Army of Dicks Goes After Dick Armey

In a teaparty hit-piece swimming with such gleeful condescenscion that he compares protesters to hobby-store black-helicopter glue-sniffers in the second paragraph, L.A. lefty Marc Cooper gets Dick Armey flat wrong.

Then again, this rash of tea parties is being organized not only by the pseudo-journalists at Fox News (with Glenn Beck, Neil Cavuto and Sean Hannity actively stoking the flames) but also by FreedomWorks, a conservative lobbying outfit headed by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey. I suppose it was Armey's constitutional if morally dubious privilege to have built an entire political career out of defending the wealthy. [...]

The FreedomWorks site says the Tea Party movement began in reaction to President Obama's corporate bailouts and ensuing yawning budget deficits. These same conservatives, however, were mum when George W. Bush erased our budget surplus and put us deep in the red by drunken spending on a pointless war in Iraq and by, yes, granting massive tax rollbacks for the loaded country clubbers who fund the GOP (and Armey's FreedomWorks). Another bothersome detail: The bailouts were also initiated by Bush.

These same conservatives? Really? How about, I dunno, FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe. Here he is writing for Reason Online last Oct. 2. Note that the president at the time was not named "Obama":

Over the past several days, I have found myself in the most unusual of positions: defending myself and the organization I work for, FreedomWorks, for to having clung to "ideology" and "principle" in opposing the bailout plan racing through Congress. I had never heard the word principle used so much as a pejorative. You know the tone in someone's voice when they clearly understand the world and are trying to explain it to someone, well, simple. What was even more interesting was who was doing the scolding. Friends and fellow travelers in the free-market movement, businessmen, Republicans, and limited-government conservatives all took time to tell me how wrong I was.

Their argument: "Something has to be done." One old friend went so far as to blame FreedomWorks for the 750 point loss in the stock market Tuesday, the "freezing" of capital availability to small businessmen, and all of the economic misery to come, all because we have loudly objected to Treasury Secretary Paulson's $700 billion-plus bailout for failing investment banks on Wall Street. [...]

So my question to my critics is simply this: What good are principles if you are willing to throw them out the window every time they prove inconvenient?

Or here's big Dick himself, last Sept. 29:

My friends and former colleagues on the Hill, under tremendous pressure from the Beltway establishment, have been asking me all weekend where I stand on the proposed bailout. Understanding that it is a much more difficult question for a sitting member of Congress to answer, my answer is: "No, I would not." Too often, it seems that self-professed small-government conservatives come to this town to fight the good fight. Somehow, we do things we ought not to be doing in order to stay in office so we can do things we ought to be doing. But we never actually get around to doing the right things.

The difficult question each member of Congress faces today is simply this: Do you believe that the political process, having produced many of the perverse incentives that resulted in our economy's current predicament, can solve these underlying distortions by essentially doing more of the same? I believe the answer to this question is unequivocally NO.

An equally important question: As an elected official who took the oath of office swearing to defend and uphold the Constitution, should you today feel a greater allegiance to a president, or a political party? I believe that answer is, emphatically, NO.

This is a big vote, one likely to be studied and second-guessed for decades to come. But government's first responsibility is to protect the freedoms and individual liberty of every American. As a free-market economist I unequivocally oppose this legislation because it violates the basic working tenets of free-market capitalism and individual responsibility.

Not very ambiguous, is it? Portraying Dick Armey and his organization as an amen chorus to big-government Republicans is just willful ignorance. Which, I suppose, is marginally more defensible than cold making shit up, which Cooper does here:

Nobody I know is very pleased with the billions ladled out to teetering banks and corporations. Yet a clear majority of Americans are sophisticated enough to know that these bailouts are a necessary evil and are intended -- unlike the lollipop Bush tax cuts -- not for personal profit but rather as a radical, emergency measure to help Americans keep their jobs, their homes and their retirement.

A "clear majority of Americans" are pro-bailout? How on earth did I miss that poll?

Here's a stone truth: Every political protest, and indeed just about every political gathering, is filled with kooks, on account of America is kooky! A commentator's protest kook-detector works great when he disagrees with the protest, then gets turned off when the kooks on his side get busy. It has ever been thus, and it will always be.

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  • Xeones||

    Yo, eat a dick up, Marc Cooper.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Xeones,

    That was new. Keep it fresh, yo.

  • Warty||

    You've waited years to use that headline, haven't you Matt?

    And since you came within a pube's width of using my favorite phrase, "amen corner", have the gift of metal.

  • Xeones||

    I ain't want to get caught in any rut, Naga. I keep it fresh like Tupperware.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Word.

    *pumps fist*

  • Warty||

    Slow the fuck up, X.

  • ||

    Ah, the Big Lie. Credibility is such a fragile thing.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Is "fly" still a cool way of saying "cool"?

  • Warty||

    I dunno Naga, but I think "cat" means "dude" again.

  • ||

    I miss the good old days when the distinguished gentleman referred to Barney Frank as "Barney Fag."


    Dennis Miller on O'Reilly last night, "I love to help the helpless, but I'm tired of helping the clueless."

  • ||

    The new "cool" is "hip as grits."

  • Fluffy||

    Matt,

    The problem is that the credibility of any antistatist political movement has been pissed away because Bush sycophants have been allowed to grab the microphone.

    It doesn't matter if Matt Kibbe is sincere and genuine and it doesn't matter if Matt Kibbe opposed Bush when he enlarged the power of the state. Dick Armey didn't. Sean Hannity didn't. Glenn Beck didn't. And these guys have been allowed to grab the reins, and that means that it is ENTIRELY APPROPRIATE AND FAIR for people on the left to say, "Hey, where were you when Bush did the same thing?"

    This is exactly what I predicted before the last election. That GOP figures and pseudoconservative media types, after fellating Bush for 8 years, would attempt to pick up the small government rhetoric they forgot about for all that time as soon as Obama was elected - and that the left would have a field day with their hypocrisy, and use it to discredit small government advocacy in general. That is exactly what is happening. We need a more thorough bloodletting on the right before we can credibly oppose Obama on small government grounds, and unfortunately that's very unlikely to happen, because it's not like rat bastards like Glenn Beck are just going to give up their careers and walk away.

  • ||

    Guys! Over here! Remember that time Armey proved himself to be a homophobic asshole? Remember that, guys? HEY GUYS! GUYS!

    PAY ME ATTENTION!

  • ||

    I don't see how anyone paying attention could think the Tea Parties are come big grass roots uprising for Republicans. They are anything but. If there is an analogy in recent history, it is the old H.Ross Perot Reform Party. Before Perot went crazy his big issues were the budget deficit and taxes. The movement also arose when a lot of fiscal conservatives were very angry with Republicans over GHW Bush's breaking of his read my lips pledge and when Congress was at an all time low in terms of ethics and popularity.

  • Naga Sadow, cool guy||

    I don't know Warty. I use the phrase "hip, cool cat" upon occasion but always in a sarcastic tone that drips venom. I'm obviously cool so I'm gonna go ahead and say it's okay to use "fly" again. I have spoken.

  • B||

    I'm going to give Cooper the benefit of the doubt here and guess that "the same conservatives" refers to Hannity and similar members of the chattering class (team red division), in which case, the criticism is pretty much spot-on.

    Of course, this means Cooper is a shitty writer.

  • Matt Welch||

    Dick Armey didn't.

    That's just not accurate.

  • ||

    Yes Fluffy,

    Clearly the answer to opposing BO is to form a circular firing squad and kill all of the infidels. Further, Army did oppose the bailout as shown in the post.

    I don't see the point of rehashing the arguments of 2003. Lots of people who are opposed to BO supported the war in Iraq. You didn't. So I guess we can take pistols and duel it out at 10 paces and let the survivor live in Obama land or we can move on and perhaps stop Obama. I guess it is a question of which is more important to each of us, scoring political points against the infidels or stopping BO.

  • Fluffy||

    I don't see how anyone paying attention could think the Tea Parties are come big grass roots uprising for Republicans. They are anything but. If there is an analogy in recent history, it is the old H.Ross Perot Reform Party.

    I had interpreted the Tea Parties to be an outgrowth of the Ron Paul movement, but since the election is over that movement is being co-opted by the same establishment Republicans who spat on Ron Paul during the primary season. And the co-opting is working because enough small government advocates remain willing to be the dupes of the GOP, no matter how many times they're lied to and pissed on.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Burn!!!

  • Citizen Nothing||

    "I don't see the point of rehashing the arguments of 2003."
    Those who don't learn from history...

  • Fluffy||

    Dick Armey didn't.

    That's just not accurate.


    So it's your position that Dick Armey fought the Bush administration's expansion of state power, Matt?

    You're arguing that the House Majority Leader fought against the President from 2001 to 2003? Really? REALLY?

  • L.A. lefty Marc Cooper ||

    Facts? We don't need no stinking facts. We're here. We're queer. Get used to it.

  • ||

    What a giant steaming pile of shit.

  • Fluffy||

    I don't see the point of rehashing the arguments of 2003. Lots of people who are opposed to BO supported the war in Iraq. You didn't. So I guess we can take pistols and duel it out at 10 paces and let the survivor live in Obama land or we can move on and perhaps stop Obama. I guess it is a question of which is more important to each of us, scoring political points against the infidels or stopping BO.

    Do you seriously think it's just a matter of the Iraq war?

    What about every single one of the Bush budgets?

    What about the growth in federal regulation from 2001 to 2008?

    What about No Child Left Behind?

    What about the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit? Where was the Senate GOP filibuster on that one, babe?

    Where was the Senate GOP filibuster to prevent McCain-Feingold from reaching the President's desk?

    Where was the Senate GOP filibuster to prevent the bailout legislation from passing? Maybe you don't remember, but the GOP Presidential nominee SUSPENDED HIS CAMPAIGN to fly to Washington to make sure the bailout passed.

    Yes, a circular firing squad would actually be helpful. Because there's absolutely no point to stopping Obama if the GOP is just going to be just as statist as he is. It would actually be useful to have a wholesale generational switchover of personnel - with just about every major GOP figure losing his office in disgrace, and every major GOP media figure slinking off to retire in silence - because that might allow people who actually support small government to take their places. And if that allowed Obama to accomplish more of his agenda in the short term, oh well. The faster he gets his agenda accomplished the faster it will fail and the faster the public will see it fail.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Fluffy, I like the cut of your jib.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    The real pettifogging on the teabag issue has been the false premise that this is primarily about taxes, or even President Obama's new tax policy. That it fell on April 15 is simply a function of what the Instapundit described: Tax day is now the national day of protest than anything else. Teabagging is a protest against the bailouts, pure and simple. That's what the first one was about, that's what the second one was about, that's what yesterday's was about, and that's what Santelli's original rant was about.

    The left is intentionally de-empbasizing and to-be-suring the bailout aspect because then they might have to consider that the teabaggers are motivated by principle, and the left has decided merely to ridicule them. (The tactic is derived from another false premise, by the way: People acting on principle are just as deserving of ridicule as people acting out of self-interest. Maybe even more deserving.)

    Anyway, if you want to get the GOP out of the picture (and I do), just refer to the protests as teabagging events rather than tea parties.

  • SpongePaul||

    The people who started the tea parties were NOT Republicans. The Libertarians, The Ron Paul People and other grass roots started them. It was/is a protest on taxes and the current direction the country is taking against both demodemons and repukes. I find it funny, yet sad and not suprising that they highjacked the idea and basterdized it for thier own purposes

  • ||

    What about the growth in federal regulation from 2001 to 2008?

    I hated it and objected to it.

    What about No Child Left Behind?

    I spoke out against that to. A lot of Republicans did.

    What about the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit? Where was the Senate GOP filibuster on that one, babe?

    They controled the Senate. They didn't need to filibuster. Yes, the GOP Congress sucked ass especially after 2004. Go back and look at my posts after the 2006 election. I had nothing good to say about the GOP Congress.

    Where was the Senate GOP filibuster to prevent McCain-Feingold from reaching the President's desk?

    I was against that to.

    What is your point? Yes, a lot of Republical politicians suck ass, espeically those in Congress. If you shot Arlan Spector tommorow, i would come and defend you for free. People did object to those things at the time, including Dick Army. But you seem to want to lump everyone who is not you into one big group. Basically unless you are appointed God like Dear Leader tommorow, what do you plan to do about BO?

  • ||

    "The real pettifogging on the teabag issue has been the false premise that this is primarily about taxes, or even President Obama's new tax policy. That it fell on April 15 is simply a function of what the Instapundit described: Tax day is now the national day of protest than anything else. Teabagging is a protest against the bailouts, pure and simple. That's what the first one was about, that's what the second one was about, that's what yesterday's was about, and that's what Santelli's original rant was about."

    The liberals want to make it all about taxes because it keeps them from looking like they hypocritest they are. Here we have the alledgedly most liberal president and congress in history and they are taking trillions of dollars and giving it to wall street billionairs who fucked up the economy. Aren't liberals supposed to be for the little guy while the conservatives are all out for the big bankers and wall street types? Any principled liberal ought to be appalled by the bailouts. They aren't because there really are not any principled liberals left.

  • ||

    The problem is that the credibility of any antistatist antiwar political movement has been pissed away because Bush sycophants anti-American useful idiots have been allowed to grab the microphone.

    Agree/Disagree?

    I had interpreted the Tea Parties to be an outgrowth of the Ron Paul movement,

    Not really. There is some overlap, but the Tea Party crowd is not ReLOVEution crowd.

    Because there's absolutely no point to stopping Obama if the GOP is just going to be just as statist as he is.

    Good point, and one most Tea Partiers would agee with. Its more of "throw the bums out" movement than a Repub partisan thing. Hard to wrap your brain around, I know, but this doesn't seem to map very neatly onto Blue Team v. Red Team.

  • Warty||

    what do you plan to do about BO?

    Well, my plan was to protest gun control by shooting a bunch of cops, but it got bogarted.

  • hmm||

    I like the kooks. At least you know where they stand and can be fairly confident in that position remaining unchanged no matter how unconventional the idea is. I have to spend a week of research to figure out why most politicians are saying or doing something. Their intentions and ideals are almost never clear and more often than not are self serving. Plus conversations with kooks is by far more entertaining.

    I don't care who started it, who is trying to manipulate it, or if I agree with all the reasons. People are actually voicing their distaste for a government that has a$$ raped them for decades. That is progress. I've long said people won't start caring until they can't get cable, drive an SUV, and eat McDs or food that is bad for them. 2/3 is not too bad.

    I'm just happy a larger amount of people are finally pissed about similar things I am.

  • ||

    media guy says : 'unlike the lollipop Bush tax cuts -- not for personal profit but rather as a radical, emergency measure to help Americans keep their jobs, their homes and their retirement.'

    Can anyone explain to this idiot that tax cuts ALSO help Americans keep their jobs, homes, and prepare for retirement.

    How far into bizarro land have we gone that leftist media types defend big business but NOT individual citizens, sickening.

  • ||

    People are actually voicing their distaste for a government that has a$$ raped them for decades.

    Bullshit. This is not some populist awakening. It's rightwing nuts bitching and moaning like toddlers because they lost an election.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Beware the revolution. It won't be the one you want.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    (But if Tony gets kicked in the balls, at least it'll have some redeeming value.)

  • ||

    Right now there's fuck-all that can be done about administration policy - the conventional Republicans torpedoed their own credibility by rolling over for Bush when he did the same things as Obama, and then for good measure they torpedoed ours' by talking the small-government game while spending and regulating like the worst kind of big-government Dems.

    The GOP needs to be purged good and hard, and then purged again for good measure - that's what happens when a party gets its ass kicked at the polls. It'll be good for them, and it'll only get harder to do the longer they wait.

    And libertarian-minded independents need to take out a restraining order until the purges are over, and maybe after too depending on who wins. (The marriage is over, babe - don't call me, I'll call you.)

  • ||

    "Bullshit. This is not some populist awakening. It's rightwing nuts bitching and moaning like toddlers because they lost an election."


    That is right Tony. How dare people who work for a living say antying about anything. We round those fuckers up and put them in camps or something right?

  • Mad Max||

    Coming soon to theaters near you, it's . . . Army of Dickness, starring Bruce Campbell.

  • ||

    John,

    No--but then the rightwing fringe shouldn't complain if it happens, since they were just fine with that sort of policy as long as applied to someone else.

  • Xeones||

    Coming soon to theaters near you, it's . . . Army of Dickness, starring Bruce Campbell.

    I'd go see that.

  • Warty||

    I love Tony. He has the same points as joe, but he's angrier, but he's not as ridiculous as Edward/Lefiti. Keep it coming, fuckface. I'm a fan.

  • Xeones||

    And here's Tony once again, to explain to us how there are only two sides to everything, and they are concrete, immutable, and mutually exclusive! Shut the fuck up, Tony.

  • Xeones||

    Warty, at least joe occasionally had an intelligent point.

  • Warty||

    Yo, not about anything political, X.

  • ||

    @Fluffy - You speak good words, my friend.

    My biggest fear is that while the Tea Party's allowed small-government citizens to voice their concerns and anger over big-government, many will cling to the foolish thinking that voting Republican will help them in their goals.

    Folks, the Republican Party is dead. Get over it. They had 6 years to fix things and yet we are further away from the Constitution now than ever before. How much more proof do you need? They no longer hold to the Constitutional principles on which this country was founded.

    The original Tea Party participants were not conservatives, they were libertarians. Let's vote them back in power before it's too late.

  • Xeones||

    Yo, not about anything political, X.

    Well, true.

    If Tony turns out to be performance art, i will clap my hands with glee. If he's not, he must be one of the worst people in the world.

  • Old Bull Lee||

    My biggest fear for the Tea Party came true in West Virginia.

    The protest was littered with people holding "don't take my guns" signs and a pastor who led a prayer asking God to keep gay marriage out of the state.

    My biggest fear was the Tea Party would become a white trash version of ANSWER.

  • ||

    Yeah, yeah, the GOP is dead [rolls eyes]. Just like the Democrats were from 1994 to 2006. I wish we libertarians could replace one or both parties, but it isn't going to happen that easily. And probably not at all.

    Got to have someone to vote for when the controlling party pisses you off. In fact, I'll be surprised if there isn't a change in one or both houses of Congress next year. Politics aside, this Congress is pissing off a lot of people.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Matt, you're obviously shilling for Big Dick.

  • T||

    Got to have someone to vote for when the controlling party pisses you off. In fact, I'll be surprised if there isn't a change in one or both houses of Congress next year. Politics aside, this Congress is pissing off a lot of people.

    Anybody who is serious about being in Congress should be able to bitch slap the fuck out of just about any incumbent around this time next year. I'm planning for a fun (read:ugly mud-slinging) contest in the primaries.

  • ||

    "Got to have someone to vote for when the controlling party pisses you off. In fact, I'll be surprised if there isn't a change in one or both houses of Congress next year. Politics aside, this Congress is pissing off a lot of people."

    I think so to. I keep telling the people I work with that that is going to happen. None of them believe me. But in 2010, there won't be any BO to get guilty white people and huge numbers of blacks to the polls. There will be nothing feel good or historic about the election. All of the people who turned out in 2008 to vote for the first black man will have other things to do. The only people, outside the hardcore party members, who are going to show up are people who are motivated and pissed off about something. Most of those people are going to be motivated and pissed off at Congress. It will be a throw the bums out year.

  • ||

    Why does the how of the organizing, and promoting, of these protest events matter, exactly? Are they more effective, noble, laudable, when they result from some spontaneous group action? And what does it matter to the argument for smaller, less intrusive government that Dick Armey was for bigger government when in Congress and is against it now that he's out? Being a hypocrite doesn't make or break an argument - or did I miss a memo or newly passed piece of legislation?

  • Xeones||

    It will be a throw the bums out year.

    I hope you are right. Fuck Con-gress, yo.

  • MNG||

    The problem for the Dems is that Obama and the Democratic Congress are mostly pissing off those who hated Obama and the Democratic Congress to begin with. The Dems strategy lately is to point to the ever unified, crazier movement right and say "we're not these guys" and the majority of Americans who are also not look at those guys with their mouths frothing and go, ur, not for us.

    And the GOP has played right into their hands, because they created this group of top down order taking solidiers who can't moderate their positions ("treasonous RINO's") and who get all their information from rabid sources and so cannot fathom why people think differently from them other than that they are evil or fools.

    But the GOP will continue to do very well and in fact be forced to try to defy everything the Dems do in the areas where the GOP is quite strong, our 18th Century hold outs like the South and Utah.

  • ||

    All good points Steve. But I think people have for a long time fallen into the trap of the politics being the personal and the message somehow being dictated by the messanger.

    So what if Dick Army was all big government all the time for the last 8 years. First, he wasn't. But more importantly so what? If an recovering drunk told you that it is a really bad idea to drink a 5th of bourbon a day would you tell him to shut the fuck up about booze because he used to be a drunk?

  • MNG||

    The great thing for the Dems is that the GOP cannot help themselves. Mark Sanford from South Carolina is the current front runner.

    Now anyone who thinks South Carolina is in step with the rest of the nation, please raise your hands.

    Go ahead, raise em high.

    Anyone?

  • MNG||

    Whoops, @ 1:09 I meant "the problem for the GOP", it's no problem at all to be riling up the GOP faithful, because then they will get our there an froth at the mouth as I discussed, making the average American go "er, not for me thank you."

  • MNG||

    Armey has shown political courage in calling out conservative allies before. I respect the guy.

    Oh, and he has a PhD (jabs stick at SIV)

  • ||

    "The Dems strategy lately is to point to the ever unified, crazier movement right and say "we're not these guys" and the majority of Americans who are also not look at those guys with their mouths frothing and go, ur, not for us."

    Like the Dems are not frothing at the mouth lunatics during the Bush years? What is frothing at the mouth about the people at these tea parties? They look like normal people to me. Moreover, they look a lot more normal than you typical ANSWER crowd.

    Further, I take issue with the froting at the mouth accusation. Who is frothing at the mouth. So what people go to church, own guns and do other things that people of a certain ilk find objectionable. Well fuck them.

  • ||

    Steve asks- Why does the how of the organizing, and promoting, of these protest events matter, exactly? Are they more effective, noble, laudable, when they result from some spontaneous group action?

    Come on Steve, you know only the left is allowed to carp, bitch, and moan about stuff. The rest of us hoi polloi are only allowed to bask in their greater intellect and superior morals.

  • ||

    mng,

    Have you ever been to South Carolina? it is a beautiful state full of very nice people and an inordinate number of beautiful women. It is only out of step with the rest of the country in the sense that its largest city is not a post apocolyptic wasteland (Michigan) and it is not facing bankruptcy (New York and California).

  • ||

    Also I think Rick Perry is probably the frontrunner for 2012. At the end of this whole mess, Texas is going to be one of the few states not bankrupt with a 15% unemployment rate and is going to look pretty good.

  • MNG||

    "they look a lot more normal than you typical ANSWER crowd"

    Yes, but the Democratic Party doesn't answer to ANSWER types. It's a tiny part of the vote they are going for, not their base.

    "Have you ever been to South Carolina"

    I like the beaches, but it's a cultural hole in the ground. More importantly for this discussion, the kind of politics that reigns there is very far from the national political scene, which is my point.

    "Who is frothing at the mouth"

    Movement conservatives. All the time. It's made everyone else think it is safe to ignore their goofy asses.

  • T||

    Movement conservatives. All the time. It's made everyone else think it is safe to ignore their goofy asses.

    Don't actually know any, do you MNG? Between the top down order takers comment, and now this, you've clearly got no clue what happens in conservative circles, so stop talking about it.

  • ||

    "I like the beaches, but it's a cultural hole in the ground. More importantly for this discussion, the kind of politics that reigns there is very far from the national political scene, which is my point."


    Why is it a cultural hole in the ground? What makes it that way? I don't see it. Charleston is probably the nicest city in America under a million people. Further, what do you mean by culture? I would consider New York and California to be cultural holes in the ground in many ways. Yes, the Met is fantastic. But, culturally both states are wedded to big government liberalism that is destroying the country. California ought to be paradise on earth. Indeed, fifty years ago it damn near was. But thanks to its disfunctional political culture it is turning into a third world country.

    Who is really the backward hicks here? The people in places like South Carolin and Texas who have responsible government and live within their means or the people of California and New York who have managed to go bankrupt despite being two of the richest places on earth?

  • ||

    Tony just does not live in or recognize the three dimensional world. For him, it is all two dimensional.

    Tony, there are many of us here who screamed about September's socialism with equal fervor. Most of us here are libertarians. We do not like socialism. It does not matter whether the socialism is practiced by a democrat socialist or a republican socialist or a caucasian socialist or a negro socialist.

  • Michael B Sullivan||

    I have no idea what Dick Armey's overall record was in terms of opposing the expansion of the state during the Bush years. I presume, absent other evidence, that it was pretty terrible.

    But he did quietly kill the TIPS program designed to create volunteer citizen informants during the worst of the terrorist craze, based on a solidly principled view that citizen informants are a crazy-ass police state idea. And that counts for him.

    Here's a news article from 8/2002 on the TIPS program, noting Armey's opposition:
    http://www.villagevoice.com/2002-08-06/news/ashcroft-s-master-plan-to-spy-on-us/

  • Paul||

    Get used to it, Matt. Lately, the left is willing to say anything...anything to defend Obama.

    Two things I heard on NPR withing 12 hours of eachother.

    One guest noted that Obama is seeing a backlash from the left because of his continuation of Bush policies on terrorism, wire tapping etc. This guest noted that afterall, Obama is being presidential and has to "govern". The guest saw this as a good thing. No explanation as to why it's good for Obama to do this, but bad for Bush to do it.

    Shortly thereafter, they spoke to a writer from the New Yorker who proclaimed that Obama has taken a 180 turn on every Bush policy, and that's why the GOP is in a snit over Obama. He didn't name a single policy. Because. He. Can't.

    So, in summation:

    Obama's continuation of Bush doctrine is being "presidential".

    or

    Obama has summarily rejected everything in the Bush doctrine.

  • ||

    Paul,

    The NYT story today on the NSA going past the legal limits set by Congress in 2008 is pretty bad. They tried to wiretap a Congressman. WTF? I don't see how anyone who was concerned over the last 8 years about wiretapping can justify not being up in arms over this.

  • ||

    Where the hell were Republican's when Bush was spending? Right where the anti-war Democrats are now. Around the corner from the Easter-bunny, Santa Claus, and the principled party loyalist fairy.

  • ||

    Tony, are you implying that the Bush administration was in favor of rounding up the opposition and putting them in camps?

    'Cause I'll need a link on that.

    Now anyone who thinks South Carolina is in step with the rest of the nation, please raise your hands.

    I'll bet its got lower taxes and a lower unemployment rate than average, so, no, its probably not "in step" with the collapsing industrial midwest and urbanized coasts.

  • ||

    "Now anyone who thinks South Carolina is in step with the rest of the nation, please raise your hands."

    To second RC. You say that like it is a bad thing. Since the rest of the nation is in the midst of going mad and spending and taxing itself to oblivion, I don't see how being out of step is anything but a good.

  • Michael B Sullivan||

    R C Dean: According to this CNN.money article, South Carolina had (as of 12/2008) the fourth-worst unemployment rate of the 50 states and DC:

    http://money.cnn.com/pf/features/lists/state_unemployment/

    Admittedly, California edges it out with a rate that's presumably some hundredths of a percent higher, but New York has a solidly lower rate, as do, obviously, most other states.

  • ||

    "Admittedly, California edges it out with a rate that's presumably some hundredths of a percent higher, but New York has a solidly lower rate, as do, obviously, most other states."

    Califonia has a lot of advantages over South Carolina. It has a better climate. It has huge entertainment and hi tech industries, yet it still manages to have a higher unemployment rate and a state government about to go bankrupt.

  • ||

    Of course mainstream republicans and FoxNews will try to co-opt any genuine Ron Paul inspired movement. Of course the democrats and their networks will try to paint any ron paul inspired movement as religous, conservative right wing extremist.

    Libertarianism is not to be acknowlegded and discussed on MSM. Nevertheless, there are a lot more anti-war, anti-police state, anti-tax, anti-Fed, pro-freedom Rothbard reading people out there now than there was two years ago. Many of these people are still spreading the message. I am encouraged and surprised by the numbers of people and the quality of people I saw yesterday.

  • ||

    re South Carolina, why does anywhere have to be 'in step' with any where else? That's why we have fed vs state balancing of powers. The finacial meltdown of lending was caused in part by Freddy Mac and Fannie Mae spreading the systemic risk of mortgage failure from a local problem to a national one of much greater size (until the last 5-10 years a mortgage ws the SAFEST loan a bank could make).

    If everyone is thinking alike, someone ain't thinking. You would think the left would be for the diversity and nuance that differing areas of this great country have, but alas, these ideas are just talking points to hammer the opposition with when convenient as opposed to a real ideology to adhere to.

  • ||

    So it's your position that Dick Armey fought the Bush administration's expansion of state power, Matt?

    You're arguing that the House Majority Leader fought against the President from 2001 to 2003? Really? REALLY?



    Yes, Fluffy. Dick Armey is the House member responsible for the sunset legislation in the Patriot Act. He refused to pass the legislation without it. Obviously as just one member, he couldn't do everything. But he did a heck of a lot more than most members, Democrats or Republicans, an a lot more than you give him credit for.

    Fluffy, you don't know what you're talking about.

  • ||

    The day Dick Armey left Congress was a very sad day for libertarians.

  • ||

    the post in my name at 11:26 a.m was not me. If the author of that post wants to be all douchey and such, they should at least grow a set and attack me with their own handle.

  • Michael B Sullivan||

    Califonia has a lot of advantages over South Carolina. It has a better climate. It has huge entertainment and hi tech industries, yet it still manages to have a higher unemployment rate and a state government about to go bankrupt.



    Look at those goalposts shift! R C Dean said, "I'll bet [South Carolina has] got lower taxes and a lower unemployment rate than average, so, no, its probably not 'in step' with the collapsing industrial midwest and urbanized coasts."

    I took 30 seconds to Google state unemployment rates, and not only does SC not have a lower unemployment rate than average, it has a REALLY bad unemployment rate. That's the matter under discussion. R C Dean thought it was better than average. It's much worse than the average, and particularly, it's worse than most states that R C Dean though it would be better than.

    R C Dean presumably chose unemployment rate because he thinks it's significant, and I presume that you're speaking up in his favor because you do, too. Now that you know that your assumptions were wrong, does that affect your opinion of South Carolina as an earthly paradise? If not, why are we talking about unemployment rate?

  • ||

    You know, it's ridiculous the way people on the left make these blanket statements about the beliefs of every conservative writer or commenter, without even bothing to look up what these people had to say about Bush and his policies.

    Anyone who has even been paying modest attention ought to know that most Republicans voted against TARP. Just as they ought to know that George Will is not a torture apologist.

  • ||

    Hazel Meade, we tend to think the newsmedia here is the best and most accurate and most trustworthy and most unbiased in the world. Doing a factcheck that might turn out to refute our stance is way too much like work.

    We just want to be right, and won't dig very deep if it might prove us wrong.

  • High Every Body||

    the post in my name at 11:26 a.m was not me. If the author of that post wants to be all douchey and such, they should at least grow a set and attack me with their own handle.

    Are you expressing handleism? :)

    No, that was not me spoofing you.

  • ||

    "R C Dean presumably chose unemployment rate because he thinks it's significant, and I presume that you're speaking up in his favor because you do, too. Now that you know that your assumptions were wrong, does that affect your opinion of South Carolina as an earthly paradise? If not, why are we talking about unemployment rate?"

    Because the unemployment rate is not comparable between every state. Some states have more advantages than others. A state like Maryland that sites next to Washington DC and gets 1000s of government bureaucrats with stable recession proof jobs living in it, ought to always have a low unemployment rate. A state like California or New York with a million built in advantages and 100s of years of accumulated wealth ought to be better off than a state like Utah that is mostly desert and mountains.

    But it doesn't always work that way. The problem is that states like New York, California and Michigan have backward, corrupt, and outdated political cultures. The poor and backward political cultures of these states causes them to waste the natural advantages they have.

    I am not claiming South Carolina is some kind of earthly paradise. In fact I am claiming just the opposite. There is no earthly reason why a small state like South Carolina with not a lot of accumulated wealth, no big industries and few natural resources should have anywhere near as low of an unemployment rate as a place like California does. But it does.

    The people on the West Coast and the Northeast may not like hearing it but the truth is that they are the ones with the corrupt backward political cultures, not the South and the Moutain states. Living in Maryland, I can definitely say that no one living here has any right to throw stones at Texas or South Carolina or any state outside of maybe Michigan or California about having a backward and corrupt and ignorant political culture.

  • ||

    HEB, yes, I am a handle supremacist.

  • Fluffy||

    Thacker, your standard for "fighting Bush's big government ways" is obviously a lot, lot, lot, lot lower than mine.

    As majority leader Armey helped shepherd Bush's legislation through Congress, including his budgets.

    Here's a list of Dick Armey's votes:

    http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/members/a000217/votes/

    Count the number of times he opposed the President and the GOP establishment. There aren't a lot, because the guy WAS the GOP establishment. You can't hold a leadership position and not be responsible for the legislation produced by your caucus.

    Maybe Armey holds completely different opinions now. Great. Fantastic. I cut Bob Barr slack, I can cut Dick Armey slack. But that doesn't change the fact that when people point at Dick Armey [or Sean Hannity or Glenn Beck] and say, "These people who want to hold these small-government protests are the same people who helped George Bush expand government or cheerleaded as George Bush expanded government" are telling the truth.

  • ||

    R C Dean: According to this CNN.money article, South Carolina had (as of 12/2008) the fourth-worst unemployment rate of the 50 states and DC:

    Damned inconvenient facts. Still, if getting Nancy Pelosi, Rahm Emanuel, Barack Obama, Ben Bernanke, and Timothy Geithner* to STFU is the price of disqualifying politicos from making federal policy if they are from a state having high unemployment, then its a price I'm willing to pay.

    *All from states at or below the median for unemployment.

  • ||

    Tony, are you implying that the Bush administration was in favor of rounding up the opposition and putting them in camps?

    No, just Muslims.

    I just don't want to hear any of the folks who sat around twiddling themselves or actively cheering while Bush subverted the constitution in unprecedented ways whine that their constitutional rights are in jeopardy.

    Believe it or not, liberals have their backs when it comes to civil liberties. The evil ACLU has defended the KKK and Fred Phelps for god's sake. It's not controversial among liberals that rightwing nutjobs have the right to free speech like the rest of us. But that doesn't mean we don't also have the right to call them nutjobs, which they are.

  • johnl||

    Wow. Well said.
    Tim Cavanaugh | April 16, 2009, 11:47am.

  • ||

    "Believe it or not, liberals have their backs when it comes to civil liberties. The evil ACLU has defended the KKK and Fred Phelps for god's sake. It's not controversial among liberals that rightwing nutjobs have the right to free speech like the rest of us. But that doesn't mean we don't also have the right to call them nutjobs, which they are."

    I am so sure. Then I guess you are outraged over this right?
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30238492/

    You are going to really let OBama have it aren'tyou? YOu and Glen Greenwald and Christ Mathews. I am sure BO will have to get a stern talking to over this right?

  • Michael B Sullivan||

    Because the unemployment rate is not comparable between every state.



    So your beef was with R C Dean for comparing unemployment rates between states? And you just accidentally stumbled into replying to my posts instead? That's quite a typo you made, when you selected my text, copied it, pasted it, and replied to it, when you meant to reply to R C Dean. You should get that looked at.

  • ||

    Yes, John, that disturbs me, and if you read Greenwald you'd know he's at the forefront of criticism of Obama for his scary unwillingness to reverse a lot of Bush's secret police state.

  • ||

    "So your beef was with R C Dean for comparing unemployment rates between states? And you just accidentally stumbled into replying to my posts instead? That's quite a typo you made, when you selected my text, copied it, pasted it, and replied to it, when you meant to reply to R C Dean. You should get that looked at."

    No my beef is with you and your implying that the fact that South Carolina has a higher unemployment rate than New York means that South Carolina has a worse government than New York.

  • Michael B Sullivan||

    Here's a list of Dick Armey's votes:

    http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/members/a000217/votes/

    Count the number of times he opposed the President and the GOP establishment. There aren't a lot, because the guy WAS the GOP establishment. You can't hold a leadership position and not be responsible for the legislation produced by your caucus.



    For those of you who don't want to count, here's the summary:

    Of the 101 votes, 51 had bipartisan consensus (ie, the GOP Opinion and the Dem Opinion reported in that article are the same as each other). So, 50 votes that had a partisan fight.

    Dick Armey never in that data set voted against the GOP opinion. He did not vote in 9 votes. 8 of those were votes in which there was bipartisan consensus (I assume that there was no chance that such a bill would fail, and so abstaining does not meaningfully constitute bucking the opinion of the party). One of them was a partisan bill (I assume that this is more relevant).

    Of course, as House Majority Leader, Dick Armey presumably had a lot of influence as to which bills came up to vote: it's at least possible that bills where he disagreed with the GOP position died in committee, due to his influence.

  • Michael B Sullivan||

    No my beef is with you and your implying that the fact that South Carolina has a higher unemployment rate than New York means that South Carolina has a worse government than New York.



    At risk of sounding pedantic, what you inferred says a lot more about you than what I implied. R C Dean made a factual claim that I thought was questionable. I looked up the fact, and found it not to be true. I reported that this fact was not true.

    To the extent that I implied any contextual meaning to that fact, I was simply passing along without judgment whatever meaning R C Dean intended to apply to his claim. If you have an issue with R C Dean using a comparison of state unemployment rates as a proxy for whatever you feel that he is using them as a proxy for, then take it up with him.

    The only three value judgments I've made in this thread are:

    1. I made the claim that it was to Dick Armey's credit that he killed the TIPS program.

    2. I implicitly criticized R C Dean for making an incorrect claim the truth of which was easily findable on Google.

    3. I mocked you for being such a tool.

  • ||

    "I looked up the fact, and found it not to be true. I reported that this fact was not true."

    And I pointed out how it doesn't matter if it is true or not since it doesn't tell the whole truth. Go back and read my posts. They were nothing but reasonable. I never insulted you or even said you were wrong. I only pointed out that the UE rate doesn't tell the whole story.

    Why do you feel the need to call people names? It doesn't advance the conversation and just makes you look like an asshole.

  • Michael B Sullivan||

    And I pointed out how it doesn't matter if it is true or not since it doesn't tell the whole truth.



    Which would be great, if you were actually doing that, but you aren't. If you actually cared about whether or not the unemployment rate was relevant, you'd do what I've repeatedly suggested, and take it up with R C Dean, who is (again!) the person who brought up the unemployment and ascribed it meaning.

    But you don't actually give a rat's ass about that. What you're interested in is advancing your view that South Carolina is full of good, honest, reasonable people, and California and New York are godless degenerates (or whatever -- that SC is better than CA or NY, for whatever reasons that you have in your pointy little head). That's why you repeatedly refuse to attack the argument of someone who agrees with your actual point (despite disagreeing with the point that you pretend you have: that the unemployment rate is relevant), and continue to respond to me, despite my repeated disclaimers that I'm not trying to ascribe meaning to the unemployment rate one way or another.

    And that, my dear, is why you're a tool.

  • ||

    Tony, are you implying that the Bush administration was in favor of rounding up the opposition and putting them in camps?

    No, just Muslims.


    WTF?
    You do realize that Bush came out right after 9/11 saying "Islam is a religion of peace.", right?

    I challange you to substantiate for a second the assertion that Bush wanted to "round up Muslims and put them in camps".

    And no, Guantanamo doesn't count. You are suggesting he wanted to intern them like the Japanese in WWII.
    That's just an egregious lie.

  • ||

    Hey Libertarians, who is paying to clean up your tea bags?

    In a Libertarian society everyone has awesome driveways that lead from their home to a dirt road.

    There is no Black/White. It takes all kinds. Most developed countries are a BLEND of Capitalism, Socialism, and Libertarianism. Pretty sure some of the older teabaggers would shit their pants if someone fucked with their Medicaid without offering a viable alternative.

    Most of the signs at the teabaggings I saw yesterday were just sore loser Obama hating signs. How, exactly is he responsible for the Bush deficit expansion over the last 8 years? How, exactly is Obama responsible for TARP, AIG bailout and the Fed's actions. He has been in office just over 3 months. His budget hasn't even been passed. The stimulus package (TAX CUTS FOR MOST OF THESE TEABAGGING IDIOTS) is his only fiduciary action thus far.

    The whole thing is a last ditch effort by the GOP to capitalize on the message of Ron Paul (whom they vilified during the primaries) BECAUSE THEY HAVE NOTHING but that, AND HATE.

    Admit it. You teabaggers are just mad the colored guy won. I can tell from your misspelled, crude, moronic, handheld signs.

  • Gene Berkman||

    Getting back to Marc Cooper's column, he attacks tax cuts as a giveaway to the wealthy, then defends an actual giveaway to the wealthy as a benefit for all Americans. I guess he has joined the Democrats in accepting "trickle-down" economics, as long as it involves a subsidy rather than a tax cut.

    And to think I knew Marc Cooper when he claimed to be an anarchist. At San Fernando Valley State College, he was part of the Student Revolutionary Anarchist Family (SRAF) which became the Social Revolutionary Anarchist Federation.

    He's not much of an anarchist anymore.

  • ||

    Pointing out that someone criticized Bush last October and last September really doesn't mean much. His approval rating was in the 20s. People needed to speak up at the beginning of Bush's tenure, not the ass end of it.

  • Xeones||

    hyperblue:

    Given that Obama's entire term thus far (and may it be his only) has been themed on "Do What Bush Did, Only More So," what the fuck is your point?

  • ||

    Come on Xeones. At the very most it's "do what Bush did, only less so."

    Did you notice they released the unredacted torture memos today?

  • radar||

    hyperblue, what was that about budget deficits again?

    http://pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/files/2009/04/obamadebt.jpg

    So what was that again?

  • Mr. Chartreuse||

    ow, exactly is Obama responsible for TARP, AIG bailout and the Fed's actions. He has been in office just over 3 months. His budget hasn't even been passed. The stimulus package (TAX CUTS FOR MOST OF THESE TEABAGGING IDIOTS) is his only fiduciary action thus far.

    Obama supported TARP to the point where he threatened to veto any cutting off of TARP funds once he became POTUS


    President-elect Barack Obama told Democratic senators in a closed lunch today that he needs the second $350 billion authorized by Congress as part of the TARP legislation last year and that he'll veto any move by Congress to cut that funding off.



    He also has supported the Federal Reserve's actions:


    Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama said on Friday he supported efforts by the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve to shore up confidence in the financial markets and said he would hold off from presenting his own economic recovery plan.



    He wasn't the POTUS, yes, but he still supported many of the same BS things that got passed by Dems and Republicans. Additionally, his stimulus package was another $800 billion dollars spent that we don't have, in addition to the money he is planning to spend over the next four years:


    And the federal budget he unveiled last month projects even faster increases in the National Debt. It'll hit $12.7-trillion by the end of the fiscal year on September 30th. The Administration's four year estimate shows that by the end of September 2012, the Debt will have soared to $16.2-trillion - which amounts to nearly 100% of the projected Gross Domestic Product that year.



    Bush was a free spending jackass and Obama will be as well. Is that the kind of change you want to believe in?

  • Matt Welch||

    Pointing out that someone criticized Bush last October and last September really doesn't mean much.

    Unless you mean to point out that saying

    These same conservatives, however, were mum when George W. Bush erased our budget surplus and put us deep in the red by drunken spending on a pointless war [...] Another bothersome detail: The bailouts were also initiated by Bush.



    is bullshit.

  • wayne||

    "Califonia has a lot of advantages over South Carolina. It has a better climate. It has huge entertainment and hi tech industries, yet it still manages to have a higher unemployment rate and a state government about to go bankrupt."

    John, I live in CA. I agree with your characterization. CA has been drive to the brink of bankruptcy, perhaps beyond, by liberal spending policies created by Democrats. Don't get me wrong, I hate Republicans just as much. I have long been of the opinion that the only solution for CA, and the country, is to kick all incumbent politicians out in every election for the next twenty years, at least, maybe for the next 100 years.

    Gray Davis, Cruz Bustamante, etc. Douchebags each and every one of them.

  • wizard of oz books||

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

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