon.
    Do you think that might have been, I dunno... a joke?"

    No it wasn't. Not in the context it was put in. I can't find the link but basically they asked Stewart if he was going to be as rough and negative on Obama as he was on Bush. Stewart responded, quite seriously, that there are different kinds of satire. One satire is the really negative kind like he has been doing on Bush. Another though would be a more positive satire where you satirize the positive aspects of someone by being completely over the top about them. The plan seemed to be to make fun of Obama by overly praising him to point of absurdity.

    At some level that makes sense. Stewart doesn't want to alienate his audience and many of his audience have a near religous respect for Obama. It is difficult to imagine any real satire that wouldn't offend those people and cause them to stop watching the show.

  • ||

    I was hoping to see a true citizen/politician in the White House

    Me too. Too bad there won't be someone who remotely fits that description anywhere on the ballot.

  • ||

    "McCain may escape with his dignity. Palin is destined for Celebrity Boxing"

    Perhaps her 80% approval rating in Alaska will do her in. No. Palin will be back. You have to understand how much many people in this country hate the media and how much they hate the political elite. People will like Palin if for no other reason than as a way to say fuck you to the media and political elite. That will be a very good place to be in 2012 after the media has soved Obama down everyone's throat for four years.

  • economist||

    rhywun,
    Jon Stewart was never funny. The Daily Show was occasionally amusing, but the real humor was supplied by his associates (such as Stephen Colbert).

  • ||

    If any libertarian folks need another reason to despise carnky old man McCain (or GOPers for that matter), the Democratic Party will not only win the presidency but will increase their majority in both houses of congress and usher in 2- 12 years of wealth redistribution and destruction.

    Insert scathing comment about TallDave's blind and sycophantic Republican party fellatio here.

  • ||

    My only question is how conservatives will refer to Obama's landslide victory...they called the 51-48 2004 Bush victory a huge mandate...I suspect they will conclude that Obama's landslide is just more proof of how Americans want a real conservative in office.

  • BDB||

    Yeah, people love so Palin so much, they're going to vote for Obama this year just so she can be at the top of the ticket next time. Right.

    Palin a'int getting past Barbour, Jindal, Sanford, Flake, or any other number of more established Republicans who can actually give interviews to people besides Sean Hannity and not look like mental patients. She'll run, but won't make it past the straw poll in Iowa.

  • ||

    John,

    He's been pretty rough on Pelosi and Reid for being spineless and worthless, which is negative. He was rough on Clinton, when he was in office. I'm sure they'll be rough on Obama, once Obama turns out to be a normal politician.

  • ||

    Palin/Jindal 2012! Snake-handlers/Anti-witch Party

  • economist||

    James,
    I plan to refer to it as "Beloved Leader Day". Maybe it can supplant Easter (Christmas being replaced, of course, by Obama's birthday).

  • ||

    J Sub D,

    Honestly, do Libertarians really have that much to lose from a few years of Democratic rule? The agree with the Dems on social issues. Yeah, taxes are a bitch but it is not like they are not high anyway and it is not like many libertarians are that hot and bothered by them. Bush cut taxes like crazy and they hate him. Yeah, Bush did other things they don't like, but it is not like cutting taxes is any mitigation. I think most libertarians are social libertarians more interested in things like drug policy and gay marriage and things like that. Economic freedoms are pretty much the red headed step child and to the extent that it isn't it is usually at the local level over things like zoning and imminent domain rather than the federal level. At the federal level, I really don't see four or even eight years of tax and spend and socialism light as anything that many libertarians are going to get to upset about.

  • ||

    The Daily Show was occasionally amusing, but the real humor was supplied by his associates (such as Stephen Colbert).

    You do know, that was the point of the show. The contributors provide the humor and Stewart (or Kilborn) plays the straight man. Geez, are you guys trying to prove the stereotype that conservatives are humorless and don't understand comedy.

  • rhywun||

    Jon Stewart was never funny.



    I think he's OK. His audience is annoying, though--just like Maher's.

  • economist||

    "Palin/Jindal 2012!Snake-handlers/Anti-witch Party"
    Please show that Palin is a snake-handler and/or that Jindal is "anti-witch"(whatever that means).

  • ||

    If any libertarian folks need another reason to despise carnky old man McCain (or GOPers for that matter), the Democratic Party will not only win the presidency but will increase their majority in both houses of congress and usher in 2- 12 years of wealth redistribution and destruction.

    Perhaps this is necessary for the electorate. Pain clarifies the mind.

  • ||

    John | October 14, 2008, 2:41pm
    No. Palin will be back.


    I believe that people should be free to ingest whatever mind altering substances they desire. I also believe that other people should fell free to call out idiots that use chemicals excessively abusing their own mental resources.

    John, what the fuck are you on? Admitting your problem is the first step ...

  • ||

    "Palin a'int getting past Barbour, Jindal, Sanford, Flake, or any other number of more established Republicans who can actually give interviews to people besides Sean Hannity and not look like mental patients. She'll run, but won't make it past the straw poll in Iowa."

    No you are wrong about that. People in the party really like her. Last I looked evangelicals alone will get you in the top three. None of those guys you mentioned will do anything with them and Huckabe probably won't run again. She will get well past the first straw poll. It will drive the media crazy but tough shit sometimes life is like that.

  • economist||

    Mo,
    It's way funnier without the straight man. Colbert Report, my friend (unless you count his interviews).

  • ||

    At the federal level, I really don't see four or even eight years of tax and spend and socialism light as anything that many libertarians are going to get to upset about.

    You say this as if we haven't had eight straight years of spend and spend.

  • BDB||

    Well John, the only governing/political strategy that Republicans have had since 2004 is HEY LETS PISS OFF THE LIBRUHS, WE'LL LOSE BUT THAT WILL BE FUN! so you might be right.

    Having a coherent political ideology? Fuck that! Let's have politics of resentment!

  • ||

    Bush cut taxes like crazy and they hate him. Yeah, Bush did other things they don't like, but it is not like cutting taxes is any mitigation.

    That's because Bush spent like crazy. He grew government more than anyone since FDR*. I don't care if he cuts taxes today for taxes tomorrow. Borrow and spend is just as bad, if not worse, than tax and spend. The problem with the equation is the spend. That what you big government conservatives can't seem to get through your thick skulls about libertarians. Starving the beast doesn't work and it takes actual courage to cut government spending. Something 6 years of Republican control of all 3 branches of government couldn't and didn't do.

    * Bush's legacy seems to be "the most/worst _____ since FDR".

  • BDB||

    It's like when the Republicans in my state nominated Jerry Kilgore, a really weird guy from Appalachia with a speech impediment for Governor, because it would "piss off the media and the people in Northern Virginia". Well, it did, and they lost badly.

  • ||

    I would love to see Palin run again!! Dems will have 300 House Seats and 70 Senators with that lunatic on the ticket...and it would be so deliciously fun to watch her destroyed...

  • Hogan||

    He grew government more than anyone since FDR*

    Can LBJ at least get honorable mention?

  • economist||

    I don't want to think about 2012. I really don't. By then, South Park will probably be off the air, Richard Cheese will be long in retirement, and to top it all off, and I'll have to report to local soviet to get my work card.

  • ||

    Bush didn't spend like crazy, Bush and Congress spent like crazy. That won't end until the bond markets cut off their credit. Again though, I think social issues are bigger deals to libertarians these days than fiscal and government issues. If the Dems do get to run everything, I don't think the Libertarians will care unless the Dems start doing crazy shit with the Fairness Doctrine or start seriously trying to restrict free speech, something I doubt will happen.

  • Hibiscus Monkey||

    Soooo...we are supporting the Democratic presidental candidate who is less qualified than the Republican vice presidential candidate because he is more "wordly" and delivers a nice speech?

    What exactly qualifies one to be president?

  • economist||

    Hogan,
    It does seem wrong that the Devil is denied his due, doesn't it?

  • economist||

    HM,
    Well, I for one would like my president not to be a douche. And yet, I'm consistently disappointed.

  • ||

    Re: Stewart - my $0.02

    ITBT ITLLA Stewart was funny. He was funny because he lambasted the techniques and practices of the MSM in their news coverage, especially their political coverage.

    But then he decided that he really wanted Kerry to defeat Bush and from that point on he's been a Democrat fluffer.

    It's been a long time since he's been funny. Say, what ever happened to Craig Kilborn anyway?

  • rhywun||

    Again though, I think social issues are bigger deals to libertarians these days than fiscal and government issues.



    Yes, because when all's said and done they have a bigger impact. Tax percentages going up and down a few percentage points is insignificant compared to rights being lost or restored.

  • economist||

    rhywun,
    That's right. 'Cause I've always been more concerned about my right to get high than my right to keep my paycheck, dividends, and capital gains.

  • ||

    Palin is not a lunatic. It amazes me how the media can get on a meme and if they all say it long enough and loud enough some will start believing it. The media doesn't have near the influence it once did. It has become a blunt instrument. They can't have Cronkite calling an end to the war anymore. But what they can do is all get together in a mob and say the same thing and attack the same point long enough and hard enough to start to have an effect. That is what happened in Katrina where there are intelligent people to this day who believe that babies were raped and murdered in the Super Dome and any number of other outright falsehoods. The same thing has happened with Palin. Here is a decent governor from a small Western State who can give a good speech. But thanks to the media mob has been turned in the eyes of some into some kind monster. That is just bullshit and any reasonable person ought to know it. It is one thing to say "I don't agree with her" it is another thing to call the woman a lunatic.

    The whole process is becoming grossly unhealthy for the country. That kind of slimming shouldn't happen to anyone left or right. We don't serve ourselves by allowing the media to lie and exaggerate about someone to that extent. I tend to get pissed off about it more because it usually happens to Republicans. But it could just as easily happen to a Democrat if it fit the media's purpose. Indeed it did with Clinton in the right wing press such as it is. It wasn't good when idiots were claiming that Bill Clinton worked for the KGB or had people whacked at Mena Arkansas and it is not good now that everyone repeats the same lie that Palin is anything but a conservative politician. That is not conducive to a free society.

  • ||

    That's right. 'Cause I've always been more concerned about my right to get high than my right to keep my paycheck, dividends, and capital gains.

    So you think that in January, your tax burden will jump significantly if Obama is being sworn in? Would it drop if McCain had his hand on the bible?

  • BDB||

    She's more of a joke than a monster. But nominate her if you really, really want to piss off the media. Four years from now in October you can blame it all on the Media and ACORN once again. But it will feel good, right? All those elites will be mad, so it will be worth it!

  • ||

    The whole process is becoming grossly unhealthy for the country. That kind of slimming shouldn't happen to anyone left or right.

    I though the problem was obesity?

  • ||

    Hahahaha...I know exactly the lesson conservatives will get from this election, which is, 'we didn't win because our candiate wasn't conservative enough', I love it, nominate Palin in '12, '16' 20, we will have a generation of Democratic Presidents.

  • economist||

    John, that has to the longest "leave Palin alone" post I've ever seen.

    That said, I agree that the "lunatic" charges are overblown. And while I don't place that much stock in political experience, I enjoy the fact that being a mayor and a governor doesn't count as valid work experience, and that saying that one's drunken asshole relative SHOULD be kicked off the police force amounts to an abuse of power.

  • Paul||

    As I was reassuring a paranoid leftist friend

    Umm, were the two adjectives really necessary?

  • ||

    "She's more of a joke than a monster."

    More of? Just sort of a monster? Why is she more of a joke than Joe Biden who says something stupid nearly every time he speaks? This despite like 50 years in the Senate? Why is she more a joke than John Edwards, a one term senator whose loan accomplishment in life is convincing guilable juries that he was channeling the voices of dead babies? What about Barney Frank who once shacked up with a pimp who ran a male protitution ring out of their apartment? But of course with Frank, whose current lover is one of the guys who ripped of Fannie and Freddie, the pimp was probably the more moral and trustworthy of the two roommates. Call Palin a joke if you like but only if you are willing to hold other politicians to the same standard.

  • Mike Laursen||

    The war in Iraq is over.

    It is?! I guess I missed the big announcement that the troops are coming home.

  • BDB||

    You still haven't given a reason for nominating her in 2012 other than "pissing off the media and the elites". You really think that's a winning strategy?

    Why don't you just nominate a random guy off the street? I bet that'd REALLY get the media mad!

  • economist||

    "Would your tax burden increase significantly if Obama is sworn in?"
    Uh, yeah. Unless you actually believe that top 5% crap.

  • ||

    Honestly, do Libertarians really have that much to lose from a few years of Democratic rule?

    John, this wasn't addressed to me, but guns, judges, and Biden's whore on drugs/100,000 cops BS.

  • zoltan||

    Palin is a lunatic who thinks God wants a pipeline through Alaska. She's a fucking crazy Christian nutjob who wants to do sleepovers with Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin (also fucking crazy as well). But hey, maybe you think humans riding dinosaurs is totally sane.

  • ||

    Honestly, do Libertarians really have that much to lose from a few years of Democratic rule? The agree with the Dems on social issues. Yeah, taxes are a bitch but it is not like they are not high anyway and it is not like many libertarians are that hot and bothered by them. Bush cut taxes like crazy and they hate him. Yeah, Bush did other things they don't like,



    We must pause here for a monment to list some of the things, economically and otherwise, that GWB has presided over that pissed off this libertarian.

    1) Signed the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Free Speech Supression Act.
    2) Is totally responsible for the No Child Left Behind Gets Ahead Act.
    3) A completely unjustified War in Iraq.
    4) Medicare Presription Drug Benefit. Medicare Presription Drug Benefit. Medicare Presription Drug Benefit. Medicare Presription Drug Benefit. Medicare Presription Drug Benefit.

    but it is not like cutting taxes is any mitigation.


    Borrowing the money for the above policies completely invalidates the tax cuts bullshit.

    I think most libertarians are social libertarians more interested in things like drug policy and gay marriage and things like that. Economic freedoms are pretty much the red headed step child and to the extent that it isn't it is usually at the local level over things like zoning and imminent domain rather than the federal level.



    Have you read my, or others, comments about the ONE FUCKING TRILLION (and rising) bailout package?

    At the federal level, I really don't see four or even eight years of tax and spend and socialism light as anything that many libertarians are going to get to upset about.



    You are wrong again. I am completely unsurprised by that.


  • ||

    I haven't decided which will be the most satisfying after the election: watching conservatives form their circular firing squad, or sending in e-mails to the local Christian radio station which read, 'Where's your messiah now?'

  • ||

    Call Palin a joke if you like but only if you are willing to hold other politicians to the same standard.

    What you seem to regularly miss, John, is that we do. There is no candidate for libertarians to be excited about.

  • economist||

    John,
    "Joe Biden...says something stupid every time he speaks despite like 50 years in the Senate."
    Um, why would 50 years in the Senate make anyone more intelligent?

  • BDB||

    I never heard Biden or Edwards actually say during a debate, "I won't answer that question" and then talk about something completely unrelated. Bush didn't do that, either.

  • rhywun||

    I've always been more concerned about my right to get high than my right to keep my paycheck, dividends, and capital gains.



    It's been a long time since tax rates have swung up or down by more than a few percentage points. If you choose to equate a typical-sized tax hike to "losing your paycheck, dividends, and capital gains"--well, then, we're arguing past each other.

    Obama's going to have a hard enough time keeping his tax promise while paying off all the shit the Bush left him, let alone any new shit he comes up with.

  • matt2||

    "loan" and "guilable"* - 2 misused homonyms in the same sentence! Nice!

    *not actually a word, or a homonym, but close enough

  • economist||

    James,
    "Where's your messiah now?"
    Is that an oblique way to suggest that Obama's competing with Jesus Christ for messiah status? BTW, I'm an agnostic, so it's kind of a moot point. I just find Obama worshippers to be really creepy. And they don't have the excuse that they were raised to believe in the Obamessiah.

  • ||

    Wow, look at the Bush rednecks chime in together to berate Stewart and Hitchens. Palin is a chirpy airhead - and they go on counterattack to defend her idiocy. Its interesting!

  • ||

    Bush didn't spend like crazy, Bush and Congress spent like crazy.

    Yeah, those spendthrift Dems running both houses of congress during Bush's entire administartion.

    Oh, wait ...

  • Paul||

    Honestly, do Libertarians really have that much to lose from a few years of Democratic rule?

    No, we've lost as much with Republican rule.

    I think most libertarians are social libertarians more interested in things like drug policy and gay marriage and things like that.

    That's why we lead in every election and influence so much of the vote.

    Economic freedoms are pretty much the red headed step child and to the extent that it isn't it is usually at the local level over things like zoning and imminent domain rather than the federal level.

    Another area where we libertarians totally Dominate! (imagine "dominate" written in that bad-assed third-reich heavy metal font with lots of umlauts)

    At the federal level, I really don't see four or even eight years of tax and spend and socialism light as anything that many libertarians are going to get to upset about.

    Agreed... when you've lost, you've lost. As I've said in previous threads: We're not fighting a battle, we're completely occupied with the enemy quartered in our houses, sleeping with our women and drinking our beer.

  • economist||

    "Obama's going to have trouble keeping his tax promise"
    Which is why the promise was bullshit, and why I'm predicting a significant rise in my personal tax burden.

  • ||

    "John, this wasn't addressed to me, but guns, judges, and Biden's whore on drugs/100,000 cops BS."


    I agree there are good reasons to worry. Biden is a lunatic on the war on drugs. Also, Obama has been terrible about the first and second amendments. Reason refuses to talk about it, but all of the ACORN schenanigans ought to give people pause about what Obama and his crew would do given access to real power. But I think culture trumps all of that. Most libertarians are culturally liberal and just like liberals and are willing to give them a pass easier than they will conservatives. If Obama goes after guns and talk radio and things like that, a lot of people in this country are going to be angry. But they will mostly be all the rednecks Libertarians hate. If the shit ever went down and there was a President who was really going after people's rights, Libertarians wouldn't have much to say if that President were a liberal. This is not to say that Obama is going to do that. He won't. But whatever he does, I don't think Libertarians are going to feel much venom towards him.

  • Guy Montag||

    Where are you folks getting this nonsense that any President since 1974 can spend any amount of money different than what the Congress appropriates? Where? Where? Where?

    1. Read the whole Constitution, concentrate on Article 1, and then (a little farther down in the document) look for Presidential powers.

    2. Look up the term "impoundment" as it applies to the Executive Branch. Hint: there is a whole law about it.

    3. Look up the term "anti-deficiency" as it applies to the Executive Branch. Hint: there is a whole law about it.


    If you want to whine about Presidents asking for money and the Congress approving it, that is one thing, but inventing a Presidential power that does not exist is quite another.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Like how to say lines of Shakespeare without sounding like you're trying to class it up.

    Shakespeare himself covered that in the third act of Hamlet.

  • Paul||

    1. Read the whole Constitution, concentrate on Article 1, and then (a little farther down in the document) look for Presidential powers.

    Already have a zillion times, and no, I don't need another reason to be depressed.

  • ||

    "Yeah, those spendthrift Dems running both houses of congress during Bush's entire administartion."

    Yes, J sub D and the Democrats have done so much to stop it over the last two years. Also, I guess I missed all of those Dem filabusters to stop spending before they took control. You prove my point. You will do anything to make an excuse for a Democrat. In your view Democrats are never really wrong it is just the Republicans' fault for not stopping them.

  • Paul||

    2. Look up the term "impoundment"

    Oh, we're getting "impoundment" every day. That's why I have to sit on one of those donut cushions.

  • economist||

    Like I've said, I've pretty much given up on democracy as a political system. It only works in countries wealthy enough to sustain years of abuse, or where the government's small enough that it doesn't matter that much who's running it. I'm just sitting back after work, getting drunk, and laughing at the douchebags who are calling Obama's presidential run "a once-in-a-lifetime chance to make a difference".

  • Dave||

    It's comments like the ones on this post that remind me that most (not all, but most) of the readers here are still just Simpsons watching, video game playing, D&D obsessed slackers that probably haven't even worked long enough to really earn enough money to pay real taxes and own property, much less have raised a kid or two. It's like listening to political discussions at a UC Santa Cruz frat house, with the occasional cousin visiting from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

  • ||

    Guy,

    Stop confusing these people with facts. That whole Budget Act of 1974 is just fluff. Impoundments smoundments.

  • Hogan||

    filibusters and eminent domain

    hate to be a pedant here but if this is new to you, please learn it.

  • economist||

    The president can't impound funds. Not since the 70s, anyway.

  • ||

    Dave,


    That is the post of the year.

  • zoltan||

    Good thing there's a party we can vote into Congress that won't spend as much money as the other...oh, wait.

  • economist||

    "Most, but not all, of the posters here are...slackers"
    Stop projecting.

  • economist||

    zoltan,
    I believe joe once advised us to accept the inevitable, lay back, and enjoy it.

    However, it's very difficult to lay back while taking it in the butt.

  • ||

    "The president can't impound funds. Not since the 70s, anyway.

    Not since 74. It is a shame to. It functioned as a line item veto and made spending harder. I would love to see the President get that power back.

  • ||

    Where are you folks getting this nonsense that any President since 1974 can spend any amount of money different than what the Congress appropriates? Where? Where? Where?

    There's this thing called a veto that the president can use. Bush used it once the entire 6 years when Republicans ran both the Senate and the House. If he was concerned about abridging 1st Amendment rights or large expansions of government spending, he could veto it. If he thought the budget was too big, he could veto it. Simple. Besides, since when did the Bush Administration feel constrained by the Constitution. Congressional Republicans proved that Democrats don't have the monopoly on wasteful spending.

  • Paul||

    Simpsons watching

    Nope.

    , video game playing,

    I resemble that remark.

    D&D obsessed slackers

    Hell no.

    that probably haven't even worked long enough

    Double hell-no.

    really earn enough money to pay real taxes

    Mmmm, I don't earn that much, but not for lack of time on the job.

    and own property,

    Own property. My King County tax assessment went up $51,000 in a down market year.

    much less have raised a kid or two.

    Done, and done.

    What do I win?

  • zoltan||

    ::points at Mo::

    What that guy said.

  • ||

    I'm loomin' large again, I see.

  • ed||

    I guess my dream of having a lactating vice president is slipping away...slipping away...

  • ||

    Mo,

    He should have vetoed the hell out of things. But of course when Reagan did that he was portrayed as throwing old ladies into the street. When Gingrich shut down the government to try to stop spending he was put on the cover of Newsweek as the "Gingrich that Stole Christmas". If you are actually serious about doing something about spending, you better be ready for a serious media beatdown. It would be nice if we had a responsible media that just reported, but we don't. We also have a media and Congressional establishment (of both parties) that have an interest in the government getting bigger. I wish the guy luck who runs on a platform of actually stopping government and meaning it. The media and elite beatdown would be fierce.

  • Paul||

    Oh, by 'double hell no' I'm saying I have worked long enough... I'm kind of hoping for a retirement actually. But with this bailout plan, I somehow imagine I'll spend my retirement years throwing white bread of the back of a CCC truck.

  • ||

    J sub D, I have to agree with John. Your constant shilling for the Democrats - really, you'll do anything to make an excuse for a Democrat - gets tiresome.

    So...try to work on that. OK?

  • economist||

    John,
    As if Obama would slash spending.

  • BDB||

    "Simpsons watching"

    No.

    ", video game playing, "

    Yes.

    "
    D&D obsessed slackers"

    Fuck no.

    "that probably haven't even worked long enough "

    No.

    "really earn enough money to pay real taxes "

    Don't know how to define "real taxes" but I do pay federal income tax, sales tax, and payroll tax among other things.

    "and own property, "

    If by "property" you mean "own a home" no, I'm a renter.

    "much less have raised a kid or two."

    Nope.

  • ||

    He should have vetoed the hell out of things. But of course when Reagan did that he was portrayed as throwing old ladies into the street. When Gingrich shut down the government to try to stop spending he was put on the cover of Newsweek as the "Gingrich that Stole Christmas". If you are actually serious about doing something about spending, you better be ready for a serious media beatdown. It would be nice if we had a responsible media that just reported, but we don't. We also have a media and Congressional establishment (of both parties) that have an interest in the government getting bigger.

    I thought real conservatives didn't care what the media and elites thought? Reagan seemed to do alright, popularity-wise.

  • Fluffy||

    Again though, I think social issues are bigger deals to libertarians these days than fiscal and government issues.

    Maybe, John, just maybe it's not that libertarians "care more" about social issues, but it's that when the Democrats claim to have libertarianish positions on social freedoms they're actually telling the truth about 25-49% of the time, and when Republicans claim to have libertarianish positions on fiscal and government issues they're lying 99.99% of the time.

    A "culture issue" bird in the hand is worth about a billion lines of GOP bullshit about shrinking government in a bush.

    If the GOP was remotely trustworthy when it claims to stand for small government, we'd have something to talk about. It's not so we don't.

  • economist||

    To explain my last post, I think Obama's 95% likely to win, and so I've resigned myself to the one-party circlejerk that will surely follow this election.

  • ||

    "John,
    As if Obama would slash spending."

    Not going to happen. The problem that Obama is going to have if he wins is that there are about a million liberal groups that are going to expect payback once he is in office. If he doesn't pay them back, the disenchantment is going to be enormous. If he does, he will be so left that the country at large will turn on him. That is a tough spot to be in.

    If Obama wins, the Republicans need to kill him with kindness. Clinton got away with sticking it to the left because the Republicans went bizerk after he won and gave the base a reason to love Clinton even though he was actually governing from the right. The same thing happened with Bush in reverse. Bush governed from the left domestically in many ways but because the Left was so insane the rightwing base felt obligated to defend him and ignore all things like No Child Left Behind and all of the spending.

    If the Republicans are smart, which they are not, but if they were, they would treat Obama like a cop treats a convict in the prison yard. Put your arm around him and act all chummy so everyone thinks he is a snitch. That way he either has the choice of being reasonable and turning the base against him or going left and turning into Jimmy Carter.

  • Samuel L. Jackson||

    YES, THEY DESERVED TO DIE AND I HOPE THEY BURN IN HELL!!

  • economist||

    "Reagan seemed to do all right, popularity-wise."
    Yeah, 'cause he sort of, well, caved on those points.

  • Guy Montag||

    economist,

    The president can't impound funds. Not since the 70s, anyway.

    Thanks for paying such close attention at 3:17pm today. Jeesh.

  • economist||

    Note: I do not plan to participate in aforementioned circlejerk.

  • ||

    "If the GOP was remotely trustworthy when it claims to stand for small government, we'd have something to talk about. It's not so we don't."

    Of course they aren't. No one in government is ever trustworthy about small government. They just can't resist the temptation of protecting their sacred cows. They just can't help themselves. Of course even if they were, Libertarians would never support Republicans anyway because there would always be fellow travelers in the Republican Party that Libertarians couldn't tolerate. No way would Libertarians ever support anyone who was an evangelical or a redneck even if doing so would actually reduce the size of government. It is just not in their makeup.

  • economist||

    John,
    I can support evangelicals and rednecks, just as long as they leave me alone.

  • ed||

    the one-party circlejerk that will surely follow this election

    It worked well for Stalin...

  • Eric S.||

    People still make D&D digs? Really?

  • ||

    "John,
    I can support evangelicals and rednecks, just as long as they leave me alone."

    You are in the minority on that. IF the Republicans ran a real redneck on the platform of putting the Federal Government back to what it was under Lockner, the Libertarians would convince themselves he was a lunatic war monger or a crazy fundie and find an excuse to vote the other way.

  • Fluffy||

    Of course even if they were, Libertarians would never support Republicans anyway because there would always be fellow travelers in the Republican Party that Libertarians couldn't tolerate. No way would Libertarians ever support anyone who was an evangelical or a redneck even if doing so would actually reduce the size of government. It is just not in their makeup.

    Give me a break. This is such crap. Libertarians and libertarian leaners supported the GOP for DECADES. It is a very, very recent development that libertarian anger has burned white-hot against the GOP, and it took W to make that happen. Libertarians swallowed the GOP bullshit whole for DECADES until W made it impossible to do any more.

    Know how I know this? Because I swallowed it too. But never again, boy. Never again.

    And BTW, Ron Paul certainly has fundie tendencies, and his associates make no bones about their love of rednecks, and I wrote him checks and voted for him happily.

  • ||

    Fluffy,

    Fair enough. Perhaps I am judging Libertarians too harshly by associating them with the staff of Reason. Certainly the cosmotarians of Reason would never do so. Note they found the old Newsletters from Paul just in time to excuse them from actually supporting him.

    If Reason ever wants to be a serious force, it needs to move far away from Washington and stop hiring journalists.

  • Guy Montag||

    Mo,

    Crap, I decide to read one of your comments for the first time in ages and you come up with this nonsense in responding to Presidential budget powers?

    There's this thing called a veto that the president can use.

    BFD, all that means is that there is not a new law. In budget world, this means the whole government continues to spend at the same *rate* of the last appropriation. So, tell us all, Mr. Wise one, how that circumvents ANY existing control by the Congress over the budget?

    As I pointed out at 3:17, the President can not impound funds (means he MUST spend what was appropriated in the appropriate manner) nor can he spend funds not appropriated.

    So, how the hell is a veto relevant at all to this?

    Bush used it once the entire 6 years when Republicans ran both the Senate and the House. If he was concerned about abridging 1st Amendment rights or large expansions of government spending, he could veto it. If he thought the budget was too big, he could veto it. Simple. Besides, since when did the Bush Administration feel constrained by the Constitution. Congressional Republicans proved that Democrats don't have the monopoly on wasteful spending.

    Is a relevant point coming along any time soon?

  • Peckham, J.||

    It's Lochner, you fool!

  • economist||

    Cosmotarians=liberaltarians=left-libertarians=libertarian socialists=socialists.
    I see the connection now. If you're a cosmopolitan libertarian, it only makes sense to be a socialist!

  • ||

    Re: earlier comments: I don't find the Colbert Report funny at all.

    The Daily Show is still funny sometimes. Stewart has a great delivery and his sidekicks are generally pretty good. But I agree with Warren, the show has become too partisan in the last four years.

    Bill Maher's show is lively but unbearably partisan and snide.

    Speaking of political talk shows, did anyone see the David Frum interview on Rachel Maddow last night? It was sort of a reprise of the Stewart/Tucker Carlson confrontation of four years ago with Frum in the Stewart role.

    I notice that everyone posting this on YouTube thinks Maddow "won", but that wasn't my impression.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1uj2c0l9fA

  • Fluffy||

    Guy,

    W sent budgets to the Congress with deficits essentially at the same level as the budgets the Congress ultimately passed.

    Few Presidents have been given budgets by the Congress that matched their requests as closely as W's.

    If W was out there proposing balanced budgets that cut the size of government, but the bad, bad Congress was laughing at him and passing bloated and out of balance budgets, your point would be better supported by the history.

  • economist||

    Personally, I think Noam Chomsky should suffer a thousand painful deaths for popularizing the term "libertarian socialist" in a non-ironic context.

  • ||

    Dude, Weigel admitted he vote for Paul, I donated money for Paul. You know who wouldn't give the time of day to Ron Paul? Republicans. Because he was anti-war and anti-Bush. He was routinely excluded on Fox polls and interviews* and the butt of jokes in most mainstream conservative publications (actually, Republican Party mouthpieces), like the National Review. To paraphrase President Reagan, libertarians didn't leave the Republican Party, the Republican Party left us.

    * Dr. Paul was treated with more kindness and relevance on Colbert than he ever was on Fox.

  • Jam E. Smackey||

    I haven't decided which will be the most satisfying after the election: eating this boison berry marmalade coated piece of toast with my eyes closed and my head bouncing side to side, or drinking this warm glass of chocolate milk with it dripping out of both sides of my smiling lips and trickles down my neck.

  • ||

    "It's Lochner, you fool!"


    Good you can spell it, not tell me what it meant, the year it was decided and how it was overturned? Usually those who are concerned about spelling are so only because they know nothing else to be concerned over.

  • economist||

    It's nice to reminisce on the Bush years. It numbs the pain of the coming socialist state.

  • Guy Montag||

    Fluffy,

    My point, that the Congress has ALL of the purse strings, is supported by facts.

    For some reason, you are confusing your complaint that several Congresses went along with a President as some proof of a Presidential power that does not exist is nothing more than emotional acrobatics.

  • economist||

    re: John 3:57pm
    You're starting to sound dangerously like concerned observer.

  • Hogan||

    To stand up for spelling - misspellings and poor grammar, though they may not obscure one's meaning, are distracting to read and reduce the persuasiveness of one's argument.

  • Peckham, J.||

    Damn your impudence! I wrote it!

  • Fluffy||

    BTW, to the best of my knowledge, the constitutionality of the ban against impoundment has never been adjudicated. Nixon considered setting up a test case but pussied out.

    Since previous Presidents had impounded funds, I think the first thing a President serious about reducing the size of government should do is impound funds for some program and create a test case.

    The idea that the power of the purse was not primarily a negative limit on the executive, but could be employed as a positive power to force the executive to do something, is a fairly recent innovation and it's worth challenging.

  • economist||

    I got through maybe ten minutes' of Bill Maher's show before deciding that I would really rather see what was causing my dryer to make funny sounds.

  • George W||

    If you think I was bad news, you should wait to meet my successor.

  • Bill Clinton||

    You got that right, GWB.

  • economist||

    Just remember, John, that habitual spelling mistakes put you one the slippery slope to
    cum un?laff at meh uarseholes!!!!

  • ||

    BFD, all that means is that there is not a new law. In budget world, this means the whole government continues to spend at the same *rate* of the last appropriation. So, tell us all, Mr. Wise one, how that circumvents ANY existing control by the Congress over the budget?

    Considering he came in with budget surpluses, if he spends at the same rate as previous budgets, we'd be a lot closer to a balanced budget. Bush signed bills significantly expanding the government.

    If Bush vetoed the Medicare prescription drug bill, it wouldn't exist and that expansion of government would be gone. Yes, Congress controls the purse strings, but it's to a limited extent. Veto power is significant. If spending remained constant from one year to another, I would consider that a (minor) victory). Instead we have the largest expansion of the government since FDR, enabled by President Bush. You act as if Bush was some sort of innocent bystander trying to tell Congress not to piss away our money.

    Yes, Congress supplies the crack, but the president is the one that holds the lighter that makes it possible to smoke.

  • ||

    Give me a break. This is such crap. Libertarians and libertarian leaners supported the GOP for DECADES. It is a very, very recent development that libertarian anger has burned white-hot against the GOP, and it took W to make that happen. Libertarians swallowed the GOP bullshit whole for DECADES until W made it impossible to do any more.

    Know how I know this? Because I swallowed it too. But never again, boy. Never again.


    Great stuff! And it will get WORSE because the GOP has become the party of the SOUTH.

    Its 90% culture!

    Wait for CO, NM, NV and MT to turn blue with the entire Pacific coast and all of New England.

    I resent Bush rednecks/fundies and I live in Georgia.

    Die a quick death - GOP. Then lets get serious.

  • ||

    When the Republicans controlled Congress in 2005-2006, Reason did a lot of writing on Congressional corruption. When the Dems took over in 2007, Reason lost interest. Earmarks and the like just were not as interesting. The tagline for the last 8 years has been "Reason kicks around Republicans because they are in power". If the polls hold, we may see that theory tested. I have very little faith Reason will pass the test. They will probably have a few mea culpa posts after the election about how "gee this Obama guy isn't that great" but that will be about it.

  • Guy Montag||

    Fluffy,

    There you go making things up again.

    Impoundment went to the Supreme Court because of President Nixon's impoundments. The Congress lost and were told the remedy by the Supreme Court: Pass additional legeslation. So they did, and it is called the Impoundment Control Act.

    BTW, the Court did not rule that impoundment was ever a Presidential power to begin with, the ruling had something to do with ~26 Presidents before Nixon had done the same thing and the Congress never complained about it.

  • Fluffy||

    For some reason, you are confusing your complaint that several Congresses went along with a President as some proof of a Presidential power that does not exist

    Who said that a Presidential power existed?

    We're assigning blame for spending.

    The parties don't exist in the Constitution either. But you can't evade GOP responsibility for the spending of the W years by saying, "Well, constitutionally speaking each member of Congress is an individual, so you're ascribing to the parties powers they don't have!"

    There is a group of men who are in political terms responsible for the spending of the W years. W is one of those men. Despite the fact that the President has no Constitutional power to make legislation, Presidents routinely submit budgets to the Congress, and routinely act as heads of their parties to enforce party discipline to shepherd those budgets through the Congress.

  • twv||

    The problem with fundamentalist Christians in politics is their foreign policy. Most of them believe

    1. the end of the world has been prophesied and this prophecy is accurate;

    2. the end of the world would be a GOOD thing; and

    3. that it is possible to "take sides" and actions that hasten this end of the world.

    Well, it's not that I believetheir eschatological b.s. -- the problem is that I believe in the Thomas Theorem and the possibility of self-fulfilling prophecies. Those Christians who want to exacerbate problems in the mid-East, so that Jesus will rapture them out sooner, can end up causing us a lot of hurt. They can't make the rapture happen (that's utter nonsense), but they can usher in a new Dark Ages because of their whacko beliefs.

    That, I'm sure, is Hitchens's main beef against Palin. It is mine, too. I am happy to live amongst Christians; I deal with them every day. But I wouldn't give even the nicest of them one tiny little bit of political power, simply because of their "end times" beliefs.

    We cannot entrust civilization to people who believe that civilization will be taken over by an "antichrist," destroyed by Four Horsemen, with God and His Elect looking down in heaven in lipsmacking glee, coming in at the very end to put down human institutions and begin a thousand-year totalitarian theocracy. We cannot entrust that to them not because they'll manage to bring Jesus back, but because they can manage to bring in war, pestilence, poverty and death.

  • ||

    "If the Republicans are smart..."

    best strategy insight i've seen in a while - nice!

  • Barack Obama||

    Swallow this. Or at least suck on it.

  • ||

    "Since previous Presidents had impounded funds, I think the first thing a President serious about reducing the size of government should do is impound funds for some program and create a test case."

    I agree completely. I would love to see the President do that. He has just as much right to interpret the Constitution as the Congress and the Courts. My guess is that the Courts would want no part of it and call it a political question and stay out of it. Since the President controls the exectutive, Congress could do nothing except impeach the President. God, I would love to be the President whom the Congress tried to impeach in order to save their pork. Good luck with that one. I really think a President could do it.

  • economist||

    Personally, I expect Steve Chapman to either slip into leftist-who-claims-to-be-a-libertarian fantasy like Maher, or claim that Obama misled him.

  • Guy Montag||

    Mo and Fluffy,

    Just give it up, or at least be decent enough to flag your nonsense as fiction.

    Or do neither of you guys ever pay attention to what you write?

    Fluffy,

    If we are going to assign "blame" for spending why don't we "blame" the body that has ALL of that power? That is the Congress.

    Mo,

    How much of that crack are you smoking?

  • economist||

    "I would love to be the President whom the Congress tried to impeach in order to save their pork." No, you wouldn't. Because in the media and in the history books it would turn into how you wanted to throw children and old people on the street.

  • Guy Montag||

    John,

    The President no longer has the power to impound funds, not since 1974. Haven't you been following along?

    The Supreme Court case leading to the Impoundment Control Act of 1974 also said, basically, that the only way previous Presidents had that power was because the Congress just let them do it without protest.

  • ||

    Economist,

    I will be curious to see how the disillusionment will work on the left. What do the anti-war people say in a year and we are still in Iraq even though the Chosen One is President? What does the left say when 2010 rolls around and there isn't government mandated healthcare? What does the black community say when their lot in life hasn't changed one bit even though a black person is President and white people feel free to point to that fact as evidence that the country isn't racist? What do people say when Obama threatens to go to war with Iran if they don't stop developing the bomb?

    It amazes me how people constantly forget that the enemy gets a vote. The idea that a President of any party can "bring peace" is pretty deluded. We don't get peace until our enemies decide to give us peace. Obama, if he gets in office, will get there and have the same problems Bush had and there won't be any magical solutions for him either.

  • economist||

    Guy,
    I don't think Fluffy would let the Republican or Democratic Congresses off the hook for their profligate spending the last eight years. He was just pointing out that Bush is no fiscal conservative victimized by a power-mad Congress.

  • Mike Laursen||

    2. the end of the world would be a GOOD thing; and 3. that it is possible to "take sides" and actions that hasten this end of the world.

    From growing up in that world, I can say that it's a little more subtle than that:
    * Most born-again Christians' brains are compartmentalized. They live in the secular, practical, day-to-day world, too. When they are in Christian-thinking mode they'll say that the end of the world is a good thing, although sad for the doomed; when they are in secular, practical, day-to-day living mode they think its bad just like anybody else.
    * Many think its wrong to actively work towards Armegeddon. That's the Anti-Christ's job, not theirs. Although, there is a whole passive-aggressive habit of supporting American militarism because it is seen as defensive against worldly powers set in motion by Satan.

  • Fluffy||

    The Congress lost and were told the remedy by the Supreme Court: Pass additional legeslation. So they did, and it is called the Impoundment Control Act.

    The subsequent legislation is what has never been tested. The Nixon administration never advanced a constitutional argument, but merely argued that the language of budget resolutions did not require them to spend funds. The court's direction to the Congress to write legislation punted on the broader question.

    And you may not have noticed, but the composition of the court has changed since 1974.

  • ||

    "The President no longer has the power to impound funds, not since 1974. Haven't you been following along?"

    Yes I have and I am advocating that the President tell both the Congress and the Courts to go get bent. What are they going to do about it? There is nothing in the Constitution that gives the Courts the ultimate say on the meaning of the Constitution. The President has a right to interpret it to.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Oh, and there's actually a third mental compartment that many born-again Christians have: the Saturday Night sinning compartment.

  • ||

    How does Congress have all the power. According to my Constitution:

    Every order, resolution, or vote to which the concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the same shall take effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in the case of a bill.



    So unless those bills were passing with 67 votes, Bush had significant amounts of power. Just because you continue to demonstrate your willful ignorance or complete lack of reading comprehension is not my problem. My advice is to open the garage door when you work on your engine. The ventilation will do you some good.

    Crack is whack dude.

  • Guy Montag||

    economist,

    The mechanism used to ensure the spending of funds according to the direction of the Congress is heafty penalties against the fiscal officers UNDER the President.

    It works like this:

    President "Don't spend that"

    Contracting Officer "Sorry, it's the law, you would not go to jail on this one, I will" [authorizes the expenditure]

  • economist||

    John,
    The left will say Obama sold out, and the black community will suddenly notice that Barack Obama is only half black.

  • ||

    Mo,

    So the Congress who voted that spending bear no responsibility for it? Just the President? If the President doesn't veto every bill and shut down the government, he has failed and meanwhile Congress bears no responsibility no matter how much bullshit they vote to fund? Is that it?

  • ||

    So, the GOP has hung itself on a cross of, well, fundementalist christianity. The Democrats have engineered, or at least realized an opportunity to implement world changing redistributive policies that nullify 25 years of hard fought free-market gains. No body needs or wants the libertarian ideals in any way shape or form at the moment, as the country moves sharply populist. I guess the biggest casualty in all this is people like ourselves. Fuck me...

  • ||

    Funny how all the media elites bash Palin. Of this rotten bunch we have to pick from, she seems to me the best of the lot. I'm not voting Obama, but I hope he wins because him winning is what will be best for our movement. We can't afford to have another person who preaches free markets but delivers socialism in the White House. Especially not with a second Great Depression on deck. We need a socialist who will preach socialism. That he's a member of a generally despised race is just gravy. If McCain wins, the angry white males (and married females) who are ripe for conversion to our side instead stay with the corrupt GOP. If Obama wins, they are ours.

  • Guy Montag||

    Mo,

    My word, that is one thick skull.

    Have a nice quarter.

  • ||

    * Many think its wrong to actively work towards Armegeddon. That's the Anti-Christ's job, not theirs. Although, there is a whole passive-aggressive habit of supporting American militarism because it is seen as defensive against worldly powers set in motion by Satan.

    Mike, I have some born-again friends who are stong supporters of Israel precisely because it's one of the prereqs for the End Times. Have you seen that in your circles or is it a less widespread belief than I assumed.

  • economist||

    re: Guy Montag 4:18 pm
    What did I say that you're supposed to be rebutting?

  • ||

    "John,
    The left will say Obama sold out, and the black community will suddenly notice that Barack Obama is only half black."


    Oh it will be fun. By all rights LBJ was the greatest liberal President of the 20th Century. He accomplished more for the left than Kennedy or even FDR. And who destroyed Johnson? The liberals.

  • lurker #58||

    What do the anti-war people say in a year and we are still in Iraq even though the Chosen One is President? What does the left say when 2010 rolls around and there isn't government mandated healthcare? What does the black community say when their lot in life hasn't changed one bit even though a black person is President and white people feel free to point to that fact as evidence that the country isn't racist? What do people say when Obama threatens to go to war with Iran if they don't stop developing the bomb?

    Cut it out -- you're giving me a woody.

  • dhex||

    You act as if Bush was some sort of innocent bystander trying to tell Congress not to piss away our money.

    now now mo we all know that the liberals have a gun to bush's head 24/7 and he's all "oh no a gun i can't do nuthin' now for limited government which is my one true passion oh dear oh dear" and the liberals are all "mwua HA HA HAH" and...stuff.

  • ||

    Mo, I've seen it, was raised in it in fact. Scary scary, and reasonably widespread at the trailer park end of the eonomic spectrum.

  • economist||

    FatDrunkandStupid,
    You make interesting proposition.

  • economist||

    John,
    LBJ got hoisted by his own petard.

  • ||

    John,

    Of course, Congress bears significant responsibility for passing those bills. However, when Congress and the President are in the same party, there is a great deal of cooperation and coordination between the two branches. When they oppose, it becomes either a battle of wills and PR or a case of finding common ground. Even though Congress is the one passing the laws, unless it gets 67 votes in the Senate, they both bear equal responsibility.

    Guy,

    You're talking about appropriations for current laws, however, the president can prevent appropriations for new laws by preventing them from becoming laws. He can prevent increases of appropriations by vetoing new budgets.

  • Guy Montag||

    economist,

    @4:22pm are you talking about when you said "The president can't impound funds. Not since the 70s, anyway."

    It appeared that you were making a comment on my 3:17 post, pointing out (well, hinting for people to look up themselves) that the President can no longer impound funds.

  • ||

    "Funny how all the media elites bash Palin. Of this rotten bunch we have to pick from, she seems to me the best of the lot."

    She is. She certainly is a lot more committed to small government than McCain is. But, she is kind of a redneck and goes to a church, so the Libertarians hate her guts. She fired the head of the state police for not firing her deadbeat ex brother in law and all of the sudden Libertarians are the great defenders of cops. She asks a librarian about getting books removed from a library and Libertarians see 1933 all over again. But she is "not qualified". But Obama who is a one term Senator, community activist and state Senator is. Nothing exposes the Libertarian's class snobbishness and bigotry more than Palin.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Mike, I have some born-again friends who are stong supporters of Israel precisely because it's one of the prereqs for the End Times. Have you seen that in your circles or is it a less widespread belief than I assumed.

    One impression I have gotten from discussing fundamentalist Christianity on blogs like this one is that the Southern U.S. strain is more radical than the Southern California strain I'm familiar with. Hey, Southern California is more mellow, even if you're a fundamentalist.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Oh, and the fundamentalists I know ARE fully behind Israel, but its all put on the being defensive against Satan's agents (i.e. we're peace-loving people being forced into this) category.

  • dhex||

    john, i mean, really...we can't keep going in circles like this. jesus called. again. yes, again. apparently you're trying to fit palin on the cross now. it's a man-sized cross, john. women aren't going to fit on it.

    sigh. this is going to have to go in your permanent record. i don't want to be the bad guy here, but you've left me no choice.

  • ||

    J sub D, I have to agree with John. Your constant shilling for the Democrats - really, you'll do anything to make an excuse for a Democrat - gets tiresome.

    So...try to work on that. OK?


    joe,

    Thanks for acknowledging that I'm don't fit in the blue/red dichotomy.

  • ||

    Dave,
    I still don't understand why you write here. You are an Obama maniac, not a libertarian. Be honest and join the Huff Post, Daily Kos or NYT, where leftists like you belong.

  • Paul||

    I do not plan to participate in aforementioned circlejerk.

    Your participation has been noted... check!

  • ||

    That is right Dhex. Nothing hurts more than pointing out the truth. If Palin were an athiest and governor or Vermont and went to a burning man or two back in the day, the Reasonites would love her. None of the things that bother them about her now, experience, answers to this or that dumb ass question from the media would matter.

  • BDB||

    John likes Palin because she pisses of the media and "elites". That's the only reason why.

  • economist||

    John,
    I agree with your 4:27 post for the most part, but I would suggest that resistance is futile. Give in and Hope for Change. Change for Hope. You will be assimilated.

  • economist||

    Oh, crap, I got all trekky again.

  • ||

    I'm here for the circlejerk.

  • ||

    Funny how all the media elites bash Palin. Of this rotten bunch we have to pick from, she seems to me the best of the lot.

    So you like theocracy? You want contraception outlawed (the rollback of 'Griswold').

    You're an idiot. Bring it on though. The GOP needs a quick shot to the head.

  • economist||

    I never understood the love reasonites have for burning man. It seems like a bunch of hippies getting together to get away from the "square" world.

  • Fluffy||

    She is. She certainly is a lot more committed to small government than McCain is. But, she is kind of a redneck and goes to a church, so the Libertarians hate her guts.

    John, you're completely ignoring the positive Palin coverage Reason engaged in before she was the VP nominee. You're also ignoring Reason's initial attempts to play up Palin's "good side" after she was the nominee.

    Reason and the commenters here at Reason turned against Palin when she signed up for the whole Bush / McCain package. The point is that she's NOT "more committed to small government than McCain". Not anymore. She threw that away to advance herself.

    And if you are going to sign up to be a stooge to defend Bush's big government record and Bush's wars and Bush's security policies, AND John McCain's Peronism, then I am going to spit at you. And if you're a cut-rate hick Hannah Storm wannabe, I'm going to mock you for that, too.

    "Buh buh buh the VP nominee has to support the Presidential nominee even if their own opinions are different mew mew mew mew!" Tough.

  • William F. Buckley channeled b||

    Now listen to me, you queer! Stop calling me a theocrat or I'll punch you in your goddamn face and you'll stay plastered!

  • ||

    "John likes Palin because she pisses of the media and "elites". That's the only reason why."

    There is some truth to that. I think the media is completely ignorant about 99% of what they write about and our elites in both parties have completely let the country down over the last 15 or so years. Why not give someone else a shot? The fact that Palin went to some school in Idaho, has never served in Washington, never been worked as "consultant" for a major news network and generally bears no marks of being a part of the establishment in this country ought to be considered an advantage not a bug.

  • BDB||

    If anyone wonders why formerly Republican areas like suburban Philly, Northern Virginia, Charlotte, and Denver are becoming Democratic, it's because the Republican Party serves no purpose except as some kind of weird venting for people who hate all things educated and urban/suburban and fetishize "small towns".

  • ||

    I, Barack Obama

    I, Barack Obama

    do solemnly swear

    do solemnly swear

    that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States,

    that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United State

    and will to the best of my ability,

    and will to the best of my ability,

    preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

    preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United State.

    So help me God.

    Inshallah, bitches! W00t!

  • BDB||

    And the vast, vast majority of this country is urban and suburban, not old white people with high school diplomas in "small towns". Good luck being a majority party when that's required to join.

  • ||

    back in my day, we used to just burn the hippies.

  • ||

    "I never understood the love reasonites have for burning man. It seems like a bunch of hippies getting together to get away from the "square" world."

    I never have either.

  • Virgil||

    "....Nothing exposes the Libertarian's class snobbishness and bigotry more than Palin."

    John, no matter how hard you try to force Palin into this narrative you have about the big mean libertarians hating the poor honest small town main street folk, it's just not going to work. Reality's a bitch that way.

    When are you going to finally just admit that you're a partisan Republican hack? You're really not fooling anyone when you say stuff like "I am not a water carier for Republicans." You're like the gay guy who everyone knows is gay but he refuses to admit it (not that there's anything wrong with that).

  • economist||

    I would rather see Palin as president than McCain, Obama, or Biden. That said, it's not a huge endorsement.

  • ||

    NEVER BEEN TESTED = FEATURE?

    AWESOME FODDER FOR SNL POLITICAL SKETCHES = FEATURE!

  • John and Economist in a hotel ||

    Econ: Oh, yeah, suck it!
    John: Yeah, now you suck mine! Suck it hard!

  • ||

    Please show that Palin is a snake-handler...



    Well maybe not a snake-handler but she does believe in witches.

    It's funny that the only place I've seen this is from a couple of commenters at H&R.

    Frankly I'm surprised as hell that the Obama campaign hasn't picked this up and run it in for a touchdown.

    While I'm aware that a tiny portion of the GOP fundie base shares this medieval belief, I'm fairly sure that most people will not look kindly on a preacher who egged on his flock to drive a woman who he had identified as a witch out of the neighborhood.

    Yeah, we're supposed to be upset at a black pastor who seems to have used some over the top language to dramatize the injustices done to members of his race but this fucking lunatic is OK.

    Sorry, kids, but SP is looking crazier, stupider and more ignorant every fucking day.

    I should have known. Eric Dondero said she was a libertarian. I'm still looking for how she comes close.

  • Bill Gates||

    ought to be considered an advantage not a bug.

    It's feature, you dork!

  • economist||

    domoarrigo,
    That sounds like fun.

  • dhex||

    That is right Dhex. Nothing hurts more than pointing out the truth. If Palin were an athiest and governor or Vermont and went to a burning man or two back in the day, the Reasonites would love her. None of the things that bother them about her now, experience, answers to this or that dumb ass question from the media would matter.

    john, really, stop digging holes. this is all going to go into the final report. yeah, i'm sorry...it's company policy. my hands are tied. i have no choice in the matter. please try to understand.

    on a serious note, maybe i misunderstand the heroin-like appeal of kulturkampf, but the only base getting fired up seems to be freebase.

  • ||

    "And the vast, vast majority of this country is urban and suburban, not old white people with high school diplomas in "small towns". Good luck being a majority party when that's required to join."

    I have last I counted three advanced degrees and a double degree in undergraduate. I also live in a big east coast city. I am anything but a guy with a high school diploma in a small town.

    I do however believe that our elites and especially the media are selling out this country. Do we have a banking system that just crashed because our mandarin class has any clue whatsoever about how to run things? The media is even worse. The whole lot of them needs to be thrown out and we need to start again. Most importantly, no one in this society should be able to claim any snobbish glee over anyone else. Back when the trains rain on time maybe. But not anymore.

  • ||

    "....Nothing exposes the Libertarian's class snobbishness and bigotry more than Palin."

    Why can't libertarians be class snobbish anyway? Are we defining class snobbish as educated, admiring of wealth, dismissive of zealot gibberish? If that's it, count this libertarian openly and proudly class snobbish. I won't dress it up in a whining liberal cloak of self-loathing for you either. Let them eat moon-pies.

  • ||

    much love for burning man, why I cannot say

    I think it has something to do with it being the closest you can get to the freedom of the acid tests or haight/asbury while still living in the 21st century.

    sounds pretty groovy

  • BDB||

    "I have last I counted three advanced degrees and a double degree in undergraduate. I also live in a big east coast city."

    Then you fetishize small towns as "the real America" which is even more bizarre. Like Mitt Romney railing agianst "Harvard eastern Elites" and Rudy Giuliaini railing against "cosmopolitan" places bizarre.

  • dhex||

    i must say i would have a tremendous amount of respect if obama ended his swearing in with "inshallah, bitches!" maybe not respect, but i would laugh real fuckin' hard.

  • BDB||

    Did you support Huckabee in the primaries, John?

  • ||

    Why does Reason give one tin shit about Hitchens?
    The guy's a pro-war socialist alcoholic wingnut cockstroker.
    The guy needs 60 days in a fucking in rehab before he could even BEGIN to start utilizing his capacity for "reason."
    Weigel, why don't you find something worthwhile to write about? Or are you just trying desperately to be hip?

  • economist||

    John and economist in a hotel room,
    You've proven your utter lack of maturity. Congratulations.

  • BDB||

    Because if you really, really really hate those coastal and media elites you should have supported either Huckabee or Paul if you're being intellectually honest.

  • ||

    "Free Minds and Free Markets."
    Christopher Hitchens.
    When I post this, I expect my fucking monitor to blow the fuck up.

  • dhex||

    Most importantly, no one in this society should be able to claim any snobbish glee over anyone else.

    whhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    what?

    whhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  • economist||

    Jamie Kelly,
    Good question. I'm not sure why Reason cares about Hitchens. Maybe because he's an atheist, and atheists have something inherently reasonable about them so sayeth the of Be'thos.
    (This is what some posters here actually believe).

  • ||

    Why does Reason give one tin shit about Huckabee?
    The guy's a pro-war fascist alcoholic wingnut cockstroker.
    The guy needs 60 days in a fucking in rehab before he could even BEGIN to start utilizing his capacity for "reason."
    Weigel, why don't you find something worthwhile to write about? Or are you just trying desperately to be hip?

  • ||

    and will to the best of my ability

    That's the part that scares me, joe.
    Happy fucking Halloween.

  • ||

    "Then you fetishize small towns as "the real America" which is even more bizarre"

    No I grew up in a small town and know the people who live in them. They seem to be a hell of a lot more sane, friendlier and competent than the people I know in Washington. Not that I would want to live in a small town again, but I certainly understand and respect the people who do.

    No I didn't vote for Huckabe you dumb ass. Amazingly enough I am anything but an evangelical. I wouldn't join a Holy Roller church for love nor money. But, it is a free country and unlike 90% of the people on this board, I actually believe that that freedom means the right to do things I would never do and live in ways I never would without being called a lunatic and told you can never serve in public office.

  • ||

    I'm getting a raging case of snobbish glee right now...

    ooooohh awwweeessoooommmeee...

    Now that that's over, can we please talk about how awesome burning man is?

  • economist||

    I regularly claim snobbish glee over others.

  • ||

    Jamie - because free minds mean libertarians deconstruct their own philosophies. so much so that they are deconstructed to death before either of the other parties gets around to noticing us. Kind of like the smart shy kid in the corner who the pretty girls like as a friend and come running to cry to after the football player puts it in her butt.

  • ||

    Isn't this cool? You guys are having so much fun validating John's bullshit I had to put my popcorn down for a second and chime in.

    What does the black community say when their lot in life hasn't changed one bit even though a black person is President and white people feel free to point to that fact as evidence that the country isn't racist?


    John, you ignorant slut. Please provide a link ... any link ... that makes any mention at all about how Obama is going to bring the black folks up into heaven. You racist fuck. As a cracker I got to say that my main whitey man has screwed things up pretty good for the rest of us honkies during his reign ... oh ... do you mean that blacks expect other blacks to do things for them just because they're black? Again ... you racist fuck.

    There is nothing in the Constitution that gives the Courts the ultimate say on the meaning of the Constitution. The President has a right to interpret it to.


    Aaaaand ... then the Courts gets to tell him to piss off, or in the case of GWB/Cheney, they can say, "Yassah!" Have you not been paying any attention to the events of the past 8 years? Just because little things like habeas corpus and personal privacy have been jettisoned does not mean that the Pres can interpret the Constitution and have it stick, all on his own. Sure, just like in this thread, anyone can interpret the Constitution any way they want, but in order to have the force of law, that interpretation must be backed up by the Courts.

    Oops ... that popcorn's comin' back up! This has got to be the biggest circle jerk thread on Reason Online this year. Where's Palin for the bukkake shot?

  • BDB||

    Why not? Huckabee really was from a small town and went to a no-name liberal arts college, and never spent a night in Washington. Wouldn't that be the way to really stick it to those eastern elites?

    I grew up in a small town and I left and never want to go back. I would have given my left nut to get out even sooner than I did. There's a reason why the number one product from Wasilla is methamphetamine.

  • ||

    Maybe because he's an atheist, and atheists have something inherently reasonable about them so sayeth the of Be'thos.

    One word for those flecks of colonic shit: Stalin.

  • ||

    that last about why reasons cares about hitchens

  • Rush||

    An Obama presidency makes the 1990s seem like such an innocent time. I'm nostalgic for good old boy Bill.

  • BDB||

    But no no no. You can't make fun of small towns. That's not PC. You can only rag on big cities.

  • economist||

    John @4:53
    Here here. Now, if you'll agree that it's a bad idea to keep troops in Iraq, we'll be on the same page.

  • Jesus||

    John is all things to all people. Like me.

  • ||

    I have last I counted three advanced degrees and a double degree in undergraduate. I also live in a big east coast city. I am anything but a guy with a high school diploma in a small town.

    It's more a fetish than a lifestyle.

  • BDB||

    It's a fetish that turns a hell of a lot of voters off to the Republican Party. Once they admit that people in cities and suburbs are just as American as those in Methville, West Virginia, maybe they'll win elections again.

  • economist||

    BDB,
    I really don't know where you're getting the persecution complex. Small-town residents are regularly cast as stupid/ignorant, intolerant, fundamentalist hicks in the media and in many political circles (Angry bitter gun-toting hicks etc.)

  • ||

    "I grew up in a small town and I left and never want to go back. I would have given my left nut to get out even sooner than I did. There's a reason why the number one product from Wasilla is methamphetamine."

    There we go BDB. You had a bad experience and it colors your view so you over compensate. Some of the biggest craziest atheists I know grew up in weirdo Protestant denominations. I just never had the bad experience. No question it is not all Mayberry out there, but Washington or New York is not all cosmotarian splendor either. There are plenty of people who are smart, nice and productive or crazy and stupid in either type of place.

  • BDB||

    Economist, did you miss the entire Republican Convention?

    Small Towns Good.

    Cities BAD! VERY BAD! UN-AMERICAN!

  • Jeffersonian||

    The newspaper endorsements of John Mccain in the primaries mean fucking zero. In a choice between John Mccain and Mitt Romney or Mccain and Fred Thompson, who would a liberal rather have?

  • ||

    Jamie Kelly - you're a stupid Christ-Fag. Take your Catholic theocracy and ram it into your gerbil filled ass.

  • ||

    "Small-town residents are regularly cast as stupid/ignorant, intolerant, fundamentalist hicks in the media and in many political circles (Angry bitter gun-toting hicks etc.)"

    In my first hand experience the most logical reason for this is the large number of stupid/ignorant, intolerant, fundamentalist hicks that live there.

  • BDB||

    Barack Obama calls people in small towns "bitter" and it's a major scandal.

    John McCain rags on "corrupt Chicago" and it's used in a TV ad.

    See the difference there?

  • ||

    I don't have the energy to go through 230+ comments. I can say that Hitchens seems to be going back to his Trotsky roots after Obama's "We just need to spread the wealth around" comment in Ohio. That's change we can fear.

  • ||

    You read people fetishing small-town people, like David Brooks, from their blue-city offices, and the terms that comes to mind is "noble savages."

  • ||

    Small-town residents are regularly cast as stupid/ignorant, intolerant, fundamentalist hicks

    When I read that, I really thought I'd try to defend Bonners Ferry, Idaho. But then I realized I can't.

  • ||

    "Barack Obama calls people in small towns "bitter" and it's a major scandal."

    It wasn't a scandal. It was just a talking point his oponents used to get said people to vote against him.

    As far as Chicago goes, it is corrupt. Most cities large and small are. Chicago of course get's special distinction but I don't think pointing that out is slamming on all city dwellers. That is the government not the people.

  • ||

    I was able to scroll up from my comment and see that shrike brought his/her tiny brain into the discussion. shrike, you are a one-note clown that I probably agree with on 99% of all things political, but with you it's always this militant atheist bullshit. I'm as strong of an atheist as possible, but I hated that garbage from Akira, and it stinks just as bad from you. Unless you two are actually the same person.

  • ||

    Jamie Kelly - you're a stupid Christ-Fag. Take your Catholic theocracy and ram it into your gerbil filled ass.

    I like yer style, dude.

  • ||

    Are you kidding?

    Bittergate wasn't a scandal?

    It was just a talking point his oponents used to get said people to vote against him.

    Heh heh. I'll be right back.

  • dhex||

    let's face it, people - all americans, from all walks of life, are terrible. just terrible.

  • ||

    About burning man, you see...
    I guess this circlejerk isn't for me.

    I hope you christfags and libtards enjoy yourselves.

    Best wishes,

    phalkor

  • BDB||

    John, can you imagine "Texas conservative" being used as a political insult? Or even "Texas reactionary"?

    Now try "Massachusetts liberal".

  • economist||

    shrike,
    I used to think that you were a reasonable fellow. We disagreed on some points, but overall you could be argued reasonably with. However, you've decided to go off the leftwing twat deep end. You are a parody of libertarians. Have fun jerking off to thoughts of gunning down a congregation.

  • ||

    You read people fetishing small-town people, like David Brooks, from their blue-city offices, and the terms that comes to mind is "noble savages."


    My own family can't be noble savages. Further, it is not about small town versus big town. Hell Burlington Vermont is a pretty small town isn't it? It is a class thing. It is the chattering and political class against everyone else. There are plenty of people in Boston and New York or any other big city who fit the descriptions being given in this thread for small town people, whoever they are.

  • economist||

    Who would have thought that a 200+ comment thread (and counting) would spring up around a post about Christopher Hitchens? "What mighty contests arise over trivial things."

  • ||

    "What mighty contests arise over trivial things."

    It is the trival ones that get the most vicious.

  • ||

    One word for those flecks of colonic shit: Stalin.

    You can blame atheism all you want, but I think it was the inherent cruelty of his mustache that drove Stalin's atrocities.

  • ||

    Funny.

    I admit it. I am a bad guy. I do drugs, gamble for a living, buy whores, live off my guile and past Oracle earnings.

    But I pull for the good guys - like Paul Newman and his ACLU and cancer for kids foundation. I turn into a pussy then.

    I am libertarian, Jeffersonian Dem, etc.. but the GOP is killing us on CULTURAL ISSUES!!!!

  • Famous J||

    Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

    Sure Obama's gone up in the polls. In the midst of the biggest economic meltdown in the last 20 years at least, maybe the last 70.

    So, if McCain hadn't brought up Ayers, where would his polls be?

    I'd bet they'd be higher than they are now. Unless they're lower. Although admittedly they might be exactly the same.

    Nobody knows where they'd be, not me, not you, not nobody.

    Note: not defending anyone here, and I'm certainly not defending the McCain campaign. I'm just kicking the logical tires.

  • ||

    "But I pull for the good guys - like Paul Newman and his ACLU and cancer for kids foundation. I turn into a pussy then."


    Hey, Paul Newman was a good guy even though he was wrong about nearly everthing related to politics. I will be buy the ACLU being good guys when they start caring about gun rights as much as they do other rights. Until then, they are just Democratic shills.

  • ||

    "but the GOP is killing us on CULTURAL ISSUES!!!!"

    Except when they are killing us on fiscal issues. Or civil liberties. Or property rights.

  • ||

    "I admit it. I am a bad guy. I do drugs, gamble for a living, buy whores, live off my guile and past Oracle earnings."


    There is nothing about any of that that makes you a bad guy.

  • dhex||

    There are plenty of people in Boston and New York or any other big city who fit the descriptions being given in this thread for small town people, whoever they are.

    i tend to agree, though the reality control machine lives in nyc, which makes it all the more odd - queer, even! - that small town or big city fetishists would bother trying to decry specific pockets by geography when what they're really saying is "i want to be able to buy a limited-edition cockring and then go see some samoan breakcore artists in the basement of a pub/organic food co-op" versus whatever the fuck it is you poor subhumans do in small towns.

  • ||

    I am libertarian, Jeffersonian Dem, etc.. but the GOP is killing us on CULTURAL ISSUES!!!!

    Really? That's what is destroying this country from the inside out, CULTURAL ISSUES!!!!? Get a fucking clue. Only once a nation has solved most of its basic problems through getting out of the way of people being able to build their own success can a country even rationally worry about CULTURAL ISSUES!!!! The problem is we used to be at that point, and we are rapidly sliding away from it. But hey, I'm sure that if you keep up your hating of people who have strong feelings about those CULTURAL ISSUES!!!! everything will be fixed up in no time.

    You fucking idiot.

  • ||

    "i want to be able to buy a limited-edition cockring and then go see some samoan breakcore artists in the basement of a pub/organic food co-op" versus whatever the fuck it is you poor subhumans do in small towns."


    Of course through the joys of the internet you can do all of that about anywhere. Hell, Oklahoma City has some of the best drag bars in the country. No kidding. I only wish that there was so much difference between small towns and big cities. Life would be more interesting if there were. I generally find that there is less and less difference between one place and another in this country. It is all the same shit just with different packages. The few really unique places tend to be small towns you probably have never heard of. The cities all look the same.

  • ||

    I was able to scroll up from my comment and see that shrike brought his/her tiny brain into the discussion. shrike, you are a one-note clown that I probably agree with on 99% of all things political, but with you it's always this militant atheist bullshit. I'm as strong of an atheist as possible, but I hated that garbage from Akira, and it stinks just as bad from you. Unless you two are actually the same person.

    Good. I am a radical for:

    Embryonic Stem Cell Research
    Genetics/Evolution education
    Solar tech and a new grid for it
    Wind/Hydro
    New Source Review
    Biotech
    Fiber to the Curb subsidies
    Unfettered Net Neutrality

    etc etc etc

    Unfortunately - to be pro-science these days you have to be anti-GOP!

  • chick-a-boom||

    What about the allah-fags and towel heads? I say lets torch them too.

  • ||

    "Unfortunately - to be pro-science these days you have to be anti-GOP!"

    Oh really? Good thing no one on the left has any problem with biotech foods or anything. It is interesting how the GOP gets slammed for evolution but the Dems get a complete pass for their anti-scientific views on biology. Start trying to do serious science on the biological differences between the races or how our genetic makeup affects our behavior (as opposed to a blank slate and things like poverty and oppression causing crime) and see how far you get with the Dems. Not that the GOP is without sin, but there is enough anti-scientific thinking to go around these days.

  • ||

    John-David - the list above - you fucking Luddites are standing in the way of...

    Fuck off, you Bushpig. You can't articulate your side -- its just sucking off the GOP teat for you.

  • Bingo||

    shrike: go back to slashdot.

  • ||

    "Dems hate biology", John?

    You fucking idiot.

    Get lost.

  • ||

    Right - the Luddites are on the GOP end of the spectrum. Lots of young republicans at anti-globalisation rallies. Perhaps you confuse opposition to government funded boondoggle research with opposition to science?

  • ||

    Good. I am a radical for:

    Embryonic Stem Cell Research
    Genetics/Evolution education
    Solar tech and a new grid for it
    Wind/Hydro
    New Source Review
    Biotech
    Fiber to the Curb subsidies
    Unfettered Net Neutrality



    In other words, you're just another full-of-shit big-government turd.
    Take a hike, shrike.

  • ||

    "Fuck off, you Bushpig. You can't articulate your side -- its just sucking off the GOP teat for you."

    Drink.

  • ||

    "Dems hate biology", John?

    You fucking idiot.

    Get lost."

    Yeah they do dumbass. Certainly they don't like genetic biology that uncovers inconvienent facts. If you don't like that then point out why it is not true rather than hurling invective.

  • ||

    Good. I am a radical for:

    Embryonic Stem Cell Research
    Genetics/Evolution education
    Solar tech and a new grid for it
    Wind/Hydro
    New Source Review
    Biotech
    Fiber to the Curb subsidies
    Unfettered Net Neutrality

    etc etc etc

    Unfortunately - to be pro-science these days you have to be anti-GOP!


    What? Can you explain to me what government directives are blocking research or development of anything you just listed there? Oh, well, of course you want government subsidies of "fiber to the curb" (now that's a libertarian viewpoint), and as far as "unfettered net neutrality" I agree, but it will come once internet access is truly a commodity, instead of a government regulated behemoth. Everything but those two points is available with the market, and the last two are only limited by government regulation.

    Basically, if you had a point to make, it was lost on me.

  • Fluffy||

    But, it is a free country and unlike 90% of the people on this board, I actually believe that that freedom means the right to do things I would never do and live in ways I never would without being called a lunatic and told you can never serve in public office.

    John, this is the most blatant projection I have ever seen.

    You do realize that your precious evangelicals make absolutely no bones about the fact that they would refuse to vote for an atheist for public office? In overwhelming numbers? You're aware of that, right?

  • shrike||

    Stop making fun of me! Let me win! I'm supposed to win! Obama said I would if I just keep denying and deflecting anything anyone says. The messiah has spoken and I'm listening.

    ....While he pats me on the head and says, "Yes, my child. That's good. You are a good boy to your father."

  • dhex||

    Of course through the joys of the internet you can do all of that about anywhere.

    errr, no.

    i mean john i can literally - not figuratively, but literally - walk to three good concert venues from my house. that's without touching a subway.

    there is a density and just plain frequency deficit that i am afraid 'merica will never be able to fill. it makes me doubly sad since i am likely to be swallowed by it's terrible bosom in a year or so and my ability to say oh hey it's tuesday let's go see some afrobeat bands will be snuffed out.

    like a candle in the wind.

  • ||

    Heavenly Father, I beseech you, in the Holy name of Jesus, to utterly destroy shrike for his profanity toward You oh Lord. Make his life such a miserable, stinking pustule of existance that he will be able to hear Your call on his life. Just as Job remained your faithful servant Lord, bring shrike to that same level of destruction and despair, that he may be saved for Your eternal glory. I pray in the name of Jesus.
    Amen, and amen

  • ||

    The first thread on "Bittergate" got 789 comments. Is that a record?

  • ||

    WTF do anti-globalization rallies have to do with anti-science sentiment?

    WTF do anti-biotech statements have to do with the Democratic Party?

  • ||

    Yeah, I favor private Net Neutrality or Embryonic Stem Cell research so I am "big government"?

    Funny! You assholes enjoy your 1% permanent obscurity - a limp-dick mix between a 35% top marginal rate and GOP hucksterism.

    I see a fucking great future for you Bob Barr fans!!!

  • shrike||

    whoever's impersonating me better stop it right now or I'm telling!

  • dhex||

    The first thread on "Bittergate" got 789 comments. Is that a record?

    not even close. you are forgetting salty ham tears: the thread.

  • Virgil||

    "...but the Dems get a complete pass for their anti-scientific views on biology."

    Who the fuck is giving them a "complete pass"? Certainly not the vast majority of self-described libertarians here who you like to pretend are secret democrats.

    "Start trying to do serious science on the biological differences between the races or how our genetic makeup affects our behavior..."

    I hate to break it to you, but it's virtually impossible to do "serious science" on these topics, because it's virtually impossible (in humans) to control for all the incredible genetic and environmental interactions involved in the traits you're talking about. Maybe you're really keen on that kind of pseudoscience, but then you're also a partisan hack.

  • ||

    but seizing upon the great and powerful political current that it "net neutrality" would save us?

    Drink.

  • ||

    No YOU stop it! You're the one impersonating me!

  • ||

    Yeah, I favor private Net Neutrality or Embryonic Stem Cell research so I am "big government"?

    How would you deal with those issues without government intervention?

    Oh, right, you can't. At least not in the way you want.

  • Virgil||

    make that "...incredibly complex genetic and environmental..."

  • ||

    Heavenly Father, I beseech you, in the Holy name of Jesus, to utterly destroy shrike for his profanity toward You oh Lord. Make his life such a miserable, stinking pustule of existance that he will be able to hear Your call on his life. Just as Job remained your faithful servant Lord, bring shrike to that same level of destruction and despair, that he may be saved for Your eternal glory. I pray in the name of Jesus.
    Amen, and amen


    Ahh, fuck you too. I have in no way besmirched the Dead Guy on a Stick.

    I merely insulted his sycophants.

    I like Jesus. He rejected the Conventional Wisdom of his time.

    I'd buy him a drink anytime.

  • ed||

    the man from Honolulu

    I thought Obama was the man from Hope? Wait, he's the man from Change. That's it, the Man from Change. I anticipate this "change" like a bukkake video star anticipates...you know.

  • shrike||

    arrghh, my nipples thye hurt! THey hurt when I twist them!

  • ||

    Fake shrike is pretty damn cool. If I could enjoy having a beer with him, I might vote for fake shrike this November.

  • shrike||

    I'm an atheist so I'm a libertarian. All atheists are libertarians! Stop picking on me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ||

    aaaaaaaand cut.

  • shrike||

    I'm not going to tell you where my brain is! You can torture me all you want, I still won't tell you!

  • Virgil||

    Don't blame me, I voted for fake shrike.

  • ||

    First they concede - then they imitate you.

  • shrike||

    The wingnuts are coming in through my ears. THey're everywhere!

  • Bingo||

    Federal subsidy of fiber to the curb. Libertarian. lmao.

  • ||

    They posted me saying stupide things because they don't want to face the fury of my words!

  • ||

    Hey - John and JohnD - "W" is coming out Friday.

    Why don't you 24%ers get together and have a Palin rally before your homage to GWB?

    Its not gay if you carry a sign!

  • concerned observer||

    Wow, shrike, if I could call libertarians Bush-faggots, I would be so happy! Can I hang out with you, maybe do your laundry?

  • ||

    fake shrike is a fag!

  • ||

    concerned observer, kneel in front of the master, and put this blindfold on.

  • ||

    I call everyone I don't like a faggot to show how tolerant I am!

  • ||

    I am so hated by 1/2 of the 1%!!!!

    Thank you! I am grateful!

  • ||

    I win the thread! Fly from me, false libertarians! I need fear no man of woman born!

  • JMR||

    Mo's right. "Starving the beast" has not worked, because it takes balls to cut spending. It takes 0 balls to cut taxes and raise borrowing & spending levels irresponsibly, and that's what Republicans have done. Why they expect ANY respect from libertarians at this point is beyond me...

  • ||

    I now declare myself the king of libertarians. Whatever I like is now the libertarian law. I want the government to raise taxes for my new national planetarium program. It is now a libertarian position.

  • Virgil||

    Don't sell yourself short, shrike - with your combination of misplaced arrogance and vapidity, you'll be hated by far, far more than that once they get to know you.

  • ||

    Also, anyone with more wealth than anyone else shall have it taken away from him and given to those with less, so sayeth the king of libertarians!

  • ||

    I am now the god of the libertarians. Grovel before me ye lowly masses, for I am a jealous god.

  • economist||

    Good job, fake shrike, you killed the thread. I hope you're happy.

  • ||

    see, like Jesus, I come here to pit brother against brother, father against son......

    ok 1%ers - LINE UP!

    Lets go for an entire electoral vote! We'll split that electoral vote --- 1/2 for the aborto-freaks and 1/2 for the pro-choicers!

  • economist||

    Well, now that the thread seems to have degenerated into incoherent ramblings, I guess it's time for me to have a drink.

  • ||

    Good job, fake shrike, you killed the thread. I hope you're happy.

    I admit to egging them on.

    It reminds me of my time as a Demosthenian in college.

    We attempted to have a debate on purely the SECULAR aspect to abortion.

    It was a disaster. Imagine... arguing such an issue from a non-religious view.....

    A few fists were thrown.

  • ||

    You goddamn Christ-fags! I know you all are, and how fucking dare you imitate me. I'm hiring Eric Dondero's lawyer and I'm going to sue your Jesus-loving asses for everything you have!

  • ||

    Hmm, that would have worked better if I had posted it about 4 minutes earlier.

  • ||

    you see, fake shrike, you may not appeal to authority - that is a logical fallacy.

    as the real shrike - I only INSULT authority.

  • ||

    no, you're a towel

  • ||

    This is great news!!! For Hillary!!!

  • ||

    rub me on your butt

  • ||

    Ok, I have to leave now. I need to piss on my grandmother's crucifix and add another layer of poop between the pages of the bible that was passed down through the generations to me.

  • ||

    I told you dunderheads we should have selected Romney at the head of the ticket.

    Oh, well. There's always 2012...if we are still around.

  • Bingo||

    It's easy to tell which one is the real shrike because he starts every sentence on a new line. His thoughts are much too profound to share space with each other.

  • ||

    I realize this is a Libertarian site, but many of the comments here echo the narcissism of Third Party membership--the idea that ONLY YOU know better than everyone else.

    If you think Hitch is a socialist, you've obviously never read his work. If you think Hitch is in the tank for Democrats, you're a true ignoramus. The guy is as close to a 'free minds, free markets' intellectual as you'll find in a writer whose work rises to the level of art.

    Can the bloggers here possibly rise above the Randian paranoia about socialism? If your parents were bourgeois Russian Jews and you lost everything during the Russian revolution, we'll all make space for your paranoia. But if you're an American whose sewage is processed, who has access to 911 emergency services, and you're protected by the safety net of Social Security and Medicare... seriously, grow up or move to a tropical island where you can screw your sister and be free from the tyranny of shared wealth and risks spread among citizens.

    If Libertarians gave half a sh-t about other human beings, and expressed that in policy rather than theory, it might actually emerge as a political power.

    Poster John, let me guess: you live in an exurb or rural America. You read a whole lot and would probably be a hell of a guy to drink beer with. But your ideas about drugs and cops and so forth have absolutely nothing to do with the reality of urban life.

  • Chuck||

    "but many of the comments here echo the narcissism of Third Party membership--the idea that ONLY YOU know better than everyone else."

    Well judging by your entire comment seeming so eager to set us all straight, I'd say you fit right in here, then. Pot meet kettle.

  • ||

    I have to add that I regret singling out John. He's more aggressive than most of you, but far and wide the posting here amount to:

    ME FIRST.

    If it weren't for taxes and government spending, we wouldn't be sending free blog posts around the world. We wouldn't have the opportunity to exercise our free minds and create a free market for ideas.

    If it weren't for taxes and various forms of socialized medicine, every single one of us would have a sibling or family member who died of childhood disease or was poisoned by toxins in the soil, water or air.

    Is that all Libertarianism amounts to... me first? Friggin crybabies!

  • ||

    Chuck, I appreciate the towel-snapping retort. I guess it's fair.

    But the overall character on this board is smug indifference to the lives of others and a rapacious selfishness. Throwing around slanders for the lowest common denominator, like 'Socialist,' is so anti-intellectual that it defies argument. And that's the goal. Stop the argument with a cheap name-calling.

    So I'll take all retorts, but it's not about my narcissism--it's about actually caring about the creation of Libertarian policy. And that will only happen in my lifetime when Libertarians position themselves between the GOP and DNC, brokering compromise and taking responsibility.

  • Virgil||

    "Is that all Libertarianism amounts to... me first? Friggin crybabies!"

    Is that all your critique amounts to... an intellectually dishonest strawman? Well done - that'll sure get the discussion going! Read a little more before you pretend to have a clue what anything here "all amounts to," then get maybe you can add something worthwhile. If you've already read for a while and that's what you've come up with, you're obviously not going to see past your own ideological blinders. Have a super day.

  • ||

    Its precisely right - the LP is dead on birth.

    Half of them hate my secularism - so I don't have the Christo-Love-Nut Syndrome?

    I am a secularist! And they hate me?

    Because I don't bow to their fake Dead Guy on a Stick!

  • Fluffy||

    Fuck you, Justin.

    If you gave me the opportunity to selectively enact elements of the LPA platform at my discretion, on the condition that MY taxes and MY regulation and MY civil and economic liberties remain exactly the same and not be improved in the slightest, I would do it in a heartbeat.

    And if we're all smugly indifferent to the lives of others, why is Balko pretty much the most popular blogger here? His columns almost universally follow the template: Here is an individual you will never meet, who is probably separated from you by race and class, but when I tell you what has happened to him you will be ragingly pissed off.

  • Fluffy||

    grow up or move to a tropical island where you can screw your sister and be free from the tyranny of shared wealth and risks spread among citizens

    And fuck you for this, too.

    If libertarians established an island nation where gambling and drugs were legal, and the banks did not cooperate with Interpol or the IRS, the government of the United States would seize our citizens wherever they could find them, unless of course they decided to invade us to drag our citizens away, and we'd all end up in jail in Miami with cells next to Manuel Noriega's.

    Since I don't really believe that you'd LET US "move to a tropical island" I prefer to stay here and do whatever I can to poison the well of our political discourse to do my small part to help the US swirl down the drain. So I have to say No Thanks to your suggestion.

  • Hogan||

    shrike, if everybody hates you i guarantee it's not because of your religious views

  • ||

    I know I am jaded. I know I hate authority of all types.

    There is NO WAY a political movement is coming out of this stack of shit called the "LP" after the debacle on Wall St. We are in some sort of collective beehive after the Goldman Sachs/Paulson plan.....

    So I go with the techies, the Burning Man types, the anarchists...... And to hell with the Palin types.

    Most of you won't understand - but us meek gearheads will inherit the nation....

    Selah!

  • ||

    shrike, if everybody hates you i guarantee it's not because of your religious views

    Because right wing assholes are accustomed to "logic" -- look at 'Joe' for example.

    Fuck them - I Sean Hannity their ass - I punch them and their shitty ideas in the fucking mouth.

  • ||

    Fluffy,

    Big difference between the columnists and the blogger/posters. There are plenty of ideas in this magazine, which I've read for 20 years

    But at the lower intellectual resolution of bloggers like yourself, it boild down to anger, indifference and rubbin one out in your bedroom.

    "gave me the opportunity to selectively enact elements of the LPA platform at my discretion, on the condition that MY taxes and MY regulation and MY civil and economic liberties remain exactly the same and not be improved in the slightest, I would do it in a heartbeat"

    me, my, my, my, my, I. This is the point I'm making, Virgil. The bully posters here distill Libertarianism down to: things would be so much better if I had no responsibility and faced no consequences to anyone else.

    ps. Fluffy, Have a great day!

  • Fluffy||

    Justin,

    Now you're being a fucking retard.

    I just said that I would lower everyone else's taxes, but not my own. I would reduce the amount of federal regulation, but not for me. I would restore the ability of others to use their property as they see fit, while leaving my own property rights in bondage.

    This to you is evidence that my political views are motivated by selfishness.

    Can you fucking read, you worthless cunt? Or are you deliberately trying to obscure the meaning of my post? Fuck you.

  • ||

    Fluffy, why waste your energy? Thanks for making Justin into a punching bag, but you don't need to.

  • ||

    Fluff, I am so glad you deigned to share some of your awesome brainpower. Where else would we hear fuck and cunt used so elegantly? I take it all back. You're a geeeeenius and a humanitarian!

    In fact I did misunderstand your point. But your reduction of this conversation to a narcissistic statement of your own selflessness, due to your confidence in being right, does nothing to persuade. My broader argument is still unchallenged. You make no compelling argument for Libertarianism beyond your bullying use of profanity and your smug indifference to others. This page still reads as described.

    Here is my argument: LP members and Reason readers accomplish nothing by the vilification of its opponents. Hitches, Biden and Bush are not socialists because of their political beliefs. We are all socialists because these messages are passing through publicly financed cables and satellits. We are all socialists because we don't want to have to negotiate when it's time to call 911. We are all socialists because we can't as a society stand for infant mortality and elderly people dying a pile of their own waste.

    People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. The absolute failure of the Phil Gramm-led deregulation movement is the ultimate glass house moment in the history of Libertarianism. How about a little humility?

  • ||

    :Poster John, let me guess: you live in an exurb or rural America. You read a whole lot and would probably be a hell of a guy to drink beer with. But your ideas about drugs and cops and so forth have absolutely nothing to do with the reality of urban life."

    No I don't live in an exurb. I live inside the beltway. Further, I was a criminal prosecutor for two years and a defense attorney for another one after that. My guess is I have forgotten more about drugs, cops and issues relating to the criminal justice system than you will ever know. How is it that you know my views on these matters since they didn't come up in the thread? Oh, you don't know my views just like you don't know shit.

  • Fluffy||

    In fact I did misunderstand your point. But your reduction of this conversation to a narcissistic statement of your own selflessness, due to your confidence in being right, does nothing to persuade.

    So let me see if I have this straight:

    You argue that all the libertarians on this board advocate libertarianism because they seek policy changes that will be to their personal advantage.

    I respond that I would advocate libertarianism even if I was personally specifically excluded from gaining personal advantage from those policy changes.

    You first completely misunderstand my point, then you concede it. But even having conceded it, you still assert that I am motivated by selfishness and indifference to others.

    You're an intellectually dishonest douchebag. There are only two possible responses to my statement: either you have to argue that I am lying and would not, in fact, advocate for libertarianism even if I couldn't personally benefit from it - or you have to concede that not all advocacy of libertarianism here boils down to "me first". There are no other intellectually honest options.

  • ||

    John, I admire the details you bring to your posts, but you read like an absolutist, even if you aren't. That stridency and arrogance is exactly what keeps the LP in the single digits. What don't you agree with in the LP platform?

    You're the guy who states with certainty that Hitchens is a socialist. Classic demagoguery on one hand, but intellectually dishonest on the other. You work for a government legal monopoly, worked for a publicly financed DA's office and send messages over publicly financed lines--that must make you a full-blooded Communist, since at least Hitchens is published in for-profit venues. See how stupid demagoguery sounds when its pointed at you?

    Read his work. He just pisses folks off here because he's as close to a Libertarian as one will find in mainstream public discourse and happens to disagree with you.

  • ||

    Hitchens is a former communist. Yes he repented, but still a former communist nonetheless. I have read a lot of Hitchens. You just assume I haven't. He rarely writes about economic issues. He rights about human rights issues, the war in Iraq and against Islamic extremism and athiesm, and other things but rarely about pure economic issues. Your description of him as "free mind, free market" is curious. Free mind maybe, unless that mind happens to believe in God, but free markets are an after thought. I would estimate I have read everything he has ever written for slate and other than endorsing Iraq's hydrocarbon law, I don't recall one piece on an economic issue. Maybe there is a huge body of work advocating free markets that I have missed, but from what I have seen, his is pretty agnostic or if he is not, he doesn't deem it important enough to write about very often.

    Hitchens is a nasty sot. Sometimes he is a nasty sot at the right people, but he is still one nonetheless.

  • JLE||

    Such unreasonable people reading Reason. Where's the reason in all this?

  • Fluffy||

    BTW, Justin, it is beyond dispute that Hitchens was for many years a Trotskyite, that he belonged to socialist organizations and wrote for an avowedly socialist magazine.

    It's not demagoguery to call an actual socialist a socialist.

    You can certainly argue that posters here are quick to label anyone who isn't a libertarian a socialist - but you might want to use as your example someone who wasn't, you know, actually a real live socialist.

  • ||

    One other thing Justin. I actually agree with Hitchens about a lot of things. I certainly agree with him about the war. But, I still don't like the guy.

  • ||

    Fluff, I'm writing about the real world, not utopian hypos that are designed to prove how sure of yourself you really are.

    In the real world, deregulation nearly sank the global financial system.

    In the real world, private citizens do not volunteer their time or anywhere near enough money to provide for the common good.

    In the real world, the market will always include people we disagree with--like Intelligent Design proponents, hucksters and actual douchebags like John Edwards. So the essence of being Libertarian should be the respect we have for our society's plurality.

    In the real world, extreme Libertarian positions are no different than Mao's great leap forward--great experiments that are totally indifferent to the facts on the ground. Hear this: we have the same goals in many regards. But I am sick and tired of the reactionary me first crowd on these boards.

    A large percentage of the folks here chose 'free markets' over 'free minds' and got left naked on the side of the road by the GOP. The best response to the situation the LP is in after this financial crisis is to reexamine that choice--not to demagogue the individuals who get elected/published, make tough compromises and take responsibility.

  • ||

    "In the real world, deregulation nearly sank the global financial system.:

    And out of control government gaurentees had nothing to do with it? do gooder community actists nothing either? In the real world the causes of something like that are more complex than one throw away line.

  • ||

    I'm going to take you both at your word that Hitchens was either at one time an actual Communist or worked for a Trotskyite publication... for now. But I'll research it tonight.

  • SIV||

    This seemed like a fun thread*, too bad I missed it.


    *until that tool Justin showed up (you can always spot the neophyte trolls by the uppercase "L")

  • Fluffy||

    A large percentage of the folks here chose 'free markets' over 'free minds' and got left naked on the side of the road by the GOP. The best response to the situation the LP is in after this financial crisis is to reexamine that choice--not to demagogue the individuals who get elected/published, make tough compromises and take responsibility.

    So, these brave souls have taken a form of responsibility that doesn't include being subject to criticism?

    How very Bushite of you.

    If I agreed with your evaluation in the first sentence, I might say that the appropriate response is to extend our demagoguery to members of the GOP. That, too, would be a "reexamination of that choice".

    Then again, I'd also have to say that even applying the word "demagoguery" to libertarian rhetoric is a bit ridiculous. Are you seriously asserting that libertarians are tailoring their arguments to appeal to the mob? Seriously? While there may be extreme political rhetoric here, it seems to me to be essentially non-demagogic.

  • ||

    I'm going to take you both at your word that Hitchens was either at one time an actual Communist or worked for a Trotskyite publication... for now. But I'll research it tonight.

    Holy shit, are you kidding? Go study harder for those freshman exams.

    Oh, and fuck you.

  • ||

    I need a drink so lets start the next sentence with the proper incantation.

    True libertarians (drink!) would look at the candidates objectively and conclude that palin was the most competent and libertarian friendly candidate of all of them.

    Biden is a civil liberties disaster

    Biden has sponsored more damaging drug war legislation than any Democrat in Congress.

    He made massive gaffes during the debates.

    Keeping Up With Biden II - Does Anyone Remember When We "Kicked Hezbollah Out of Lebanon"?

    Biden said

    When we kicked - along with France, we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, I said and Barack said, "Move NATO forces in there. Fill the vacuum, because if you don't know - if you don't, Hezbollah will control it." Now what's happened? Hezbollah is a legitimate part of the government in the country immediately to the north of Israel.

    My question, or rather, questions: Is he on drugs? Exactly when did this kicking occur? Has anyone alerted Sheikh Nasrallah?

    Yet the same papers who slag mccain's choice of palin ignore biden's idiocy and treat him like a well respected senior statesmen.

    The mind boggles.

    For you civil liberties types you might want to remember that palin's first veto was of a republican bill to deny state benefits to same sex couples.

    Bill clinton signed the defense of marriage act.

    Yet palin is a snake handling bigot and bill clinton is a civil liberties hero.

    Hows that work?

  • ||

    The problem for those folks slagging religous beliefs and using it as a proxy for anti-libertarian activities is this.

    Most of the folks supporting limited government, fiscal responsibility, and increased freedom are strongly religous. Tom Coburn and Jeff Flake are two examples of this.

  • zoltan||

    A large percentage of the folks here chose 'free markets' over 'free minds' and got left naked on the side of the road by the GOP.

    Yeah, especially since the GOP protected neither one and the majority Democratic Congress is following in their footsteps spectacularly.

    And come on--Palin vetoed a bill that would be mean to gays!

    Hey guys, look how libertarian the governor of the state with the most federal dollars allocated to it is!! It's like the welfare queen who shares all the drugs in her crackhouse, regardless of sexual orientation.

  • zoltan||

    Most of the folks supporting limited government, fiscal responsibility, and increased freedom are strongly religous. Tom Coburn and Jeff Flake are two examples of this.

    That's real cute. You know Bush and Clinton are born-again Christians, right?

  • ||

    True libertarians (drink! I needed a double) would look around before the election is over and the inevitable horror show brought on by whatever set of candidates should look around and ask.

    How the hell did the two mainstream presidential candidates float to the top of the cesspool that is modern day politics??

    one contributor is the fact that the media dragged each of them over the finish line in their respective primaries.

    a major contributor is all of the campaign regulations have tipped the balance in favor of established candidates who have and established political record. And with computer gerrymandered districts and an ignorant media that means the process is tilted to big government types of both parties.

    Think I'm out of line about the media? Ask yourself was when the last time they gave an honest hearing to a libertarian idea?

    And how often does their reporting involve regurgitating the press releases from the DEA and other government agencies who make a living off of big government?

    Because right now it looks like a political wasteland for anyone who wants limited government, or at least a government that would stop triggering financial disasters every ten years of so.

    Doom
    DOOM
    DOOM

    Drink!

  • ||

    Zoltan,

    The federal government owns massive amounts of land in alaska and that certainly hurts the states economic prospects.

    A more accurate analogy would be the alaskans are like displaced businees owners stealing from the company that paved over the business they used to make money from.

  • ||

    Zoltan,

    Don't forget the presence of federal workers that manage all the federal land in alaska is going to skew the balance of payments to alaska.

    The substantial military presence in the state will do the same thing.

  • zoltan||

    When I can't find a job, I don't expect people from other states to make up the difference, I move. The government took their economic prospects; that doesn't give any Alaskan the right to put a damper on mine.

  • zoltan||

    Of course, Palin, like our other fearless candidates, supports wealth distribution, using the same 'rescue' and 'hand-up' newspeak that the rest of them are.

  • ||

    If I understand correctly, John says it's a lie that "Palin is anything but a conservative politician."

    She certainly is acting like one as far as I can see! She was mayor of her town and left it in debt for a big hockey center, hired lobbyists to get money from Washington, and by the way, how did her house get built at the same time as the hockey center, supposedly by Todd and a few of his friends? Then she goes for governor, puts unqualified cronies in office (her old high school buddies), and fires competent people she doesn't like. She's found to have been unethical and says the report cleared her.

    Leave aside the fact that she's inarticulate and what ideas she does espouse are simplistic. Just the above makes her sound a lot like Bush, and he's a conservative, right?

  • troll||

    Hey, did I miss anything?

  • ||

    zoltan, dnfree,

    We don't have a lot of choices in this election.

    What should concern you is the facth that when compared to the other candidates (including barr when you factor in his past rabid support of the drug war and police powers) palin has been the most supportive of individual liberties and limited government.

    You ought wonder how we ended up in a situation where palin is the best candidate in this respect and the other range from bad (maccain and obama) to disastrous (biden).

  • kouji haiku||

    it's good to see more of the mainstream media taking a long hard look at the choice facing americans this november.

  • ||

    It appears that the primary qualification for the Presidency is to have run for the Presidency for much of the past two years. Polishing your public speaking skills, delivering stump speeches with aplomb, and channeling Bill Clinton's "I feel your pain" DNA (though not nearly as well), and you just might get enough MSM to support you.

    Obama supporters that make the case that he's more qualified than Palin make me laugh.

    Unfortunately, the worst thing we are about to do is elect a sitting Senator to run the Executive Branch.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Funny, I'm a reasonite and I have a strong desire to avoid Burning Man. Just seems like it would grow obnoxious after an hour or two.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Nothing exposes the Libertarian's class snobbishness and bigotry more than Palin.

    What are you talking about. I'd go moose hunting or snowmobiling or whatever with her any day. I just don't want her to be President.

  • ||

    FatDrunkAndStupid | October 14, 2008, 4:21pm | #
    Funny how all the media elites bash Palin. Of this rotten bunch we have to pick from, she seems to me the best of the lot. I'm not voting Obama, but I hope he wins because him winning is what will be best for our movement. We can't afford to have another person who preaches free markets but delivers socialism in the White House. Especially not with a second Great Depression on deck. We need a socialist who will preach socialism. That he's a member of a generally despised race is just gravy. If McCain wins, the angry white males (and married females) who are ripe for conversion to our side instead stay with the corrupt GOP. If Obama wins, they are ours.


    I agree wholeheartedly.
    I won't be voting for Obama, I'll be voting for Barr,

    But I am happy that Obama is beating McCain, and I can only hope that Barr is part of the reason.

  • Mike Laursen||

    In the real world, deregulation nearly sank the global financial system.

    I partially agree with you. A selective relaxation of regulation regarding capital reserves was one factor of many that contributed to the current financial crisis.

    It is incorrect to refer to it as "deregulation". And, it's not a trivial misuse of the language, because it leads to missing the very important point often made by libertarians that regulation is often perverted by the regulated to further their own interests.

  • Famous Mortimer||

    Damn.

    Libertarians seem angry.

    Everybody's an "asshole."

  • Famous Mortimer||

    "That he's a member of a generally despised race is just gravy. If McCain wins, the angry white males (and married females) who are ripe for conversion to our side instead stay with the corrupt GOP. If Obama wins, they are ours."

    Holy Fucking Shit.

    And someone even agreed with you.

  • Famous Mortimer||

    "It appears that the primary qualification for the Presidency is to have run for the Presidency for much of the past two years. Polishing your public speaking skills, delivering stump speeches with aplomb, and channeling Bill Clinton's "I feel your pain" DNA (though not nearly as well), and you just might get enough MSM to support you."

    Really?

    Well, that certainly didn't get George Bush elected twice, now did it?

    We get it. Things are not going your way, so the country is now being thrown into some scandalous form of Socialism, just like it was when Bill Clinton was elected.

  • ||

    "We can't afford to have another person who preaches free markets but delivers socialism in the White House. Especially not with a second Great Depression on deck. We need a socialist who will preach socialism...If McCain wins, the angry white males (and married females) who are ripe for conversion to our side instead stay with the corrupt GOP. If Obama wins, they are ours."

    That's pretty much my theory too. Or maybe it's just how I reconcile myself to an inevitable Obama victory.

    In any case, McCain's buyout of all mortgages is just as bad or worse than anything Obama has proposed. So we might as well let the party of socialism take the blame for the failure of socialism. I'm sick of people wrapping socialism in nice free market window dressing and then getting blamed when it blows up in our faces.

  • Famous Mortimer||

    "Hitchens is a former communist. Yes he repented, but still a former communist nonetheless."

    So, he is not allowed to adjust his belief system over his lifetime?

    Really?

    Wow!

    I wonder what you think of the average person who professes a belief in an imaginary being throughout their life?

    Surely your standards are as strict.

  • ||

    I can't wait to see what the Libertarians are wound up about after a few years of Obama, Reid, and Pelosi.

    You folks love to bellyache, and you'll have plenty of cause to do so for quite a while.

  • ||

    palin and tanya harding. now that would be some pair.

  • JMR||

    Capitalism != being the Senator from UBS in Gramm's case, ok?? Same goes for MBNA & Biden, ADM and former senator Dole, etc. You can whine about it all you want -- I do, too! -- but don't be dishonest like Obama and call Bush's record-spending on regulation "deregulation" or this whole mess anything like "capitalism" when Ron Paul told you so a fucking DECADE+ ago. It was duh-file obvious back then that downpayments limit mortgage problems, and fiscal conservatives & libertarians were IGNORED. Now admit it, we told you so.

  • JMR||

    Oops, that wasn't the decade-old one, but I can find that one, too, if you don't believe me when I say "we told you so." We may lose elections, but libertarians get to say those 4 hated words, a lot. Others will have to deal with it.

  • JMR||

    "I'm sick of people wrapping socialism in nice free market window dressing and then getting blamed when it blows up in our faces."

    Amen, Hazel. I'm also sick of the news media, whose job it is/was supposedly to tell the truth, letting the big government fans get away with lies about capitalism/deregulation. When record spending on regulation is repeatedly called "deregulation" without ANY comment from the MSM, it's blatant proof of antilibertarian bias, which has been my thesis of media bias for about a decade or so.

  • economist||

    "Extreme libertarian positions are no differnet from Mao's Great Leap Forward."

    Wow. That's all I can say. Wow. You really are a tool, aren't you?

    Wow.

  • economist||

    I'm firmly convinced that if Hitchens was a devout Catholic or Protestant, no one here would give a rat's ass who he supports or opposes. Leave all his other positions intact, and no one here would be concerned how he leans.

  • Mike Laursen||

    You folks love to bellyache, and you'll have plenty of cause to do so for quite a while.

    And you're bellyaching about our bellyaching. That's just pathetic.

  • Famous Mortimer||

    "Wow. That's all I can say. Wow. You really are a tool, aren't you?"

    It's true, and your inability to say anything other than you're a "tool" suggests that deep down, you know it's true.

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