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Over at Cato Unbound, Nick Gillespie wrestles with the growing throng of Libertarian Democrats. Issue #1—Do you guys even exist?

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  1. Grew up Republican- been leaning Dem the last decade due to Republican insanity and fear of one-party rule. Not very enthusiastic about all of the Dem ideology/issues and like a lot of libertarian ideas.

  2. Would it be too tinfoil hat of me to put forward the notion that the left are gunning for a hostile takeover of the term “libertarian” in much the same way they took over “liberal” and then “progressive?”

  3. Markos Moulitsas making the case for Democratic libertarians pretty much assures that the case will never be made. I guess whether you vote Dem or GOP depends on how far the pendulum swings. When the GOP relies almost exclusively on war and forcefeeding Christianity, the Dems look pretty good. When the Dems’ promises to roll back tax cuts for the wealthiest 1% turn into an increase for the rest of us, it’s time to go back to the GOP. Right now, it’s the Dem’s turn to audition for us.

  4. I’m a libertarian vote-against-the-incumbentarian. At the moment, that makes me a libertarian Democrat for the presidential race, a libertarian Republican for a lot of local races, and a libertarian vomiting-in-my-mouth for Senate.

    This really is the tack that the Democrats should take: “We may suck, and the Republicans may suck, but if you vote against the incumbent then at least you’ll have a junior fascist Sentator rather than a senior fascist Senator!”

  5. mediageek,

    Fine. If they want “libertarian”, they can have it. . .if they give us back “liberal”. Nobody likes “liberal” these days, anyway, and we still own that word in most other countries in the world.

  6. I’ll say it, I’m still voting Republican. The Dems are still worse. Example – Jim Webb (D), running for Senate in my state, says on his website that the Medicare prescription drug benefit plan “is a step in the right direction.”

    He has taken the worst Bush administration policy, and married it. That is so woefully stupid that I won’t be physically able cast a ballot for him. And that says a lot given his opponent is named George Allen.

    http://www.webbforsenate.com/issues/issues.php#health

  7. I’d vote for any candidate whose chief policy objective was promiscuity with pizza-wielding interns – and let’s get some (of legal age, of course) for congress too… there’s nothing like pepperoni, extra cheese and nubile flesh for promoting limited government.

  8. Cab,
    What was Allen’s position on the drug plan? Didn’t he vote yes? If so, how can you, with any sense of honesty, cite to Webb’s endorsement of the Medicare fiasco as a reason to vote for somebody who voted for the same fiasco? Wow.

  9. I despise them all equally.

    Stamping out incumbency is probably the best one can aspire to. Lately I have been hearing that “Do Nothing Congress” plaint, to which I respond, “If only, brother. If only.”

    The server macaques seem to be discriminating against me today; I’ll try this one more time. Then I’ll file a gargantuan lawsuit.

  10. Cab,
    What was Allen’s position on the drug plan? Didn’t he vote yes? If so, how can you, with any sense of honesty, cite to Webb’s endorsement of the Medicare fiasco as a reason to vote for somebody who voted for the same fiasco?

  11. I am still caught up on the Military Commisions Act. My senator and representative, to their credit, both voted against it. The republican challenger for senate (forgot his name) said he was for it and the republican house candidate said nothing on the issue to my knowledge. (From his general views, it seems like he would be against, but I’ll have to make sure before I consider voting for him.)

    I have to hope that people in other states and districts vote for people more favorable to due process and checks on the executive branch. Does anyone have a breakdown of who voted for/ against the military commisions act and/or reasons given?

    By the way, I am in Albany, New York. I think it is the 21st house district but I am not sure. I am sure commenters on this board will find much to criticize about Hillary Clinton but I’d rather have her than the republican challenger for reasons alluded to above.

  12. While it isn’t perfect, it does have some useful information on where politicians stand on the issues/how they voted on the issues:

  13. I first read “Nick Gillespie wrestles with the growing throng” as “Nick Gillespie wrestles with a growing thong.”

  14. Lamar

    Of course Allen voted for it too, sorry, I thought that was a given. I’m concerned Webb sees it as a “step” (his words, not mine). A “step” towards what? At least Allen may be a little scared to go any further with it, given the political climate. Anyway, I’m not going to sit here and defend Allen, we both have better things to do.

    Are you from VA? If so, who are you voting for, and why? I’m still not 100%

  15. Libertarian Democrats – huh.

    Weren’t they at one time called Reagan Democrats?

    They almost sound the same.

  16. Big “L” libertarians should embrace, not bemoan, either/both major parties’ acceptance of as many libertarian values as possible. The ideologies of our big tent parties have always been works-in-progress. My party (Dems) was the party of slavery and segregation before it became the party of civil rights. And Lincoln/abolitionist Republicans morphed into “states rights” advocates when Southern Dems were up for grabs in the Sixties. My own effort as a former “professional Democrat” (DNC press sec in the Eighties) and as a Democrat with consistent libertarian beliefs in all three issues frames, economic, social and foreign, is to move my party — which current has NO ideology — in a libertarian direction. See my “libertarian Democrat manifesto” at my “thoughts from a libertarian Democrat” blog, http://www.terrymichael.net

  17. Socially libertarian. Not so much otherwise. I don’t consider myself a “libertarian dem.” I just consider myself a democrat, there being as many philosophies of the democratic party as there are members.

    I’m certainly in favor of drug decriminalization and legalization (you can’t just legalize, say, meth overnight, but we should move in that direction with total legalization being our goal), am benignly agnostic on gun control, don’t see why the government should have any say on who can marry who, am in favor of states getting more regulatory authority back from the feds, against the PATRIOT act and things of that nature, for lowering the drinking age, yadda yadda ya.

    In general I think people should be free to do as they choose, unless you can make a very good argument backed up by very solid facts on how exercising a certain freedom infringes on the freedom of another. Classic example – murder. Ain’t right. But as far as marriage laws, substance laws, everything of that nature, it’s just the morality of the majority imposed on all in the name of “preserving society.” I believe society is and should be what society chooses to be, with no enforced coercion at any level. You want to wear a Burkha, great. You want to have a family where the wife is barefoot and pregnant and the man preaches gospel, great. You want to live in a pagan marriage commune smoking grass and firing AK-47’s, great – so long as every member has the right to leave whenever they want.

    At the same time, I don’t extrapolate from individual freedoms to the freedoms of businesses. People are real, businesses operate solely within a space we collectively define – apples and oranges. I find the market the optimal space for services, but I don’t arrive at that conclusion from ideology, rather I see it as scientific reality. However, where inefficiencies in the market harm the public, and government intervention can be shown to benefit the public, I see no problem whatsoever with government intervention.

    All this probably puts me squarely in the “libertarian democrat” camp as eludicated by Kos. Nonetheless, I reject the label, as I don’t see anything special or unusual about my philosophy. Maybe not every democrat will agree with me on every, or even most points. However, as any democrat who has been active in the party will tell you, that’s pretty normal. The democratic party isn’t an ideology or a movement, it’s a coalition. There’s room for me, unionists and fire and brimstone preachers in it.

  18. I thought about couples porn a lot while reading Markos Moulitsas’s “The Case for the Libertarian Democrat”

    Hey honey, guess what we’re reading tonight?

  19. By the way, to expand on my previous post, the republican challenger for house in my district (I checked it out and it is the 21st) supports drug decriminalization and has a blog called “Stop Wasting Money” advocating fiscal restraint. He is definitely getting my vote if I determine that he has a satisfactory position on the due process stuff, checks and balances, etc.

    You can check it out yourself:

    http://www.wredlich.com/

    Hopefully some freedom-minded people on this thread are in my district will, or know people who are. This is information that I would like to get out.

  20. By the way, to expand on my previous post, the republican challenger for house in my district (I checked it out and it is the 21st) supports drug decriminalization and has a blog called “Stop Wasting Money” advocating fiscal restraint. He is definitely getting my vote if I determine that he has a satisfactory position on the due process stuff, checks and balances, etc.

    You can check it out yourself:

    http://www.wredlich.com/

    Hopefully some freedom-minded people on this thread are in my district will, or know people who are. This is information that I would like to get out.

  21. Ok, I could blame the server but I have been around this blog long enough to know that I should have seen that coming.

    Mea Culpa

  22. Cab,

    I’m a Virginian, and I have to agree with Lamar: Allen voted for Plan D, so your point about Webb’s support for the plan is pretty much a non sequitur.

    I don’t particularly like Webb, but I’ll pinch my nose and vote for him. Allen and Webb are equally statist, which is unfortunate, but Allen has also demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt that he’s an absolute moron. He had about 4 times Webb’s funding, the benefit of incumbency, a famous father, a huge margin at the beginning of the race, and tons of presidential hype. He pissed that all away with his moronic campaign management and constant foot-in-mouth pandering. The man can’t be trusted to run his own mouth, let alone the U.S. government.

    Besides, I resent his phony good ol’ boy b.s. It?s extremely patronizing to people actually born in VA .

  23. Libertarianism will be embraced by whatever party does not control the federal government.

    Statism will be embraced by whatever party does control the federal government.

    For me, right now, I’ll take whatever candidate that will have the greater likelihood of de-optimizing the status quo and increasing the difficulty of passing laws.

  24. Kos has something to say on his website about this:

    Over at CATO Unbound, reaction essays to my Libertarian Democrat piece have been posted by Libertarian Nick Gillespie and Harold Meyerson. Now I’m more focused on November, but afterward, this will be a topic I will devote a significant bit of time on.

  25. Here’s a guy that I think I’ll get to vote for as US Rep to Washington for Arizona. I like all of his answers to the little questionaire thingy they give to the candidates.

    The libertarian gubernatorial candidate seems like kind of a loon and the Senate guy is big on “illegal immigration”, but I’ll probably hold my nose and vote for them anyway – for governor for sure, but I haven’t looked at all the other options for Senate.

    Actually, I need to start reading up on all this stuff soon so I know how to vote come November.

  26. Reagan Democrats were definitely not libertarians. My recollection is that they were blue collar New Dealers who were religious and/or in favor of military build-up. Not so libertarian. Think Teamsters. (On another note: lazy squirrels today.)

  27. libertarian Demcrats make about as much sense as libertarian Republicans.

    It is just about what type of poison you want with your Kool-Aid 🙂

  28. the best part of nicks comments (and they are great comments) is that he inserted 11 links to reason.com…gotta love that. 🙂

    note: yeah i know i already said this in another post…so shoot me.

  29. Saw Nick’s post over there this morning and posted a complimentary comment on the other thread. It only took an hour to post. Hope this one is quicker, there is only so many times you can hit the back button and the post button before you get distracted with work.

    Anyway, excellent points, Mr. Gillispie.

    two hours later…………

  30. “libertarian Demcrats make about as much sense as libertarian Republicans. It is just about what type of poison you want with your Kool-Aid :)”

    and

    “Libertarianism will be embraced by whatever party does not control the federal government. Statism will be embraced by whatever party does control the federal government. For me, right now, I’ll take whatever candidate that will have the greater likelihood of de-optimizing the status quo and increasing the difficulty of passing laws.”

    Typos aside, those two statements make the most sense of anything I’ve seen on HNR lately…

  31. Reagan Democrats were definitely not libertarians. My recollection is that they were blue collar New Dealers who were religious and/or in favor of military build-up. Not so libertarian. Think Teamsters. (On another note: lazy squirrels today.)

    That is pretty much my impression too, thedifferentphil.

    Reagan Democrats were essentially from the old blue collar union wing of the party. They were white, culturally conservative and protectionist and believed the Democrats had gone soft on defense and overboard on civil rights and welfare. The quotas on Japanese trucks and motorcycles were imposed to placate this bunch.

    I tried to post about it yesterday but the server squirrels were hungry.

  32. As Nick observes, damn few liberals can resist the impulse to try to run the country, the economy in particular. I’m a liberal who’s read Adam Smith, but most liberals won’t. The current rage is “populist” liberalism, trying to convince Americans with a nice home, two cars, and a fancy truck that they’re one step from the poor house.

    So I’m only going to talk about where I differ from Nick. First, guns. Liberals don’t give a damn about guns. We don’t own them, so we don’t worry about losing them. We’re bored with the whole 2nd amendment thing, which was supposed to protect common folk from standing armies. (It goes back to the English Civil War.) Well, today the U.S. has a standing army, and having your own gun won’t protect you from them. If you try to use your gun to “protect” yourself from a police officer, guess what? You will be killed, absolutely.

    Re Nick’s crack about the monopoly suit against Microsoft. Bill Gates is rich today because a federal court ruled that Steve Jobs couldn’t patent a visual interface, an “anti-monopolist ruling,” which I suggest was prompted by the feeling that allowing Jobs total control of the visual interface would give Apple an “unfair” advantage. Microsoft has brought suit against other companies, seeking damages under U.S. laws that prohibit monopolistic practices. Microsoft benefits greatly from U.S. trade agreements that allow Microsoft to collect revenues that would otherwise be forever beyond its reach. Microsoft hires foreigners under U.S. laws that create a class of glorified indentured servants who can only work for Microsoft at the salary Microsoft wants to pay. The suit brought against Microsoft during the Clinton Administration is hardly the outrage against common sense that Nick portrays.

  33. Who are these gmail jerkoffs?

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