Libertarian History/Philosophy

Reason Writers at CNN.com: Matt Welch Says "Ron Paul Ties GOP in Knots"

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Writing at CNN.com's Opinion section, Reason Editor in Chief Matt Welch talks about the awkward position that Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) has put the Republican Party in after his strong second-place showing so far in the primary season. Sample:

In both 2000 and 2008, the top two GOP delegate-winners ran on explicitly anti-libertarian platforms. As John McCain wrote in his campaign memoir "Worth the Fighting For," "I welcomed a greater, if still limited, role for government in national problems, anathema to the 'leave us alone' libertarian philosophy that dominated Republican debates in the 1990s. So did George W. Bush, I must add, who challenged libertarian orthodoxy with his appeal for a 'compassionate conservatism.'"

The mix of compassionate conservatism, with its emphasis on domestic spending initiatives such as No Child Left Behind and the Medicare Part D, and neo-conservatism, with its emphasis on interventionist foreign policy, produced results that were both predictable and predictably repellent to libertarians: A 60% increase in federal nondefense spending under Bush, and a federal government that recognized no corner of the globe or hospital room as off-limits to American police power. […]

What are poor Republicans to do? Many of them hate Ron Paul's ideas on foreign policy, roll their eyes at his talk about the Federal Reserve, deem him to be several fries short of a Happy Meal, and—correctly—see his constitutional radicalism as a threat to both the philosophies behind compassionate conservatism and neo-conservatism, and to the practical gravy train of bipartisan big government. But he's the only Republican game in town when it comes to drawing in the independents and young voters they need.

Read the whole thing here. Reason on Ron Paul here.

NEXT: A.M. Links: "White Gun" Is the Other "Fast and Furious," Romney Defends Bain Record in New Ad, Pentagon Outraged Over Desecrated Taliban Corpses

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  1. Well, one mainstream righty columnist seems to be pretty happy with how Paul is doing; read Charles Krauthammer’s editorial today, a rare example of election-year commentary that’s about something beyond the next five minutes.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..story.html

    1. Thanks, but we’re all about the current five minutes.
      Who wants to chat about imported micro-brews?

    2. Yeah, I actually liked his column for the first time in long while.

    3. Well, not bad as far as MM goes, but what was this: “I see libertarianism as an important critique of the Leviathan state, not a governing philosophy.”

      1. Also, Kraut is high if he thinks Paul would endorse Romney.

  2. compassionate conservative = big nanny government liberal who opposes gays and abortion

    1. nope – teh lub-rahls understand the establishment clause

      1. Apparently not. They just got their ass handed to them by SCOTUS on a religious freedom case.

        1. Really, it was an ADA case. Without the ADA, the case doesn’t exist.

  3. “constitutional radicalism”

    I guess when everyone else pisses on it Paul’s position could be seen as radical.

    1. I’m for a dry Constitution too. I think we need to turn around the quips they use to call all that piss “rain.” For example, Social Security isn’t a suicide pact. Of course, we know it is, but I don’t care to wait until some future president announces We’re all survivalists now.

  4. Meanwhile the country, and especially younger people, have been turning more culturally libertarian on issues like gay marriage…

    Seeking state recognition of same sex marriage is not necessarily libertarian thinking. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

    1. I agree. Since when was it libertarian to use force of government to redefine things for society?

      1. Yeah, no one ever thought of gay marriage before government forced them to. And now everyone believes in gay marriage because government forced them to.

    2. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

      That is exactly what is wrong with that.

      1. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

        That is exactly what is wrong with that.

        This is, to me, a weird hill to die on. I understand the principled argument, just like I do with libraries, and I agree on a philosophical front, but aren’t there significantly better things to worry about than whether Jim and Steve get a $500 break on their taxes? What are all these massive “government benefits” of marriage I keep hearing about anyway?

        1. Who is dying on the hill? Just stated the principled argument.

          Look, I argue against IP (passionately at times), despite the fact that if we had reasonable copyright and patent laws I wouldnt give a damn at all. Getting rid of c&p would be like item #9827 on my list. But I can still argue from principle.

          1. Its like Ron and Rand stating their position on the CRA. They are 100% right, but it isnt changing and they are stupid to bring it up, because it just distracts from their campaigns. But, they are right.

            I have the advantage of not running for anything, so its not stupid for me to state it.

          2. if we had reasonable copyright and patent laws…

            Define “reasonable” in a way that ensures that a man’s property remains his own and guarantees his right to profit from the products of his mind, without making exceptions for piracy (theft) and fraud.

            1. None at all would actually be most reasonable, but I was specifically refering to copyrights that, you know, actually end. Patents probably meet the “reasonable” standard.

              I meant by “reasonable” in my comment a compromise I could accept, even though I find an IP a violate of natural law.

            2. I’d be happy as long as they didn’t extend beyond the author’s lifetime.

              1. I’d be happy as long as they didn’t extend beyond the author’s lifetime.

                That doesn’t sound like any other kind of property I know.

                1. At what point is someone besides WAGH, inventor of the wheel, allowed to make wheels?

                  1. This is my argument on patents. While I can accept limited patents, a true natural law based legal system wouldnt acknowledge them at all.

                    If it was really property, we wouldnt put a time limit on it.

                    And since I own the products of my brain, if I think of how to make a wheel, or how to make a cancer killing drug, or how to make a widget, THEN IT IS THE PRODUCT OF MY BRAIN AND MY PROPERTY EVEN IF YOU DID IT FIRST.

                2. Intellectual “property” isnt property at all.

                  1. Officer am I free to gambol using someone else’s work.

                    1. Its not someone else’s work once I think it. At that time, it is my work.

                    2. And if you didn’t think it up all by yourself? Then what. Originally people were given title to physical property becuase they worked the land and should benefit from their work. Giving title to mental work is the same. Depriving people of the benefit of their work is theft.

                    3. Originally people were given title to physical property becuase they worked the land and should benefit from their work.

                      How often was that ever the case? Its a nice theory, but pretty much BS.

                    4. Depriving people of the benefit of their work is theft.

                      Who is depriving anyone of anything. If you think up a widget X, you can make and sell all the Xs you want.

                      If I also think up widget X a year later, I get to sell all the Xs I want. We all get the benefit of our work. No one is stolen from.

                    5. rob:

                      I think you are correct that there is no right involved. I also think that there is a good argument that if we are going to have a government, and that government wishes to encourage intellectual development, then one possible way to do so is to grant the ability to monetize the effects of these in return for access. The patent system until the last 20 years was one such good compromise. In return for exclusive rights for a limited time on your invention, you had to provide exact plans to everyone. Copyright is a similar (but less well defined) such compromise. The current law is a clusterfuck because of Disney and businesses in the same industry trying to use the power of the patent to lock others out of sectors of their industry. (I’m looking at the Amazon one-click. Fuck those guys. There’s nothing about that which deserves a patent.)

                    6. Isnt that exactly what I said?

                      While on principle I oppose them, I can accept “reasonable” patent and copyright laws as a compromise.

                      But I can accept the compromise and still argue the general principle.

                    7. I guess I don’t understand which principle it violates. No big deal.

        2. It’s not just gay marriage, it’s all marriage. Libertarians understand that government should have nothing to do with marriage.

    3. Some people think that NAP is a good way to live your moral and ethical life. Those people will likely end up ghetto bums.

      1. TLAs (Three-Letter Acronyms) ain’t my pidgin.
        I tried looking it up, got 300+ returns. My favorite was No Acronyms Please.

        1. Non Agression Principle.

          Seems like a non-sequitor in RBM’s response.

          1. It was a general observation on the phrase “culturally libertarian”, which I think is meaningless.

            1. I agree with you on that, but living by the NAP is roughly equivalent to living by the golden rule (maybe exactly equivalent?) — I see nothign wrong with that.

              1. I agree with you on that, but living by the NAP is roughly equivalent to living by the golden rule (maybe exactly equivalent?) — I see nothign wrong with that.

                No it isn’t. NAP says don’t hit people in the face; the Golden Rule says don’t be a dick. Under NAP, I could be a rude asshole all day long and if that were my animating moral and ethical principle, I would internally consistent. You can’t do that under the Golden Rule.

                1. Re: Rev. Blue Moon,

                  Under NAP, I could be a rude asshole all day long and if that were my animating moral and ethical principle, I would [be]internally consistent.

                  And lonely.

                  You always seem to forget that, Rev. The Golden Rule is DERIVED from the NAP. It means “NAP, and oh by the way, don’t be a dick – nobody has to like you.”

                  1. You always seem to forget that, Rev.

                    Forget what? That actions have consequences? This isn’t a discussion about whether being a rude asshole will Win you Friends and Influence People. This is totally irrelevant to the discussion of what constitutes a coherent moral and ethical principle for living one’s life. NAP is, at best, incomplete and woefully inadequate.

                    1. NAP is, at best, incomplete and woefully inadequate.

                      Maybe so, but it’s a good foundation to start building on.

                2. Morality and virtue are different.

                  1. Morals and ethics are different too. There is no reason why you have to have a single principle that encompasses all spheres.

                    1. There is no reason why you have to have a single principle that encompasses all spheres.

                      I concur.

                3. If you live by the NAP and ONLY the NAP, yeah, you got that problem.

                  But that isnt what you said above. Living by the NAP is a good start, but isnt complete.

                  1. I said (to be more detailed) that some people live their lives by the principle that if something does not contain aggression, it therefore is a morally permissible action. That isn’t correct.

                    1. If you had said that, I wouldnt have had a problem. What you said is:

                      “Some people think that NAP is a good way to live your moral and ethical life. “

                    2. I seem to be posting this a lot recently but:

                      A->B does not mean ~A->~B.

                    3. Not nearly as catch as “Fuck off, slaver”.

  5. George W. Bush, … who challenged libertarian orthodoxy with his appeal for a ‘compassionate conservatism.’

    And how did that work out, again?

  6. the gop is on the verge of disintegrating. hopefully the evangelicals will be sent packing so the center can return. and the teaparty’s been unmasked as not-ready-to-govern so support’s dropping faster than newt’s drawers.

    1. The Center? Fiscally, the Republicans and Democrats have moved far, far left, what do you think “Compassionate Conservatism” is? The mythical center is a pipe dream.

      1. scott brown says otherwise

        1. Scott Brown = George W. Bush = Mitt Romney = Dog shit.

  7. They’re out to win. He admits he doesn’t see himself in the Oval Office.

    This is the 2nd time in the last two days Ive seen this. Paul has repeatedly said he is running in order to win. Where the fuck does this lie come from?

    1. This is a distortion of what he really said. It’s from an interview with Jerry Moran, 1-2-2012.

      —————————-
      In an exclusive interview, I asked him: “When you lay your head on your pillow at night, do you see yourself in the Oval Office?”

      “Not really,” he said.
      —————————-
      So, Dr. Paul doesn’t have egomaniacal fantasies about ruling from the White House. That’s a point in his favor.

      I’m pretty sick of seeing this lie repeated without any sourcing. Someone should compile a list of all these lazy journalists quoting other journalists with nary a thought of fact checking. I’m too lazy to do it myself. At least this one example should be repeated far and wide to expose the rampant journalistic laziness we’re seeing.

  8. Newt Gangrinich wants to take up the banner of Booshian Compassionate Totalitarianism.

    Will someone drive a stake through his heart before it’s too late?

    1. Stake? My pleasure ! Now where’s that perry guy?

  9. But he’s clearing the path for son Rand, his better placed (Senate vs. House), more moderate, more articulate successor.

    More proof that Ron isnt racist, he is preparing the path for his black son.

    1. But, is he clean?

      1. Duh. Aqua Buddha. You spend that much time in holy water, you will be clean.

  10. But he’s the only Republican game in town when it comes to drawing in the independents and young voters they need.

    Hmmmm:

    Matt Welch: They’ll hunt you.
    Ron Paul: You’ll hunt me. You’ll condemn me, set the dogs on me. Because that’s what needs to happen. Because sometimes… the truth isn’t good enough. Sometimes people deserve more. Sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded.
    Welch’s Son: Dr. Paul? Dr. Paul! Why is he running, Dad?
    Matt Welch: Because we have to chase him.
    Welch’s Son: He didn’t do anything wrong.
    Matt Welch: Because he’s the hero America deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So, we’ll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he’s not our hero. He’s a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Horse.

  11. Reason Editor in Chief Matt Welch talks about the awkward position that Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) has put the Republican Party in after his strong second-place showing so far in the primary season.

    It has also placed certain Reason contributors in the awkward position of defending him after regurgitating the newsletter distraction for several years, newsletters which, by the way, were killed by Stephanopoulos – the arrogant bastard!

    1. ?Arriba! ?Epa! ?Epa! ?Epa! Yeehaw! Andele, Old Trollxican!

      1. Re: Rev. Blue Moon,

        By the way, in Mexico nobody says “andele” even though it is grammatically correct if in the formal sense. We use the familiar sense “andale,” which means “walk it” as in “walk the path.” You would use “andele” with someone you don’t know, and “andale” for someone you do know, but not in Mexico at least.

        Besides that, you’re still one big ass.

        1. *looks around with wide-eyed disbelief*

          Whuuuut? All I did was tell you to hurry in your native language! Whuuuut could possibly be so offensive about that? If ‘you people’ get to say these things whyyyy caaaan’t I?

          /cluelessness

          1. Re: Rev. Blue Moon,

            Oh, you’re not being an ass for using one wrong word, no. You’re being one big ass for calling me a troll when I point out the obvious hypocrisy of Welch. That’s all.

            1. You are a troll. Trollholio.

              If anyone is now trying to resurrect a deceased equine through physical attacks, its you. Everyone else has dropped it, but now you want to have a little bitchfight with your Cosmotarian Archenemies.

              Trying to start a fight after it’s over = trolling. That’s why I call you a troll.

              1. Speaking of the fight being over, you and CN going to admit I was right?

                1. Right about what? The election is not over, so far as I can tell.

                  1. I believe you were in the CN camp that said that the newsletter story would destroy the Paul campaign.

                    1. No, neither I nor CN said that. We werr basically trying to get across that this issue is still relevant, Trollxican’s objections notwithstanding.

                    2. I’ll admit that I thought they would harm his campaign a lot more than they did. While I hope the damage has already been done, I have a sinking feeling that another shoe is going to drop, especially if he comes anywhere near actually getting the nom.

                    3. I mean, remember the 24-hour-hate on Fox News the day before the Iowa Caucus? That’s what the big three networks and CNN and MSNBC are going to be like for the month before the election if it’s Paul v. BO.

                2. Yeah — I always did my mea culpa here a couple of weeks back when it became apparent RP was picking up traction in Iowa. But I never maintained that the newsletters would destroy the campaign. Just that RP would get a lot more traction if he’d just do a basic (and easy) “explanation” and mea culpa of his own. And I still believe that. But I admit the newsletters haven’t yet been the club I thought they’d be for his opponents.

  12. (though his staff is another story)

    Former South Carolina GOP Chairman Barry Wynn, Columbia businessman and fundraiser Peter Brown, and Columbia attorney Kevin Hall will announce their support for Romney Thursday

    They aren’t DeMint’s “staff”

    1. DeMint is pandering here. He doesn’t mean a word of it.

      1. Actually, I think he means it on the Fed Reserve. The rest, not so much.

  13. Constitutional radicalism? Is that an attempt at humor? Since when is following the constitution considered radical. WTF is going on in this country?

    1. Well, technically, when lawlessness is the norm, trying to follow the law is pretty radical.

    2. You have to interpret the Constitution before you follow it. And many parts are deliberately vague. (ahem, “unreasonable search and seizure”)

  14. One factoid of the New Hampshire primary I haven’t seen written about is that Ron Paul came in second place in both the Republican and Democratic primaries. Obama got 82%, Paul got 4%. I don’t know if that ever happened before.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N…..mary,_2012

  15. But he’s the only Republican game in town when it comes to drawing in the independents and young voters they need.

    He’s also the only game in town when it comes to actually cutting spending or stopping the growth of the national debt or balancing the budget or returning to pre-bailout spending levels…

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