'The Libertarian Case for Mitt Romney': Because 'bad' Is Better Than 'worse'

Over at Pajamas Media, Stephen "Vodkapundit" Green does his level best to convince a libertarian friend why she should for Mitt Romney over Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson (of whom Green says "he’s a good man and a solid libertarian, so if I fail to make the case for Romney — then absolutely please do vote for Johnson").

Green's first reason, understandably enough, is sitting in the Oval Office, presiding over lousy economic policy while failing to deliver on most hopes civil libertarians had for the man. "So," he pivots, "is Mitt Romney the man to save us?"

Well… no.

But he can buy us time. [...]

What we need is breathing room, a chance to get the economy growing again, to get people back to work again. It's no coincidence that when we reformed welfare, it was during an economic boom. Wealth papers over lots of differences, and allows people to get things done. And there's lots that needs doing. We can start by repealing ObamaCare, repealing Dodd-Frank, and just generally undoing the last four years. These are things Romney has promised to do.

Will he do it? I hope so, and if he wins it will be our job to ride him and ride him hard to live up to those promises. What I do know for certain is that Romney isn't Obama Lite, despite what you might think. Romney won't dial back Washington to 18% of our GDP. But he might get it down to 20%, which, believe it or not, is a big — and absolutely necessary — improvement.

We'll see no such improvement from a second Obama administration [...]

We don't get to choose this year between "good" and "better" — have we ever enjoyed that choice? But we do get a sharp distinction this year between "bad" and "worse."

I'm going with "bad" because I'm not sure we'll survive another term of the worst.

Whole thing here.

Related: Four years ago, believe it or not, I made "The Libertarian Case for McCain."

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  • John||

    Well Matt, considering the disaster that has been the last four years, I think your case for McCain holds up all right. If McCain had won there would be no Obamacare. No way would Pelosi and Reid have allowed a Republican President to take credit for major health reform. 08-10 would have been nothing but gridlock with maybe a smaller version of the porkulus.

  • Mensan||

    I'd say 08-12 would have been gridlock. The Reds won the house in 10 because of Obama. If McCain had been president, then the Blues would have kept control of both houses. Also we would be at war with Iran already.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    They let Bush take credit for Medicare D.

    But I agree that J-Mac probably wouldn't have been as bad as BO. Of course J-Mac probably has some unforeseen statist policies up his sleeve, too.

    Romney is better than J-Mac by leaps and bounds, that's for sure. I remember in 2008 when J-Mac was chest-thumping about how much better he was because he'd been paid from tax money all his life while Romney was out chasing eeeeeevil profits.

  • Randian||

    Oh good, now you're both here to make your Republican Apologia Tour. Yay.

  • John||

    Tough shit Randian. Go vote for Obama for all I care.

  • Randian||

    One wonders how you are so upset given that you aren't voting for Romney this election.

    At least that's what you told everybody months ago.

  • John||

    I am not voting for Romney. I believe in entitlements and the great society. I don't want to see those programs die because the government went bankrupt. I am voting for the one candidate who will save them, Gary Johnson.

    I figure if he wins, events will push him to do the right thing on national security. So that leaves domestic. And Gary Johnson is the one candidate who will save medicare. He is the medicare candidate. And he gets my vote.

  • Randian||

    Red Tony Troll is trolling.

  • John||

    You don't think Johnson will save medicare Randian? Go to his website. Looks like he will to me. He is the only candidate of medicare because he pledges to reform and protect it.

  • Randian||

    So does Mitt Romney. Next?

  • John||

    No he doesn't Randian. The Paul Ryan plan doesn't change anything for ten years and is a complete phony plan that does nothing. Reason told me so. The Ryan plan is nothing but a quick ride to national bankruptcy.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    I'm voting for Romney, just like 77% of all libertarians.

  • Bill||

    Mary?

  • Cytotoxic||

    So John you don't have any real points to make and are throwing a sulk? GREAT.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Do you have some rational, relevant points to contribute, Randian, or are you in insult mode today? I hope that's not a rhetorical question.

  • Randian||

    I have made them a million times. They proceed to be ignored by Republican Apologists like yourself who are willing to sell your principles out for a shadow promise of vague 'reforms', not to mention emplacing neocon bedwetters back into office so we can start up with "enhanced interrogation" and saber-rattling with Iran.

    Frankly, I'm not in the fucking mood. This starts up Every. Single. Election. from the GOP, and it's bullshit.

  • John||

    Ah poor baby. You have such a hard life. People just won't agree with you and make arguments you can't answer. We are all just a bunch of meanies.

  • Randian||

    I forget, John, how's that not-supporting Romney thing coming?

    Color me shocked that you're on the Team Red tour bus, right on schedule.

  • John||

    I told you Randian. I am voting Johnson. I am voting for the future of medicare.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    I don't care if you're in the mood, we're doing it anyway.

  • Cytotoxic||

    We know Tulpa. We know. You'll continue to make a weak case for Romney, we'll brush it aside because it's weak, and then you'll bitch and cry about it and complain we're insulting you. Your tears will atone for the O's victory on Nov 6.

  • ||

    John and Tulpa make these thread so much more fun.

    I wonder how they will react to the results of 2012.

    For an Obama win I think they are going to blame all the libertarians who wasted their votes on Johnson. (If Johnson stops Romney from winning i can hardly call that a waste...maybe next time the republicans will pay the fuck attention rather then nominating a statist)

    I have no idea how they will react if Romney wins. Does anyone have any insights?

  • CE||

    I saw my first Gary Johnson for President yard sign yesterday. "The Peoples President" seems like a dumb slogan though. Should have gone with "No more Dumb and Dumber".

  • CE||

    Yard sign update: 3 Mitt Romney signs up now to 1 Obama sign on my street in a liberal California town....

  • CE||

    I guess I live among the 53 percent.

  • Xenocles||

    Don't get excited - I just made a trip to Massachusetts and from my informal observations Romney stickers far outnumbered Obama ones. My guess is that the Obama supporters in deep blue states don't feel the need to express themselves the way supporters of other candidates do.

  • guitargeek||

    Are you kidding me? I live in MA, and I can't turn my head without seeing an Obama sign. Hell, there are plenty of Jill Stein signs to be found.

    To be honest, I don't know that I've even seen a Romney sign yet. Where were you?

  • Juice||

    I've seen multiple Johnson signs around DC. Yeah, that DC.

  • Mensan||

    So Green is saying that he supports evil, just not evil evil?

  • Tulpa Doom||

    So a pro-life, anti-gay marriage Ron Paul supporter shouldn't vote for Johnson, who supports legal abortion and gay marriage through all nine months of pregnancy?

  • Randian||

    Nine month olds can get gay married now?

  • sarcasmic||

    Neither of those issues matter since there is very little other than choice of Supreme Court judges that a president can do about them.

    Though it does make for a nice red herring. In mustard sauce. On a saltine.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Pragmatic hat on, pragmatic hat off. No wonder third partisans love John Stewart so much.

  • sarcasmic||

    No wonder third partisans love John Stewart so much.

    I can't stand the guy. Smarmy liberals have punchable faces.

  • ||

    agreed

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Having made the case against a pragmatic vote for Romney, you now switch to making a case FOR pragmatism when dissuading RP supporters from writing him in. Can't have it both ways.

  • sarcasmic||

    I don't know what you're talking about. I've never made a case for Romney.

  • robc||

    I wont write RP in, as write-ins arent an option for KY presidential ballots, as the write-in candidates havent selected a slate of electors...which is what we are really voting for.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Cafeteria pragmatism again. Sheesh.

  • robc||

    Huh? I physically cant right in RP, as there isnt a spot.

    President is the one race in KY for which no write-in option exists.

  • robc||

    Yeah, I guess it is being pragmatic to not just scribble his name across the ballot and have it spoiled.

  • Tybus||

    Voting at all = oppposite of pragmatic

  • robc||

    Yes, Im voting for Johnson.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    So you're voting for evil?

  • Randian||

    Yep, Tulpa. You win. Now go away.

  • The Hammer||

    Tulpa and John are really fighting hard over that RedTony spot.

  • Randian||

    Tulpa's the slightly more erudite version of John. Although it's hard telling who sheds more tears.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Can't it be both?
    Red Tony and Red Light Camera Tony.

  • robc||

    ???

    Probably, in the sense that all men are capable of evil.

    But not in the sense you mean.

    Im voting for the candidate who best represents my views. We arent in 100% agreement, obviously, but Johnson is more in line that anyone.

    I also weight issues by how much of an effect the office Im electing for has on that issue. When voting for Middletown city council, I care about trash pickup, snow removal and property tax issues and dont give a damn about abortion and gay-marriage at all.

    I would vote for a gay-married, polygamist, mormon abortionist if he will lower my city tax a few cents and make my neighbor trim her trees away from the power lines.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    So you've made a pragmatic calculation. So have I; I'm voting for the viable candidate who best represents my views. Yet I stand condemned by the libertarati.

  • robc||

    Pragmatic? Maybe, but I dont see it.

    Im voting for the candidate who best represents my views on the issues for his office. Considering I know Johnson's chances, Im not remotely sure how that qualifies as pragmatic?

    And trust me, I have about the same amount of ability when it comes to local elections. My local race will be something like "select 4 from 6" and 2 of the 4 I pick will finish 5th and 6th.

  • robc||

    And just looked up my ballot for this year, only 5 running this time for 4 commissioner spots.

    All 4 incumbents are running.

  • sarcasmic||

    Neither of the "viable" candidates will do anything about the war on drug users, the deficit, the debt, troops around the world, ethanol mandates, farm subsidies, "stimulus" spending, debasing the currency, or anything else that really matters.

    Fuck 'em both.

  • R C Dean||

    I'm voting for the viable candidate who best represents my views.

    Fair enough; Tulpa will never vote for any candidate who is not a representative of the duopoly TEAM BE RULED, no matter how bad the duopoly is.

  • CE||

    I'm also voting for Gary Johnson. It's not a 100 percent match with my views (Ron Paul wasn't either), but it's close enough among the candidates whose vote totals will be recorded for posterity in public view on the Internet.

  • Jerry on the road||

    So what, if they make abortion illegal it just means you have to pay your doctor cash.

  • CE||

    And he won't need to have a medical license either!

  • Josh M.||

    Johnson is pro-choice until viability of the fetus. If the fetus can be sustained in or out of the womb, then abortion is not a valid option.

    Johnson believes in the Constitution and that marriage equality is part of said Constitution and therefore should be a right for any consenting adults.

    Do your research.

  • John||

    So the Constitution protects gay marriage even though there was no such thing when it was written and gay conduct has been illegal for most of the history of the country?

    If Johnson believes that, then he has no right to claim to be any kind of an originalist or believer in the plain language of the constitution.

  • ||

    Weird, I guess I imagined:

    "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

    "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

    and

    "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

    Being part of the constitution...silly me.

  • John||

    And the words "gay and marriage" appear where?

    You are just as fucking stupid and dangerous as the worst liberal. If that means gay marriage, whey the hell doesn't it also mean "universal employment" or "universal welfare".

    It always saddens me to see Libertarians sell out their principles to get their pony.

  • ||

    You are right it doesn't say anything about Marriage...period. Gay, Straight, Poly, or otherwise.

    It does however, state that those rights it doesn't explicitly describe (ie the right to marry whom you choose) belong to the People first (the 9th). Since the power to regulate marriage was not explicitly given to the Government, it belongs to the States or the People (the 10th)...and finally that no state shall deny to any person "equal protection of the laws" (the 14th).

    If you cannot make the logical case for a constitutional protection for an individual's right to marry whom they choose and have it protected and treated the same as any other marriage under the law then I guess I can't help you.

    If you cannot see the logical difference between a "natural" right such as marrying whom I choose, that exists whether there is a Government there to enforce it or not, and a "negative" right that only exists if an agent of force makes it so, such as forcing someone to employ me, then you are the most dangerous form of statist jackass.

    One who believes that all rights flow from the power of Government and only those that are explicitly granted by a magical document truly exist.

    The Red Team Tony label is more appropriate than you can appreciate.

  • Cytotoxic||

    ITT John demonstrates his lack of understanding of how the Constitution works. You must be a shitty lawyer John.

  • ||

    You must be a shitty lawyer John.

    This is my first thought any time John tries to make a legal and/or logical argument.

  • wareagle||

    that says nothing about marriage, maybe because the Founders did not consider marriage to be the govt's business, and they never considered gay marriage at all.

  • ||

    Except that the government isn't allowed to discriminate on the basis of sex, which is what disallowing gay marriage does.

  • Mr. Soul||

    being gay is not a sex, hell its not a being. Its a hobby.

  • ||

    So two heterosexual men could marry each other? I think not. It's entirely based off of sex.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    See the final episode of "Boston Legal." It could happen... ;-)

  • ||

    So the Constitution protects gay marriage even though there was no such thing when it was written

    Internet did not exist when it was written...pretty sure it is protected.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    I'm going to need a link for GJ's viability position. That's not what I've heard him say.

    A doctrinaire libertarian would totally take him to task on that, methinks.

  • ||

    A doctrinaire libertarian would totally take him to task on that, methinks.

    You don't pay much attention to the abortion debates around here do you?

    Libertarians can't even decide on the issue among themselves, there is no unified "libertarian" position on abortion.

  • Randian||

    Tulpa's plan:

    1. Sow Discord in Libertarians
    2. ?????
    3. VOTES FOR MITTENS

  • Tulpa Doom||

    That's rich for people who are trying to demoralize GOP-leaning voters.

  • Randian||

    That's rich for people who are trying to demoralize GOP-leaning voters.

    In other words shut up and stop rooting against the TEAM?

    Just look at yourself in the mirror. you're on here pointing out libertarian disagreements to try to get people to vote for Romney. I sincerely hope you're disgusted with yourself.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Cry some more.

  • ||

    That's rich for people who are trying to demoralize GOP-leaning voters.

    They elected Bush, they elected the piece of shit 2010 house which gave up to Obama, they nominated Romney...

    In what universe do GOP-leaning voters not deserve demoralization?

    You can make the argument that DNC-leaning voters deserve it more...and you have a better then 50% of winning that argument...Still simply because one group of villains is worse then another group of villains does not make the former group into heroes.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    The LP platform is unabashedly pro-legal abortion.

  • ||

    Notice I said "libertarian" not "Libertarian Party", jackass

  • Tulpa Doom||

    If you vote for GJ, you're voting for "Libertarians" not "libertarians".

  • Randian||

    If you vote for GJ, you're voting for "Libertarians" not "libertarians".

    It can be both.

    Meanwhile, if you vote for Romney, you're voting for...?

    What, entitlements, deficits, war? War on Drugs some more? NDAA, Patriot Act, etc.?

    What a case you're making.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    I'm voting for the best candidate who can win.

    If you're voting for GJ, you're voting your heart and soul.

  • Randian||

    I'm voting for the best candidate who can win.

    Any candidate on the ballot can win. How many times need this be said before you acknowledge it?

    Each candidate has 0 votes right now.

  • wareagle||

    Each candidate has 0 votes right now.

    that is a fact. The one of two men will win is also a fact. Green's best argument for Romney is that "he can buy us time" and even that is a maybe. The train may be too far gone to stop. With Obama, the crash is inevitable. It may be inevitable regardless, but it does draw a distinction between the two.

  • Xenocles||

    Gary Johnson has at least two votes - mine and my wife's. (Mailed in WA absentee ballots last week.)

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Maybe, just maybe, those people who are voting for GJ are voting for the candidate who BEST reflects their views. Stop being a battered wife and leave already.

  • ||

    I'm voting for the best candidate who can win.

    If you're voting for GJ, you're voting your heart and soul.

    I am voting for the candidate who will push the agenda I care about forward.

    More votes for Johnson means both parties have to wake up and cater to what libertarians want...if they don't they will lose elections.

    Wasting your vote on Romney will only help the two parties ignore you all the more.

  • ||

    No, if I vote for Gary Johnson I am voting for Gary Johnson, who happens to be a member of the Libertarian Party.

    While I might expect him to be influenced by the position of his party, I also expect him to act on his own accord and according to his own beliefs even when they differ from the party line.

    We do not live in a parliamentary system where I am voting for a party. We live in a representative republic where I vote for an individual.

    (Technically I am voting for an elector who will vote for my choice of individual, but the principle is the same).

  • wareagle||

    Notice I said "libertarian" not "Libertarian Party", jackass

    well...now that's an interesting distinction. But around here, doesn't seem to apply to a conservative who votes for the conservative party. Let's just say no party can match the ideals of its small letter adherents.

  • ||

    The distinction being that there isn't a national Conservative party.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I took your advice and found this on his Web site:

    "Life is precious and must be protected. A woman should be allowed to make her own decisions during pregnancy until the point of viability of a fetus."

    That's not as bad as I had believed it would be.

    I would like to know some more details as to the definition of viability. Aren't we either at, or close to, the point where a pregnant woman can transfer the child - oops, clump of cells - to the womb of another woman? Does that qualify as viable?

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    The correct question is "Is it murder or not?" and that is left to the States to decide last I checked, Roe v Wade notwithstanding.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The problem is that Gov. Johnson shows the normal American tendency to read his policy views into the Constitution - eg, re gay marriage. So he potentially advocates a "constitutional right" to pre-viability abortions, which is narrower than *Roe v. Wade,* but still isn't the same as leaving matters to the states.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Notice he's not saying what happens after the point of viability.

    Also, what decisions during pregnancy is he talking about? What to eat, what to wear? I guess we can be assured that he won't ban eating peanut butter during pregnancy or wearing maternity bikinis.

    Standard mealy-mouthed politicianspeak.

  • Randian||

    Here come some more bizarre and brain-dead analogies.

  • ||

    Notice he's not saying what happens after the point of viability.

    Really?

    You are saying libertarians need to vote for Romney and trying to make this fucking election about fucking the god damn fucking abortion issue??

    Fuck you Tulpa.

    Jesus fucking Christ on a pop sickle stick.

    THE FUCKING ABORTION ISSUE!!!!

  • Juice||

    And why does "viability" matter in the first place? The fetus is in the woman's womb. Can she choose to extricate it or not? Let's say it's 6 months along. With modern technology that premie has a good chance of survival. Does that mean it's viable? When the fetus is 8 months along, it can likely survive without medical intervention. But it can't survive without feeding and care. Does that mean it's not viable? If the purpose of abortion is to end the pregnancy and allow the mother to be baby free, why does the nebulous term "viability" matter?

  • DJK||

    At some point, we have to recognize the right of the new person to continue their existence. It's pretty evident that the right not to be killed beats a right not to be inconvenienced. When does that right not to be killed start?

    It seems obvious (or at least society has accepted the premise) that it has the right not to be killed at least as soon as it's out of the womb. Why is this? The newborn wouldn't survive without care, so that doesn't seem like a great test.

    What it comes down to is drawing lines that must, at some level, be whimsical. "Viability" is just another attempt to draw a line demarking the point at which the fetus has the right not to be killed. "Conception" would be another attempt.

    We do this all the time - certain rights and responsibilities don't attach to a person until a particular age. Is there anything magical about 18 for being legally responsible for contracts? For 12 years being the point at which one can be held accountable for crimes as an adult? How about 16 as the age of consent? They're all somewhat arbitrary lines drawn to take into account the fact that moral agency develops over time.

    The abortion debate is the same idea, except that people have much more at stake emotionally, since it's literally life and death on the line.

    NOTE - though it may seem that I'm taking a pro-life position, I'm not. I just recognize that the pro-choice position has some issues in its philosophical foundation. Especially from a rights-based perspective.

  • robc||

    He is wrong.

    We don't get to choose this year between "good" and "better" — have we ever enjoyed that choice?

    Assuming his definitions of Romney as good and Johnson as better (which I dont accept), we do, in fact, have that choice.

    And so I will take it.

  • robc||

    And I didnt read far enough, I say he is describing Romeny as "bad".

    So our choices this time our:
    "Worse"
    "Bad"
    and
    "Better"
    (plus whatever the green candidate is)

    and he expects me to choose Bad instead of Better? What a moron.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    The point is, if you choose "better" you might get "worse". It's like a Yankee Trader/Nasty Christmas game. You don't want to pick the gift that everyone else in the room wants because you're definitely going to lose it and get stuck with a tie rack.

  • robc||

    Only if one vote matters. In White Elephant, the one vote matters.

    I guarantee you my one vote doesnt matter.

    Actually, in a presidential election, one vote never matters, as 2000 and 1876 proves all too well.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Well nothing matters in the sense that we all just get old and die anyway. Unless we die young. But that's not the point. It's like Zeno's Paradox; true, one vote is never going to push the winner past the finish line, but the winner does get voted past the finish line.

    The point is trying to clump your votes into blocs. THAT can sway elections.

  • Randian||

    Great! I'm in the libertarian bloc. If the Big Parties nominate a libertarian, they'll get my vote.

    There you go.

  • The Hammer||

    Don't interrupt Tulpa, he's really gaining steam on the circular reasoning.

  • Foobarbazoo||

    Yeah, like the 1% block that puts libertarians on the map for debates and general public exposure.

    Seriously guys, don't waste your vote on Obama-lite. Obama's been essentially neutered since 2010, and another four years ain't going to change that -- he still has to work through congress.

    Let's make sure we're not ignored in four years, full stop. Red team has been putting up Dem-lites for four elections in a row. It needs to stop.

  • $park¥||

    And it will stop. Just as soon as the voting public gets tired of receiving free gifts from the government.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Obama's been essentially neutered since 2010, and another four years ain't going to change that -- he still has to work through congress.

    WTF? Pay no attention to the Fast and Furious, Solyndra, rewriting OC by executive fiat, threatening EPA regulation of CO2 emissions, etc.

  • Mike M.||

    Obama's been essentially neutered since 2010, and another four years ain't going to change that -- he still has to work through congress.

    ROFL. In your dreams, my friend. Geithner, Bernanke, the E.P.A., and all the rest of his little bureaucratic minions have been quite busy implementing their agenda around congress for the last couple of years.

    And you've seen nothing yet either, if he gets another four years.

  • robc||

    I dont vote in bloc. I am one man, alone, in my uncurtained "booth".

  • LTC(ret) John||

    I AM LEGION, er... BLOC!

  • Ted S.||

    I'm in New York. Worse is going to carry the state even if everybody who really prefers Better were to vote for Bad. So I can vote my conscience without worry.

  • robc||

    Ditto for KY, except BAD is going to crush WORSE.

  • ||

    I don't get this reasoning. "I live in a state that's going blue no matter what, so I'll vote for who I like since I won't affect the outcome." Why not vote for who you like regardless of the outcome?

    I am voting for Gary Johnson, truly hoping he wins. If he doesn't, I would rather Obama and a Republican congress happen over the next 4 years than Romney and a Republican congress for the next 8. But that doesn't mean I vote Obama. I still vote for the person I want to be president.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    His case for not voting for Obama is pretty good. His case for Romney isn't so good.

  • ||

    Four years ago, believe it or not, I made "The Libertarian Case for McCain."

    Oh NO, they were RIGHT! You ARE in the tank for the Rethuglicans!

    /YouTube liberal

  • sarcasmic||

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    I'm voting Pipe Dream

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    or should that be Wet Dream?

  • Randian||

    How many times do the Republicans get to cry "wolf" before people stop listening?

    "Most important election ever" was played out in 2000. I'm not buying what you're selling, Republicans.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The best reason to vote for Romney is because voting for Romney is a better rebuke to Obama than Johnson.

    I'm not saying Romney is a better rebuke to Obama than Johnson--but if he is, then that's the reason why a libertarian should vote for Romney.

    I think the protest vote is more persuasive when there isn't an incumbent. This election isn't about how to run the country. It's about whether to reelect Barack Obama. The Democratic Party isn't really about issues anymore, either--it's just about Obama. The Democratic Party has become a personality cult around Obama--and seeing this personality cult actually defeated, that's a good reason for a libertarian to vote for Romney.

  • John||

    Come on Ken. If Obama wins re-election he is going to be properly chastised by that 4% that votes for Johnson. He will get the message really.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    I guess I might as well vote for Romney, then.

  • Foobarbazoo||

    Actually, Red Team will get the message and maybe consider, for once cycle, not to serve up a Democrat-lite as their candidate. It's getting pretty old at this point.

  • John||

    No. The message Team Red will get is that the country loves socialism and the only way to win is be more socialist. If you don't believe me, look what happened to the Tories after Blair.

  • Foobarbazoo||

    Then Red Team is even dumber than they appear, because in *no way* does voting for a socially liberal, fiscally conservative former governor give that idea.

    What it does give is the idea that we're not buying what Red Team is selling.

  • John||

    Go look at the Tories in the UK. If Romney loses the David Brooks and David Frums will be right there to tell the Republicans how they lost because they were so radical. That is exactly what happened in the UK and the Canada in the 90s.

  • Cytotoxic||

    That is not what happened in Canada. Or Britain really. Both Tory parties were unprofessional and had bad candidates for PM served up. Stop spouting your ignorance John.

  • KDN||

    Both Tory parties were unprofessional and had bad candidates for PM served up.

    That does sound exactly like what's going on here. It never ceases to amaze how much better the Democrats are at this game than the Republicans.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    You're not buying what anyone with a chance to win is selling. So there's no point in the GOP or Dems risking other factions of their coalition to try to please 1% of the electorate.

    If the GOP adopted a full blown drug legalization plank in their platform they would be risking the loss of the sociocon wing, which is much bigger and much more reliable voters than the libertarian sliver in the GOP is.

  • Foobarbazoo||

    The GOP doesn't need to be socially liberal to get libertarian votes, they need to be fiscally conservative.

    They've been shit at that for going on twenty years now, and the only time they actually did okay with it (mid-90s) was when libertarians were REALLY loud, and not buying their bullshit.

    I'll say it again: it's not a libertarian's job to help Team Red/Blue win elections.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    If those who favor liberty don't vote for candidates who can win, the candidates who win won't favor liberty.

  • $park¥||

    If those who favor liberty don't vote for candidates who can win, the candidates who win won't favor liberty.

    FTFY

  • triclops||

    This is, sadly, very true.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The message Team Red will get is that the country loves socialism and the only way to win is be more socialist."

    John has a good point here.

    People don't emulate strategies that fail.

    I'm really sympathetic to the argument that before we can make America a more libertarian country, we need to get rid of Obama first.

    Another four years of Obama isn't about to make the country more libertarian, that's for sure. I'll jump on Romney's case the moment he gets into office, but until Obama's out on his ass--libertarians aren't getting much of anything actually done.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Obama is like FDR to me.

    If we could have kicked FDR out of office after his first term, how much better off would America be from a libertarian perspective?

    In terms of hostility to libertarian ideas, I think Obama is as bad or worse than any president since WWII. There's FDR, Johnson, and Obama--there's something to be said for protest votes when you don't have a devoted enemy of libertarianism up for reelection...

    But when you have a chance to throw a proven tyrant out on his ass, there's nothing unlibertarian about voting to throw the libertarianism-hating tyrant out on his ass.

  • Josh M.||

    Let Johnson in the debates and he'll get well more than 4%. He's polling over 6% since a couple of weeks ago. He got over 10% in Ohio last week...word is spreading.

  • ||

    If Obama wins re-election he is going to be properly chastised by that 4% that votes for Johnson.

    No but the Republican party will be properly chastised.

    Nominate someone who does not fucking suck in 2016 then come talk to me.

  • Foobarbazoo||

    And the argument for Johnson is that every four years we're going to be served up the same non-choice by both parties until libertarians break 1% nationwide and actually get f*cking representation in this country.

    Wasting the opportunity to do that on Obama-lite isn't worth it, and furthermore, a GOP congress and Dem president is what works best in this country re: deficits and general improvements.

  • $park¥||

    Has it occurred to you that the only reason libertarians get less than 5% of the vote is because less than 5% of the people want what they're selling?

  • Foobarbazoo||

    No. It's because we have a first-past-the-post voting system, which rewards people for voting against a candidate, not for a candidate.

    And I'm fine with that. I won't be represented until we upgrade how our voting is done to something more modern.

    But it won't be obvious to people that people, like me, are not being represented if we don't, you know, actually vote for what *does* represent us. Anything above 1% qualifies for public funding, and frankly, people *do* want a socially liberal, fiscally conservative candidate, which is why that's what Red/Blue split on -- it's the only way to ensure they're both viable, since people vote against the party that offends them most on one of those two issues.

    So yeah, vote libertarian and advocate that the voting rules be changed. No one likes their team (Red or Blue), and it'll change eventually.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Anything above 1% qualifies for public funding

    Ahhhhhhhhhh. Now I understand. This is a much easier goal than getting in the debates, though I'm not sure how a libertarian maintains his purity accepting federal funds.

  • Randian||

    Sow Discord for Romney 2012!

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Hardly. I'm just getting people to think clearly about their actions and their beliefs.

    If you guys are going to give me lip about "voting for evil" I'm certainly not going to give you guys a pass on your logical inconsistencies.

  • ||

    I'm certainly not going to give you guys a pass on your logical inconsistencies.

    You have consistently ignored the best argument for voting for Johnson.

    Instead you talk about abortion and public financing of elections.

    If John is redTony can Tulpa be "fence post moving" redJoe?

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    though I'm not sure how a libertarian maintains his purity accepting federal funds

    That is a funny comment coming from you, master of the lesser of two evils.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    You're either pragmatic or idealistic.

    I'm fully in the pragmatic camp, and would be OK with taking fedgov funding and using it as a tool to destroy TPTB.

    I don't see how an idealist can do it, though. Being an idealist is tough.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    So what you're saying is that in order to be a libertarian you must be pure and therefore cannot allow any inconsistencies.

    So you relegate the LP to the dustbin of philosophy, never to hold power, just to act as a talking point in contrast to the powers that be.

    Problem is, Tulpa, that the powers that be don't give a shit about you or your talking points. So long as they are able to hold or share control, they will continue to do what they have been doing for decades now. Which is to expand the State and their control over your pathetic little life, because they can do so until enough people wake up and realize that participating in their rigged game is pointless and that change must come from the outside, because the inside is rotten.

  • ||

    I'm fully in the pragmatic camp

    Yeah sure that must be why you are bring up abortion issues and campaign federal funds.

    I take it back. Joe is less of a retard then you are. You are redtony all the way through.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    So purity is your problem with the LP?

  • Lord Humungus||

    Purity of Essence

  • R C Dean||

    I'm not sure how a libertarian maintains his purity accepting federal funds.

    Easy. He turns the check over, endorses it, and deposits it in the bank.

    No different, in principle, than saying that a libertarian can remain such even though he drives on taxpayer-funded roads.

  • Lord Peter Wimsey||

    Much of America is made up of morons who mouth platitudes about liberty and rugged individualism, but who would be perfectly happy if the government paid a social worker to wipe their ass.

    However, I'm sure there are more than 5% who would support genuine liberty, free markets, and personal responsibility, were they not engaged in the game of Vote Against the Bastard, i.e., lesser evil politics. As Josh M. said, put GJ in the debates and his percentage would rise.

    As for the mob and their free cell phones, fuck 'em every one. I look forward to a day when they walk into a hospital, bleeding from every orifice, and are told it'll be a nine hour wait for a doctor.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Libertarians need to get past 25% to be influential in national politics. It's not going to happen this year.

    Perot got 19% in 1992 and no one gives a shit about him.

  • Foobarbazoo||

    That is complete and utter nonsense.

    Libertarians merely need to be visible. Right now, we're completely shut out.

    It's not our job to help Red/Blue Team win elections. It's our job to pull them towards being socially liberal and fiscally conservative -- mainly by keeping the issue out in public.

    And then we need to point out that we're not represented, and that our voting system needs an overhaul so that we are.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Give Tulpa a break, he just wants to make sure enough people are doing it before he signs up too.

  • ||

    Perot's campaign in '92 kicked the Republicans in the ass and made them take notice.

    Without Perot in '92 we would have never gotten the republican takeover in '94.

    The "Contract with America" was primarily a shrink the size and scope of government document, a strategy that would have never been approached if ~20% of the country hadn't voted in such a way to keep the Republicans out of the White House in '92.

    There was still enough residual anger at the Republicans in '96 that Perot got ~10% and spoiled a second election for the Republicans and made Clinton take notice. It is no accident that Clinton moved in a smaller Government direction after '96 and started working with the Republican congress as opposed to the hostility he showed them from '94-'96.

    It affected things and we got the closest we have had to a balanced budget by '00 that we have come in decades. Republicans forgot what had happened over the eight years of Bush and without a strong 5-10% showing from the more liberty minded in this coming election they will not take notice of this group for the next 4 years.

    Check your history, every major shift in the major political parties in this country has come from voting bloc moves that have bucked the traditional party roles and with the exception of the Republican absorption of Southern Democrats in the 70s came from strong third party showings that shook up the current two party stasis.

  • wareagle||

    Without Perot in '92 we would have never gotten the republican takeover in '94.

    seriously? If there was a single factor for '94, it was the specter of Hillarycare. While Perot's vote total was evidence of anger at Repubs and is the only reason Clinton own, there was no Perot equivalent to tea party candidates of 2010.

  • ||

    Yes, seriously. Hillarycare was a flash-point issue, but it was an extension of the larger debate about small government that started with Perot.

    The Republican party did something to capture that anger in '94, they ran a nationwide campaign where they focused on a small set of national issues to win the house. It was one of the first campaigns of that type for congress. Traditionally Congressional campaigns were about local issues.

    It was a huge swing election unseating many incumbents, and each candidate ran on the Contract, there was no "outsider" group needed (like the tea party), because the Republican Party itself changed.

    Unlike today where there is a fundamental conflict between the party leadership and the tea party faction. If the party leadership today had actually embraced the tea party movement there would have been no need for an "insurgent" group to flex its' muscles.

  • robc||

    It was one of the first campaigns of that type for congress.

    Only if you ignore the campaign for the 1st congress. Back in 1994, I kept referring to the Contract as the 2nd Contract with America.

  • ||

    Notice I did use the "one of the first" perhaps it would be better stated as one of few. :P

  • ||

    Perot's campaign in '92 kicked the Republicans in the ass and made them take notice.

    It also made Clinton take notice.

    He is not hero but you cannot say the republicans balanced the budget all alone anymore realistically then saying Clinton did it all alone.

    Both parties took notice and both parties moved toward what Perot wanted.

    This is why we need to vote Johnson.

  • Jerry on the road||

    The best rebuke would be to reelect Obama and let him deal with a supermajoritarian Republican congress.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    BO's done plenty of damage using his (mostly unconstitutional) executive authority with a GOP House gumming up the works. I don't see how a majority GOP Senate is going to change that.

  • Randian||

    The best reason to vote for Romney is because voting for Romney is a better rebuke to Obama than Johnson.

    I'm not saying Romney is a better rebuke to Obama than Johnson

    WTF?

  • Tulpa Doom||

    I think he's saying that the best argument to vote for Romney would be that one, but Ken doesn't necessarily agree with the argument.

  • ||

    Romney is a better rebuke to Obama than Johnson.

    I would if he was but he is not.

    Nominate a friggin fiscal conservative in 2016 then come and talk to me.

  • Drake||

    Oh boy, here we go again.

  • Randian||

    Both Tulpa and John are here, so this oughta be another shitshow of a thread.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    John and I have to dook it out to see who looms larger.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    I'm implementing a new rule into my personal HnR drinking game: a drink for every hissy fit.

  • John||

    Do you even think about issues anymore Randian? There was a time when you actually said a couple of intelligent things now and then. Now all you do is whine and cry and act smug and put out personal attacks and bullshit platitudes.

  • Randian||

    More delicious tears, please!

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    I counted that one as a drink. This is going to be a fun day, but I won't remember it tomorrow.

  • John||

    So laughing at you and lamenting how the election has made a once reasonable comenter into a whinny butt hurt troll is tears? What color is the sky in your world?

  • Randian||

    "Gee golly, I just can't figure how why these gosh-durned libertarians won't support my Republican candidate! Can't they see he's at best maybe in a different world 1% better than the ENEMY TEAM?"

  • John||

    I don't expect you to support anything Randian. If you are a libertarian and believe that medicare and the entitlement state should be a part of America's future, you need to vote Johnson. When have I ever told you to do otherwise.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    Now there's a fine case of projection.

  • Randian||

    John has to do something to stave off another round of Red-Tinged Tears.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    "Great people talk about ideas. Average people talk about things. Small people talk about other people."

  • Randian||

    "Great people talk about ideas. Average people talk about things. Small people talk about other people."

    "Only assholes quote other people"

  • Cytotoxic||

    John plays a starring role in "Projection Becomes Him".

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Once you turn to the Glib Side, forever will it dominate your density.

  • Randian||

    You calling other people dense is a Collapsing Black Hole of irony.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    What I do know for certain is that Romney isn't Obama Lite, despite what you might think.

    And somewhere in there he also promises not to come in her mouth, right?

  • T o n y||

    There is absolutely no mathematical way Romney will reduce the deficit more than Obama, and not just because Republicans are always worse on this. What specifics we do know, though not very specific at all, point to much higher deficits from the Romney plan. As for creating more economic growth, I guess there's no point to arguing that shrinking government percent of GDP is counterproductive to this end, because Republican magical fairy dust is still considered a genuine plan around here.

  • sarcasmic||

    Straw men are made of straw.

  • T||

    And pixie dust, apparently. Which I guess means the straw men can fly if someone believes in them enough?

  • Drake||

    Mathematics might not be for you.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    There is absolutely no mathematical way Romney will reduce the deficit more than Obama, and not just because Republicans are always worse on this.


    First sensible thing I read from most, and especially for you.

    What specifics we do know, though not very specific at all, point to much higher deficits from the Romney plan.


    That is possible if he pretends to keep spending at the same levels while lowering taxes. Romney and Paul are betting on increased economic activity through lower taxes, but they forget a) the crowding out effect spending has on the overall economy and b) the artificially low interest rates from the Fed, which purport to delay the correction and only serves to potentially make the necessary rise in interest rates even greater than it could have. This can mean a dangerously balooning budget.

    As for creating more economic growth, I guess there's no point to arguing that shrinking government percent of GDP is counterproductive to this end,


    You're wrong, Tony. History has shown that this is not so yet you continue to believe as someone that believes in the return of the prophet Zarquon. The end of the spending levels of WWII in 1946-1948 had the exact contrary effect compared to what the Keynesians predicted.

  • ||

    Well, this is what's stupid about his current proposals. He's not really talking about cutting spending. At all.

    As far as I can tell Romney has not made one serious spending reduction proposal. He's talked about cutting taxes, and he's talked about increasing defense spending, but I havn't seen him actually say what he would cut. Apparently nothing.

  • Lord Peter Wimsey||

    "absolutely no way"??? That is silly. He could easily do so, but might screw us (as Republicans often do). As for economic growth (which you might not actually understand), by easing the predatory hand of the state, and letting the wealth creating sector of this economy (which is not the govt.) engage in business Romney could "create" economic growth in the ONLY way government can: by shutting the fuck up and getting the fuck out of the way.

    And again, for you to say that GOP "magic fairy dust" is the plan around here is like going to a vegetarian website and saying that "Ted Nugent magic fairy dust" is the plan. It just makes you look like an ignorant douche.

  • T o n y||

    You don't make up for the decrease in economic activity that is a consequence of cutting government by any other consequence of it, including vague promises of "wealth creators" being more free. The total lack of evidence for this should be enough to disqualify it for consideration. And the problem is GOP fairy dust is libertarian fairy dust. They have taken their economics theories from you guys. And you're repeating their euphemisms... You do realize that "freeing up the wealth creators" is just code for giving the rich more tax cuts, right? It's never really meant to produce economic activity.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    You don't make up for the decrease in economic activity that is a consequence of cutting government by any other consequence of it, including vague promises of "wealth creators" being more free.


    You were already told and shown that this is not the case: 60% of all government expenditures, including military spending, were cut after WWII. The cuts were quickly replaced by private investing as capital was not being consumed by the government.

    The total lack of evidence for this should be enough to disqualify it for consideration.


    Jesus, Tony, you should change your name to Duane Gish.

    And the problem is GOP fairy dust is libertarian fairy dust. They have taken their economics theories from you guys.


    You're conflating economics with political theory. Whereas libertarianism does preach economic freedom, economics is not the same as libertarianism.

    You do realize that "freeing up the wealth creators" is just code for giving the rich more tax cuts, right? It's never really meant to produce economic activity.


    Keeping more of what you make is not producing more economic activity?

  • ||

    Read the whole article. It's one long rant about how awful Obama is. Little of which I disagree with, although he repeats a few discredited tropes like the one about gutting welfare reform.

    But he says NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING about anything Mitt Romney is going to do. No argument about Medicare. No argument about entitlement reform. No argument about tax reform. It's the "vote for Mitt because he's not Obama, and Obama is realy, really bad" argument.

    If that's the best that Romney's camp can come up with, they are destined to lose.

    Now, I know they have some serious proposal on entitlment reform and tax reform, but they aren't standing up and fighting for them. If Romney and Ryan were out there, in your face, talking entitlement reform every night on the news, THAT would be a reason to vote for them.

    But they're not, and do you know WHY they're not? Because their focus groups are telling them it won't sell. If they thought they could win on entitlement reform and deficit reduction, they would be. Instead their running ads talking about giving subsidies to clean coal in west virginia, and slapping China with trade sanctions in Ohio. They're selling welfare just as much as Obama is.

  • robc||


    If that's the best that Romney's camp can come up with, they are destined to lose.

    Yep, its Kerrey 2004 all over again.

    You cant just run against an incumbent, you have to be FOR something.

    However, this year might be an exception, as Obama isnt running on his record either.

  • Trespassers W||

    Yep, its Kerrey 2004 all over again.

    That occurred to me this weekend, and then I felt stupid for not noticing it before.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    shrinking government percent of GDP is counterproductive to this end

    Meaningless government statistic is meaningless.

  • Tim||

    Think of all the good things a Romney Administration will accomplish:
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -

  • $park¥||

    I love fill in the blank questions but I can't think of anything. Sorry.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    The list of all the good things your intestinal flora accomplish would be similar. Doesn't mean it's not better than the alternative.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    The list of all the good things your intestinal flora accomplish would be similar.

    You might want to look at what intestinal flora actually does.

    Bacteria in the gut fulfill a host of useful functions for humans, including digestion of unutilized energy substrates, stimulating cell growth, repressing the growth of harmful microorganisms, training the immune system to respond only to pathogens, and defending against some diseases.

    It actually is better than the alternative. But I get what you are saying. The lesser of two evils is still evil.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Most of those functions are negative in nature, and some of them overlap (the last three).

    Think of Romney as a particularly nasty flatulence-producing bacterium and Obama as bad E. coli.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    Most of those functions are negative in nature, and some of them overlap (the last three).

    I would think that digesting unutilized energy substates, stimilating cell growth, etc would be a positive. But whatever.

  • ||

    Part of the point here, Tulpa, is that Romney isn't offering a positive alternative.

    When you're running against an incumbent, you have the "devil you know" effect kicking in. If you can't offer people one great thing that would be different, then they don't care.

    Call it inertia. Call it transition costs. Do you buy a new car that you know will be only marginally better than you old car, even if it costs exactly the same as the trade-in value of your old car? Romney has to be more than just "not as bad as Obama" to get people to switch. He has to have some feature that makes them like him and want him for himself.

    I don't see Romney offering that. He needs to offer more than "less painfully horrible than the other guy". He needs to articulate - not just a concept - but actual policy proposals that embody a program for more limited government. Seriously. Just give me something. Give me a reason to vote FOR him, not just against the other guy.

  • Trespassers W||

    The list of all the good things your intestinal flora accomplish would be similar. Doesn't mean it's not better than the alternative.

    I agree. And that's why I'll be casting my vote for Intestinal Flora in November.

  • BakedPenguin||

    1) Magic underwear closet added to Lincoln bedroom.

  • ||

    Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.

  • wakeup||

    Romney’s close relationship with Orit Gadiesh and Israeli military intelligence is the real reason he is the chosen candidate of the Zionist establishment.

  • T||

    Shorter: JOOOOOOZ!

  • $park¥||

    Uh... Cool story bro.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I personally find the third party Gary Johnson "rebuke vote" idea compelling, but my rational mind tells me the powers that be in both legitimate parties will look at Johnson's vote total and say, "What the fuck is wrong with those people? They WASTED their precious, precious votes."

    They certainly won't waste a second of their precious time asking themselves what they could do to capture the loyalty of those voters.

  • Pro Libertate||

    The only way they do worry about it is if the LP gets into double digits on a national scale. Which, sadly, is unlikely.

  • John||

    Even then they won't care. Perot got what 19%. Did that change anything? If it did, I don't see it.

  • Foobarbazoo||

    It did. 1994 was a blowout, and we got balanced budgets and welfare reform over the next 6 years.

    Worked GREAT.

  • John||

    The budget was balanced out of gridlock and the actions of the 92 Congress as much as anything else. As soon as gridlock ended, the budget stopped being balanced

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Assault weapons ban? What assault weapons ban? What Hillarycare?

  • Fluffy||

    I think the Perot challenge may have helped induce BC to govern better than his native intention.

    Clinton actually governed according to the platform that he ran against, first in the person of Tsongas and then in the person of Perot. (Or at least he did so after HillaryCare failed.)

  • John||

    Perot helped Clinton get elected. Perot may have gotten the Republicans to be a bit better. But even that is debatable.

  • ||

    I agree. Especially since a big theme of the Perot campaign WAS the national debt and the deficit.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    And opposition to free trade, and a bunch of other anti-liberty policies.

    Perot's platform bore little resemblance to the Contract For America.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Bull. Clinton governed as a rank leftist until the 1994 elections. Hillarycare, FOCA, assault weapons ban anyone?

  • Pro Libertate||

    The Reform Party fell to pieces. But I think the discontent that the movement reflected directly led to the 1994 mini-revolt.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    It's going to require a lot of legwork in between elections to do it, in addition to smacking around the LP leadership to make them act more like a political party and less like a debate club. Some serious big fish in small pond issues there.

    Believe me, I would like nothing more than for the LP to become a force in electoral politics. But just voting for their latest nominee isn't going to do it.

  • Randian||

    I would like nothing more than for the LP to become a force in electoral politics.

    "And so I will proceed to vote Republican again"

    Yeah, I bet you're really on Team Libertarian there.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    If it becomes pragmatic to vote LP, I will do so. Heck, I voted LP as a temper tantrum in 04 and 08 despite it not being pragmatic at all.

  • Randian||

    Every candidate has exactly zero votes at this moment, so your "pragmatic" talking point is nonsense.

  • The Derider||

    Do you think it's equally probable that Johnson, Romney, or Obama will win?

    Because that's nonsense.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Your pragmatism is what the existing system feeds on.

  • R C Dean||

    If it becomes pragmatic to vote LP, I will do so.

    But, until then, I will continue to reinforce the duopoly that makes it not pragmatic to vote LP.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    The only way they do worry about it is if the LP gets into double digits on a national scale. Which, sadly, is unlikely.

    Particularly unlikely if HNR commenters can't even commit to voting LP.

    What a sad fucking statement. Whatever happened to vote your morals and your conscience? I will not vote for Romney because I don't agree with or trust the party backing him. He is exactly what the GOP wants, an empty bag of a politician that will do what his handlers want. The GOP is the abusive husband that keeps saying that it will be better this time, don't leave me honey. Well, it's high time to forget the bastard and find a better life.

  • Trespassers W||

    That works out well, because I'm not going to waste a second of my precious time expecting them to capture my loyalty.

  • Pro Libertate||

    This time around, I'll vote GOP for Congress, most likely. My representative is okay, especially on economic issues. I'll "trust" them that far. But my vote for Johnson is pretty firm.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    Voting for Johnson, for medical marijuana, and against incumbents.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    He'll eat fewer babies! -- Romney in 2012!

  • Pro Libertate||

    While there's some temptation to vote for Romney to help ensure no more crappy Obama--surely the worst president in decades--I'm not voting to send a message to anyone so much as I'm voting for the candidate who best represents my values and beliefs about the proper role of our government. It's not even close. If the GOP wants my vote, it can nominate limited government candidates for a change.

  • wakeup||

    What is interesting about Barack Obama is that he was programmed by radical Communists, crooked Democrats, and radical Islamists. The
    major influences from those groups were Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Lewis Farhakhan, Frank Marshall Davis, William Ayers, Bernadette Dorhn, and various Saudi radicals. One Saudi paid for Obama's college tuition.

    So, Obama is bought and paid for, programmed with radical hype and hate from our major enemies, assisted and backed by them throughout his political career, and promoted by the liberal controlled broadcast and print media who are ALL lined up to praise him and damn his competition.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Fascinating.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    I find your ideas intriguing and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Commies to the left of me
    Zionists to the right
    Here I am
    Stuck in the middle with Jooz!

  • Fluffy||

    I laughed

  • Delroy||

    The kids nowadays have an abbreviation for that: lol

  • BakedPenguin||

    Very nice.

  • sarcasmic||

    I see Tulpa's 'Word of the Day' calendar came up with "pragmatic" today.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    "Spineless" would have been more apropos.

  • The Derider||

    Yeah, learn to lose like a man!

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Perhaps I'm deluded, but I really think the R's fucked up royally by screwing around with, instead of playing nice with, the Paultards, who'll probably now sit out or vote for GJ.
    That's five percent of the electorate that the GOP just could not afford to alienate this election.

  • tarran||

    The Republican Party would rather play second fiddle to the Democrats in gorging off of the middle class rather than give up their place at the trough.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    This is very true of the GOP establishment. Luckily the "Paultards", as you folks call them, have made very strong inroads into their fortress of power this year.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    And they will make it no further if Romney wins. I guarantee that. Why adjust when you can win with what you've got?

  • Cytotoxic||

    No, they'll keep burrowing in. Maybe at a slower pace.

  • ||

    That is so very true. They can't allow the Democrats to maintain a pander gap.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    I agree with that, though it seems likely in the end a lot of RP supporters are going to come back to the fold when faced with 4 more years of BO.

  • robc||

    I think a lot will, but can the GOP afford to lose 20% of that 5%?

    It seems like playing nice with them, allowing them to have delegates and vote for Paul at the convention and have Paul speak would have done Romney some good.

    There unwillingness to have any contention at the convention was insane.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    I agree that the GOP leadership was stupid to treat RP supporters badly.

  • Trespassers W||

    These are things Romney has promised to do.

    Well, I'm convinced -- a politician's promise is good enough for me!

  • kinnath||

    If libertarians are a big enough block of voters to change the outcome in the handful of swing states, then so be it.

  • Foobarbazoo||

    Funny how republicans think that's a bad thing. :) It's like they think we should vote for them no matter how bad a candidate they nominate...

  • Tulpa Doom||

    I voted LP in 2008 because McCain was so awful (and I underestimated how awful BO would be). But this time around Romney is a much better candidate from a ltd govt POV.

  • robc||

    ???

    I just dont see it. Maybe he is marginally better than McCain, but much?

  • ||

    What crack are you smoking?

    How is Romney any more of a limited government candidate than McCain? I don;t see it.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    He's not calling for bans on speculation and political speech before an election, among other things.

  • ||

    But unlike McCain he IS calling for starting a trade war with China.

  • Foobarbazoo||

    The only way a Republican deserves a libertarian vote is if they are clearly, unequivocally fiscally conservative. Romney is not this, not even close, not even on your most optimistic, hopeful day.

    Otherwise, you check to see if the Democrat is clearly, unequivocally socially liberal. If so, they may deserve your vote. (You can switch the order of these two checks to suit your preferences.) In this cycle, Obama re-upped the Patriot Act, doubled-down on the WoD, and made no progress on gay rights, so...no vote.

    In this cycle, we vote for the libertarian, and we try hard to get above 1% nationwide so we get mandatory inclusion in the debates, and therefore, in the national discussion.

    At the end of the day, a vote for someone who doesn't represent you *at all* is no vote at all, and in this cycle, both teams nominated terrible candidates.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    we try hard to get above 1% nationwide so we get mandatory inclusion in the debates

    You need 15% in the early polls to get in the debates. Doesn't matter how many votes GJ gets, it doesn't influence whether the LP gets in the debates in 2016. Whoever the candidate is then would have to poll well in May/June. Which may be doable with enough legwork between now and then, along with pragmatically cleansing the LP leadership.

  • Srynerson||

    It seems rather bizarre to say Obama "made no progress on gay rights" when DADT was ended on his watch. (McCain voted against repealing it, so it's pretty safe to assume that he would have vetoed the repeal if he'd won the presidency.)

  • OldMexican||

    Well… no.

    But he can buy us time. [...]


    The analysis is entirely faulty. If Romney is able to do the impossible and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, it would mean he would enjoy the pleasure of seeing the economy implode on his watch, following necessarily 4 years of bombardment with anti-market propaganda by the economics-ignorant News Media.

    An Obama win WILL buy us time, first because he will have an hostile Congress which will not let him do too much damage and, second, because there will be no way to spin the subsequent collapse as, somehow, anybody else's fault but his. You may think he could pull an FDR, but not this time: Not in this era of instant information and the Internet.

  • ||

    The one good thing to look forward to about a second Obama term, is to watch to see how he handles the debt crisis.

  • Virginian||

    Well, I think the media will be blaming the GOP Congress for the bad economy. They'll always have a narrative where it's the Republican's fault. Conversely the credit for good things always goes to Democrats. In the 90s, Bill Clinton's magic gave us a great economy, and a GOP Congress had nothing to do with it. In the 2010s, Obama will be helpless to stop a GOP Congress from messing up the economy.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Virginian,

    Well, I think the media will be blaming the GOP Congress for the bad economy.


    It's possible but they have been driving that narrative since 2010 with no discernible results. Instead, and according to the recent polls, more than 1/2 the voters still think Obama can handle the economy better than Romney. Even with a hostile Congress and Senate, I surmize that the feeling among voters will be that Obama failed/triumphed, no matter what. Nobody blamed Congress for Jimmy Carter failure's as far as I can remember. The fall guy will always be the president, one, and somehow the "free market," second.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    People keep saying that Romney is the lesser of two evils for Libertarians as though it's self-evidently true. But I'm not at all convinced of that. As bad as Obama is*, I think Romney would be even worse. And not just on foreign policy issues. I think Romney would be worse on economic issues as well.

    * - And admittedly, I don't think Obama is as bad as many Team Reds claim. He seems to be pretty much a straight forward continuation of the Bush administration. That is, bad, but not categorically worse than other presidents.

  • Randian||

    Obama is worse on the economy, Romney will be worse on war.

    They're practically the same.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    I would normally agree, but there's not much headroom beyond Obama's badness on war before you hit the Hitler ceiling.

  • Randian||

    I happen to believe that Obama is trying to stave off an Iran war, whereas Mittens is practically champing at the bit to get his necon pussies into office to start Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    He's only staving it off until November 7.

  • Randian||

    I have proof that Romney's itching for war.

    You have no similar proof. You are actively making things up.

  • Cytotoxic||

    That makes me like Romney more, but I'm fairly sure that Obama will do the same.

  • DRM||

    Under Obama, US casualties per month in Afghanistan have increased five-fold over the rate under Bush.

    Under Obama, we launched a war to overthrow someone who cooperated with us over WMDs . . . without even a nod in the direction of getting permission from Congress, which Bush at least did.

    But sure, go ahead and insist Romney will be worse on war, because he'll . . . wait.

    What the hell do you think Romney will actually do that's worse than launch an illegal war to overthrow someone who was cooperating with the US and simultaneously get 1,500 Americans killed achieving nothing?

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Because Romney wants to double down on Afghanistan, go back into Iraq, and start new wars in Syria, Iran, and possibly Egypt.

    Again, it's not that Obama is good on foreign policy, it's that as bad as he is, Romney is even worse.

  • Bedonkedonk||

    I think you've been smoking too much of the stormy dragon.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Is Obama worse on the economy? How? Maybe if you believe Romney's miracle of the loaves and taxes, where he creates trillions in news spending and cuts the deficit without raising taxes.

  • Randian||

    Romney would have let Detroit fail instead of nationalizing the auto industry.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Except Romney is now saying he was in favor of an auto industry bailout, he just would have structured it differently. And he was also in favor of bailing out the banks and the brokerages. So best case, you just get Romney trying to bailout different groups than Obama based on who donates the most to him.

  • ||

    See? There you have it. The focus groups say people want free shit, so Romney changes his position to "i'd give you free shit too, I'd just arrange the free shit distribution network differently. I'm not exactly sure how, but that other guy SUCKS ASS. "

    This is what is supposed to be an alternative people around going to buy into?

    "Wait, I'm in favor of the same shit as Obama, I'd just do it DIFFERENTLY!" ?

  • ||

    And to add, you know when Romney says "hey, I'd do the bailout, but DIFFERENTLY, without specifying how, the top thing on people's minds is going to be 'yeah, he'd skew it towards the rich'"

    Fair or not. Running as the unspecified alternate-bailout candidate is just going to make people paranoid.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Maybe somebody (Ms Ekins, perhaps?) could do a poll:

    "Given the choice between being governed by the reanimated corpse of John Wayne Gacy and a second Obama term, how would you vote?"

  • T||

    Robot Nixon.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    I am writing in the Ghost of Ghengis Khan

  • Citizen Nothing||

    The reanimated corpse of John Wayne Gacy in 2012: He'll eat fewer babies!

  • Trespassers W||

    What's Zombie Gacy's position on the Patriot Act?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    He seems to be pretty much a straight forward continuation of the Bush administration. That is, bad, but not categorically worse than other presidents.

    This is mostly true, but I do believe he would have no compunction about nationalizing large chunks of the economy if he thought he had the slightest chance of getting away with it.

    See: Obamacare, auto bailout, [insert your personal favorite]

  • Srynerson||

    The auto bailout began under Bush. Bush even explicitly said he'd do it again: http://www.thedetroitbureau.co.....-bailouts/

  • ||

    Another thing to add to the near-infinite things wrong with Bush.

  • robc||

    Just saw that my Metro Council district grew 45% between 2000 and 2010, so it is shrinking dramatically.

    Im not changing, and as Im in an odd district, it isnt up for election this year (4 year seats, half voted each 2 years), but it will be interesting to see how the character of the elections change, if at all. Probably still a GOP safe seat, but might not be as dominant.

    And, yes, Ive discussed two different city elections in this thread, because do to a fucked up situation, my house is located in two cities.

  • wakeup||

    Gary Johnson was on Alex Jones' radio show recently. He's my guy for sure.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    How can you tell a blonde Ron Paul supporter was the last one to use the Diebold machine?

  • Virginian||

    Ok, that's funny.

  • eyeroller||

    That Green argument is so naive.

    If Republican Romney gets elected, the Republicans in Congress will go along with all his big government schemes.

    If Obama gets re-elected, there is some hope of gridlock.

  • ||

    Fuck the election, and fuck all of you. KITTIES.

  • Tim||

    You. Klingon.Bastard.

  • Paul.||

    I don't get it. I see a shot of the Capitol building. Apparently Biden is in charge of decorating it with giant sleeping cats...

  • T||

    Late thought: this is just a variation of "Mitt's electable!" We can't get a real libertarain, so vote for the shit weasel who's electable. That's how the Rs got Mittens in the first place, isn't it?

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    It's shit weasels all the way down.

  • John||

    Sure they did. And you know who is now bitching about him the most? The fuckhead beltway Republicans like Frum and Brooks. The Tea Party and grass roots have fallen in line and are voting for him even though he wasn't their guy. The establishment meanwhile is having a fit about him.

    Basically the Republican establishment are a bunch of losers who will never get a candidate who is left wing enough for them.

  • T||

    The wife thinks if Mittens doesn't win, the grass roots is going to burn the establishment down in revolt. They played the game about 'electable' candidates for the past two cycles, and got screwed. They're going to demand a real conservative and probably get one.

  • Cytotoxic||

    THIS. The beltway establishment is pissed at Romney for screwing up the election but never consider for a second that he's losing because he's their plaything.

  • John||

    But read Brooks and Frum sometimes. They have both convinced themselves that Romney is some kind of a radical libertarian. It is insane.

  • John||

    If that were true, I would want Romney to lose. The next four years are going to be a bitch. And making Obama hang around to get the blame might be worth it, if the Republicans got better as a result. My fear is that they would turn into the Tories and just get worse though.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Real Conservative == Santorum

    That is big government with a side of Jesus.

  • Paul.||

    Wait, is there an election going on?

  • o3||

    not any moar

  • R C Dean||

    Yes, apparently the murder of an ambassador and the complete implosion of his Middle East foreign policy, complete with rioting mobs and attacks on US soldiers by our nominal allies in Afghanistan, is exactly what Obama needed to make the sale.

    Its weird, but there it is.

  • John||

    The economy seems to really be falling off of a cliff again. Will the reality become undeniable before or after the election? And how long can the media lie to cover it up?

  • Paul.||

    And how long can the media lie to cover it up?

    Until a Republican is in the White House.

  • Paul.||

    Yes, apparently the murder of an ambassador

    You forgot "on 9/11"...

    A sitting president presided over a real terrorist attack on American soil... on nine-fucking-eleven and it proved that Obama has "real foreign policy experience"...

  • Srynerson||

    Romney expressly has no plans for accelerating the American withdrawal from Afghanistan, so what exactly is he going to do to stop "attacks on US soldiers by our nominal allies in Afghanistan"? Issue immediate shoot-to-kill orders for any Afghan who looks funny at Americans?

  • T o n y||

    You're good. You've basically articulated Mitt's next bit of campaign rhetoric word for word. How do you do that?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    When listening to some Republican warning me not to throw my vote away, I can't help remember that if they had their way, *they* would throw away any votes for Johnson or Goode. Look at what they're up to in Pennsylvania. They're even trying to get none of the above off the ballot in Nevada, for fear that some voters will prefer nobody to Romney if given a chance.

    Who, then, is throwing votes away? If the Republicans prevailed, the ballot would only list Obama and Romney (the Dems would be sure to remove the Greens). Any attempt to write in Johnson or Goode would be ignored in the official vote count.

    This is what Republicans actually believe. They are the ones seeking to throw people's votes away.

  • sarcasmic||

    Winning is all that matters. Why don't you want to win?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The wife thinks if Mittens doesn't win, the grass roots is going to burn the establishment down in revolt.

    I think they'll just drown their sorrows in Victory Gin. And hate Goldberg.

    And Eastasia.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    It's Eurasia now. In fact it's always been Eurasia.

  • Lyle||

    If you're in a swing State, please vote Romney. Y'all are all smart so I don't even need to explain why this important. Thank you.

  • Trespassers W||

    I want to hear you explain it anyway.

  • Randian||

    If you're in a swing State, please vote Romney.

    I am resident of the most important swing state there.

    Here's my answer: No. and fuck you to boot.

    I hope I don't have to explain this to you. You're smart.

  • Calidissident||

    Why does it matter if you live in a swing state? Your odds of swaying the election with your one vote are the same as in a non-swing state. Zero percent

  • CE||

    The whole argument for voting for Romney because Obama is worse (or vice versa) is based on the flawed premise that your vote will or could or might change the outcome somehow, which it won't.

    If you want your vote to count, the only way to do that is to vote for the candidate you like the best, and hope it is recorded correctly. That has around a 99 percent chance of happening. Your vote reelecting Obama (or electing Romney) has around a 0 percent chance of happening.

  • CE||

    We don't get to choose this year between "good" and "better" — have we ever enjoyed that choice?

    Yes:

    1980: Ronald Reagan vs. Ed Clark
    1984: Ronald Reagan vs.
    1992: Ross Perot vs. Andre Marrou
    1996: Ross Perot vs. Harry Browne

  • CE||

    1984: Ronald Reagan vs. David Bergland (my first presidential vote)

  • Calidissident||

    I love how Tulpa talks about pragmatism as if his vote is going to swing the election or that Romney can win Pennsylvania

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    You don't make up for the decrease in economic activity that is a consequence of cutting government by any other consequence of it, including vague promises of "wealth creators" being more free.


    You were already told and shown that this is not the case: 60% of all government expenditures, including military spending, were cut after WWII. The cuts were quickly replaced by private investing as capital was not being consumed by the government. This did NOT lead to the disaster that the Keynesians foretold, which means both them and YOU were wrong.

    The total lack of evidence for this should be enough to disqualify it for consideration.


    Jesus, Tony, you should change your name to Duane Gish.

    And the problem is GOP fairy dust is libertarian fairy dust. They have taken their economics theories from you guys.


    You're conflating economics with political theory. Whereas libertarianism does preach economic freedom, economics is not the same as libertarianism.

    You do realize that "freeing up the wealth creators" is just code for giving the rich more tax cuts, right? It's never really meant to produce economic activity.


    Keeping more of what you make is not producing more economic activity?

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