Election 2012

Libertarians vs. Conservatives: "We've seen some real progress"

Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds, responding to wailing and gnashing of teeth among many conservatives in the wake of last week's election.

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Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds, responding to wailing and gnashing of teeth among many conservatives in the wake of last week's election:

See, libertarians are less despondent because (1) conservatives start out gloomier; and (2) we're much more used to disappointment. Also, we've seen real progress in many areas over the last couple of decades.

More here.

Indeed, we saw historic progress (times two) in last week's elections, with the passage of marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington, and marriage equality in three states.

I would have preferred seeing Barack Obama repudiated at the polls given that his economic, immigration, regulatory, foreign policy, and other policies have been disastrous. And that he couldn't muscle a budget in the past several years (indeed, he couldn't even force the Democratic Senate to produce a budget plan for discussion) is a major failure of leadership. But as Reynolds suggests, real progress happens above and beyond any particular electoral or political results.

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  1. “Marriage” “Equality” is what people are hanging their hat on?

    And a 4% possible shift in marijuana laws that will likely get squashed at the Federal level (either legislatively or via executive fiat)?

    It’s hard to feel “doom and gloom” when the Titanic is already 90% underwater. Mostly one should just feel dumb at that point.

    1. Hypothetical: What if the states still refusing to comply with ObamaCare become genuinely militant on the matter, and declare absolute resistance to the legislation? Wouldn’t thatbe something to cheer about?

      1. Oho, you almost got me RPA!

        I guess it would be. But there’s a lot of hypotheticals I can cheer about. Just not too many, uh, realities.

        And even the hypotheticals I can see pretty big holes in. Drone sized holes, if you will.

        1. Another civil war? Would DC really stoop to that if, say, Texas and Missouri and a few other states say no?

          1. Would DC really stoop to that if, say, Texas and Missouri and a few other states say no?

            Yes, the Progressives have been itching to put their “eugenics” programs back into practice for awhile.

            1. I envision the resistant bloc forming state and local militias and the feds being too chickenshit to do anything about it.

              1. It’s a beautiful vision, but unfortunately, the Feds spend a lot of money and time planning to combat this very thing. (Also see Rex 84).

                1. 1) I’m not convinced such a plan would even be marginally adequate if the civil resistance to federal diktat were widespread enough.

                  2) Either way, what if state governments were declaring the resistance as well/instead of the general population?

                  And I’ve heard of Red 84, but that opening paragraph literally threw me into a fit of rage. No way in Hell would that shit be tolerated.

                  1. 1) I’m not convinced such a plan would even be marginally adequate if the civil resistance to federal diktat were widespread enough.

                    I hope that the Oathkeepers movement will be influential enough among servicemembers, for example. I could see a Maoist-type “people’s war” against urban centers going on for a while, but to win, the inertia that must be overcome to win is enormous.

                    2) Either way, what if state governments were declaring the resistance as well/instead of the general population?

                    They would need the cooperation of their National Guards, I don’t know if they would get it.

                    1. They would need the cooperation of their National Guards, I don’t know if they would get it.

                      It’s not the states that have been sending them off to the Middle East to get blown up.

                    2. But it’s still true, as much as I hate to admit it. The National Guards are de facto federal military.

                  2. Rex, not Red. Though either is a fitting name.

    2. “”””Marriage” “Equality” is what people are hanging their hat on?””‘

      I thought that libertarians were against government licensing but here they seem to like the fact that more people are getting government licenses. Shouldn’t the libertarian position be to get rid of government marriage licenses?

      1. I think the consensus is that since there’s already government licenses, libertarians should at least be happy that they’re going to all kinds of couples now.

        But yes, obviuosly, the government getting out of every part of it except for the contract enforcement part is the libertarian platform. And some don’t even agree on the contract enforcement part.

        1. I dont think their is consensus.

      2. I think that is a bad argument against gay marriage. It could equally well be applied to interracial marriage or any other arbitrary or groundless restrictions on who can marry whom. It is, however a good argument against state defined marriage at all. But I think that there are differences of opinion on what roll the state should play in marriage. It isn’t really a license so much as a ready made contract, which isn’t too offensive as long as government doesn’t try to use it for social engineering.

        1. Its a ready made contract which the State can change whenever they want and even back date the changes to people who are already married.

          1. Which is not good. But denying chunks of the population recognition of their marriages does nothing to address that problem.

            1. No one is denying recognition. Get the state out of the business and let individuals recognize whatever they wish to recognize.

        2. It isn’t really a license so much as a ready made contract, which isn’t too offensive

          It is if you want different contractual terms.

          IMO, wedding vows are binding oral contracts. But the states overrule them with their laws instead.

          “No fault” divorce laws are a bigger anti-libertarian farce than marriage licensing even. When contracts are broken, fault is exactly what the courts are supposed to decide.

          1. You do realize that courts are a part of government, right?

      3. this is small ball stuff, almost the material of bread and circuses. Give them their pot and let the gayz get married, and they’ll overlook all the other things being done to them.

      4. While you’ve got a point, the biggest problem with licensing is the way it’s used to limit entry. In this case it’s expanding availability to official marriage licenses so that people who were denied certain benefits in the past can now obtain them. Unless I’m missing something….which happens on occasion.

        1. But in this case it’s like a municipality issuing a dog license to a cat, and then its owners entering it in the dog show because, “See? It’s a dog.”

      5. I thought that libertarians were against government licensing but here they seem to like the fact that more people are getting government licenses. Shouldn’t the libertarian position be to get rid of government marriage licenses?

        Do we have to rehash this argument every fucking time gay marriage comes up? Yes, we’d rather have the government out of the relationship-defining business, but until then, it would be better if the government didn’t discriminate against homosexuals.

        I mean, holy fucking fuck, I’m an ancap and even I see that as a better option.

        1. Exactly. If the options on the ballot are marriage equality or marriage inequality, “no State marriage” is not an option to choose, and the former is obviously more libertarian in removing the government’s ability to discriminate.

          As there are a plethora of federal laws directly related to marriage, gay marriage must be recognized at the federal level until all such laws are stricken from the books. With things like spouse visas and the tax code, there are more complexities than simply saying “the Federal government is now officially not involved in determining marital status.”

  2. That’s all well and good, but conservatives are likely to take small comfort in marijuana legalization. Yes, it’s the beginning of rolling back one of Leviathan’s largest areas of idiocy, but it’s largely going to benefit those who despise conservatives.

    As to gay marriage…it takes a strange kind of “conservative” (Andrew Sullivan et al) to be cheered by such.

    I mean, I’m glad libertarians can see silver linings. But they still look kind of grey to me.

    1. That’s because they are.

      Unless Bill Pullman shows up and unites all the peoples of the world against the alien threat from DC, we’re fucked.

      1. I thought we were waiting on Bill Paxton to find the supertornado that’s been haunting this country since it’s dad walked out on us?

        1. Yeah, but Bill Pullman blows alien motherships up with nukes and shit. Tornadoes ain’t got shit on Bill Pullman.

          1. What, like Bill Paxton never blew up alien motherships? He did that plenty. Plus he was a Navy SEAL and has a whole album of pro-pot sea shanties.

            What else did Pullman ever do? Beat up on some spiders?

            1. So contending with man-eating super-crocodiles and taking part in a plan to create a New Earth isn’t worth anything?

              Who the hell do you think you are?! Matt Damon?!

              1. Just because you hate Mormons is no reason to throw Paxton under the bus. You just keep overlooking the fact that he was the vanguard of the humans defense against an onslaught of futuristic cybernetic automatons AND made sure that the greatest gorilla that ever lived made his way back to Africa.

                Strong on Defense, Strong on the Environment. That’s Bill Paxton.

                1. Well done, gents.

    2. Marijuana prohibition was part of “the New Deal”. Marijuana legalization is part of “rolling back the New Deal”.
      If you can’t get excited about rolling back the New Deal (no matter how small a portion), you are progressive scum.

      1. I like your take there.

      2. +100.

      3. I could get excited about it if and when it happened.

        If you are excited about the current ‘rollbacks’ and think that’s what they actually are, then you are either functionally retarded, or so starved for anything that you’re content to go full optimist at the mere hint of a crumb falling from the god-king’s table.

        I for one will hold off on my excitement until I see how old Uncle Sugar feels about his subjects getting all freedomy.

        1. Well, it will be interesting to see how it plays out, anyway. I’m trying to shift my mindset to more of a detached observer since, if I am honest, very little of what I would like to see happen is likely to happen any time soon.

      4. I like it because it’s another wedge between the states and the Feds, another reminder for people that DC isn’t “us”, it’s “them”.

  3. I confess, I read Reynolds daily. But he, along with Bill Maher, et al, is a prime reason that my beloved word “libertarian” is being watered down into meaninglessness. Gary Johnson go 1% of the vote. Go ahead and triple that percentage to cover the Constitution Party, a couple of Greens, and the suckers who believed that they “had” to vote for Romney, and you get 3% of us who are libertarians.

    I listen to Hannity (oh god, another confession) on my commute, and I can’t count the times he and other callers said that if Obama got reelected, this was the “end” of the country. Well, they were wrong, that shark jumped back in 2008. It was “over” then, and it’s over now. Freedom lost. And I put approximately 50% of the blame on the republicans for being hypocrites who preach one thing but practice another. Can’t wait to run into the ones who told me that I had to vote Romney because Ron Paul couldn’t beat Obama.

    1. heh, among the 7 billion chimpanzees, libertarians must be some kind of genetic mutation

    2. I’m pretty sure we started down that road a lot longer ago than 2008. Has there been anything but a steady march toward the bigger, more all-encompassing state since 1932 or so?

      1. In the USA, or worldwide? In the USA alone, I could list freedoms gained since then enough to bust severalfold the 900 char. limit. How about just one? In 1932, porn was illegal. I mean pornography, not just that which goes as obscene or kiddie porn today. It was enforced at the federal, state, and local level. And I mean both text y pix.

        Oh, OK, can’t resist adding another: Could you have started another phone company in 1932 against the monopoly provider? Could you even attach a piece of equipment not provided by Ma Bell to your line?

        You like 1932? How about those usury laws, huh? How about the blue laws? How about Jim Crow laws? Why don’t you go back to 1932 and try being a nurse practitioner? Or a paralegal? Or opening a casino?

        1. The end of temporary slavery via conscription ought to make the list.

    3. Gary Johnson wasn’t much of a libertarian IMO, as he resolutely refused to countenance any takedown of the Fed, the TBTF banksters, etc. “They didn’t commit any crimes.” ?

      For all the good it did, I wrote in Ron Paul. At least he recognizes the core problem of crony capitalist corruption and makes some noise about it, even if he’s just selling a line. Audit the Fed, bring the budget into balance by cutting the defense-medical-retirement tax complex across the board by 40%, repeal the 16th and 17th amendments, etc.

      1. Dude, Gary Johnson was plenty critical of the Fed and would have rolled it back greatly. It just wasn’t his overarching personal project like it is Ron Paul’s.

        Jesus, people can’t be happy with a rare politician that agrees with you – if he’s doesn’t express at least as much intensity of passion you do, he’s obviously an impure fraud politician…

  4. Indeed, we saw historic progress (times two) in last week’s elections, with the passage of marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington, and marriage equality in three states.

    If we’re talking about progress in terms of the government becoming less involved in sanctioning the private, voluntary decisions of adults, then it would seem that only marijuana legalization is progress. Just like libertarians want an end to sugar subsidies, not to make sure all agricultural products are given subsidies, I think progress is stopping the government from giving special recognition to marriage.

    1. Would you support the reinstatement of anti-miscegenation laws? It seems to me that if you oppose gay marriage recognition on those grounds, then it would logically extend to any restriction on marriage that would reduce the amount of special recognition of marriage.

      1. No, that would also be an example of government becoming more entwined with marriage and thus tougher to untangle.

        1. I don’t follow. If laws that exclude gay couples are good, wouldn’t laws excluding other types of couples also be good?

          1. The law exists to exclude people. That’s what any marriage recognition does. Get rid of the whole thing.

            1. That would be my preferred solution.

              1. Mine as well.

            2. Egalitarianism – inherently destructive.

      2. As far as libertarianism goes, any state intrusion into the voluntary associations of adults is a negative. You’re talking about reinstatement of laws while Bee Tagger is talking about ending subsidized romantic unions. As long as “mix race” or same sex couples aren’t being barred from getting married in whatever fashion their individual belief systems they choose, there is no problem. But the only way to be truly equal is to not let the state define anything by handing out benefits to select groups.

        1. And then what criterion are courts to apply when someone takes a case to court about whether A is married to B? As long as the state runs courts, the state will define these things.

          1. Um, you can engage in any contract with an number of people you like, if there is a dispute bring the contract.

            Wait, no written contract, ok so no marriage.

            That said this is not a novel issue nor specific to marriage law as courts are asked to adjudicate verbal contracts all the time.

      3. Ooooh, good point. We should also ban other types of marriages:

        1) Anyone more than 5 years older or younger than you are.

        2) Anyone more than 6 inches taller or shorter than you are.

        3) Anyone not from your native country.

        4) People who watch Honey Boo Boo.

        1. I believe that last one is already covered under not being mentally competant to consent.

    2. I think progress is stopping the government from giving special recognition to marriage.

      Yep, government should be in the business of enforcing legal contracts where applicable, not in deciding who may or not enter into them. Additionally, it’s none of the government’s business which religions choose to, or not to, perform marriage ceremonies among any number of consenting adults of any gender.

      1. Even before there was licensing of marriages, common law would not have recognized a same sex marriage. That has nothing to do with religion. People are asking the state to over-ride common, i.e. customary, law here.

        1. If customs change, wouldn’t customary law change?

  5. And I put approximately 50% of the blame on the republicans for being hypocrites who preach one thing but practice another.

    But we haaaaad to nominate the author of RomneyCare to run against Obama, it was his tuuuuuurnnnnn!!!!

    1. Yeah, even Tucker Carlson got that:

      “There are only two people in world history who have signed laws containing an individual mandate. One’s the president, the other’s running against him,” [Carlson] said. “So somehow out of three hundred and fifteen million Americans, The Republican Party managed to find the one guy who couldn’t run on Obamacare.”

    1. so the straight women and gay men round here can go to hell? Where’s our happy snap?

      1. so the straight women…round here

        Those are a myth.

        1. no no, we do exist. We just don’t sleep with you. Hence your confusion, my dear Mr Torso

          1. In this one case, I’m going to disagree with Bastiat.

            If you don’t believe in sleeping with me, you don’t believe in sleeping with men at all.

            1. you must meet a lot of lesbians

              1. Quite a few!

            2. You know who that is, right?

              1. Who are you asking about? Me, Bastiat or IFH? I can’t tell because the comments ran out of thread.

                1. There are some cross signalling going on. I’m going to confer with the coach first and get back on that.

                2. Coach said I got a concussion on the last play and need to walk it off on the sidelines. Disregard previous inquiry.

            1. Yeah, but the patriarchy is Empire in libertardian circles. Therefore, tits:

              NSFW

              http://s12.postimage.org/85favwwhn/1884.jpg

            2. at least you didn’t link to this

            3. Look what else they kept under wraps until after the election:

              Voice of Elmo on leave from Sesame Street after he was accused of having ‘sexual relationship with underage boy’

              http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..e-boy.html

              Still find it hard to believe that they used up an entire week campaigning to save Big Bird and won.

              1. Elmo’s a convicted sex offender. Why doesn’t anyone know this?

              2. the guy spends his working day fisting a little fellow barely two feet high, so this shouldn’t come as a big surprise

                1. Hey, what they do on airwaves that I own by spending money I earned is none of my business.

                  1. -flashing neon tag- THAT WHAT THEY REALLY BELIEVE -flashing neon tag-

                    1. Apparently flashing neon tags only support Eubonics.

  6. I think when the country goes bankrupt gay marriage and a few meaningless state laws legalizing pot will be pretty unimportant. We have a crony state and a President whose supporters will never hold accountable for anything. But hey, Colorado legalized pot allowing said President to send in the feds putting people in federal prison instead of state. And 2% give or take of the population can now get a certificate from the government. That makes it all better.

    1. We have a crony state and a President whose supporters will never hold accountable for anything.

      And that’s never going to change.

    2. Well, you have to take what you can get. No sense being gloomy and cynical all the time.

      1. Being gloomy and cynical really doesn’t interfere with my happiness.

        1. Most people in this country would support legalizing pot. But our political class doesn’t care. The people can go fuck themselves.

        2. Well, it’s been getting to be a bit much for me. This election was just too much idiocy to bear.

      2. It is true. Those laws don’t mean anything. First, I bet anything that, just like with the camera laws, even state cops will continue to bust people for pot. They don’t care. It still counts as an arrest on their records even if the charges are never brought. And they can confiscate the pot to keep it out of the hands of children. Then of course the Feds are going to destroy the lives of the poor bastards who actually set up any kind of business selling the stuff just like they did in CA.

        1. It is a small thing. But I’m still going with cautiously optimistic on this for now. I don’t expect it is very likely, but it woudl be interesting to see a state seriously challenge the feds on this.

          1. I would like to see that too. But I think the Supreme Court would smack them down.

            1. I think the feds will still have a free hand to go after any retailers and commercial-scale growers. Theoretically, of course, they can continue to go after users, as well, because Commerce Clause.

              I think the state would also be free to refuse to cooperate with or help the feds in any way. They couldn’t actively interfere with the feds, of course, but they also aren’t required to outlaw pot just because the feds do.

              But that’s the sideshow, in many ways. This will get linked to federal highway funds, count on it, and SCOTUS will uphold that, because they already ruled that the drinking age could be linked to highway funds.

              Once the highway funds get whacked, that puts a stop to other states legalizing. Whether it induces WA and CO to re-criminalize will be interesting.

  7. http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireS…..KD7AWfiutN

    More of that new professionalism Scalia is always yapping about.

  8. I am jsut grateful that the American Sheeple saw thought Romneys lies!

    http://www.anon-wayz.tk

  9. Sounds liek a plan to me dude.
    http://www.Geek-Anon.tk

  10. gay marriage and pot legalization are such small things that, even if indicative of gaining something, they get lost in the bigger picture. The nation re-elected a man whose sole talking point has been pushing the notion that raising taxes on a few rich guys solves everything. By that score, maybe legalized pot takes your mind off the sheer stupidity of POTUS’ claim, but it does nothing to disabuse it.

    1. Not true, he also ran on saving Big Bird, and your first vote should be like your first date with a great guy who makes third parties pay for the birth control the two of you use while fucking. He also ran on not being Bain Capital. I mean — Bain — fuck, come on! Their name is Bain! What could possibly be more substantial than those three issues in a national election?

  11. We need to face it: In the big scheme, gay marriage and pot legalization are sideshows, distractions, the sorts of things a canny autocrat would throw out to placate the masses while continuing to erect and refine the mechanisms of control.

    Is this country more free than it was 4, 12, 20 years ago? I don’t see how anyone can say it is. We are losing. Whether future historians will pick this election, or a previous one, as the last best missed opportunity, I couldn’t say. But there’s no incremental rollback of the Total State in our immediate future. We’re reduced to celebrating when the Master Class throws us a few crumbs.

    1. Unless you are gay and want the “privledge” to be legally married, then it is a “BIG” thing. You know, life, liberty and pursuit of happiness and all that.

      But yeah, if you’re not, you are right and that for a majority of us, this is just a side show and we are losing the freedom war. Cronyism is as rampant as it always has been. I mean, if we can’t even get ethanol subsidies killed, that really, what hope is there?

      1. Ethanol subsidies haven’t been killed, but EPA is no longer dictating which additives gasoline makers must use to oxygenate their winter fuel.

    2. It may not be more free overall, but it is more free in some ways. We got free trade agreements with Canada y Mexico. The US Sup. Ct. overruled the 1980s decision that said anti-sodomy laws were OK. A lot more states have pistol carry permits on a shall-issue basis now than 20 yrs. ago. We got med mj in several states. It was a little less than 20 yrs. ago that we got amendments to the FFDCA that led to the flowering of dietary supplements. We got charter schools in almost all states. We got OTC syringe y needle sales.

  12. Don’t forget to mention progress on eminent domain abuse (Virginia), public sector unions (Michigan), and GMOs (California).
    It wasn’t *just* the lefty ballot initiatives that went our way, it was also many of the righty ballot initiative.

    1. Or, rather the lefty ballot initiative that were not libertarian failed (mostly – except for a few tax hikes). The righty ballot initiatives that were libertarian suceeded (Obama Care, Eminent domain), and the righty ballot initiatives that were anti-libertarian failed (gay marriage).

  13. I would have preferred seeing Barack Obama repudiated at the polls

    He got 9 million less votes this year then he did in 2008.

    He was repudiated. Not the polls’ fault Romney sucked.

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