No, You Shouldn't Respect the Political Process or the Outcome

It's rote for goo-goo pundits at this stage in a national election to assure us of the sanctity of the electoral process and to praise American voters, whoever wins, for respecting the outcome. I'm not going to do that. First of all, I don't want to insult your intelligence. Second, I see no reason to lie. I don't see anything sacred about the electoral process, and I don't plan to accord any respect to the outcome, so why should I tell you otherwise?

To the contrary, I think the political process is, at best, an entertaining farce, and the results unworthy of anything but disdain. H.L. Mencken is always good on this point, so let me drop a juicy quote in here:

The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office. Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant and pine for something they can't get and to promise to give it to them. Nine times out of ten that promise is worth nothing. The tenth time is made good by looting A to satisfy B. In other words, government is a broker in pillage, and every election is sort of an advance auction sale of stolen goods.

The day after the election, whichever buffoons win — even in the unlikely event that the less-unpalatable batch for whom I cast my own ballot pull it out — my only promise is to respect the rights of others, and to otherwise act in compliance with the law to the extent that somebody is watching. Of course, we're under scrutiny more than ever, which is one of my objections to the institution for which we're holding our civic-religious ceremony tomorrow, but there are still a few unobserved corners to be found in which to engage in whatever formally discouraged activity suits your tastes.

Along with many of my colleagues, I've revealed that I'm voting this year (in fact, I already did, weeks ago). I'm sure there are a tiresome few who will argue that this binds me to abide by the results and tug my forelock as the winners pass by like a good subject. But, as I mentioned in that voting round-up, "I consider voting non-essential, but excusable as a defensive act and form of expression." That is, if I can throw a bit of support to pro-liberty issues and candidates to offset just a bit of the frenzy of control-freakery, it's painless and, possibly, beneficial to do so. The great anarchist, Lysander Spooner, allowed that just such defensive voting in no way bound the voter.

In truth, in the case of individuals, their actual voting is not to be taken as proof of consent, even for the time being. On the contrary, it is to be considered that, without his consent having even been asked a man finds himself environed by a government that he cannot resist; a government that forces him to pay money, render service, and forego the exercise of many of his natural rights, under peril of weighty punishments. He sees, too, that other men practice this tyranny over him by the use of the ballot. He sees further, that, if he will but use the ballot himself, he has some chance of relieving himself from this tyranny of others, by subjecting them to his own. In short, he finds himself, without his consent, so situated that, if he use the ballot, he may become a master; if he does not use it, he must become a slave.

So, go ahead and vote or not as you please, without feeling that you've obliged yourself in any way to abide by the outcome. We may have to suffer under the results of what occurs at the ballot box, but that doesn't mean we have to respect it.

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  • John||

    JD,

    How do you plan to not abide by the outcome? Do you plan to move into a compound and set up a Johnson shadow government? Do you plan to start shooting? Tie yourself to the Capitol and demand a recount?

    There are lots of places where no one abides by the outcome of an eleciton, but I don't think you would like there very much.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    I have it on good authority that he is going to cut those tags off of his mattress.

    And possibly swim only 10 minutes after eating.

  • Sudden||

    And if he eats McDonald's prior to swimming, he may have a certain irate first woman coming after him

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Wookiees can't swim.

  • BarryD||

    Can't dance, either.

    This is about the worst thing I've ever seen, other than the Star Wars Christmas Special back in the late 1970s.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_s4-_8ltQxE

  • $park¥||

    Did you read the article? I did and I can't find where he said he wasn't going to abide by the outcome. Hell, I even did a page search and your response is the first place abide appears on this page.

  • John||

    So, go ahead and vote or not as you please, without feeling that you've obliged yourself in any way to abide by the outcome

    Did you read the article?

  • $park¥||

    Interesting that the page search I did didn't catch that. Alright, I grant that he did use the word abide in his piece.

    Now, that being said, which meaning of the word "abide" do you think he's using?

  • John||

    He said you were free not to abide by the outcome. That means you are free to ignore whoever wins and act like they didn't win and your guy did. That would seem to be a difficult thing to do without setting up a compound or a government in exile.

  • $park¥||

    Unless you believe he meant abide as in "to accept without objection" or "be unable to tolerate." You're a smart guy, I'm sure you're aware that there are multiple meanings of the word.

  • John||

    Abide to accept without opposition or question: to abide the verdict of the judges.

    Fair enough.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    The Dude abides.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    Did you read the article?

    my only promise is to respect the rights of others, and to otherwise act in compliance with the law to the extent that somebody is watching
  • John||

    Then how are people free not to abide by the outcome? Either he is saying nonsense or that doesn't mean what you think it does.

  • Rasilio||

    People are always free to disrgard the outcome of an election, especially a national election because they will very rarely have to interact directly with Federal government officials. As far as obeying the laws passed by the elected officials they choose not to recognize, well they are free to ignore those as well so long as they understand that if they get caught they are going to jail.

    essentially he is making a Rational Anarchist argument that just because someone won an election does not mean he surrenders his freedom to them, he remains solely responsible for his actions and will act accordingly, obeying the law where he absolutely must and following his conscience everywhere else.

  • The Derider||

    My only promise is to respect the rights of others, and to otherwise act in compliance with the law to the extent that somebody is watching.

  • ||

    You really got collective woody when you found the ADA covered the vertically challenged, didn't you? Tell me, joe, did Medicaid cover your stepstool?

  • ||

    Now now, joe, remember that you promised to be an absolute douchebag. And you're holding to it.

  • nicole||

    John, I'm sure you're just like the rest of us, with our average of three felonies a day and whatnot. A vanishingly small percentage of Americans actually "abide by the outcome" of elections--they might recognize the elected officials as elected, but abide by what they do in office? Largely not.

  • John||

    You abide by them in the sense that you understand they are President and you are stuck with them. To say you don't have to abide by the result is to say you can act like it didn't happen, not recognize it. And doing that requires going into exile or building some kind of compound in Idaho.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    abide:

    1. to remain; continue; stay: Abide with me.
    2. to have one's abode; dwell; reside: to abide in a small Scottish village.
    3. to continue in a particular condition, attitude, relationship, etc.; last.
    4. to put up with; tolerate; stand: I can't abide dishonesty!
    5. to endure, sustain, or withstand without yielding or submitting: to abide a vigorous onslaught.
    6. to wait for; await: to abide the coming of the Lord.
    7. to accept without opposition or question: to abide the verdict of the judges.
    8. to pay the price or penalty of; suffer for.
  • John||

    Yeah. Now I see. I never really thought about abide in terms of not objecting.

  • ||

    I never thought about abide in terms of not breaking the law or not advocating armed rebellion.

  • ||

    To say you don't have to abide by the result is to say you can act like it didn't happen, not recognize it.

    That's only one way to read it. It can also mean that you don't recognize the outcome as being legitimate from a moral perspective, but you intend to obey the law in so far as is possible.

  • $park¥||

    We've been hashing this over for the past 30 minutes. You think you can just jump in near the top and have people abide your post?

  • The Derider||

    So this article is predicated on this strawman:

    "If you vote, you must always obey every law."

    Nobody's arguing that. They're arguing:

    "If you vote, you must accept the election's winner as the legal officeholder"

  • $park¥||

    "If you vote, you must accept the election's winner as the legal officeholder"

    It's not really JD's fault that people are misinterpreting him then.

  • The Derider||

    If you accept the election's winner as the legal officeholder, you're respecting the political process and abiding the outcome.

  • ||

    The same could be said of you accepting your status as a Diminutive-American.

  • $park¥||

    Somebody was kind enough to post a full definition of the word "abide," you should read it.

  • ||

    Hey joe, when you vote, do they have to get you a stool so you can reach the lever? Serious question.

  • ||

    The ADA requires it.

  • Art Vandelay||

    He probably shows up with a group of midgets, so they can stand on each others' shoulders.

    Just like in the circus.

  • The Derider||

    The magic of election fraud allows me to vote 10,000 times from home.

  • ||

    Yes, that would be a tragedy if your superfluous votes were shorted.

  • Drake||

    I was just thinking what a disgusting round of lying and pandering this whole thing has become. Now starts the process of herding all the mindless drones to the polls to vote for their guy.

  • KPres||

    The electoral process is the best argument for limited government there is.

  • Fladnag the Yarg||

    A nice thought to start the week. Thanks JD.

  • Paul.||

    government is a broker in pillage, and every election is sort of an advance auction sale of stolen goods.

    And the only one getting broker is me.

    *rimshot*

  • ||

    Good rant, JD.

  • T o n y||

    Libertarianism: narcissism as politics. The problem with Spooner's quote and the sentiment that elections and the social contract are just forms if tyranny is that the only alternative models that have existed are all actual forms of tyranny.

    Libertarians love to say life isn't fair. Yet you act as if you're entitled to exactly the type of society you want, even if most everyone else in your society doesn't.

  • SugarFree||

    Fuck off, sockpuppet.

  • T o n y||

    You know that quote often wrongly attributed to Einstein about the definition of insanity?

  • ||

    A definition, I'm sure, most apt to your situation, fuckwad.

  • SugarFree||

    Fuck off, sockpuppet.

  • ||

    NutraSweet, just ignore it.

  • SugarFree||

    Listening to the turds argue which asshole they'd rather be shat out of is getting to me.

  • nicole||

    Just one more day, Sug. We'll make it through together.

  • SugarFree||

    Even when it's over, we get smug triumphalism from the victor and the gnashing of teeth and the rending of clothes of the loser.

    I'm playing Borderlands 2 as much as humanly possible tomorrow.

  • ||

    Some of us can't play Borderlands all day, asshole.

  • ||

    I'll be playing Left 4 Dead; you know, shooting zombies.

  • nicole||

    I'm still playing Skyrim. Because I'm a girl!

  • ||

    You're a treasure nicole.

  • nicole||

    If only I were joking. Are you aware that the latest expansion pack is ALL ABOUT BUILDING HOUSES? I mean, homesteading, so all y'all should be into it too. But I get to build and furnish a house! And there are more recipes! And an oven (where you can cook with butter)! And furniture!

  • ||

    I await the inevitable "your ladyparts' guide to gaming" YouTube.

  • SugarFree||

    Yes, and that pack is why I can't have an alchemy bench in Breezehome anymore. Grr.

  • nicole||

    Dude, can you not switch back if you go talk to the jarl's steward guy? Because I accidentally switched my Markarth house alchemy lab into a kids' room, but immediately noticed I could switch right back (for another 1,000 septims, of course).

  • SugarFree||

    Breezehome seems to be permanently glitched to stay a potential kid's room. They may have patched it, but even if you never bought the homesteading DLC or delete it after the fact, you still can't get the alchemy lab back. It was introduced in the Dawnguard DLC, as is. (I haven't checked for a fix in a month or so. I played through the vampire and Dawnguard storylines and haven't gone back.)

  • nicole||

    Damn SF, that does suck. Along with the overall glitchiness of course.

  • R C Dean||

    Working my way through Pirate's Booty just now.

    Entertaining, as always. Excellent loot.

    Debated, briefly, about holding off on it until I finished the main quest. Couldn't resist.

    Still kicking myself for somehow missing out on the five (5!) golden keys that I could have picked up weekend before last. Graaargh! Dean smash!

  • $park¥||

    Working my way through Pirate's Booty just now.

    Does that make you a butt pirate?

    HA HA, get it? Booty is another word for butt. HA HA!

  • ||

    MALE GAZE!

  • T||

    What platform is that available on?

  • SugarFree||

    PC, PS3, and 360 if you are referring to BL2.

  • ||

    You're right; the solution is to love Big Brother.

  • T o n y||

    You did know Orwell was a socialist?

    I have no more love of tyranny than you do. I just don't think capitalism is inherently free of it.

  • ||

    Too late! I'm ready for my bullet.

  • thom||

    When you read his entire body of work from start to finish, you sense a growing disillusionment with top-down socialism. It's unfortunate that Orwell did not live into his fifties. It would have been interesting to see which direction he went.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Libertarians love to say life isn't fair.

    If a libertarian says life isn't fair, it's probably as a statement of fact. You say life isn't fair before you start bawling your eyes out and shitting your nappies.

    And you're the worst sockpuppet ever.

  • T o n y||

    No libertarians say "life isn't fair" when they don't want to or are unable to morally justify the rampant plutocratic thieving they call freedom.

  • KPres||

    According to Tony:

    Engaging in voluntary trade = "thieving"

    Taking somebody's money under the threat of jailtime = "freedom"

  • T o n y||

    Taxation affords the institutions that are necessary to secure individual freedom. Your conception of "voluntary trade" is idealized to the point of absurdity. There are lots of power relationships in the private sector, and oftentimes "voluntary" is only nominal.

  • KPres||

    Nowhere near as idealized as your idea of the capabilities of an electorate or of the state bureaucracy, which is intrinsically dysfunctional even it's idealized form.

  • T o n y||

    I have no illusions about the potential faults of government. I lived through the Bush years. And I spend a lot of time reading libertarians. But government's not going away and furthermore you don't really want it to, so our only option is to make it work as well as possible. Same with capitalism.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    I have no illusions about the potential faults of government.

    Why concern yourself with the potential faults of government when the real faults are taking place, right now, befoer your very eyes?

    I lived through the Bush years.

    A mere piker compared to President O'Bailout-McGunnrunner-LeDrone.

    And I spend a lot of time reading libertarians.

    Without comprehending a word.

    But government's not going away and furthermore you don't really want it to, so our only option is to make it work as well as possible.

    It would be tough, but I could find a way to live without the DHS.

  • BelowTheRim||

    Don't tell me what I want assclown!

    Seriously Fuck off. Say what you want, just don't fucking tell me what I want or how I feel or what I think.

    Be more full of yourself Tony.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    THIS is what T o n y really believes.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Taxation affords the institutions that are necessary to secure individual freedom.

    You aren't free unless there is a Pentagon complete with budget overruns and Drone Process. When did you register as a Republican, Tony w/spaces?

    Your conception of "voluntary trade" is idealized to the point of absurdity.

    Don't hurt your hand with all that waving, buddy.

    There are lots of power relationships in the private sector, and oftentimes "voluntary" is only nominal.

    Tony w/spaces, I know you think you're a Power Bottom, but in reality, all you are is a Goosh Goosh boy.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    I have no more love of tyranny than you do.

    Yes, you do.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    plutocratic thieving they call freedom.

    Theft under color of law would be your perogative, P H O N Y. Or are you using words you don't understand?

  • ||

    Elections may be necessary to avoid tyranny - I doubt it, but let's say so - but they're nowhere near sufficient.

  • T o n y||

    Obviously. You need strong institutional checks and balances and an educated electorate as well.

    A free market with limited or no government doesn't eliminate tyranny, it only privatizes it.

  • ||

    Did mom finally get around to soundproofing the basement to keep your incessant, hellish screeching out of the house?

  • KPres||

    "You need strong institutional checks and balances"

    Also known as "the invisible hand".

    "and an educated electorate as well..."

    You must mean Republicans, since they're more politically knowledgeable...

    "Republicans fare substantially better than Democrats on several questions in the survey, as is typically the case in surveys about political knowledge."

    and...

    Republicans know more again...

  • KPres||

  • ||

    Shorter T o n y: "Voluntary interactions = tyranny"

  • BelowTheRim||

    notice the word choie 'educated' instead of informed.

    See what all of theose 'educated' people are doing with this nation.

  • The Hammer||

    If he really wanted to be accurate, he'd use 'credentialed."

  • ||

    A free market with limited or no government doesn't eliminate tyranny, it only privatizes it.

    If there's tyranny, that's an excellent indication that there's no free market. There are precious few private powers that aren't empowered by the state or criminal activity. Did you read your Kolko yet?

  • ||

    We are entitled to freedom. That society agrees we are yet votes as they do, simply means most people are stupid, present company included.

  • ||

    "Libertarians love to say life isn't fair. Yet you act as if you're entitled to exactly the type of society you want, even if most everyone else in your society doesn't."

    Noone here argues that we're entitled to exactly the type of society we want. Individuals are entitled to the fruits of their labor and their property. Although, I don't even know why I bother responding since apparently noone has been able to get that through your skull since long before I started coming around here.

  • T o n y||

    ndividuals are entitled to the fruits of their labor and their property.

    Yeah, and nothing else (except of course the taxpayer funded government bureaucracies necessary to secure those entitlements).

  • KPres||

    You must mean all those taxpayer funded (aka paid for by rich people) bureaucracies that protect poor people, but do little for rich people since they could afford their own private police force.

  • T o n y||

    Which is as good an argument as any for ensuring wealth isn't too highly concentrated.

  • KPres||

    It's a better argument for a flat tax.

  • ||

    You're right. So, you will be giving up that palatial, sumptuous apartment to some needy, deserving disadvantaged soul from either the northside or eastside?

  • TheAstorian||

    Yeah, and nothing else (except of course the taxpayer funded government bureaucracies necessary to secure those entitlements).

    Which would be police, fire dept, and courts, which are local organizations. How does that translate to the federal leviathan again?

  • fabius||

    What social contract? I didn't sign any contract.

    The "social contract" is the post-Enlightenment redux of the divine right of kings.

  • ||

    For no other reason than my own amusement, this poor fellow seems to capture both the spirit of Too-Chill-aye's rant and politics in general.

  • SugarFree||

    The comments are hilarious.

  • ||

    There swill in appearance is quite hard, but come and kirdyk. Do not have time to escape - has lost his boots. The less time you are on Quagmirran, the shallower dips. Health to all oil workers! We are the coolest! Cooler only miners, God grant them health and long life! Mastday pop! Rap - sucks! Rock 'n' Roll - forever!!!
    mazalek2 5 days ago

    Indeed.

  • ||

    I like the "JUSTIN BIEBER IS SO HOT" one.

  • Sudden||

    I thought Lvl 80 tractor driver was good

  • ||

    I'm having a hard time picking one, since each one has that magical scent of stupid for which YooToob is renowned.

  • Nancy Pelosky||

    Are you Cyrillic?

  • SugarFree||

    Nicely done.

  • BarryD||

    Thanks to Obamacare, he can get insurance that covers it!

  • ||

    It's a shame it's antibiotic resistant. Both Nanskij Cyrillic.

    Also, REASON, why do you host RT and go Pussy Riot yet deny the majesty of Cyrillism?

  • ||

    HEY!!!! REASON ATE MY AMPERSAND!!!!

    Cancel my subscription!

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    THAT SHIT NEVER HAPPENED WHEN LUCY STEIGERWALD WAS HERE!

  • ||

    HEY!!!! REASON ATE MY AMPERSAND!!!!

    &?

  • ||

    Better to use Latin characters, because then the others can't stick what we say into a translator and decode our inner-most secrets.

    MWAHAHHHHHAHAHAHAHAHA.

  • ||

    Shush! They'll catch on!

  • Sudden||

    Impressive. Spasiba.

  • Lisa||

    I watched the video, preparing to feel sad that he would drown as the title suggested. But then he didn't drown and I was kind of disappointed.

  • Tim||

    If you think the process doesn't matter, well, you're a dumbass. You can thank "the process" that you won't wake tomorrow to a tank in the street. You can thank the process that our "extraordinarily polarized country" is making snarky posts, not actively bombing and murdering each other.

  • BarryD||

    Uh, well, uh...

    Yeah, there is that...

  • The Derider||

    No shit.

    The last time large sections of the US didn't respect the outcome of a democratic election, we had a civil war.

  • SugarFree||

    We had a civil war in 2001? Did I sleep through it? Oh, that's right, you're talking out of your fucking ass. Again.

  • The Derider||

    Did Al Gore set up a government in exile? Did the West coast secede from the Union?

    Complaining about flaws in the process =/= not abiding by the results of an election

  • SugarFree||

    Move those goalposts, joe. Move 'em quick!

    You managed to create a no true scotsman of electoral discontent. It's amazing in its mendacity. ("Mendacity" means "lying." I didn't want you to have to take the time to look up the big word.)

  • ||

    joe, we want to see if you can get stupider. I'm putting down $100 that you can. Any takers?

  • $park¥||

    Complaining about flaws in the process =/= not abiding by the results of an election

    That's actually EXACTLY what it means you fucking dope.

  • ||

    Lacking respect means supporting armed rebellion or secession? I never knew. Idiot.

  • ||

    Hey joe, are you drunk again? Please be drunk. That would be hilarious.

  • ||

    That's tomorrow.

  • ||

    Hi, joe! I see you're still doing an excellent job of being stupid and short. You are doing it on purpose, right?

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    Heeeeeey, Joe
    Where you goin' with your
    dick in your hand?
    Heeeeeey, Joe
    I said
    Where you goin' with your
    dick in your hand?

    "I'm goin' up ta fuck my old lady.
    I mean my mother who's upstairs washin' my clothes."
    "I'm goin' up ta fuck my old lady.
    You know I caught her puttin' Icy Hot
    in my underwear.

    And that ain't too....coooool."

  • The Derider||

    And the gang's all here.

  • SugarFree||

    "Teacher! Teacher! The other kids are being mean to me!"

  • ||

    It's an interesting psychosis that you have, joe. It fascinates us. I've never met anyone so short, stupid, and partisan. It's really a trifecta of scumbag.

  • ||

    Want me to grab you a high chair, joe? I don't want you to feel left out.

  • ||

    Please make sure you use the lowercase "j" as the other commenters thoughtfully have, thanks.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    right - got it

  • ||

    Not that I'm trying to police the comments or anything.

  • ||

    Sheesh, Joe M., you're just like those Commu-Nazis

  • ||

    Better yet, use joey: it's a diminutive.

  • ||

    I see what you did there.

  • ||

    I'm voting for Grover Cleveland, or John Taylor.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Oh come on, a vote for John Taylor is a vote for Chester A. Arthur.

  • Andrew S.||

    Awww, Chester A. Arthur fall down.

  • ||

    I'm pretty sure you don't have a license to dispense political advice. What, you want me to report you to the relevant licensing committee? Well, do you, punk?

  • robc||

    Zombie Coolidge for me!

  • ||

    John Taylor, is, like, totally dreamy, but Simon Le Bon is clearly, like, the hottest one.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    Flock of Duran JaGooGoo

    Awful, awful times in music.

    *shudder*

  • ||

    HERESY!!!!!!!

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    Two words:

    Motley Crue

  • ||

    Two words:

    Joy Division

    Two more:

    Talking Heads.

  • nicole||

    Now that's why the male gaze works. What excellent taste!

  • $park¥||

    This obviously isn't a discussion about good music.

  • ||

    Ahem, Ke$ha?

    MUSIC PWND.

  • $park¥||

    I never said I like her music, I just think she's hot. You really have no defense for your horrid taste in music do you. I guess that's the best that one could expect from a doctor.

  • SugarFree||

    I never said I like her music, I just think she's hot.

    What in the goddamn fuck hell is wrong with you? If you hate your penis that much, give it to some deserving FTM.

  • $park¥||

    Sorry SF, your disease has obviously clouded your vision. It was only a matter of time I guess.

  • ||

    What was that Sparky? I couldn't hear you over the tumultuous noise of nicole appreciating a precision strike MALE GAZE from yours truly. -))))

    To the soundtrack of Stop Making Sense, no less. -D

  • nicole||

    I have the smoke in my eyes

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Talking Heads FTW!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The day after the election, whichever buffoons win...

    Like we're going to have a clear winner the next day. And you will abide by the eventual results, despite your bravado to the contrary. You can bitch and moan but you will have no choice. There will be one face behind the podium with that seal on it, one mug you will be looking at for the next four years, making promises and excuses. Suck it, constituent. Suck it long and suck it hard.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Next presidential election, I propose that we replace the debate format with Presidential Jeopardy, hosted by Alex Trebek.

    "Alex, I'll take the Middle East for $1,000."

    "Audio Daily Double!"

  • Rich||

    "Make sure your answer is in the form of a talking point."

    Seriously, I'm down with this suggestion.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It would be great. And the format allows for multiple contestants.

    Trebek: "Answer: Limits and enumerates the powers of the federal government."

    Demopublican Candidate: "Um, wait, I know this one. Hold on. The Mayflower Compact?"

  • ¿Ex Nihilo?||

    Trebek: "Answer: Limits and enumerates the powers of the federal government."

    Who are 5/9 of the Supreme Court Justices?

  • Pro Libertate||

    "What are elections?"

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    "COMMERCE CLAUSE!!!!"

    Trebek: Almanian - you have control of the board...

  • Pro Libertate||

    "It's a, um, tax?"

  • Rich||

    "Could you use 'enumerates' in a sentence?"

  • Pro Libertate||

    This week's panelists: Mark Warner, Democrat, Mitt Romney, Republican, and Sean Connery, Scotsman.

  • ||

    Come on, Connery's not a real Scotsman.

  • Pro Libertate||

    You take that the fuck back.

  • ||

    Actually, he's more like an über-Scotsman. He's so Scottish he can't even not be a Scotsman when he's, say, a Spaniard.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    "I'll take your mother for $200, Trebek..."

  • ||

    No true Scotsman would play Bond that well.

  • Bobarian||

    The best part of this would be Trebek looking down his smug canadian nose (with his beady eyes and floppy head) at the stupid responses and treating the candidates like idiots.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I know, that's what I was thinking, too. He'd be perfect.

  • bmp1701||

    Next, on Who wants to be the Next President?

    Q: Which of these concepts is described in the Declaration of Independence as being an "unalienable right"?

    1. Social Justice
    2. Judeo-Christian Culture
    3. Liberty
    4. The Right to Keep the Black Man Down

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    "Why can't it be all four?"

  • Bee Tagger||

    I refuse to put my 3d glasses on, though! I must maintain some illusion of freedom.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Put on the glasses.

  • JW||

    Not this election.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass, and I'm all out of bubblegum.

  • $park¥||

    Did you catch John's disease? I can't find the part in the article where 2Chilly said he's not going to abide by the results.

  • John||

    That is because you can't read Sparky.

    So, go ahead and vote or not as you please, without feeling that you've obliged yourself in any way to abide by the outcome

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    But JD doesn't say HE'S not going to abide by the results, John. He says YOU don't need to FEEL obliged to.

    You're just getting all itchy butt in advance of tomorrow in case ROMNIAC loses, aren't you?

    Good plan.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    This election business has taken the fun out of everyone.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    SHUT YOUR WHORE MOUTH YOU FUCKING COMMIE!

  • $park¥||

    This is a SERIOUS FUCKING ELECTION you halfwit!!!! This is no time to be making JOKES!

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    WHY DON'T YOU FUCKING STOP TELLING PEOPLE WHAT TO DO AND FUCK OFF, SLAVER??!

  • $park¥||

    ARE YOU TELLING ME WHAT TO DO!?!?! WHO'S THE SLAVER NOW, BITCH?!!?!1!!

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    UM - NO YOU ARE!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I can appreciate the all caps. They speak to me in places I didn't even know I had ears.

  • ||

    IF YOU TWO DIDN'T FIGHT ALL THE TIME I MIGHT NOT HAVE ENDED UP A PUERTO RICAN TRANNY IN CHINO FOR PETTY LARCENY!!!

  • ||

    Don't be stupid, Jimbo. You obviously were going to end up that way no matter what.

  • ||

    *hangs head* It's true.

    But you and the rest of Epi's toadies don't need to rub it in by lining up for conjugal visits every other Tuesday.

  • ||

    But rubbing it in is the entire point! And, yes, I'm referring to fisting.

  • ||

    He deserves it for wearing chinos.

  • SugarFree||

    This election is the most important thing EVAR, in like the history of time and all of space! We must vote! We must have a hand in the sacred selection of our leaders!

    Well, shit... two hours? Wait two hours? Fuck it.

    You keep them plates a-spinnin', shitheads.

  • nicole||

    It's wrong to force people to wait in line to exercise their right to oppress others. IT'S JUST WRONG AND EVERYONE SHOULD AGREE ON THAT.

  • SugarFree||

    Time is money, so obviously... this is a poll tax!

  • nicole||

    Waiting in line for gas is good. It means people with a lot of money can't get gas any faster than people with only a little--everyone has to wait in line to make it FAIR. Only those rich in time can have gas.

    Waiting in line to vote is bad. Shit.

  • SugarFree||

    It's especially irritating because they are complaining about early voting. IT'S NOT EVEN ELECTION DAY YET, SHITHEADS!

  • ||

    This is what leftist actually believe. True story.

  • T o n y||

    Nobody has explained the utility of restricting people's ability and access to vote. What possible reason could you have to be against the easiest possible access to the franchise for all people?

    Because the only practical reason is that you favor Republicans and know they do better when fewer people vote.

  • db||

    Why don't we just have open voting every day of the year. Each person gets two votes a year for each elected office. If, at any time, the recorded votes for a given incumbent drop below 40%, an instant runoff election is held between all other candidates. The votes used in this election are marked and recorded as used (hiding the identity of the actual voters), so that the voters cannot vote again if they have used both of their votes for the year.

    At the minimum it will stimulate job creation in the FEC.

  • nicole||

    What possible reason could you have to be against the easiest possible access to the franchise for all people?

    Well, you could be an anarchist for one thing. But if I weren't, I would still think early voting is fucked up. Spreading the vote out over that amount of time means that it is not the case that all voters are voting in what I would call "the same election." It doesn't seem at all fair to me to spread out the vote timewise. And as far as complaining about lines, if it's so important to your sense of self-expression that you vote even when its importance is negligible at best because of basic math, then you can fucking stand in line to do so. It's like, omigod, some people might realize that the cost of voting is not worth its benefits? Crazytalk! How will we survive in a world where people almost understand math, at least some of the time, as it applies directly to their lives?

  • T o n y||

    So you got nothing? I see more excuses for ignoring when politicians make voting more difficult, but no justification for it.

  • nicole||

    It's almost like I didn't just say I thought it was actually less fair to have voting distributed over a larger amount of time...

  • $park¥||

    It's almost like I didn't just say I thought it was actually less fair to have voting distributed over a larger amount of time...

    To be fair to Tony, you are just a girl.

  • KPres||

    Here's the justification:

    "You need...and an educated electorate as well."

    Hmmm...who said that?

  • R C Dean||

    What possible reason could you have to be against the easiest possible access to the franchise for all people?

    Because "easy access" and "security" are at opposite ends of a spectrum.

    The easier the access, the less secure.

    Every single one of the "easy access reforms" has blown holes in the security and thus integrity of the electoral process.

  • T o n y||

    No they aren't. Elections aren't rocket science. To the extent that they are made convoluted and difficult it is always because some politicians want fewer people to vote for their own benefit. Until this year I was never required to have an ID to vote and there was never a problem with "security." If you don't realize that these restrictions are Republican party schemes to give themselves an advantage at the expense of democracy, then you aren't paying attention.

  • ||

    It's almost like there is an Iron Law or two in there somewhere, RC.

  • $park¥||

    Is "Don't argue with idiots" and Iron Law?

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    What possible reason could you have to be against the easiest possible access to the franchise for all people?

    cause they want to steal my shit? I only want people who don't want to steal my shit to vote.

  • T o n y||

    The point of government is to tax and redistribute. By your own definition you're stealing someone else's shit just by living under a government.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    Not very good trolling there. Too obvious. Telling me what my definitions are and how to apply them. Arguing back in good faith would be a waste of time. You need to leave a little more doubt that just maybe you are really being serious.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    you said "poll"

  • ||

    Oppression of others should be free to all! Free oppression!

  • ||

    It's our democratic right to have other people's shit for free, and to tell them what they can eat, drink, drive, and into whom they may stick their dicks.

    IT'S ALL FOR FAIRNESS AND JUSTICE.

  • nicole||

    and to tell them either what they can eat, drink [and] drive, or into whom they may stick their dicks.

    We do allow specialization, you know. More efficient and all that.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    *uptwinkles*

  • ||

    And if you're a so-con Democrat, they all come in one neat pack Ain't democracy awesome?

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    *VIGOROUS UPTWINKLES WITH BOTH HANDS!!*

  • SugarFree||

    What's a "upt-winkle"? Is that another term for cooter?

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    An uptwinkle can be USED on a cooter, I believe

  • nicole||

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    There was a movement called Occupy which wiggled fingers to signify agreement with what a speaker was saying or suggesting.

  • Clano'6||

    You mean like jazz hands?

  • ||

    IT'S JUST WRONG AND EVERYONE SHOULD AGREE ON THAT.

    Sorry nicole, I'm at the head of the line, so what I say goes.

  • Rich||

    It’s ridiculous that we make it this hard to pick our leaders.

    Right on! Even purchasing a lottery ticket is easier than this crap!

  • JW||

    You keep them plates a-spinnin', shitheads.

    Sweet fucking monkey farts. I'm actually dumber for reading that piece.

    Thanks a lot, you godless monster.

  • Lisa||

    We need to ban lines. That will fix it.

  • BarryD||

    My President is Charlton Heston.

  • Paul.||

    I suspect that today will be almost as slow a news day as tomorrow.

  • $park¥||

    In regards to real news, probably.

  • John||

    Threadjack Just when you thought Slate couldn't top itself. Yeah they went there.

    How a child of the original Star Wars trilogy learned to love the prequels

    http://www.slate.com/articles/.....chise.html

  • BarryD||

    Did Disney just buy Slate?

  • SugarFree||

    Slate has been little more than a drunk hate-fuck of trollicious contrarianism for years now.

  • A Serious Man||

    Tip of the hat, sir, that was worse than Socca's self-hating white men are voting for Romney because of racism article I linked to yesterday. Holy shit.

  • John||

    But my retarded four year old loved them. So they must be good.

    There is so much stupid in that article.

  • ||

    What prequels? Is this anything like that mythical Dune movie?

  • ||

    But Hayden Christensen is so hot.

    Like, for reals, Jennifer! SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOT!

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Dune movie? I seem to remember a SciFy production - but no movie, no sir, I don't.

  • Brett L||

    I heard talk of Indiana Jones 4. Whatever became of that?

  • db||

    Somebody stand that child up on a zoo railing.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    that made me snort pop out my nose just now...ow, ow, ow...

  • Bee Tagger||

    my only promise is to respect the rights of others, and to otherwise act in compliance with the law to the extent that somebody is watching./i

    Well said. Quotable, even.

  • Bee Tagger||

    I ruin everything, don't i. This is why I can't have nice things.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    There, there, little one....

    *pats Bee on the head gently*

  • BarryD||

    Who does more, really?

  • some guy||

    My only promise is to respect the rights of others, and to otherwise act in compliance with the law to the extent that somebody with authority is watching.

    I couldn't care less what everyone else thinks...

  • Bee Tagger||

    Could be seen as implied, but yes, probably worth amending for that.

  • ||

    Nice article Tucille.

    Now I won't respect the process and I won't respect the outcome, but I have to ask, can I respect the wind?

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    Just break
    like the wind

  • JW||

    Feel free to piss into it as much as you care.

    It's all part of the package of being a libertarian.

  • Ice Nine||

    So, go ahead and vote or not as you please, without feeling that you've obliged yourself in any way to abide by the outcome.

    Yeah, OK, whatever - you're not going to oblige yourself in any way to abide by the outcome. Would someone tell me please exactly what that means because it is only so much gobbledygook to me. What does it mean to not abide (or, to abide for that matter) in any way by the election of, for example, Mitt Romney? That is, what in practice do you do or not do on Wednesday, or in 2013 or 2014 to not abide by Mitt Romney's having been elected President.

  • MJGreen||

    Abide as in tolerate, as in feel morally compelled to respect the outcome. Hence the Spooner quote.

  • Ice Nine||

    OK, have it your way. What in practice do you do or not do to respect or not the outcome?

    These are meaningless words.

  • MJGreen||

    I mostly agree; it's a symbolic gesture in response to others' arguments for some symbolic imperative. Practically, it means not shutting up when someone says, "Well you voted, so you have no reason to complain! You have to accept the outcome."

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Does anyone besides the winner of an election say and believe that?

    I've never heard anyone who lost an election make that argument.

  • Rasilio||

    I've heard more than a few people who really do believe that.

  • $park¥||

    Are you going to be subjected to Obamacare? Yes you are, like it or not.

    Are you going to think Obamacare is a just law because a plurality of politicians made it a law? Maybe you are, but I'm not.

  • Ice Nine||

    No I'm not. So I guess I got my answer: not think Obamacare is a just law. OK, I'm gonna show those suckers!

  • ||

    Well, since Tucille's wrong and all, you obviously have no right to complain about the outcome of the election. Good luck with that whole "abiding" thing.

  • Ice Nine||

    OK but I'm afraid I'm a little shaky on deciphering non sequiturs as well so I'll have to cogitate on that one for awhile.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    lighten up, francis

  • BarryD||

    Put a bumper sticker on your car that says:

    Romney is not my President!

    It was commonplace in the Bush years among the politically correctest, but for the last 4 the same sticker has been a sure sign that someone is a Klansman.

  • MWG||

    "...my only promise is to respect the rights of others, and to otherwise act in compliance with the law to the extent that somebody is watching."

  • ||

    The Dude abides.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Gah, beaten to it!

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    It's contentless libertarian mental masturbation.

  • ||

    You're right of course: you have absolutely no right to complain about the electoral process, the candidates or next president, or any of the stupid shit they do.

    I look forward to your lack of negative comments after the election.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    No matter what it is or who commenced it

    I'M AGAINST IIIIIIIT!

  • The Late P Brooks||

    If I may be so bold...

    So, go ahead and vote or not as you please, without feeling that you've obliged yourself in any way to abide by the outcome blindly worship at the feet of the winners.

  • T o n y||

    So is anyone else tired of Episiarch and his toadies' constant blog policing bullshit? I mean they never fucking say anything. I don't care if you want to act like a toddler in response to my posts. I'm used to it. But do these jerkoffs stop being annoying and pointless just because they wear the libertarian club jacket?

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    mm hm....OK....go on...

  • SugarFree||

    Look, everyone... the tumor is complaining about chemo.

  • ||

    Don't respond to it. Ignore it. Just walk away.

  • SugarFree||

    Stop policing me, jerkoff! Stop or I'll run go tell mommy!

  • ||

    DON'T BE SO BUTTHURT

  • SugarFree||

    You're the toadie. I'm no one's toadie.

  • ||

    No I think it was "Episiarch and his toadies. So he is logically excluded. If you're not a toadie, then probably M o n o T o n y meant Warty.

  • ||

    I'm not a toadie, I'm a toad. You idiot.

  • ||

    Quit oppressing me you amphibious racist.

  • T||

    If you'd use more lube, he wouldn't be.

  • ||

    Blood is an excellent lubricant.

  • Restoras||

    Epi, let's put together the top 3 topics the sock will post about Wednesday morning in the event of 1) an Obama victory, and 2) an Obama loss.

  • ||

    Sucks for him. ObamneyCare decided not to cover it. Pain pill city now. It's for the best, you know.

  • ||

    They just like fucking with pinkos, I expect. And it's pretty funny.

    Grow a thicker skin, asshole.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I guess maybe the majority doesn't like certain people and sockpuppets and voted for some temporary oppressive measures. Isn't that a good thing? I thought the majority was always right?

  • ||

    He actually thinks what people are doing to him amounts to policing.

    People are pointing out that his bullshit is bullshit, and he gets prissy about it. Tough luck.

    And popular majorities are always right. The 17th Amendment told me so.

  • nicole||

    Tony does not abide.

  • ||

    That strawman really tied the room together.

  • Ska||

    I just want to understand this, sir. Every time a strawman is micturated upon in this fair comments section, I have to compensate the owner?

  • T o n y||

    Funny by what standard? That found in a 4th grade little boys' room? I do my best to engage in substantive discussion, or at least to make my insults clever, but my having different political views is called trolling while actual trolling--in place of anything remotely substantive or clever--is called funny?

    My skin is adequately thick. My psychological profile of Epi and his lapdogs suggests they'd be the first to cry like little girls if ever they were actually challenged on anything, which is why they never say anything of substance.

  • SugarFree||

    Oh, the projection is just so delicious.

  • ||

    Have you consulted the actuarial tables, though? Do you make more money than me?

  • KPres||

    "I do my best to engage in substantive discussion"

    BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

  • KPres||

    Tony, let's discuss the fact that Republicans consistently and overwhelmingly know more about politics and current events than do Democrats.

  • ||

    Funny by what standard

    By the standard of the people not being made fun of: DUH. I don't like being made fun of either, doofus.

    I do my best to engage in substanceless ad hominems and goalpost-moving

    Fixed.

    my having different political views is called trolling

    Because no one here except for you EVER expresses different political views. Oh wait, you aren't, and most people here that do usually aren't accused of trolling. But most of them aren't like you, Buttplug, or little joey.

    My psychological profile of Epi and his lapdogs

    Is as full of shit as anything you post here.

  • Trespassers W||

    I do my best to engage in substantive discussion

    No, you don't. You, or the persona that you're attempting to perpetuate, do not argue in good faith. You intentionally misrepresent, you intentionally misunderstand, you demonize, and, worst of all, you perpetually raise the same tired arguments without ever acknowledging that someone has addressed them. It's pointless to argue with you. This is trollish behavior.

    And now you're whining because nobody takes you seriously. That's rich.

    or at least to make my insults clever

    You don't do that, either. But that's only because you're a humorless scold.

  • T o n y||

    I do have my share of off days, but I try to argue in good faith.

    It's really not my fault that all forms of libertarianism fall apart under scrutiny.

  • ||

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Fuck off, sockpuppet.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    I do my best to engage in substantive discussion

    And there's no greater furthering of the cause for substantive discussion than to accuse libertarians of wanting to starve children and give money to rich people.

  • Restoras||

    Grow a thicker skin

    Are you suggesting the sock is...threadbare?? I usually toss my socks at thte first sign.

  • ||

    Oh, shit, did I hurt someone's feelings? That's terrible. I feel awful. I would never do that on purpose.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    I suspect, sir, that you would. and upon more than one occassion have indeed done so!

  • ||

    Ha! There is no such thing as the libertarian club jacket. You get a monocole, top hat, and cane with approved membership.

  • ||

    What about the insanely sexy slave girl I was promised?

    Motherfucker, don't make me take that slave girl by force.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    And Lobster Girl. For me.

  • ||

    Wait, do we have a free market in ASSAULT too?! I'm way behind the times.

  • ||

    You got a cane?

  • SugarFree||

    You have to enter a code that they only released on the twitter feed.

  • ||

    Gold jacket, green jacket, who gives a shit?

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    So is anyone else tired of Episiarch and his toadies' constant blog policing bullshit?

    Not really, but I do get tired of sissy-pants complainers.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    I'd rather listen to Warty and Epi discuss their bowel movements than read 90% of your posts.

    But hey, 10% of your posts are better than Warty and Epi discussing their bowel movements. So that's something.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    So is anyone else tired of Episiarch and his toadies' constant blog policing bullshit?

    Wait, what?

    Tony is calling somebody out for being tedious?

  • SugarFree||

    Apparently it is Opposite Day. You should only respond in threads for the rest of the day.

  • Restoras||

    Socks can do nothing of the kind when appropriately matched. However, when a sock loses its mate in a fall behind the washing machine, they are prone to schizophrenia, in a futile attempt to regain balance.

  • $park¥||

    That really depends on whether you lose a left sock or a right sock. I think right socks are a little better at handling isolation.

  • Rasilio||

    Well that's because the right socks are inherently anti social

  • T o n y||

    I also meant to make note of the irony of 10 people all using the same insult "sockpuppet."

  • The Late P Brooks||

    You should only respond in threads for the rest of the day.

    I'M NOT YOUR TOADY, PAL.

  • Frank Turk||

    Hi J.D. -- A huge fan of your site here even if I only agree with it about 50% of the time and have a fundamental difference of opinion with you about the way we ought to reason.

    To this essay, I think you leave a lot in the gray area. Hiding it behind Mencken's pessimism is entertaining, but not quite as informative as one would hope. It's true: one way to see any government -- all governments -- is that it makes promises "made good by looting A to satisfy B," but that's sort of overlooking the fact, at a fundamental level, government provides a basis for seeing contracts as enforceable relationships between economic entities, and also provides a flexible method of commerce higher than the barter system.

    I'm not sure you'd actually advocate for the state of "no government," but in fact for "far less government," which I think is the right path. And to that end, a government which turns over to new custodians every 2 or 4 or 6 years (depending how you look at it) is a very good thing. Our complicity in that, by accepting the changes (even when they are in some sense esoteric, and maybe especially when they are only to be measured in right-minded 1/32nds of an inch) with civility and pragmatism is far better than the alternatives.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Libertarianism: narcissism as politics.

    Yet you want people to respect you. How quaint.

    The problem with Spooner's quote and the sentiment that elections and the social contract are just forms if tyranny is that the only alternative models that have existed are all actual forms of tyranny.

    Yeah, and up is down. Sure.

    What bothers people is not so much the preposterousness of your assertions, Tony, is the fact that you don't even place even a modicum of thought to them.

    Social contract =/= government. PERIOD. Government is anathema to contracts, of any kind. Get it?

    Libertarians love to say life isn't fair. Yet you act as if you're entitled to exactly the type of society you want,

    Hey, fool - society =/= government. PERIOD.

    Another reason why you get no respect from others: You equivocate all the time.

  • T o n y||

    I don't seek the respect of silly anarchists.

  • Redmanfms||

    Wasn't that prissy little post above all about you not getting any respect?

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Maybe Tony is setting the stage for the grand huffy walk off into the sunset?

  • Restoras||

    A flounce? We should be so lucky but socks don't flounce.

  • Trespassers W||

    It's all so that if the unthinkable should happen tomorrow, he can pretend he had another reason for disappearing.

    If Obama wins, Tony will stick around for another four years.

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