An Anti-War Lesson for Tea Partiers

Former Reason intern Jeff Winkler catches up with the anti-war left:

Back in 2003, the lefty site MoveOn.org "flexed [its muscle with] 'virtual marches,' in which tens of thousands of protesters jammed Senate and White House phones, fax machines and e-mail boxes with antiwar messages." Originally founded to encourage the public to "move on" from Bill Clinton's sexual escapades, MoveOn.org repositioned itself as a heavyweight in the early 2000s anti-war movement.

This time around? A little less than a week after the attack, MoveOn.org has articles bashing "Out-of-Control Republicans in Wisconsin," but hardly a mention of the bombing in Libya. Well, there is a post noting that John McCain called Muammar Gaddafi an "interesting man" on Twitter two years ago. So much for moving on. [...]

"It was certainly easier to mobilize under Republican presidents," said [Code Pink's Medea] Benjamin. "A lot of the organizations that are bigger than ours are affiliated with the Democratic party and they are reluctant to criticize the president."

In related (and relatedly predictable) news, here's a fancy new academic paper [PDF] explaining how proximity to the Democratic Party basically neutralized the anti-war movement. Which underlines, I think, a point Nick Gillespie and I argue explicitly in The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong with America–one reason that the Tea Party is sticking while the anti-war netroots went POOF! is precisely because limited-government activists have refused to be domesticated by one of the two major political parties. The strength is in becoming a swing voter, then maintaining that distance by speaking from conviction instead of political expedience.

So what has MoveOn done with all that fancy new access to power? As Peter Suderman demonstrated in his great feature from the March issue, the number-one netroots outfit will likely have its most lasting impact be not on the conduct of foreign policy, but on the control over...the Internet.

Watch Reason.tv's report on what happened to the anti-war movement:

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  • Old Mexican||

    This time around? A little less than a week after the attack, MoveOn.org has articles bashing "Out-of-Control Republicans in Wisconsin," but hardly a mention of the bombing in Libya. Well, there is a post noting that John McCain called Muammar Gaddafi an "interesting man" on Twitter two years ago. So much for moving on.


    "Well, MoveOn is not the left"!
    "So, who IS the left, and where's the anti-war left?"
    "Well... the left is pliable."

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    +1

  • secular0ne||

    The neo-liberals support war President GW0bama, the secular egalitarian liberals are opposed to GW0bama's illegal wars. GW0bamam is a war criminal and should be in prison with his cousin Dick Cheney!

  • ||

    A little less than a week after the attack, MoveOn.org has articles bashing "Out-of-Control Republicans in Wisconsin," but hardly a mention of the bombing in Libya.

    To be fair, it is probably a little difficult to talk with Obama's penis in one's mouth.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Aresen,

    To be fair, it is probably a little difficult to talk with Obama's penis in one's mouth.


    Or hold a sign with both hands holding his buttocks...

    (Gee, this imagery is sure getting creepy...)

  • rather ||

    To be fair, it is probably a little difficult to talk with Obama's penis in one's mouth.

    And you would know that from your own experience? NTTIAWWT

  • ||

    You're so fucking stupid. It's amazing.

  • kbolino||

    +1 for peculiar ad hominem
    +2 if you actually thought this was an intelligent comment

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: rather,

    And you would know that from your own experience?


    No, he saw My Own Private Idaho and figured it out.

  • MNG||

    I rented that movie thinking it would be some kind of 80s David Lynch film. Five minutes in I had to wiki it thinking, WTF is this film?

  • rather||

    http://www.sunnycrittenden.com.....wjobs-101/

    This will help you get the hang of it

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    Perhaps it's a Dune based romance?

  • Shmenge||

    Well, it is one of the B-52's best songs

  • ||

    So Rather, how is it going cheerleading Obama's new war?

  • rather||

    Joshua my little $400 tart, I wrote about my political isolationism March 22 here http://rctlfy.wordpress.com/20.....in-brazil/

  • AU H20||

    Rather, I'm going to indulge you for exactly one second, if nothing else to see if you are, in fact, even slightly intelligent.

    What exactly do you mean by political isolationism? Perhaps you could explain that a little better, and sum up the gist of your general article.

    Clearly, if your eloquence makes your blog so worth reading, you shouldn't need more than a few paragraphs to enlighten us libertarian rubes with your keen, razor sharp wit and simple, clear writing style. Should be breeze, right?

  • rather||

    Sorry pee water, you bore me too

  • AU H20||

    Ah, so that's an: I'm a stupid cunt who can't make an intelligent argument. Prepared to be hounded through the comments, bitch.

  • ||

    Brutal photo and alt-text, Matt. Just brutal.

  • ||

    I would have gone with "dog shit," but that's just me.

  • "rectal"||

    Hang on Schmoopy!
    Schmoopy hang on!

  • Ted S.||

    The first picture or the second one? :-)

  • Old Mexican||

    In other news, Thomas Woods challenge to Mark Levin goes unchallenged - as Mark Levin simply goes silent and pretends there was no challenge to begin with!

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/woods/woods168.html

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/blo.....83643.html

  • ||

    Mark "Spermy High Pitch Voice" Levin?

    Are you kidding?

    That cocksucker can't find the Constitution with his buttflaps wide open and Glenn Beck providing tongue lube.

    He is a theocrat who thinks the Establishment Clause is "fiction".

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: shrike,

    That cocksucker can't find the Constitution with his buttflaps wide open and Glenn Beck providing tongue lube.


    That's the whole point of the post, shrikey.

  • ||

    shriek doesn't do reading comprehension, dude. It's a little outside his range.

  • PIRS||

    Shrike assumes that libertarian = conservative. The whole concept of someone who supports both economic liberty and personal liberty is a little beyond him.

  • ||

    Point won for Old Mexican then.

    I admit my error. (now I will read your link).

    You got me this time!

  • PIRS||

    sorry corss post

  • ||

    Obvious spoof shriek.

  • yonemoto||

    whoa slow down there shrike. Mark Levin may be a douchebag, and a neo-con, but a theocrat he is not. Have you ever even listened to his show?

  • ||

    It's shit like this that makes me still, every time, astonished that partisans continue to insist that they're not hypocritical, integrity free scum. How can they think that anyone would believe them?

  • Tony||

    Because there's absolutely nothing partisan about equating Iraq with Libya.

  • ||

    You're not just a sockpuppet, you're a really stupid sockpuppet.

  • Tony||

    Well it's difficult to match the intellectual firepower required to contribute nothing to any discussion except "ur stoopid."

  • Ynot||

    Sometimes the truth just speaks for itself

  • Apogee||

    Tony|3.28.11 @ 5:25PM|#

    Well it's difficult to match the intellectual firepower required to contribute nothing to any discussion...

    Yet somehow you manage.
    Over and over.

  • ||

    He's not a sockpuppet, even if he does like things shoved in his hole.

  • rather||

    Every bible thumper's fantasy.

  • Ynot||

    Rather shut her computer and resigned herself to another night alone with her only friend, and wondered, "will the batteries last through the night"?

  • Nipplemancer||

    only a drilldo can satisfy such a woman, using line voltage means never having to worry about your AA's dying just before orgasm.

  • rather ||

    Poor Nipplemancer doesn't satisfy a woman without running to Home Depot. lol

  • rather ||

    Or, maybe cat got your tongue?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Because there's absolutely nothing partisan about equating Iraq with Libya.


    Oh indeed, they are not comparable. In one, a country was attacked by the US without provocation, their bases destroyed, their defenders blown to bits, it was not called a "war" but instead a military action, and was justified as a humanitarian effort to rid the country of a ruthless dictator!

    Whereas the other action happened in a country that's in the middle of the Tigris and the Euphrates. Totally, totally not comparable! Absolutely NOT.

  • MNG||

    Yeah, both actions involved military actions against others, but do you deny the scope and kind is pretty different? We had over a quarter of a million ground troops go in in Iraq. Is that just a silly minor difference?

  • fish||

    Yeah Obama just wants to "put the tip in"!

  • MNG||

    I guess for someone like you Clinton's Sudan strike=D-Day...

  • fish||

    Wow....There's one from the greatest hits album.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    Yeah, both actions involved military actions against others, but do you deny the scope and kind is pretty different?


    Yes, I do see your point. The dead Libyans should take comfort in the fact that the scope of the war is much different than the war in Iraq.

    We had over a quarter of a million ground troops go in in Iraq. Is that just a silly minor difference?


    I am sure the dead Libyans should feel comfort in the fact that their country is ONLY being bombed and not invaded by ground troops.

    Good points there, MNG.

  • MNG||

    So you are a total pacifist? This action is wrong and Iraq is wrong because they both involve the killing of people?

  • Cruz||

    Is killing innocent people wrong? Since when?

  • MNG||

    So what do we do about the Libyans who were killing innocent people? Is it OK to kill them? What if doing so also killed some number of innocent persons, though a far smaller number than the first set of Libyans would have killed?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    So you are a total pacifist?


    I am no pacifist. I am more than willing to blow your head off if you ever dare try your relativist shit (i.e. thieving) in my property. I do find the action of killing people that did not attack me or you objectionable and reprehensible, no matter how handsome or how well chiseled the pectorals of the leader that ordered the killings.

    This action is wrong and Iraq is wrong because they both involve the killing of people?


    Wow! Like that's not reason enough?

    You're creepy. Like, Ted Bundy creepy, MNG.

  • MNG||

    And the fact that the people being targeted in Libya were on the verge of slaughtering thousands of other people in Libya in an attempt to put down their uprising against a despot, that lil' fact doesn't factor in? Again, according to your logic the cop shooting the attempted murderer as he tries to commit the crime is doing something wrong...

  • fish||

    We're remarkably selective about whom we save.....sitting on a shitload of oil and we're there for ya buddy. Nothing but sand....and the US starts shuffling its feet and looking at its watch.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    And the fact that the people being targeted in Libya were on the verge of slaughtering thousands of other people in Libya in an attempt to put down their uprising against a despot, that lil' fact doesn't factor in?


    No. You're making a value judgment in favor of one faction, without considering the fact that the people fighting on the side of their government may have a totally valid reason to do so. That does not make their government less tyrannical, but certainly one can understand the motivations of the people supporting it (just think: Tony.) Are you so willing to accept that they are blown to kingdom come only because they belong to the faction you happened not to choose?

    Imagine aliens from outer space coming in 1860, looking at a clear aggressive move by a big territory and government against a smaller and less industrialized neighbor, and deciding to intervene for the underdog. Do you think the aliens are justified in their intervention?

  • MNG||

    This is a dodge by you. Perhaps the UN and others are incorrect in presuming that Gaddafi and his forces represent the greater threat to human welfare and liberty of the Libyan people. In that case it's an empirical problem you have with them. But they seem to be acting on their stated and entirely reasonable belief that they saved the good guys from being massacred.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    This is a dodge by you. Perhaps the UN and others are incorrect in presuming that Gaddafi and his forces represent the greater threat to human welfare and liberty of the Libyan people.

    This is just as much of a dodge by you. Why should the US get involved in just Libya? Why not some other Turd World shithole where some leadership faction is killing people in the non-leadership faction? Where exactly does it end?

    And for that matter, how exactly should this little "kinetic action" of ours end? Unless your answer is "with Ghadaffi's death and everyone in his network," you better be good and prepared for some major terrorist action to take place against us in the not-too-distant future. It's the height of stupidity to give someone who has a history of financing and planning such acts, yet had been effectively neutered as an antagonist up until now, a perfectly good reason to start up the process all over again. If you're going to do that, you better be prepared to kill that guy and his associates stone dead and do it quick.

  • Apogee||

    Where exactly does it end?

    When a Democrat is no longer in the White House.

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    "This is just as much of a dodge by you. Why should the US get involved in just Libya? Why not some other Turd World shithole where some leadership faction is killing people in the non-leadership faction? Where exactly does it end?"

    Isn't there something to the argument that the US (or anyone else) can have a right to intervene without having the obligation to do so? That is, can't we say that the US has the right to intervene in Zimbabwe and Iran and the Sudan and North Korea and Libya, but can pick and choose between wars based on whatever criteria it likes, including, say, how easy it will be?

    "Unless your answer is "with Ghadaffi's death and everyone in his network," you better be good and prepared for some major terrorist action to take place against us in the not-too-distant future."

    Yeah, but that's just an argument that it's imprudent to go against a murderer as long as he's dangerous - it may true, but that doesn't make it wrong to do it.

    I'm actually undecided on the war - I don't agree with the collateral damage doctrine, but I'm not sure whether every civilian casualty sullies the whole effort.

  • This Dave||

    Is there anything Libya's ruler did to his

  • ||

    I'm not convinced that Gadaffhi's side was really going to engage in a massive slaughter of opponents.

    The same argument was used in Kosovo, but this time there is much less justification, given that Lybia's government hadn't recently engaged in ethnic cleaning in a recent war.

    I really didn't see any evidence that there was going to be any wide scale reprisals against civilians - just military action to retake the cities.

    IMO, the concept was trumped up because the West just wanted to see the wave of revolutions continue. But unfortunately, by intervening they have probably done little to avoid it getting stalled. If anything, the threat of civil war in Lybia is probably giving Arab dissidents pause.

    A crushing defeat for the rebels wouldn't help much either, but might have cost Ghadaffi more domestic support.

    I don't think we can presume that he would have been bold enough to start mass executions of anyone who was seen in the streets during the protests though.

  • ||

    So small unprovoked wars of choice good, big unprovoked wars of choice bad?

    I think I might have found the Obama doctrine.

    "Be a small Bush."

  • ||

    Or Bush with Hitler.

  • Big Fan||

    That's very insightful.

  • PIRS||

    "Well, there is a post noting that John McCain called Muammar Gaddafi an "interesting man" on Twitter two years ago."

    JOhn McCain, as I recall, was not warmly recieved by the more conservative elements within the Republican Party. The primary reason he chose Palin as his running mate was in hopes of firing up the base. This actually worked to some degree. Radio pundits like Beck and Limbaugh have never loved McCain.

  • Tony||

    Unlike the ever-consistent Reason which has been equally hysterical about government deficits every year for the past decade. Or not.

    Of course, while browsing the archives looking for any evidence this magazine gave a single shit about debt during the Bush years, I did notice that it hasn't always had as its primary mission sticking its tongue out at liberals for every single perceived imperfection and mocking their every belief and cause as a sort of thinking man's version of the Drudge Report.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Unlike the ever-consistent Reason which has been equally hysterical about government deficits every year for the past decade. Or not.


    We have today's "Head In Sand" award winner!!!!

  • PIRS||

  • Restoras||

    A+
    He's tried that before, and had his nose rubbed in it, but still doesn't learn.

  • Sudden||

    And I think its completely reasonable that the percentage of posts outraged at the deficit has grown in almost direct proportion to the actual deficit as well.

  • Tony||

    Yet in all other ways, Bush=Obama?

  • PIRS||

    Tony, a Model T Ford = an Alpha Romeo in the sense that they are both automobiles. They can both get you to the grocery store. But one of them can get you there much faster than the other.

  • Jersey Patriot||

    Are you going to take your ball and go home?

  • Ynot||

    No, he's going to take the balls (and the shaft), just ram it home

  • ||

    I think you're wrong about Reason's record, but nonetheless, sometimes deficits and debts are hysterically dangerous.

  • PIRS||

    "I did notice that it hasn't always had as its primary mission sticking its tongue out at liberals for every single perceived imperfection and mocking their every belief"

    By the way, we are the ACTUAL liberals. You side is the socialist / progressive one.

  • Tony||

    Yeah you're the type of 'liberals' who believe in the least amount of individual liberty for the most people, i.e., libertarians.

  • MNG||

    Tony, once you understand that liberty is folded up into property like a Taco Bell burrito you will understand...

  • PIRS||

    MNG, do you believe I have the right to put a Ron Paul poster on your bedroom wall?

  • MNG||

    I like Ron Paul so that's cool (though creepy, do you put posters of Paul on your wall?).

  • PIRS||

    LOL, no, I don't. OK, I will pick someone I am sure you hate. How about a poster promoting Fox New's Huckabee Program with his cheesy grin.

  • MNG||

    I like Huckabee. He's a good speaker and strikes me as a genuine and compassionate human being. You can search my past comments on him, I like the guy.

    Try harder, someone like Pandering Palin.

  • PIRS||

    OK, the point is do I have the RIGHT to do this without your permission, not whether or not you like it. Fine, would a NeoNAZI have a right to enter your home without your permission and put a racist poster in your bedroom? I am not asking if you would WANT this done, I am asking about your view of property rights.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,
    How about coming into your house and paint it a color you do not like?

  • Old Mexican||

    I like Ron Paul so that's cool (though creepy, do you put posters of Paul on your wall?).


    PIRS, be careful: he's luring you.

  • Apogee||

    He's luring himself. Admitting that you'll gladly let others trample your rights as long as they support people you like goes a long way in inadvertently revealing the lefty mindset.

  • ||

    ::blinks::

    Even for the two of you, this is bad. If you're going to invent weird theories out of whole cloth, I know you two can do better than this.

  • ||

    once you understand that liberty is folded up into property like a Taco Bell burrito you will understand...

    It's pretty hard to do anything if the government can simply take away all your tools with which to do it any time it wants.

  • PIRS||

    Tony, can you give an examble of a belief that you believe we have that fits this claim.

  • MNG||

    Heres some.

    Laws allowing employees to keep firearms in their car on company property and laws prohibiting drug testing of employees.

    There are many, many times more employees than employers. They would like to be able to carry guns in their cars and do drugs, but many do not for fear of losing their livelihood. If those two laws were passed a small number of people would have their "liberty" restricted but for a greater number of people their options would increase.

  • PIRS||

    Do you believe we support these things or oppose these things? I am not sure what you are getting at. These are both cases where many employers would fire someone for fear of lawsuits. If you want to get into a tort reform debate, we could. But this is a case where one law is trying to correct for another "law" [or set of legal precidents if you prefer].

  • MNG||

    PIRS
    I'd support the tort reform that would protect employers from being liable for drug/gun related injuries just because they don't have such policies if you'd support a law preventing employers from conditioning employment on them.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    Laws allowing employees to keep firearms in their car on company property and laws prohibiting drug testing of employees.[...]They would like to be able to carry guns in their cars and do drugs, but many do not for fear of losing their livelihood. If those two laws were passed a small number of people would have their "liberty" restricted but for a greater number of people their options would increase.


    The mind of the statist fuck: Don't kill the fleas because the dog is only one against hundreds.

  • MNG||

    You realize your analogy only seems cute because you're comparing hundreds of fleas to one dog. But Im talking about hundreds of employees compared to a much smaller number of employers, all humans dude.

    I understand many libertarians dont think much of workers but fleas?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    You realize your analogy only seems cute because you're comparing hundreds of fleas to one dog.


    I did not think of it in terms of its cuteness, MNG.

    But Im talking about hundreds of employees compared to a much smaller number of employers, all humans dude.


    You dehumanized the employers by saying there's a much LOWER number of them. I showed you the absurdity of your comparison by transposing the situation as a dog and fleas scenario.

    The employer and employees are just as human, as you said. Why would the employer suddenly lose HIS property rights to benefit people that only come to his business to EXCHANGE labor for currency is beyond me. You seem not to see a problem with that, which is exactly like saying the fleas have claim.

  • MNG||

    "You dehumanized the employers by saying there's a much LOWER number of them."

    Not at all, I simply counted them as fully human and found their important interests outweighed by a greater number of equally considered humans. They didn't lose b/c they are less than human, they lost b/c there are less humans in that group.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    Not at all, I simply counted them as fully human and found their important interests outweighed by a greater number of equally considered humans.


    That would necessarily make them LESS than human, if their interests do not carry the same weight as the other humans.

    LEARN TO ARGUE!!!!!

    They didn't lose b/c they are less than human, they lost b/c there are less humans in that group.


    This is circular thinking. Either rights are qualitative or they are not. If they are quantitative, then people whose rights are outweighted by the rights of others are LESSER HUMANS. You cannot go around that.

    LEARN TO ARGUE!!!!

  • MNG||

    Dude, learn to read.

    Their interests count exactly the same, but they are outnumbered. They lose for the same reason that if you consider dollars totally equal you would choose a bucket containing a hundred over one containing five.

    Interestingly it is you who would count people as lesser humans, as you would have five equally weighted inviduals outweigh a hundred equally weighted ones, thereby reducing the value of the latter group to something under .05 that of the former!

  • MNG||

    If I laid one hundred dollars out in one hand and five in the other and told you to take one and destroy one I guess you would choose the five to take? I mean, you don't want to treat the five as "LESSER DOLLARS" do you?

    Of course if you equally valued and considered all 105 dollars involved you would choose the 100. Likewise if you equally value all human liberty then when the liberty of a hundred can be furthered by the restriction of five then you have not treated the latter as "LESSER HUMANS" by so choosing, in fact it was the only decision to make if everyone counts equally...Forget arguing, you need to focus on arithmetic!

  • Ray Pew||

    Of course if you equally valued and considered all 105 dollars involved you would choose the 100. Likewise if you equally value all human liberty then when the liberty of a hundred can be furthered by the restriction of five then you have not treated the latter as "LESSER HUMANS" by so choosing, in fact it was the only decision to make if everyone counts equally...Forget arguing, you need to focus on arithmetic!

    M, I'm not sure why you believe that numerical values are equivalent to humans and moral theory, but it fails miserably.

    By restricting the actions of some, while condoning said action for an anointed group, is the very scenario of "lesser humans". Your argument fully supports Jim Crow style systems. Taken to the extreme, it argues that the execution of some is acceptable, so long as the many deem it so.

  • ||

    Wouldn't it be nice if everyone was an independent contracter?

    It's interesting how progressives SEEM to want people to be liberated from the oppression of the employer-employee relationship. But the minute they decide to start their own businesses, they become evil capitalists.

    Progressives actually LIKE it when everyone works for a large corporate entity. It's neat and easy to regulate and fit's nicely with their worldview of bis business controlling all the "jobs" which must then be distributed in an equitable fashion.

    You can't have people just willy nilly going off and creating new jobs or inventing jobs for themselves. That would fuck everything up. They'd have to stop thinking of themselves as oppressed workers at the mercy of employers, and then where would we be?

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    The employees can still do drugs and keep guns in their cars - they just can't do it AND take the money of someone who doesn't want them to do that. How is that a restriction on their liberty?

  • Tony||

    Your lack of a tolerance for social safety nets, for one. All of the liberty you guys believe in is the theoretical kind, and almost universally put in a zero-sum relationship with government. And thus it only would really apply to people who have the resources to enjoy their liberty without the help of government. However much you want to dismantle government, the freedom remaining would be the freedom for people with the resources to employ a replacement for the services lost--not most people.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Your lack of a tolerance for social safety nets, for one.


    You're confusing "social safety nets" with "government funded" safety nets. You're intellectually dishonest.

    All of the liberty you guys believe in is the theoretical kind


    All of the new functional kitchen you want is in the theoretical kind.

    and almost universally put in a zero-sum relationship with government.


    But that's only because the relationship between society and government is a zero-sum game, Tony. Nothing fancier than that.

    And thus it only would really apply to people who have the resources to enjoy their liberty without the help of government.


    Ah, so you think liberty = having wads of money.

    However much you want to dismantle government, the freedom remaining would be the freedom for people with the resources to employ a replacement for the services lost--not most people.


    "Services lost"? Wow.

  • PIRS||

    I am all for social safety nets, I just don't think people should have their property stolen to fund it.

    The truth of the matter is, it is the poor who always suffer the most from government regulations and it is those of wealth who have the greatest access to the reigns of government.

    Who is more likely to be thrown in jail for doing drugs? A wealthy and famous rock star or a poor black kid from the inner city? Who is more likely to have his home taken via eminent domain a rich person or someone just making ends meet?

  • Tony||

    I am all for social safety nets, I just don't think people should have their property stolen to fund it.

    Hence the fundamental difference--you're for social safety nets in theory, but you know as well as I that there'd never be enough charity and philanthropy to make nearly as efficient and equitable a system as you can have under government. To me, and I think other liberals, placing taxation (what you call property theft) above all other evils in the world is simply a huge lack of perspective. It is an intellectual and moral error. All you have to do is tolerate taxation (and anyone who believes in any amount of government must), then you can start talking about real freedom and not just the hand-waving theoretical kind.

    You're right that the poor suffer more than the rich under government (though that story seems to change depending on what we're talking about). I wonder how much relatively better the poor would do in its absence.

  • MNG||

    "To me, and I think other liberals, placing taxation (what you call property theft) above all other evils in the world is simply a huge lack of perspective."

    +100

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    "To me, and I think other liberals, placing taxation (what you call property theft) above all other evils in the world is simply a huge lack of perspective."

    You're about as liberal as Stalin.

    +100

    Hey, that showed better math skills than Tony's ever displayed.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    [...] there'd never be enough charity and philanthropy to make nearly as efficient and equitable a system as you can have under government.


    How do you know that?

    To me, and I think other liberals, placing taxation (what you call property theft)


    But that's only because it is, Tony. Nothing fancier.

    above all other evils in the world is simply a huge lack of perspective.


    Yeah, that's it: being against plunder is the result of a "lack of perspective."

    All you have to do is tolerate taxation (and anyone who believes in any amount of government must), then you can start talking about real freedom and not just the hand-waving theoretical kind.


    Non sequitur. Even if one tolerated taxation, that is not a sine qua non for a conversation on freedom.

    You're right that the poor suffer more than the rich under government. I wonder how much relatively better the poor would do in its absence.


    Just look at how they do when government shuts down. At worst, nothing happens.

  • yonemoto||

    "you know as well as I that there'd never be enough charity and philanthropy to make nearly"

    Citation please?

    "efficient and equitable a system as you can have under government"

    Haha. Government. Efficient? Equitable? You mean, like how efficient government is at doling out public education.

  • Ray Pew||

    To me, and I think other liberals, placing taxation (what you call property theft) above all other evils in the world is simply a huge lack of perspective.

    Tony, you know this is a strawman argument. All libertarians believe that laws against smoking dope is the greatest evil in the world.

    Get your ridiculous perjoratives right, please.

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    "you know as well as I that there'd never be enough charity and philanthropy to make nearly as efficient and equitable a system as you can have under government."

    No, clearly we don't know that. Go ahead and make a compelling argument to that effect.

    "To me, and I think other liberals, placing taxation (what you call property theft) above all other evils in the world is simply a huge lack of perspective."

    We don't put theft above all other evils - it's almost certainly below murder and rape and torture. Which is why we're against those things too.

    "All you have to do is tolerate taxation (and anyone who believes in any amount of government must), then you can start talking about real freedom and not just the hand-waving theoretical kind."

    Unsupported assertion.

  • ||

    it only would really apply to people who have the resources to enjoy their liberty without the help of government

    You mean like how people who own houses are free to enjoy their property without eminent domain seizures because of property rights.

    Oh, that's right, you don't believe in property rights, and you're ok with eminent domain seizures.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Yeah you're the type of 'liberals' who believe in the least amount of individual liberty for the most people, i.e., libertarians.


    Up is down.

    For Tony, "liberty" means being free to help oneself with the property of another.

    So, in that sense, yes: My ideology provides the "least" amount of liberty, as I am ready to blow your head off if you try to help yourself with my property.

  • Tony||

    Yes, OM, because you believe that taxation is the worst infringement of freedom imaginable, you ignore all the other infringements that government protects against, to the total detriment of your philosophy's freedom calculus.

  • MNG||

    It's not so much that they find "stealing" as the worst evil in the world but that they rank it equally with all others. Or perhaps better put it is not the libertarianism that is so problematic with so many here but the deonotlogical libertarianism. It leads to some truly strange ideas, like that if you could prevent two stealings by engaging in two, or protect two properties by violating one, you still are barred.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    It leads to some truly strange ideas, like that if you could prevent two stealings by engaging in two, or protect two properties by violating one, you still are barred.


    Once your life or property are at the other end, I don't believe you will feel so cavalier about stealing with a "good" cause. I have this nagging feeling you will feel quite deontological about the morality of the act when it's against you.

  • MNG||

    Wow, and this from the guy who calls out others for appeals to emotion!

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    Wow, and this from the guy who calls out others for appeals to emotion!


    Come again?

  • Ray Pew||

    Wow, and this from the guy who calls out others for appeals to emotion!

    In this context, it is entirely appropriate. The concept of rights is fundamentally one of rational individuality and the a priori understanding that other individuals share the same moral considerations.

  • MNG||

    If you think liberty is a good, that in the long run and for the most part it leads to increased welfare for people, then I actually agree with you. I think every restriction on it should be scrutinized relentlessly, in fact that's a very useful function for a libertarian deonotlogist.

    But once you start telling me that the principles of liberty cannot be violated under any and all conceivable circumstances because it would violate the most important rights in the world, rights which seemingly can be divorced from the welfare of those that bear them, then I think we've gone into goofy market fundamentalist land.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    If you think liberty is a good, that in the long run and for the most part it leads to increased welfare for people, then I actually agree with you.


    Liberty is not a "good," it's a right. If what you're saying is that liberty is good (not "a" good), then you would be correct.

    By the way, whether people's welfare is increased by having more freedom or not is not the argument for freedom, as a person's welfare is entirely his responsibility, even if you were willing to give a guy money.

    But once you start telling me that the principles of liberty cannot be violated under any and all conceivable circumstances because it would violate the most important rights in the world, rights which seemingly can be divorced from the welfare of those that bear them, then I think we've gone into goofy market fundamentalist land.


    Yeah, right: "Once an individual's freedom and rights serve as obstacles to giving other people freebies, then I have a problem with it and you're cuckoo."

    Thanks for clearing that one for me, MNG.

  • MNG||

    "By the way, whether people's welfare is increased by having more freedom or not is not the argument for freedom, as a person's welfare is entirely his responsibility"

    There's where the crazy starts. Man was made for the Sabbath, not the Sabbath for Man...

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    There's where the crazy starts. Man was made for the Sabbath, not the Sabbath for Man...


    You misunderstood, MNG. I said that the welfare argument is not the proper argument for freedom. Freedom is good in itself, whether a person wants to take care of himself or wants to starve to death. Having another guy take care of the person may improve that person's welfare, but certainly that does NOT increase his freedom. "Welfare improvement" is not the sine qua non of "freedom."

    It's like saying that freedom is good because I can improve my overall eating habits. While that may be so, the fact that I can improve my eating habits does not make it an argument for freedom, as freedom is good in itself.

  • MNG||

    The Pharisees thought observing the Sabbath was a good in itself too. So good that when it conflicted with the welfare of a human being the latter had to be outweighed...

    I'm fine with saying freedom is a good apart from its instrumental value to human welfare or rather that freedom is an important component of human welfare. But it is A component if there are circumstances where a slavish adherence to it would damage other important components then it must be at least concievable that at times it should give way to them. Anything else would fetishize liberty as the Pharisees did the Sabbath.

  • ||

    You mean like if you seize someone fully paid up house to pay off the mortgages of two other's, thats "protecting two people's property"?

    Right? Cause the banks don't you know "own" those leins, they are just flimsy pieces of paper that don't mean anything because the people who hold them are evil people, because they have more money than you.

    Essentially.

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    "It leads to some truly strange ideas..."

    It must be nice knowing what the right answer is going in. That way, you don't need to engage with your opponent's arguments, you just need to point out that he comes to the wrong conclusions.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Yes, OM, because you believe that taxation is the worst infringement of freedom imaginable


    Actually, it is killing. But go on, invent more strawmans for me - it's fascinating.

    you ignore all the other infringements that government protects against


    You mean like eminent domain?

  • Tony||

    How about the enforcement of laws against murder?

  • Apogee||

    Wow, what nonsense. Exactly where are the citations of libertarians pressing for the rescinding of laws against murder?

    You occupy a fantasy world in your own head.

  • Tony||

    That would be OM. He thinks him and his gun are sufficient to create law and order. Apparently he has the world's biggest gun.

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    No, I think OM is ancap, so, like me, he probably thinks laws against murder should be enforced by voluntary associations. That is, it's absolutely fine to stop murder, but it's not okay to force someone else to help you stop murder. You also can't use innocent people as human shields if someone's shooting at you. Tough world.
    And yes, there is a chance that murderers could triumph over the rest of us, if they have a bigger gun. And yes, it's important that the good guys win. No, it is not guaranteed. How is this different to any other conceivable system, and how does it even begin to justify theft?

  • Restoras||

    http://reason.com/archives/200.....get-buster

    Bad Tony! [smacks nose with rolled up newspaper] Bad Tony! Next time try harder! [drags Tony by the collar and unceremoniously dumps him on the front porch for the night]

  • Restoras||

    This is just too easy...
    http://reason.com/archives/200.....nding-bush
    "The fiscal mess. Bush's tax cuts and spending increases turned a $236 billion federal surplus in fiscal 2000 into a deficit of more than $400 billion four years later, an astonishing reversal. That the current year's deficit may come in at something like $300 billion is little cause for comfort; with Baby Boomers due to retire and an expensive Medicare drug benefit kicking in, the country's fiscal position is weak."

    Here's another for you to chew on when you are done with that old tennis ball...
    http://reason.com/archives/200.....h-outspend

  • ||

    this magazine gave a single shit about debt during the Bush years

    You are an idiot.

  • Apogee||

    As often as it is displayed that Tony is an idiot, one might think that, at some point, Tony might examine his beliefs.

  • AU H20||

    Honestly, the only way we are ever going to see a widespread anti-war movement in the US again is if we institute a draft. Hell, this Libya thing will probably be a non-issue if the rebels keep rolling Gaddafi's(how the hell do you spell his name?) thugs.

    That isn't to say that the Libyan war is right or constitutional; rather that Americans always put efficacy, especially from a President, over constitutionality. Furthermore, no one's taxes will go up to pay for this, no spending cuts will be made for this, and no kid will be sent off against their will to die for the Libyans (yes, I do understand that not all the military likes actions like this, but with an all volunteer force there is the "You signed up for this" argument).

    Seriously, the only way Presidential warmaking power will ever be seriously curtailed is if we have a secret war ala Cambodia, but much larger in scale. And, in an era when no secret is safe from a dumbass on Twitter or Facebook, I doubt that happens.

    Seriously, I do not look forward to the end of this Libya thing, when a bunch of smug asshats are going to get on TV and go, "See, it doesn't matter whether it was Constitutional. It worked! This President is a great leader, etc."

  • ||

    Honestly, the only way we are ever going to see a widespread anti-war movement in the US again is if we institute a draft.

    If, for some reason, they were to allow Joe Biden to pilot Air Force One or Marine One resulting in a Boehner presidency, the anti-war left would resurrect faster than Lazarus.

  • Jason||

    Gaddafi's(how the hell do you spell his name?)

    Pick one, any one!

  • peachy||

    Until the rebels win, and then a new civil war breaks out over who gets to be in charge now (preceded, of course, by the obligatory massacre of anyone affiliated with the old regime.) Because that's the fundamental issue here - not whether we can topple the G-man (when "we" is NATO, the answer is "yes") but what happens after. You might recall that the initial phase of the Iraq imbroglio went swimmingly too...

  • AU H20||

    Yeah, but the way I figure is that, as long as we don't have boots on the ground, Americans simply will not care. And, even when they do, by the time that the anti-war movement gets it shit together enough to oppose this, we'll be in the country and using the same, "If you break it, you fix it" logic that is currently keeping us in Iraq and Afghanistan (not that I'm not sympathetic to that logic in both those cases- I just wish we hadn't broken the damn vase to begin with).

  • fish||

    I did notice that it hasn't always had as its primary mission sticking its tongue out at liberals for every single perceived imperfection and mocking their every belief and cause as a sort of thinking man's version of the Drudge Report.

    Really Tony? Whining now....I thought you were a lefty warrior....a bullet proof stalwart representing the noble ideas that the founders held for redistributive justice.....blah blah blah!

    And here you are ...all wet eyed about being mocked!? Shit, I need a keyboard with a pouty lower lip key!

  • hey||

    "one reason that the Tea Party is sticking while the anti-war netroots went POOF! is precisely because limited-government activists have refused to be domesticated by one of the two major political parties."

    Yeah, when I think "nonpartisan," I think Tea Party.

    Oh wait, I forgot, the Tea Party are foaming at the mouth partisans who were silent during Bush's eight years of big government but suddenly roused into action when a Democrat came into office.

  • Mike M.||

    Don't worry; the Libya operation isn't really a war, it's a "kinetic, time-limited, scope-limited military action".

  • Sudden||

    They should rename it Kinetic Intervention Activity, or KIA

  • ||

    False equivalence.

    The Bushpigs killed 4400 US soldiers and spent $2 trillion to get rid of a thug.

    Obama will get rid of two thugs and will spend a few hundred million only.

    Of course I know Bush apologists are legion here - thus my delight in spanking their theocrat little Creationist asses.

  • ||

    You have to be related to rectal. Such boundless stupidity must be genetic. Is she your mom and your lover? That sounds more like your speed, shriek.

  • MNG||

    Is the second thug Sarkozy?

  • Mike M.||

    You may come to regret that bold prediction. Getting rid of a well-established thug from the air isn't nearly as easy or cheap as you seem to think it is.

    It is true that Iraq and Libya aren't the same. The real purpose of the action in Libya is to try and maintain Europe's oil supply, plain and simple. It turns out that the Europeans shamed Obama into joining in by pointing out that we owe them for the support they've given us in Iraq and Afghanistan over the years. And to be completely fair, it's a pretty decent argument on their part.

    And I can't speak for anyone else, but I detest George W. Bush.

  • ||

    While those soldiers were being killed, many thousands of others were getting excellent training, and winnibng medals and promotions. So it ain't all bad.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: shrike,

    False equivalence.

    The Bushpigs killed 4400 US soldiers and spent $2 trillion to get rid of a thug.

    Obama will get rid of two thugs and will spend a few hundred million only.


    Look, shrike! A unicorn!

  • ||

    I take it you are in full support of the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, et al. seizing control of the entire astroturf rebellions in the middle east? fraudulent fabricated "riots partially instigated and organized by Leftists in America and Europe, including the AFLCIO and SEIU?

    Or are you naive to think that the middle-east protests are in the name of "democracy" and "freedom" and unicorns and puppies?

  • ||

    Axiomatic. thug = thug.

  • kbolino||

    On the subject of completely absurd connections, I would like to start the rumor that the Provisional IRA are responsible for the Japanese tsunami.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    It didn't cost nearly that much to 'get rid of a thug' as he was out of power in days. The real money has been in staying and trying to 'build a democracy.'

  • ||

    Obama will get rid of two thugs and will spend a few hundred million only.

    Might want to redo your math.

    Obama is spending a billion a day on Libya.

    With that type of money Obama could pay every Libyan citizen off with $150 a day....rather then you know...bombing them.

  • ||

    IMO, there is a very good chance that Obama is going to lose. The bombing campaign is expensive. He's not going to have the balls to use ground troops. All Ghadaffi has to do is wait a couple of weeks until the US starts running out of bombs, and then make some kind of settlement that leaves him in power with some symbolic concessions.

  • fish||

    Of course I know Bush apologists are legion here - thus my delight in spanking their theocrat little Creationist asses off.

    There...fixed it for you.

  • ||

    Tony's dangerously close to getting limerick'd. Dangerously close.

  • Johnny DNS Dangerously||

    "The years hadn't softened Tony Moronie. He continued to murder the English Language, and anyone who got in his way."

  • ||

    I would like to direct this to the distinguished members of the panel: You lousy cork-soakers. You have violated my farging rights. Dis somanumbatching country was founded so that the liberties of common patriotic citizens like me could not be taken away by a bunch of fargin iceholes... like yourselves.

  • Sudden||

    There once was a progressive named Tony
    Whose outrage at Iraq was found phoney,
    When Team Blue launched a war,
    He supports his amour,
    And claims its all rainbows and ponies.

  • Tony||

    I called this a war for oil before anyone else here as far as I know.

    I'm not against humanitarian interventions, but I know that's not the whole story.

    I also know that equating Libya with Iraq, or Obama with Bush, is a sleazy way to give extra credit to Bush.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    I called this a war for oil before anyone else here as far as I know.


    You mean you were born yesterday?

    I'm not against humanitarian interventions, but I know that's not the whole story.


    I am not either, as long as the humanitarians pay for the interventions themselves. Leave my wallet out of it.

    I also know that equating Libya with Iraq, or Obama with Bush, is a sleazy way to give extra credit to Bush.


    It doesn't work that way, Tony. Equating Obama (a literary fraud) with Bush is a disservice to Bush.

  • rather||

    OM, are you suggesting that any politician writes his own book? lol

  • Sudden||

    I actually do believe that Bill Clinton penned my life, or at the very least put the dic in dictating to his secretary.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: rather,

    OM, are you suggesting that any politician writes his own book?


    No, I only ask they just don't lie about it.

    You're the runner up for the "Head in Sand" award, rather. Congratulations.

  • rather||

    "I've written two books," Obama told a crowd of teachers in July of 2008. "I actually wrote them myself."

    The teachers exploded in laughter. They got the joke: Lesser politicians were not bright enough to do the same.

    So because others did not get it, Obama is responsible for their fallacious thinking?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: rather,

    So because others did not get it, Obama is responsible for their fallacious thinking?


    Tony, relinquish your Head-In-Sand award, as rather here is more deserving!!!

    rather, sweethear: Obama did NOT write ANY of his two books. He couldn't have. He's a fake.

  • rather||

    My sweet little Mexican pea, NONE OF THEM WRITE THEIR OWN BOOKS

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: rather,

    You're being dense, and dishonest. Obama said he wrote the books himself. Many politicians (from both sides) have relied on editors and ghostwritters but at least they mention this in the acknowledgements and in the cover. Obama, instead, lies about the authorship of Dreams Of My Father (which was written by Bill Ayers, no question about it) and The Audacity of Hope, which presumably was written in less than 18 months under an extremely busy senator's schedule, all 400+ pages of it (there's evidence it was actually written by his then speechwriter.) This, from a person whose other writtings are pedestrian and mediocre.

  • Tony||

    So proclaims the great watchdog of truth, Free Republic.

  • Tony||

    Oh, Freep is just the messenger. The real scoop is from that vaunted journalistic institution, World Net Daily.

    You are really tipping your hand with this crap OM.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    So proclaims the great watchdog of truth, Free Republic. Oh, Freep is just the messenger. The real scoop is from that vaunted journalistic institution, World Net Daily.


    Actually, Jack Cashill, who makes a compelling case that Ayers wrote Dreams Of My Father and not Obama. Obama's other attempts at writting show conclusively that he could NOT have written DOMF, whereas there's more than enough evidence Bill Ayers did.

  • Tony||

    You are even more full of shit than I thought OM.

  • rather||

    I just checked with a ghostwriter and he told me that his books are published covertly too.
    He also said they win awards, and it means they rehire him for a second book. Once he sells his book (all rights), he does not consider any award his rightful property.

  • Sudden||

    In all honesty Tony, I know you didn't (and still don't) agree with the casus belli in Iraq. I just had to make the limerick work sufficiently well. I do actually believe you argue in good faith, and I also recognize that Libya =/= Iraq. That said, I find it hard to believe that you would giv GWB the same pass you're giving Obama on this. And if you're such a stickler for humanitarian interventions, why the hell aren't you crying out for a bombing of Sudan where the situation is not a geopolitically complicated civil war as it is in Libya, but is nothing short of a genocide?

  • Tony||

    What pass? I meant that Libya is a war for oil. Specifically, the type of oil used more in France and the UK, the nominal leaders of this endeavor.

    That said, I have no reason not to take Obama at his word, that a humanitarian crisis was imminent, because it clearly seemed to be. Because there are other humanitarian crises in the world, though, is not an excuse for not intervening when we can (when the costs don't outweigh the benefits).

  • sevo||

    "That said, I have no reason not to take Obama at his word,..."

    'Cause I'm a dumb shit who'll believe anything said by a Dem!'
    Thanks, Tony. Just wonderful!

  • ||

    Are you insinuating that in Libya the costs don't outweigh the benefits?

    I've yet to hear of a single fucking benefit to protecting Europe's oil or helping them with their newfound refugee problems. All I see is people offering political cover.

  • cynical||

    No, it's a way to put down Obama.

  • ||

    I also know that equating Libya with Iraq, or Obama with Bush, is a sleazy way to give extra credit to Bush.

    Huh?

    So if I say Hitler is as bad as Stalin is that a way of saying that I am giving extra credit to Hitler?

  • Tony||

    Congratulations on doubling down on the false equivalence absurdity.

  • rather||

    Tony, I think that was christcode for lick your ass. The downside is sloopyinca| is going to make you pray after you bottom him.

  • ||

    I would make you pray while I inserted a cobra in your diseased snatch, but I have nothing against cobras.

  • ||

    Well, that and I have an active gag reflex....

  • ||

    Me mudda limericked me once.......ONCE!

  • Woodrow||

    Janeane Garafolo, postergirl for the braindead Hollywood Left, said that protesting against Clinton and Bosnia wasn't cool so thats why she did nothing.

  • sevo||

    "Janeane Garafolo, postergirl for the braindead Hollywood Left, said that protesting against Clinton and Bosnia wasn't cool so thats why she did nothing."

    Which pretty much sums up the reasons H'wood lefties do or not do anything at all:
    'Will it help my career to mention it at the awards?'

  • M. Samuel||

    Who do you think you are kidding, America. You are all alike. Your opinions vary only by the most minute proportions, but no matter, all of you desire total dominance of the world. Anything else wounds your fragile pride.

  • ||

    All 310 million of us?

  • Cruz||

    I have a sneaking suspicion a lot of us would settle for a lifetime subscription to Boating World.

  • ||

    I would only want world domination if it was all mine.

    No way I would want to share it the other 310 million.

  • Tears for Fears||

    "all of you desire total dominance of the world"

    That's what I've been saying this whole time.

  • ||

    Someone's butthurt today?

  • ||

    Get off my lawn!

  • Cruz||

    So it's Humanitarian when we kill people to remove bad leadership. So would it be humanitarian for the Governments of the world to come in and remove the current government in the US? We have things like institutionalized rape, we brutally put 1 in 99 of our citizens in prison. If so, can they start aiming rockets at Tony's Residence first?

  • ||

    The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong with America

    I thought it was going to be called "Freedom, Bitches".

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "you're for social safety nets in theory, but you know as well as I that there'd never be enough charity and philanthropy to make nearly as efficient and equitable a system as you can have under government"

    Great idea!

    um... if the latter existed, that is.

  • ||

    To the vast majority of progressives, being anti-war was never really about being anti-war per se.

    It was always about hating Bush and Republicans. It was always an issue that was instrumentalized in the service of obtaining poilitical power. Political power to be used pursue economic policy goals that had very little to do with war.

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