Not Paying Attention? You Wish

Tea Partiers have their eyes open. That's why they're mad.


Who's going to argue with Sen. John Kerry's recent claim that the American electorate "doesn't always pay that much attention to what's going on, so people are influenced by a simple slogan rather than the facts or the truth or what's happening"?

Hey, that's why John Kerry keeps his job. That's why a simple three-word slogan and a bunch of saccharine speeches can propel a fresh political face into a spectacularly failed presidency.

And that's why the Party of Intellect, Decency, and Selflessness has a hallowed duty to point out the hard facts and truths about its opponents, those Aqua Buddha-worshipping, witchcraft-loving, Talibanish, rape-approving, women-hating, foreign-influence-peddling brutes.

Or, as the president calls them, the "enemy," a group so masterfully devious it can swindle a nation but yet too dumb to take seriously.

Without a doubt, Kerry's deft prognosis of the electorate allows that this epidemic of ignorance most often sweeps the nation when Democrats lose elections. Its existence—like that of PBS or the Coast Guard—is a mystery.

But these particular midterm elections are more intensely focused on philosophical disagreements and public policy than any in memory.

If you've been paying attention, you know it's not Sharron Angle's and Ken Buck's sophisticated personalities, soaring orations, or spellbinding answers that make them competitive. It's their ideology—and the ideology of their opponents.

Tea Party types are interested in ideology, not just the economy. They will be disappointed at the first whiff of "bipartisanship" consensus on spending. They will be irate when Republicans fail to shut down unnecessary federal departments as promised. (As others have pointed out, if the GOP doesn't have the stomach to defund those nerds at NPR, how can we expect it to repeal Obamacare?)

Most elections aren't as historically momentous as partisans would have us believe, but many can shift the trajectory of the national conversation for a long time.

Now that the Tea Party has cleared the brush and lived to tell about it, the next round of candidates will be far less apprehensive in advocating free market reforms. In fact, the next round of economically libertarian candidates—folks who never would have thought of running against the establishment previously—are likely to be more polished, impressive, and intellectually prepared to make their case.

They've been paying attention.

A new Rasmussen poll finds that 75 percent of likely voters believe a free market economy is better than an economy managed by the government. When further broken down, 90 percent of "mainstream" voters prefer free markets.

Among the "Political Class"—which I believe is technically defined as "people who hate America"—only 34 percent feels that the free market is better, and 30 percent likes a government-managed economy.

Anyone "paying attention" can see that a managed economy is a stagnant economy. Anyone "paying attention" can see that as clearly as he can see Nov. 2. There have been few elections as clearly delineated by ideological differences in action as this one.

So despite the claims by Democrats that voters are misled or confused, trust me; an electorate paying attention is the last thing they want.

David Harsanyi is a columnist at The Denver Post and the author of Nanny State. Visit his website at www.DavidHarsanyi.com.


NEXT: "Halloween: The Safest Day of the Year"

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  1. first?

    1. also

      “which I believe is technically defined as “people who hate America”?”

      love it

  2. He’s right. The Clinton regime, and it’s push for ClintonCare and gun control, drove us to the Patriot Meetings. The Militia Movement helped us to study the Constitution, and all the ways Washington has gone beyond it’s enumerated powers. I hope the Tea Party gets everyone to question how so much of our Constitution is ignored.

  3. Who’s going to argue with Sen. John Kerry’s recent claim that the American electorate “doesn’t always pay that much attention to what’s going on, so people are influenced by a simple slogan rather than the facts or the truth or what’s happening”?

    Like, for instance: Hope and Change!


    1. my first thought exactly

    2. ‘We Like Ike’ – ‘Yes We Can’ – ‘Fuck the Hippies’

      I like three word slogans.

      1. Why use three when two will do?

      2. Next time my PhD candidate friend talks about how simplistic the TP’s political views are, I’m going to remind her that she enthusiastically supported for President a guy who cribbed his motto from Bob the Builder.

        1. I just posted that thought to my Facebook page, where I’m sure it’ll get lots of ‘Likes’. Anyhow, your royalty check is in the mail. I figure 10 grand should do it?

          1. I only accept internet dollars, but thanks!

        2. Beautiful,
          I almost peed myself laughing at that one. May I please use that one on some of my liberal friends?

    3. Bill Clinton: Hope!
      Barack Obama: Hope and Change!
      Hillary Clinton: Hope and Change and ????!

      1. *oops
        Bill Clinton: Change!

      2. a hand job?

        1. Another unwanted government service.

        2. Another unwanted gov’t service.

          1. . . . unless it’s a reacharound, in which case it’s the the least they can do.

      3. Hope and Change of Life.

    4. Democrats regularly use turnspeak otherwise known as projection.

  4. “A new Rasmussen poll finds that 75 percent of likely voters believe a free market economy is better than an economy managed by the government.”

    That’s a loaded question though. It’s come to the point where left wingers have to pay lip service to the free market but the glorious state must make it just.

    1. but the glorious state must make it just.

      And don’t forget ROADS! Without ROADS there would be no free market. Say it with me: ROOOOOOADS!

      I’m about to click submit and I see OM has beaten me. Oh well, ROADS!

      1. Don’t forget schools, firefighters, and police.

        1. Which wouldn’t exist without roads!!

        2. and not just any schools, firefighters and police…Unionized, which is the best kind.

          1. but now we’ve got our chain of contingencies backwards. In the beginning was the union. It rested for 6 days, then slapped some roads together the 7th day after which the union leader yelled at everyone to stop working so hard. Then they rested 6 more days… and you get the idea.

      2. Because without the California Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation, this country would be fucking Somalia, I tell you, SOMALIA!!

        1. Worse: Like Somalia without roads!

          1. Face down in the mud, kicked..in the head…with an iron boot!!

        2. Holy crap! I thought you were just making things up, but that agency actually exists.

          1. There’s nothing you can say about Golden State government that is too ridiculous that it is immediately seen as false.

          2. Holy crap! I thought you were just making things up, but that agency actually exists.

            I had to look that up myself. Unbelievable.

          3. All the pot tax money in the world won’t fix that kind of stupid. Oh, excuse me, repair

    2. It’s come to the point where left wingers have to pay lip service to the free market but the glorious state must make it just.

      My Corporate State made the free market just.

  5. When further broken down, 90 percent of “mainstream” voters prefer free markets.

    Well, maybe Kerry is right and they are not paying attention, since free markets don’t build ROADS!!!

    Roads, I tell you, Roads!!!

    1. Free markets also don’t protect people, you know, because the police are right there just before an aspiring rapist has his way with you.

      1. You can’t rape the willing!

        1. I forgot to mention that ‘aspiring rapist’ is a good, albeit unsettling, band name. However, I think it is a shade more acceptable than Anal Cunt.

          1. Oooo, I like that one!!

            1. I was in Anal Cunt.

      2. “When seconds count, we’re just minutes away! And if your dog barks, we’re shooting him first, then tazing you for good measure.”

  6. This is a really biased article. No use of the word “teabagger” or mention of racism, like a fair and balanced article would have.

    1. Don’t forget “Islamophobia”: the ever-present, internalized fear of accepting the politically-correct view of Islam in its awesome entirety.

  7. That’s a loaded question though. It’s come to the point where left wingers have to pay lip service to the free market but the glorious state must make it just.

    See also George Bush’s “salvation” of the “free” “market” from itself a couple of years ago.

    1. Hey X, if I respond in threaded comments to you, will you copy, paste, and respond downthread? I just want to make you do work is all.

    2. Scoreboard!

      Er.. wait, what?

  8. Look at all those violent thugs!

    1. The purple shirts really bring out the highlights in their eyes.

      1. You can tell just by looking at them that Mein Kampf is their favorite book.

  9. I knew something was wrong with the government long before the Tea Party. My parents actually made me read books and question things, as opposed to growing up into a fat beer monster who takes everything on the TV at face value.

    1. Hey!

    2. I believe that would be considered child abuse today.

      1. You’re confusing that with the purchase of a Happy Meal.

        1. Yeah, Unapproved Literature gets you on the sex offender registry and a nifty GPS transponder implanted in your buttocks.

        2. Yeah, Unapproved Literature gets you on the sex offender registry and a nifty GPS transponder implanted in your buttocks.

      2. You betcha! I’m so sorry that we failed to take you away from your parents, Brian from Texas.

    3. Re: Brian from Texas,

      My parents actually made me read books and question things, as opposed to growing up into a fat beer monster who takes everything on the TV at face value Ed Schultz.

      There. Shorter and sweeter.

      1. Shorter, but definitely not sweeter.

        1. Ed Schultz: The Joe Besser of American political talk-radio schmucks.

  10. I want to know how Galveston, Texas, was rebuilt after the 1900 Hurricane without FEMA, and before the Income Tax? Must have been magic.

    1. Yep, it was those damn conservative witches like Christine.

      1. Nah, the lack of Shep Smith losing his shit on air for about two weeks straight.

    2. Or 1906 San Francisco after the earthquake.

      1. Chicago fire, brother what a night it really was!

        1. yes, indeed

        2. Yeah, f*ck building codes. Let’s get back to knockin’ and burnin ’em down by the thousands.

          1. I like your innovative new idea to end unemployment!

      2. Bank of Italy.

        Damn foreigners!

    3. Somalians came over and did it between raping and pillaging binges.

    4. Well, technically speaking, Galveston lost its position as the main port in Texas to Houston, and never really regained its reputation as a headline city in the south. Not that FEMA and the government would have made any difference. People with common sense decided that it would be safer to move much of their businesses to Houston instead.

      Although, I must say, the seawall in Galveston was a pretty cool idea. There is a great write up on Google Books from a 1905 magazine on what private efforts did:


      1. Further, the US Army Corp of Engineers did have a heavy hand in rebuilding, as well as expanding the seawall in the 1920s. Not exactly FEMA, but same caliber.


    5. Careful with the snark. Galveston was rebuilt after the city paid for the island to be built up 17 extra feet.

      1. No snark; as a former resident of the area I have a great deal of affection for Galveston. Many of the people in the area continue to refer to the Hurricane as having essentially destroyed the forward trajectory of the city, and rendered it a second-run compared to Houston.

        The article I referenced is an old one, but a good one. It refers to how the problem was addressed locally, and even makes reference to the US government declining to render monetary aid to the city.

  11. Aw c’mon. OBVIOUSLY team blue consists of some of the most patriotic Americans, evah! It takes guts and determination to give the American public a good, hard, up close, living and breathing example of the epic sucktitude of having to deal with a government run by power intoxicated, command and control collectivist utopians! I salute them for their martydom, and service to the cause of freedom, and thank them for the huge kick in the nads that they’re apparently willing to endure simply to finally put a stake through the heart of the concept that Marx really makes any fucking sense whatsoever. Thank them, as you vote them into retirement, for a job WELL DONE.

    1. Are you stating that human consciousness is not preconditioned by class? That is mystical poppycock.

      1. I like cock amongst the poppies!

        1. Mother!

  12. Give me a break. Most tea partiers have no idea what “free market” or “managed economy” even mean. The tea partiers I speak to are nostalgic for the “real America” of the 1950s/1960s, when this country was practically a socialist utopia compared to what Obama wants. Compared to the era of Glass-Steagall, 90% marginal tax rates on the rich, powerful trade unions, regulated trucking and airline industries, high import tariffs, etc. etc. even Obama’s worst plans still make us look like Singapore. Yet this is supposedly what the O’Reillys and Palins of the world are nostalgic for.

    1. Obviously a strong argument for the return of the draft, so those ungrateful whelps can just be taught to FOLLOW FUCKING ORDERS AND LIKE IT!

    2. The tea partiers I speak to are nostalgic for the “real America” of the 1950s/1960s

      Well, they say anecdotal evidence is better than nothing. Personally I would stick with nothing.

    3. Spoken like a true disciple of PMSNBC, I mean MSLSD, er I mean MSNBC.

      If you actually spoke to someone who attends those rallies you would get a very different story.

      But you don’t need to go to the source. I’m sure that dude Maddow knows better.

      1. I have. I see no evidence the average Tea Partier has a clue what “socialism”, “free markets”, or “managed economy” means. It is true that in many ways government is more intrusive in our lives than it was 40 years ago. It’s a paradox in some ways – as a finance person or entrepreneur America is a much easier place to do business than it was 40 years ago. If you’re a small business owner or just an average American, the level of red tape and arbitrary rules about how to live your life is definitely worse. But that’s not “socialism”.

        1. It’s more akin to fascism, but if you point that out to people, Nancy Pelosi starts looking for a fainting couch.

          1. Why don’t we agree-to-disagree and settle on “totalitarianism”.

            1. I’m good.

        2. They know is that government interference in their daily lives is getting worse.
          They know that there is an inverse relationship between freedom and government.
          They know that unless something changes, and in a big way, that negative liberty in this country will be nothing but a fond memory.

          They may not know what those things mean in the sense of how it would be taught by a college professor, but they do know what those things mean in terms of their lives and the lives of their children.

          1. And despite the endless arguments over the nuance of which academic definition of a particular word has more contextual validity, they really don’t give a shit about pristine labellings, just what they see happening, and that it’s fucked up.

          2. Sarcasmic, I’ve been hunting you down. I replied to you in the previous post and never heard back. You misunderstood what I was saying.

        3. It isn’t *yet*, vanya. Obama’s only been in office for about two years now. Shit like that takes time, yo.

    4. the local tea party organizations around here promote reading and lectures on a broad range of political and economic issues. If what I see is any indication, the local tea parties are encouraging education and involvement on a level I’ve certainly never seen before in my 53 years. Damn straight, we’re paying attention.

      1. The enthusiasm that a number of Americans seem to have now for learning about American’s first principles may presage a much stronger showing for Constitutionalists next week than anyone is predicting. The fervor of the new convert is always intense. Tea Parties always have plenty of homemade signs extolling limited government ideology. Glenn Beck has experienced stunning success with his ramblings about American History and political philosophy.

        1. This AM on the radio he mentioned some news that’d escaped me: that Tancredo as Constitution Party nominee is running a strong 2nd place for governor of Colo., well ahead of the Republican nominee. That’s important to show those who think the tea parties are just arms of the GOP.

          1. Full Disclosure: The only reason Tancredo is running on the Constitution Party ticket is that he didn’t originally want to run for governor, but the GOPers shot themselves in the foot TWICE with scandal laden Scott McInnis and barking dog insane Dan Maes.

            1. And apparently have way too early a primary.

    5. The tea partiers I speak to are nostalgic for the “real America” of the 1950s/1960s 1790’s.

      1. You’re saying they want to go back to requiring property ownership to vote, no franchise for women, legal slavery, and high import tariffs? On the other hand I can see how the weak federal government, small standing military and legal marijuana would all be good things.

        1. Life is a series of trade-offs.

        2. That “no franchise for women” thingey might not be all bad.

          1. I’m down with eliminating the 18 to 20-year-old demographic as a voting class.

        3. No income tax back then, either!

        4. Women should not have the franchise, to be sure, and slavery has its advantages for the master, ja!

  13. It’s silly to demonize the Tea Party. I’d wager they keep up with and know more about politics than the average voter. If anything, in reaching out to young voters it is liberals who try to woo and honor one of the least likely to be attentive and informed voters.

    The left looks really silly about this because we preach grassroots and people getting active, and that is what the Tea Party is doing. We should say “Good for them, what they are doing is perhaps misguided but commendable and derives from a proper anger and focus on real problems.”

    We also need to realize the harm that TARP did to the liberal brand. Whatever liberalism is supposed to be, bailing out banks with taxpayer dollars (socialized costs/private profits) should have been its antithesis.

    1. But the Democrats’ hand was forced by DECADES UPON DECADES of ruinous deregulation.

      1. ..and Unfettered Capitalism.

        1. And George W. Bush…fer chrissakes don’t forget George W. Bush.

          1. ROADS!!!1!

      2. ‘Decades upon decades?’ Gee, I thought the period between 1930-70 was basically progressive/liberal.

    2. Curse you for not being contentious and actually making a cogent remark. I like my trolls unintelligible, belligerent, and in Max’s case, gay for Ron Paul. Keep this up MNG, and we might not get out the pitchforks everytime you ignore the exponential debt factories of entitlements.

      1. MNG is not a troll.

        Misguided sometimes, but not a troll.

        1. I wouldn’t be so arrogant to say misguided, just that he disagrees with me. But you’re right, he’s genuine and will concede a good point, which is more than a lot of commenters can do.

    3. Re: MNG,

      Whatever liberalism is supposed to be, bailing out banks with taxpayer dollars (socialized costs/private profits) should have been its antithesis.

      Are you channelling Juan Williams?

      1. “Are you channelling Juan Williams?”

        Wouldn’t Juan have to be dead for that?

        1. Juan is dead to me.

    4. “Whatever liberalism is supposed to be, bailing out banks with taxpayer dollars (socialized costs/private profits) should have been its antithesis.”

      Of course – which is why TARP was a Republican conceived and sponsored program. The Democrats are such idiots they went along with it, and are now taking the blame for Bush’s policies.

      1. The Democrats are such idiots they went along with it, and are now taking the blame for Bush’s policies.

        Yeah, they haven’t been blaming Bush at all.

      2. Sure enough, it was Hank Paulson’s brainchild, but Congress – who should not have allowed itself to be stampeded – is the body charged with looking this sort of thing over before allocating money to it, and it was in the hands of Democrats.

        If Dems are so easily taken in by Reps, do we really want them running the country?

        1. This is my favorite political argument. ‘My team’s elected officials aren’t stupid, just gullible.’

          1. Gullible is a sub-class of stupid.

      3. Actually, Bush’s TARP went directly to the failing banking system, and supposedly most of TARP I has been repaid with profit on interest (I don’t really completely believe this but that’s what is being said).

        Obama’s TARP II went to unions and stupid crap like buying GM and bailing out FM&FM;. We will NEVER see that money again, no matter what.

        All of this being said, it was a democratic majority congress that voted for both of them, so to say that TARP was a Republican conceived and sponsored program is to completely ignore the facts and specifics of what went down.

        1. Democrats own DOMA and DADT, too. And with the exception of Russ Feingold, they couldn’t wait to vote for the PATRIOT Act either.

        2. I’m surprised no one else remembers this.

          Banks trying to pay back TARP funds being told “not so fast” by the government


          Strong banks will be allowed to repay bail-out funds they received from the US government but only if such a move passes a test to determine whether it is in the national economic interest, a senior administration official has told the Financial Times.
          “Our general objective is going to be what is good for the system,” the senior official said. “We want the system to have enough capital.”

          1. Aww, the government is like the big bank that all the little banks go to for help. Just die off with some dignity.

      4. If they voted for it, it’s their policy too.

      5. TARP was a Republican conceived and sponsored program.

        And that’s why, to a man, every Democrat in the congress voted against it!

        Oh, wait..


        1. Yes, that’s MNG’s point.

    5. The problem is that most of them (and their counterparts on left) only consume their informatin from “like minded” sources. I’ve found that true of most hard conservatives and liberals. They think that they are informed, but they’ve actually been brainwashed. I don’t give the tea partiers much credit. Too angry and emotional to take seriously.

  14. Q. What did Jim Morrison say when his rooster lost the fight?

    A. All join now and lament the death of my cock

    Get’s funnier every time.

    1. It would have to.

      1. Leave the jokes to the state licensed professionals. Spontaneous laughter can cause throat cancer and only we know how to prevent that from happening.

        1. Q: How do you get a sweet ‘lil ‘ol lady to drop the f-bomb?

          A: Get another sweet ‘lil ‘ol lady to say “Bingo!”

          1. Now I have to schedule a throat cancer screening.

        2. Has the State of California found out about this yet?

        3. Good thing we have roads. Otherwise, people would die of throat cancer as a result of non-approved laughter.

  15. The Tea Partiers aren’t smart enough to realize what the good state does for them. That’s why the dems are going to do their voting for them. For their own good.

    1. post something of that ilk at huffpo and see if sets of the sarcasmo2000 or the trollBgone5.1

      1. yeah because no business would have the incentive to make it so that customers could get to them.

  16. Hey, don’t be dissing the Coast Guard, mon.

    1. Well, not all of it, anyhow.

    2. Just a couple of ‘puddle pirate’ jokes. . .pleeeeease?

  17. “Hey, that’s why John Kerry keeps his job.”
    but maybe, just maybe, he’ll be gone in 2014, if we can keep paying attention that long…..
    4 years is an eternity in politics, I know, but I can hope for change, can’t I?

    1. Well we all know American Pornstar (a reality show not unlike american idol) will air on NBC at that point, and we will all be enamored with the travails of would-be aids-ridden sluts who get “judged” by the ever-hirsute hedgehog that is Ron Jeremy. Mark my words, internet. Mark. My. Words.

      Top. Men.

      1. WISHED you could have shared that idea with me about a year ago, damnit!

      2. It’ll be on MTV before the major networks–they’ve already got the entire music and entertainment industry to draw from.

        1. Hedgehog, Jenna and I can’t think of who the other judge should be. Ideas?

          1. The ghost of Barry Goldwater?

          2. Me!

          3. Jimmy Swaggart.

          4. Jay Leno? Uhm, I mean Celeste. And who was the major cutie whose career flatlined for a racist outburst when the producers wanted her to suck off a black guy?

            Ever notice how Gray’s Anatomy and The Practice take something as beautiful as miscegenation and turns it into something ugly and dorky?

          5. Me, of course! Got to be fair to the fat chicks.

          6. Chi Chi LaRue would be a fantastic choice for #3

        2. MTV actually did a half-hour show about an aspiring porn actress and her first shoot. It only aired once, late at night, and was generally written off as a bad idea.

          1. I thought that was the Jersey Shore pilot episode. . .

            1. There was also a reality show where porn stars trained as real actresses, called “My Bare Lady” I believe? Anyone remember this?

      3. No, No, No. The top rated show will be “America’s got Pervs”

        Contestants will tell America what it is that floats their boat. Then people will vote for things that they too find attractive.

        The perv with the most votes gets booted off the island. So the goal is to be the most twisted person out there.

        1. Wait…so it’s like getting elected president then?

        2. Holy Mother of God, man! Do not give the commentariat at Reason an excuse to share their perversions. Ever!

          1. What a man and a woman and six hermaphrodite dwarves want to do with the chairman of Goldman Sachs and a case of Cuban cigars behind closed doors is nobody else’s business.

            1. It is if it affects their carbon footprint!


              (PS, I have indulgences… I mean Carbon Credits for sale.)

  18. I wonder if the Tea Party rallies will go the way of the anti Iraq war rallies if Republicans gain power.

    1. depends on what the Republicans do, or don’t do, if they gain power.

    2. Of course they will. But prepare yourself for 2012. That’s going to be one ugly year.

      1. Well it is the end of the world, of course.

        1. The Mayans were right!

          1. The Mayans just got tired of counting any higher.

            1. Making temples is hard!

              1. Well that, and they really dropped the ball failing to predict that a bunch of smelly EuroWeenies were gonna show up and burn all the instructions that mentioned “when you get to the end, start over again”. They were years ahead of ‘wash, rinse, repeat’, if only they’d expected the Spanish Inquisition, which most people don’t.

  19. “Free market” versus “managed economy,” eh? I’ve seen subtler push-polling on Arizona immigration referendums. Build this strawman up any higher and we can burn a virgin English policeman inside of it.

    How about this: I will take the Tea Party seriously on policy the day they come up with a line-item list to cut just 10% of the $2.5 Trillion in annual federal government spending. Until then, sit on your tricorner hat and spin.

    1. Have you seen the Nic Cage remake of “The Wicker Man”? Sweet christ, it was awful. And hilarious.

      1. It was definitively a candidate for MST:3K… but too late for it.

        1. Everytime I think about the bee helmet…and Nic cage beating women senseless while wearing a bear costume I almost rupture my appendix scar.

        2. OM, you need Rifftrax, my friend.

          The Wicker Man

          Granted, they don’t have Bill on this one, but it’s still pretty good.

          1. Just read that the Coen brothers did a remake of True Grit starring Jeff Bridges.

            It had better be fucking good, is all I can say.

            1. They cast Barry Pepper as Lucky Pepper.

              That’s a fucking win right there.

            2. It’s going to be closer to the book…

    2. Some of it’s pretty easy to come up with.

      Department of Energy, Department of Education, and Department of Homeland Security, Department of Agriculture, and EPA (for instance) make up about 5% or so.

      Transportation could be partly rolled over into the Department of the Interior, and Health and Human Services could probably stand a few cuts. So it might be possible to get to about 7-8% of the spending allocations before having to dip into defense, Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid.

      Anyone wanting to make this country fiscally solvent is going to have to bleed out those three sacred cows, though.

      1. You left out end the occupation of military bases in 130 countries around the world.

        Somehow, I just can’t see a reason for us to still have a base on Diego Garcia. Are we expecting the Indians to attack us or something?


        1. As if our global military footprint had anything to do with defense. That’s power projection, baby!

        2. re: Diego – it’s all about killing the protected crabs and pissing off the locals, baybee!

        3. Like I said, defense is going to have to bleed to restore fiscal solvency. I’m just trying to point out that you can get pretty close to that 10% cut without touching the sacred cows.

      2. So, Rockin: when you cut, say, the Department of Education, do you really mean to get rid of federal student loans and grants entirely, making it very difficult for the poor to obtain higher education and forcing everyone to spend a lot more for private loans? Since you just cut billions in special ed and school construction funding, do you expect states to pick up the slack? If so, what have you gained? If not, what’s your alternative plan?

        Frankly, only idiots suggest cutting entire departments. There is not a single department that doesn’t do a lot of useful things, all of which would have to be replicated somewhere else if removed at the federal level.

        Fifty little EPAs surely isn’t cheaper than one big one, and going back to the days of rivers catching on fire is more expensive still.

        1. Federal student loans and grants have forced the cost of tuition up to the point that, even if you are middle-class, you pretty much NEED loans and grants to afford to go. So yeah…get rid of that too.

          1. Citation please

        2. uh huh. just toss them to the market and let it sort it out the crappy ones would leave and better ones would take their place.

    3. So which major party (which I assume you take seriously) has proposed those sorts of cuts?

    4. Scottish

    5. Danny, you’re a first-class schmuck. I can’t be any plainer than that.

      Unless you don’t know what a “schmuck” means in Yiddish. Look it up.

  20. The greater threat to the Tea Party momentum is the takeover of the movement by the religious right (i.e. the WAR-mongering, “Let’s Kill Us Some Ayr-abs!” religious right)


    It’s plausible that the rising prominence of religious conservatives in the Tea Party is driving libertarians away from the group. Though the two groups are demographically fairly similar, psychographically they are fundamentally different people[…]

    1. Read that too OM. That kind of trend is what I feared from the onset of the Tea Party. I’m afraid they are just neo-cons in inexpensive suits. You won’t see any of “their” candidates blatantly lambasting our foreign adventures or quipping “Who gives a fuck!?” when someone throws the gay marriage or abortion bullshit at them. One could argue that this is due to “compromise” with the established GOP machine, but if compromise gave us the neo-cons ten years ago, I’d prefer to avoid it.

      1. I love that there is this illusion that the big tea party electoral victories are the result of some rag-tag group of libertarian freedom loving Americans. Maybe that’s what the groups themselves are, but like all populist groups in the Citizens United era of politics, no one gives two shits what they care about. The tea party was an opportunity for the Republican Party to hit the reset button on the miserable failure that was the Bush decade. Look at who is in charge now, Dick Armey, Karl Rove, and Jim Demint.

        Look at their positions. Less taxes with no concrete plan. More freedom without mentioning the Patriot Act, War on Drugs, or even state’s rights. Beck held a Christian rally like, last month. Its just neo-cons on top of neo-cons, and if any reader of a magazine called Reason buys into the movement its just kind of sad.

        I don’t mean to deminish the legimacy of their anger. There are definate arguments for everything the Tea party is worked up about, their actions are just pushing the country in the exact opposite direction they want it to go.


    2. Thanks bible-thumpers… I hate to say it, but at least it might help the popularity of the Tea-Party movement which may push for a more fiscally responsible government. Although I see the GOP absorbing the Tea-Patry thus keeping the status quo. Sometimes I wonder if its even possible for responsible/intelligent/honest people to hold high positions.

      1. Re: MrGuy,

        I hate to say it, but at least it might help the popularity of the Tea-Party movement which may push for a more fiscally responsible government.

        That is the only reason I tentatively support the movement, that and because of the general interest in US history and economics, but I hate to see so many otherwise decent people subscribe to the neo-con pro-Israel and permanent warfare agenda.

        1. OM: hating Jews and queers, so you don’t have to.

      2. It’s better to have the good diluted in a larger vessel than to have the vessel remain small. Of course the major parties should absorb mass movements — that’s the job of the major parties and it’s how mass movements finally exert their influence.

    3. Tea Parties are bending over backwards to keep the religious elements from taking control. It is a tough task, because the fundies are giving it their best shot. But no major Tea Party organization has made a peep about abortion and gays yet.

    4. Regardless of what studies say, there are still primarily 2 camps of activists of all kinds in North America: “left/liberal” and
      “right/conservative”. So they will eventually dominate all movements, although some movements start out with narrower sectors that don’t fit either mold. I saw that happen with anti-draft coalitions 30 yrs. ago. This is the frustration of libertarian activists, and probably of authoritarian activists as well.

      But it’s still best to stay engaged even if collectively as junior partner.

      1. collectively


    5. WAR-mongering, Arab-killing and religious. Where’s Christopher Hitchens to point out the irony/hypocrisy of it all.

  21. Build this strawman up any higher and we can burn a virgin English policeman inside of it.

    Are you volunteering?

  22. I’m actually inclined to wonder if the Democrats will continue to try to stop the Tea Parties after 11/2. If they’re smart, they won’t. Of course, the Tea Partiers will almost certainly not vote for Democrats. What the Tea Partiers consider the Republicans’ hypocritical sinfulness is, to the Democrats, political virtue. However, many of the Tea Parties’ supporters have made clear that, for them, this is the Republican Party’s last chance, that if they to the practices of the 2001-2006 Republican Party, they will part ways for a third party. Not surprisingly, the Republican Establishment doesn’t really seem to be taking this message to heart. Whether they think these are idle treats or whether they think the real reason for the Republicans’ electoral improvements has been John Boehner’s to-good-to-be-true tan or Mitch McConnel’s animal charisma is not clear. But really, it doesn’t matter. If the Tea Parties remain intact and in good health, it is by no means clear that the Democrats won’t be facing a split opposition in 2012.

    1. There are 435 seats up for grabs in the House elections. How many of those are actually Tea Party-endorsed? It has to be a very small minority. And yet the left would have us believe that the Tea Party is driving the election. I think their influence, though substantial in some races, has been grossly overstated. They are a handy bogey man for lefty strategists, a scapegoat for the coming apocalypse. But in the Republican/Tea Party tail-wagging, which is the tail and which is the dog? The “movement” may very well prove to be ephemeral.

      1. “They are a handy bogey man for lefty strategists, a scapegoat for the coming apocalypse.”

        This^. The bottom line is that the Republicans screwed up when they were in charge, so the Democrats benefitted. The Democrats screwed up when they were in charge, so now the Republicans are benefitting.

        Everything else is mostly background noise.

  23. Ms. Valle of course did not deserve the physical attack that was inflicted upon her, that’s not even up for debate here. But is it possible that perhaps the picture the left is presenting is a bit, say, out of proportion? Let’s put this incident into perspective.

    By her own admission, Valle was there at the Kentucky event as a paid employee of the liberal organization, MoveOn.org, with a specific mission she was expected to achieve. As CNN reported,

    “Her purpose was to try to get a picture with Rand Paul with this [RepubliCorp] sign so it could be used to embarrass Rand Paul in commercials,” [Lexington police Lt. Edward] Hart said, recounting what Valle told officers. She described herself as a contract employee with MoveOn.org.

    ?Valle told WDRB that she was there to present Paul with an award from RepubliCorp. The MoveOn.org-created group focuses on what it calls the merger between corporate America and the Republican Party. Its slogan: “Buying Democracy, One Race at a Time.”

    Disguised in a blonde wig and donning a sticker on her sweatshirt that read “I’m a Rand Fan”, Valle is said to have initially blended into the crowd in an attempt to get close to Rand Paul. Apparently, when she lunged toward the direction of Paul, supporters surrounded and attempted to block her from getting near him. As CNN affiliate WDRB-TV in Louisville, KY captured, bystanders held Valle down on the ground and shouted, “Get the cops. Get the police out here.”


    1. I habeeb it.

      1. It was a setup. She WANTED shit to happen, so she could be a martyr for the MooOn.bOrg cause.

  24. I’m all for limited government, but that means across the board. Don’t legislate marriage between gays, don’t legislate a woman’s right to choose, don’t legislate the building of a mosque, etc. etc. When all jobs are shipped overseas because of the free market finding the cheapest labor, don’t “manage” the economy. Let the free market handle the immigration problem as well.

    1. Re: “Free” Markets,

      But . . . can they build ROADS???

      1. Re: “Free” markets,

        When all jobs are shipped overseas because of the free market finding the cheapest labor, don’t “manage” the economy.

        When women buy at the Victoria’s Secret annual sale rather than at Neiman Marcus, don’t “manage” the economy.

        Hey… Idiot. Here’s a secret: People are not entitled to jobs.

        1. People are not entitled to jobs.

          According to you, people aren’t entitled to anything they could possibly want, especially regarding their form of government.

          1. So, that means I’m entitled to a federal government about 30% the size of the one we have now? Thanks, Tony.

            1. If you can get a majority to agree with you.

              1. No, you said I was entitled to the government I want. Or did you just mean 51% get the government they want? Sure sucks to be a minority, doesn’t it.

                1. Well it wouldn’t be right for you to get to impose your government on everyone else, would it? If you have a better idea than democracy I’m all ears.

                  1. How about a constitutionally limited republic. Oh wait, that’s been tried.

                  2. If you have a better idea than democracy I’m all ears.

                    What is so good about democracy? It doesn’t work in any other real life situation, why should it work in government? Democracy just precludes real leadership.

                  3. If you have a better idea than democracy I’m all ears.

                    A “democracy” divided into fifty smaller democracies left to their own devices, increasing the number of choices available so that everybody can move to a place whose politics more closely resemble their ideal scenario.

                    1. Like if a state wants to have private insurance, smoke weed, work hard, start a business, punish violent criminals, eat transfats, smoke tobacco, fuck someone of your own sex, and be free to get an abortion when homosexuality doesn’t work one horrible night?

                      You’re crazy. That’s TOO much freedom. You’re asking too much… and, btw, you’re crazy. The federal government knows best buddy.

          2. They aren’t entitled to a government that enslaves some to the misfortunes and wants of others, Tony.

            1. Notice how Tony has no problem imposing HIS idea of government. It’s just us who can’t. Or something like that.

  25. Well, all you H&Rs;, tell, me, after the erection, where will the Teabaggers be? Or are we(you)facing just another ‘contract with America’, more hot wind, another balloon up and then down?

  26. Hey! Leave the Coast Guard alone. They do good stuff.

  27. “When all jobs are shipped overseas because of the free market finding the cheapest labor, don’t “manage” the economy. Let the free market handle the immigration problem as well.”

    I would think the former would solve the latter.

  28. Where the teapartiers will be will depend on…them. If 30 “teapartiers” win in the House, and let’s say 6 or 8 in the Senate, and will caucus with each other, it could be interesting.

    Let’s say, 12 months after the election, the Republicans are back to bidness as usual, what might happen if all those partiers change affiliation on the same day and become members of the new Constitution party, and take their election bankrolls with them. Viola, a party immediately born with some clout, albiet small, but already in office, and attractive enough for new (2012) candidates to identify with. Instant significance.
    It would wound the Republican party, but where would all the new prospective conservative candidates go for 2012?

    1. FREEDOM!

    2. FREEDOM!

      1. Turtledove troll. Like it.

  29. Oh they’ve been paying attention. To FOX News, where they come away less informed than they were before they started watching.

    1. Correct. To get the real stuff, retards in the know go to MSNBC.

      1. You definitely get a slant there in the evenings, but they aren’t so cavalier with FACTS. Why don’t facts matter anymore?

        Why are the religious zealots also the relativists?

        1. Sorry, Tony, but MSNBC is no better than Fox News. No sane, rational person would watch EITHER network.

        2. Yeah because other networks have been soooo diligent with the “facts.”


        3. The fuck you say.

    2. Oh they’ve been paying attention. To FOX News, where they come away less informed than they were before they started watching.

      How so?

  30. You got a handful of free-market anarchist, and libertarian academia types within the Tea Party movement, but the majority of what I’ve seen (been tracking since April 2009), is just republicans…

    It’s sad. I would like to be able to support a movement against government, against coercion, and for individual power, but they don’t exist….

    The far-left anarchists in the anti-war movement were dominated by statist, straight-laced liberals who wanted MORE government (just didn’t like the war).

    The Tea Party is loaded like a black cock in a white girl’s ass full of bigots, rednecks, bikers, pro-lifers, anti-drug advocates, pro-patriot act, and pro public sector ANYTHING but healthcare.

    And now we got Jon Stewart in all of his glory joining forces with Steven Colbert to have a parody of Glenn Beck’s restoring honor ralley in D.C so all of the cool college liberals can prove how superior they are to rednecks….It’s just “I work hard” right-wingers against “I know more” left-wingers.

    fuck this shit. I’m out

  31. A new Rasmussen poll finds that 75 percent of likely voters believe a free market economy is better than an economy managed by the government. When further broken down, 90 percent of “mainstream” voters prefer free markets.

    Ahh, the false dichotomy…

    There is nothing better from which to build one’s straw-man.

    1. Hey dude, just curious about something. If I tattooed the words, “the state” on my penis, would you give me the ol’ unbuckle suckle? I thought so… thanks man 😉

      I’m serious too. You’re a libertarian turned liberal intellectual, whatever. I could destroy you in any debate imaginable if it would make you feel more naughty before givin’ me the ol’ unzip drip-n-sip? Whatever you’re more comfortable with.

      1. Watch out, Punk… he’s got a pocket full of externalities, and he’s not afraid to use them!

  32. It can be argued that the majority of Americans have been searching for smaller government at least since Jimmah Carter, and have voted out the idiot majorities of either party every time they have been disappointed.

    But Harsanyi has also stumbled on another meme much ballyhooed in the vaunted halls of Republican strategy; always promote the electable candidate even if they are RHINO’s!

    This stupid, self-defeating strategy doesn’t only get you Republicans who vote for cap and trade, and the health care debate. It prevents the debate on free markets!

    Win or lose, we need articulated discussions on the ethics and practicality of markets. When will people hear those arguments, except from candidates; the school system?

  33. Anyone paying attention will notice that Scandinavian countries are amongst the most competitive economies (as are Germany & Switzerland), which suggests there is more to it than just “blame Washington”.

  34. On the other hand Peter, that may be a dated argument. Those economies, save possibly Norway, are struggling big time as others on the great big socialist mess we call Europe.

    1. Of course they took a hit as everybody did, but bthr argument isn’t dated and those countries got hit less than we were.

      I am not saying we should do all what they do, in particular because they have a political culture of consensus whereas we have a political culture of conflict/compromise.

      I am simply tired of the Pavlovian “private good, public bad” arguments. Especially when all those who don’t blindly adhere to it are depicted as uninformed and naive retards.

  35. Switzerland is a case onto its own.

  36. Yes! Love it!!

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