Campaigns/Elections

Tea Partiers vs. Ron Paul

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Dave Weigel notes primary challenges to Ron Paul from Tea Party movement Republicans, whose fervent populist anti-government rhetoric seemed clearly in the beginning at least derived from the sort of energy Ron Paul revved up in his 2008 presidential big. Weigel explains, starting with a quote from a Dallas Morning News report:

Tea Party associations aside, many of the challengers' criticisms echo concerns of Paul's past opponents: that he is too focused on his national ambitions; that his views are too extreme; that he doesn't support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; that he votes "no" on everything, including federal aid for his district after Hurricane Ike.

"The word I keep hearing is 'ineffective,' " said [challenger John] Gay, a school business administrator. "This district is not really being represented as it could be."

The criticism is, to say the least, ironic. Almost nothing that Paul does cuts against the rhetoric of the Tea Party movement that is mentioned most in the press: responsible spending and adherence to the Constitution. But some of it does cut against the priorities of national security conservatives and partisan Republicans.

Lots of Reason links on the Tea Party's recent convention here.

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  1. the man has principles?! DEATHHHHHH.

    the whole concept of the modern tea party started in 07 when us RP-ites had a money bomb on the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party.

    1. A friend of mine went to a local Tea Party meeting recently. He said the head of thr group got up and made a speech denouncing the Democrats health care plans and other policies. But the thing he seemed most angry about was not getting a Social Security cost of living increase this year.

    2. exactly, it was the RP grassroots organization that started the tea party concept, I even remember some people sending tea bags to some of their representatives or people in washington. The neocon or religious zealots or whatever branch of the republican party you want to lable palin and now tancredo, recognized the potential of the tea party and took it over.

  2. Whatever one may think of war and terror threats, I daresay that straightening our domestic issues out–and by that, I mean government run amok–is far, far, far more critical to our national security than anything else.

  3. “Dave Weigel notes…”

    That’s always where I stop reading.

    1. Proud of our ignorance, are we?

      1. Still reading the Dick and Jane primers, Tulpa, or have you finally outgrown them?

        1. Dave is good. He’s even one of my Facebook friends. Be nice, he just have a different POV.

          1. So does Kim Jong Il.

            1. Gobbler! Play nice please?

              Oh, what am I saying. I forgot where I was there for a moment.

            2. Everyone who disagrees with you is as bad as the craziest dictator you can think of?

            3. You know who else had a different point of view?

              Hitler.

              1. Hitler? You mean that guy who keeps publishing videos on Youtube about stuff that pisses him off? What’s his deal, anyway? Isn’t he a little old to be posting videos all the time?

                1. Didn’t one of Hitler’s henchmen go by the nickname The Gobbler? I think he was an airplane pilot.

  4. That’s the trouble. The more sucessful the Tea Party movement is, the more movement conservatives and partisan Republicans will try to take it over and turn it into just another Republican Party organ.

    That’s not to say that there weren’t *always* some conservative, Republican elements. But the libertarians appear to be the only group not making a serious effort to keep the reigns in their hands. This despite the fact that the movement originated from some strong libertarian impulses. They’re just LETTING the Republicans and movement conservaitves have it. Without even putting up a serious fight.

    1. You can’t fight retards. They have that retard strength.

      Just wait for it to run off the rails on its own, then point and say “I told you so!”

      1. You should have quoted someone saying that so you could become famous like Rush Limbaugh.

      2. You can’t fight retards. They have that retard strength.

        Too bad we can’t harness it for some practical purpose.

        1. Green jobs! Remember Conan’s Wheel of Pain?

      3. Um yeah, because standing on the sideline and waiting for the only semi-libertarian movement in years to “run off the rails” is just what libertarians shoudl be rooting for.

        Idiot.

        1. It’s not a semi-libertarian movement. It’s a populist hands-off-ma-medicare movement with a good bit of jingoism thrown in; it never had anything to do with classical liberalism.

          1. Yeah, because people waving Gadsden flags and End the Fed placards …. no libertarian potential there AT ALL. None whatsoever.

            1. Yeah, there are definitely elements that are libertarian, at least in part. It’s our casual hand-wave in dismissal that tends to make us miss these opportunities.

            2. But Tacos said jingoism. Once the elusive jingo is detected we must focus our efforts on the jingoists.

    2. Many of the libertarians I know have distanced themselves from the movement due to its preponderance of birther wingnuts, anti-immigrant types, and Palin supporters. It’s just embarrassing to be considered allies with those types.

      1. Funny that progressives didn’t do the same with respect to ANSWER types in the anti-war movement.

        1. Why would they distance themselves from the progressives without disguises, aka, ANSWER?

          1. Indeed. Maybe 50 years ago, the socialists were anti-communist. But the progressives of today run around wearing Che t-shirts and link arms with Stalinists. They’ve completely forgotten whatever anti-communist sentiments they may once have had. But their collective amnesia is aided by the media. They can get away with not caring about the unsavory bits of lefty history, because the unsavory bits of lefty history have bene effectively whitewashed.

            Meanwhile, the media is eager to tar anyone somewhat right-leaning with everything from Hitler to Jim Crow.

    3. Actually, I’m with Hazel. Many of these people have a not-quite-articulated idea that too much government is bad. That’s a core message for us. Get them to understand that that applies to all government actions, and maybe we could get somewhere.

      1. “Get them to understand that that applies to all government actions, and maybe we could get somewhere.
        reply to this ”

        And if the queen had balls, she’d be the king.

        1. Certainly, trying to ally ourselves with so-called left-libertarians is the worst thing we’ve done in recent times.

          1. Well, it looks like the Tea Partiers are making the same mistake with Republicans.

            1. Probably. Though the the co-opters don’t totally own the movement. Not yet.

          2. …as if it mattered. The libertarian vote counts about as much as Puerto Rico’s.

      2. Right. It was/is an opportunity for libertarians to step and and educate people. Turn those amorphous anti-government feelings into a coherent philosophy. Get ideas to gel.

        These peopel are NOT stupid. The problem is that there is no source for coherent libertarian ideas in the mainstream media. So they are left groping in the dark, attempting to articulate ideas, without having everything handed to them on a silver platter the way progressive do. Progressive can just watch TV and repeat the tripe that gets fed to them, and sound informed.

        Libertarian voices in the MSM amount to John Stossel and …. ?

        If people are going be exposed to lbiertarian principles, libertarians have to do the exposing. They can’t just look at some half-way libertarian guy and say “oh why an ill-informed idiot” and walk away. You’re supposed to TEACH THAT GUY. That guy is already inclined to accept your ideas and learn from you and you just ignore him and let Glenn Beck teach him what a libertarian is.

      3. Except for the whole “let’s make a gigantic immigration enforcement bureaucracy, start some more expensive wars, set aside civil liberties to combat a very low-risk danger and defend states rights unless it involves drugs, abortion or gays” cognitive dissonance part. Never forget Terri Schiavo, folks.

    4. No, the movement originated with strong libertarian rhetoric. Most libertarians realized that talk of “limited government” is nothing more than a Republican Party gang sign and is purely intended to identify a certain group of Republicans to other members of the “tribe”. Any meaning those words might have is entirely incidental to that use.

      1. You really think all those people at the Tea Parties rallies didn’t really believe in small government or less spending?

        1. Of course they don’t. When a Republican President expanded government power and exploded the defict most of the TP members were nowhere to be seen, and as soon as Obama finishes his one term the TP “movement” will quietly fade away. It’s been clear from the beginning who’s financing this stuff. TP=GOP

        2. I don’t think most of them are even capable of understanding the terms, much less believing in them. They just repeat the phrases they’ve been trained to say.

          Their revealed preferences certainly have nothing to do with their rhetoric.

  5. If only those being identified (or self-identifying) as tea partiers had some obvious physical feature that could be used to distinguish those authentically holding the core fiscal ideals of the movement from pretenders. (Perhaps an exposed and swinging scrotal sac.) But it’s a movement not a party, so who the hell knows who these challengers actually are.

    Also, Ron Paul is an earmarker.

    1. exposed and swinging scrotal sack??? sounds like a party to me. 😉

      1. Could be a movement, too. Especially after Indian.

  6. I live in Paul’s district, and I got a pitiful mailing from one of his primary opponents. I don’t remember who it was from.

    Basically, the first paragraph blew sunshine up the voters’ asses by saying things about reigning-in out of control government and making things accountable and some other stuff like that.

    Then, with an utter lack of the self-awareness needed to see the hypocrisy, the second paragraph sucked the voters’ dicks with promises to buy them all a pony and support never-ending war for ever-lasting peace.

    1. A lot of tea partiers out here in California are the same way. They say they’re for small government but their campaigns emphasize walls on the border and troops in the middle east.

      1. Doesn’t RP essentially support walls on the border?

      2. Note, I think controlling the borders is one of the few things that the government is doign(attempting to do) that the consitution requires.

    2. never-ending war for ever-lasting peace.

      Beautiful phrase, worth repeating.

      1. I believe Libertymark was paraphrasing Harry Elmer Barnes’s phrase ‘perpetual war for perpetual peace.’

        1. Ah, and Barnes got the phrase from Charles Beard. I should have remembered Beard.

          1. Yes I was. And the original is better. Also, I was thinking of the Prophet Orwell.

  7. OOH OOH!

    -Sarah Palim

    -Monkey Cartoon

    -Cop Brings Gun to Snowball Fight

    Now we have the ingredients for 1000 comments. Discuss.

    1. Save that for a Suderman post. He ciuld use the help.

  8. Paul has shown an uncanny ability to smite his opponents on election day. Lamestream Rs cannot fathom his success at the polls, despite their year after year jihad to render him a pariah in the House.

    Friends with military ties revile Paul, claiming he denigrates those in uniform. Unfounded criticism from Rs who want to set the social/cultural direction of the nation along with imposing their own brand of statist bullcrap.

    I’d rather have seen him leave DC and take on the Texas governor’s race.

    1. I agree. Ron would probably have a good shot at winning the Texas governorship.

  9. whoa- breaking news, John Airport Murtha just died at age 77

    1. Wow, outlived by Byrd. Tough break.

      1. Mother Theresa outlived Lady Di. I always thought that was weird.

  10. Can we please have a more libertarian commentator instead of Weigel? Perhaps Glenn Greenwald?

    1. +1

    2. Seriously, did Weigel run over your ferret or something? Whence does this hate come? Yes, he’s a liberal, but he gives fairer coverage of libertarianish people than any liberal journalist I know of.

      1. I was comenting long before Weigel showed up, so I watched the whole thing… and I still have no idea how the Weigel hatred got so deep.

        I think he’s just fun to hate for some.

        1. I think the issue is that he was supposed to be a libertarian, but he’s really a liberal. That torqued a few folks.

          Me, I was a little surprised that Reason would have a writer who wasn’t a hardcore libertarian on staff, but it ain’t my magazine. Or blog. And he’s obviously sympathetic to the cause, which is more than you can say about virtually all liberals.

          1. Maybe they should have hired a Republican to be a fake libertarian to provide balance.

            But where could we possibly find one of those?

            1. Which fake libertarian/conservative are you thinking of? There are more than a few.

              1. Ask me the next time Sarah Palin is mentioned.

                1. Oh, you mean John. Don’t knock his libertarian streak. He’d legalize drugs for you, after all.

            2. SF,

              I have an idea. An MMO that pushes libertarian ideas. Let’s capture 10 million young geeks.

              1. We might just get away with a YouTube video explaining what would happen if World of Warcraft went off the gold standard.

                1. Insidiously insidious!

                2. Actually, Diablo II is a real example of a game economy where the players abandoned the gold standard. And it’s by the same company.

                  The end result has been a lot of game hacking. I’m not sure what that means from an economic analysis POV.

                  I … can’t quite believe I went there.

                  1. Don’t forget gold farming bots/selling in-game gold for USD.

              2. its called EVE

          2. Eh, they have a few around. Steve Chapman is about as libertarian as Tinky-Winky is straight, and Moynihan works for the Mossad.

          3. They brought him in for the experience he has covering campaigns. Campaign trails don’t usually interest libertarian oriented journalist and writers much. Could you imagine Jerry Pournelle up in New Hampshire during the primary?

            As for the hate on Weigel, allegedly, he has been two faced on the talking head shows, I don’t watch them so I don’t know.

          4. ProGLib,
            I think you’ve misread Dave. He writes about politics as a sport, more or less, but I can’t recall anything where he specifically indicated any liberal sympathies (NTTAWWT).

            1. Back when he was here, I felt he had some leftwards leanings, but I can’t recall anything blatant. Then again, he was writing for Reason. In any event, I’m not angry about it or anything.

          5. Ron Bailey and Michael Young have both explicitly stated they’re not libertarians. Of course, they’re both “specialty reporters”.

        2. He pretended to be a libertarian so that he could get in here and shill for Obama and attack McCain all throughout the election, and then about five minutes after the election was over, he skedaddled right on out of here to become a George Soros hack. His primary job over there seems to mostly consist of smearing the Tea Party activists and limited-government people in general.

          Honestly, I’m not even sure why in the world the folks at Reason keep on giving him props. It’s not like he or anyone else at the Center for Independent Media is returning the favor or anything.

          1. I don’t see how he’s smearing tea party activists and limited government people in this article.

            He’s pointing out that movement conservatives are, in fact, driving libertarianish folks OUT of the Tea Party movement, by demanding that they adhere to the conservative/Republican party line.

            That an entirely worthy point. It’s not a smear on the tea party movement. It’s an observation that it is being coopted by right-wing conservatives.

        3. Me, too. I think a lot of it goes back to the fact that Weigel held Paul’s feet to the fire about the newsletters. (Which Paul and his campaign team wanted to slough off as “old news”). Then Paul’s crappily run campaign tanked, and the super Paulistas were looking for a scapegoat. Weigel was easier to beat up than an idiotic campaign that ignored the huge differences Paul had with other Republicans, and ran immigration ads that would have fit in with the Tancredo campaign.

          1. All of the above.

          2. BP,

            It wasn’t entirely crappily run. The fact that the general public knows who Ron Paul is–and they do–is a hell of an improvement from the usual state of affairs.

            1. The “moneybombs” were a stunning success. When other people start ripping off your idea, you know you’ve got something. Too bad they couldn’t carry the momentum.

              And at least he kicked “freedom is ceding to authority” Giuliani’s worthless ass.

          3. There was hate for Weigel before Ron Paul was even on the map. And it was Matt Welch who wrote most of the stuff about Newslettergate.

      2. Didn’t Weigel admit to only voting for Obama because he’s black?

        1. No, that was Cavanaugh (who you would think should know better). But Weigel (who really doesn’t know better) wouldn’t have surprised me, either.

          1. Weigel said that he would have voted for Barr, but he wasn’t on the ballot in DC so he voted for BO.

            1. What’s wrong with that?

  11. It’s all about gaining and keeping power. Name a party, any party, who have successfully run on a platform of ceding power back to the states, or better yet: to the people themselves. No Democrat embraces that philosophy and precious few Republicans. So can a third party succeed? Can their presence alone put any meaningful pressure on career politicians of the two entrenched parties? Can a leopard change its spots?

    1. Name a party, any party, who have successfully run on a platform of ceding power back to the states … So can a third party succeed?

      This can never happen so long as so many live in the constant fear that some state other than their own permits or prohibits something that they find distasteful.

  12. “that he votes “no” on everything, including federal aid for his district after Hurricane Ike”

    Apparently your Tea Party is our pony.

    1. Seriously fuck these guys. They wouldn’t know small government if it bit them on the ass. They will be silent about deficits as soon as someone with an R behind their name hits the White House. Just like the anti war folks (whom I also agreed with) stopped complaining about the war as soon as Obama was elected. So fuck them too.

    2. Calling the Tea Party a pony is like calling a cock punch a handjob.

  13. It’s sad how the GOP was able to coopt the Tea Party movement and morph it (to a large degree) from a group of small government supporters to a group of Republican crazies.

    1. Sad but true.

    2. Well, that’s what happens when libertarians pathetically sit on the sidelines and LET them coopt it.

      1. It’s kind of baffling to blame libertarians for the mental state of the tea partiers. This was purely a case of “hope”, hope that the tea parties had enough people in them that were honestly fed up with both parties. I keep hearing that all sorts, democrats/conservatives/libertarians/random collective label here, were attending these events, getting involved…blah blah blah, but the evidence point to the contrary. It has only been republicans, and the callow loud republicans at that. Sorry to burst the hope bubble, but these people have no credibility, and if they did, their “movement” wouldn’t have been co-opted so easily. They rolled over pretty quickly there, quicker than a statist for nationalized handjobs.

      2. Not sure that’s entirely the case. As soon as Obama won the election you knew the Republicans would go into their opposition mode. The Tea Party was just a convenient vehicle that already existed with a patriotic feel. I would even say that it was the Libertarian attempt at Grass Roots Education that led to the Grand Theft Auto of our beloved Tea Party.

  14. Like it or not, if you’re looking for an electoral option, the Libertarian Party is the best one going.
    Kinda’ sad, I know.

    1. Some of us have other ideas.

      I’d like to vote for a party that represents my interests for a change. There are already have 2 parties essentially inviting me to commit suicide. A third one I don’t need.

      1. Protectionism and anti-immigration. Yeah, those demonstrably bad ideas will float well on this board. Have fun with the idiot convention.

      2. Some of us have other ideas.

        Missionary, doggy and and now this?

      3. Wow – was that a serious link? As in – you actually believe that is a good idea? Not mocking – just checking for sarcasm because the last thing I expected was an anti-free trade, anti-immigration website…

      4. A party who has a man in a leadership position who claims “Jews are destroying America”. Kevin Macdonald keeps some interesting company: David Irving, David Duke, Don Black…

  15. “The word I keep hearing is ‘ineffective,’ ” said [challenger John] Gay, a school business administrator. “This district is not really being represented as it could be.”

    Let me guess; this guy’s role model is the newly deceased John Murtha.

    Seriously: one of these days, some dipshit is going to use that, “Well, SOMEBODY is going to get that federal money; it might as well be us!” argument on me, and I am going to deck him.

  16. There is one thing Paul does that might backfire. While Paul votes against basically all spending bills, he notoriously gets earmark requests into those bills, so that local projects survive when other members vote those bills through. That barely dinged Paul in 2008, but it may become an issue now.

    That’s his job. He represents the people of his district, they pay taxes and Paul places earmarks that brings some of the tax money back into his community. So what was the problem again?

    1. ya. If everybody did what Paul does, would government get bigger or smaller? (the answer is smaller). So anybody that want to call “bazinga” on this can just STFU.

  17. re: Nick, 3:10

    What the fuck? Did they put his last gasps on youtube?

  18. “The word I keep hearing is ‘ineffective,’ ” said [challenger John] Gay, a school business administrator. “This district is not really being represented as it could be.”

    So, does School Business Administrator John Gay speaks for the Tea Party movement?

  19. Republicans saw the parade and jumped in front of it to “lead.” Democrats didn’t. Libertarians couldn’t.
    Some Tea Party types will back LP or Constitutional candidates if they think the GOP candidate is a rino. Otherwise, they will swallow hard and vote Republican. The best option for libertarians is to try to be the educational arm of Tea Parties, controlling the speakers, the books that are touted, making sure Libertarians are included in debates, etc.

    1. Couldn’t? You mean “didn’t even try”.

  20. “The word I keep hearing is ‘ineffective,’ ” said [challenger John] Gay, a school business administrator. “This district is not really being represented as it could be.”

    How long before World Nut Daily starts calling this guy John Homosexual?

    1. (In case my lame joke was too obscure…): http://blog.washingtonpost.com….._word.html

      1. What’s going on?

  21. that guy is so fucking gay!

  22. Surprise, The Tea Party is not The Libertarian Party. So what? As usual you have to pick a horse. You need them more than they need you. One of two sides are gonna win, pick one and get over yourselves.

    1. Just because tea partiers are anti-big government(which for the most part they are just anti-Obama) doesn’t mean we should vote for them. Many democrats are anti-war and that doesn’t mean we’ll vote for them either.
      The tea party means nothing to me if it is just going to be an arm of the GOP. Idiots like this Gay guy can fuck off.

      1. If libertarians are going to write off any small-government movement that happens to by influenced by the GOP, then they are not going to have ANY influence over said movements, and ALL said movements will end up being arms of the GOP.

        1. If the Tea Partiers support war, then they are not small government.

    2. Uhh I don’t have to pick one of these two loser parties. I sleep better when I don’t. I don’t have to make excuses. I don’t get my political opinions as a value meal like you do. I pick and choose the things I agree with. Meanwhile you can pick one or the other and get fucked in the process.

    3. If you pick the guy who you agree with on 11% of the issues versus the guy who you agree with on 9% of the issues because 11% is “the lesser of two evils”, you are throwing your vote away.

      The guy I agree with on 70-95% of the issues is the guy who I’m voting for. Unless it’s some LINO clown just using the party for his / her pet grievances, the Libertarian is getting my vote. Even if he looks like Papa fucking Smurf.

      1. He’s got the Avatar fan vote locked up.

        1. Stop picking on Avatar you romance hater.

      2. Right. As SF notes, blue people should now be referred to as the Na’vi, not Smurfs, Blue Men, or Orion Slave Girls (for people with blue-green colorblindness). Failure to adhere to this requirement will result in a lawsuit from James Cameron.

        1. I mentioned this previously, but I was in Whole Foods the other day, and noticed they had colloidal silver. For those who doubt John Mackey is a real libertarian, I submit that as indisputable proof.

          1. I bet people start downing that to counter their Avatar-based depressions. Glad I skipped the whole thing.

            1. ingesting too much actually can turn you blue (bluish). it’s a condition called argyria.

    4. This is what I’ve been trying to tell libertarians. If you want to be politically relevant you have to pick one of the two parties and influence it from within.

      I have suggested they pick Democrats, but not for any reason other than Republicans are fascists.

      1. You have suggested they pick Democrats, because your objective is to undermine the fundamental goals of libertarians with respect to economic policy.

        Let’s be honest.

        1. You don’t have goals, you have platitudes. Practically nothing you believe is grounded in reality because it’s a faith-based system. That makes you pretty much like every other type of Republican voter, I guess.

          I hate Democrats. They’re nearly as owned by corporate interests as Republicans are. But at least they don’t operate from a political platform of sociopathy and compulsive lying. Policy is secondary to saving the country from nutcases at this point in time.

          1. Um, right, whatever. You’ve hung around this site for how many months, and you don’t think there’s some serious economic and philosophical thought behind libertarianism?

            Maybe, it’s just that your own faith-based commitment is so strong that you filter out anything from the opposing camp that doesn’t confirm your biases about your enemies. You’re so dedicated to hating libertarians you can’t even acknowledget hat there is, you know, a coherent worldview behind it. You HAVE to believe that it’s all just a bunch of “faith-based” “platitudes”, or your little world will explode.

            1. Hazel, it is a sockpuppet pushing your buttons and not a real liberal. If the puppetmaster took an alignment test in political affiliation he would score a perfect Authoritarian/Communitarian with the visual chart appearing as if he were living at the North pole. No one actually scores perfectly to any of the given poles, but in character he would, thus a puppet.

              The one time the puppet came out of character was when Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Even that was a bit much for the puppet master to wrap his head around. Otherwise, the performance is flawless.

              Feed the troll if you like, but at some point, it represents the degree of security you feel about your own positions that you continue to do so long after the truth becomes obvious.

  23. It’s sad how the GOP was able to coopt the Tea Party movement and morph it (to a large degree) from a group of small government supporters to a group of Republican crazies.

    I blame the media. It was the media that falsely portrayed the original tea partiers as Republican crazies, so of course, Republican crazies gravitated towards the movement.

  24. Where is the LP right now, when anti-government sentiment is perhaps the highest it’s been since Watergate? Where? At least the confused Tea party people are doing something. We’re just sitting around, coolly insulting everyone else.

    I follow the RLC’s activities in Florida, and they’re being actively repulsed by the state GOP. So limited government folks need a home somewhere.

    1. The LP is a boat of captains and always will be stuck in the same spot being directed in a thousand different directions. Isn’t that the charm of a collective of individualists.

      1. I disagree entirely. You’re completely wrong. If it wasn’t for people like you, we’d have a Libertarian president by now.

      2. Doesn’t have to be that way, you know. The country was founded by, using today’s standards, insane individualists.

        1. And steering a 20′ sailboat in a different direction requires less time and effort than turning around the Titanic. Now, I’m not comparing the US to the Titanic, but sometimes I do feel like we’re just rearranging deck chairs.

          1. And while I’m on a nautical journey of analogies, big government may be libertarians white whale, but I think the LP’s captain ahab tendencies of absolutism get in the way of some moderate accomplishments of say, catching “a” whale of civil liberties or small deregulation bills.

            1. Hark ye yet again,–the little lower layer. All visible objects, man, are but as pasteboard masks. But in each event–in the living act, the undoubted deed–there, some unknown but still reasoning thing put forth the mouldings of its features from behind the unreasoning mask. If man will strike, strike through the mask! How can the prisoner reach outside except by thrusting through the wall? To me, the white whale is that wall, shoved near to me. Sometimes I think there’s naught beyond. But ’tis enough. He tasks me; he heaps me; I see in him outrageous strength, with an inscrutable malice sinewing it. That inscrutable thing is chiefly what I hate; and be the white whale agent, or be the white whale principal, I will wreck that hate upon him. Talk not to me of blasphemy, man; I’d strike the sun if it insulted me. For could the sun do that, then I could do the other; for there is ever a sort of fair play herein, jealousy presiding over all creations. But not my master, man, is even that fair play. Who’s over me? Truth has no confines.

            2. BTW, my comment above was snark. Seriously, I think the problem is that the most committed LP activists / members also tend to be the most fanatic. It’s hard to convince people who want ABSOLUTE FREEDOM NOW! to work for small, incremental changes.

              1. “Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee.”

  25. Ron Paul pandering?! I’m shocked, absolutely shocked!

    …actually, that’s about as big a revelation as the suggestion that politicians care more about votes than they do about doing what’s right for the economy.

    Ron Paul does what any vote getter should do–he identifies underserved voter markets and he serves them.

    If that means letting weird, sick things be said in your newsletter, so be it.

    If that means advocating a gold standard, even if the world is eager to buy your debt for peanuts*, then so be it.

    If that means pounding on the fed, even if it furthers the goals of those who want to politicize the fed, so be it!

    He’s a politician, my fellow libertarians, and we should not make heroes of politicians. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the only really good definition I’ve seen for a real libertarian, it’s someone who doesn’t think politicians are the solution to our problems.

    This pig may have a pretty dress (by our standards), but that’s just lip stick, for goodness’ sake, never glorify any of them.

    *Actually there were bond issues going for negative interest while he was pounding the table for gold… As if we should squander taxpayer money on gold when the world’s willing to pay us to borrow from them!

    1. Japan gave us a huge portion of their GDP when they were buying our debt. (In part, they were doing this so we would continue to buy their exports). Everyone who was handwringing about the Japanese failed to realize they were buying our debt with the dollar at a very high level (200 – 250 ? / dollar). From the mid 80’s to the early 90’s, the dollar slid to around 100 ? / dollar. The debt they bought was now worth about half of what they paid for it.

      But mercantilism works. No, really, it does.

    2. Re: Ken Shultz,

      If that means letting weird, sick things be said in your newsletter, so be it.

      Like what?

      If that means advocating a gold standard, even if the world is eager to buy your debt for peanuts*, then so be it.

      *Until they stop, of course . . .

      If that means pounding on the [F]ed, even if it furthers the goals of those who want to politicize the fed, so be it!

      Nevermind the fact the existence of the Fed caused three massive recessions and several smaller ones, right?

      He’s a politician, my fellow libertarians, and we should not make heroes of politicians.

      Indeed, but you’re saying this as if RP was cut from the same fabric as Nancy Pelosi or Obama or his pet ballerina. That’s not the case.

      Actually there were bond issues going for negative interest while he was pounding the table for gold… As if we should squander taxpayer money on gold when the world’s willing to pay us to borrow from them!

      Maybe you did not get the memo – WE are not going to “squander” taxpayer money. Ron Paul has been advocating for getting rid of Legal Tender laws and allow people to trade and make contracts in gold, not use taxpayers’ money to buy gold – where the hell did you get that idea? Besides this, the fact that the world is buying US debt has nothing to do with gold or a gold standard, and a lot to do with the government’s profligacy.

      1. ” If that means pounding on the [F]ed, even if it furthers the goals of those who want to politicize the fed, so be it!

        Nevermind the fact the existence of the Fed caused three massive recessions and several smaller ones, right?”

        I didn’t realize we never had recessions under the gold standard. Apparently everything was fantastic like the land of Oz before the evil Fed stepped in.

        1. Re: Mo,

          I didn’t realize we never had recessions under the gold standard. Apparently everything was fantastic like the land of Oz before the evil Fed stepped in.

          Interesting defense for the Fed considering the purported raison d’etre for the Fed was to CURB RECESSIONS – which is my point.

          No me defiendas, compadre! is the Mexican cry to those that purport to “help” a cause by hindering it.

      2. “Nevermind the fact the existence of the Fed caused three massive recessions and several smaller ones, right?”

        If I could get one point across to you? It would be the existence of the economic cycle.

        In this case, the downturn was tied to the availability of credit, some would argue that’s always the case.

        The Fed can’t get rid of the economic cycle any more than it can get rid of winter, no fed, two feds, never was a fed, get rid of the fed…wouldn’t matter one bit. But the fed doesn’t cause the cycle any more than it causes winter either.

        Credit will always become more available at the top of the cycle and less available at the bottom regardless of what the fed does or doesn’t do. …as well it should.

        This is as it should be.

        You might argue that the fed made it worse, but getting rid of the fed wouldn’t stop the expansion of credit availability at the tops of the cycle or the inevitable misinvestment that results from it.

        …and anybody that tells you otherwise is simply trying to score populist political points, that’s all.

        Rage on.

        1. Re: Ken Shultz,

          If I could get one point across to you? It would be the existence of the economic cycle.

          Yes, please, oh sage one.

          In this case, the downturn was tied to the availability of credit, some would argue that’s always the case.

          Which would mean in reciprocity the total non-availabilty of credit should lead to NO downturn! Excellent point – like saying that without any rain there would be no flooding! Wow!

          The Fed can’t get rid of the economic cycle any more than it can get rid of winter

          Even when the PURPORTED reason to HAVE the Fed in the first place was to CURB the cycles? Talk about a failed experiment!

          But the fed doesn’t cause the cycle any more than it causes winter either.

          Bad analogy. But, please, continue…

          Credit will always become more available at the top of the cycle and less available at the bottom regardless of what the fed does or doesn’t do.

          Oh, poor, poor impotent Fed.

          Why is credit more available at the top of the cycle, Ken? You mention this as if it just happened.

          You might argue that the fed made it worse

          No, I argue (and all Austrian economists) that the Fed makes it SO, not just worse.

          […]but getting rid of the fed wouldn’t stop the expansion of credit availability at the tops of the cycle or the inevitable misinvestment that results from it.

          So what do we have a Fed for, Ken? What’s its purpose if it cannot stop the cycle?

          …and anybody that tells you otherwise is simply trying to score populist political points, that’s all.

          Austrian economists – scoring populists points for you and me. That’s their motto, it seems.

          1. Really, I’m not about throwing pearls before swine, but if I hurt your feeling or something talking about Ron Paul…

            Credit and investment happen at the top of the cycle for a lot of reasons, partially because the perception of risk is lower. The perception of risk may have been lower than it should have been because interest rates were low…

            …but interest rates weren’t low because of the fed. They were low because that’s where the market pegged them. …LIBOR anyone? …which is what most of those variable interest rates home loans were tied to? TED spread, anyone? …which measures credit risk?

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TED_spread

            Where was the TED spread before the subprime crisis hit, really, in July of ’07?

            I’ll tell you where. It was low, low, low, low, low… And that had almost nothing to do with the fed. What part does treasury auctions and and LIBOR have to do with the fed?

            How would market driven measures been different without a fed? In fact, without a fed, isn’t that exactly what you want? A market driven interest rate?

            That’s what you had.

            “So what do we have a Fed for, Ken? What’s its purpose if it cannot stop the cycle?”

            Mostly for political reasons, I believe. …politicians love having people they can drag out and pummel periodically. It lets them pander to their base.

            Surely that’s what Ron Paul uses it for, doesn’t he?

            1. For your edification, here’s a chart for the TED spread–your and Ron Paul’s market rate, I presume?

              http://www.crystalbull.com/sto…..read-chart

              Or maybe you have a different measure that shows that market interest rates were higher? And the fed was just ignoring them? (You don’t, of course, because no such thing exists. The market rates were where they were.)

              So, at what point, before say New Century blew up in July of ’07, was the fed supposed to go against the market?

              Oh, it’s the fed though! It has to be their fault! Ron Paul said so! …and he makes me so horny!

              If interest rates caused the downturn, then it was market interest rates that caused the downturn. Not the Fed. Deal with it. Learn something.

  26. Tea Partiers are the neo-neoconservatives. Take the same hates of the neoconservative vein and add an invigorated “anti-tax” perspective and you have tea partiers. Libertarians could smell the rot at 100 yards and stayed away.

    1. Yep. I thought it may be different, let’s say I wished it would be. But nope just more neo-cons.

    2. Clearly, by running against Ron Paul, they are saying supporting the various wars is more important to them than cutting spending.

    3. Bullshit.

      The earlier tea parties were all over the map with respect to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Frankly, foreign policy wasn’t even a significant concern. Still isn’t.

      1. It might not be a concern ( it should be though, war is big government), but they are not going to really behind an anti-war candidate.

        Most of these folks are just republicans

        1. yes, mostly they are just republicans and yes, they probably aren’t going to *really* get behind an anti-war candidate, but I’m willing to bet that theres a significant percentage of the rank-and-file who wouldn’t be totally horrified by an anti-war presence either.

          Just because there is Republican influence doesn’t mean that everyone involved is a completly partisan political bigot.

      2. I’d like to see a link about those antiwar tea parties, please.

        1. A quick google search didn’t turn up any decent coverage of the Houston tea party last year (it seems to all be red team/blue team spin), but for what it’s worth (I suspect very little, since I can’t find any proof), there were quite a few anti-war signs being waved about when I was there.

    4. I don’t get how you’d reach that conclusion. The Tea Party movement is united by vague anger at the Federal government, but the neoconservatives’ halmark has been enthusiaistic employment of the Federal gov’t for conservative purposes. The big name neocons reacted to it largely by criticising the movement’s hostility to Federal power. That’s not to say the Tea Party movement is primarily libertarian, but the strands of conservativism involved are rival factions of the neocons within the broader conservative coalition. The aspriations to remake the world in America’s image and use the Federal gov’t to promote conservative values that distinguished the neocons just aren’t there – there’s still a lot of foreign policy saber-rattling, but it’s not the same spreading democracy at the point of a gun stuff that defines the neocon POV. There’s a difference between Beck and Krauthammer and the Tea Party movement is moving conservativism in the US towards the former.

      1. There’s enough flag waving and nationalism in the Tea Partiers to lead me to believe that if they weren’t cast off in the wilderness right now, we’d be back to neocons-as-usual when back in power. You can’t have as much blind hate for obama as I see at these rallies and not have a violent statist streak. Then again, I’m just reading tea leaves.

    5. @Lost, i agree with you for the most part, except for smelling the rot a hundred yards away. There was a lot of hype, on this website alone, for these tea parties.

      1. I guess I attributed most of the coverage here to snark and curiosity rather than full out cheerleading, but then again, I’ve been on the site infrequently in the last few months.

  27. Off Topic, but one of these editors has got to cover it.

    The headline:

    Ben Bernanke admits to being influenced by sim video games.

    The linky:

    http://unconfirmedsources.com/?itemid=3889

    I knew no good could come from those city manager sort of games. I played a few of the earliest ones from the 80’s, one game for the Atari ST was even about running Soviet Russia, and they all seemed to be programmed by someone with the mentality of Galbraith.

    1. I played an old PC game called Populous, which involved being god to poor, pathetic creations. Perhaps he played that one?

      1. I remember it! Creating armies to walk across large swathes of height maps, somehow your actions such as making campfires were linked to weather in an magical mysterious alarmist manner which made the game play ‘more realistic.’

        HAHAHAHA

  28. EARMARKS!!!!!!!!

  29. See 300 provocative questions about tax extortion slavery. http://LibertyBlueBird.com

  30. I’m sorry, if Sarah Palin is the spokesperson for the tea party movement, count me out.

  31. In a way, this speaks volumes. I never bought the assertion that the tea party participants were a wide collection of people banning together to vent their frustration at the two big government parties. Nor did i fall for the possibility of it being a libertarian movement, or a libertarian influence. It’s nice to see others start to accept that, except for one or two commenters raged up on Hopeium, and Matt Welch, it’s good to see people realizing that these fake small govt. uprising usually pan out to be a loud of bull. Maybe Reason can go back to being a Libertarian magazine instead of this tacit pro-republican garbage. The multiple tea party posts show just how intellectually dishonest Mr. Welch is, the sooner Reason is clear of him the better.

    1. Fatalism.
      If libertarians perpetually believe that there’s no chance that any popular libertarian movement could arise, you’re making it pretty much inevitable that it won’t. Political movements don’t just magically form and fall in your lap. They are created by people taking advantage of oppotunities to influence minds and events. The Tea Party movement is (was) one such movement. But people like you assuming that it’s bull will never fail to lose an opportunity.

      1. At some point, libertarians need to stop being useful idiots for the republican and conservative cause. More than ever we need to distance ourselves from the TPers

        1. How is getting involved and making an effort to change minds and influence the movement being a “useful idiot”?

          Being a “useful idiot” would mean shutting up about the things you don’t like in the name of solidarity or something. Not trying to reform them.

      2. Any political movement will inevitably end up being pro-state/anti-libertarian. It’s inherent in the tool being used. Now, a movement involving rifles is an entirely different matter.

  32. I just saw Weigel talking about this on Maddow (barf). wanna throw up a link, editor? kinda interesting, he discusses the difference between sarah palinites and RP

  33. I just saw Weigel talking about this on Maddow (barf). wanna throw up a link, editor? kinda interesting, he discusses the difference between sarah palinites and RP

  34. With their embrace of Sarah Palin the Tea Party has a brand new name: Lipstick Republicans.

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