Libertarian History/Philosophy

Can Libertarians and Conservative Get Over Bush?

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libertarians and conservatives

Ilya Somin lays out the options for the future of the libertarian-conservative alliance at Volokh Conspiracy, in light of the fact that the "Bush years have severely strained and perhaps broken the conservative-libertarian political coalition.":

Obviously, a lot depends on what conservatives decide to do. If they choose the pro-limited government position advocated by Representative Jeff Flake and some other younger House Republicans, there will be lots of room for cooperation with libertarians. … Conservatives could, however, adopt the combination of economic populism and social conservatism advocated by Mike Huckabee and others. It is even possible that the latter path will be more politically advantageous, at least in the short term.

Much also depends on what the Democrats do. If Obama opts for moderation and keeps his promise to produce a net decrease in federal spending, a renewed conservative-libertarian coalition will be less attractive to libertarians.

Go join the very lively discussion in the comments over there, or extend it right here. Can libertarians and conservatives still be friends?

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  1. Are we talking about becoming friends with the same conservatives who steal our money to developed teams of armed robots that will be used to round up “uncooperative domestic dissenters”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmVaLp8icoU

    Yes? ok I guess I’ll be friends again if you agree to do a armed revolt when Obama deploys these robots on folks emitting too much CO2

  2. Go fuck yourselves. Repeatedly.

  3. “Can Libertarians and Conservative Get Over Bush?”

    No.

  4. Getting screwed over again doesn’t really appeal to me.

  5. I would hope that the last eight years-particularly the campaigning of the last year or so-has taught libertarians that we are not inherently aligned with either party by way of principle.

    Any coalitions that might arise in the future between the major parties and folks who are concerned with choice will likely be unstable, turbulent and brief.

  6. Frankly, I don’t see how it can be claimed that conservatism as it stands now is any more libertarian than mainstream liberalism. A 4% change in the top income tax bracket does not outweigh massive increases in spending, complete contempt for the Constitution, a huge needless war, expanded Federalization of education, massive new handouts, unprecedented corporate welfare, and last but not least all the social authoritarians and moralizing puritans. Not that I’m saying the Democrats are any better on the whole than Republicans, I just don’t see how any one can claim the latter to be the more libertarian of the two after the past eight years.

    Of course, the opposition party always *sounds* more libertarian, but it’s been proven that the current leadership of the GOP/conservatism throw all vestiges of libertarianism, limited-government conservatism, and even fiscal conservatism out the window if they gain power. Unless/until the people running the show during the Bush years have been purged, fusionism will stay dead and rightfully so.

  7. Why only economic policy and social liberalism?

    Don’t civil liberties and foreign policy rate equally with those issues?

  8. Oh, look what I found!

    I’ll be damned. The econ chamber/message control from the right even outlasts the campaign.

  9. This alliance is pretty much washed up, especially if the Huckabee-Palin wing becomes the face of the party. Huckabee has no time for “heartless” libertarians. And Palin probably can’t spell libertarian.

  10. unstable, turbulent and brief

    Or as Lord Chesterfield said when renouncing a still more popular species of engagement, “The pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable.”

  11. I must be in the minority, but I think there can again be a conservative-libertarian political coalition.

  12. BDB,

    I love the irony of someone continuing to regurgitate the on-message drivel two days after the campaign on a thread about the Onion story.

    Self-awareness is a precondition for sentience. Fail.

  13. As much as I find most conservatives (that aren’t libertarian in their political views) a bit upsetting, I also think there can be a coalition, at least while the democrats are in power.

  14. well seems kinda obvious that the palin/huckabee wing will become more prominent the more dismissive libertarians are of cooperation with the gop.

  15. Joe–

    I like the irony of the fact that Republicans have been saying (quite correctly, IMHO) that the President can’t affect the stock market, only to junk that view two days after they lose the election. Now it is all Obama’s fault! Before the media was creating a recession where one didn’t exist. Now it is the ObamaRecession.

  16. I see it happening after 8 more years of disastrous economic policies, at which time we will lower our standards and try to redirect the GOP’s focus.

  17. Is the the same alleged pro-limited government advocate Jeff Flake that has yet to speak out against the American Empire?

  18. I don’t think there can be a future while conservatives take a libertarians dissent on various subjects as a betrayal of the conservative movement.

    When the Republican Party begins to be less concerned about gaining the highest measure on the conserv-o-meter, and starts taking into consideration the views of libertarians as a reasoned part of a coalition things will improve.

  19. Judging by the number of comments here upon Obama’s election that generally expressed the view “the good old days are over. . ”

    Yes. And I’m not sure that alliance ever ended, just had a bit of a lovers quarel. The primary issue that seems to animate most Libertarians is the marginal tax rate paid by the upper tier. Supporting issues are the capital gains tax and the existence of the income tax. Libertarian social issues fall a distant second to those concerns, as the libertarian movement goes home to its roots as the place for young republicans can pretend they’re not really republicans between presidential elections.

  20. And Palin probably can’t spell libertarian.

    Well she has been to at least one LP meeting, has associations with the libertarian Alaska Independence Party,and probably knows more libertarians than you do.

    “Small government conservatives” is somewhat closer to being a redundancy than an oxymoron.
    There aren’t any “small government liberals” holding any serious political offices.
    Even if you disagree there is always “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”.

  21. When was there ever a libertarian-conservative alliance? There were some neo-cons who gave lip service to libertarianism, and some libertarians who believed them.

  22. We can be friends when conservatives recognize the logical tension in the claim “I want a low-tax strictly limited government of well defined and delegated powers, capable of projecting force anywhere in the world, with troops stationed in over 100 countries abroad indefinitely.”

    They can also work on “I want a limited government that respects individual rights and civil liberties and locks up a higher percentage of its citizens than any other country on earth, destroying their lives for choosing to engage in voluntary actions I disapprove of.”

  23. In New Jersey, a bunch of local politicians go back and forth between the LP and the Republican Party. I’ve decided to evaluate them on a case by case basis, since party affiliation says very little here.

  24. Yeah, I have never heard a person call themselves a “small government liberal.”

  25. The US has the highest percentage of citizens in prison, but not the highest percentage of citizens getting locked up. Two factors cause the gap. Our sentencing terms are longer than in some countries that lock up more citizens, and our prisoners live longer than in coutries that arrest more people but execute them swiftly.

  26. It depends on whether by small government you mean allowing medical marijuana, not engaging in expensive wars, keeping the government out of women’s reproductive choices, ending government wiretapping, etc. There’s plenty of liberals holding serious offices who advocate those things.

    Are there conservatives “holding serious political offices” that buy into that stuff?

    I can’t think of any reason why conservatives and libertarians ever would have an alliance, other than that they often have the same funders for their think tanks. Libertarians and liberals share the root word of their names for a reason, both hold up liberty as the main value. Conservatives hold up authority, and if you read them (Russell Kirk, Edmund Burke, Leo Strauss, etc) they will quite honestly tell you that.

  27. RL –
    There is absolutely no convincing conservatives that their positions may be logically askew –
    I have tried on numerous occasions to explain to a conservative friend of mine why locking up hundreds of thousands of people for a victimless crime is both morally wrong and logically inconsistent with their frequent declamations on “freedom”.
    Whenever I do so, he cringes, and says something along the line of ” I see what you’re saying, but we cant let crazy hippies loose on the streets – plus, the kids, etc.”

  28. Medical marijuana, marijuana decriminalization, and euthanasia. All liberty embracing measures recently enacted in liberal states. All unthinkable passing in a conservative/theocratic stronghold state like Georgia, Alabama, etc. All passed in liberal states such as Oregon and Massachussetts.

  29. The problem is that “small government conservatives” measure the size of the government purely based on how much it taxes, and occasionally how much it spends, rather than to what degree it impinges on our freedom. That’s always been a big part of the disconnect between allegedly small-gov’t conservatives and libertarians.

  30. MAX HATS | November 6, 2008, 9:48pm | #

    Judging by the number of comments here upon Obama’s election that generally expressed the view “the good old days are over. . ”

    Yes. And I’m not sure that alliance ever ended, just had a bit of a lovers quarel. The primary issue that seems to animate most Libertarians is the marginal tax rate paid by the upper tier. Supporting issues are the capital gains tax and the existence of the income tax. Libertarian social issues fall a distant second to those concerns, as the libertarian movement goes home to its roots as the place for young republicans can pretend they’re not really republicans between presidential elections.

    In New England and the Tri-State Region, the social issues aren’t up for debate, because most people are OK with gays. Giuliani dressed in drag for a picture and the local party shrugged it off. Come to think of it, even Huckabee was easy going on LOGO and the Tyler Banks show last year. Gay marriage took a beating in the voting both this election, but few national figure are hate mongering. The last speech I heard that avocating restrictions on pornography was made by a Democrat. Democrats are also the biggest Blue Law defenders.

  31. We had a crime wave in the 60s-early 90s. Since 1992 or so crime has dropped consistently, and once the prisoners from that crime wave die off our prison population should drop at least a little, I think.

  32. Fuck all y’all.

  33. CED … good point. I tend to think that we are naturally closer to the libs on most issues anyways, at least rhetorically. Generally against big-war adventures, pro-choice, relaxed attitudes on marijuana, etc.

  34. IF by libertarian we still mean socially liberal and fiscally conservative, and if we still mean by the GOP fiscally populist and socially hegemonic, absolutely not. The GOP has to jettison the religious right once and for all. That element has disintegrated that party into the party of prayer in schools, gays are bad people, all cases of abortion should be stopped yesterday regardless of who is at stake, and socialism for the wealthy at the expense of the worker while lying to us about Obama’s progressive tax at the same time their tax code is not much different.

    Everything the GOP is right now is opposite everything that is good for government. Until the GOP kicks out interest groups like the Christian Coalition, Family Research Council and the like, they will never – I mean never get my vote. Conservative has to be more than gays and abortion and right now that’s all it is with the most powerful elements in the GOP. They rail about their own religions freedom to be fundamentalist evangelicals and their solution is to take religious freedom and the ability to make ethical decisions for one’s own person for everyone else.

  35. Why do libertarians have to be in a permanent coalition with either party? Being a swing demographic gives you more power. Look at all the sucking up done to white rustbelt voters this year.

  36. Crow Eating Dumbass,

    That doesn’t really speak to small government principles however; it speaks to the notion of those being the activities which liberals are ok with people doing, and all of them remain regulated. And of course Mass. gun, etc. laws are terrible.

    Conservatives hold up authority, and if you read them (Russell Kirk, Edmund Burke, Leo Strauss, etc) they will quite honestly tell you that.

    I would note that there are just as many liberal Burkeans and Straussians as there are conservative ones.

  37. A lot of good points, but I think that Andy Craig really nailed it on the head earlier in the thread. Pretty much sums it up for me.
    Also, those who are trying to say that there is no such thing as a small government liberal might be right in the intellectual sense, but let’s look at actual facts on the ground. Compare the fiscal governance of Clinton (budget surplus with “only” a one trillion dollar growth in the national debt) to the fiscal governance of Bush II (500 billion dollar budget deficit and a five trillion dollar growth in the national debt). Bush doubled the debt! Forget intentions and political philosophies. Look at what actually happened. And yes, I know that Clinton had a Republican congress most of his term. The fact that Republicans apparently only take their ideals seriously when they don’t fully control the government truly speaks ill of them.

  38. Urban gun laws in general are terrible. Petie King (R-NY) isn’t exactly known for his love of the Second Amendment, while Brian Schwitzer (D-MT) is. I think the urban/rural split is more pronounced on gun control than any particular partisan split.

  39. I’m not sure I get all the Flake love here. Sure, he is good on fiscal discipline, but as far as I know, he is in favor of the Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage, is against abortion, is in favor of a muscular military projecting force, and supports drug laws. He is good on spending (other than military spending) and not much else.

  40. BDB – I will look this up for verification, but I tend to think that the replacement rate – how many prisoners going in vs. number of prisoner deaths and releases – will be such that it will allow continued growth in the overall prison population.

  41. “”Small government conservatives” is somewhat closer to being a redundancy than an oxymoron.”

    They only created the biggest EXPANSIONS of government power ever.

    I don’t think there is a place for libertarians in the GOP tent anymore, the new “fusion” there is between the religious right and National Greatness Neo-conservatives.

  42. BDB,

    I think the take away message is that liberals and conservatives both support things that libertarians find highly problematic, and therefore any alliance should depend on the issue at hand.

  43. Seward
    There just are not that many liberal Straussians.

    And liberal Burkeans?

  44. BDB,

    I was going with the states that CED mentioned.

  45. CED,

    You are wrong. There are a ton of liberal Straussians. In fact, you’ll see some in the Obama administration as we did in the Clinton administration.

    I have met my fair share of liberals who had high praise for Burke and his communitarian values.

    Just about any philosophy can have multiple angles divergence.

  46. Libertarians will never forgive Bush. Not merely for violating everything we believe but for doing it while claiming to hold our principles.

  47. Commenters keep confusing conservative ideology with the Republican Party.Bush, for example, is center-right not far right.IIRC popular culture conservative ideologues like Limbaugh and Coulter said as much by at least early in his first term if not before the 2000 election.

    Who keeps electing Ron Paul to Congress? A lot more fundie evangelical home schoolers than Cosmotarians.

  48. Bush ran as favoring less government than he practiced but he most certainly did not run as a small government conservative much less a “libertarian leaner”.I remember one of his “virtues” as a candidate in 2000 was how well he worked and got along with the Democrats in the Texas State Legislature.

  49. Can we please forget about the GOP and move on now? Please?

  50. I have met my fair share of liberals who had high praise for Burke and his communitarian values.

    #1 enemy of non-marxist left anarchists, libertarians and far right conservatives bolded above.

  51. “Collectivism is Slavery”- FA Hayek

    OK, who agrees with that?

    *libertarians and….. hey why are all those right wingers raising their hands?*

    In ideological warfare it is important to know who are your friends and who are your enemies.
    See any liberals with raised hands? Fuck No.

  52. The majority of “Conservatives” talk a good game but don’t walk the walk.

  53. Fuck the marginal tax rate. I’m much more interested in overall government interventionism. It’s too bad that “deregulation” has been turned into a dirty word – by which I mean people think that “deregulation” means selectively encouraging banks to behave like drunken leprechauns handing out buckets of imaginary gold.
    We’ll have to fall back on “non-interventionism”.

  54. I predict the Fresh Prince of Bill Ayers will have everyone unified against him in no time.

  55. Once upon a time liberals were libertarians. Really! That’s where the term “classic liberal” came from. Then two disastrous things happened. First was the rise of the political ideology called “socialism”. It captured the hearts of most liberal intellectuals. Second was FDR, who oversaw the final days of small-government liberalism. And so the libertarians were cast out of liberalism. Ever since liberals have been for large intrusive government, considering even moderate libertarians to be madly deranged reactionaries.

    That was the first half of the 20th century. The same thing happened again in the last half, this time with conservatives. After FDR the remnants of libertarianism made common cause with conservatives. It wasn’t always an easy alliance, but close enough that both Rothbard and Buckley considered themselves to be in the same movement.

    But then a new ideology arose, called “neo-conservatism” (which ironically was composed of ex-leftists who thought the new liberalism was still too libertarian). It stole the hearts of the conservative intellectuals. And we also had our counterpart to FDR: GWB! Dubya oversaw the final days of small-government conservatives. From this time forth conservatives will consider libertarians to be wild eyed radicals.

    Where do libertarians go now? We’ve been kicked out of both the Democrat and Republican parties, from both the liberal and conservative movements.

  56. I would like to see the libertarians influence the Republican party. But IMO, the only way this can work is if the Republicans start putting real libertarians in positions of leadership.

    The social conservatives are like idiot kids that have been shouting down the adults at the table for far to long, and they need to be chastened. So far, that hasn’t quite happened.

    Over time, the public is going to want back a party of limited government, but the Republicans aren’t going to win them back if they still have a bunch of ignorant bigots making major policy decisions.

    Which is not to write off all of “rural” “redneck” America. In a significant sense, the reason the Republicans are losing is because the leadership patronizes rural America by playing to it’s worst elements. I suspect taht’s the reason Obama made inroads in Montana, Colorado, North Carolina and so forth. It’s not because Montana is full of socialists. It’s because those rednecks aren’t as stupid and bigoted as the Republican party leadership seems to think they are.
    These people would find a natural home in a more socially moderate, libertarian orients Republican Party.

  57. Art-P.O.G.,

    You are correct as far as conservatives elected to Federal office.The few that “walk the walk” more than once in a blue moon should be encouraged so that others might follow their example.I don’t care if they believe in creationism, think abortion is murder,or rail against conspiracies the CFR.If we must suffer under a State I want as many leaders as we can get who believe in individualism, liberty and small government.We aren’t going to find those in the center or on the left.

  58. SIV-

    Right-wingers will raise their hands because that kind of rhetoric has become part of the generic “conservative” combo package. When it gets down to actual issues, most of them are just as collectivist that the lefties. Hell, McCain’s “National Greatness” conservatism is about as explicitly collectivist and anti-individualist as it gets in American politics. Then there’s the social conservatives, who basically want the same thing just with a moralizing Jesus-y twist to it.

  59. I want to be friends, Katherine! Except when you talk about abortion.

  60. Ron Paul, Jeff Flake, and Paul Broun are sent to Congress by a constituency largely of “right wing religous fanatic rednecks”.Contrary to Cosmotarian paranoid fantasy those people don’t want a State Church, they want to be left largely alone.

  61. If Obama opts for moderation and keeps his promise to produce a net decrease in federal spending

    Yeah right, and everyone with income under $250K will get a tax cut.

    Plus, everyone will get magical ponies that fart rainbows and crap gold.

  62. Andy,

    Conservatives don’t like John McCain.I haven’t seen anyone on the Right make the case that he is a conservative.That is why he had to pick Sarah Palin to avoid losing 1972 McGovern-style.

  63. I think the Republicans have already weighed in on this one, in the primaries.

    Pro-choice/anti-gun? No problem — they’ll make you an early front-runner for the nomination, like Giuliani.

    Tax-hiker/pro-amnesty? No problem — they’ll make you a top-three contender, one with lots of grass-roots support, like Huckabee.

    Anti-speech/pro-amnesty? No problem — they’ll hand you the nomination, like McCain.

    Anti-war/pro-limited government? They’ll treat you like a pariah, and ban comments about you on their blogs, like Ron Paul.

  64. The first step for conservatives, if they want to win back some fraction of their former libertarian support, is to drop the fascist “Country First” slogan. What happened to God first, family second, then country?

  65. “Can Libertarians and Conservative Get Over Bush?”

    I don’t think most conservatives want too. I think they feel like “the liberal media” created them out of the white house, which to them is rightfully theirs because they are the only “real Americans”.

  66. Craig,

    As I keep saying, GOP does not equal “conservative”. Most of them vote that way because, come election day, there are only two viable choices.

  67. Yeah, they want to be left alone. They just don’t want gays, atheists, women, or drug consumers to be left alone. Ron Paul is elected by playing up his conservative positions on taxes, guns, and his very un-libertarian position on immigration, and refusing to mention his positions on wars, foreign policy, and drugs. I’m not sure if he’s necessarily wrong to do this- it’s certainly better to have him in Congress than not- but the fact is that Ron Paul gets elected by telling his district that he’ll leave them alone and selectively *not* telling them he’ll leave the rest of us alone, because they wouldn’t accept that.

  68. No, fuck the conservative movement.

    The truth is that the entire Fusionist project was a big mistake. I am tired of the republican party and the conservative movement being an albatross on libertarian ideas.

  69. Craig,

    One more time……
    Country First was McCain’s political slogan.
    McCain is reviled by Conservatives, except when he is the only alternative to worse.
    Despite the regular accusations of my GOP shill-dom I’m more of an An-Capper than a libertarian yet I love my “country”. I always think of it as a culture apart from the State.

  70. The problem with the Religious Right? is that they have become impatient with God, and replaced him with Caesar.

  71. Libertarians and libertarians can’t even get over (other) libertarians.

    So no.

  72. I’m pretty sure “anarcho-capitalist” falls under the larger umbrella of “libertarianism”. Anarcho-capitalists have certainly always referred to themselves as libertarian.

    And, by the way, agreed about the “country” as something apart from the state. It’s the same as the distinction Thomas Paine makes in Common Sense between society and government.

  73. Bender | November 6, 2008, 10:28pm | #
    Fuck all y’all.

    The brevity of your statement is much appreciated
    in that unlike many of our critics that come here, like Max Hats and Lefiti you don’t bother to ensconce your hostility in intellectually dishonest bullshit.

  74. Which monkey is the libertarian? I hope it’s the one on the right. He looks like he’s ready to open a banana of whoop ass.

    Oh, and fuck the conservatives. They pissed all over libertarian ideals for the past 6 or 7 years and now they want to play nice? Sorry, I’ll never trust them again as I did in the 90’s, when they actually had a spine.

    Enjoy your stay in the wilderness. We get the top bunk.

  75. Brandybuck,

    Much of the constituency of the “Religous Right” is not even inclined to vote, They have much more important concerns.
    They were motivated to do so more by the threat of the State fucking with them rather than the desire to fuck with other people.
    The dynamic historically precedes the founding of the USA. See Patrick Henry’s evangelical opposition to the Establishment Anglican church as a prominent example

  76. SIV-

    The people who turn out in droves to vote against gay marriage, evolution, abortion, sex-ed, and who rapidly want things like prayer in schools and censorship of cable and the Internet, are not motivated by simply wanting to be left alone.

    There certainly are plenty of people who are religious and culturally conservative who take a live-and-let-live attitude towards government. However, those are not the people who have, in the political/electoral sphere, come to be stuck with the label “religious right” like the Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons of the world.

  77. err, “rabidly want”

  78. SIV, I was not talking about religious people on the right, but a specific subset of them called “The Religious Right”. While most Christians have a coloring of social conservatism about them, it is only The Religious Right that elevates “religious activism” into an art form. If God will not impose their will by divine act, then they will impose it themselves through legislation.

  79. Andy,

    Libertarians are minarchists.Anarcho-capitalists are anarchists.My only reservations about a complete abolishment of the State is that it is very useful in a defensive war.
    I believe we can find a way to largely honor contracts without a State. I remain skeptical about defending ourselves without one.I do find my one concession to collectivism quite problematical.

    Previewing before posting I see your latest comment.It is late here in EST so I will only add that compulsory schooling and State recognition of marriage cause the frictions that you refer to.I think you are painting with too broad a brush and indicting all the religious with what are ideologically secular “progressive” political notions of censorship.

    disclaimer:I’m totally agnostic and unchurched since birth.I’ve never even been baptized.

  80. The people who turn out in droves to vote against gay marriage, evolution, abortion, sex-ed, and who rabidly want things like prayer in schools and censorship of cable and the Internet, are not motivated by simply wanting to be left alone.

    Unfortunately many of them are but are stuck, as we are, with 2nd choices. They’d like to be able to keep their tax money to spend on their own schooling, but failing that they want to get at least some of their content in the schools they’re forced to pay for. They can’t have a choice of cable providers, only the local gov’t franchisee, so ditto there. And about same sex marriage, if you’d understand my analysis, being against really is about being left alone.

  81. My only reservations about a complete abolishment of the State is that it is very useful in a defensive war.

    Its sort of a big deal though.

  82. Unfortunately many of them are but are stuck, as we are, with 2nd choices. They’d like to be able to keep their tax money to spend on their own schooling, but failing that they want to get at least some of their content in the schools they’re forced to pay for.

    I totally understand why religious conservatives resent a public school curriculum created by liberal state governments. I sympathize and am a big supporter of educational choice. However, many religious conservatives persecution of gay people goes way beyond anything that the public education issue justifies. They are using it as cover for their intolerant pursuit of keeping society in line with their notions of how everyone should behave.

  83. I don’t care if they believe in creationism, think abortion is murder,or rail against conspiracies the CFR.

    SIV, the problem with this is that someone that thinks those things probably doesn’t understand libertarian philosophy well enough to do a decent job implementing it anyway.

    I asked in another threat “What’s worse, a competent enemy, or an incompetent ally?” Bush has proven that having an incompetent ally can be far more dangerous.

    300 Spartens at Thermopolye held off the Persians for 3 days because they were expert soldiers against an army of slaves. They were defeated not by being overwhelmed but because their rear was guarded by poorly trained Athenian conscripts who broke ranks and let the Persians in behind the Spartan lines.

    The Libertarian situation is similar. We need friends who know what the fuck they are talking about. We don’t need to be indulging ignorance as a tactical maneuver. If we want rural Americans, we should ally with the smarter tolerant ones, instead of letting the Democrats get them by default.

    People aren’t born being liberals. What happens is that they get repulsed by racism and religious intolerance, start hanging out with liberals, and then they get sucked into the vortex of everything left-wing. Another reason why hanging out with liberals and arguing about economics makes sense. It at least allows non-bigoted non-ignorant people to get exposed to libertarian ideas.

  84. After the dog poops on your bed, you keep him out of your bedroom. But first you make him smell his poop. Rub his nose in it. Rub his nose until the poop goes into his nostrils, then drag the sniffling hound outside and lock the door.

    The only way for conservatives and libertarians to work together FOR LIBERTY is to make conservatives — or, more on point, anyone who’s supported Bush and the Republican Party for seven years — smell their own poop and be reminded of it often.

    Conservatives must know what they did was wrong. And not just growing government to curry favor with voters, taking away civil liberties and lying about war, and their general anti-intellectualism — all wrong. And we must remind them of it. If they won’t accept us as Alpha Male in the house, then kick them out.

    Complication One: It is their house (party),not ours.

    Complication Two: From what I can tell, too many like the smell of their own poop. This leads to training issues.

  85. Can the universe get over Bush? At least my prescription drugs will be paid for when I’m old.

    If Obama keeps his promise to reduce net federal spending. . . Okay, I’m betting he won’t. Will anyone take my money??

    I hate politicians. Does that make me a hater?

  86. Libertarians have been the cheapest date in the GOP for a long time now. They would be well advised to sit out the incipient GOP civil war and be a swing vote, as somebody else said.

  87. Mike, Prop 8 won in a blue liberal state. It wasn’t the evil religious people that did it, it was the kind and caring liberals. Looking at the demographic breakdown, 75% of black women voted for it. That’s not a group you normally associate with the “religious right”.

  88. Normally, you make a lot of sense, Brandybuck, but we both know that California can not be summed up as a liberal state. The Bay Area is liberal, a lot of Los Angeles is liberal, but other parts of the state are conservative. Orange County is the home of the John Birch Society. The San Diego area is conservative. The Central Valley is conservative. And, yes, I do count religious black women as part of the Christian fundamentalist alliance that pressed through Proposition 8. It was promoted heavily in black churches.

  89. I’ll rather debate with a liberal over taxes than with a conservative over whether or not God is more important than science, a healthy education is needy to be president of a country, or best of all, argue why homosexuals should be treated as sub-human

  90. I see no point to be associated with conservative anymore..Liberals have more in common with us now. Being a republican is basically the same thing as being a socialist only banks get money,corporation with good lobbyist get money,Prisons get money and the military gets money.. i hate government spending but i’d ratherhave that money go towards education and other inefficient programs as opposed to any of the former since its going to get spent anyway….

    Also i feel like we’re done here in the states libertarians lost. the most we can hope for now is align ourselves with democrats and potentially work with them on creating actual free markets and efficiency with in government. more times than not they are more than happy to listen actually, in me experience they are not ideological in the same sense redneck, undereducated, anti patriot,huckabee bible thumping, michele bachman fucks

  91. The amount of libertarians on this thread completely rejecting any hope of influencing policy is breathtaking. Sure, say “fuck you” to the conservatives. Good luck electing anybody with your 14% of the electorate (and that’s if we’re being generous).

  92. Liberals have more in common with us now.

    Funny, I see liberals as having less in common with us than ever. Other than stopping the Iraq war, what single idea do the 2 camps share? It sure isn’t stopping or decreasing any other spectre of state interference in your life.

    The amount of libertarians on this thread completely rejecting any hope of influencing policy is breathtaking. Sure, say “fuck you” to the conservatives. Good luck electing anybody with your 14% of the electorate (and that’s if we’re being generous).

    I’ve been involved with libertarians since the mid-80’s and have been around long enough to know that the conservatives aren’t an ally to the libertarian movement any longer. They ceased to be one nearly a decade ago when the neo-con wing took over the conservative movement.

    You can keeping pining for them to come around and ask us to the prom, or you can come to the stark realization that we’re not even being asked to dance. Snap out of it and move on.

    Fuck ’em. Stand or fail on your own.

  93. I’m not sure I get all the Flake love here…He is good on spending (other than military spending) and not much else.

    And he has a nice smile. That’s important. Ask Hollywood. Or the president-elect.

  94. “See any liberals with raised hands?”

    Sure you do. On all the issues I listed upthread liberals have more in common with libertarians.

    SIV is funny with his talk of fundies wanting to be just left alone. Tell that to the person who tries to open a porn store in their community and engage in voluntary transactions with others (Bush loaned fed prosecutors out to localities to prosecute these people for breaking local obscenity laws according to “community standards”). Tell that to the doctor who wants to open a womens reproductive clinic in their community and engage in voluntary transactions with others. Tell that to the doctor who wants to sell life ending doses of drugs to the terminally ill in voluntary exchanges. Tell that to the person who wants to legally sell drugs in their community in voluntary exchanges.

    Let’s take this last one, because it is instructive. Go look at any poll on who wants marijuana decriminalized. Are they conservatives with their hands held high? Nope. More liberals than conservatives have their hand held up.

    Massachussets just decriminalized small amounts of mary jane. As I challenged SIV upthread and he ignored, can you imagine passing such a referendum in a conservative/theocratic state such as Georgia? I mean, why not? Don’t those fundies just want to be left alone? lol

    “There are a ton of liberal Straussians. In fact, you’ll see some in the Obama administration as we did in the Clinton administration.”

    Seward, my educational background is political science so I’m going to have to call you on this one. Please name the “ton” of liberal Straussians who exist, much less served in the Clinton administration.

  95. The amount of libertarians on this thread completely rejecting any hope of influencing policy is breathtaking.

    OK, let’s examine that premise for a moment.

    INT – WHITE HOUSE

    A libertarian walks into the Oval Office and addresses the Republican President.

    LIBERTARIAN
    Let’s come clean to the public
    about the extent of wireless
    wiretapping!

    PRESIDENT
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! You’re
    killin’ me! Ha hahahhahahaha!

    FADE TO BLACK.

    INT – WHITE HOUSE

    A libertarian walks into the Oval Office and addresses the Democrat President.

    LIBERTARIAN
    Let’s come clean to the public
    about the extent of wireless
    wiretapping!

    PRESIDENT
    Well, that’s something to at
    least consider. You caught me
    on a day when it’s possible to
    make me feel a little guilty, so
    maybe in a fit of idealism I’ll
    do just that. Have a good one!

    – In which scene are we having more impact influencing policy?

  96. I think compassionate conservatism is the direction of the GOP which is the antithesis of Libertarianism. Conservatives where supposed to be fiscally conservative but alas they were not. Liberals where to be socially liberal but they fell short too often with nanny state issues. The only hope for libertarians to side with conservatives is for the GOP to splinter into two groups, the classical conservatives and the nutjob Christians. This is possible if the Christian right’s frustrations outweigh their party loyalties.

    Then again the parties may be flipping policies again. Clinton could be considered partially fiscally conservative in that he cut spending. Looking over Obama’s tax plan it seems way more libertarian than anything a mainstream Republican has put across in a while. I know whether he’ll deliver on the plan is unknown at this point. But before you say Democrats always renig on the tax cut promises, Republicans usually do as well.

  97. I have no sympathy for the idea that the only way to influence policy is to ally with a major party. libertarian ideas are not anywhere near popular enough to have an impact as a consensus opinion. We should give well reasoned praise to policies that we support under either party – while maintaining our “conscience” status and giving well reasoned and biting criticism when warrented. In short we need to become a big enough pain in the ass to whatever party is in power, while issueing just enoug praise to keep them engaged.

  98. Republicans won’t let libertarian oriented republicans in their debates unless they have armed mobs screaming at them…and even then they didn’t let Ron Paul in a key NH debate….so no I don’t forsee a kiss and makeup.

    Isn’t it great how according to the volokh dicks the “intellectual libertarians” voted for Obama?…and the masses of ignorant libertarians didn’t?

    Volokh asswipes, if you vote for obama your not libertarian…your a blackshirt.

  99. I think the urban/rural split is more pronounced on gun control than any particular partisan split.

    this is definitely true in nyc – liberal or conservative, guns are a huge no-no. it changes once you get a few hours upstate.

    eight years of bush and the current financial boondoggle of panic and gnashing of teeth has more or less ruined the libertarian label, presuming there was much to ruin in the first place.

  100. Crow Eating Dumbass | November 6, 2008, 10:25pm | #

    Medical marijuana, marijuana decriminalization, and euthanasia. All liberty embracing measures recently enacted in liberal states. All unthinkable passing in a conservative/theocratic stronghold state like Georgia, Alabama, etc. All passed in liberal states such as Oregon and Massachussetts.

    They also passed medical marijuana in Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Montana, all states that went red in 2004. The other (2004) blue states with medical marijuana are California, Washington, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Vermont, and Rhode Island. Barny Frank and Ron Paul worked to gether on bills to let states decide on marijuana policies. Support for pot heads is spit rather evenly between the two parties, but the Republican history of supporting the 10th ammendment makes me think that reform will come from the Republican camp.

  101. Crow Eating Dumbass | November 6, 2008, 10:22pm | #

    It depends on whether by small government you mean allowing medical marijuana, not engaging in expensive wars, keeping the government out of women’s reproductive choices, ending government wiretapping, etc. There’s plenty of liberals holding serious offices who advocate those things.

    When the chips were down, Obama voted for warrentless wire tapping. I’m sure there are liberals standing up for civil liberties, but they aren’t leading their party in that direction.

  102. Don’t civil liberties and foreign policy rate equally with those issues?

    Bingo, joe. Civil liberties are #1 for me.

    And don’t forget the anti-intellectualism and anti-science positions that come along with their social conservative base. In other words, the GOP can go fuck itself. Take a time out. 8 years or more will do. Bill Kristol, please jump off a bridge.

  103. I’ve always thought the conservative/libertarian alliance was bad business for libertarians. I hope it’s dead for good.

  104. When the chips were down, Obama voted for warrentless wire tapping. I’m sure there are liberals standing up for civil liberties, but they aren’t leading their party in that direction.

    But then, neither is the GOP.

    Civil liberties upheld
    w/ Dems – small/medium chance
    w/ Repubs – no chance

  105. Obama voted for a Republican-written FISA bill, after first trying and failing to strip it of its worst elements, like telecom immunity.

    His, and his party’s, efforts to do so were defeated by the Republicans.

    After he was unable to strip the offending provisions, he voted for the final bill, to avoid the political damage the Republicans would do to him for failing to support their bill.

    I’d think that libertarians of all people would recognize that ineffective opposition isn’t the same thing as support.

  106. Now (during an economic crisis) is a very poor time to be pushing libertarian economic ideas. Keynesian thinking (and beyond) currently rules the day both with both politicians and the general public. Support for government bailouts increases as the stock market decreases and the unemployment rate increases. For now, I would recommend concentrating on things like gay rights, preventing warrentless wiretapping, etc., which happen to be things that Democrats are more likely to support anyways.

  107. Ok joe…so when do the new laws that are tough on domestic spying through?

    He could have it written up and ready to go by January 30th at the latest right?

    When does he repeal the patriot act?

    ….waiting for joe to now start telling us the patriot act isn’t so bad now.

    Joe…integrity…get some.

  108. “After he was unable to strip the offending provisions, he voted for the final bill, to avoid the political damage the Republicans would do to him for failing to support their bill.”

    aaaaahhhhhaaahh hhaaaa ! you are retarded if you believe that! you really believe he is going to fix things now that he has the power?

    Joe, I predict you will now become a expert on how he must preserve political capital to take on more important tasks like rescuing the economy from the bailout bill Obama pushed through for his banker friends. Then after a yea of expanding governemtn pwoers even more he will have to be poltically careful for the upcoming elections in 2010 so he won’t be able to repeal the patriot act…beside we will probably have manufactured domestic terrorism by then anyway, so he is more liekly to pass patriot act 3 than repeal ANYTHING bush has done.

  109. joe | November 7, 2008, 10:16am | #

    Obama voted for a Republican-written FISA bill, after first trying and failing to strip it of its worst elements, like telecom immunity.

    His, and his party’s, efforts to do so were defeated by the Republicans.

    After he was unable to strip the offending provisions, he voted for the final bill, to avoid the political damage the Republicans would do to him for failing to support their bill.

    I’d think that libertarians of all people would recognize that ineffective opposition isn’t the same thing as support.

    I don’t count voting “Yes” as oppostition. Libertarians tend to vote their conscience regardless of the political fallout.

  110. right because increasing domestic spying is soo popular…that is why they prefer to get it passed in open referendums…EVERYONE love more stasi style domestic spying…if he had opposed that it could have really inspired the peopel to rally around Bush and his most tyrannical policies.

  111. Can Libertarians and Conservative Get Over Bush?

    Actions speak louder than words. It will take some convincing before I believe the GOP has adopted an even partial liibertarian stance. Once burned three times shy.

    IF by libertarian we still mean socially liberal and fiscally conservative, and if we still mean by the GOP fiscally populist and socially hegemonic, absolutely not. The GOP has to jettison the religious right once and for all.

    The ignorant hillbilly whackjob preacher wing or freedom loving people like me. Choose, GOP.

  112. Joe,
    People liked you here because of your consistent anti-war, anti-torture, anti-drug war thoughts…now that you are going to be justifying a continuation of Bushes policies just because the guy is a different color and plays for the blue team…your gonna get absolutely Hammered.

    I guess you support installing some nukes in Poland and some more military installations in Czech so we can provoke Russia into the conflcits that Zbig seems to look forward to?

  113. Gabe 10:42am,
    Everyone knows Barack Obama is a victim of circumstance.

  114. The key to the entire thing is to actually believe in federalism. You make peace with the social conservatives by saying emphasizing state government and the limitation of federal power. This country is a Republic of States. The States need to be deciding social issues. Now of course not all the states are going to be libertarian utopias. Some of them are going to be tax and spend hell holes and some of them are going to be run by Mormons and Evangelicals. But not all of them will be and you can vote with your feet. Let conservatives and libertarians carryout the jihad against each other at the state and local level where the stakes are lower and the losing side can always move to a different state. At the federal level agree that the federal government should be limited and most issues should be left to the states. It is very easy to reach a consensus that way.

    All of these issues can be diffused at least at the federal level. The evangelicals are going to learn real quickly over the next four years that a powerful federal government sucks. The Dems are going to fuck them every way possible. After four years of that they will be willing to call truce in return for getting the feds out of everyone’s life. That is how the evangelical political movement started. It started at the local level not the national level. Libertarians and conservatives disagree about a lot at the local level. But at the national level there is no reason why they can’t agree that the Federal government has no business doing most of what it does. Of course Libertarians are going to have to live by that to and not support efforts to shove policies they like, like gay marriage, down the States’ throats by legislation or court decision.

  115. Call me crazy, but I think the Democratic party at this point is a better vehicle for libertarians…At least they allow for their anti-war wing to breath a little. The Republicans at this point will allow no dissent on the war, drug laws, or the current survellience society. Why not a libertarian wing of the democratic party? Makes about as much sense as a one in the Republican party. The Republican party is the party of bitter old warmongers. The party of Lincoln and T. Roosevelt. Let it decompose.

  116. Abdullah,

    If you are willing to live with nanny-state laws and control over what you eat, think and say, you can do the dems. Also, I think now that they have the Presidency, the Dems are a little more amenable to surveillance and wars than they were last week.

  117. I don’t know, Gabe, we’ll have to see.

    Like your assumptions about what I was going to write, your assumptions about what’s going to happen under the Obama admininstration are far more like a map of the inside of your own head, than any reliable indicator of objective reality.

    To wit: aaaaahhhhhaaahh hhaaaa ! you are retarded if you believe that! So, which statement is false? That it was a Republican-written bill? That Obama tried to strip telecom immunity? That his efforts were defeated by the Republicans? That he voted for the final bill out of political considerations?

    Come on, smart guy. If I’m so obviously deluded, you should be able to find a single statement I’ve made that’s at odd with the facts. So, put up or shut up.

    Tick tock. Telle me where I’m wrong.

  118. I’m willing to give Obama a chance to fix his FISA error.

    But if he fails to fix it, what then, joe? If he fails to fix it, will you join me in attacking him for that?

  119. jtuf,

    I don’t count voting “Yes” as oppostition. Then it’s a good thing he voted NO on telecom immunity.

    Libertarians tend to vote their conscience regardless of the political fallout. And we’ve seen what an effective political strategy that can be.

    Tell me, if John McCain had won this election, would we even be having a debate about whether he would or would not continue Bush’s assaults on civil liberties?

  120. Of course Libertarians are going to have to live by that to and not support efforts to shove policies they like, like gay marriage, down the States’ throats by legislation or court decision.

    I’m with you John, except for the quote above. Hiding behind Federalism with an issue like gay marriage is equivalent (to me at least) to hiding behind Federalism when dealing with interracial marriage. Maybe I should give away my libertarian decoder ring, but there are some issues that you HAVE to shove down the throats of social conservatives simply because it is the right thing to do.

  121. Gabe | November 7, 2008, 10:39am | #

    right because increasing domestic spying is soo popular…that is why they prefer to get it passed in open referendums

    They don’t have referendums on federal laws, Einstein.

  122. “That he voted for the final bill out of political considerations?”

    He voted for it because he thought he was going to be President and he knows that it was necessary for effective counter terrorism. There are a whole lot of Bush policies like wiretapping and the like that Obama will continue. Since I supported those under Bush, I will support them under Obama. The people who claimed Bush was establishing a police state can either stop supporting Obama or somehow explain why they were wrong before.

  123. Because the list of things I am pissed about hasn’t changed, joe. And now Obama has to fix them, or I will be pissed at him where I used to just be pissed at Bush.

    I want a FISA rollback and, since telecom liability can’t be restored now, I at least want a public airing of all the facts surrounding the program.

    I want Guantanamo closed. I want the Uighurs released and given political asylum.

    I want a new Abu Ghraib investigation.

    I want a complete audit of all Iraq contracts.

    I want all the Congressional subpoenas that were ignored under the Bush administration and DOJ satisfied, to the extent that’s possible without voluntary direct testimony of departing Bush personnel.

  124. “Maybe I should give away my libertarian decoder ring, but there are some issues that you HAVE to shove down the throats of social conservatives simply because it is the right thing to do.”

    Then don’t complain when the other side wins and shoves their issues down your throat. If you sell your soul to federal power and the courts making everything right, be prepared for the other side to do the same. I would rather live in a country where New York has gay marriage because that is what they want and Texas doesn’t, then a country where one side can force everyone to live by their rules.

  125. Gabe | November 7, 2008, 10:42am | #

    Joe,
    People liked you here because of your consistent anti-war, anti-torture, anti-drug war thoughts…now that you are going to be justifying a continuation of Bushes policies just because the guy is a different color and plays for the blue team…your gonna get absolutely Hammered.

    I guess you support installing some nukes in Poland and some more military installations in Czech so we can provoke Russia into the conflcits that Zbig seems to look forward to?

    Gabe, have you ever heard an expression involving the counting of chickens?

    Where do you get this crap? Have I ever written a single word in line with anything you have projected onto me on this thread? Anywhere? Ever?

    Tell you what, Champ: I’LL tell YOU what my arguments and positions are, rather than vice-versa, and then if you’ve got a problem with any of them, you can let me know.

  126. You are pissing in the wind Fluffy. Few if any of that stuff is going to happen. The audits of the contracts in Iraq has already largly happened. The Iraqi government seems pretty confident that we are going to stay there for a while. GUITMO may be closed but the people there are not going free and are not going to be tried in federal court. I wouldn’t be surprised if the military tribunals are allowed to run their course. There will be others that we grab and if they are not sent to GUIMO they will be sent somewhere else or rendered to a friendly country to be tortured and droped in a whole somewhere. FISA is not changing anytime soon. The last thing the DEMS want to be accused of in 2010 is being soft on terrorism.

  127. Fluffy,

    Sadly, telecom immunity was a one-shot deal. It can’t be undone.

    What I’m looking for are actual changes in NSA operations, meaning warrants for domestic wiretaps, rather than this bogus assertion of inherent presidential national security powers.

  128. He voted for it because he thought he was going to be President and he knows that it was necessary for effective counter terrorism.

    Then why did he try to strip telecom immunity from the bill?

    As usual, you have a nice little story that confirms your pre-existing assumptions, and as usual, it fails to explain objective reality.

  129. Then don’t complain when the other side wins and shoves their issues down your throat.

    I will complain. Not because of their methods, but because what they are trying to shove down my throat IS WRONG.

    I will complain and fight.

    I would rather live in a country where New York has gay marriage because that is what they want and Texas doesn’t, then a country where one side can force everyone to live by their rules.

    That’s grand. Except I doubt you’d say the same if you equated gay marriage bans with interracial marriage bans as I do. You’d really be proposing Federalism in the 60s, John?

  130. “What I’m looking for are actual changes in NSA operations, meaning warrants for domestic wiretaps, rather than this bogus assertion of inherent presidential national security powers.”

    That will be interesting to see. The NSA is everywhere. I would be very suprised if they stoped data mining. Look Joe, our luck is going to run out one of these days. God help us but it will. No one in power wants that and to have specific things for the other side to point at and say “we did this and we were safe, they stopped and now look what happened”.

  131. Fluffy,

    I too want to see a public accounting, about domestic spying and a lot of other things done under the Bush administration. This is actually the area where I’m most worried about an Obama administration – that his desire for bipartisanship will lead him to “let bygones be bygones,” rather than holding people responsible, merely because the responsible people were Republicans.

    I’m pretty confident about Guantanamo, though.

  132. “Then why did he try to strip telecom immunity from the bill?”

    Because he knew it wasn’t going to happen and it would give him a fig leaf with people like you. It is called politics Joe. If telcom immunity was that important, he would have voted against the bill. His attempt to strip it out was a dog and pony show put on by the Dems for your benefit. You really are a cheap date aren’t you?

  133. Sadly, telecom immunity was a one-shot deal. It can’t be undone.

    Granting immunity to telecoms was a means to an end.

    If the telecoms could be sued, their operations were subject to discovery prior to trial. The reason the telecoms were granted immunity was to prevent plaintiffs from uncovering the full extent of the warrantless wiretapping during that discovery.

    I don’t have any burning desire to see the telecoms pay dollar damages, so their immunity is irrelevant to me if the information that would have been uncovered by suing the telecoms is voluntarily released by the Obama administration.

    So it’s not a one-shot deal. It continues to be a living issue every day that the information in question is not released. Obama can undo his FISA vote mistake by a public airing of the information that telecom immunity was designed to conceal.

  134. Joe,

    The reality is that he will do many of the same things Bush did. I don’t say that to insult him. I say that because I think he is a competent person and not a nut. The hard reality is that Presidents have to do unpleasent and nasty things. They always have and always will. He is not going to go after the Bush administration because he knows it would be unpopular and he doesn’t want to limit his own options or risk a future administration going after him.

  135. John | November 7, 2008, 11:14am | #

    “That he voted for the final bill out of political considerations?”

    He voted for it because he thought he was going to be President and he knows that it was necessary for effective counter terrorism.

    John | November 7, 2008, 11:19am | #

    FISA is not changing anytime soon. The last thing the DEMS want to be accused of in 2010 is being soft on terrorism.

    John, John, have you two met?

  136. I too want to see a public accounting, about domestic spying and a lot of other things done under the Bush administration. This is actually the area where I’m most worried about an Obama administration – that his desire for bipartisanship will lead him to “let bygones be bygones,” rather than holding people responsible, merely because the responsible people were Republicans.

    That’s reasonable and fair. As long as you don’t withhold criticism when the time comes if he lets you down on this score.

  137. Joe those mean the same things. The Dems know FISA is nessary and they know undoing it would leave them open to being accused of being soft on terrorism. What are you talking about? Those two statements are not contradictory at all. They are complimentary. You can do something because it makes both practical and political sense.

  138. Because he knew it wasn’t going to happen and it would give him a fig leaf with people like you.

    If that was the case, he would have done exactly the opposite – voted to keep Telecom Immunity in the bill, but then voted against the bill.

    It was known beforehand that the final bill would pass, so THAT was the safe vote where he could have made a show of opposition. It was the committee vote on telecom immunity that could have gone either way.

    So, no. Once again, nice little story, makes you feel good, confirms what you “know” (as opposed to what you actually know), but is demonstrably false.

  139. Fluffy,

    Good point about the release of information.

    I want to see Congress keep this issue alive, too. The administration isn’t going to release information it isn’t asked for.

  140. “If that was the case, he would have done exactly the opposite – voted to keep Telecom Immunity in the bill, but then voted against the bill.”

    Joe you are losing your mind. It wasn’t just the Telecom immunity bill. It was the reauthorization of FISA. He couldn’t vote against the bill without looking really weak on terror. At the same time, he had to do something to give himself a fig leaf with people like you. So, he tried to strip the telecom immunity out at committee, so he could say he was against it and then voted for the bill on the floor so he could tell everyone else how tough he was on terror. It is called bait and switch Joe. I don’t blame him for it and the vote on FISA just shows that he is not a nut and might be a responsible President. But you are kidding yourself if you think that telecom immunity or FISA is going to be re-looked at by this administration or Congress.

    Maybe I am wrong and they really are crazy. But I don’t think Republicans are living well enough for that to happen.

  141. Joe as a parisian, I am so hoping the Dems spend the next two years going after the Bush Administration. War crimes trials, show trials, the whole bit. Meanwhile the dow keeps sinking, unemployment is up, and the world keeps getting more and more dangerous. The Democrats can explain to voters in two years why having a show trial for John Yoo and turning over US Soldiers to the Hague was the most important thing to do.

    It won’t happen sadly because the Democrats are not insane. But we can always dream.

  142. Can Libertarians get over Barr?

  143. No one wants to look soft on terrorism, but looking soft on civil liberties is okay. It’s makes sense seeing the partisan Democrat and partisan Republican agree on this.

  144. The Democrats can explain to voters in two years why having a show trial for John Yoo and turning over US Soldiers to the Hague was the most important thing to do.

    If they did these things and left the economy alone, I would crawl on my knees across broken glass to work for Obama’s re-election.

  145. I read over the entirety of the comment thread on the Volokh Conspiracy. It doesn’t appear that the rank-and-file GOP members want anything to do with libertarianism or fiscal conservatism. The important issues are Iraq, protecting the children from modern society, and making sure drug users get put in jail (at any cost). There is nothing that we can compromise or agree on anymore.

    Additionally, the victory of the gay marriage ban in California means we are pretty much dealing with two socially conservative fiscally liberal parties. Any hope for gains in social liberty are looking very slim from an Obama administration. I look forward to the trouncing that the Huckabee 2012 ticket will get, but the future doesn’t seem to hold any bright spots.

  146. John,

    There you go again.

    He couldn’t vote against the bill without looking really weak on terror. So now you’re ackowledging that he voted for the bill for political reasons; or, as a wise man wrote, “he voted for the final bill, to avoid the political damage the Republicans would do to him for failing to support their bill.” You might remember that last sentence, John; you told me I was a crazy partisan for writing it, and that he really voted for it because he supported it. C’mon, pick a story and stick to it!

    So, he tried to strip the telecom immunity out at committee, so he could say he was against it and then voted for the bill on the floor so he could tell everyone else how tough he was on terror. It is called bait and switch Joe. Yes, you’ve explained your theory before, and I explained why it doesn’t make sense. Remember? That bit about the telecom immunity vote in committe having a chance to pass, but the final bill being a done deal? Just repeated the narrative I rebutted isn’t a terribly convincing argument.

    And I would have pegged you more as a Norman than a Parisian, frenchie.

  147. If they did these things and left the economy alone, I would crawl on my knees across broken glass to work for Obama’s re-election.

    I was going to say approximately the same thing. If there is a government that will do nothing (no rescue, no Keynesian bull, no billion dollars more in war spending) for the next two years and instead punishes people who lied to and cheated taxpayers, I would be happy. I truly doubt Obama will do anything of the sort.

  148. I wouldn’t expect war-crimes trials, but some reputation- and career-destroying investigations would be a good start.

  149. “If they did these things and left the economy alone, I would crawl on my knees across broken glass to work for Obama’s re-election.”

    The day they send a US soldier to the Hague is the day there will be a revolution in this country. I am not kidding. Every veteran I know would go bizerk. Their would be a march on Washington but it wouldn’t be a bunch of dirty hippies beating trashcans. It would be a bunch of armed pissed off people looking to burn the place down and when they called the military out a large percentage of them would refuse to come. It would be a national disaster.

  150. Joe,

    Obama wants FISA as it is and is going to use it judiciously. He doesn’t give a rats ass about telecom immunity. None of that stuff is going to change. None of it.

  151. I think the more pertinent question is: can a handful of loyal Team Red bloggers like Somin get over calling themselves “conservatives” or, if they’re particularly shameless, “libertarians”?

    Can they stop this weird insistence that they support something other than a statist faction with no real regard for liberty or decency?

  152. Joe, he is the retarded belief:
    “That he voted for the final bill out of political considerations?”

    he voted for it because he wanted it. The proof will be that he will not do anything to shed light on it…or deter future domestic spying…more transparecny on the NSA or anything even remotely like decreasing his ability to spy on and blackmail whoever his poltical enemies happen to be.

    He is about 100 times more likely to attack free speach with fairness doctrine like legislation than he is to open up a huge public window to domestic spying.

    you are very right that I unfairly used strawmen attacks on what I assumed you believed and I apologize.

    So when will he repeal the patriot act?
    Do you know who zbigniew brzezinski is? do you know what kind of a devious warmongering tool of the military industrial complex Obama’s cheif foreign policy guru is?

    McCain is irrelevant, he is a scumbag too and 80% of those here understand that completely. Don’t even try your left-right paradigm jedi mind tricks here fool.

  153. Gabe I don’t agree with you, but you at least get it. Obama is going to be no different in most ways in the war on terror than Bush. Anyone who thinks he is going to repeal FISA, the Patriot ACt or any such stuff is kidding themselves.

  154. joe | November 7, 2008, 11:52am | #

    I wouldn’t expect war-crimes trials, but some reputation- and career-destroying investigations would be a good start.

    come now little joe, we must work together. I am the leader of all americans. George Bush is a good man, he payed a valuable role in helping us recover from 9/11, yes he made some honest mistakes. Whats done is done…we can now look forward to a new future…one were the democrats can abuse domestic spying priveleges and start clandestine programs with the NSA and CIA.

  155. Just curious John, as I don’t expect anyone to agree with more than 90% of my rants…but what part don’t you agree with?

    I know Joe doesn’t agree with me on many issues, but after seeing his comments for the last year…I’d envision him being the type of socialist that could theoretically work with liberty oriented folks to create a platfrom that more than 50% of the voting public would be in favor of and that would be a huge marginal improvment over either of the two totalitarian parties.

    However the naiveness involved in what Joe seems to think Obama will do is astounding…kinda like the republicans who thought George Bush would be for a “humble foreign policy and a smaller government.”

    I’d just love to see what it will take for Joe to admit he is wrong, Obama used anti-warmongering rhetoric last year and sicne then he has helped give about 2 trillion dollars to the richest bankers in the world(which is not even socialism)…he has supported widespread domsestic spying…he has made moves to create a facist youth corps and he has talekd baout 3 or 4 new wars he’d like to start before we even finish in Iraq.

  156. I know that Obama is not in office and if you operate on trust in Obama then you have to jsut wait and see…but if you study who backs these guys and what past presidents have done…and their handlers, advisers and financial supporter…then you will know with 100% certainty that Obama is jsut as much of a tool as Bush…Patriot act is not going anywhere…

    Yes, it’s Change, as The One chooses his one, Congressman Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), to be his H.R. Haldeman. Emanuel is known for being smart and intense, mailing dead fish to people he hates, and freaking out at subordinates. Loving revenge, never forgiving a slight, and brooking no dissent, he’s famous as an enforcer. Such figures are valued in the state (and the Mafia), if not in private society. Emanuel, with Pelosi’s blessing, famously blocked antiwar Democrats from running for the House in 2006 (he controlled the money for new candidates). Emanuel is an advocate of endless war in the Middle East. No chickenhawk, during the Gulf War, he volunteered as a civilian worker for the Israeli army. His father Benjamin, a physician, was a guerilla fighter for the Irgun against the British occupation of Palestine. The Irgun, a secret insurgent group, is described by unfriendlies as a terrorist organization for such acts as bombing the King David Hotel and ethnically cleansing with extreme prejudice Arab villages. Rahm’s mother, Martha, was a civil-rights activist and rock ‘n roll nightclub owner in Chicago.

  157. “Just curious John, as I don’t expect anyone to agree with more than 90% of my rants…but what part don’t you agree with?”

    I suspect we disagree about FISA and telecom immunity. I don’t think FISA is that big of a deal and is necessary for an effective CT policy. I am sure we disagree vehemently on that. But you are consistent. You are going to go after Obama for it rather than making excuses for him or pretending that FISA and data mining is somehow ok when it is Obama as opposed to Bush.

  158. Gabe,

    he voted for it because he wanted it. Then why did he try to strip it, in the committee, where there was actually a chance of succeeding? If he’d only wanted to strike a pose, he would have voted NO against the bill that was certain to pass.

    I’ve yet to see anyone offer any plausible answer to this, just more and more vehement assertions of the same illogical, incoherent explanation of his votes.

    The proof will be that he will not do anything to shed light on it

    At least now I’ve gotten you to move into the future tense. We shall see.

    So when will he repeal the patriot act? Presidents don’t repeal legislation passed by Congress; Congress does that. I expect he’d sign any legislation rolling back elements of the USA PATRIOT Act that reach his desk. Barney Frank, Chairman of the Banking Committee, has had a few choice words for the some of the financial-sector reporting elements of the bill. We shall see.

    Do you know who zbigniew brzezinski is? Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor. He, and Russia, are relevant to telecom immunity how, exactly?

    Oh, right, you’re just venting.

  159. Oh I see where we disagree John…your a fan of children testicle crushing John Yoo?..

  160. Fake Obama writes: come now little joe, we must work together. I am the leader of all americans. George Bush is a good man, he payed a valuable role in helping us recover from 9/11, yes he made some honest mistakes. Whats done is done…we can now look forward to a new future…one were the democrats can abuse domestic spying priveleges and start clandestine programs with the NSA and CIA.

    Because he certainly can’t find anything remotely similar to this from the actual Obama.

  161. Gabe,

    Emmanuel is an interesting choice. His is a serious rat. The good news is that I think he will be pointed at other Democrats not Republicans. It should be very entertaining.

  162. “Oh I see where we disagree John…your a fan of children testicle crushing John Yoo?..”

    He is a moron. I am not pro-torture. Nothing in the conventions say we can torture. His memo was crap. I

  163. Of course he’s going to be pointed at other Democrats. The Republicans are irrelevant.

    If the Democrats can be cajoled into acting like cohesive party, it won’t matter what the Republicans think.

    Hence, Rahm Emmanuel.

    But Chief of Staff isn’t a policiy position. Lord knows Andy Card didn’t have much of an effect on Bush’s policies.

  164. “If the Democrats can be cajoled into acting like cohesive party, it won’t matter what the Republicans think.”

    They can only do that Joe, run to the center. That means staying in Iraq, not cutting defense spending by 25% like Frank wants to, not raising taxes beyond their Clinon era rates, not spending the coutnry into bankruptcy. If they do all that, what is to complain? Of course good luck explaining that to the left who want everything. Good luck explaining that to Reid and Pelosi and Dodd and crew who were here before Obama and will be here after him. The expectations are so high from liberals who have been out of power for so long, he will have a very difficult time not rolling over to Congress.

  165. The Republicans will fillabuster the crazy stuff. They won’t get it out of Congress without killing off the filabuster, which they will never do. So, yes Joe the Republicans will matter in that they will save the Dems from themselves and save the country from the Dems.

  166. To answer yuor question Joe, he only “tried to strip the immunity provisions” for political cover…he knew what would hapenn. If he really cared about this type of stuff he would have voted for patriot act 2.

    “Presidents don’t repeal legislation passed by Congress; ”
    joe, this is the same garbage the amazingly brainwashed republicans used to defend Bush. The president can focus amazing media attention on issues that concern him and he can line up academics, historians and experts to back him in daily press conferences if he has ideas that have merit.

    It doesn’t take a political mastermind to think of ways for the president to get decent legislation on his desk when he has House and Senate in his control.

    “He, and Russia, are relevant to telecom immunity how, exactly?” they aren’t very related…but it is antoher clear example that Obama’s actions and intentions will be to expand military conflict and maintain huge military budgets…a 180 from his campaign rehtoric of being anti-war. You really think the democrats had any itnention of ending wars in 2006? they lied Joe get it through your head….they only use wholesomely peace-minded liberals to GAIN power…it is not about spreading peace. I’m hoping that you guys won’t be fooled when you see more evidence of their lies. I’ll shut up now…I realize I am a beligerent annoyance to many.

  167. sorry about putting words in your mouth John…I knew you probably didn’t like John Yoo…but I guess we probably have slightly different opinions on the legitimacy and morals those guys had…you’d probably be slightly more generous to John Yoo in a dark alley.

  168. Yes Joe Republcans are irrelvent and the millions of people who voted for them deserve no voice in government whatsoever. Of course, when Republicans said the same thing in 2000 and 2004 you screamed your head off about divisivnes and how evil and partisian the Republicans were.

    Look that is the way the game is played. Dems won and they get to run things for a while. I am so looking forward to watching them fuck it up and you try to defend them. But when the Republicans take back over don’t whine when they ignore you. Two years from now yout get to face an off year election, an angry Republican base and a whole bunch people like Gabe who voted this year but will stay hom in 2010 because you lied to them to get elected this year. Have fun while you can.

  169. John,
    I don’t see enough republicans willing to vote agaisnt youth service corps to stop it….they will be easily sold if they have certain militaristic options available to those who are willing to be cannon fodder….or in the words of Kissinger.

    “dumb, stupid animals to be used” as pawns for foreign policy.

    throw in some harmless sounding “green brigades” and you have a great bipartisian comprimise for a blackshirts 1.0.

    after the next “crisis” hits…we will have a opportunity to expand their capabilities or more fully utilize their potential.

  170. “you’d probably be slightly more generous to John Yoo in a dark alley.”

    Probably but I don’t have any use for him. I have nuanced views on these things. I supported Bush but I have a lot of problems with a lot of the things he did.

  171. The Youth Service Corps is downright creepy. I don’t know one Republican who doesn’t hate it. The Republicans better do something to stop it. Also, no one on the right supports the draft. The military doesn’t support the draft. It is a terrible idea whose time as passed. Wars just aren’t fought the same way anymore. You can’t use armies of conscripts. You have to have professional armies. The weapons are too deadly and acurate now to just throw men at the problem like we once did.

  172. unfortunately John, I don’t think there are a whole bunch of people like me. I represent about .1% of the population. If about 5% of the population was like me then I don’t think we’d be talking about what the vote turnout would be in 2010.

  173. so were you one of the republicans who actually thought he was serious when he said he wanted a humble foreign policy?

    and you thought Bush 1 really had no choice when he lied about now new taxes?

    and you just kinda stuck your head in the dirt when he expanded the Federalization of schools and doubled our government in about 4 years?

    somehow you talked yourself into believing that Bush just had rotten luck and fell down and accidentally tripled the government in 8 years and massively centralized power 100% contradicting bedrock states rights ideaology?

    and oh no…who could have predicted a democrat would get tehse MASSIVE new powers?

  174. John, you still think the center wants to stay in Iraq?

    Really?

    I don’t think you can see the center from where you’re standing – at least not on foreign and military policy.

    On economic policy, you’re now saying the center supports Barack Obama’s tax plans, which you deemed socialist last week. OK. This time, you’re right.

    Gabe,

    To answer yuor question Joe, he only “tried to strip the immunity provisions” for political cover…he knew what would hapenn. This doesn’t answer my question, becuase – once again, and for the last time – he OPPOSED telecom immunity in the venue in which it had the greatest chance of failing. If he wanted political cover of voting against something he knew would pass, he would have done nothing to strip that provision, but voted against the final bill, which was much more public, and certain to pass.

    joe, this is the same garbage the amazingly brainwashed republicans used to defend Bush. No, my point is exactly the opposite. The Republicans used to use that to explain why he didn’t do anything about issues – like spending, for example – that the Delay Congress wouldn’t do anything about. I’m saying exactly the opposite – that I expect Congress to do something about this, and Obama to support them.

    it is antoher clear example that Obama’s actions and intentions will be to expand military conflict and maintain huge military budgets…a 180 from his campaign rehtoric of being anti-war. But every single item you listed above, he stated openly during his campaign. Obama has run as a foreign policy liberal, not a pacifist or America Firster. This amounts to a rollback of our posture under Bush, but it’s not McGovern. I think Obama is going to be slightly less hawkish than Clinton was, slightly more than Carter, and that’s exactly what he ran as. He never pretended to be Kucinich.

  175. “unfortunately John, I don’t think there are a whole bunch of people like me. I represent about .1% of the population. If about 5% of the population was like me then I don’t think we’d be talking about what the vote turnout would be in 2010.”

    We will find out. I think there are more people on the left than that. I also think there are a lot of nativists who just want us out of places like Iraq and turned up to vote for Obama because they thought he would do that. IN 2010 those people will stay home or vote the other way. A lot of people are going to feel very betrayed and angry over the next couple of years.

  176. John,

    Elections have consequences.

    Though I expect Obama will be considerably more interested in bipartisanship overall than Bush ever was, the Republicans will ultimately only be as relevant as he decides to let them be on any particular issue.

    Oh, and Republicans deserve a voice. A minority voice.

  177. “John, you still think the center wants to stay in Iraq?

    Really?”

    Since the Iraqi government has come out and said that Obama has told them that we are not leaving Iraq, I guess we will find out won’t we. I want to hear what the “Stop that Illegal War” crowd says in 2010 and we are still there and have even more people in AFghanistan.

    You better start re-reading threads Joe and learning how to argue for the Iraq war because January 20th it is going to be your boy’s war and he isn’t pulling out.

  178. “Elections have consequences.”

    That is right Joe they do. Just remember that the next time the Dems lose one and they will soon enough.

  179. The Iraqi government that is insisting on a timeline for the withdrawal of American forces, John? The one with the president who said that “Whichever candidate supports a timeline, that is more realistic?”

    And wtf does the Iraqi president have to do with American public opinion, anyway?

    Seriously, John, you need to start consulting something other than your gut, if you want to proclaim about mainstream American political opinion. It’s still better than 2:1 AGAINST staying.

  180. Just remember that the next time the Dems lose one and they will soon enough.

    I’ve been reading your elections predictions for years, John.

    Not worried. Not even a little. Your team thoroughly screwed the pooch, and they’re on the wrong side of almost every issue that matters to the public.

    Welcome to 1932.

  181. ” he OPPOSED telecom immunity in the venue in which it had the greatest chance of failing. ”

    the fact that you believe that AND that is enough of a “effort” for you to ignore anything else he does on this is strong evidence that his political posturing worked.

    …i guess a debate on his motives is really useless…I am hopeful though…we will be able to judge his motives when he fails to do anything on this in his first few months.

    Is there any possible actions we could agree to watch for that would settle his motives and force one of to say the other was right?

  182. joe | November 7, 2008, 12:56pm | #
    “Welcome to 1932.”

    great so we can expect unemployemnt to be about 20%, 6 years from now due to socialist bungling?

    well I guess that is better than executions for those resisting UN Gun grabber brigades.

    personally I think there is a 10% likeliehood that I will have one of these bad boys chasing my ass through the woods in a few years.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHJJQ0zNNOM

    just for fun guys check this out…DAARPA contract to create teams of robots to use in pursuit of “uncooperative domestic dissenters”

  183. Joe,

    Big government has tried and failed everywhere. 50 years ago Detroit was the greatest industrial city in the world. Now it is a third world country. Why? Because of you and people like you. High taxes, unions, government leads no where but to poverty and desparation. One hundred years ago Argintina was as rich as America. Now it is poor. Why? Because they didn’t respect property rights, they taxed their citizens to death and ran their economy into the ground through Peronism. Europe once ruled the world and is now a dying continent of aging populations, unassimilated immigrants, 10% unemployment and small growth.

    In 1932 no one knew what we know now. People really didn’t understand how and why economies worked. Now of course we know that FDR made things worse and probably prolonged the depression by seven or more years. Look at where you live. Every year the population in Massachusetts gets older and smaller. There is a reason why there are so many Red Sox fans at road games; it is because so many young people leave the state to escape high taxes and the economic stagnation that policies you support produce.

    If Obama really had any new ideas, I would be excited or even worried if I thought they were dangerous. But he doesn’t. It is the same warmed over government command and control that has failed every other time. You have to succeed to stay in power and if the idea is big government and control, you have no chance of succeeding. Have fun for a few years while it lasts or pray to God that Obama is lying and not going to do much new.

  184. Yes Joe, the public hates the Republicans. That is why in the most pro democratic year since 1974 with a charismatic top of the ticket, you still couldn’t get a landslide (like Reagan in 84 or Johnson in 64) or a fillabuster proof majority in the Senate. There was a time when Dems routinely got both even in off years. No more. You will never see everything line up this way again and even then you needed a financial meltdown to win.

    It is not 1932 Joe. It is 2008 and a completely different political dynamic. I suspect neither party will retain power for very long.

  185. well I guess that is better than executions for those resisting UN Gun grabber brigades.

    personally I think there is a 10% likeliehood that I will have one of these bad boys chasing my ass through the woods in a few years.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHJJQ0zNNOM

    just for fun guys check this out…DAARPA contract to create teams of robots to use in pursuit of “uncooperative domestic dissenters”

    Gabe,

    I certainly hope so, I’ll finally be able to get these EMP grenades off my hands by selling them at a premium price to dirty hippies.

  186. Who cares about the GOP? It’s time to dust off some market based reforms the GOP would never buy, and try to sell them to the Dems. Now is the time to end farm subsidies, end the sugar quota, … The Dems want money for goodies and welfare for farmers is a good place to take it from.

    Instead of cap and trade, the Dems can be sold on their old favorite, tax and spend. It’s less distorting, and provides money for goodies. They need lots of money for goodies. Let’s help them find it.

  187. Gabe,

    The fact that the committe vote on telecom immunity could have gone either way, while the vote on the final bill was a done deal, was widely reported in the runup to the vote, and the vote tallies reflect this.

    That I “believe” these incotrovertable facts demonstrates only that I followed the issue closely.

  188. John, your whining about how doomed our economy is under the newly elected socialist would be a lot more convincing if I hadn’t been around in 1992, and for the subsequent longest peacetime expansion in American history.

    BTW, you really need to read up on American economic history, if you think the movement of manufacturing from old cities in the northeast and Great Lakes region was caused by liberalism.

    You just keep clinging to your certainty that Mississippi’s model of development is going to turn it into an economic powerhouse, and I’ll just keep living here in Taxachusetts and watching where the new industries are coming from.

  189. The day they send a US soldier to the Hague is the day there will be a revolution in this country. I am not kidding. Every veteran I know would go bizerk.

    They should have thought of that before the Bush administration and a Republican Congress were allowed to pass legislation making domestic prosecution of war crimes basically impossible.

    Since we now have a domestic legal regime that allows anyone to commit war crimes and evade punishment, as long as their actions were approved of by the President, international legal punishment is pretty much the only game in town.

    If you wanted our legal system to remain supreme, you shouldn’t have pissed its legitimacy away to protect torturers.

  190. It’s time to dust off some market based reforms the GOP would never buy, and try to sell them to the Dems. Now is the time to end farm subsidies, end the sugar quota, … The Dems want money for goodies and welfare for farmers is a good place to take it from.

    Well…That’s not all that crazy. It was Clinton who last cracked open a little freer regional trade with NAFTA, after all.

  191. “the Republican history of supporting the 10th ammendment makes me think that reform will come from the Republican camp.”

    It’s more like a Republican history of paying lip-service to the Tenth Amendment then ignoring it when it’s convenient for them. It was the Bush administration that launched a policy of raiding and arresting medical marijuana distributors, one of the worst 10th amendment infractions in recent history. Reagan gave massive revitalization to the Drug War after a relative draw-down by Carter, and it was Nixon who birthed the modern “War on Drugs” that we all know and love (to hate.)

  192. If “Libertarian” includes “Civil Libertarian”, then just give it up now. For all the lip service that some pukes have given to limited government principles, they cannot ignore the political benefits of using their strongly authoritarian base for expensive moralistic bullshit.

    I of course don’t expect much from the craps, but their authoritarian bullshit doesn’t go down as well because there are not as many authoritarians in their base.

  193. After the dog poops on your bed,

    But Frank said he pooped the bed!

    you keep him out of your bedroom. But first you make him smell his poop. Rub his nose in it. Rub his nose until the poop goes into his nostrils, then drag the sniffling hound outside and lock the door.

    No, you don’t. You train him not to do that before he ever does it. (If you need instructions on how to house train your dog without being cruel, gross and risking his health, you let me know.)

    Your team thoroughly screwed the pooch, and they’re on the wrong side of almost every issue that matters to the public.

    Team Neocon absolutely fucked up but you’re reaching if you think the nation is aligned with Obama on the types of Change We Need?.

  194. It’s time to dust off some market based reforms the GOP would never buy, and try to sell them to the Dems. Now is the time to end farm subsidies, end the sugar quota, … The Dems want money for goodies and welfare for farmers is a good place to take it from.

    I think the sugar subsidy is safe(r) since Florida went Blue, but I’d love to see some rollback of red-state subsidies. Alaska would be a good place to start.

  195. @GG: I’m dubious about the Club for Growth’s political acumen. This year they were more like the “Club for Fratricide”, supporting many primary challenges of moderate incumbents by hard-core conservatives, who were then eaten up like fried catfish by Dems.

  196. The republicans can’t get over the guy that enter the Whitehouse 16 years ago.

  197. If the public, in general, did hate the republicans, the dems would have that veto proof majority they wanted.

    It’s still a fairly even divided country.

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