Ron Paul vs. the Doonesbury Conspiracy

Is this Doonesbury strip from Saturday mocking Ron Paul and libertarianism, mocking the way the press treats Ron Paul (the Hedley character, in the days I followed th' Doones regularly, was always supposed to be a representative of media self-important jackassery), or both? You decide and/or deride. (Bonus guess: Garry Trudeau is part of the Rothschild-Rockefeller conspiracy.)

p.s. Buy my forthcoming book Ron Paul's Revolution, receive it in May.

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  • kinnath||

    Both

  • cathrine||

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  • Mr. FIFY||

    The bi squirrels thank you, catherine.

  • ||

    Trudeau has lacked his old subtlety for a long time now, so based on his track record I'd guess that he's just flat out mocking Ron Paul and libertarianism. Maybe not. With Trudeau, it's hard to tell sometimes.

  • Hugh Akston||

    The brilliance of Trudeau is that he can be as lazy as he wants because he used to be kind of funny, so now when people don't laugh at his jokes, they assume that they are too stupid to understand his subtle brilliance.

    Making your audience question their mental faculties and cashing a paycheck. Good work if you can get it.

  • ||

    Ah yes, the David Sedaris Effect.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Checkmate!

  • old fart||

    Doonesbury is still around? I stopped reading that shit in the 70s.

  • ||

    I wasn't alive when you stopped reading it. I never started reading it.

  • ||

    Trudeau lost his old sense of subtlety a long time ago, so if I had to guess I'd say that he's just insulting Ron Paul and libertarianism, but who knows.

  • ||

    God damn it, reason. Your website is being fuckheaded again.

  • www.reason.com||

    "Your website is being fuckheaded again."

    Fuck you cunt, learn how to post.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    OK, first, and this is really wierd - when I went to comment here, the "name" and "email" boxes were pre-filled with Episiarch's name and email. That freaked me out for a second there - very disorienting. Evidently the squirrels have been taking acid or something.

    Second - I think it's a bit of both; although I read it as more taking the piss out of the press than of Ron Paul.

  • ||

    You've stolen my soul!

    Oh wait, I didn't have one in the first place. Never mind.

  • rho||

    I had Ice Nine.

    You got the better deal from the squirrels, I think.

  • Jamie||

    I think you just won.

  • ||

    I think he is making fun of self-important media jackasses--Paul comes off as the reasonable one.

  • Hassan Chop||

    my take too, but I could be persuaded that it's both

  • protefeed||

    It's both. Gary Trudeau actually does agree with Ron Paul on some issues.

  • Tony||

    It is odd how a perfectly worldly man of RP's age can have gone through life not realizing the inherent flaws of utopian thinking.

  • Well...||

    It's odd that you think anyone here gives a fuck about your opinion on anything.

  • Tony||

    Good thing I'm not posting for you idiots, but for the lurkers who may be tempted to buy into your insane bullshit.

    Still don't understand the appeal of living in an intellectual bubble. And you all do, otherwise you wouldn't believe the stupid bullshit you do.

  • Well...||

    "I'm not posting for you idiots, but for the lurkers"

    It's odd that you think anyone here gives a fuck about your opinion on anything.

    Trollny demonstrating his piss poor reading/comeback from an insult skills.

  • Tony||

    I suppose people are interested in your anonymous posting of substance-free insults?

  • Yup||

    Now cry about it some more.

  • sarcasmic||

    I am.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    The same Tony who looks down his nose at people who either didn't go to college, or only went to community college? The one who is openly bigoted against straights?

    Not one to talk, that one.

  • Shorter Tony||

    WAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

  • o3||

    even I hate tony

  • Zeb||

    Gee, you're so noble and selfless, Tony.

    You know, Tony, though it may seem like it sometimes, we don't actually live in this website. Many libertarians are quite happy to engage with people with divergent beliefs. It's just nice to bullshit with like-minded people sometimes.

  • Tony||

    Good for you. I still don't understand how people who are able and willing to approach information from diverse sources would land on libertarianism.

    It's a little more understandable how people who claim to favor a robustly free society can't even handle the implications on an internet message board. I think there's a definite psychological profile that would be fascinating to study. You guys claim to value freedom above all else, but that value is clearly borne of a stronger-than-average need for personal control. In the safety of your statist society, it manifests as a love of individual freedom. But what you all universally mean is your individual freedom, and everyone else can go to hell. It's how you can say government coercion is inherently bad, but we need it for practical purposes like all the things you need out of government like property protection. Nobody else has a legitimate claim on collective action (like the poor or sick), because nobody matters but you.

    In a real libertarian society you guys would be the first ones to start finding reasons to control people.

  • protefeed||

    I still don't understand how people who are able and willing to approach information from diverse sources would land on libertarianism.

    Your failure to comprehend reality is not my problem.

    The default people are raised on is statism, so to get to libertarianism almost inevitably requires one to actively seek out other POVs from the dominant one.

  • Bill||

    Good point.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Your hatred of that with which you disagree, leads you to say some really stupid shit... like, how do people searching for alternate ideas find libertarianism... you might honesty want to consider that.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Your hatred of that with which you disagree, leads you to say some really stupid shit... like, how do people searching for alternate ideas find libertarianism... you might honesty want to consider that.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tiny,

    I still don't understand how people who are able and willing to approach information from diverse sources would land on libertarianism.


    Your lack of understanding is nobody else's concern.

    I think there's a definite psychological profile that would be fascinating to study.


    Crazy people tend to believe everybody else is crazy. You're no different in that regard.

    You guys claim to value freedom above all else, but that value is clearly borne of a stronger-than-average need for personal control.


    You cannot argue through contradictions, Tiny. Wanting personal freedom does not translate into wanting personal control. The two concepts cancel each other out. You may want to believe the person that wants personal freedom is lying but the burden would be on you to prove this, or you have a problem with concepts.

    In a real libertarian society you guys would be the first ones to start finding reasons to control people.


    You fail to show how. You have failed several times to show this, Tiny, yet you insist on this non sequitur. It does not follow that wanting liberty means wanting control. You're an idiot.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    You're not one to talk about controlling people, Tony.

  • Art Vandelay||

    I still don't understand

    Demonstrably.

  • Jumbie||

    all the things you need out of government like property protection. Nobody else has a legitimate claim on collective action (like the poor or sick), because nobody matters but you.

    OMG y'all. Tony's right. His persistence finally paid off and I understand it all now:

    Poor and sick people don't benefit/need the property protection we libertarians wish for them.

    Only the healthy and wealthy benefit from a society free of eminent domain abuse, free from police harassment for personal/medical drug use, free from barriers to speech and free from regulations that prevent them from entering such technically demanding vocations as hairdressing and interior decorating.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Fuck, when I was in junior high, I called myself a communist - and seriously believed in it.

    Then I grew the fuck up.

  • Jumbie||

    *hangs head*

    Yeah, me too.

  • A Lurker||

    Ummm...as opposed to be tempted with your leftist bullshit? No thanks buddy.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    You're not one to talk about insane bullshit, Tony.

  • tarran||

    Libertarianism is notu utopian.

    The people who believe that if the right people control the guns, and threaten their countrymen in just the right way, the world will become magically better are the ones being utopian.

  • Tony||

    Believing what the dictionary says is utopian? There is no alternative to government having a monopoly on legitimate force, except a failed state.

    The alternative you propose--a nearly powerless government that nevertheless results in a society free of coercion--is not only utopian, but batshit insane.

  • tarran||

    So not believing that right people control the guns, and threaten their countrymen in just the right way, the world will become magically better is batshit insane?

  • Tony||

    I'm not sure what you're saying. What alternative is there to a centralized repository of legitimate coercion that isn't lots of pockets of illegitimate coercion?

  • rhofulster||

    Am I reading you correctly? The government has a monopoly on "legitimate" force?

  • Tony||

    Yes. Government is allowed to dispense force and permission to use force and it is the only entity with that authority. Without that you live in a strongman tribal hellscape--which is what libertopia really is, only we've never had libertopia so you can claim it is whatever you want it to be.

  • darius404||

    Our government is the PEOPLE, dumbass, or at least it's supposed to be. Any authority it has derives from US, not the other way around.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Notice how, once again, Tony foretells the future. Nostradamus would be impressed.

  • IceTrey||

    Your mistake is not understanding that in Libertopia the government monopoly is ONLY in the use of RETALIATORY force. If government is allowed to INITIATE force then we are already in a tribalistic hellhole.

  • Zeb||

    What the fuck are you on about, Tony? Libertarianism does not equal anarchy. Libertarians accept some government, and government is a monopoly on the legitimate use of force that is not self defense.

    Libertarianism is about as far from Utopian as a political philosophy could be. It makes no claims about how things should be and promises no particular outcome. I don't know where people get the idea that it is some sort of Utopian philosophy.

  • Tony||

    That's fine, but then libertarians and liberals differ only on degree. If collective coercion is OK for some purposes, why not others? Why is police protection legitimate but healthcare isn't? There's no underlying difference, just a policy preference.

    You do promise a particular utopian outcome--doesn't matter if it's a nightmarish darwinian hellscape. Libertarianism tolerates very little in the way of pragmatic or incremental policy movement. And it never accepts blame for anything--premised on the fact that there's always been a government around to blame.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    See: Positive versus negative rights

  • ||

    Well, tell us when "Libertarianism" ever had the power to do something for which it ought to accept blame.

    There is no power without responsibility, and no responsibility without power. (This doesn't change even if you want to go down the road some on both the Right and the Left have taken: that the Bush administration was really a secret cabal of Libertarians.)

  • IceTrey||

    Because police act in RETALIATION. Forcing everyone to buy healthcare is INITIATION.

  • ||

    in Canada one shortage we have is family doctors. Waiting lists.

    So then you go to the emergency clinic/room and wait like a Soviet prole for your bread ration.

    Petty complaints, I'm sure, yet I would pay extra to have a family doctor. Maybe a bit extra for a choice of doctors. That might even lead to more doctors overall. I think ;)

  • cynical||

    "There is no alternative to government having a monopoly on legitimate force, except a failed state."

    1) Define a failed state in a way that doesn't make your statement a tautology.

    2) Libertarianism is not a synonym for anarchism. Many libertarians believe in a limited state.

    3) Under a social framework featuring a commonly held and rational understanding of the distinction between defensive and aggressive force, a monopoly on defensive force itself is not necessary, whether there is a successful state or not. To maintain peaceful operation of society, there does need be a commonly recognized mechanism for distinguishing whether a particular instance of the use of force is legitimate or not.

  • Whahappan?||

    Uh, libertarianism is pretty much the opposite of "utopian."

  • Anonymous Coward||

    It is odd how a perfectly worldly man of RP's age can have gone through life not realizing the inherent flaws of utopian thinking.

    He has, which is why he so vehemently resists the utopians who currently rule America.

  • BigT||

    It is odd how a perfectly worldly man of RP's age can have gone through life not realizing the inherent flaws of utopian thinking.

    RP's technique of adding earmarks to bills that he then votes against gives lie to this assertion. It is truly Solomonic; he votes his conscience without screwing over his constituents.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    It is odd how a perfectly worldly man of RP's age can have gone through life not realizing the inherent flaws of utopian thinking.


    You mean the inherently utopian idea of not bombing brown people with no previous provocation and not wanting to steal so much from everybody else?

    Yeah. Utopian.

    Imbecile.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    You're not one to talk about utopianism, Tony.

  • Jumbie||

    +1

  • IceTrey||

    Well since the word "utopia" actually means "no place" I doubt Mister Paul ever thinks of it at all. I am sure, however, he thinks about "eutopia", which means "good place". Seeing as how human beings survive by the free use of their minds, a society in which maximum individual liberty is the ultimate goal would be a eutopia.

  • ||

    LOL. Well you obviously don't like the libertarian utopia. Do you prefer the progressive utopia? Or do you like to think of yourself as a pragmatist? (I.E. I don't have strong enough beliefs to take an ideological stance on anything.)

  • Tony||

    Though to his credit RP has been more pragmatic than his fellow GOP candidates. He seems to be aware of the political obstacles to much of his platform, and, unlike most commenters here, doesn't have an authoritarian impulse to bypass those obstacles.

  • Well...||

    Tony trolling with more old tropes.

  • tarran||

    OK Tony, do tell! What authoritarian impulses to bypass which obstacles?

    Give me a second, I need to get some popcorn if I am to enjoy your flailing properly.

  • Tony||

    It is like pulling teeth getting people here to acknowledge that democratic government is the freest form of government. They just really really hate the idea that most people don't want to buy what they're selling, so constantly they're trashing on democracy and implying that a benevolent dictatorship of libertarians would be superior.

    RP at least acknowledges that you can't cut all old people off Medicare immediately and expect everything to be fine.

  • o3||

    It is like pulling teeth getting people here to acknowledge that democratic government is the freest form of government.

    Just like a typical liberal, complaining about how hard the work is.

  • tarran||

    SO you're arguing that a system that produced Jim Crow laws is the freest possible system?

    I think I'd better throw two bags in the microwave...

  • Tony||

    Being in favor of the rule of law doesn't mean you have to like all laws. You just have to accept that their legitimacy exists because the people they affect consented to them.

    What alternative is there? Nobody every gets to that part, and I've asked it a lot.

  • Zeb||

    What about the people who didn't consent? Who's being naive now?

    Are you really arguing for pure democracy?
    I certainly think that a government should be democratic in the sense that most modern democracies are: legislators and other top officials are elected democratically. But too much democracy is as tyrannical as anything. How long do you think Jim Crow laws woudl have lasted under a democracy? You are the one who says we are idiots for considering the possibility that the CRA shouldn't have applied to private entities. You think that forcing an end to segregation was democratic? You think that the majorities in the deep south would have voted for that?

  • ||

    "There is in all of us a strong disposition to believe that anything lawful is also legitimate. This belief is so widespread that many persons have erroneously held that things are "just" because law makes them so. Thus, in order to make plunder appear just and sacred to many consciences, it is only necessary for the law to decree and sanction it. Slavery, restrictions, and monopoly find defenders not only among those who profit from them but also among those who suffer from them." -Bastiat

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Tyranny of the majority is still tyranny.

  • cynical||

    "You just have to accept that their legitimacy exists because the people they affect consented to them."

    No. Consent means an affirmation, not a choice. If a repulsive creep and a handsome movie star break into a woman's house together at night and allow her to choose which will rape her, making a choice does not constitute consent (nor does refusing to play along and make a choice).

    No one is ever asked in elections whether they approve of our government altogether, only which person they disapprove of least to occupy certain orifices offices.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    It is like pulling teeth getting people here to acknowledge that democratic government is the freest form of government.

    51% of the people deciding the rights of the other 49% is really free.

    Constitutional republicanism is a much tastier pill if one must swallow the pill of government at all.

    implying that a benevolent dictatorship of libertarians would be superior.

    Who has seriously suggested a libertarian dictatorship?

    RP at least acknowledges that you can't cut all old people off Medicare immediately and expect everything to be fine.

    Funny thing about all bad decisions, somebody has to take it in the shorts. Harsh though it may be, better the people who have gone their entire lives perpetuating the bad system than those who cannot expect any benefit from it.

  • Tony||

    I'm OK with constitutions and supermajoritarian constrains on altering individual rights.

    But how do you deal with the fact that you'll never, ever get to have a society free of all the burdensome statist programs you want to do away with, unless you impose it on people? Given a choice in the matter, people universally choose a more "statist" society than what you offer, because it is rational for them to do so.

    What do you do with that fact? Either be tempted by authoritarianism (for their own good of course) or just give it up--those would seem to be the only two options.

  • ||

    "people universally choose a more "statist" society"

    citation?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Well, Tulpa, a lot of people would trade what freedoms they have left, for three hots and a cot and a crappy-assed gov't health clinic...

  • Anonymous Coward||

    A false choice based on a bare assertion. I wish I could say I expected more from you, Tony, but that would be a filthy lie.

  • Applederry||

    What do you do with that fact? Either be tempted by authoritarianism (for their own good of course) or just give it up--those would seem to be the only two options.

    There is that whole "persuade people through the power of words and debate" option. Kind of like what we're doing right now. What we do every day. On almost every subject, political or otherwise.

    But, you know, don't let that stop you from chasing the libertarians in your head.

  • Ray Pew||

    But how do you deal with the fact that you'll never, ever get to have a society free of all the burdensome statist programs you want to do away with, unless you impose it on people?

    This is one of my favorite tropes of the Left: libertarianism is force because it imposes freedom on individuals. It's such a bastardization of logic.

  • F. Bastiat||

    I was on to Tony before Tony was Tony:

    --------------------------------
    Confusion of Terms

    Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all.

    We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.
    --------------------------------

    He takes this slightly further, though, stating that not only do libertarians not want to force people to X, but also to force them not to X, where X, in this case, is collective action in general. A claim which is patently false.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tiny,

    I'm OK with constitutions and supermajoritarian constrains on altering individual rights.


    So much for Democracy being the freest of them all systems.

    But how do you deal with the fact that you'll never, ever get to have a society free of all the burdensome statist programs you want to do away with, unless you impose it on people?


    "Massa, massa! Why d'you want to take them shackles away massa! You're imposing freedom on me, massa!"

    I'm having too much fun with you, Tiny, but only because you're just too silly.

    Given a choice in the matter, people universally choose a more "statist" society than what you offer


    No argument there: If you give people free stuff, the fact that you go bankrupt is seen as treasonous by those that benefited. I can see why you would see this as "imposition," that is I see because I know you're an intellectually lazy and shallow nincompoop.

  • cynical||

    "But how do you deal with the fact that you'll never, ever get to have a society free of all the burdensome statist programs you want to do away with, unless you impose it on people?"

    We snark on blogs.

    But if you mean, how do we hope to succeed -- we try to reach those who are opened-minded enough to listen. It would be meaningless to achieve liberty through force, or some sort of minority coup. We're not neoconservative nation builders (at home or otherwise). We understand that the tree of liberty can't survive for long against the forces trying to topple it (which are ubiquitous and inherent in human nature) without strong cultural roots. Once the roots are strong enough, we can worry about breaking through to the surface and watering the tree as needed.

  • ||

    "RP at least acknowledges that you can't cut all old people off Medicare immediately and expect everything to be fine."

    That is a beautiful straw-man you're selling, perhaps you could tell me where I could find one for my lawn.

  • ||

    Would love to hear your thoughts on corporatism.

  • guy in the back row||

    I can't tell if this is part of the "making fun of you" phase or the "attacking you" phase.

  • ||

    I was legitimately surprised to learn that Doonesbury still exists. That's all I have to say about that.

  • ||

    Me, too. Guess that's a telling statement about the newspaper business, too. Used to read them (in paper form) much more often.

  • ||

    Dude, B.C. still exists.

  • ||

    ???

    I thought Hart was dead.

    *googles*

    Yep. Died in 2007.

    Is someone else doing the strip or are they reruns?

  • Reformed Republican||

    I believe it is recycled artwork with new dialog.

  • Zeb||

    I'm amazed that comic sections in newspapers exist at all. I think I saw one a year or so ago. They are all completely terrible.

  • ||

    Six or seven years ago, on a trip to DC, I was shocked to discover that the Washington Post had 2.5 pages of comics on the weekdays, including antiques like Mary Worth and Mark Trail.

  • ChrisO||

    It might be different now. The print version of the Post has shrunk mightily in the last few years.

    Doonesbury was usually in the Op/Ed section, not the funnies. Appropriate, based on the lack of humor--sort of a poorly illustrated version of a Richard Cohen column.

  • Stew Dentt||

    Neither.

    He's making money.

  • Korduroy Kristen||

    The squirrels are in fine fettle today, I see. My commenter name field was blank and my comment didn't show up for about 5 minutes.

  • Garry Trudeau||

    Don't confuse me with my cousin Pierre Trudeau, who has been dead since 2000. I've just been irrelevant. (and not funny)

  • Juice||

    That cartoon up there reminds me of the Mallard Fillmore one where he says "Oops, I forgot to tell a joke."

  • Anonymous Coward||

    I've never approved of the fact that Gary Trudeau is allowed to continue drawing cartoons for money, but neither Charles Schulz or Bill Watterson are no longer in the four-panel game.

  • ||

    Well, let me explain about Sparky...

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Seriously, you take Charles Schulz but leave Garry Trudeau and Bill Amend to plague us?

    You suck.

  • ||

    I have to agree with Matthew. Paul comes across as pefectly reasonable. This is a poke at media.

    I especially like the implications in the last panel: "Is there a question in there?" "No, what would be the point?" There is a double meaning in that it lamopoons the overt opposition to Paul's ideas by the press while also speaking to how Paul is positively ignored at the debates.

  • 0x90||

    Note that in the final panel, the reporter is revealed to be a FOX reporter.

  • robert||

    I thought it was funny. Does Funky Winkerbean still sell band turkeys around thanksgiving?

  • ChrisO||

    Wasn't Hedley originally sort of based on Hunter S. Thompson? Doonesbury hasn't been relevant since the Ford administration, so it's hard to remember.

  • Hedley Lamarr||

    That's... oh, never mind.

  • lurker||

    No, it was Duke who was sort of based on Hunter S. Thompson.

  • Mr. FIFY||

  • Free Man Free Land of Land||

    YAWN!

    Yo Ho Yo Ho ... A sailor's life for me...

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