Election 2012

Former FEC Chair Brad Smith on 'why this libertarian plans to vote, with enthusiasm, for Mitt Romney'

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This exists

Former Federal Elections Commission chairman and steadfast champion of free political speech Brad Smith has reacted to Reason's (still-lonely!) vote-disclosure exercise by explaining "why this libertarian plans to vote, with enthusiasm, for Mitt Romney." Excerpt from Smith's eight-point (and multiple sub-point) list:

3. Entitlements and Spending. [….]

Beyond the possibility of repealing the massive entitlement of Obamacare if Romney is elected, Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, has been a congressional leader in attempting to reform entitlements. No, he is not the Randian that the Democrats wish to make him out to be, much as many libertarians wish he were. But let's be clear. No politician is going to be elected President in the near future on a pledge to abolish the entitlement state.

The Romney/Ryan plan for entitlement reform is the closest thing we have to a meaningful first step at reform – indeed, it is meaningful reform. There may never come a time when a majority of Americans are prepared for more radical reform, let alone an end to entitlements. If this is the reform we can get, it is necessary and good, and consistent with libertarian values. If an end to entitlements is one's goal, successful, incremental reforms are probably a necessary step toward reshaping Americans' mindset.

Obama currently stands as the single biggest obstacle to any consideration of entitlement reform. Romney and Ryan have taken on the issue in as strong a manner as any presidential ticket since Barry Goldwater in 1964. Libertarian voters need to reward such politicians, not ignore them because their proposals are deemed insufficiently libertarian. 

Whole thing, including an enthusiastic Supreme Court analysis ("I have no doubt that Romney's appointees will be MUCH better than Obama's") here. Smith's kicker:

Romney may not be a libertarian, yet Romney not infrequently launches wonderful verbal defenses of hard core libertarian views. I can scarcely imagine another major party presidential candidate who would take on leftist hecklers about the rights of individuals organized using the corporate form; or defend the value of being able to fire people for incompetence; worry openly about individual dependency on government; or demand that voters "take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

I interviewed Brad Smith for Reason.tv back in 2008:

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  1. The Romney/Ryan plan for entitlement reform is the closest thing we have to a meaningful first step at reform ? indeed, it is meaningful reform.

    I like how Rand Paul/Mike Lee/Jim DeMint’s plan was completely ignored. Other than the fact that those three relative nobodies coming up with a budget plan all of the sudden forced the hand of Romney, Reid, and Obama to come up with something.

  2. Sorry, explain how the (limited liability) corporate form is libertarian again, because I presume that is what he meant.

    People organizing voluntarily = good; people organizing voluntarily but using the power of the state to limit others’ ability to recover damages from your misdeeds = bad.

    1. You really have little idea what limited liability actually is.

      using the power of the state to limit others’ ability to recover damages from your misdeeds = bad.

      Whose misdeeds?

      1. The shareholders, for owning a piece of a business doing bad things, thus encouraging shareholders to know as little about the companies they own as possible.

        Sorry, which part of limited liability don’t I understand again?

        1. Limited liability is a formal legal acknowledgement of something that would formerly happen under the table.

          It also has nothing to do with political speech of individuals or corporations.

        2. Well, that would get rid of investments by people not in control of a business.

          1. Since when is it the role of government to insure investment safety trumps individual rights?

        3. The part where somebody who is purely a passive investor/owner in a corporation wouldn’t/shouldn’t have liability anyway?

          Seriously, if you own a 401k that owns a mutual fund that owns BP, do you think you should be on the hook for the entire Gulf oil spill?

          1. That’s what re-insurers are for.

            1. You wouldn’t need a reinsurer if the state didn’t push this old, outdated notion of “master/servant” employee relationships.

            2. Exactly. There’s nothing wrong with limited liability – there’s a whole lot wrong with state-limited liability. If a corporation wants to pay for an insurer to limit their liability risk, bravo. That’s the smart thing to do.

              Without the severe market distortion of the government providing this service for free, insurance costs becomes a natural disincentive for violations of rights, malpractice and fraud and businesses that grow beyond their ability to control their operations safely are punished.

              1. Leaving aside the notion that much liability (other than contract liability, perhaps) is an externally imposed “market distortion”‘. . . .

                Liability is supposed to be grounded in personal responsibility, yes? You are supposed to provide restitution for the harm that you cause, yes?

                Passive investors do no more, individually, than provide funding for a business. Sure, some stockholders may be able to vote on management, but as investors they do not have the authority to engage in management or direct whatever activities cause harm.

                On what basis do they have personal responsibility, then? If merely providing funding is enough participation, then bond holders and banks should also be liable, yes?

                Limited liability is not so much an artificial creation of a nefarious cabal as it is the codification of fundamental concepts of responsibility, causation, and liability.

                1. People like you continue to miss the point. Internally, the passive stockholders can contract all the liability to the active management’s personal wealths. Or they can choose not to invest in the company if the company fails to either protect passive stockholders contractually or buy insurance to do so. Or the stockholder can buy insurance for himself in the event he gets sued for the damages caused by his property. If the value of the damages exceed the value of the business and the personal values of the executives, and the court forces passive stockholders to subsidize the rest, you have a tort against the executives. But it’s simply not the victim’s responsibility to clean up after the mess you were profiting from. If limited liability vanished, businesses would have to spell out how they protect stockholders and act responsibly to attract investment. That is as a free market should be.

                  The point is that full liability must be assigned somewhere internally because it’s fucking wrong to get the government socialize your excess business risk beyond the current value of the corporation onto taxpayers and the victims.

            3. Limited liability does not shield shareholders or employees from liability if they were directly responsible for actions that caused harm.

          2. +1

        4. for owning a piece of a business doing bad things

          A ‘business’ cannot do ‘bad things’. Only people can.

          Limited liability states that your level of potential liability is limited only to that level of ownership you have in the entity. If I own 1% of an entity, I may be liable for up to 1% of the misdeeds that ‘entity’ ‘commits’.

          You have a feudalistic notion of ownership and employee liability. As a matter of justice, why would a remote shareholder be liable for what an employee does 3,000 miles away? Does the magic of ownership somehow control that employee’s mind and make him a faceless drone?

          1. It’s not like you can’t lose your investment, and if you as a shareholder are exerting day-to-day control, you’re not really going to be shielded in the first place.

            1. No kidding.

              Not only that, but as libertarians, don’t we believe that every time your ‘boss’ tells you to do something, you can either do it or tell him to pound sand?

              If so, how is your boss responsible, let alone a remote shareholder, for what you chose to do?

          2. “””If I own 1% of an entity, I may be liable for up to 1% of the misdeeds that ‘entity’ ‘commits’.”””

            No, under limited liability you are liable for only the 1% that you invested. However the ‘entity’ can create misdeeds worth far more then its entire net worth. A paint factory worth 1 million dollars can explode and destroy 100 houses worth 10 million dollars. Yet because the corporate entity only has 1 million and because of limited liability the owners are not responsible for more then what they invested then the liability is put upon the home owners to make up the difference

            1. You are right, I misspoke.

              I still fail to see how that’s fundamentally unjust. It was the people at the plant who blew up the plant, not me as a shareholder.

              1. You as shareowner are the collective owner of the paint factory. As such you have the power to say who is hired, how the plant is run, where the plant is located, what it produces, how much reserves and insurance it carry’s etc. In fact you and the other shareowners have total power over that corporation. The fact that you don’t choose to collectively exercise that control and instead turn the operation over to your employees is your choice.

                I find it strange that so many who say they are libertarian so downplay the power of ownership when it comes to corporations.

                1. Again, you are wedded to an old “master/servant” state of employee relationships, which I find ironic from some ‘libertarians’.

                  The fact that you don’t choose to collectively exercise that control and instead turn the operation over to your employees is your choice.

                  And it is the employees who are actually causing this hypothetical harm, not the investors.

                  You as shareowner are the collective owner of the paint factory.

                  Well, no, I am a “one percent” “owner”. There comes a time where a person’s relationship to an agency is so tenuous that you are being fundamentally unjust to hold them accountable.

                  Watch: As a taxpayer and one of the People of the United States, the government works for you. You delegated your authority to them, and you continue to fund them by failing to leave this country and/or stop paying your taxes. Therefore you are directly responsible for the bombs that land in Waziristan.

                  Does that sound right to you?

                  1. What if I’m a bondholder rather than a shareholder? Debt instead of equity. Should I be exposed to unlimited liability?

                    1. If as bond holder you have no power over the corporation then the answer is no.

                      However shareowners generally do have power even if they don’t choose to collectively use it.

                    2. If as bond holder you have no power over the corporation then the answer is no.

                      Form over substance count here?

                      Even so, you might be interested to delve into the covenants on a lot of bonds, which place quite real obligations on the issuer.

                    3. Why isn’t whether or not a bondholder is also an owner and somehow liable for business damages up to the contract between the owners and the bondholders?

                      Internally, the owners can divide the liability burden however they want. Externally, it doesn’t matter because the owners are still fully liable for damages to the victims of their entity.

                  2. “””Therefore you are directly responsible for the bombs that land in Waziristan.

                    Does that sound right to you?”””

                    But I am held reponsible, as shown by the debt that is being racked up in my name.

                    1. I am not responsible for government debt. The government and whoever was stupid enough to lend to them are responsible for it.

          3. No, you aren’t liable for 1% of the misdeeds the entity commits. You are liable for 1% of the current value of the stock. But what if the cost of cleaning up the misdeeds exceeds the current value of the corporation? What if all the stockholders walk before a settlement or judgement is reached? Who pays for the costs to the victims of corporate malpractice? The victims and taxpayers.

            Socialized risk is simply unlibertarian any way you slice it.

            1. Shit happens. The only way to avoid the possibility that harm exceeds assets is to prohibit all risk taking.

              As suggested, getting rid of limited liability would lead to worse forms of liability avoidance.

              1. Right, I suppose you never drive a car because the damage you could cause exceeds the value of your automotive assets? Oh. No, you buy insurance to offset your risk so you don’t lose your house. And perhaps the market SHOULD disincentivize excessively risky industries. Because fuck them – those industries don’t have any right to destroy the health and properties of innocent third parties for their own profit.

                Legitimate businesses would clearly provide liability insurance because they have a profit incentive. If illegitimate businesses want to try to mask their liability, they will likely lose out on legitimate investments and loans they need to operate. Why in hell would any bank provide loans to a business with no clear liability insurance and assignment structure? What if a court found the bank to be the liable owners?

    2. The state is the one creating the legal causes of action used against others, so limiting those causes of action is not necessarily a matter of natural law or natural rights. Limited liability in the civil context is the companion to maximum prison penalties in the criminal context.

  3. But let’s be clear. No politician is going to be elected President in the near future on a pledge to abolish the entitlement state.

    Not with a libertarian attitude like that.

  4. And in the gold shorts, weighing fifteen tons, give or take a krugerrand or two, is the Reason Commentariat!

    And their opponents, in the red shorts and weighing a whopping 2.2 intellectual pounds, minus salty salty ham tears, are the TEAM RED apologists!

  5. He can vote, with or without enthusiasm, and his vote still means Jack and shit and Jack left town.

    1. I did?

      1. Uh, yes. The Vorlons abducted you and made you the Inquisitor. They… corrected you.

        1. Good…

  6. “Romney” and “libertarian” used in the same sentence? I think I just threw up in my mouth a little…

    1. compared to Obama, it’s a speck of dust in the right direction! /snark

  7. Sooo… he supports Romney because he talks a not-terrible game *sometimes*, when he’s caught his breath in between flopping wildly from bad to worse? Why does that sound vaguely familiar, like there was another slick, soulless candidate who said just enough of what people wanted to hear and let them project the rest? Surely that can’t turn out badly.

  8. Brad Smith makes a good case for his candidate — bravo.

    It’s not a case that I agree with, but I appreciate that unlike other “libertarian” cases I see around the ‘net, it acknowledges Romney’s flaws as a candidate, doesn’t denigrate votes for other candidates or non-voting, and is responsive to libertarian concerns.

    1. Also, no “MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION IN MY LIFETIME” bs.

      That’s always a plus.

      1. Isn’t that pretty much implied, though? Why else would a libertarian abandon his principles for this election?

        1. Can’t speak for all or most libertarians, but I’ve never seen a vote as a positive affirmation for a candidate or as needing to be motivated by principle. There are potentially several reasons that I could think of for voting for a candidate in a normal election without thinking that that candidate would be the best person in office out of all of those running.

          Let’s face it: if I were going to vote for someone who best represented my values I’d write in Mr. Trousers every election.

  9. Enthusiasm? I suppose I could understand the argument that Obama must go, so it must be Romney, etc., but with enthusiasm? Romney is not a libertarian, and let me go on record predicting that his statism will not differ enough from the statist trend to do anything more than maybe–and only just maybe–slow the rush to unlimited government and economic disaster.

    1. Bingo, and even that might be generous. I might want to see Obama lose more than I want to see Romney lose, but that doesn’t mean that either of these statist fucks is anything resembling a win.

  10. A vote for Gary Johnson is a good way to remind republicans and democrats not to take the libertarian vote for granted when they decide who they should fear and who they need to pander to.

    Unless you live in a swing state, a vote for a major party candidate is your endorsement that that candidate is the best alternative.

    If you live in a swing state, a vote for the lesser of two evils indicates that you think the difference between the two evils is significant.

    Not voting at all is an acknowledgement that you should be ignored and that politicians should fear and pander to people who actually do.

    Either way, your vote has a long term impact.

    1. No it doesn’t–not at all–but you go on thinking that if you want. If the fantasy that you have some sort of influence is comforting to you.

      1. As a politician, you don’t care about anybody but the person you perceive as the deciding vote. If you help incrementally move the perception of who that deciding vote is, you benefit.

        I would argue a vote for a third party has a disproportionately greater influence.

        1. An individual vote–which is all you can do as an individual voter–is statistically meaningless. It’s unpleasant for some people to accept that your vote means essentially nothing, but it’s the truth. Math is cruel.

          1. An individual vote–which is all you can do as an individual voter–is statistically meaningless.

            So what?

            1. So go use your one vote for a person who has no chance of winning and wouldn’t change the system even if he won. It’s obviously the only logical choice.

              1. I don’t think that follows either.

              2. you and epi take math and logic at the same under-performing elementary school?

            2. So it means your vote is meaningless? I can’t state that any more clearly.

              1. So it means your vote is meaningless?

                How does something that is statistically insignificant translate into meaninglessness?

          2. The decision to purchase a good in a normal market does not significantly affect the price of that good.

            It would be errant to state that you and people like you don’t have an effect on the price of that good.

            1. If you refuse to purchase a good in a market might that be a signal that the price is set too high?

              1. Sure. I have never been against principled or tactical non-voting (though I hope I don’t need to convince anyone on this board that political markets are very different from markets for other goods).

          3. As opposed to your previous statement, you are correct in this one. Conflating “statistically meaningless” with “having no impact” was your (probably inadvertent) error.

            Math is indeed cruel, and in elementary school math we learn that if a single vote is worth nothing then a million must be worth the same.

            1. Once again, people are not catching on to what “meaningless” means. Will your vote determine who ends up in office? Sure it will. Will the person that ends up in office change anything significantly? Of course not.

              1. Voting is so costly for the individual in terms of the 15 minutes every four years that it requires, so you are right to consider whether the benefits justify the cost.

                That said, perhaps you overstate the case when you suggest no significant difference between the candidates?

          4. “An individual vote–which is all you can do as an individual voter–is statistically meaningless.”

            This is true, but making that argument on the internet is not statistically meaningless, at least in a theoretical capacity. Your own actual vote influences one and only one vote, but making that argument publicly theoretically could affect substantially more. Probably not, but it’s not impossible.

          5. An individual dish at the pot luck is statistically meaningless too – remind me not to go to any libertarian dinner parties.

            Sheesh, way to fulfill the ultra-individualist libertarian stereotypes.

    2. A vote for Gary Johnson is a good way to remind republicans and democrats not to take the libertarian vote for granted when they decide who they should fear and who they need to pander to.

      That’s how I see it. The higher we can boost Johnson’s votes, the larger a message it sends to the GOP, especially if they lose.

    3. Not voting at all is an acknowledgement that you should be ignored and that politicians should fear and pander to people who actually do.

      Or, if Romney loses, the GOP may look at all those non-voters they failed to pick up, and take a hard look at where they went wrong.

      This year is my first principled non-vote. The rest of you should go vote for GJ, of course.

      1. the weakness of your argument is that they have no way of distinguishing your principled non-vote from your neighbor’s lazy ass, don’t give a shit, can’t be bothered non-vote…

        1. Are they supposed to? Do I care? Should I take part in a system I don’t believe in because of how someone else might interpret that?

          1. the poster obviously thought a “principled non-vote” would have an impact. You ostensibly don’t care whether or not you are irrelevant, so a candidate can safely dismiss you as irrelevant.

        2. This. Shouldn’t you care whether anyone interprets your non-vote is a protest if you are not voting as a protest? As someone pointed out, it’s like a boycott where you fail to notify the company why you’re boycotting and support their more responsible competitors.

  11. Smith’s kicker:

    Romney may not be a libertarian

    Say it. Just fucking say it. Romney IS NOT a libertarian.

    Quit lying by implication.

  12. Huh? I’m still stuck on Randian’s image of us all running around in gold shorts.

    1. don’t forget the Krugerrands. Never forget the Krugerrands.

    2. Paul, do yourself a favour and do not imagine Epi’s misshapen undercarriage squeezed into those gold shorts.

      1. I couldn’t get past the fifth word. The misspelling instantly blinded me.

        1. We former english colonists find the alternate spellings quite humourous. I can’t speak for Dagny, but my mother was British so I got in the habit of misspelling that shit all the time. When I was a teen I probably did it for affect, and then it just became habit.

          “Pulling my motor up to the curb, I dropped a few coppers in the box, rang up the clark and told him that there’s been a terrible kerfuffle and asked if he could set the cock-up straight.”

          1. I never got the “clark/clerk” thing. The fucking “e” is right there. It isn’t hidden or anything.

            1. As I quoted below, it’s England, no one speaks english in that damned country…

              1. There are still plenty off words that have inconsistent pronunciations in American English.

                Also, it’s been less than three hundred years since spelling has been even close to being standardized in England and even less in the USA.

                It’s not as if clerk is the only word with a non-phonetic pronuciation. See also, “derby”.

                1. Many words used to be spelled according to the local pronunciation. I saw something from the late seventeenth century that was printed in London that said something about a “prisoner bound with chynes”.

          2. It’s spelled kerb, you unlettered colonist.

            1. The kerb is next to the ashfelt.

        2. Fuck! I was recently in several countries where the beloved superfluous “u” was embraced, not shunned and it is a hard habit to re-break.

          1. “Blagged? Speak English to me, Tony. I thought this country spawned the fucking language, and so far nobody seems to speak it.”

          2. Fck, not all “u”s are sperflos. I think Randian is just trying to worm his way into Epi’s hipster club.

            1. You misspelled “jst” and “clb”, Neanderthal.

              1. There are some things that even my tortured, lonely soul doesn’t want to be part of.

            2. He’s going to have to get a hell of a lot more glib if he wants to get into my club.

              1. You’re talking about your ass, right?

      2. Squeezed?!?

        1. Yeah, you always struck me as the kind of guy who would shimmy, not squeeze.

          1. Exactly, thank yo…hey wait a second! What are you implying? It had better not be that I’m fat!

            1. I wouldn’t say fat, I’d rather say non-euclidean.

              1. Did you just call me a shoggoth?!?

                1. And how am I to know you’re not? As far as I’m concerned, every Internet-based being IS a construct of the Great Old Ones.

              2. Un-lovely, un-lady (or man) lumps.

                1. Did Fergie just make her debut in Canada? I think it’s cute how far behind ‘you people’ are.

                  1. I don’t know, something about Epi and other Lovecraftian horrors brings good ol’ Fergie to mind.

                    But since it is so easy to rile you up, did you pay for those Krugerrands with cash or cheque? Can you spend them at the shopping centre?

                    1. “Centre” is acceptable. “Cheque” sounds like a French Bistro.

                    2. How the hell do you get “key” out of “quay?”

  13. I know and like Brad Smith, but this is just more lesser evil blah blah blah.

    1. Anyone whom John McCain refused a handshake to can’t be all bad.

      1. Yeah. Brad is a very good guy. Hard to believe they ever let him on the FEC. That said, fuck Mitt Romney.

        1. Yeah. Brad is a very good guy. Hard to believe they ever let him on the FEC

          I suspect they won’t make that mistake again.

  14. Look people, like it or not, we’d better start coaching ourselves with this rhetoric so we don’t cry ourselves to sleep for the next four years, assuming R0mb0t wins. He’s a crypto-libertarian, come on, say it with me!

    1. He’s a crapto-libertarian. D’oh. Bear with me, I’m getting there!

  15. Joss Whedon endorses Romney (read it before drawing conclusions):

    http://robot6.comicbookresourc…..ent-111592

    In between writing the screenplay for the sequel to The Avengers, developing ABC’s S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot and executive producing Dark Horse’s Buffy-verse comics, Joss Whedon somehow found time to shoot a video endorsing Mitt Romney for president. Sure, it’s a bit surprising, considering that Whedon and Romney differ on myriad social issues (today, in any case), but the filmmaker has found common, if post-apocalyptic, ground.

    “Y’know, like a lot of liberal Americans, I was excited when Barack Obama took office four years ago,” Whedon explains, “but it’s a very different world now, and Mitt Romney is a very different candidate ? one with the vision and determination to cut through business-as-usual politics and finally put this country back on the path to the zombie apocalypse. Romney is ready to make the deep rollbacks in healthcare, education, social services, reproductive rights that will guarantee poverty, unemployment, overpopulation, disease, rioting ? all crucial elements in creating a nightmare zombie wasteland.”

    There’s more, of course. And along the way, Whedon gets in a little jab at Ayn Rand devotees, sure to make a few libertarians rethink their interpretations/warm embrace of Firefly.

    I left a message there under GayJay4Prez.

    1. You can check morning links for responses if you like.

    2. Tim Minear was the libertarian influence on Firefly; Whedon never was. No one should be surprised by this.

      1. I’d sure like to know what the script writing dynamic was in Firefly. I almost always attribute great dialog to anything Whedon produces or directs. Yet I keep hearing about this Minear character being the ‘big leanings’ guy on Firefly. IF that’s the case, he had some serious influence on content for those characters.

        1. Yes he did. He also wrote several episodes and directed several as well. I think he was the showrunner, actually.

        2. I’d sure like to know what the script writing dynamic was in Firefly.

          All the dialog that sounds like teenagers or has something to do with what happens when lightning hits toads is all Joss

          All the good dialog is Tim.

          Also all that bullshit about Reavers going crazy cuz they were space so long…that would be Joss.

      2. And I’m assuming Whedon was the reason Firefly sucked.

        1. Do you deliberately hate everything good?

          1. He’s like the Tulpa of pop culture. If tomorrow we started hating Firefly, he’d think it was genius.

          2. “Do you deliberately hate everything good?”

            No, I like Tarantino.

            I only watched the very first episode and that was enough. The movie was actually alright.

            1. I was a bit disappointed with the first couple of episodes, but they get increasingly better. I wouldn’t write off the whole series based on the first episode.

              1. Oh alright I’ll give it another shot.

        2. *runs out of room crying*

      3. At this point he is merely overcompensating given what even being associated with libertarians means on the left now

    3. sure to make a few libertarians rethink their interpretations/warm embrace of Firefly.

      Tim Minear is responsible for Firefly’s libertarianish leanings.

      Why else do you think he is ignored by all MSM?

  16. The fact that Romney doesn’t want to get rid of the pre-existing condition clause in ObamaCare is really worrisome.

  17. I’ve got my and my wife’s mail-in ballots on the table next to me. Who should I fill it out for? Gary Johnson, or Mitt Romney? Hmmmmmm…

    1. Write “FUCK THE MAN” on both of them in purple lipstick and mail them in.

  18. Anyone else rather have Obama for 4 years with a different Republican candidate in 2016 (Rand) as opposed to 8 years of Romney/4 years of Romney and then another democrat?

    1. No. You assume Rand’s run would not be as compromised as Romney’s run. If Rand gets the nod it would only be because the party Brahmins believe him to be their man. That Romney won the nomination a mere two years after the Tea Party revolt should clear that matter up concerning who controls the GOP.

      Also, Obama needs to be washed off the public conscience like shit off of a public toilet no matter what goes down, even a Green last week surge would be better.

    2. You assume Rand would be the presumptive GOP candidate in 2016.

      I for one would welcome the reign of the Turing Test Romneybot 2.0 if for no reason other than it prevents Rick Santorum from getting the GOP nod in 2016.

      1. That’s a good point. Eight years from now, Santorum will be as relevant as Quayle. Four years from now given his performance in the primaries, he will be the presumptive nominee.

    3. no…four years is a very long time.

      While Romney can’t be trusted to do the right thing, Obama can indeed be trusted to do the wrong thing.

  19. Admittedly, Smith makes a decently persuasive enough case IMO. My highest priority in a candidate is rolling back the entitlement state and with the selection of Paul Ryan as VP, Romney is at least tilting a hand to the base saying that he is willing to address it. And while Smith is right to say that their plans are meager and not statistically significant enough to put a dent in the entitlement state, he is right that it is the best possible reform that could be passed in the immediate term and would at least provide a starting point for a more serious policy discussion over the long term.

    That said, as a California voter, my vote matters not in that case. I’ll cast my ballot for Gary Johnson.

  20. Not surprisingly, Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson was the overwhelming choice.

    Bullshit.

    I have read this thing for 3 elections and of the 3 this a watershed year for reason staff voting for the LP candidate.

  21. “Romney may not be a libertarian, yet Romney not infrequently launches wonderful verbal defenses of hard core libertarian views. ”

    For a similar reason, as a libertarian, I’m voting for Obama because he supports the 2nd Amendment.

  22. Romney! Romney! Romney!

    Hire Brad Smith Reason.

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