Reason.tv: How Obama Revived the Freedom Movement - John J. Pitney, Jr. on the libertarian electorate

"The greatest gift to the libertarian electorate was the Obama administration," says John J. Pitney, Jr., a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College and a Reason contributing editor. "At a time when you have massive expansion of government power and massive government spending, people start to see the downsides of that philosophy and the libertarian philosophy starts to become more appealing."

Pitney also tells Reason.tv why Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) energized so many voters during the 2008 election and whether America would ever elect a libertarian president.

Approximately 6.45 minutes.

Interview by Sam Corcos. Shot and edited by Hawk Jensen. Music by General Fuzz available at Magnutune Records.

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  • A is Awesome||

    Wow it makes a lot of sense when you think about it.

    Lou,

    http://reason.com

  • AA||

    I would do this, but it would totally cramp my other 9-5er of watching robot-on-furby porn. Wow!

  • ¢||

    It makes more sense if you don't, Loubot.

    The silent-plurality almost-libertarian teabaggalos are temporarily energized, but they'll be discouraged soon, and media libertarians are reacting against them, not (much) against the administration.

    All is fail.

  • ||

    Ran out of metamusil, eh?

  • EMp||

    Sounds like a pretty sound (albeit somewhat vague) barometer on the two major camps of libertarianism. The 'teabaggalos' being close to the definition of western libertarians and the 'media' libertarians being representative of the beltway, or 'cosmo' libertarians....

  • ||

    Didn't the Bush administration, with it's enormous increase in federal spending and power, (all in conservatism's name) have much more to do with it?

  • I'm So Ashamed||

    Compared to the Obama administration, they were Bush league. *rimshot*

  • ||

    Maybe. But we expect that from a liberal Dem. I think the real shock was when the enormous expansion of federal power happened under a "conservative" admin. Republicans, for all their faults, at least used to sort of try to limit federal power. They've given up even paying that lip service.

  • AA||

    Agree.

  • BB||

    I'm perpetually aggravated by all conservatives who bray about Obama's obscene expansion of government. Not, of course, because it's not obscene nor worth braying about, but because those same conservatives not only remained silent for Bush's entire 8 years in office, and throughout his positively criminal abuses of power, but they actually praised Bush the entire time.

    We libertarians (and related) are a rare breed, as we're actually more concerned with principles and ideas and ideals than politics and bizarre culture-sports.

  • AA||

    And as the video stated, that is a big reason why we have a hard time getting elected.

  • kreminitly||

    BB wrote:
    "We libertarians (and related) are a rare breed, as we're actually more concerned with principles and ideas and ideals than politics and bizarre culture-sports."

    *************

    Ahh, beautiful. The trusty old "We're above it all" spiel. Let me set you straight. When you don't hold any cards, you pretty much don't have to do politics. But don't fret - things are getting much more interesting. You're not gonna try and tell me that Rand Paul's "clarification" on civil rights, such as it was, wasn't politics.
    I like libertarians. But we don't need to hear how your steaming pile of crap has a finer bouquet. Shmooze the people, instead of insulting them. If you piss off your date, you wont get to the teabagging.

  • Edwin||

    Awesome

    +1

  • Robert||

    I'm perpetually aggravated by all conservatives who bray about Obama's obscene expansion of government. Not, of course, because it's not obscene nor worth braying about, but because those same conservatives not only remained silent for Bush's entire 8 years in office, and throughout his positively criminal abuses of power, but they actually praised Bush the entire time.


    That may have been because they quietly feared that that was the best they could get, at least at the time, and that they'd better shut up or they could get worse. I share that fear.

  • qwerty||

    If you think conservatives were "silent" when Bush was jacking up spending, you've never read National Review.

  • ||

    +1

  • kreminitly||

    This mythology about republican small government purity is silly. Ever hear of Richard Nixon? They've always had a big government wing. Now, the small gov constitutionalist republicans are ascendant, which is hardly surprising.

  • ||

    They've always had a big government wing.

    Who was the big government wing before Teddy Roosevelt?

  • Robert||

    Lincoln.

  • Judas K. Foxglove||

    There are two statist parties in the US and the more statist party is always the party in power.

  • KPres||

    Both parties want to bond they loyalty of each citizen to the state.

    For Republicans, it's an emotional bond they want to create. We're all "Americans", so keep those damn Mexicans out!

    For Democrats, it's a financial bond. Get everybody on the government dole so they become dependant on the state for their income.

    Bending the will of the individual to the will of the state is the motivation behind both, and also the definition of coercive power.

  • EMp||

    GWB talked the the 'conservative' talk, but after his first term his Rockefeller roots started showing... and big time.

  • CE||

    Republicans, for all their faults, at least used to sort of try to limit federal power. They've given up even paying that lip service.

    No, they're back to paying it lip service again.

  • yup||

    Obama is Bush's fault.

  • ||

    I've been waiting for "the year of the libertarian" for four decades. I will in all likelihood wait another four decades.

  • ||

    If it ever does come you should clean your gun, because clearly the aliens will have invaded.

  • JohnD||

    I hope you are really young because I doubt you will live long enough to see it.

    The Libertarians are their own worse enemy.

  • JohnD||

    Oops, should have read your post closer Brandybuck... Since you have been waiting 40 years already, there is no way in hell you will live long enough.

  • ||

    I've been waiting for "the year of the libertarian" for four decades. I will in all likelihood wait another four decades.

    the libertarian decade was 1920s.

    You missed it by 8 decades.

  • kreminitly||

    "the libertarian decade was 1920s."

    *********

    Right. The decade of prohibition. I hoist my Corona longneck to the 1920's

    Ayn Rand never did say where she stored her furniture polish.

  • fendi bags||

    They've always had a big government wing.

  • Horny||

    I'm horny for big government...

  • qwerty||

    Pitney brings up a great point. Libertarians are consistent, and we are actually derided for this! Like having inconsistent views are better!

    Unfortunately, most people's moral reasoning amounts to, "If it feel offensives, it is wrong, otherwise it is right." Here's an idea: people get a number of votes equal to how they score on Kohlberg's stages of moral development.

  • RichN||

    "Libertarians are consistent, and we are actually derided for this!"

    So is the Catholic Church!

  • ||

    This is a country with a lot of different opinions and we need to accomodate some of them even when ivory tower libertarianism appears to be opposed. Fact is, roads are best built by government and a few other areas are best under the oversight of government. It's about the only real way that people can be protected from people.

    Libertarianism is IMO the best possible philosophy but if we're going to turn it into a faith-based religion to be followed "religiously" we may as well kill it and put it out of our misery. It's a tool, it isn't the Command of God AND if we impose it completely on others, we're no better than the next Marxist that knows what's best for everybody else.

  • Jess||

    Right you are, bluecrane! A pox on those libertarians! They demand to leave me alone.

  • ||

    LOL - you know, what it really all comes down to is simple respect for the opinions of others and rejection that "because I think it, it's the only way." Unless of course one is some ignorant social con too stupid to see beyond his own private hallucination.

    Once again, there's a lot of us in this country as we need to find ways to get along. Forcing our whole belief system down the throats of others isn't the way. Maybe we should "sell" the merit of libertarianism rather than impose the mental nightmares of social cons.

  • lol wut?||

    Fact is, roads are best built by government and a few other areas are best under the oversight of government.

    Roads are a fucking joke, ya skanky whore.

    The SOB's pay too much, plan so little, and manage to create more congestion (inaccurately calculating for growth). There's a royal fuck-up here where these assholes couldn't join two overpasses together as they were "off", and forgot to add an additional lane. Extra cost to the taxpayers for this cluster-of-all-fucks, about $20 million. Of course, a road built by a private business in Hawaii that the government said would cost at least $1 million to build, cost $20 grand.

    http://whiskeyandgunpowder.com.....ild-roads/

    Yeah, I'm sure government does some things right. Taxation, monetary devaluation, corporate cronyism, shooting dogs, child prostitution rings, etc.

  • ||

    LOL - and explain to me how a totally private approach would work? Really work, not the mental meanderings of "ideals" that exclude whatever reality might cloud the glorious vision.

    What the libertarian movement in this country definately does NOT NEED is a reborn Carrie Nation mentality jammed down the throats of unwilling people. Unless of course you sincerely believe that George Bush and Dick Cheney were glorious libertarian leaders - I'll bet that's exactly where you are. Idiot.

  • lol wut?||

    Let loose the guttural vomit of mental surrender that is you, sir!

    Quite the case of cranial rectal inversion you got there. I'm sure there's a government solution for that at least! I believe it's the open-mouth-insert-jackboot technique you so eloquently espouse and demonstrate.

    Well, sir. Let the butt-hurt flow through you. Amuse me, sir. Amuse me!

    Nothing more hilarious then hearing an argument pulled straight out of your ass. Bush and Cheney?! Really? It's quite an amazing feat of anatomy and logic! Considering that it's even possible to pull something out your ass while your head is still in the way.

    I can see it now. Legions of Libertarians marching down the street, forcing people at the barrel of a gun - jamming their ideals down peoples' throats - to enjoy more rational freedoms.

    Keep projecting, slut...

  • Sock Puppet||

    Yes, bluecrane does seem to have a pre-occupation with jamming things into orifices.

  • ||

    Did you say anything or did you just vomit an excess of stupidity? Is this typical of you?

    So far I've only read a few of your posts and at least until now I've determined to give you the benefit of doubt and assume you're just a bit challenged in the thinking department.

  • ||

    Oh sorry, almost forgot to ask. Are you an ignorant and stupid child on other boards or exclusive to this one?

  • fendi bags||

    I hope you are really young because I doubt you will live long enough to see it.

    The Libertarians are their own worse enemy.

  • bags||

    "Libertarians are consistent, and we are actually derided for this!"

    So is the Catholic Church!

  • yup||

    So am I to understand that they way for Libertarianism to spread is to expand government? Now I understand that of legalizing drugs so they can be taxed and regulated idea comes from.

  • yup||

    So am I to understand that they way for Libertarianism to spread is to expand government? Now I understand that of legalizing drugs so they can be taxed and regulated idea comes from.

  • ||

    The internet revived the freedom movement. Obama just made it angry.

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  • scarf||

    It makes more sense if you don't, Loubot.

  • TANSTAAFL||

    Which will happen first?

    A libertarian President is elected or the Cubs winning the World Series?

    sidenote - this is extremely depressing since I am both an LP member and a Cubs fan, but the question intrigues me...

  • ||

    Here's an idea, instead of wasting money and energy on running a Presidential candidate, how about the Libertarian Party focus on getting Reps and Senators elected first and in running candidates for Reps and Senators, actually target races where the other choices are blatantly progressive or evangelical? A Libertarian President will NOT happen until America has some experience with Libertarians in congress and a Libertarian President will accomplish nothing if he or she does not have Libertarian allies in congress.

  • mike||

  • ||

    TO THE WEAK-KNEED REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT----Wake up america!!!! This goverment is the most corrupt we have had in years. The good old boy network is very much in charge.Mr. obama and pelosi are the puppet masters.How many of their good friends benefited by the agreement " what a farce. All of the u.sSenators voted for this. I am ashamed to say I voted for the these corupted self serving politicians.With good reason they picked an out of towner to be president.All u.s departments need an overhaul. We need to rid ourselves of the puppet masters and the dept heads that bow down to obama and pelosi.I am sick of the lip service I have been getting from these dummies over violations, their friends are getting away with.in the goverment . Barack Hussein Obama , threatens friends and bows TO Mmslim.
    INPEACH OBAMA ,GOD OPEN YOUR EYES.///For us there are only two possiblities: either we remain american or we come under the thumb of the communist Mmslim Barack Hussein OBAMA. This latter must not occur.THE COMMANDER.REPOST THIS

  • ||

    THE IRON HEEL OF OBAMA

    IN THE PAST FEW DAYS, OBAMA HAS LASHED OUT AGAINST CONSERVATIVES IN A WAY THAT SHOWS THEY ARE ABOUT TO CRACK DOWN ON ALL DISSENT IN THIS COUNTRY. LAST WEEK, BILL CLINTON CLAIMED SAID THAT THOSE ON THE RIGHT SHOULD TONE DOWN THEIR RHETORIC. A HACK WRITER NAMED JOE KLEIN GOT ON NBC AND SAID THAT REMARKS THAT HAVE BEEN MADE BY SARAH PALIN AND OTHER CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATORS CONSTITUTE SEDITION.

    OBAMA HAS BEEN GETTING BOLDER AND BOLDER. FIRST THEY PUT FORWARD THE IDEA OF REVIVING THE UNFAIRNESS DOCTRINE, WHICH WOULD DESTROY CONSERVATIVE TALK RADIO. THEN THEY CLAIMED THAT TOO MUCH “HATE” WAS COMING FROM THE TEA PARTIES AND THE RIGHT. AND NOW THEY’RE PUTTING IT IN TERMS OF ACTUAL SEDITION. THEY ARE TRYING TO ESTABLISH A LEGAL BASIS FOR SHUTTING UP THOSE THAT THEY DISAGREE WITH.

    THE IRON HEEL OF OBAMA IS COMING DOWN QUICKLY. IT IS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE OBAMA USES SOME EXTRA-CONSTITUTIONAL MEANS OF SILENCING HIS OPPONENTS. IT MAY COME AS AN EXECUTIVE ORDER. IT MAY COME AS A BILL FORCED THROUGH THE CONGRESS BY RECONCILIATION. OR IT MAY BE SOMETHING ELSE. BUT BE ASSURED THAT IT WILL COME. AND WHEN IT DOES, DON’T COUNT ON THE WEAK-KNEED REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT IN CONGRESS TO PROTECT YOU. THEY SEE WHICH WAY THE WIND IS BLOWING, AND THEY’RE GOING ALONG TO GET ALONG. ONLY ACTION BY THE PEOPLE THEMSELVES CAN STOP THIS NOW. MAYBE THE TEA PARTIERS, MAYBE SOMEONE ELSE. BUT IF ACTION IS NOT TAKEN SOON, THE IRON HEEL OF THE OBAMA WILL HAVE CRUSHED FREE SPEECH IN AMERICA.
    “INPEACH OBAMA THE COMMUNIST ,GOD OPEN YOUR EYES.//////For us there are only two possiblities: either we remain american or we come under the thumb of the communist Mmslim Barack Hussein OBAMA. This latter must not occur.the commander
    REPOST THIS IF YOU AGREE
    THE COMMANDER

  • ||

    OBAMA goes about his business by speaking the lie. II Thessalonians 2 says that he comes “with all deceivableness of unrighteousness.” Revelation 13:12 says, “and he spoke as a dragon….” Revelation 17 tells us that he was a false prophet, a prophet being one whose calling it is to speak and to teach. The armies of the world may have guns and tanks and bombs to bring people into submission; but the power of speech and ideas is a mighty power. In his initial attempts to destroy the cause of God, OBAMA used a serpent to deceive the woman with crooked speech: “You will be like God.” Now he uses a “dragon” who speaks crafty, lying words. His speeches will be heard by millions who will hang on his persuasive rhetoric. The content as well as the form of his speech will attract. Like most false prophets, he will even be sincere and passionate. But he is a liar. He adds dashes of truth to the mix, so that his lie tastes like truth. He will use all the right catchwords, using the language of the church, even throwing in a Bible text or two. But he is the ultimate Liar, and will deceive many.
    OBAMA will use every tool available: school teachers, politicians, news broadcasters, artists, musicians, scientists and doctors, lawyers and businessmen. All will be pressed into the service of OBAMA to deceive men. But especially he will use those whose calling it is to persuade and to teach �quot; men who claim to be preachers of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
    THE COMMANDER,,, REPOST THIS IF YOU AGREE .. THE END OF AMERICA

  • ||

    TO THE WEAK-KNEED REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT…..TO ALL THE COMMUNIST IN THE IG,FBI,CIA,AND U.S. Senators and the left wing media outlets////////07 Sept. 2008 11:48:04 EST, Televised “Meet the Press” THEN Senator //Mmslim Barack Hussein Obama, was asked about his stance on the
    American Flag.

    General Bill Ginn USAF (ret.) asked //Mmslim Barack Hussein Obama, to explain WHY he doesn’t follow protocol when the National Anthem is played. The General stated to Obama that according to the United States Code, Title 36, Chapter 10, Sec. 171 “…During rendition of the national anthem, when the flag is displayed, all present (except those in uniform) are expected to stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. Or, at the very least, ‘Stand and Face It’.”

    NOW GET THIS!! – - – - -
    ‘Senator’ //Mmslim Barack Hussein Obama, replied:

    “As I’ve said about the flag pin, I don’t want to be perceived as taking sides”.
    “There are a lot of people in the world to whom the American flag is a symbol of oppression..”
    “The anthem itself conveys a war-like message. You know, the bombs bursting in air and all that sort of thing.”

    (ARE YOU READY FOR THIS???)

    //Mmslim Barack Hussein Obama, continued: “The National Anthem should be ‘swapped’ for something less parochial and less bellicose. I like the song ‘I’d Like To Teach the World To Sing’. If that were our anthem, then, I might salute it. In my opinion, we should consider reinventing our National Anthem as well as ‘redesign’ our Flag to better offer our enemies hope and love. It’s my intention, if elected, to disarm America to the level of acceptance to our Middle East Brethren. If we, as a Nation of warring people, conduct ourselves like the nations of Islam, where peace prevails – - – perhaps a state or period of mutual accord could exist between our governments.”

    “When I become President, I will seek a pact of agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity, and a freedom from disquieting oppressive thoughts. We as a Nation, have placed upon the nations of Islam, an unfair injustice which is WHY my wife disrespects the Flag and she and I have attended several flag burning ceremonies in the past”.

    “Of course now, I have found myself about to become the President of the United States and I have put my hatred aside. I will use my power to bring CHANGE to this Nation, and offer the people a new path… My wife and I look forward to becoming our Country’s First black Family. Indeed, CHANGE is about to overwhelm the United States of America “INPEACH OBAMA THE COMMUNIST ,GOD OPEN YOUR EYES.//////For us there are only two possiblities: either we remain american or we come under the thumb of the communist Mmslim Barack Hussein OBAMA. This latter must not occur.the commander
    REPOST THIS IF YOU AGREE

  • ||

    TO THE WEAK-KNEED REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT…..Wake up america!!!! This goverment is the most corrupt we have had in years. The good old boy network is very much in charge.Mr. obama and pelosi are the puppet masters.How many of their good friends benefited by the agreement ” what a farce. All of the u.sSenators voted for this. I am ashamed to say I voted for the these corupted self serving politicians.With good reason they picked an out of towner to be president.All u.s departments need an overhaul. We need to rid ourselves of the puppet masters and the dept heads that bow down to obama and pelosi.I am sick of the lip service I have been getting from these dummies over violations, their friends are getting away with.in the goverment . Barack Hussein Obama , threatens friends and bows to Mmslim.
    INPEACH OBAMA ,GOD OPEN YOUR EYES.///For us there are only two possiblities: either we remain american or we come under the thumb of the communist Mmslim Barack Hussein OBAMA. This latter must not occur.THE COMMANDER

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  • Ken Faulkenberry||

    Obama has do a lot TO America but as you have pointed out, he has done something very important for America. I have written an article titled "What Obama Has Done FOR America" at:
    http://blog.arborinvestmentpla.....or-america

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