The New York Times Flip-Flops on Judicial Restraint

A few days after the Supreme Court finished hearing oral argument in the legal challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act last month, The New York Times ran an unsigned editorial denouncing the Court’s conservative justices for their apparent willingness to strike down President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. “For anyone who still thought legal conservatives are dedicated to judicial restraint,” the Times huffed, “the oral arguments before the Supreme Court on the health care case should put that idea to rest. There has been no court less restrained in signaling its willingness to replace law made by Congress with law made by justices.”

Pretty forceful words. In fact, they strongly echoed the arguments made by well-known legal conservative Robert Bork, the former federal appeals court judge who was unsuccessfully nominated to the Supreme Court in 1987. In his bestselling 1990 book The Tempting of America, Bork argued that the “first principle” of the American system wasn’t the protection of individual rights, it was majority rule. “In wide areas of life,” Bork wrote, “majorities are entitled to rule, if they wish, simply because they are majorities.” For the courts, this meant adopting a pro-government posture of judicial restraint—precisely what The New York Times wants the Supreme Court to do in the health care case.

Yet just two days ago the Times ran another unsigned editorial that offered a very different take on judicial restraint. In that piece, the paper attacked GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney for asking Bork to head up his campaign’s Justice Advisory Committee. According to the Times, Romney's acceptance of Bork and his “extreme views” reveals the shortcomings of Romney’s own approach to the law. So what’s so bad about Bork? Here’s the Times again:

[T]he confirmation shed considerable light on Mr. Bork’s extreme views. As a critic of what he called the “imperial judiciary,” he contended that, except when the Constitution expressly says otherwise, the court must defer to the will of the majority. Otherwise, he said, it makes “corrupt constitutional law” that is constrained only by the personal values of justices, leaving government subject to the “tyranny of the minority.”

To recap: The New York Times attacks the current Supreme Court for abandoning judicial restraint and “signaling its willingness to replace law made by Congress,” then turns around less than a month later to attack Judge Bork for advocating judicial restraint and saying that “the court must defer to the will of the majority.”

Shouldn’t the Times’ editorial board try a little harder to avoid openly contradicting itself like that?

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  • Ken Shultz||

    I think it's important to remember that liberals and progressives aren't particularly interested in being consistent. That's more of a religious/conservative/libertarian virtue.

    You point out to most liberals/progressives that the New York Times or Obama or some other entity is being inconsistent, and you're making a criticism that, to their minds, might just as well be a compliment.

    Seriously. Just because we think consistency is important doesn't mean anyone else does.

  • ||

    Yes, conservatives are sooooooooo consistent.

  • Ken Shultz||

    They may not be consistent in terms of what you care about, but I think they value consistency, yeah.

    Just becasue you don't think they're being consistent on any particular issue doesn't mean they don't value consistency.

    When I tell a conservative that something they want to do is inconsistent with the constitution, they take that as a meaningful criticism.

    Progressives and liberals? Not so much.

  • ||

    How much can someone value consistency if they don't act on it?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Just becasue they're not consistent with what you value, doesn't mean they don't value consistency.

    They see themselves as consistent with the ideals of the constitution, with the ideal of their religious beliefs, with the traditional American values--at least as they see them.

    Conservatism by its very definition strives to be consistent with the traditional way of seeing things.

    Liberals/progressives aren't about that. The past is something to reviled--they want change. If that means changing the constitution, so be it. Who care what a bunch of slave owning dead white men thought anyway? What's that got to with today?

  • sloopyinca||

    Conservatism by its very definition strives to be consistent with the traditional way of seeing things.

    Except when it comes to freedom of speech, religious tolerance, the desire to avoid foreign entanglements, personal property rights, due process, rights against illegal search and seizure and the role, size and scope of the federal government in our daily lives. Other than those small things, conservatives have maintained a great deal of consistency since the foundation of America.

    Seriously, Ken. You may not want to go down the "conservatives value consistency" road today. It's not gonna end well for you.

  • ||

    He's still dead on about liberals/progressives on that. "Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds," as far as the left is concerned. Actually, this is probably more of a statist thing than a left/right thing. The majority wants what the majority wants, and little things like fealty to the constitution are just inconveniences.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I didn't say they were consistent in libertarian terms.

    They're consistent with the way they think things have been thought about in the past.

    I have to admit that's one of the reasons I don't think of myself as a conservative, exactly. I see the constitution as a good thing insofar as it protects our liberty; in the places where it doesn't protect our liberty well, I don't hold any reverence for it at all.

    A conservative is more likely to oppose something specifically because it's in the constitution. I'm more likely to defend the constitution--becasue it protects our liberty. Where it fails to do so, the constitution can kiss my ass.

    Conservatives aren't really like that--they want to be consistent with the constitution. When they accuse someone of hiding behind the constitution, they're serious about that criticism--how dare someone use something as sacred as the constitution to shield their disgusting behavior?!

  • ||

    I will say that conservatives are more likely to want a set of defined rules to follow. Anyone who doesn't follow the rules is to be ostracized. Liberals are a lot more nebulous, in general, and when pressed to write out their beliefs in rule form you end up with things like 300 pages of EU constitution, in which there are exceptions for everything.

    I'm not sure you can make the argument that this makes liberals more consistent that conservatives though. Liberals will claim they've always believed they thing they believe, but situation X is an exception. Conservatives want hard and fast rules, but are happy to change them or interpret them differently.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Conservatives see society and law-making as essentially static; they see humanity as a "finished" product with set, largely unmalleable behaviors and desires. Laws and customs from the past are seen as valid in the present, because in their eyes, the core attributes of humanity are fixed.

    Liberals view humanity as a constantly changing and infinitely malleable "blank slate" of sorts, one on which can be impressed the manner and mores of theoretical constructs like the "new Soviet man", given enough pressure on the part of enlightened leadership and policy. They see policy as something that can and should be infinitely tweaked until society reaches a utopian state.

    This is why conservatives care more (at least, superficially and aesthetically) about consistency.

  • JWnTX||

    Please--edify us point by point of your screed--I'd LOVE to see it...

  • M||

    "Except when it comes to freedom of speech, religious tolerance, the desire to avoid foreign entanglements, personal property rights, due process, rights against illegal search and seizure and the role, size and scope of the federal government in our daily lives. Other than those small things, conservatives have maintained a great deal of consistency since the foundation of America."

    Not sure what you're talking about here. I gather that you don't agree with the conservative positions on the list of things you mention? But that is a very different thing from claiming that conservatives are inconsistent on them.

    Or at least, you need to make an argument that they ARE inconsistent, and you don't do that here.

  • np||

    It's obvious that conservatives themselves are not really consistent when you examine US and religious history.

    Furthermore, even as you look to "rules" for governance, those rules themselves are not consistent. It's what I call fiat consistency. When both sides/parties see something neither prescribed or proscribed by law, they scramble to make them. But there's no logic, no cohesive first-principles from which they derive, which is the reason the inconsitency is so obvious for both sides as you examine history, with the exception of classical liberals (too bad liberalism was hijacked). Laws are instated or changed by decree, with liberal/conservative/religious rationalization that would immediately break down under Socratic examination.

    Virginia Postrel had understandably griped a bit about libertarian purity/litmus test:


    Everything flows from a single principle: self-ownership or non-aggression. It's political philosophy as simple algebra.


    But to me that algebra of liberty, more than analogous to mathematics, is a feature, for it's the only way to be truly consistent. That laws are implicitly derived deductively, instead of by way of fiat decree, imposed on all through some legislative body (regardless of whatever state, religious, cultural rationale used). This is what Bastiat discusses about in The Law.

  • M||

    "It's obvious that conservatives themselves are not really consistent when you examine US and religious history."


    It's not "obvious" to me, and you don't bother to offer any evidence to back up your claim.

  • HuzzahGuy||

    Consistency is irrelevant when you’re “liberal” ends justify your means.

  • plu1959||

    Exactly. Consistency must bow down to Social Justice®.

  • sloopyinca||

    That last line was a joke, right? The only consistency the editorial board at the NYT has is their consistent adherence to Team Blue talking points and their neverending defense of the progressive pet policy du jour. They are an advocacy group, pure and simple. Expecting anything resembling legitimate journalism from them would be an exercise in futility.

  • Ken Shultz||

    It isn't just NYT editorial board or Obama, either. It's the people who support them.

    When has anyone ever talked to Tony, and thought, "Wow, I might not agree with him, but dude really is consistent!"?

    Obama and the NYT can be inconsistent because the people they're talking to don't care about consistency.

    If we could get swing voters to care about consistency, they'd already be conservatives or libertarians.

    ObamaCare sucks for a lot of reasons, regardless of whether Obama or the New York Times is being inconsistent.

    ...regardless of whether ObamaCare is constitutional. That's another horse of the same color. That's another flavor of inconsistency. If everyone cared about whether something was constitutional, they'd already be libertarians.

    The New York Times editorial board is wrong about ObamaCare regardless of whether they're inconsistent. ObamaCare sucks regardless of whether it's constitutional. It's all the same thing.

  • Jerryskids||

    The NYTimes isn't really arguing for or against judicial restraint, they are simply arguing for Obama in one case and against Romney in the other. Expecting them to be consistent in their arguments is expecting them to argue from reasons of principle and 'the principle of the thing' has no place in their reasoning. Arguing from principles is a conservative way of thinking; principles imply some way of using the past to set rules or pass judgement on the present or the future. They support liberal positions using liberal reasoning, demanding consistency is demanding they argue from a conservative point of view.

  • Paul.||

    The issue at hand is that modern liberals are Robert Bork. They make all the same arguments, all the same justifications that anti-free speech conservatives did in the eighties.

    And I know this because I haven't forgotten the eighties. It was the liberals of the 80s that gave me my sense of libertarianism.

    "You can't ban [lewd/pornographic] speech because political speech might get swept up in it."

    "We're not the world's cop."

    Regarding the first example, liberals have leapfrogged the whole lewd/pornographic speech, and directly attacked-- and successfully banned in some cases-- political speech.

    Regarding the second exampe, there's no other party more likely to play the world's cop than the modern left. Any more, it seems the only legitimate role they see for the military.

    There was a general distrust of authority and government, and the liberals that I remember would have been horrified at the idea of state-run media. Now they demand it.

    I think this is why I hate the modern liberal ideal so much. It's less so much that I disagree with them on their silly economics, it's that I feel betrayed by them where we should agree.

  • ||

    I wasn't alive but wasn't Al Gore and his cunt wife leading the charge against profane language in music? Seems to me that liberals have always been against speech that they didn't like.

  • Paul.||

    Yes, and to their credit, it was liberals who railed against her organization.

    And I also remember when Clinton was running in 92, someone on a local radio station brought that up during his election. I leeeeeaaaned in close to the radio to hear the response, and it was something along the lines of, "Oh yeah, but she doesn't do that anymore, so..."

    That was what I considered the beginning of the great liberal flip-flop.

    I guess 12 years of Reagan/Bush made them so ecstatic they'd have someone on their team in the White House, principles took a back seat. Unfortunately, now they're locked in the trunk, bound and gagged.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Tipper did record buyers a service by making it easy to quickly pick out the good stuff.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I wasn't alive but wasn't Al Gore and his cunt wife leading the charge against profane language in music? Seems to me that liberals have always been against speech that they didn't like.

    Back then, everyone used to complain that there was more of a difference between the liberal and conservative wings of each party than there was between Democrats and Republicans, themselves.

    Back then, being a conservative Democrat from the South was pretty much just like being a conservative Republican from the South today. Remember, the Southern conservatives didn't identify with the Republican Party until after Reagan brought the South into the Reagan Coalition.

    Back then, the Moral Majority refused to endorse political parties--only candidates. And Al Gore was a conservative--not a liberal. Tipper Gore was a conservative, not a liberal...

    Oh, and incidentally, do you imagine calling Tipper Gore a "cunt" somehow makes what you said seem smarter?

  • ||

    You prove daily that there's no cure for being a cunt.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Oh, and I take it, then, that you didn't know Al Gore was a conservative Democrat?

    ...or is it that you didn't know Democrats were conservative?

  • ||

    I said I wasn't alive and was asking for an explanation. I haven't contested your explanation, only the stick you have up your ass over the word cunt.

  • sticks||

    Tipper Gore is a cunty cunt as are all censors.

  • ||

    I'm actually honored to have been concerned trolled by Ken Schultz. At first I was disappointed but he managed to slip it in at the end.

  • sticks||

    heh, you said 'slip it in'.

  • sloopyinca||

  • Ken Shultz||

    There's no "c" in Shultz.

  • sloopyinca||

    Oh, your name is most definitely a "c" word.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Wouldn't a concern troll be someone who wasn't really a libertarian trying to pretend they agreed with libertarianism--but was just doing so to troll the site?

    I can't lose a who's the more libertarian contest around here. I've got at least 8 years of libertarian comments here at H&R on every topic under the sun...

    And the use of the c-word isn't a libertarian issue--your right to use the word doesn't override my right to point out that using it makes you (and us) look stupid.

  • ||

    A person who posts on a blog thread, in the guise of "concern," to disrupt dialogue or undermine morale by pointing out that posters and/or the site may be getting themselves in trouble, usually with an authority or power. They point out problems that don't really exist. The intent is to derail, stifle, control, the dialogue. It is viewed as insincere and condescending.

    http://www.urbandictionary.com.....cern+troll

    You meet that definition perfectly.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Is a "concern troll" worse than a "c___?"

  • Ken Shultz||

    Just because you don't think it's important, doesn't mean it isn't.

    Libertarians are often marginalized as racists, sexists, bigots, etc., and if that's a real problem, and you're reenforcing that stereotype, then that's enough of a problem--to me--that I'm gonna call it out.

    If you're not smart enough to realize you're contributing to the problem, that's no reason for me to pretend I'm so stupid that I don't see it.

    Ron Paul hurt libertarianism in the minds of people who don't know about it by the stupid shit he let be printed in his newsletters--to the point that people who know I'm libertarian felt it necessary to come ask me why I, as a libertarian, would support someone like that.

    You don't have as much influence as Ron Paul, but if you don't think what you say has any impact on what other people who know you're libertarian think about libertarianism? Then you have a much greater influence on how the movement is perceived than you realize.

  • ||

    Was the purpose of this comment to meet the definition I posted as close as possible?

  • KPres||

    "Libertarians are often marginalized as racists, sexists, bigots, etc."

    Were you born yesterday? We're maligned as such because we're capitalists, not because we use the word "cunt".

    And for everybody turned off by the word "cunt", there's two people who are astoundingly refreshed to escape the suffocating stranglehold of petty bullshit political correctness.

    Uptight dipshits like you turn off more people than anybody saying "cunt".

  • LemonMender||

    KPres, I guess you don't get out much not to know that we are marginalized and accused of being all those things. I'm as libertarian as they come but I do not point my wavering liberal friends to Hit & Run because far too many of the commenters here just end up confirming the stereotypes about liberals.

    I'll defend your right to be those things, but acting that way does not help the libertarian cause one iota. If you don't know that people find the term cunt offensive and misogynistic, then you're not too bright. If you do know it and do it anyway, then you are a jerk. I'm fine with you being a jerk, but know that it doesn't tend to help you convince people of much.

  • sticks||

    Censors are cunts. I use the word precisely b/c it offends the speech police. I'll stop calling people cunts when those same people stop calling for certain speech to be censored.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I'll stop calling people cunts when those same people stop calling for certain speech to be censored.

    Oh noes! Ken Shultz thinks people should stop themselves from saying stupid shit--somebody stop him, before it's too late!

    If you can't differentiate between calling for censorship and calling for self-censorship, then you're just being silly.

  • sticks||

    Not you. The cunts in office. Sorry about the confusion.

  • ||

    Ken, this is a losing battle. Certainly most people here keep the cunts to a minimum when speaking in front of their grandmothers, but you're never going to convince a libertarian that he should censor his own speech in a public space for fear that someone somewhere might be offended.

  • Ken Shultz||

    You're never going to convince a libertarian that he should censor his own speech in a public space for fear that someone somewhere might be offended.

    That's like saying we'll never learn to stop shooting ourselves in the foot. I don't think you'll ever convince this libertarian to stop pointing it out every time we shoot ourselves in the foot.

    By the way, it isn't the word itself, for me. It's when you specifically refer to some woman with that term. It's deeply offensive to an awful lot of people and automatically means we lose the argument.

    It feels like it did when I was calling out the Bush Administration for the Abu Ghraib mess. For all the other arguments I had against those torture policies, I'd also point out how stupid the Bush Administration was for achieving what I'd thought was impossible: his torture polices actually created sympathy for terrorists!

    You know how freakin' pissed off I was to have to stand up for terrorists' right not to be tortured? That's kinda how I feel about libertarians calling Tipper Gore the "c-word".

    Why would any libertarian with more than two brain cells to rub together want to create sympathy for Tipper f'ing Gore by calling her the "c-word"? It's such an ingenious way of creating sympathy for our enemies, I'm surprised progressive types don't come here and flood the board with comments calling Michele Obama the "c-word" just to discredit us.

    I guess they figure we're doing a good enough job of it on our own.

  • Killazontherun||

    Libertarians laugh, make comments about the sappy music score, liberals cry and consider it gut wrenchingly beautiful, conservatives mutter something about decadent pursuits under their breath.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v....._embedded#!

  • General Butt Naked||

    I'd really like to meet Ken's hypothetical-potential-dipshit-libertarian that is this close to flipping to the dark side but can't get over their revulsion over hearing some asshole on a libertarian comment section call Tipper Gore a cunt.

    "I was all for ending the drug war and free markets until that guy called Tipper a cunt, now I'm gonna punch the next loserdopian I see right in the fucking dick."

    I don't think Ken hates the word cunt at all. He knows that his protestations will be met with an onslaught of cunt filled comments; yet protest he does, indeed.

    No offense Ken, you're one of the smartest and most level headed people on here, but you have a sore spot when it comes to cunts.

  • ||

    I see where Ken's coming from. It's easy to dismiss someone's valid arguments if you think they're a moron, and for some people, spouting expletives is moronic. And if the only people making the valid arguments also swear like sailors, those who might otherwise join the group might be turned off. I get that. On the other hand, I don't think we're particularly well served by aligning with those who faint when someone calls Tipper a cunt.

  • Sevo||

    "It's easy to dismiss someone's valid arguments if you think they're a moron, and for some people, spouting expletives is moronic."
    True enough, but if brain-deads don't have that excuse, they'll dismiss a libertarian argument for whatever other pretext they can find.

  • ||

    True enough, but if brain-deads don't have that excuse, they'll dismiss a libertarian argument for whatever other pretext they can find.

    Such as Sheldon Richman's use of the word "exploitive"?

  • Ken Shultz||

    I know, pointing out stupid using the c-word makes us look, it's unconscionable.

    ...you'd think I'd called for higher taxes or something.

  • ||

    It's not misogynist to call a cunt a cunt. I'm not calling all women cunts only one particular woman. I also call some men cunts as well. If someone can't see the difference between insulting an individual and a whole class of people I'm not particularly concerned with their opinion of me. Of course no one gives a shit what I say in an internet comment. Except you apparently.

  • LemonMender||

    Ken, I propose a corollary to Godwin's Law, called Apatheist's Law: Whoever calls someone a cunt automatically ends the thread and loses it, no matter how smart their point may otherwise have been.

  • ||

    You know Ken, if you hadn't said anything, that one single original comment probably would have been the only one using that word (well and the comments quoting it).

    Instead you spawned an entire sub-thread where that word is thrown around with abandon. Furthermore, you're intelligent enough to know that would probably happen.

    So seems to me you're being just as guilty of ignoring basic human nature as you accuse others of doing when they don't realize/care that their speech offends others who might otherwise listen to them.

  • General Butt Naked||

    So Jim, what's the over/under on the number of times 'cunt' is written or quoted in the post Ken complaint cunt-off. Anybody wanna make this interesting.

    I've been taking a shot every new time cunt is mentioned when I refresh this thread. I'm frikkin' wasted.
    -----------------------------

    "All of you fucking seeping sores are just trying to out cunt each other and I'm going to go on a loserdopian dick punching spree if this shit don't end RIGHT NOW!"

    ---Distinguished Reason visitor Tipper Gore who was this close to voting libertarian.

  • Ken Shultz||

    You know Ken, if you hadn't said anything, that one single original comment probably would have been the only one using that word (well and the comments quoting it).

    Oh, I'm so sorry...

    I'll never point out anything stupid anyone says ever again!

    Is that what I'm supposed to say?

    Ain't gonna happen.

    I mean, what kind of criticism is this? Yeah, what people are saying is stupid, but you shouldn't criticize it, Ken, because the stupid is ubiquitous and invincible?

    I'm a libertarian. Calling out the stupid--that's my job.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Thing is Ken, and I know this is hard to believe, but others won't simply accept it as axiomatic that their statement is stupid just because it offends your delicate sensibilities.

  • ||

    Instead you spawned an entire sub-thread where that word is thrown around with abandon. Furthermore, you're intelligent enough to know that would probably happen.

    Quothe the Iron Law:

    Foreseeable consequences are not unintended

    Why Ken would intend for these consequences, only Ken can answer.

  • Killazontherun||

    If anyone can make the argument that the usage of 'cunt' is worse than that of 'dick' and 'prick' without resorting to condescending and courtly deference to supposedly delicate* feminine sensibilities I would love to hear it.

    If it isn't worse than why make an example of Apatheist here when 'prick' and 'dick' are used extensively on this forum? Why did you not jump on the case of those that use those words? Is it because you are an asshole, or you are not asshole and you have a real humdinger of an answer for my first question?

    * As you can see in this video Alyona swears like a sailor and she is all that is awesome.

  • Killazontherun||

  • ||

    Ken said exactly that killa:

    By the way, it isn't the word itself, for me. It's when you specifically refer to some woman with that term.

    To me, that statement is what is sexist: thinking that woman have delicate sensibilities that us menfolk need to protect. Contrary to Ken's world view women are not a monolithic group that have the same opinion about the offensiveness of the word cunt.

    In fairness to him, it appears that he tries to avoid the use of all profanity (though not always: "Tipper f'ing Gore"; I think it is absurd to think that just because he didn't fully spell out "fucking" it doesn't count as swearing). People who have no qualms about calling somebody a douchebag or an asshole but get all uptight about using "cunt" are hypocritical douchecunts. Ken certainly engages is this hypocrisy by singling out the use of cunt for derision but at least he abstains from using other taboo words.

  • Ken Shultz||

    In fairness to him, it appears that he tries to avoid the use of all profanity (though not always: "Tipper f'ing Gore"; I think it is absurd to think that just because he didn't fully spell out "fucking" it doesn't count as swearing).

    It isn't about swearing. It's about using racist or misogynistic language. ...and, yeah, the "c-word" is like that.

    There isn't anything specifically misogynistic about saying, "Tipper Gore is a fucking idiot". When you call a woman the "c-word", you're going after her for being a woman--to most people's ears.

    To me, that statement is what is sexist: thinking that woman have delicate sensibilities that us menfolk need to protect.

    Using your logic, is NOT calling black people the "n-word" racist?

    You're getting weirder by the minute.

  • Killazontherun||

    For what it is worth, I don't think you're an asshole. You have a psychological tick when that word is evoked and you're a bit old fashioned, but likely not an asshole.

  • ||

    Where we disagree Ken is that I don't think cunt is misogynist or akin to calling a black person nigger. As I have said previously I use the call both women and men cunts. Calling someone a nigger is saying that purely because they are black they are less of a human being. I call someone a cunt because their actions deserve it not because they have a particular type of genitals.

    As Killa said you just have a different view of the word cunt. I don't think you are an asshole for having that view but I find it humorous to tweak your delicate sensibilities.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Where we disagree Ken is that I don't think cunt is misogynist.

    Dictionary.com says it's a disparaging term for a woman.

    cunt

    noun Slang: Vulgar.

    1.the vulva or vagina.

    2.Disparaging and Offensive .

    a.a woman.

    b.a contemptible person.

    3.sexual intercourse with a woman.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/cunt?s=t

  • Ken Shultz||

    Where we disagree Ken is that I don't think cunt is misogynist

    The Free Dictionary Online says it's a disparaging term for woman.

    cunt (knt)
    n. Vulgar Slang

    1. The female genital organs.

    2. Sexual intercourse with a woman.

    3.
    a. Offensive Used as a disparaging term for a woman.
    b. Used as a disparaging term for a person one dislikes or finds extremely disagreeable.

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/cunt

  • Ken Shultz||

    Where we disagree Ken is that I don't think cunt is misogynist

    Merriam--Webster likewise calls it a disparaging term for a woman.

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cunt

    So it isn't just me you disagree with. It's me, three dictionaries, and a huge chunk of American English speakers.

  • ||

    and a huge chunk of American English speakers.

    I've ignored this till now, but [citation needed] and majority =/= authority.

    Furthermore, the intent of the speaker is all that matters. I've told you how I use the word, which can even be found among your definitions: 2b and 3b. To give an idea about how words can have different meanings to different people I have never in my life seen cunt used as "sexual intercourse with a woman" which is in all three dictionaries.

  • ||

    Al

    I think Al Swearengen was a libertarian.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Ron Paul hurt libertarianism in the minds of people who don't know about it by the stupid shit he let be printed in his newsletters--

    Bull Fucking Shit

    Libertarianism was hurt by a smear campaign that distorted 20-30 writings by a leader of the movement. Had those writings not existed, the left-propaganda media would have lied about something else to smear libertarian thought.

    You seem to live in some fantasy world where the media is fair but uninformed and will respond positively to libertarian ideas if they are presented in just the right way by a perfect messenger.

    Which is odd, because there is no rational reason to believe that. Look at the way the media has lied its ass off about all aspects of the Zimmerman Affair in order to advance an anti-gun race baiting agenda.

    The truth is that Ron Paul would have been smeared and called a racist if he had comments on the public record that were exactly the same as Barrack Obama's.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Should be ... 20-30 year old writings...

  • Ken Shultz||

    Interesting observation.

    Point stands that if you want to alienate something from the general public, you smear it as racist or misogynistic, whathaveyou.

    If the media had invented something else, it would have been something else racist or misogynistic, right?

    Whether it's Ron Paul or everyday commenters like ourselves, the point stands: there's no point in doing the media's dirty work for them.

    ...if that's what you think happened.

  • ||

    You are the only person here trying to smear a statement as misogynist Ken. Even the dictionary definitions you posted contained the definition I used.

  • ||

    Even the dictionary definitions you posted contained the definition I used.

    Shhh, your argument from definition is killing the narrative here.

    /Jedi hand wave

  • hk||

    The word cunt is not a big deal, but Ron Paul sounds like a dumbfuck because he did more than just say bad words. His POSITIONS in the newsletters sound fucking moronic and paranoid.

  • db||

    To add to the cunt debate: consider that a lot of us here would sneer at an artist insisting that an insipid piece of art was a masterpiece because he had a masterpiece in mind when he produced the offending art. These people argue that all that matters is the intent with which the art was made. They can't abide others interpreting it differently.
    Now consider tha argument that using the word "cunt" is not offensive because the speaker doesn't consider it to be particularly offensive and, by the way, calls lots of people cunts. Can you see the parallel? One of the first things anyone sbould learn about persuasive writing is to cknsider the audience. You can lose your argument (jusifiably or not) based on the first impression a reader has with your style or phrasing or choice of arguments, be they logically correct or not. Lots of libertarians (and liberals and conservatives) don't seem to get this point and will suffer marginalization of their ideas until they learn to talk to their audiences rather than their navels.

  • ||

    Yet one of many of Ken Shultz's exceptional thread Kunt Krusades.

    Also, a quick Reason search of Ken's Kunty Escapades, using the search tems "Ken Shultz" and "Cunt".

    I don't recall electing Ken Shultz the George Zimmerman equivalent of Kunt Kop.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, the spectacle of a libertarian, who cares about how libertarianism is perceived by the general public, admonishing his fellow libertarians for shooting themselves in the foot--it's almost too outrageous to bear.

    I mean, how could anyone think the way we present ourselves might actually have something to do with the way we're perceived?!

    What does he think this website is for, anyway? Making the case for libertarianism to the general public?! That's absurd! Why would anyone try to do that?

  • ||

    I mean, how could anyone think the way we present ourselves might actually have something to do with the way we're perceived?!

    Like, OMG, fer sure! Ken, how about this: I'll submit all my posts to you via email before I post them so you can properly vet them for libertarian purity and veracity of humor and context? Would that be acceptable? I'll even make sure not a have Skittles in my pocket and I will be sans hoodie.

    Will that assuage your righteously moral indignant disquietude?

    In fact, why don't you apply for a moderator position with Reason so you can burn every post you find objectionable?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Oh, you can avoid using stupid misogynistic terms on your own, can't you?

    Self control and personal autonomy go hand in hand, you know? It's sort of what libertarianism is all about.

    You can handle it.

  • sloopyinca||

    Holy shit, are you still scolding people about this? If someone curious about libertarianism stumbles across this site, I'm sure they would be more put off by the constant arguments every time the word "cunt" appears than by the fleeting use of an expletive.

    Seriously, Ken. Please stop scolding everybody for using a word. It hurts libertarianism and destroys what could be an otherwise intelligent discourse on the topic at hand.

    And I'll quote your last post: You can handle it.

    I wish we could say the same about you, you fucking cunt.

  • Ken Shultz||

    And I'll quote your last post: You can handle it.

    I wish we could say the same about you, you fucking cunt.

    Actually, if you can't handle having the stupid things you say pointed out to you?

    Too bad.

    Keep saying stupid shit in a libertarian forum, and somebody's gonna point it out.

  • sloopyinca||

    Keep saying stupid shit words my sensitive ears can't stand in a libertarian unregulated forum, and somebody's gonna point it out I'm gonna consistently whine like a little bitch.

    FIFY, Ken!

  • ||

    Oh, you can avoid using stupid misogynistic terms on your own, can't you?

    And you can also avoid being The Pontiff moral arbiter of acceptable speech codes as well?

    You can handle it.

    Can you?

  • ||

    That's fine db, when I'm attempting to argue something I'll refrain from using the word cunt. Of course I wasn't arguing with anyone, I was insulting Tipper Gore. My statement had no substance, it was pure Ken Shultz bait. Context is important, I have never said cunt in front of my Grandmother or my employers. When insulting a public political figure on the internet, there is nothing that can be said that is inappropriate. They don't deserve our respect.

  • M||

    "You can't ban [lewd/pornographic] speech because political speech might get swept up in it."

    That was a stupid argument then, and it's a stupid argument now.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    My hypothesis is that the Times would be baffled at charges of inconsistency. Their minds are simply operating on parallel tracks.

    On Track One, Congress has at long last passed a history-making health care law which is being threatened by reactionary judges.

    On Track Two, Robert Bork the reactionary wants to trample on judicial review and leave minorities at the mercy of theocrats, censors and racists.

    Theses tracks never cross. There is no point at which the Times people get together and seek to put their various positions into a framework of philosophical consistency. Or if there is a framework, it is simply defending the Republic against right-wingers, period.

    They would be baffled at any attempt to find any common thread of consistency in their positions other than the war against the right.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    On the rare occasions when they try to make sense of their divergent positions, they pull a muscle in their brain and cough up risible distinctions, eg, executive orders under Bush vs. under Obama.

  • Killazontherun||

    Robert Bork would have never repealed the Fugitive Slave Act!

  • SDN||

    Evidence? Since when did "wide areas of life" become "all areas".

    I won't go into the fact that the Copperheads have always been the party of slavery, and replacing "plantation" with "collective" doesn't change that.

  • Brutus||

    It's like they use a language that seems to be English, but all the words mean something different.

  • AlmightyJB||

    If you're really talking about majority rule then the justices would have to choice but to invalidate Obamacare. The majority of people were against Obamacare when it passed, which is why team blue got trounced in the following election, and the majority are still against it. If you're talking about constitution rule than they would again have to invalidate it. Only when you talk about tyranny rule with the scotus being a rubber stamp for the tyrants does Obamacare hold up as it is currently written.

  • Killazontherun||

    Consistency? This is a gut reaction we are talking about. ROBERT BORK IS EVULL!!! Really, there is nothing more to their protestations than that. He always looked like the left's idea of an arch right wing villain, sometimes he even sounds like one, so they are going to have their little hysteria fit about him being on board the Romney campaign, and it has nothing to do with how he would influence court decisions one way or another. Sure, there are plenty of reason to object to Bork calling the shots on nominees, but the simpletons of the NYC editorial board would not have a clue where to begin.

  • Killazontherun||

    . . .plenty or reasons . . .

    The page loading is irritatingly slow today.

  • sloopyinca||

  • ||

    Me likee.

  • ||

    But is it as 'cool' as this??

    I'm consistently seeing things that somebody else loves, and I feel only .. "meh". Both examples look to me like something created by somebody with way too much time on their hands.

    "Just sayin..." (Chicago community organizer CYA quote)

  • sloopyinca||

    If that was an attempt at trolling me, I saw "well played."

    If it's just another SF'd list, then please repost with the link.

  • ||

    Sloop, I'm kinda erratic at this snappy clever quick-witted commenting stuff, and with cryptic computer abbreviations and shit, so I don't know what "..just another SF'd list.." means - unless it has something to do with Sugarfree's comments and writings (and if it is related to Sug, I am 'way out of my league trying to understand what you are getting at!)

    If there is a link missing or not working in my post, I have no idea why (both seem okay in my browser) or how to change them.

    Anyway, when I saw that guitar, together with the word 'cool' my brain's response was the link to how 'cool' BHO is (.. or supposed to be). If it results in getting a point for a "well played" troll then YAY. It means I once again pulled off something notable without having a clue how I managed it, and for that, I will accept the accolade anyway

    As for the guitar, and BHO, I'm just sayin' neither meets my personal definition of 'cool', and the link to the "just sayin" page was an attempt to poke fun at another Chicago community organizer.

    I am open to instruction how to be a better (or at least more conscious) troll.

    And to wrap up, re darius404 below: in BHO's case I'd go for NOT ENOUGH TIME, in the matter of the guitar, I gonna stick with too much time.

  • sloopyinca||

    I was just noting that neither link worked (which we've been referring to as "SFing a link" for a while since Saccharin Man is notorious for fucking up links), and lamenting that I couldn't go to them.

    If you could repost them, even if I have to cunt-n-paste them, I'd appreciate it.

  • ||

  • sloopyinca||

    Muchos gracias!

  • ||

    Is the problem too much time, or NOT ENOUGH TIME?

  • ||

    Awesome! You can never go wrong with xenomorphs!

    "I admire its purity. A survivor... unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality."

    --Ash

  • Hugh Akston||

    "In wide areas of life," Bork wrote, "majorities are entitled to rule, if they wish, simply because they are majorities."

    Fuck off, slaver.

  • ||

    What a piece of shit. Slavery, genocide, it's all OK so long as we take a vote.

  • hk||

    Lol what a moron.

  • M||

    "In wide areas of life," Bork wrote, "majorities are entitled to rule, if they wish, simply because they are majorities."

    That was the position of the American Founders.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Doublethink: it's what's for breakfast.

  • oldtimer||

    And at the NYT, it is also what's for lunch and dinner.

  • Robert S||

    We've always been at war with Eastasia.

  • Brutus||

    Exacty my thoughts. Double-plus good.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    "the oral arguments before the Supreme Court on the health care case should put that idea to rest. There has been no court less restrained in signaling its willingness to replace law made by Congress with law made by justices."

    Because telling Congress that a law it's made doesn't pass Constitutional muster is exactly the same as the Justices making up their own law.

    Jeebus. Fucking. Christ.

  • Brutus||

    I wonder how alive the Thirteenth Amendment is.

  • ||

    Wow, Mr. Bork. Wow.

    Constitutional republicanism, how the fuck does it work?

  • ||

    According to him, it doesn't. I'd rather swallow broken glass than say anything positive about Ted Kennedy, but that fat, drunken, murdering bastard did us a favor by keeping this other bastard off of the court.

    Can you imagine how bad it would have been for the conservative cause if we had that asshole representing the right?

  • ||

    Can you imagine how bad it would have been for the conservative cause if we had that asshole representing the right?

    I honestly believe no worse than Justice Kennedy, and I think would be less judicially conservative (read: constitutional, not ideological) than people think. Read up on his opinions of anti-trust law. Bork is hardly some flaming right winger. He would, like Kennedy, defer too often to the federal authority and probably would be more interested in devising all sorts of legal tests and emanating penumbras moreso to secure a judicial legacy. Like Justice Kennedy. I'm not entirely convinced Teddy Kennedy did us any favors, nor did he save us from anything. It's a wash.

    Right =/= Conservative

  • TheZeitgeist||

    Why does Mr. Root read NY Times editorials to begin with?

    You know the rhetorical shit they're going to shovel just from the piece's titles - why waste the time reading them to confirm? Same goes for feature writers - the columnists.

    Cat-lady Krugman's the same, always has his detractors refuting and talking about and paying attention to him. Cat-lady has made a market for himself that way; being somebody you love to love or love to hate - he's econ's version of the Yankees.

    I say ignore such clowns and antics. It reduces them to something more like NY Time's house token Charles Blow. He sucks an egg too, but being the token nobody cares. They just pat him on the head and look the other way, his intellectual opponents don't even notice him. Blow scribbles away but nobody quotes the clown, nobody ever writes a counterpoint or even a post about anything he says. He's the token and that's that.

    It would be wise to ignore likes of unsigned editorials and Krugman same way, reduce them to irrelevance of the token.

  • Amakudari||

    I'll just leave this here, as I've only just read it:

    Every day, the New York Times carries a motto in a box on its front page. 'All the News That's Fit to Print,' it says. It's been saying it for decades, day in and day out. I imagine most readers of the canonical sheet have long ceased to notice this bannered and flaunted symbol of its mental furniture. I myself check every day to make sure that the bright, smug, pompous, idiotic claim is still there. Then I check to make sure that it still irritates me. If I can still exclaim, under my breath, why do they insult me and what do they take me for and what the hell is it supposed to mean unless it's as obviously complacent and conceited and censorious as it seems to be, then at least I know I still have a pulse.

    -Christopher Hitchens

    That's about the same reason I would give for reading a Gray Lady editorial.

  • cgage||

    NYT Editorial Philosophy on Mitt Romney, Republicans and conservatives:

    I don't know what they have to say,
    It makes no difference anyway,
    Whatever it is, I'm against it.
    No matter what it is or who commenced it,
    I'm against it.

    (Groucho Marx, Horsefeathers)

  • SDN||

    Hypocrisy and lies define the Left. Quelle surprise!

  • 0x90||

    What he meant to say:

    "majorities are entitled to rule, if they wish, simply because they are majorities CAN."

    Dickens nailed it:

    "Altogether, the Old Bailey, at that date, was a choice illustration of the precept, that 'Whatever is is right;' an aphorism that would be as final as it is lazy, did it not include the troublesome consequence, that nothing that ever was, was wrong."

  • JWnTX||

    The left consistently demonstrates it doesn't know what "judicial activism" is--striking down a plainly unconstitutional law is NOT judicial activism. Creating such figments as "prenumbras," using polling, and imposing one's own political views on a decision is. Hence, creating the right to an abortion out of thin air is judicial activism. If someone sued the federal government because they couldn't get health care and the court then declared a "right to health care," it would be judicial activism. Striking down a law that forces people to engage in commerce and then claiming a right to regulate that commerce is a sham and the court saw it for what it was. The NYT should be asking itself how its side could have written such a crappy law--not worry about the SCOTUS striking it down. It was easy.

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