Instapundit: The Tea Party Movement as Disintermediated Politics


Instapundit Glenn Harlan Reynolds writes in the Sunday Examiner:

As blogger Freeman Hunt wrote recently:"You want a big tent? It's fiscal conservatism. The people are overwhelmingly in favor of it.You offer that, you follow through on it, and you get the Republicans, the moderates, and a sizable chunk of disaffected Democrats."

Only to the likes of MSNBC's Keith Olbermann is support for limited government a species of nihilism. But Tea Partiers are, in fact, working on a platform, which they've called the Contract From America. Though the name may remind some of Newt Gingrich's Contract with America, this is something very different.

It's a set of ideas developed via an interactive Web site, where voting determines which elements are most important. And it's not a top-down contract consisting of promises made by leaders to the voters—it's more in the nature of a contract of employment from the voters, which politicians may choose to accept, or look for alternative employment.

This is basically a crowd-sourced party platform, with the smoke-filled rooms and convention logrolling taken out of the picture. More dis-intermediation. I'm guessing that the political class won't like it much, either.

Read the whole thing here.

I've got more reservations about the Tea Party movement than Reynolds, but I think he's basically right that so far, it has functioned differently than past factions. Scott Brown in Massachusetts was hardly a perfect candidate in terms of limited government (just one example: he voted for and still spoke sweetly of RomneyCare), but he was a pretty clear choice vis a vis the major-party alternative. Arguably, the Tea Party's limited government bona fides may be proven when the group puts a smaller-government Dem in over a statist Rep.


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  1. Limited government, minus social security, medicare, and defense, of course.

    Do teapartiers, the GOP, and libertarians have any policy preferences they’re willing to defend, or are they gonna continue riding on empty sloganeering? Guess that’s easy enough when you have no responsibility to govern.

    1. Tea partiers: Bad.

      MoveOn.org: Good.

      We GET it, Tony. You’re a slut for Big Government. Blather, rinse, repeat.

      1. And you’re a slut for big oil and big pharma, except you are either too dumb to realize it or too dishonest to admit it. Less government isn’t a platform, it’s a (tired, crusty, rotten) slogan. Moveon at least has IDEAS about THINGS, teabaggers just think Obama is Hitler and want government out of their medicare.

        1. I’m starting to appreciate Tony’s sockpuppeteer’s approach here. Be as huge of a douchebag as possible in a realistic way. You’re getting pretty good at it.

          1. Obama isn’t smart enough to be Hitler.

            Besides, that’s a stupid reverse-Godwin attempt, and a pathetic one at that.

            1. Less government isn’t a platform

              So, conversely, “more government IS a platform”… using reverse logic, of course.

              And powdered unicorn farts. Can’t forget the secret ingredient.

          2. @Episiarch

            He has mastered the Keith Olbermann method. Repeat the talking points over and over under your hour ends.

        2. Well, Tony, if I’m such a whore for big pharma and big oil… why have they yet to cut me a check?

          Lousy bastards!

          1. Because they don’t have to. The real question is why are you working for them for free. Ayn Rand would be very disappointed.

            1. I work for myself, Tony. Though you’ll disagree, of course.

              Do you work for a corporation, by any chance? If so, why haven’t you resigned?

              1. Yes, and because I don’t think corporations are evil. I just think they have too much power over people who never voted for them to have it.

                1. Well, I think government has too much power over people who never voted for them to have it.

                  Top that, Sparky.

                  1. Top that, Sparky.

                    If you insist. Thank you Lawrence v. Texas!

                    1. The Texas sodomy laws never should have been in place to begin with, Tony. But you didn’t address my statement preceding yours.

                      Most of us are loathe to vote R or D, though sometimes we might if there isn’t an LP candidate in the mix. Therefore, we do not have a say in how things are done – we are at the mercy of powermongers with R or D after their names, in parentheses no less.

                    2. Cry me a river. Nobody has any more control over their country than their single vote. You aren’t special because you didn’t pick a side.

                    3. We DO pick sides, Tony. Hell, some of your fellow travelers voted for Cynthia McKinney or Ralph Nader, so don’t pull that third-party/wasted vote horseshit.

                    4. Oh don’t get me started on liberals’ lack of practical thinking. There are plenty of liberals who also don’t realize that their vote isn’t for an individual, but for a party, and that every election should be treated as such (as unfortunate as that may be).

                    5. Actually I went to Lawrence v. Texas and if you saw the arguments that the Texas prosecutor put forth they were just simply awful. The D-Bag Scalia had to actually help him out with his oral arguments.

                      On the other hand, Thomas’ position on the matter was quite interesting.

                2. In a sense they did vote for the corporations, Tony. They bought their products.

          2. Moveon at least has IDEAS about THINGS

            I have an idea: I’m going to start brushing with vanilla cake frosting, because it looks like toothpaste.

            Oh, wait, that’s a horrible idea. Kind of like mooon.borg.

            1. Moveon’s primary mission lately is bashing their own president. Now, can teabaggers say anything nice about him, or are they just a pathetic parade of low-information voters being used by monied interests to oppose him and his policies against their own interests?

              1. I can only speak for myself, Tony, and I’d be just as dissatisfied and disenfranchised had McCain won.

                But you knew that already.

                By the way, are you suggesting “monied interests” aren’t using MooOn.borg fans? Because if you’re not willing to put them in the same category as “teabaggers”, you’re being intellectually dishonest.

              2. So move on has been invaded by teabaggers? Or were they teabaggers all along, but just in the Hope and Change closet?

                1. MooOn.borg is the mirror-universe version of the tea party movement.

                  Trouble is, both sides have men with goatees, so it’s hard to tell which side is more evil. But my money’s on the far-leftists.

        3. “Less government isn’t a platform”

          Yes it is. Less government, more economic freedom and personal liberty -that is a platform. Maybe not one a statists can appreciate.

          I have IDEAS about THINGS and they don’t involve Hitler.

          1. No it’s not. What programs would you cut? That’s a platform. Go ahead, list them. Then convince me you can sell it.

            1. Get the Cato Institute’s “Handbook for Policymakers” or “Downsizing The Federal Government” and start reading. Why should I type it all again?

      2. Tony wants all government, all the time, in every orifice.

      1. Good Morning reason!

        Happy February!

    2. @Tony

      “empty sloganeering”?

      Instead, let’s have a stimulus that does nothing except increase the deficit, health care reform that increases costs massively and increases the deficit to boot and a global warming fix whose main purpose appears to be the control of your day-to-day activities.

      Great plan Tony!

    3. It has to start somewhere, and even if it is only an intense “feeling” that things are not working as they should, that is a start of an awakening process driving people to find info on what is really happening, which is why I wrote The Changing Face of Democrats on Amazon.com to show the differences between 19th and 20th century democrats, like day and night. claysamerica.com

  2. “Dis-intermediated” may be too long to catch on, but it seems useful. I can’t think of another word that means, something like, “lacking a middleman.”

    BTW, why does the word need a hyphen?

    1. BTW, why does the word need a hyphen?

      To clearly distinguish it from “disinter-mediated”, which has a totally different meaning.

  3. Arguably, the Tea Party’s limited government bona fides may be proven when the group puts a smaller-government Dem in over a statist Rep.

    I would agree but it is going to be hard to find a “smaller-government Dem”. “No worse than the statist Rep.” might be more doable.

    1. smaller-government Dem

      Zell Miller isn’t in office anymore. I think he was the last small-government Democrat.


      But it would be nice if a sincere one cropped up, though if I were him/her I’d check under my car for dangling bomb wires.

      1. I’m from GA.While Zell has his redeeming qualities(such as scaring a few Reason editors -including Welch- into shitting themselves with his 2004 GOP Convention speech),I wouldn’t call him a “small government politician” but yeah, by Democrat standards, he prolly makes the cut.

        1. I agree – but Miller is probably the closest thing to being a small-government Democrat.

          Perhaps ever.

      2. Mike Gravel was pretty close, and there was that guy who ran in the democratic primary for the north carolina senate seat in 2008.

        1. dammit, bakedpenguin beat me.

    2. Exactly.

      Nick, WTF is a “smaller-government Dem”?

      Care to name any examples that are currently alive? Bonus points if they are in office.

      1. Gravel comes close. I’d have voted for him way before Obomber or McBain.

        1. I think I’m one of the few libertarians that actually liked Gravel. At least he was better than Barr.

      2. Also, it’s too bad Barney Frank is such a nightmare on the economic side of things, because he actually believes that government shouldn’t stop consensual “crimes”.

        1. The only thing that scares me about that is Barney attempted to make a career out of being a Rep. who knew about economics and the economy, and we all know how that’s turned out. I’d be fearful of him being in charge of something he hasn’t spent most of his career learning and owrking on.

          But yes, on the “personal freedoms” side of things he is rather libertarian.

  4. Job search tip: A few months ago at a job interview with an online disintermediator, I used the term “disintermediation,” and nobody in the room had any idea what it meant.

    They were all either too old or too young to remember the nineties. And I didn’t get the job.

    So don’t say “disintermediation” if you’re interviewing for a job at an online web 2.0 electronic media paradigm-subverting new kind of company.

    1. …that’s kind of funny! Thanks for the tip.

    2. Never talk above your boss, or future boss.

    3. Never use a word with more than 12 letters at a job interview. It is a calling card for assholes.

    4. Tim is looking for a new job already?

  5. Sure, people support “fiscal consertativism”, just like they support puppies and ice cream.

    But when you explain that “fiscal conservativism” requires either large tax increase and/or raising the retirement age to 70, lopping a quarter off our defense budget, and dropping five million poor people off the Medicaid rolls….

    Oh wait, no one actually tells the American people that, now do they?

    1. No, it’s easy:

      Cut spending AND taxes. Duh.

      Trouble is, all you leftist pricks ever want to cut is defense. God forbid we trim down the rest of the budget.

      We wouldn’t even be having this conversation if government hadn’t been turned into a one-stop meet-all-your-needs shop. Which it wasn’t designed as, but that’s liberalism for ya.

      1. I am all for entitlement cuts, but I hope you do realize defense cuts have to be made as well.

        1. I do indeed realize that. Just pointing out that liberals only want to cut defense, which we actually NEED… just not so much of it.

          The list of things we *don’t* need can be found in any web search that has an alphabetical roster of government agencies.

          1. Let’s break this down.

            Deaths by foreign invasion in the last 50 years: 0.

            Deaths by lack of health insurance last year: 45,000.

            Now what is it we need to spend a trillion dollars on again?

            1. So you want NO military, eh?

              That’s just asking for a foreign invasion.

              You and I would agree we don’t need to be butting in all over the globe, Tony, but that’s probably one of the few things we’d agree upon.

              1. Military: Necessary function provided by Constitution.

                Health care: Not a government function.

              2. We should have some military, but not at a Cold War size, which politicians are too spineless to do anything about (and contractors too influential).

                What I propose is that since “limited government” folks are not hemorrhaging disgust at the ungodly sums spent on the armed forces, they should be okay with shaving that budget a little to pay for, say, universal healthcare and other things that actually help people. This should be government-budget-anger neutral, right?

                1. Okay… across-the-board spending cuts. EVERY bit of the budget.

                  WE have to live within our means… why shouldn’t government? Some of us have to cut coupons, forego even simple pleasures, watch our money almost down to the pocket change – but God forbid those idiots in Washington live within THEIR means, and not expect to pass the hat for more dollars from our paychecks.

                  Oh, but no… Obama’s spending almost as irresponsibly as Bush did. Some change, huh.

                2. It’s not the role of government to “help people.” At least not in the way you progressives use the phrase. If “helping people” is limited to protecting their rights to life, liberty, and property, OK. Anything else, and you’ve got the wrong entity, friend.

                  1. Draco,

                    It’s not a massive stretch to consider health care necessary to life and liberty, is it?

            2. How do you die from “lack of health insurance”? Is that like “lack of oxygen” or “lack of water”? I’m not familiar with that medical condition.

            3. Do you have a link to copies of the 45,000 death certificates with “LACK OF HEALTH INSURANCE” listed as the cause of death?

              Hell, do you even have one?

              1. It’s an estimate that those goofballs at Harvard Medical School came up with. Quibble with the number, it’s certainly not 0. Oppose universal healthcare and you condone a holocaust because insurance company profits are more important to you. I doubt they are, but you’re not smart enough to know that the only reason you oppose it is because insurance companies want you to.

                1. I feel better about my own statistical prowess seeing that Harvard researchers can’t even separate correlation from causation. People who are seriously ill are both more likely to die AND less likely to get insured, a confounding problem that the researchers didn’t control for.

                  1. Notice this huge chunk of hyperbole:

                    Oppose universal healthcare and you condone a holocaust

                    Which sounds like “oppose global warming and the deaths of millions are on your hands”… which is also bullshit.

                    1. Well, it IS true that coal-related pollution kills more Americans every few months than terrorists have killed, EVER.

                      But who uses *reason* around here to prioritize our efforts…

                    2. drink

                  2. Tulpa,”People who are seriously ill are both more likely to die AND less likely to get insured, a confounding problem that the researchers didn’t control for.” Or do you mean people who have become seriously ill because of lack of preventative care and are guaranteed not to be insured privately, a confounding problem that the you didn’t control for.

                    1. No, I don’t mean that. I mean that people who became seriously ill before they became uninsured are still more likely to die, so you can’t plausibly blame lack of insurance for their death — but the Harvard study does just this.

                    2. Tulpa,chicken and egg logic. The score is people don’t get insurance if they have pre-existing conditions and they lose it when they develop anything that cuts into profits. I don’t care to argue the pregnant virgin theory: either way the outcome is the same.

                2. Tony, you should know better than to cite acedemics or scientists here at Reason! They are just egg-heads. Everyone knows that you get *real* information from right-wing echo-chamber blogs and the almighty gods Rush, Glen, and Sean!

                  Actually, it is really sad to see libertarians jumping the shark with respect to science. Once a party has done that, they have given up any credibility as honest partners.

                  1. *yawn* Did Chad say something?

                    1. Nothing of importance, Mr. FIFY. Chad is just going on one of his scripted rants about the dangers of not having a huge-assed, expensive-as-hell government running every nook and cranny of our daily existence.

                  2. Chad, if you or Tony ever quit posting these boys would whine for months. They still ask about Joe/lone whacko. I am not so sure that both of you are even real but I love the put-up or shut-up fights.

                  3. “Actually, it is really sad to see libertarians jumping the shark with respect to science.”

                    It’s even sadder to see science jumping the shark with respect to science, but there you have it.

                    1. anonymous, your naivet? is charming. The difference between now and then is people shut their mouths about crap years ago. The greater good argument. Nowadays, it is a badge of honor to spill your guts and take everyone down with you.

      2. With the deficit we’re running, we need to cut a lot of spending before even thinking about lowering taxes.

        And that’s before you consider the national debt and Social Security/Medicare time-bombs. I don’t see lower taxes anytime soon in a fiscally responsible future.

        The Boomers fucked us over but good already — and they’re going to remain the biggest voting block for a long time, so the fucking will continue.

        1. There is NO way to raise enough in taxes to cover the holes being dug by D.C. morons in polyester suits.

          1. You sir, pay for the finest wool suits. No poly up in this bitch.

          2. I disagree with that — it is possible to do it, though it would take a long time. Also, any politician who comes out in favor of increasing SS taxes or lowering benefits is going to be shitcanned almost immediately and replaced with someone who won’t touch it. Thanks again Boomers! You guys really did change the world after all!

        2. ah, ah, ah, Ah, Ah, Ah-Ah-Ah-Ah YES!!!

      3. Yes, let’s cover our deficit by LOWERING taxes.

        God, how can anyone be this stupid… Seriously.

        1. He said ‘we need to cut a lot of spending before even thinking about lowering taxes’.
          Asshat. Learn to read Phd.

        2. Jack Kennedy seemed to think it was a bright idea.

          1. Yeah, but it’s okay if a Democrat talks about lowering taxes.

        3. How about being precise when you say “lowering taxes?” Because lowering tax rates can in many cases increase tax revenue. But obviously, lowering “total tax revenues” can’t reduce the deficit.

          See, think clearly, and the problem goes away. No need for CAPITAL LETTERS, or anything!

  6. I’ve got more reservations about the Tea Party movement than Reynolds

    Not lefty enough, huh?


    I’m guessing that the political class won’t like it much, either.

    I’m guessing that this is what will kill the whole thing sooner or later, come whatever else may.

    Anyone who thinks We the People can just quietly vote the incumbent parties out of office and get on with what We want at this point in history, is on ‘ludes.”

    Unless, there’s lots of dedicated small government types who are ready (and able) to quit their jobs and go do politics full time. Because otherwise, the people who do politics full time are going to prevail in the long run.

    1. Nick and the entire REason staff’s reservations about the Tea Party movement have to do with their objection to unfashionable people having a say over their lives and getting involved in politics. I mean seriously, you don’t expect the Reason staff to condone people who live in Birmingham and eat at Olive Gardens having a say in politics do you?

      1. Is there an Olive Garden in another Birmingham? Cause in B’ham, MI, I think they rigged the zoning laws to keep out OG and Taco Bells. Effete, statist bastards…

        1. Michigan has a Birmingham? Funny how they do that, Texas has a small town called Atlanta.

          1. FINALLY we found something that isn’t bigger in Texas.

      2. Yes, I know John.

        I just think our government would be a huge step closer to grid locked right now if a few more of those “unfashionable” people were involved in it.

        Grid lock would be far preferable on net balance to what the Dems have been trying to shove down our throats for the last year, and what the R’s were trying to shove down our throats before that.

        But I guess it depends on whether or not gay rights and “don’t let a Christian into DC!” triumphs all other concerns in your hierarchy of values.

        Personally I’m an atheist and have no particular sympathies for the religious right’s agenda. But they’ve done a decent job of messing up the Dem’s agenda in the past. In my book that makes them worth something…..

        But then, I thought Machiavelli was a genius too.

        1. Theocracy over national healthcare! It’s the pragmatic thing to do.

          1. If theocracy kills national health care, then long live the theocrats.

            Until too goddamned many of THEM get into DC, at which point we’ll have to find something to wedge their asses out of the driver’s seat.

            Odd truth: freedom is best obtained when no one group gets too much power.

            Which is part of the secret to Machiavelli’s brilliance. His whole game plan rests on getting everybody to fight everybody else, leaving you free to go off and do what you like.

            1. Oh yes Machiavelli was all about the rugged individualism.

              National health care is what all other advanced democracies have and you don’t. And it’s not because Americans are smarter than the rest of the world.

              1. Machiavelli wasn’t about anything but keeping his own ass covered.

                And I have no illusions about who’s smarter than whoever else might be dumb. It isn’t that Americans are smarter. It’s just that the rest of the democracies got dumber faster.

                1. Oh and I forgot to state the obvious: democracy is dumb in the first place.

                  The only teeny tiny problem we have is that, every other system that’s been dreamed up is dumber still.

                  We humans believe too too much in our own collective brilliance. And THAT is the biggest problem — people like you THINK you know what you’re doing.

                  1. people like you THINK you know what you’re doing.

                    Which is why we should hand government over to people who know they don’t, and don’t care!

                    1. Obama fits that template – though he knows exactly what he’s doing while simultaneously he has no clue what he’s doing, so he’s a bit of a mutant in that regard.

                      But he sounds like he cares.

                  2. I disagree that democracy is inherently dumb. Your complaint isn’t about voting, it’s about the quality of voters.

                    In which case, you’re complaining about universal suffrage. And that, I’ll agree, is a dumb idea.

              2. “”And it’s not because Americans are smarter than the rest of the world.“”

                I beg to differ.

                1. Coming from you kwais, your statement actually means something. Would like to hear more of your thoughts….

              3. We’ve established already that Americans have one of the worst public education systems of the “advanced democracies”. One of their key advantages is that they tie the money to the child and not the school, thus providing a market-like solution not unlike school vouchers. Perhaps, our horribly managed top-down system is to blame for our inability to see the wisdom in continually draining our pockets for dimished returns and poorer standards of living. But it’s okay Tony, just point the gun at our heads and tell us we’ll like it–or else.

                1. Slap the Enlightened!,

                  Have you ever read anything on public choice and the logic of large groups?

                  I stand by my condemnation of democracy. It’s a recipe for achieving exactly the kinds of outcomes we’re seeing today, and there is nowhere else democracy can end up. See

                  Beyond Politics: Markets, Welfare, And The Failure Of Bureaucracy (Independent Studies in Political Economy) (Paperback)
                  ~ William Mitchell (Author), Randy T Simmons (Author)

                  it’s on Amazon.

                  1. Okay, what system of government do you propose?

              4. “National health care is what all other advanced democracies have and you don’t. And it’s not because Americans are smarter than the rest of the world.”

                Ah yes, you mean Europe and Japan right? Answer me this Einstein. Would that vaunted national health care have been possible for Europe if the US hadn’t foot the bill protecting their asses from the Soviets?

                And isn’t that why Europeon nations have no armies to speak of?

                Japan wants us out too, I say lets go. I’m not sure if Japan realizes that China teaches their young about the horrors Japan inflicted on them but that’s their problem. US out of Japan now and let them live with the future consequences.

          2. Godvernment: How liberals view the power of the centralized bureaucracy.

            Statocracy? Hmm, doesn’t have the same ring…

            1. Obamunism has the same meaning as Godvernment but rolls off the tongue better.

          3. Of course what Tony calls “theocracy” is actually a watered-down version of what everyone thought of as “the American government” for about the first 180 years of our existence as a nation….

            1. Bullspit. Theocrats are more organized and more powerful than ever. Thankfully, they no longer have their allies in charge of the government.

              1. Obviously you know nothing about American history or “theocracy.”

  7. Anyone who thinks We the People can just quietly vote the incumbent parties out of office and get on with what We want at this point in history, is on ‘ludes.”

    Minor pet peeve of mine is why the references to Quaaludes? It’s been nearly 30 fucking years since that drug was last available.We’ll know the baby boomers are dead when this is finally recognized as an anachronism.
    Throw it on the nostalgia pyre with Moxie,Edsel and Burma Shave.

    1. REally? I have never seen one of those. Why are they not available? I am told they were a great drug.

    2. I meant it figuratively.

      Don’t suppose you could suggest something better that I could use next time I need it? Sorry but I’m just not into the drug scene and have no idea what is/was available when.

      1. Rohypnol.

    3. It takes a lotta moxie to make a comment like that on this site.

      I’m so out of touch I didn’t know you couldn’t get ‘ludes any more.

      Do people still sniff locker room cleaner, or did that go out in the 80’s? If they do, a little tip – don’t do two hits of acid and then sniff locker room cleaner. Whoa…

      1. Apparently it is still available in South Africa

        Schedule I in the US since 1984.I never “saw” the real thing after 1981.

        1. There were a lot of bootlegs, along with some legitimate ones smuggles out of China, in the early to mid 80’s. If you got one that said “Lennon 714”, of course, you could be pretty sure it was a boot. (The originals had “Lemmon 714”.)

          1. They were manufactured in Colombia,IIRC.Boot ‘ludes originally were full strength 300mg methaqualone,then dosage became variable,by 1982 they were all high dose benzodiazepine pressed into some rough facsimile of a Ouaalude

    4. I’m all for the abandoning of Quaaludes. The only people I know that have taken them are nearing retirement age and have been telling the same stories about “the sixties” since I was a child. I’m sick and tired of “the sixties” and those who unfortunately live to tell about it.

  8. “fiscal conservativism” requires either large tax increase and/or raising the retirement age to 70, lopping a quarter off our defense budget, and dropping five million poor people off the Medicaid rolls….

    This is so jaw-droppingly stupid, I can’t believe I used to be a liberal. I can’t decide what is most insulting about this world-view… I think it’s the idea that “poor people” are a class that cannot ever hope for anything better.

    1. Do we get to kill puppies at some point? At least tell me we get to kill some puppies.

      1. Okay, so we’ll make some special places for people like you. You know, smoke filled rooms and all. You may also find women — uh, of ill repute there, uhm too.

        But I think you’re just a wimp. I’m a real man and I’m gonna kill me some baby seals.

        1. Can we do some ‘ludes first? Cause I always feel better doin’ my killin’ when I’m on ‘ludes.

          1. Our smoke filled rooms are always Free Places (now that the country isn’t so much). So you can do your ‘ludes and ladies and whatever first. I mean just do whatever the fuck you feel like doing.

    2. Tony is actually right about this. Anyone who thinks the Tea Party movement is going to remain popular after people’s favorite programs start getting cut is deluding themselves.

      1. Would you STOP it already? I was just getting into this ‘ludes and killing seals thing and starting to feel a little better.

        Now I’m gonna have to kill two baby seals.

        1. I don’t see how we can continue to expand entitlements indefinitely – and that’s assuming more categories are not added to the already-lengthy handout list.

          1. We won’t expand them indefinitely — just until the entire system collapses under its own weight, and all the little entitlement piggies squeal for a new government that can MAKE THE SYSTEM WORK, liberty be damned. After that point, all the little dents and dings in our liberty that the Reasonoids complained about day in day out — DWI checkpoints, 20% federal income tax, byzantine immigration policies — will look like so much Libertopia in comparison to the totalitarian state that arises after the republic you anarchos railed against falls apart.

            1. Um, Tulpa… I’m a minarchist.

              But I do agree with your post.

              1. Good. There are many in our midst who are not, though.

            2. I propose calling it “Narcissistic Nanny-State Nihilism”.

          2. If we had an economy that rewarded work rather than simply rewarding being already wealthy, entitlement spending wouldn’t be such a problem. But you guys oppose policies that promote a robust middle class while at the same time opposing policies that give people a safety net.

            1. Higher taxes and energy costs won’t help the middle class, Tony… it will hurt them. It will hurt poor people even more.

              1. Nobody is proposing higher taxes on anyone but the wealthy, which you really can’t bitch about considering they were given the cuts without any spending cuts to match in the first place.

                Our current energy situation is the most costly imaginable. But you have to believe in science to appreciate that.

                1. Can’t tax our way out, Tony. Not unless every bit of wealth is confiscated – ALL of it, not just from evil rich people.

                  And it still won’t be enough. Bush dug a hole, and Obama grabbed the shovel and kept digging. If I have great-grandkids, they’ll be paying for it.

                  And knock off the anti-science shit. You don’t know me, so don’t presume.
                  I just don’t buy the sky-is-falling nonsense the Goreites shovel into the intertubes.

                  1. Digging a hole to China no less. Don’t be surprised if one day the Chinese build a ladder and come up through it with a billion man army.

                2. I propose higher taxes on Tony, and Tony alone.

                  All in favor say aye.

                  1. I still think he should have to give up a kidney. He has two and that makes him wealthy compared to those who have none.

                3. @Tony

                  Whatever global warming legislation that is passed will be a tax on everyone and will hit the least able to afford it the worst. All for the ability to control what people do.

                  Another brilliant idea.

                  1. If what people do is damaging our common environment, then there is a legitimate role for government to “control” that activity.

                    Moving to a clean energy economy is not an economic or technical problem, just a political one. We just need to shift incentives a bit to more accurately reflect the cost of our current energy situation.

                    But Big Oil apparently has supplied its talking points to you via whatever right-wing source you get your information. Seems you believe the sky isn’t falling, but it will definitely fall if we cut into the profits of Big Oil one dime.

                    1. @Tony

                      The sky isn’t falling chicken little, just the temperatures and the charade of global warming.

                      “Hide the decline” and “2035, oops 2350” and melting ice in the Andes, Africa and Alps based on anecdotal evidence from a climbing magazine are enough to make me skeptical. There is climate change but is there enough evidence to force control on everyone?

                      Big oil talking points – you are fucked in the head.

                    2. Aliens Cause Global Warming

                    3. Must be the rings around Uranus.

        2. The truth is like syrup of ipecac sometimes. It tastes like the union of all the revolting things you’ve ever tasted going down, but you’ll feel better after you’ve thrown up.

          1. Yeah. Sometimes you’re just in the mood for the “feel better” part.

          2. That’s what liberals don’t get – we cannot expand the made-up duties of the state forever. They just think we can raise taxes, put more people on some variation of welfare, and it will never collapse in on itself.

            1. It would be helpful if you guys would be useful and push back on the excesses of liberals rather than call every half-assed attempt at reform they do an evil totalitarian plot.

              1. And your side doesn’t engage in demonizing virtually everything right-of-center, Tony? Hell, Bush himself was a one-man evil totalitarian plot, according to the left.

                Not that Bush wasn’t a prick who spent too much money and grew government while he was in office, mind you.

              2. Nothing excessive at all about taxing civilization out of existence, is there?

                1. Jesus man taxes have been abysmally low for decades, with nothing but a Great Recession to show for it. Your anti-tax rhetoric is excessive, and it’s going to remain consistently so no matter how low taxes are.

              3. I think the word Obama wants you to use is “Bolshevik plot”. Quit muddling the message.

                1. Axelrod must have told Obama to play the Bolshevik card.

            2. “They just think we can raise taxes, put more people on some variation of welfare, and it will never collapse in on itself.”

              Narcissistic Nanny-State Nihilism! They are wonderful people…just ask them!

  9. I think tony spends all day on Sunday without his meds, then comes here to post.

    Where has lonewhacko gone?

    1. Hey man, I heard he OD’ed on ‘ludes and had a really bad trip and didn’t come back.

      Tony, OTOH, tolerates ‘ludes entirely too well.

      1. What the fuck is a lude? I’m not 80. Klonopin and vodka with an ambien chaser is my Reason posting cocktail of choice.

        1. jeez, do you need to have your hand held on everything?


        2. Now I understand Tony.

          Drink heavily, post the statist ideal talking points, go to bed. Repeat.

  10. It ALL sounds like a bunch of hogwash to me dude.


    1. You should hire tony to post for you.

  11. All of this talk of Quaaludes has gotten me very lethargic.

    1. Oh the thought of it. And the muscle cars that you could still get back then.

  12. The number of small-government, pro-growth, pro-liberty Democrats is probably smaller than the number of left-handed, dyslexic, transsexual Eskimo/aborigine Elvis impersonators.

    Just a wild guess.

    1. If anybody can find me a transsexual Eskimo I promise I’ll vote for it!

      1. Steve Smith would rape it.

        1. No! We must preserve it and run it for office.

  13. For reference, Cheech and Chong-era drug terminology is as old now as flapper slang was last time Cheech and Chong was funny. So “on ‘ludes” is the best available ha-ha drug reference until “on crack” is what grandpa would have said.

    Remember grandpa calling feminists “suffragettes?” Awesome.

  14. Okay, I’ve got it. Forget the libertarian movement, it’s way too direct of an approach. We must disband it and found The New Obstructionist Party.

    Based entirely in Machiavellian precepts, we will strongly favor the legal restoration of public “duel to the death” matches (but only for politicians and government employees of course), as well as the construction of a vast new Arena in Washington, DC. The games shall be held each summer and fall in the Arena.

    Whenever there be one tax dollar on the table, and the heads of two agencies both covet the dollar, they shall be allowed to duel for it.

    Or if they’re really serious about wanting it, and get their respective employees to also publicly covet said tax dollar, then the agencies may field their very best in the Arena. Which ever the last man standing works for, gets the dollar.

    And if three, or four or five or six agencies all covet the tax dollar? Oh, what glorious games shall we see in the Arena, as they face off against each other in a round robin contest to the very end!

    This is going to eclipse the Super Bowl.

    1. I think this stands a better chance than the current LP.

      I’m still thinking of starting the Freedom & Ass-Kicking party at some point.

      1. Well I’d join the ass kicking party all by itself.

        How about The Freedom To Kick Some Ass Party?

    2. That’s no way to cut DOD’s budget. Imagine 15 middle age, overweight bureaucrats from the Department of Education vs. an equal number of 25 year old warriors from the Special forces command = no contest. We’ll need some kind of handicapping system.

      1. You called?

      2. Hmm. You do have a point there. We’ll have to come up with something.

  15. Worst thread ever. Are any of the adults awake yet?

  16. Wow, this thread really turned into a right-wing circlejerk.

  17. I swore that I would never come here again. I swore I would never read the peanut gallery (aka the comment sections). I couldn’t resist; I must be a masochist.

    This is a message to Tony; I’m interested in having an open dialogue with you. If you are interested, please send me an email. You won’t find any heckling or punditry; just honest dialogue between two people.

  18. ” But Tea Partiers are, in fact, working on a platform, which they’ve called the Contract From America. Though the name may remind some of Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America, this is something very different.”

    What we need is an actual enforcement of the existing ultimate contract – the Constitution.

    Particularly the 10th Amendment.

  19. My view of the Tea Party movement has diminished since Sarah Palin has been made the symbol of the movement. Here is person who has not demonstrated any limited government/fiscally conservative tendencies during her time as mayor or governor.

    In fact, in both roles she has grown government. Palin is your typical Big-Government Republican.

    The Tea Party movement is destined to be nothing more than a GOP 2010 campaign prop that will jettisoned after the election.

    Spend, Spend, Spend, Borrow, Borrow, Borrow, Print, Print, Print. Sunrise/Sunset

  20. Tony isn’t a person, he’s a puppet. You must not come here much.

  21. Say it together everyone:

    “I’m Tony”

  22. I’m Tony

  23. I’m Tony

    1. I’m Tony!

      1. I am not Tony!

  24. I go on the assumption that any poster who uses a capitalized first name is a troll. Chad, Tony, Edward, Juanita, Morris, etc.

    I may give an exception for John though.

  25. Fiscal conservatism is not popular. I-don’t-wanna-pay-any-taxes is popular. Spend-a-lot-of-money-in-my-city-or-on-my-pet-project is also popular. People want government to give them stuff, and they don’t want to pay for it.

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