George Will

George Will Says GOP Should Turn Libertarian While David Frum Bromances Social Cons

Over the weekend at the Wash Post, George Will says that the GOP needs to channel its inner libertarian.

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Over the weekend at the Wash Post, George Will says that the GOP needs to channel its inner libertarian. The Republicans need to pick a new type of presidential candidate, he says,

…one who tilts toward the libertarian side of the Republican Party's fusion of social and laissez-faire conservatism. Most voters already favor less punitive immigration policies than the ones angrily advocated by clenched-fist Republicans unwilling to acknowledge that immigrating — risking uncertainty for personal and family betterment — is an entrepreneurial act. The speed with which civil unions and same-sex marriage have become debatable topics and even mainstream policies is astonishing. As is conservatives' failure to recognize this: They need not endorse such policies, but neither need they despise those, such as young people, who favor them. And it is strange for conservatives to turn a stony face toward any reconsideration of drug policies, particularly concerning marijuana, which confirm conservatism's warnings about government persistence in the teeth of evidence.

Whole thing here.

Meanwhile, over at The Daily Beast, former Bush speechwriter (best known for the "Axis of Evil" turn of phrase) David Frum writes that while gays "should be able to live unafraid and unashamed" and that "using birth control does not make a woman a slut," it's libertarians who have caused the GOP to stop being the party of the middle class. The "mindset" that led to Mitt Romney's dismissal of 47 percent of Americans as looters and moochers, Frum argues, "originated in the party's libertarian wing." Meanwhile, it's the social cons and economic populists such as Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum who are the key to the party's future:

It has been the social conservatives who have been most alert to the economic travails of the middle class. The only 2012 candidate willing to acknowledge the facts about America's poor upward mobility was Rick Santorum. In 2008, it was Mike Huckabee who noted the stagnation of middle-class incomes. And among journalists, people like Ross Douthat, Reihan Salam, Rod Dreher and Ramesh Ponnuru have been much more accurate in their assessments than, say, Larry Kudlow or the fellows of the American Enterprise Institute.

Whole thing here.

I like David Frum and have learned a lot from his writing over the years, but I don't understand this thinking at all.

For starters, both Rick Santorum and folks at AEI (such as Charles Murray) tend to agree that upward mobility is pretty much over. In this, they are flatly wrong, which is no small sticking point. As Brookings' Scott Winship has documented, economic mobility has not slowed in the past several decades (for more on that, go here).

When it comes to most social issues—from gay marriage to drug legalization to immigration—the Republicans are in fact well out of step with American majorities. And while conservatives may track pretty well with many Americans' attitudes about how they want to live their personal lives, it's clear that Rick Santorum in particular is precisely the sort of guy Americans have in mind when a majority says the government shouldn't promote traditional values.

Frum's hostility to libertarianism is long-lived—he wrote a piece in The Weekly Standard denouncing "the libertarian temptation" back in 1997—and he plainly prefers a moderate conservatism that blends aspects of national greatness communitarianism with large entitlement programs. Clearly Mitt Romney didn't resonate with "the middle class" but it wasn't because he was too libertarian on either social or economic issues. Romney checked all the social con boxes (anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-drugs, anti-Mexican, etc.) but he didn't warm the hearts of Tea Partyers or night-watchman-state libertarians either.

Romney didn't just fail to articulate a plausible economic program that would rekindle growth in America; he failed to really hammer home just how bad Obama's handling of the economy has been—and how the president's mindless interventions actually exacerbated the problems they were supposed to address. You can blame Romney's loss on a lot of things, but the least convincing of all is libertarianism.

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    1. Gillespie, why do you use the phrase “national greatness” when a more accurate description would be “interventionist national government” and communitarianism, with its focus on local communities, is clearly at odds with a big federal government in DC.

      Frum doesn’t dislike or distrust government in the least; he just thinks it should be run by people like him and his confreres. Frum is an implacable enemy and he must be pushed into the sea. There is no choice.

      1. So many typos. I got no sleep last night.

  1. “””‘I like David Frum”””

    Frum is proof the US needs tighter immigration controls.

    1. Frum is proof the US needs tighter immigration controls.

      You miserable Anti-Sem….wait, you mean he’s Canadian? Carry on.

      1. Canada sucks.

  2. I like David Frum and have learned a lot from his writing over the years, but I don’t understand this thinking at all.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

    Oh that Nick, such a scamp.

  3. On my facebook feed, all my proggie high school classmates have been sharing this Frum article as the one the GOP needs to listen to.

    Well, except for the discussion on Rethuglican voter suppression (it apparently drove the Democratic vote total down by 2 – 5%) where one guy wanted to discuss how to handle the situation that would have arisen if Mitt Romney had won, and the people would need arms to defend themselves against govt tyranny. The solution they discussed was having a militia armory, where all the guns could be kept and if a state of tyranny arose, the citizenry would be permitted to arm themselves from the armory.

    I about crapped my pants I was laughing so hard as they earnestly grappled with the problem giving the citizenry access to firearms for the limited purpose of protecting themselves against Rethuglican rule while simultaneously depriving them of private ownership of the same.

    1. Did you go to a “special” school, tarran? Because it sounds like your classmates were even more retarded than you.

      1. Oh, it was very special. Joseph P Kennedy III is a fellow alumn.

        1. I suppose most schools in MA are for special needs anyway.

        2. Cognitive dissonance. It’s what’s for breakfast.

          1. Willful cognitive dissonance. I could swear I read something about this in some book.

            1. While you were under the spreading chestnut tree, I suppose.

    2. It’s almost like people didn’t write an amendment to the Constitution just for that purpose…

      Which, of course, is just one reason to be an anarchist.

      1. I’ve been occasionally entertaining myself by publishing things that cause them cognitive discomfort. A wrote a poetic anti-war thing to observe Armistice day that contained a subtle dig at Obama (the shameful way we honor warmongers as peacemakers).

        The stupid progs clicked “I like”. The smart ones were very conspicuous in their absence.

        1. Veteran’s Day 2046, where you can listen to old drones reminisce about the first Hellfire missile they fired into a school.

          1. You never forget your first collateral damage child-killing.

            1. Maybe those charred corpses will think twice before the next time they try and get an education.

              1. The nerve of those children, being alive and in a Middle Eastern country.

                1. It’s like they had an un-passworded wireless router. It had to be done. For their own good.

                  1. Yeah, and what lesson are they going to learn? They’re going to password-protect their router and then name their home network some shit like “DRONE OPERATORS HAVE SMALL DICKS” and then what will happen…

                    1. That’s absurd, nicole, SSIDs have a max length of 32…oh wait, that fits perfectly. Never mind. Here I was all set to mansplain some technology to you, too.

                    2. Yeah, you didn’t bank on a woman spending enough time to count letters. Well you should have banked on someone having enough OCD to count letters all the freaking time, instead.

                    3. You can count?!?

            2. You never forget your first collateral damage child-killing.

              Or your first strike on a funeral procession. Because, you know, why would they be at a terrorist’s funeral unless they’re terrorists themselves.

          2. Wearing poppies takes on new significance when we’re talking about Afghanistan.

        2. I saw a woman this weekend wearing an Obama T-shirt with a peace sign on it. I wanted to ask her if she was being ironic.

    3. So, when they’ve finally had it up to HERE with the christfags, they are going to go the armory now under the control of the christfags, and politely ask for a selection of weaponry suitable for armed resistance of the christfag regime?

      1. Dude, attempting to see logic or reason in such people’s thought patterns is like expecting sanity from NutraSweet.

        1. I SMELL DELICIOUS!

          1. Yes, you do, but once again, you’ve entirely missed my point, and that is that Young Guns II was not in fact a true sequel to Young Guns.

      2. Which weaponry they will then have no clue how to load and fire.

        1. If guns didn’t load and fire themselves, they might not be so dangerous we had to ban them all from private ownership.

          1. If guns didn’t load and fire themselves

            Isn’t that what automatic weapons do? So they will just get automatic weapons that will know who the evil cons are.

            1. I can’t find the YT of it, assuming it exists, but those guns from the Fifth Element that the bad guy gave the Mangalores should do the trick.

          2. “If guns didn’t load and fire themselves”

            It’s when the guns get high on bath salts that there’s problem. Plus I think they might be pro-choice(tm).

        2. You mean, the armory won’t have fully automatic weapons?

          1. Fully automatic = autonomous?

            1. Yes, basically

          2. As long as they don’t have the pistol grips, which somehow cause more deaths.

        3. Yeah, this is a major problem too.

          In my experience, anti-gun people severely underestimate the difficulty of operating a firearm effectively. They think you just point it and pull the trigger and the bad guy dies.

          1. No, you mean the innocent child dies. Guns aren’t used to kill bad guys, duh.

      3. That map of the broken up former states of Amurika is looking more like a prophecy every day. How can we continue to live with these retards? Pretty soon the stores will be out of gatorade because it was all used for plant food.

        1. It’s got what plants crave!

          1. ELECTROLITES OMGZ!!!!!!!11!!!

      4. Maybe I’m being charitable here, but I suspect they’re thinking that their fellow leftists would be collectively in charge of the armory, and would only allow people to draw from it when said leftists were alarmed by the evil rightists.

        That’s not absurd on its face, but it’s a logistical nightmare. Even assuming they put the “right people” in charge of the armory, it’s a sitting duck for the evil rightists to destroy and cripple the resistance. The nice thing about arms being distributed among the populace at all times is that it’s hard to take out the resistance with one stroke.

        1. Their cunning plan is…a work in progress.

        2. Yeah, and guns are icky. Unless you are an evil rightist, then you probably own one and know how to use it. Big disadvantage to the emo lefties here.

          These people are delusional. They probablly think that if civil war broke out that Obama would reveal his identity as a super hero and fly around in a cape vaporizing cons with his super progresso vision anti-con laser.

          1. Someone should make a story out of that. I’d bet some people would take it seriously. The idea reminds me of this

            It is 2021, tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of 9/11. America is under oppression by ultra-liberal extremists who have surrendered governing authority to the United Nations. Hate speech legislation called the “Coulter Laws” have forced vocal conservatives underground. A group of bio-mechanically enhanced conservatives led by Sean Hannity, G. Gordon Liddy, Oliver North, and a young man born on September 11, 2001, set out to thwart Ambassador Usama bin Laden’s plans to nuke New York City.
            ?ACC Studio Synopsis

            And YES, this really exists.

        3. If they could get the “right” people in charge, why would they need the guns in the first place?

    4. On my facebook feed, all my proggie high school classmates have been sharing this Frum article as the one the GOP needs to listen to.

      That’s telling. They would much rather have the GOP cave on the welfare state than on issues like gay marriage and marijunana legalization.

      1. Dude, they really believe Obama supports Marijuana Legalization! All the Obama voters I know from high school are engaging in full on cognitive dissonance. It’s mind-blowing.

        1. That is exactly why I say it is a waste of time to recriminate over issues. The voters don’t know who supports what, or who has done what, or how to critically look at those whatevers. Amazing enough even after close to four dismal years, Obama is still a Rorschach test for the libtards to put all their cool feelings into and give themselves back pats over their supposed correct interpretation.

        2. I’m fortunate to have a vaguely center-left friends who aren’t totally detached from reality. I am working on them…

      2. Virginian nailed it two days ago:

        Virginian| 11.10.12 @ 4:26PM

        The whole “GOP jettisons social issues and wins” is a talking point. Because leftists love to talk about how independent they are, and one of their main bullshit talking points is “I’m very fiscally conservative, but the social stuff keeps me voting Democrat. If the Republicans ran a moderate, I’d vote for him.”

        This is a lie. Straight up. It really pisses me off how people fall for this nonsense. It falls into “Why can’t they be more like the moderate Republicans of yesteryear?”. It’s a rationalization, not a reason. I know people are going to say “Well I know plenty of people who say this”. They say it, but they would never ever go through with it. Hell, look at Scott Brown. He did everything a moderate Republican is supposed to do, and he still lost, because the left is not telling the truth. They literally never do. Their lying is pathological.

        They care, first and foremost, about the free shit machine. They don’t care about war, they don’t care about civil liberties, all they care about is more free shit. Because free shit is good. So please spare me this nonsense about how casting off half the party is a road to GOP victory. This country is totally fucked because a plurality of the electorate is part of the free shit army, or works for the State. Social issues is literally arguing about the color the rails on the good ship Titanic will be painted.

        1. An inspired rant, but I quibble with this:

          Because free shit is good.

          Democrats don’t pass out free shit because it’s good, they pass it out because it keeps them in power. Period.

          1. It’s from the perspective of your average Dem voter, not your average Dem pol.

        2. “GOP jettisons social issues and wins” isn’t about attracting liberals. It’s about attracting independents who have been holding their noses and voting between liberals who want to mess with their business and conservatives who want to mess with their social life.

          Look at the ballot issues that passed, most by larger margins than the elections. Gay rights, MJ legalization, gun rights, eminent domain reform. That’s a libertarian message for freedom, and the party that listens will benefit greatly in 2016.

          If the Republican leadership keeps pushing their “social issues” they will keep losing votes. As will the Democrats who push their own list of “economic issues.”

          1. It’s about attracting independents who have been holding their noses and voting between liberals who want to mess with their business and conservatives who want to mess with their social life.

            Dude…bullshit.

            John McCain was the Republican liberals and moderates loved, until he ran against The One. Then it was get the fucking knives out John McCain’s gonna push granny over the cliff.

            Paul Ryan wasn’t known for social issues. Hell, neither was Mitt Romney. A Republican from Massachusetts was going to outlaw abortion? Yeah fucking right. But the Dem voters had to convince themselves it was so, so they could have a fig leaf to vote for more Welfare.

            1. ^this.

              1. You two know that, but independents didn’t. Obama’s war on women crap worked, especially when Akin and Mourdock couldn’t keep their mouths shut about rape

                1. Akin’s remarks were retarded, no doubt. Mourdock’s, well, any Christian who disagrees with him hasn’t thought out the creed very well. Either the baby is intended or its an abomination. Those are the only two choices for Christians to even consider.

                  1. And no, it isn’t my creed.

                    1. Those are the only two choices for Christians to even consider.

                      I kinda flipped about this at one point before the election and my bf, who is almost as irreligious as me but steeped in theology from a young age, just yelled at me for thinking Christians had any interest in what was actually their faith. Which of course led to me yelling about how that was just one of the things that made them so ridiculous.

                2. You two know that, but independents didn’t. Obama’s war on women crap worked,

                  The ‘independents’ broke for Romney, and I submit that the War on Women only worked on those who WANTED it to work.

                  1. I think you guys might be crossing the streams.

                    One stream is the matter of the GOP’s long-term viability or lack thereof. Stream #2 is Romney losing.

                    Romney lost because he sucks at campaigning and everything else and because Obama has a cult following that includes most of the non-Fox MSM. Social issues didn’t help and Romney’s xenophobia was very bad for him.

                    The GOP’s long-term viability is severely hampered by its regressive social stances, particularly on the issue of immigration.

                3. Sadly yes. A majority of women appear to have been convinced that not covering birth control = banning birth control.

                  They really think that allowing Catholic Priests to abide by their conscience is equivalent to raping women.

        3. Virginian has a point, but she’s still kinda wrong. Yes the MSM will paint the GOP as mouthbreathers no matter what but vindicating that caricature makes it a lot a worse. When our Conservative party up here in Canada started courting immigrants and silenced SoCons in its ranks, they started making inroads.

          1. Virginian has a point, but she’s still kinda wrong.

            Ahem. He, and no I’m not. As in “person from Virginia”, not the ladies name.

            Yes the MSM will paint the GOP as mouthbreathers no matter what but vindicating that caricature makes it a lot a worse. When our Conservative party up here in Canada started courting immigrants and silenced SoCons in its ranks, they started making inroads.

            I’m sorry, I don’t think you really understand. As long as there is one Republican somewhere in the country willing to say something stupid on tape, that will be the lead story. So I am doubtful that will work.

            More importantly, there is no sizable mass of voters who are staunch fiscal conservatives, but vote Dem because of social issues. They literally don’t exist. If they did exist, Gary Johnson would have gotten a lot more votes. Because he is the guy those people say that always wanted.

            So remember, when someone says “I’m fiscally conservative, but the Republicans are so bad on social issues, that I vote Democrat.” you just need to accept that they’re lying. Because if they didn’t vote for Johnson, well they’re obviously fiscally liberal, in addition to their social liberalism. Another thing: everyone claims to be fiscally conservative. Well if all the voters are, why is the debt so high?

            1. In Canada we had the same problem until the CPC stopped shoving its foot in its mouth all the time. Still happens occasionally but it doesn’t matter because they got comfy with gayz and immigrants.

              1. But if the GOP didn’t make the right noises on social issues, they’d lose a massive chunk of their voters right there. Oh, and it’s not a matter of emphasis. As long as there is one Republican talking about abortion or gay rights, those soundbites will be used by the media to paint the entire GOP. I mean…both of the people on the ticket this year were from blue states…neither was a firebreathing social con. They lost. Because two dumbasses in flyover states were held up by the media as what the GOP stands for.

                See the theory behind “drop the social issues” is that it’s a net gain in voters. That there are a millions of people who vote Democrat because of abortion or gay rights who would vote Republican if the Republicans were pro-choice and pro gay marriage. That these fiscal cons/social libs exist, and in fact their numbers outweigh the people who will stop voting Republican if the GOP abandons their stance on abortion and gay marriage.

                Sorry, but if there was a good sized chunk of Americans who wanted libertarianish politicians, then there would be more libertarianish politicians.

                Look, broadly speaking the four kinds of people in this country are

                1.Fiscal con, social lib
                2.Fiscal lib, social lib
                3.Fiscal con, social con
                4.Fiscal lib, social con

                There are more of 4, 3, and 2 then 1. I’d say 4,3,2 account for 95% of the electorate.

                1. “But if the GOP didn’t make the right noises on social issues, they’d lose a massive chunk of their voters right there.”
                  Lose them to whom, precisely?
                  Will those voters stop voting, or vote for the party that pays lipservice to disagreeing with the very values they champion?
                  The SoCon platform is dead. Social issues are non-starters for the GOP nationally. Best to shed that baggage and focus on the econ side.

                2. What about those of us who refuse to adhere to any ideological play book at all? From my point of view, you come up with whatever solution works the best (and recognize that “leave I alone” might be the best answer), and I care fuck all which ideological camp it technically lands in. The REAL problem is thinking you can pick up ONE tool and fix everything with it.

                  Or am I utterly alone here?

          2. When our Conservative party up here in Canada started courting immigrants and silenced SoCons in its ranks, they started making inroads.

            True but its not like they are libertarian.

        4. “Why can’t they be more like the moderate Republicans of yesteryear?”

          McCain and Romney WERE the moderate Republicans of yesteryear! Were they confused into thinking Santorum was the nominee with Akin as his running mate?

    5. This is why serial killers call Facebook, ‘The Grazing Grounds.’

    6. That is fucking hilarious…yeah, let’s put the guns in a central armory under government control. I’m sure they’ll throw open the doors when the time comes for overthrow.

      1. And provide training for “revolutionaries” who have never fired a shot.

        1. Are you seriously suggesting that a Che! tee shirt isn’t sufficient?

        2. How hard could it be, people in movies do it all the time. Easy as pie.

      2. To be fair, they’re talking about militias, not govt-organized forces. It doesn’t seem that they want the armory to be under government control; it would be under control of some Occupy-esque collective.

    7. I’m picturing an “army” of noodle armed hipster beardo fucks trying to figure out which end of their bolt action rifles (’cause automatic weapons are still teh EVUL) to point at the “bad guys”.

      Half of them end up shooting themselves in the face while the other half are such terrible shots that the trained soldiers are able to just walk up to them and execute them from point blank range.

      1. Er… a good many of us civilians are veterans.

  4. Mitt Romney’s dismissal of 47 percent of Americans as looters and moochers, Frum argues, “originated in the party’s libertarian wing.”

    Um, no. Ayn Rand used the phrase “looters and moochers” to refer to Romney-style kleptocrats shoveling taxpayer money and favors to their friends. To the extent that chameleons like Romney use that sort of terminology, it’s an attempt to dress up their big-government ideas as free-market ideology.

    1. It’s Frum – he’s kind of the Matt Yglesias of the Republican Party.

    2. To some extent Frum’s mistake is understandable because it’s one that’s also made by a lot of conservatives, especially those closer to the GOP establishment. Whether it’s out of fear of being accused of “class warfare” or fear of losing big money donors, it’s pretty rare that you hear them frame the makers-vs-takers dynamic in a way that condemns cartelized big businesses with as much strength and fervor as individual welfare recipients. Aside from easy, obvious targets like Solyndra, what was the last business to get singled out by a Republican (ex Ron Paul) for receiving government favors?

      Even taking Frum’s definitions at face value, he’s still making a very weak argument, because Romney did not at all make the anti-47 percent message some kind of centerpiece of his campaign. Romney got caught saying it to some wealthy donors where it would be well received, but on the campaign trail he was all about preserving entitlement programs.

      1. Totally agree that corporate welfare is a huge part of the problem.

        However, the entitlements – Medicare and Social Security in particular are by far the largest problem. And those are perpetuated by the free shit army voting themsleves more free shit.

        The mistake is in thinking that the free shit army is composed of poor minorities on welfare. In fact, it’s probably more tilted towards old people and retired public sector workers, mnany of whom vote Republican.

    3. Good point. A lot of people have the rerroneous believe that when people talk about the welfare-entitlement state, they’re only talking about poor people. But we’re actually talking about all SORTS of people, rich and poor, who earn their living purely by siphoning money from the public. That includes corporations that get bailouts and subsidies, defense contractors, and government contractors of all sorts, and all sorts of businesses who sole raison d’etre is regulatory compliance. Even tax accountants are leeches since the only reason they exist is because the tax code is a byzantine nightmare.

      Imagine if we actually has a simple clear regulatory and tax code. Tens of thousands of lawyers and accountants would have tov find productive work.

  5. I always get David Frum and David Brooks confused. So I solve my confusion by ignoring both.

    1. One is a comedian who plays a conservative character in the media, the other is a comedian from Canada who plays a conservative character in the media.

  6. Shorter David Frum: Libertarians with their top hats and monocles are so incorrigible and out of touch.

    1. I’m in touch with the middle class. I inquire after the opinions of my monocle vendor and haberdasher when I’m in buying the latest fashions direct from Libertopia.

      1. Haha! That’s cute!

        Come talk to us when you have PEOPLE to talk to the haberdasher and monocle vendor to stay in touch with the proles on your behalf.

        /whirls on heel and walks away

        1. I do have people. But how do you expect to get a proper fitting without showing up? If my staff had the ability to properly fit moncoles or hats, they’d be out doing that for more money than the pittance I pay them.

  7. It would be nice if someone like George Will, who is a well respected, widely published author would finally drop the TEAM allegiance, and embrace libertarianism. Maybe conservatives, GOP’ers, and more sensible liberals would be comfortable learning the ideas, and principles of liberty.

    Will seems like he is increasingly moving this direction. He just needs to stop lying to himself.

    1. Interesting – I agree and have sensed the same thing.

      Surprises me coming from him, of all people – but I see it.

      Come to the light, George! Come to the light!

      1. What happened to your twin?

        1. He ate him.

          1. Fetus Papyraceus – good band name?

            1. My rule of thumb: shout the phrase “Hello, Seattle… we are [bad name] and we are here to rock!” in a crappy English accent. If it works, it works.

              1. Your rule of thumb is stupid and you should feel stupid for saying it.

              2. Umm..It’s “Hello, Cleveland!” It’s always Cleveland. It doesn’t matter where you are; it’s always Cleveland.

                1. Mensan is right. It’s always Cleveland.

                    1. But I thought it was all free on my EBT!

                    2. Sorry, your introductory EBT offer is over…thanks for your votes suckers!

                    3. “Fifty dollars would be devastating” to families, he said. “These are folks that have already fallen off the fiscal cliff.”

                      Oh my god. Another politimeme that is going to make me wat to kill puppies.

    2. sensible liberals

      Bwahhhahaaa!

      Umm, dude, we are the sensible liberals. We are pretty much the only liberals. Most of those calling themself liberal today, are progressives. They only believe in Liberty for the things that they like. Anything that they don’t like is to be strictly controlled by the state no matter how abusive that might be for the other person.

    3. George Will has criticized Republicans many, many times. He’s no partisan hack.

      If you’re saying he has to come out and utterly disavow any connection to the GOP, you need to get after Ron and Rand Paul first, yo.

    4. I’d rather he went full libertarian and stayed in the GOP. Where we should all be going.

  8. Matt Yglesias (I’ve been reading him off and on lately) had what I thought was an interesting take showing that ethnocentrism correlated with opposition to social welfare, but support for old age retirement programs. While he pushes the connection a little more strongly than it deserves, tehre are definite voting blocks of older/racist vs. younger/pluralistic voters and the older/racist camp is the most supportive of the big entitlements. Which is what gives “keep your government hands off my Medicare” a perverse political logic.

    Which leaves the GOP with the connundrum that if it remails the party of older white people it will have to abandon all hope of dismantling the entitlement state and become hard-core defenders of Medicare and Social Security.

    Also, from independent evidence, more ethnically diverse societies tend to be less supportive of hefty welfare states.

    So it’s either double down on the “keep the government hands of my Medicare” card, or find a way to appeal to younger, more ethnically diverse voters, who have less of an interest in preserving programs that benefit mostly the elderly.

    1. Also, from independent evidence, more ethnically diverse societies tend to be less supportive of hefty welfare states.

      That seems to make sense, but then I keep thinking of the ethnically diverse population of Latin American countries who are just dying to implement welfare states (they just don’t have the money, currently).

      1. This is what’s driving the correlation.

      2. What about the Argentinians? Haven’t there been some anti-gov protests and stuff down there?

        1. Argentina has a long history of economic populism. In fact, they were among the wealthiest countries in the world before it took over. They do seem to be turning against the current president, however, which is a good thing

    2. Also, from independent evidence, more ethnically diverse societies tend to be less supportive of hefty welfare states.

      That isn’t true within OECD countries.

      1. Yeah, and in non-OECD countries they can’t afford a welfare state anyway.

      2. Cite?

        There’s a lot of research out there showing that ethnic diversity tends to undercut support for the welfare state.

        You can go google it if you like.
        A random sample.
        http://www.vdare.com/articles/…..ss-welfare

        1. I misread your comment. I thought you said there tends to be less welfare (not less support for welfare). I’m aware of the research showing diversity reduces trust, altruism, etc. To address what I imagined you said, the widely cited Alesina and Glaeser research that negatively correlates diversity and the welfare state suffers from not being true if non-OECD countries are excluded.

    3. What ethnically diverse developed countries are there besides the US and maybe Canada? Europe is only ethnically diverse if you split hairs about ethnicities (ie, treating French vs. German as the same difference as African vs. German). It’s basically a bunch of white people with some darker immigrants, who can’t vote anyway, mixed in.

      1. Europe is only ethnically diverse if you split hairs about ethnicities (ie, treating French vs. German as the same difference as African vs. German)

        If you think that’s splitting hairs, you obviously have never been to Europe. Try telling a Belgian that the Flemish and the Walloons are the same people.

        1. You just made an enemy for life!!!

          1. JCVD is that you?

      2. Britain has had a large wave of immigrants starting in the late 1960s and early 1970s: Caribbean, South Asia.

        And Australia is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world. But, since the whole population is way smaller than the US, the immigrant pops are lower although the percentages are up there.

        1. The data that Hazel Meade is referring to doesn’t use “ethnicity” as a euphemism for race. So the most diverse OECD country is … Canada.

            1. I was referring to the Alesina et al data, which you obviously weren’t since I was imagining things.

              That said, they use ethnicity, not race. So in their research the Quebecois are a different ethnic group just like Ethiopian refugees.

    4. The Paul Ryan wing is convinced that it can sell voucherizing/gradual elimination of the big entitlement programs. The Mitt Romney wing, as amply displayed, knows you have to tell oldies they’ll get their goodies even while using anti-big-government slogans, cognitive dissonance the GOP’s moronic base is perfectly comfortable with.

      Mitt deployed the cynical strategy of saying basically “All you oldies who are gonna vote for me, you get your goodies. That axe job Ryan wants to do to them is for your children.”

      I can’t say whether this will sell to younger voters, who polls show are skeptical of the future availability of social safety net programs. But they’ll get old eventually, and we’ll have more and more oldies in the meantime, and either we preserve the programs or we watch our elders go hungry, forcing us to rebuild them anyway.

      1. If we preserve the programs we go bankrupt and our children get the shaft anyway.

        Medicare HAS TO die. It’s inevitable that it WILL, given it’s financial unsustainability. It’s just a question of how much of the US economy it takes down with it.

        1. If Medicare goes away that doesn’t mean healthcare costs do (and, sorry, but evidence shows the private sector options are more expensive, and even if you made up some speculative math about how it is, you can’t with a straight face claim that it would be universally available to the elderly). So while Medicare collapsing might be a small-government dream, the economy will still be bearing the healthcare costs. Taxation isn’t the only unwanted cost people have!

          We just have to decide if we want to tax ourselves enough to pay for old-age healthcare security, not that there’s really another option that’s not morally horrifying.

          You act like Medicare being unable to pay for itself will result in an immediate calamity. We fought simultaneous wars without paying a dime for them. It’s just more debt, an overarching problem that is solved by math.

          1. Of course not. That’s one reason why a “right” to healthcare is impossible. Resources are finite, and everyone is mortal, and everyone will spend an infinite amount of other people’s money to stay alive as long as technologically possible.

            The only solution to this is to NOT pay for people’s health care, especially in their old age. If they have the money and want to buy it themselves they are free to do so, but we MUST end the societal commitment to pay for other people’s medical care. Our future depends upon it.

            We just have to decide if we want to tax ourselves enough to pay for old-age healthcare security, not that there’s really another option that’s not morally horrifying.

            It’s sad that you can’t get past the inevitability of death, and that you let your “moral horror” at the idea of letting people die of old age drive you advocate financially insane policies that are detrimental to the cuntry and the lives of everyone else. Especially young people whose future will be diminished by the cost of attempting to delay the inevitability of death.

            Would you rather spend a billion dollars teaching children, or paying for cancer treatments for 80 year olds?
            Given that resources are finite at some point, you have to decide that the future is more important. Sadly, our old people are selfish assholes who want their Medicare more than they want their children to have a life.

      2. You think Paul Ryan actually wants to eliminate Medicare? That’s the problem with this country. You propose an optional reform that would save modest amounts of money in the big picture, and you’re a fire breathing, Randian, anti-government extremist

        1. Yes he does. Republicans at large have wanted to get rid of it since it began (along with Social Security). Voucherization is just a politically necessary intermediate step: they think they can sell it.

          This comes from a strain of antigovernment radicalism that has gone full steam since the New Deal, if sometimes under the radar due to periods of constant electoral defeat. Ryan’s statements on his philosophy are not significantly distinguishable from Rand Paul’s, which is far to the right of Richard Nixon and further to the right even than Reagan, so if they’re not radicals then who is?

          1. Wow. You are so delusional. Has observing the growth of government under various Republican presidents and Congresses done nothing to further skepticism of the Republicans supposedly anti-government philosophy? I don’t even know where to begin with your post. Do you think politicians are more radically anti-government today than before the New Deal? Do you actually think Paul Ryan is anywhere close to indistinguishable from Rand Paul, even if we just stick to fiscal and economic issues? This is a guy who VOTED FOR MEDICARE PART D (which was pushed and signed by a Republican president) and you think he wants to end Medicare, let alone all social programs? Do you think Rand Paul is within the mainstream of the GOP? Fuck, the Republican Party primarily consists of old people who lover their Social Security and Medicare, and you think the GOP wants to end those programs?

          2. Tony, you do realize you sound just like people who say Obama is a “socialist” and that ObamaCare nationalizes the healthcare system right?

            Isn’t it just possible that Ryan’s “reform” really is the kind of compromise he claims it is, and not some dastardly plot by secret-objectivists to slowly destroy it?

            Just as you yourself would argue that the PPACA really is a compromise based on Republican ideas, and not some secret socialist plot to take over the health care system?

  9. aspects of national greatness communitarianism with large entitlement programs.

    Sounds like he should be pretty happy with 4 more years of Obama, then. Sure, Obama is light on the national greatness rhetoric, but he certainly is walking the interventionist walk, isn’t he?

    1. That’s not quite how older Americans think. If anything they tend to be race tolerance conscientious with the ghost of the civil rights movement of the 60’s paralyzing their every thought. A scene in Reamde sums it up nicely. — SPOILER ALERT — A Vietnam Vet in his 60’s is about to be bludgeon to death with his own prosthetic leg by a black Islamic terrorist and what are his last thoughts? I hope he doesn’t think I’m a racist.

  10. “it’s the social cons and economic populists such as Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum who are the key to the party’s future”

    So the party’s future is death by suicide? Talk about living in a delusional group-think bubble. It would be funny if it were not so sad.

    1. They probably are the key to the party’s future.

      Nobody said that future has to last very long.

    2. Both would have an advantage in the Rust Belt where nostalgia for the unions and protectionism reign supreme. Even though Romney kowtowed that message of going after trade cheatin’ money manipulatin’ China, he couldn’t get past the image of being the ‘a pioneer of outsourcing’ that the Obama campaign tailored made as an accusation to wrap him in.

      1. They fact is that the utes in the rust belt hate the socons as much as any coastal elite.

        1. Yep. Santorum got pummelled in his home state of PA and in OH during the primary.

        2. In spite of what they may think of themselves, a fascist could easily strain populist sentiments out of these utes of the Rust Belt if he played upon the right resentments.

          1. Reminds me of one of the sub themes in a ‘Journey to the End of the Night.’ Celine’s autobiographical novel. Sophisticated, educated, and irony soaked European ute find themselves as susceptible to the drum beat of war and division as anyone else. I doubt if your average hipster in Akron or Pittsburgh has even the fortitude of Celine’s contemporaries to resist that call. I’m sure those bomb throwers in Athens are a hep as any ute in the Rust Belt.

    3. I know sociocons all look the same to cosmos, but lumping Huckabee and Santorum together is silly. They’re totally different types of social conservative.

      1. Of course, Santorum is a filthy, idolatrous Papist; whereas Huckabee is a schismatic heretic who denies the teachings of the True Church.

        1. No. Santorum is a full-blown theocrat, while Huck is more of a traditional politician who laces his rhetoric with religion to get votes.

          1. Fair enough.

            1. …with religion and bass guitar.

  11. “The GOP needs to channel its inner libertarian. The Republicans need to pick a new type of presidential candidate”

    That’s great. I’m glad Will came to his senses. Problem is? Getting screwed fiscally by Obama, Reid and John “Big Spender” Boehner–isn’t about to be solved by the Republicans picking a different kind of presidential candidate four years from now.

    Best solution now is trying to change people’s minds in the present. That’s why Reason is more important than what kind of candidate the Republicans pick four years from now. Reason actually works to change people’s minds. We need more Gillespie, Welch, KMW, et. al. on television. There’s a donate button at the top of this page.

    Long term, we should try to keep our minds open, too. If people think the libertarian vote can’t be won becasue we won’t vote for any Republican unless he’s endorsed by the LP, then that’s bad news for free minds and free markets.

    Our best chance at actually attaining real influence with those in power has always been that our platform would be co-opted by some future president the way FDR co-opted the communist party platform. Although, if that ever happens, I have a sinking feeling that whatever candidate tries will be denounced by my fellow libertarians as not being a “real libertarian”.

    1. Uh oh…I said as much in another thread last week and got a blowtorch for my troubles.

      1. Ken has been TEAM REPUBLICAN for a while now, so we’re used to it.

        1. I am to an extent, too, but only insofar as I want to take it over and remake it in a libertarian image.

          1. Randian has been TEAM NEITHER TEAM for an even longer while.

            1. Yep. I find that it winds up being right waaaay more than latching onto either one of the mendacious and malicious other TEAMs is.

              1. But it winds up being right less often than adopting a consistent outlook and following that.

                Sometimes one of the TEAMs is actually right.

              2. I find that it winds up being right waaaay more than latching onto either one of the mendacious and malicious other TEAMs is.

                Yay for narcissistic permanent powerlessness.

      2. Ken thoroughly endorsed voting for someone to replace Obama.

        Ken thinks trying to influence Barack Obama with a vote for Johnson was senseless.

        There is no ear sympathetic to libertarian ideas in the Democratic Party.

        And as long as we have single member districts and the winner takes all in the electoral college, it is highly unlikely that there will ever be a president who wins office on the LP ticket.

        1. Ken is making the libertarian kittens cry.

          1. ha ha, sure thing. Here’s a recipe for electoral success:

            1. Run another bland-as-fuck Big Government loving Republican in 2016.
            2. Lose election
            3. ????
            4. Blame libertarians!

        2. Once he surrounded himself with neocon foreign policy advisors, preferring Romney to Obama was indefensible from a fiscal responsibility angle. Starting a war in Iran would be a hugely costly error that would dwarf any possible benefit from rolling back Obamacare, which I never really believed Romney would have done if elected anyway. And his budget plan (keep spending the same amount, hold taxes steady or reduce them, and the deficit will magically fix itself!) was never credible in the first place.

          I might have considered voting for the GOP candidate had they actually nominated someone who presented a legitimately better alternative to Obama. But Romney wasn’t even a good “hold your nose and pull the lever” candidate. He was George W. Bush IV.

          1. I agree entirely. I legitimately have a hard time deciding which TEAM leader I “preferred”, the one who was going to press for an Iran War or the one who took nationalized healthcare and the auto industry.

          2. We’ll discuss this further when BO starts a war with Iran.

            1. I figure the odds are 50% under BO, 85% under Romney. Take the total likely cost of the war and multiply it by the difference in probability and BO still comes out way ahead.

              1. Concur. I was not all that sad about the re-election, truth be told.

              2. So it’s totally unfalsifiable. Nice.

                I don’t see any reason to think MR’s likelihood of starting a war with Iran was higher than BO’s. It’s not like BO has been letting his pacifism flag fly the past four years.

                1. I don’t see any reason to think MR’s likelihood of starting a war with Iran was higher than BO’s. It’s not like BO has been letting his pacifism flag fly the past four years.

                  One party whooped and hollered for boots on the ground in Libya.

                  One party whooped and hollered that we were honoring our Status of Forces Agreement in Iraq.

                  One party whooped and hollered about the timetable for withdrawal from Afghanistan.

                  One party has been whooping and hollering about Iran much louder than the other.

                  Unless you’re being totally dishonest with yourself so that you don’t have to deal with reality, you know this is correct.

                  1. One party whooped and hollered for boots on the ground in Libya.

                    Apparently Gingrich = GOP.

                    Your whole list is mostly bullshit btw.

                    1. The Dems have been far from anti-war, but the Republicans have been more belligerent on Iran, were more upset over the Iraq withdrawal, are more critical of timetables for the Afghanistan withdrawal, and many were critical of the president for “leading from behind” in Libya. Also, Tulpa, all of this (whether we’re talking fiscal/economic policy, foreign policy, the drug war, etc) is unfalsifiable in that we can never know for sure what Romney would have done in his term as president compared to what Obama will do.

                    2. Bush and the GOP had 8 years to go to war with Iran and it didn’t happen.

                    3. Maybe because they already started two other major wars, and the public wasn’t exactly itching for a third at the same time? Not to mention the logistics of the whole operation

          3. “Once he surrounded himself with neocon foreign policy advisors, preferring Romney to Obama was indefensible from a fiscal responsibility angle.”

            Oh, preferring Romney was defensible. Slippery slopes are indefensible.

            Certainly, Obama presents a bigger threat to our economic liberty than Romney posed–as a threat to invade Iran? Romney was incrementally more of a threat of doing that than Obama at most.

            I never said Romney was a libertarian, but after Obama nationalized General Motors and pushed through the individual mandate? Doing anything other than oppose Obama in the most direct way possible was indefensible from an anti-socialism/pro-individual liberty angle.

            1. Romney was incrementally more of a threat of doing that than Obama at most.

              No proof of that.

              1. Behold Randian!

                Objectivist master of the argumentum ad ignorantiam fallacy.

                That’s always Plan A with you, isn’t it?

                1. Ken, don’t you have a Republican Master to fellate or something?

                  1. That’s pathetic.

                2. Ken, because you cannot be bothered to read:

                  One party whooped and hollered for boots on the ground in Libya.

                  One party whooped and hollered that we were honoring our Status of Forces Agreement in Iraq.

                  One party whooped and hollered about the timetable for withdrawal from Afghanistan.

                  One party has been whooping and hollering about Iran much louder than the other.

                  Unless you’re being totally dishonest with yourself so that you don’t have to deal with reality, you know this is correct.

                  1. But one party whooping and hollering about repealing Obamacare, one party whooped and hollered about not raising taxes, one party whooped and hollered about cutting govt… that doesn’t count in Randian’s ‘verse.

                    1. Based on track record, there’s every reason to believe Republicans are serious about foreign military adventures. Not so when it comes to cutting government

                3. There’s nothing wrong with honest skepticism and demanding evidence, but Randian does it mighty selectively.

                  1. I have to take the parties at their word, Tulpa. The Republicans started Iraq. The Republicans make louder noises about Iran. The Republicans wanted boots on the ground in Libya. It’s WAR WAR WAR all the time with them.

                    1. I have to take the parties at their word, Tulpa.

                      LOL. Like you take Romney’s word about repealing Obamacare?

                  2. It’s a common theme with Randian…

                    It’s like an objectivist thing.

                    It’s a logical fallacy! If someone can’t prove that Romney didn’t present a bigger threat of invading Iran, now that he’s not in office, then obviously Obama is less of a threat?

                    Meanwhile, the opposite is just as easy to defend with the same fallacious reasoning. If Randian can’t prove that Romney would have been more of a threat to invade Iran, does that mean Obama wasn’t less of a threat?

                    The correct answer is no. Either way!

                    I’d love to say I made this stuff up, but the argumentum ad ignorantiam fallacy has been around for a long, long time.

                    I just don’t think they teach it in Objectivist school since it throws a lot of cold water on their standard argument for true atheism. You’ll see it a lot from him…

                    Behold Randian!

                    The master of the argumentum ad ignorantiam fallacy.

                4. Randian is not an Objectivist, his pretensions otherwise aside.

                  Ken, you’re right that we can’t afford to never vote for any team. Unfortunately, you have the opposite problem of being easy for the GOP. Romney was not acceptable.

                  1. “Romney was not acceptable.”

                    My paychecks going to keep UAW workers at GM making an average of $71 an hour–that’s unacceptable.

                    The government being free to make us buy broccoli or have the IRS sicced on us–that’s unacceptable.

                    I’d have opposed Romney the moment he got into office. I was thought of around here as a Bush basher–I hated on him for so long.

                    I don’t think there was a threat of being easy for the GOP, there. The reason the unions have so much power within the Democratic party is because the unions are often the reason why the Democratic party wins.

                    Being the reason the Republican won might have given us more influence. Being one of many reasons why the Republicans lost? …not so much influence.

                    1. Not good enough Ken. There needs to be standards.

            2. I never said Romney was a libertarian, but after Obama nationalized General Motors and pushed through the individual mandate? Doing anything other than oppose Obama in the most direct way possible was indefensible from an anti-socialism/pro-individual liberty angle.

              I’m just curious, was there any degree of betrayal of libertarian principles on the part of the GOP candidate which would have changed this calculus for you? What if the Republicans had nominated Literally Hitler?

              And how do you pick one candidate over the other based on the GM bailout when both candidates endorsed it (if only belatedly on Romney’s part)?

              1. I don’t know about Ken, but if Santorum or Gingrich had gotten the nom I would have had deep reservations about voting for them. To put it another way, if BO had dropped out and Hillary got the Dem nom, I certainly wouldn’t have voted for Santorum or Gingrich.

                There wasn’t anyone on the GOP side this time around who is as bad as BO. He’s just terrible in every way.

              2. “I’m just curious, was there any degree of betrayal of libertarian principles on the part of the GOP candidate which would have changed this calculus for you?”

                Yeah!

                I think Obama’s an unusually high threat to our economic liberty.

                I think Obama is a much bigger threat to our economic liberty than Romney was to our civil liberties.

                If Romney hadn’t promised to sign the repeal of the individual mandate, I probably wouldn’t have supported him.

                If Romney hadn’t denounced the nationalization of GM, I probably wouldn’t have voted for him.

                If Romney had been a bigger threat to our civil liberties than Obama was–and as the same threat as Obama to our economic liberties, too? I wouldn’t have voted for him.

                I voted for Harry Browne and Badnarik, too. I’m not adverse to voting for Libertarians usually. But I think Obama presents an enormous threat to our liberty in a number of ways–much more so than Romney would have.

                It’s different with incumbents, too–for a number of reasons. Among them, newly arrived leaders use elections to legitimize their office, but incumbents use elections to legitimize what they’ve done. The latter is worse, and considering how especially socialistic Obama’s first term was–letting Obama legitimize what he’s done by winning is especially awful.

        3. I’m of the mind that the Elect should just start nominating and electing the president themselves, and it should be non-partisan. The people should only be voting for their Reps for the House. The Senate should be appointed by the states. The parties themselves are the ones that screwed up our system for their benefit, not ours, which is exactly what Washington himself feared would happen.

          1. That’s called parliament.

            It has its advantages.

            One of the disadvantages is that it makes it harder to vote out a bad leader.

            But since so many swing voters decided to keep a bad leader this election, I’m starting to think about how nice it would be in a parliamentary rather than presidential system, too.

    2. We have to stop saying cunt as much, too, right, Ken?

      1. Stop saying it and start doing it.

      2. You noticed there weren’t many women voting our way too, ey?

        1. We’re not Republicans, Ken.

          1. You speak for all of us now?

            I’m not a Republican, but some of us are!

            Whether you like it or not.

            Speak for yourself. You don’t speak for all of us. You certainly don’t speak for me.

            Since when has voting for the LP been the definition of a libertarian?

            1. Don’t objectivists ever think about what they say before they say it?

              1. Apparently they can at least be trusted to understand the difference between “Not all of us are X” and “All of us are Not X” which is more than we can say for you right now.

            2. Voting LP isn’t the definition of a libertarian, but voting for someone who wants to spend a trillion dollars a year on the military, double down on the drug war, keep all entitlements intact forever but maybe possible change the tax code in some undefined way at some indeterminate future point is about as far from libertarian as you can get.

              1. Belgian,

                Not if the other viable candidate is even worse from a libertarian POV.

                  1. If a candidate’s supporters are not distraught when he loses, but rather are having a great time tweaking supporters of the guy who got 48x their candidate’s votes, that’s a strong sign he wasn’t viable.

                1. As Graphite pointed out, the war issue may tip the scales the other way. Something I’ve been saying for months and something you and John have been foolishly screeching down like Rhesus monkeys.

                  1. Rational skepticism = foolish screeching?

                    You have no evidence for that belief. It’s pure TEAM NO TEAM rationalization.

                    1. To repeat myself:

                      One party whooped and hollered for boots on the ground in Libya.

                      One party whooped and hollered that we were honoring our Status of Forces Agreement in Iraq.

                      One party whooped and hollered about the timetable for withdrawal from Afghanistan.

                      One party has been whooping and hollering about Iran much louder than the other.

                      Unless you’re being totally dishonest with yourself so that you don’t have to deal with reality, you know this is correct.

                    2. You’re talking about rhetoric, not what actually happens.

                      I note that you suddenly don’t take rhetoric seriously on the issues where GOP rhetoric was more libertarian than the Dems’.

                    3. Because reality has not conformed to the rhetoric in economic issues the way it has in war/foreign policy issues, has it?

                    4. Hasn’t for the other party either, but you apparently trust their rhetoric.

                    5. Rational skepticism = foolish screeching?

                      No, foolish screeching is foolish screeching.

                      Every time there has been a military action in the last decade, Republicans either started it or have called on the Democrats to amplify it.

                      War on Drugs? Romney wanted to crank it up.
                      War on Afghanistan? Romney opposed the timetable
                      Complying with the SOFA? McCain and the rest of the Rs went apeshit that we didn’t keep people in Iraq.
                      Libya? McCain, Romney and the other Ticks in Congress wanted boots on the ground.

                    6. Oh come on. There were plenty of Republicans pissed about our involvement in Libya and eternal stay in AFG and IRQ. “McCain and the rest of the Rs”? Give me a break.

                    7. There were plenty of Republicans pissed about our involvement in Libya and eternal stay in AFG and IRQ.

                      Like who? Certainly not Romney or Paul Ryan, who were your standard-bearers, in case you missed it.

                    8. Libya? McCain, Romney and the other Ticks in Congress wanted boots on the ground.

                      Regarding Romney, that is a lie. Romney was cautious on Libya.

                2. Not if the other viable candidate is even worse from a libertarian POV.

                  Wow, Tulp. If I had voted for Obama, you might have a point.

            3. Randian has basically become de facto chief of Orange Tribe. TEAM NO TEAM

          2. Who said anything about Republicans? Not many women voted Libertarian, either.

            1. Not many PEOPLE voted libertarian.

              Somehow I doubt that has anything to do with the use of the word ‘cunt’ in these comments.

              1. “Somehow I doubt that has anything to do with the use of the word ‘cunt’ in these comments.”

                Probably, but the first step in attracting more women to the movement is to stop doing things that might actively drive them away, right?

                Seriously, encouraging other libertarians to refrain from doing things that might hurt us with women and minorities should never have been so controversial.

                The purpose of the site is to portray libertarianism positively to the masses–try not to fuck it up by saying stupid shit. That’s controversial, why?

                1. Seriously, encouraging other libertarians to refrain from doing things that might hurt us with… minorities should never have been so controversial.

                  Like not inquistorially questioning their ethnic heritage when they disagree with you? Good idea!

                2. Seriously, encouraging other libertarians to refrain from doing things that might hurt us with women and minorities should never have been so controversial.

                  This is true, but I think it’s less “controversial” and more “you will get made fun of for anything on this site.” And I am certainly aware that plenty of legit libertarians think H&R is a frathouse that doesn’t take women’s issues seriously enough. This is, to a small extent, true.

                  That said, I don’t think there is much of anything we could have done to attract the kind of women who think “access” means “free” and that “women’s health” is code for “gimmegimmegimme.” Romney was just about as pro-choice as Republicans come, and no kind of raging socon. The GOP has a major branding problem with pro-choice women, but the Dems went way beyond that this cycle to convince women, seemingly, that Romney would set them all up in forced childbirthing camps or something. I linked an article on Jezebel about how there would be no more dating if Romney won, since condoms would be outlawed or some bullshit like that.

                  Ain’t no amount of “cunt”s you can take back from these message boards that will change that kind of stupid.

                  1. Amakudari needs to work on a filter for women readers that replaces “cunt” with “Justin Bieber”.

                  2. “Ain’t no amount of “cunt”s you can take back from these message boards that will change that kind of stupid.”

                    Well, we don’t have to do these things sequentially. It’s more of a multi-pronged attack all happening at the same time.

                    We need to find ways to be more appealing to women. Very few of us started out as libertarians. And before someone can be persuaded, you have to persuade them to stick around long enough to hear us out.

                    We’re never gonna get what we want without getting more women on board. I’m not claiming to have the answer on how to do that. I’m just saying what makes sense to me. I’m certainly open to new ideas.

                    I don’t know how to appeal to women as a mass audience, but I know on first dates, I generally don’t use the “c-word” a lot. Not if I want a second date.

                    1. It’s true, and I don’t disagree with you in principle. But I’m pessimistic about the ability to persuade in general.

              2. There go the goalposts.

                We were talking about whether women voted libertarian, now you want to change to whether use of cunt on Reason depressed the female libertarian vote.

                1. This is directed toward Randian’s “point”.

                  1. Try to keep up with the conversation, Tulpa.

                    Actually, you know what? Just don’t. You’re not capable.

                    1. Looks like Randian’s meager supply of arguments ran out early this time.

                    2. Nope. We were talking about the use of the word ‘cunt’, and you for some weird reason decided to say “moving the goalposts”, which is basically code for “Tulpa’s lost again”, and I’m not interested in leading you by the nose to the conversation at hand, because your contributions are not all that interesting.

                    3. No code necessary: I pointed out precisely how you were moving the goal posts.

                  1. Yes, but the comment Randian was immediately responding to was about women voting for “our side”. Not about the vote-depressing powers of female genital references.

                  2. And of course, Randian tacitly accepted that the discussion was about that when he said “we’re not Republicans”.

  12. This just reinforces my view that Frum is one of the biggest idiots in politics today.

    That said, I don’t see a big dichotemy between social conservatism and libertarianism, really. It’s hard to quantify exactly, but I’d wager that 75% of social pathologies would virtually disappear if the State simply stopped promoting them, something libertarians would be happy to do.

    1. Frum’s past as a political pundit is a joke. He couldn’t fathom why the GOP got its ass kicked in 2006. (Iraq duh). He actually thought the GOP should wage a war on obesity. He thought Rand Paul would be a terrible liability for the GOP in 2010. He has, for all his ‘moderate’ sensibilities, a huge nativism boner which just makes talk about how the TP is alienating people away from the GOP more hilariously inept.

      He is a human POS and Canada is tired of having. It’s your turn to take him back.

  13. Frum argues, “originated in the party’s libertarian wing.” Meanwhile, it’s the social cons and economic populists such as Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum who are the key to the party’s future

    Is this guy really that stupid? What a retard!

    1. Frum is a Greek rioter throwing Molotov cocktails aimed at austerity. Except he is from Canada, and his bombs are just concern trolls of the US right wing. What he is not getting is the reason fiscal conservatism is getting a little bit of a hearing in the GOP, in spite of his Keynesians warnings to ignore it, is due to it being huge fucking deal that can’t be ignored. He only sees it as a hindrance to a program for socialized medicine AND National Greatness. He is by far the most expensive guy to be taking advice from. He’s going to leave you holding a dinner tab in the gazillions. If you took Naomi Klein out for that dinner consultation instead of Frum you would have still come out cheaper.

      1. Re: Killazontherum,

        Frum is a Greek rioter throwing Molotov cocktails aimed at austerity.

        Plus, he looks weird.

  14. Sorry, you all complain about Frum, but I’d reserve my ire for that lewinsky-press lap dog, georgewill. He has played the power-apologizing courtier so long that one should always suspect the well-lubricated bs that comes out of his token-conservative pen and mouth.

    1. He lost a lot of credibility with me by predicting a huge Romney win. You almost had to be swimming in a Republican echo chamber to think that would happen.

      1. From what it sounds like, he would have lost a lot more credibility if Santorum would have been the nominee and lost in a landslide, since the idiot predicted that the likes of him are the future for the GOP. He must be a dem operative, or he really is retarded.

        1. Hahah wow, I missed that. Yeah, that’s especially mendacious coming from a guy who seems to embrace the case for libertarianism, at least enough to question the Drug War.

          1. I was talking about Frum, not George Will. I may have confused your comment about predicting a Romney win as referring to Frum when it was George Will? Not sure…

            1. Ohhhh hahah, yeah I was talking about George Will. Frum has never had any credibility AFAIC.

  15. As Brookings’ Scott Winship has documented, economic mobility has not slowed in the past several decades (for more on that, go here).

    I call shenanigans here. If you look at the study mentioned, it compares income growth in the 1960s to income growth in the 1980s and then uses it draw conclusions about what is going on now. It does somewhat humoursly demonstrate what’s wrong with the right’s mindset that 30 year-old economic data is considered current, though.

    Even if they used current data, the study is more fundamentally flawed in that it only measures income growth (how much does someone’s income grow overtime) and assumes that is equivalent to social mobility (can someone born to lower status parents move to a higher status through hard work)? If you look at the linked NRO article, it’s basically admits that if you look at the statistics that your success is largely determined by your parents sucess, but then goes into a long rant about how statistics is just a voodoo plot by liberals to confuse use about what our gut tells us with thier fancy “math” and “science”.

    1. Even if they used current data, the study is more fundamentally flawed in that it only measures income growth (how much does someone’s income grow overtime) and assumes that is equivalent to social mobility (can someone born to lower status parents move to a higher status through hard work)?

      How else would you objectively measure mobility?

    2. Here’s a better study of intergenerational mobility.

      it’s basically admits that if you look at the statistics that your success is largely determined by your parents sucess

      That’s always going to be the case because of the unmentionable.

    3. If you look at the linked NRO article, it’s basically admits that if you look at the statistics that your success is largely determined by your parents sucess, but then goes into a long rant about how statistics is just a voodoo plot by liberals to confuse use about what our gut tells us with thier fancy “math” and “science”.

      Why don’t you just go ahead and quote that alleged ‘rant’ for us all, Stormy?

  16. Nick, do you run into Frum at DC cocktail parties or something? Is this the reason that you publicly declare your “like” for a political troglodyte and lose the respect of actual libertarians that might frequent this website?

    1. Cancel my subscription!

    2. This is typical for journos who are about to rip in to a public figure, to blunt criticism that they have a personal vendetta or something. It is pretty jarring if you take it literally.

      I still can’t get over Matt Welch saying he “liked” John McCain four years ago, after writing a damning book about him.

      1. Cool gimmick. Let me try.

        I like Nick Gillespie but I wish he’d lose the juvenile leather jacket that makes him look intellectually and aesthetically stunted.

        1. Naw, doesn’t work. You just sound like a dumbass. I guess it’s just The Jacket’s own special power.

      2. I think you can like someone personally, and still think their politics are terrible and stupid.

        1. I have yet to like someone personally that advocates the murder of innocents as a policy. YMMV.

    3. I don’t remember Postrel ever liking Frum…

    4. You know who else were as likable as David Frum? Hitler and Stalin.

      1. We still talk about Hitler and Stalin even though they’re dead. Frum’s name will never leave anyone’s lips after he’s been dead for a few weeks.

  17. Romney was your typical prominent Republican, except less libertarian on immigration, retirement, health care, and budget cuts. The idea that he was too libertarian just feeds into Frum’s preconceived ideas.

    Since the marginalized are the victims of virtually every government policy, save direct transfer payments, it’s hard to frame liberty in a way that doesn’t help the marginalized.

    The drug war disproportionately targets and victimizes the poor. Almost every government regulation forces the poor to buy fewer goods at higher prices, even if they’d rather buy more goods at lower prices. And even though the poor benefit from some safety-net style programs, these are rife with indignities and hypocrisies.

    Programs for the poor are preachy and often try to control what the beneficiaries buy. Various programs require drug testing. Most ridiculous of all is the multiple tiers of welfare. Poor people get some basic safety net programs; the middle class gets unemployment and stimulus for school administrators; large companies and big unions get massive bailouts to keep their jobs.

    Government isn’t egalitarian and it isn’t compassionate. The one benefit it offers is allowing people to subcontract out their own (deeply felt) moral duties to help the less fortunate.

  18. How is it that Charles Darwin, who has been dead for 100 years, can get 4,000 votes (20% of the total cast) in a single county in Georgia running against an idiot, yet a well-qualified Gary Johnson, running against two idiots, barely breaks One Million votes nationwide?

    (Congressman) “Broun sparked controversy when he was caught on tape decrying science to a group of Christian donors at Liberty Baptist Church in Hartwell, Georgia. The former medical doctor and member of the House Panel on Science, Space and Technology said on September 27, “God’s word is true. I’ve come to understand that. All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell. And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who are taught that from understanding that they need a savior.”

    … Atlanta syndicated radio host Neil Boortz, who said that Broun is bad for Republicans in general because he makes the Party “look like knee-dragging, still-tending, tobacco-spitting Neanderthals.”

    Raw Story (http://s.tt/1sNCP)

    1. Maybe Broun is uncomfortable with the inflationary hypothesis and thinks we need to find a new breakthrough to explain the missing mass.

    2. There’s nothing wrong with still-tending, and I bet you will be hearing from the Neanderthal Anti Defamation Club tomorrow. (And I’m talking about a real Club!)

  19. Frum’s hostility to libertarianism is long-lived – he wrote a piece in The Weekly Standard denouncing “the libertarian temptation” back in 1997 – and he plainly prefers a moderate conservatism that blends aspects of national greatness communitarianism with large entitlement programs.

    Ergo – Frum’s a socialist.

    Clearly Mitt Romney didn’t resonate with “the middle class” but it wasn’t because he was too libertarian on either social or economic issues.

    Mostly, he sounded like the kind of cuddly and lovable conservative socialist that Frum should have loved.

    1. Mitt is just about as much Libertarian as Obama. IOW, not at all.

    2. Everyone’s a socialist from your point of view. Your dogmatism makes your opinions completely irrelevant to the real world. You do acknowledge that, right?

      1. Your dogmatism makes your opinions completely irrelevant to the real world.

        Hilarious.

      2. Re: Tony,

        Everyone’s a socialist from your point of view.

        Frum is not “everybody”, Tony.

        Your dogmatism makes your opinions completely irrelevant to the real world.

        Get the man some swabs, he just bit his tongue.

        You do acknowledge that, right?

        He’s hemorrhaging!

        1. I’ll take that as a yes.

  20. I’m trying to have an opinion, but mostly I don’t give a fuck how the GOP wants to commit electoral suicide, as long as it does it.

    We just need to join the rest of the civilized world and have one major liberal socialist faction and one major conservative socialist faction.

    1. So…now you’re openly calling for fascism? Because that’s what conservative socialists are.

      1. I’m calling for Tories. Though, really, what the hell are Tories useful for?

      2. Re:Gojira,

        now you’re openly calling for fascism? Because that’s what conservative socialists are.

        So are liberal socialists. They pay lip service to the idea of sticking it to big business, but look who payrolls both sides to know it is all a sham.

    2. You’ve managed to fit quite a lot of derp in so little space, Spacebar.

    3. Because the only discussion anyone should be having is about gay marriage.

      Economics should be totally off the table!

      Like that’s ever going to happen Tony.
      Truth is, economics is always going to be the main driver of political discourse, because it’s the thing that really makes the most different in people’s lives. It affects a lot more people’s lives when their tax rates go up, and in a lot more ways when regulations are added. That level of control and that loss of income is felt much more deeply than a largely academic debate about who gets a piece of paper saying their married.

      It’s always going to be about economics and there’s always going to be resistance to people taking one’s income to give it to other people. That debate is never going to go anywhere. All it can do is turn into an endless battle between identity groups for a larger share of the loot.

      1. “Economics should be totally off the table!”

        Economics is to progressives as creationism is to bible-thumpers.

        Progressives just don’t believe in economics.

        Because they don’t.

    4. But anybody calling anybody socialist is delusional.

  21. It has been the social conservatives who have been most alert to the economic travails of the middle class

    Derp.

    That makes a lot of sense now that you think about it.

    See, “Social” conservatives? They prioritize economic policy

    And Fiscal Conservatives? They’re all way too busy being godless homos.

  22. GOP establishment gets its candidate and he flops. So of course it’s the TP/libertarians’ fault. Being a GOP neocon means never having to say you’re sorry.

  23. Should be interesting to see how that all works out.

    http://www.Privacy-Guyz.tk

  24. I like the phrase “night-watchman-state libertarians.” In fact, I like the phrase “night-watchman-state.” Would any of the existing 50 qualify as the “night-watchman State” or would we need a 51st that had the right stuff?

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