Rand Paul

Michael Gerson's Centrist Paranoia About Rand Paul


He's the statist on the right. ||| Eric Draper/White House
Eric Draper/White House

Earlier this week, Michael Gerson wrote a Washington Post op-ed concluding that "Republicans, in the end, cannot #StandWithRand." The piece was notable not just because Angry Bird Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) called it a "must-read," or because Gerson was a speechwriter for former president George W. Bush and author of the 2009 manifesto Heroic Conservatism, but because it's a classic outburst from what Reason's Jesse Walker has memorably christened "the Paranoid Center."

Start with the conspiratorial headline: "Rand Paul masks his true worldview." Masks? Really? The man recently discussed his worldview for half a day on the Senate floor, and has written two books chock full o' worldview since arriving in Washington. Yet Gerson is eagle-eyed enough to see through the cover-up:

[I]n the course of a 13-hour filibuster, it becomes impossible to hide your deeper motivations. Paul employs the prospect of drone murders in an attempt to discredit the "perpetual war" in which "the whole world is a zone of war." His actual target is the war on terrorism, which he regards as unconstitutional and counterproductive.

Well, praise the Devil and pass the hot sauce! Rand Paul thinks–accurately–that the war on terrorism is "perpetual," and that its practitioners and supporters do not recognize geographical boundaries on its waging, also largely true. Nothing about those views is secret, masked or hidden; Paul talks about this stuff constantly.

The one with the white shirt. ||| Eric Draper/White House
Eric Draper/White House

Gerson's lead paragraph is an awe-inspiring attempt to make Rand Paul seem so conpiratorial that he's hiding his paranoid tendencies. Check it out:

Since arriving in the Senate in 2011, Rand Paul has been probing here and there for issues of populist resonance. Audit the secretive, sinister Federal Reserve. Rein in those TSA screeners patting down little girls. In each instance, Paul (R-Ky.) has evoked the fear of oppressive government without tipping over into the paranoia of his father's most dedicated supporters. It has been a diluted, domesticated, decaffeinated version of the ideology that motivated Ron Paul's presidential races.

Follow the "secretive, sinister" link and you'll get a Sen. Paul "Audit the Fed" press release that has not even a whiff of "sinister," unless you count this sentence: "The Fed's operations under a cloak of secrecy have gone on too long and the American people have a right to know what the Federal Reserve is doing with our nation's money supply."

Is Michael Gerson saying that the Federal Reserve is not "secretive"? Is he saying that the TSA somehow doesn't pat down little girls sometimes? Nah–he just wants Rand Paul to look like a paranoid kook, and therefore exclude him from the arena of respectable debate. Which Gerson tried to do, without success, after Paul won an upstart GOP primary in May 2010:

Libertarian utopia = nightmare. Heroic conservatism in practice = ? |||

There is an even smaller subset of the tea party movement comprised of libertarian conservatives, representing a more developed intellectual tradition. Their goal is not just federalism but a minimal state at home and abroad. Their commitment to individual freedom—defined as the absence of external constraint—is nearly absolute. Taxation for the purpose of redistribution is theft. The national security state does not defend liberty; it threatens it. American global commitments are just another form of big government.

The closest this sect has come to serious political influence is Rand Paul's victory in Kentucky's Republican Senate primary this week. Paul has attempted to become more electable by distancing himself from the worst libertarian excesses. […]

Paul and other libertarians are not merely advocates of limited government; they are anti-government. Their objective is not the correction of error but the cultivation of contempt for government itself. There is a reason libertarianism has never been—and likely will never be—a national political force: because too many would find its utopia a nightmare.

Gerson predicted back then, with breathtaking inaccuracy, that conservative leaders "will either repudiate Paul's candidacy or they will be tainted by Paul's extremism." Equally ineffective was the compassionate conservative's follow-up warning in July 2010:

This man finds you scandalous. |||

The Republican wave also carries along a group of libertarians, such as Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul. Since expressing a preference for property rights above civil rights protections—revisiting the segregated lunch counter—Paul has minimized his contact with the media. The source of this caution is instructive. The fear is not that Paul will make gaffes or mistakes but, rather, that he will further reveal his own political views. In America, the ideology of libertarianism is itself a scandal. It involves not only a retreat from Obamaism but a retreat from the most basic social commitments to the weak, the elderly and the disadvantaged, along with a withdrawal from American global commitments.

Libertarianism has a rigorous ideological coldness at its core. Voters are alienated when that core is exposed. And Paul is now neck and neck with his Democratic opponent in a race a Republican should easily win.

Bolding mine, to focus the attention.

Those conservatives who have been attempting to marginalize Rand Paul in the way that they marginalized (with more success) Rand's father Ron, are in an increasingly uncomfortable position: railing against one of the few Republicans who is attracting more popularity both within and outside of the GOP. Why, they might even be inconvenienced enough to have to grapple with Rand's actual ideas, as opposed to the black-helicopter paranoia of their own invention.

Reason on the libertarianophobe Gerson here.

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  1. We clearly need a “Go Fuck Yourself of the Month” to go with the “Nanny of the Month” award.

    1. You don’t fool us. We all know that your REAL agenda is to get Michael Gerson to go fuck himself.

      1. Well, yeah. I couldn’t think of a way to name the award so as to make the directionality clear.

  2. So he worked in the White House for eight years and no one told him his haircut looks like ass?

    Seriously dude. Corey Haim called and said he wants his look back.

    1. Well, Corey’s ghost, but yeah. Nice.

      1. Corey’s Ghost is quite communicative, actually.


    2. While guys like Michael may not be as strong as apes, locking eyes with him or critiquing his appearance is still a very bad idea. It puts them on edge. They might go into berzerker mode; come at you like a whirling dervish, all fists and elbows. You might be screaming “No, no, no” and all they hear is “Who wants cake?” Let me tell you something: They all do. Guys like Michael Gerson all want cake.

      1. Jerri: Mr. Noblet wants me to snitch on a friend.
        Jellineck: Snitching doesn’t seem like you, Jerri.
        Jerri: Oh, it’s not what you think. It’s not like snitching on a real person. He’s–
        Jellineck: A neocon?
        Jerri: Retarded.
        Jellineck: Yes, most of them are.
        Jerri: Most who are what?
        Jellineck: Most neocons are retarded.
        Jerri: Does that mean Michael Gerson is a neocon?
        Jellineck: I don’t know. Hey! Make a pass at him and find out. He’d have to be retarded to turn you down.

      2. tarran, don’t mix your metaphors (dervish, bezerker). We have standards to uphold.

        1. Tonio, he’s just quoting Strangers With Candy. As was I.

        2. You…you’re othering me.

          1. Don’t worry about it Tonio.

            Lets go watch some gay porn so we can get our hate back.

            1. Hey Goldwater, why does your finger smell like his ass?

              Oh, and the only thing we hate worse than racists are spics.

    3. Seriously dude. Corey Haim called and said he wants his look back.

      C’mon now. All it needs is a little, square mustache, right under the nose, to complete the look.

    4. Seriously dude, let’s get past the physical appearance recoil. I’m on your side and something tells me you wouldn’t like how I look either. Fuckin metroman.

  3. Let’s not be mean to Michael Gerson. Remember, if it weren’t for the welfare that is politics and punditry, Michael being mentally unsuited to doing honest, productive work, the man would have starved to death messily in the street, attracting coyotes into city centers to scavenge his corpse. Once having exhausted the food supply of starving and dead politicians/pundits, the coyotes would then turn on human children.

    The cost of putting up with his puerile masturbatory writings outweighs the benefits of not having our children hunted by coyotes.

    1. I say let him starve. I have a rifle and a dog to deal with the coyotes.

    2. Oh, and nicely done, BTW.

  4. Poor Mikey, someone with some actual substance comes along and dashes his hopes of making a big noise.

  5. “In America, the ideology of libertarianism is itself a scandal. It involves not only a retreat from Obamaism…”

    I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say I laughed harder at this than anything I can remember.

    1. Yes, taking power back from your betters is always scandalous. You can’t honestly be expected to live appropriately without being told what “appropriate” is by your masters. Shame shame shame.

    2. My favorite lately was when Limbaugh said the other day, about the neocons fear of Crypto Rand Paul, that they suspect he “wants to use the military only to defend the country”.

      My god!

      1. ::Clutches pearls–faints::

      2. And the fact that Rand appears to have won over Limbaugh bodes well for his ability to reshape the GOP.

        1. Rand appears to have won over Limbaugh…

          …for now. Come 2016, when it’s time to choose between Rand and [bland moderate establishment “electable” candidate], we’ll see which way Rush chooses to go.

      3. Funny, that seems to be why I joined the National Guard, way back when. Somehow I ended up in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq.

        I was cool with doing what I was called up for (for the most part) but it is a bit of a headscratcher for the Illinois Guard to be so flippin’ far from Illinois so often.

    3. The neocons know that when libertarianism wins, we will still voluntarily support the poor, the elderly and the children. But they also know that no one will voluntarily support their evil plans to rule the world and control its resources.

      Well, except maybe Dr. Evil.

  6. You know, on some level, he’s right. Libertarianism does entail cutting back on gov’t commitments to the poor and elderly, it does mean curbing our commitments abroad, and it would be a nightmare for a huge number of people.

    That doesn’t change the fact that he’s a moron who may (or may not!) fuck sheep and Scotsmen.

    Also, fried chicken.

    1. Also, fried chicken


    2. No, JJ. Chicken fried steak.

    3. Yes, but the key word there is “government.” Don’t fall for the proggie fantasy that only government can provide relief and charity for those in need.

      1. I don’t. But that’s the point he’s making: most people want the gov’t to provide those things, and libertarianism would deny that. So he’s still correct.

        1. But all of that is fantasy. We are never going to walk away from welfare completely. And even if the feds did, the states wouldn’t. The government has gotten so big and its supporters so desperate, going back to 1980s level welfare is not considered to be the same thing as going back to the Articles of Confederation.

          1. We are never going to walk away from welfare completely.

            Hey, hey, hey whoa. Slow down there cowboy.

            I was assured that one day the welfare state will end and conservatives will finally emerge from their statist cocoons as beautiful, liberty-loving libertarians. Are you implying that conservatives know that the welfare state is a permanent fixture and are disingenuously staking out both sides of an issue?

            That’s not very nice of our conservative friends.

            1. Some welfare will always exist. People like it too much. I think it is very unlikely that we ever go back to the 1920s where Coolidge refused aid to the great flood because he felt it set a bad example of the government being responsible for people’s misfortune.

            2. The welfare state is spending itself into oblivion. We’re not just going back to the Articles of Confed, we’re going back to individual states, or maybe city-states.

              1. No, the entitlement state is spending itself into oblivion. Welfare, as in help to the poor, is for a place as rich as we are pretty cheap. Entitlements, as in legally mandated free shit to everyone, not so much.

    4. and it would be a nightmare for a huge number of people.

      Yes it would be. But most of those people are not poor or elderly. Most of them have big paying jobs in Washington.

      1. Most of them have big paying jobs in Washington.

        DC would look like post-outbreak Atlanta in The Walking Dead.

    5. Wait, since when did we have a problem with fucking Scotsmen? I’m going to have to rethink how comfortable I feel in this space.

      1. well if its a true scotsman you miht be ok.

      2. The poet McTeagle said it best, jesse. ” Can I have ?50 to mend the shed? I’m fight on my uppers. I can pay you back When this postal order comes from Australia. Honestly.”

        1. Owe gie to me a shillin for some fags
          And I’ll pay yer back on Thursday.
          But if you can wait till Saturday
          I’m expecting a divvy from the
          Harpenden Building Society.

        2. Frankly his best work was “What’s 20 Pounds to the Bloody Midlands Bank”

  7. This is astounding

    In each instance, Paul (R-Ky.) has evoked the fear of oppressive government without tipping over into the paranoia of his father’s most dedicated supporters. It has been a diluted, domesticated, decaffeinated version of the ideology that motivated Ron Paul’s presidential races.

    So Gerson is saying that Paul made a rational case warning against government oppression. And that is a bad thing?

    You could do this with virtually anything.

    In In each instance, Gerson has evoked the fear of oppressive atheism without tipping over into the paranoia of his Christianity’s most dedicated supporters. It has been a diluted, domesticated, decaffeinated version of the ideology that motivated Christian zealots for centuries.

    By Gerson’s logic any stance on an issue, no matter how reasonably presented is really just a Trojan horse for the most extreme version of the argument. what a douche bag. If Aaron Sorkin is the living embodiement of why people hate liberals, Gerson is his counter part for Conservatives.

    1. John, dammit, you’re not supposed to use logic listening to polit-noise. It’s meant to be *felt*, not thought about.

  8. In America, the ideology of libertarianism is itself a scandal. It involves not only a retreat from Obamaism but a retreat from the most basic social commitments to the weak, the elderly and the disadvantaged, along with a withdrawal from American global commitments.

    Because if the government doesn’t do it, no one will.

    1. While other children are wasting their time memorizing The Charge of the Light Brigade or Lady Gaga lyrics or whatever other shit kids are learning in public schools these days, I’m going to train mine to recite Bastiat:

      “Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.”

      With bonus cookies/bullion if they do it in French.

      1. Since all of the yutes like their tattoos these days, every one of them ought to have that quote tattooed on their chest as a condition of graduation.

        1. Hmm, I may have to think of getting that on my back.


          1. It’ll give the government goons some food for thought when they are fucking you in the ass.

          2. I am thinking of a Liberty/Justice ambigram to go underneath the Ama-gi on my back. On the rare occasion when someone recognize what the ama-gi tattoo is I want to kiss them like Joe Namath wanted to kiss Suzy Kolber.

        2. You know who else forced people to get tattoos?

          1. Mr. Roarke?

          2. Absent fathers?

          3. Various Polynesians tribes?

          4. Dennis Rodman?

    2. It involves not only a retreat from Obamaism

      “If you experience an Obamaism last for more than 4 hours, consult someone with a working brain.”

  9. The liberal media has been on a kick lately in covering the schism between the establishmentarian and Tea Party wings of the GOP. But in listening to their narrative, I’m a little confused. Am I supposed to see the GOP as the party of Bush/Rove and hate it because it’s the party of big government and limited civil liberties, or am I supposed to see it as the party of Rand Paul and hate it because it’s the party of limited government and renewed focus on protecting civil liberties? Lately, after listening to MSNBC cover the filibuster, I think I’m supposed to come away with the latter view, as if the Tea Party is even worse than what we had with BOOOSH!

    1. …But then they (Stewart, Maddow, and Maher for example) kinda sort throw a little praise Rand’s way. It like, in covering the schizoid nature of the GOP, the left is expressing their own schizophrenia over what they hold to be important.

      1. Projection from TEAM BLUE? It’s un-possible!

        1. It’s just TEAM politics, isn’t it. Attack the youthful, idealistic wing of the party because that’s where the youth and such will turn one day. But the praise from Stewart, Maddow, and Maher make it seem like they kinda…sorta…maybe think Rand Paul might…sorta be a helluva a presidential candidate one day.

          1. They’re just caught up in their partisan stupidity. They hate TEAM RED, and Paul is making some of the TEAM RED old guard very upset, so they like him. However, Paul wants to cut government, they hate him. Contradictory emotions from TEAM BLUE are par for the course, dude.

            1. I get that bit, but how the christ do they manage to hold them in their head without it blowing up? Every time I try to go down that path logically it (and my arguments) simply explode. It’s like that magic style in the Name of the Wind – you literally have to maintain multiple, competing worldviews – each with its own logic – in order to work the spell.

              1. Logical people cannot mimic this mindset. It is pure, illogical emotion. It involves zero self-reflection, zero self-awareness, zero metacognizing. These people don’t think; they react. They never ponder why they do things, they just do whatever they feel compelled to do.

            2. Contradictory emotions from TEAM BLUE are par for the course, dude.

              James T. Kirk would know how to handle that situation.

  10. Their objective is not the correction of error but the cultivation of contempt for government itself. There is a reason libertarianism has never been — and likely will never be — a national political force: because too many would find its utopia a nightmare.

    That is right. There has never been a tradition of mistrusting government in this country. This may be the most offensively stupid article, no written by Thomas Friedman or Charles Pierce, written this year.

    1. I don’t know, have you seen Bob Burnett’s stuff on “Republican Anarchists”?

  11. Rand Paul, if he ever becomes President, will use drones to kill people. He will be the Commander in Chief and he will be the pale horse of death to our enemies.

    1. The problem with drones is that you can’t hear the lamentations of their women after the drone explodes, unless you have a second drone with eavesdropping gear.

      1. War! It’s good for me
        What’s my name?

  12. I happened to be listening to a bit of Glenn Beck on Wednesday (yeah, I said it) when I heard him predict (and seemingly endorse) a Paul-wing vs. McCain-wing civil war within the Republican Party. I thought that was interesting.

    1. How many actual voters are in the McCain wing? The McCain wing owns what few right wing media outlets there are and certainly owns the beltway. But outside of that, who is going to vote for them? I don’t think it will be much of a civil war.

      1. Santorum is the real other side.

        That’s what Gerson doesn’t realize.

        The GOP civil war will be fought between two sides that both hate entitlements, and therefore make poor Michael Gerson have a sad.

        They will fight the civil war over the WoT and over non-abortion social issues.

        1. That is true, although I think the SOCONs will come up with a better standard bearer than Santorum.

        2. And Santorum will win, BTW.

          But I’m still gonna enjoy it.

          Heghlu’meH QaQ jajvam, bitches.

          1. I don’t think so. One, the SOCONs are hardly united. They disagree on a lot, especially priorities. Two, to the extent someone like Santorum could win, it wouldn’t be because it was a SOCON. It would be because he is a populist. Populism is dead in the Democratic party. It is now the party of minorities and the people who want to feel superior to everyone else.

            That is the thing that Paul is missing. He doesn’t have the everyman stick it to the fucker’s in Washington vibe. And that is what the country will be crying out for in 2016.

            1. I’m hoping that we get something analogous to the 2008 primary season – 4 Socons and Paul, being the 2016 version of 4 “regular” conservatives and McCain.

              Nobody really wanted McCain in 2008 but we got him anyway.

              That’s what Ron was going for last time. It was never going to work – he’s too old, too literally libertarian, he can’t really speak well, the newszletterz were out there, etc. Also, the party hadn’t suffered enough to be ready yet. Rand is a different guy and faces a different landscape than his dad did.

              1. You are not going to get four socons unless you call someone like Rubia or Cruz a socon. What you are going to get is a bunch of people climbing on the small government band wagon with various amounts of Socon spice added to please that Demographic. I bet you don’t get a single real SOCON campaign. And by that I mean a candidate like Huckaby in 2000 who basis his entire or even the majority of his appeal on values issues.

                1. I think as a candidate we get one more pure populist so-con, but I see the guy as trying more to ape Bill O’Reily than Santorum. The social conservatism will be there and talked about, but I think the main issue after four more shitty economic years is going to be bashing China (or whomever replaces them, though that doesn’t seem likely in 4 years, but in ’88 it wasn’t easy to see that Japan wouldn’t be a big issue by ’92 and nonexistent by ’96.

                2. How dare you emasculate Marca.

              1. Sure. I bet you don’t. You really think you are going to get a Huckaby? No way.

        3. I would love to see Gerson have a ‘I didn’t leave the party, the party left me’ moment as he backs a democratic candidate in 2016. I don’t see it happening, but if it ever did, it would be the day to celebrate the final death of the Rockefeller wing.

          1. Killa,

            If the Rockefeller wing of the GOP dies someday, I’ll be buying a round for the house – you first of all, name your drink!

            1. Well, if you’re picking up the tab, I’ve always wanted this . . .


              But you should check out the price first before agreeing to it,


              I’m in the mood for a Belgian Tripel for the evening tonight. I’ll have to see where the commute takes me!

              1. I’ve never had it. I’ll be on the look out. We get a decent variety of Great Lakes and Mid West based products at the local beer specialty store.

  13. Mr. Gerson,

    Fuck off, slaver.


    1. OK, that might be a better award name.

  14. With the exception of the “NAFTA Superhighway” thing, I don’t think Ron Paul made a single statement after the end of the newsletter era that didn’t end up coming true.

    It’s not paranoia when your predictions come to pass.

    1. We haven’t quite gotten the level of inflation he was predicting, although we do have it.

      1. We don’t currently have the level of price inflation he predicted. The monetary base of the country has trebled in the past 5 years.

        1. But the stock market is up! Way up! Recovery is here!

          Plus, Sadbeard insists that it’s impossible for a tripled M0 supply being loosed into the market to have a disastrous outcome, so why should we worry?

          Dollar-backed assets for everyone!

          1. Sad beard also says 4% inflation is a great thing. Just what we need.

            Sad beard is so pathetic. I think they hired him because they feel sorry for him.

            1. Especially when the only way to get to 4% inflation overall is to have 25% food and energy inflation.

              Yeah, that will be real enjoyable. FEEL THE PROSPERITY.

    2. Well part of that is that people fought back pretty hard against the TTC (the texas part of the highway) and the legislature/Perry backed down.

    3. I don’t get the “NAFTA superhighway” paranoia. Why would it be a bad thing to have a major road corridor connecting the US, Mexico and Canada? Is it a protectionism thing, immigration or what?

      1. Oh God…can you imagine the graft the part that went through Illinois (I am assuming it went near/through Chicago on the way to Toronto?) would inspire?!

        1. Well, I suppose I should have inserted some standard libertarian disclaimer in there. Aside from all of the usual ugliness surrounding a large government project, what is the objection?

  15. Hey Gerson, you should be all about libertarianism. I’d legalize prostitution in a heart-beat, so you wouldn’t be held back from sexual release by that haircut anymore.

    1. He looks like George Will’s retarded brother.

      1. Hmm, now that you mention it, I see it, too. You’re spot-on.

      2. Don’t you mean his retarded son?

        Nah, that’s mean. That guy has enough troubles without being compared to Michael Gerson. Andunfair since I’d rather my kid have down’s syndrome than resemble Michael Gerson in any way.

        1. I bet George Will’s son can write a more coherent editorial than Gerson.

  16. Gerson really needs to admit to himself that the comb-over is played out.

  17. He kind of looks like Homer Stokes with a goofy haircut.

    1. No, more like Edward Hermann, who played the head vampire in The Lost Boys.

      1. Bingo. That is who he looks like. I could see his face but couldn’t remember his name.

        1. I’d have gone with Ed Begley.

          “The car runs on my sense of self-satisfaction.”

          1. Leela: [tries to kill Project Satan with a silver potato to the exhaust pipe] Oh, no! Theres’s no exhaust pipe!

            Project Satan: That’s right! Thanks to Ed Begley Jr.’s electric motor, the most evil propulsion system ever conceived!

      2. Pfft, who gives a shit about THAT lame movie.

        He will be immortalized as the bastard husband from Overboard.

        1. Oh, you must mean Richard Gilmore.

          1. *smacks Fluffy in the face*

            Get out.

      3. That guy played Bernie Madoff in the ripped-from-the-headlines Law & Order.

    2. agreed, I thought homer stokes right off as well

  18. BTW:

    If cutting government is such a terrifying thing and every voter will run from it as from a nightmare, why does the GOP promise every election cycle to cut government spending?

    Could it be that Gerson is here implicitly admitting what we all know is true – that the “mainstream” GOP’s rhetorical claims of support for limited government are lies? So much so that we’re supposed to know they’re lies, and shrug them off as therefore not frightening? Frightening in the way that a Paul candidacy would be.

    “Oh no, if this guy runs, people might hear him say he wants to cut government, and might think he actually means it! We’d be ruined!” – Michael Gerson

    1. Could it be that Gerson is here implicitly admitting what we all know is true – that the “mainstream” GOP’s rhetorical claims of support for limited government are lies?

      Yes. It is the the right wing version of when Democratic candidates promise not to support gun control or immigration reform or gay marriage. Boob bate for the boobeoisie is the technical term for it.

      1. Actually, the best comparison might be gay marriage. Like gay marriage, lower government spending is something that local politicians actually work on and sometimes achieve.

        However, on the national level, it is something that, while the party pays lip service to, they never work on, because it is much more valuable to keep it out there as a wedge issue/cultural signifier than to actually fix the problem.

        1. But gay marriage loses nearly every time it goes before the voters. Gay marriage is a case where most voters don’t want it. But the elite do. So they lie to please the voters and then act in office to please the elite.

          1. Didn’t it just pass by referendum in Washington this last election?

            Granted, first time it has won at the ballot box (which interestingly makes it less mainstream than pot, though it isn’t treated that way), but still. And, after writing that, I have thought of a better one: The Public Option and that whole governmental run health shit.

            Dems dangle it to their voters because they know any number of their voters want a European single-payer system. However, they will never do it, because if the government ran things it would be blamed for things being shitty (this is why I don’t believe Obamacare leads to single payer- single payer means that Congress would be to blame for things) and there is a lot of money to be made lobbying and working around the regulations that you just wrote.

            Oh, I’m sure if the Dems put an idiot like Frank in charge, but the parties are designed to keep people like Frank and Santorum around to toss red meat that pleases the base while the power stays with those who are willing to keep the roulette wheel spinning.

            1. Maine (which not long before repealed it by popular vote), Maryland and Washington all passed gay marriage by popular vote. I’m not sure if there were any referenda on it that failed in 2012.

          2. But gay marriage loses lost nearly every time it goes went before the voters. Gay marriage is a case where most voters don’t didn’t want it.

            There have been steady increases in popular support. It did much better in the last election cycle, and projections indicate that majorities are lining up behind supporting SSM. 😀

  19. In fairness to Gerson, the guy has got to eat. Who would hire him to do anything? So concern trolling in the Washington Post is about as good as it will ever get for him.

  20. Gerson Gerson Gerson. Gerson GERSON Gerson. Gerson Gerson Gerson. GERSON!

  21. Isn’t it about time that conservatives denounce that foaming at the mouth, lunatic, nut job conspiracy theorist Edmund Burke?


    I cannot easily express to you how much I am instructed and delighted by the first volume of your History of Jacobinism.” He praised “the whole of the wonderful narrative” for being supported by documents and proofs with “the most judicial regularity and exactness.” At the end of the letter Burke added:I forgot to say, that I have known myself, personally, five of your principal conspirators; and I can undertake to say from my own certain knowledge, that as far back as the year 1773, they were busy in the plot you have so well described, and in the manner, and on the principle you have so truly represented. To this I can speak as a witness.

    Come to think of it, Gearson ever detected a shift in the wind on his delicate little finger, he would in a heartbeat.

    1. Gerson

  22. Taxation for the purpose of redistribution is theft. The national security state does not defend liberty; it threatens it. American global commitments are just another form of big government.

    Fuck yeah!

    Their objective is not the correction of error but the cultivation of contempt for government itself.

    Fuckin’ right on! Where do I vote for this guy???

    1. You can’t have a contempt for government warty. People like Gerson serve in government. How dare you show contempt for your betters?

      I know he was a genocidal asshole. But God does this country need another Jackson. Just imagine what Jackson would do to some smug prick like Gerson.

    2. Every time someone like McCain, Graham, Gerson, et al bash Rand Paul, it makes me want him to get the GOP nomination more and more. Libertarian ideals aside, the schadenfreude alone would be worth it.

      Lots of gnashing of teeth, butthurt statists, and socons will be crying, but they’ll vote for the guy since he’ll be running against Hillary Biden, Michelle, or some other leftist antichrist.

      One can only dream…

      1. There will be tons of butthurt. You will see SOCONs retreat into the local elections where they belong and started out. And you will see the Republican establishment whine and bitch and moan but come back like an abused spouse.

        1. And I have a lot less of a problem with SoCons on the local level. Don’t want your schools teaching sex ed? Fine! A simpler solution would be vouchers and let everyone sends their kid where they want, but if your morality is so deeply offended by showing kids condoms, then run for school board.

          I may not support you, but I won’t be absolutely offended if you win.

          Or, if your against abortions, and you want to stand near abortion clincis telling teens that you will support them and their child fully? Go right ahead, although you better follow up or you are a mega-asshole.

          1. Socons are much more tolerable at the local level because you can always move and they generally tilt at windmills I don’t really care about. It is not like they can ban porn effectively at the local level and I really don’t care if they close the strip clubs since there will always be some town near by that will have them.

      2. There’s a chance I could back either Paul or Cruz. Both are starting out with more positives from a libertarian point of view than negatives, and that is all I’m looking for in someone to back, a candidate that adds more to the push for a freer, more market oriented society than he subtracts.

  23. I’m on a flight to Cleveland in a 2 hours. If I don’t return for morning links Monday morning, it was Warty.

    1. Just relax and try to enjoy it. And Warty usually passes out around 3 am and sometimes does it close enough to the bars you can grab the keys to the dungeon and escape before he wakes up.

      1. good to now. i’m going in.

        1. know

    2. It’s probably more efficient to post the situations where that isn’t the likely cause.

    3. Stop on by. I’ll make it gentle.

      1. “Gentle” = left alive but prays for the peace that only death can bring

  24. Speechwriter for Bush?
    Yet another apologist for the Failure Wing of the Republican Party.
    Bush, Bush, McCain, Trump, et al.
    The Failure Wing of the Republican Party.

  25. So Gerson thinks drone murders are okay, the Fed should never be audited, and the TSA should be allowed to grope our daughters? No wonder Rand Paul scares him.

  26. I have good news. The new Clutch record kicks all the asses.

  27. If and when Rand Paul does win the GOP nomination for president, the left will pretty much repeat Gerson’s attacks against him – that he hates all things “government” and wants to cut all aspects of it, including safety nets for the poor. They’re already sold that he’s a “black helicopter” paranoid.

    If you’re not on this side, then CPAC is just a bunch of white guys hating on government. For all intents and purposes, your typical Obama voter won’t distinguish between libertarians and Republican.

    Honestly, 2016 eons away. The “moderates” may ultimately favor someone like Chris Christie. Conservatives were not down with Romney during the primary, but he won anyways. The leftist crowd that sided with Paul on drones will not agree with this economical (and even social) policy.

  28. ” a retreat from the most basic social commitments to the weak, the elderly and the disadvantaged,”

    Exactly what many Republicans and most Democrats say when they learn of my libertarian views. They are o.k. with taxation if it serves these purposes (whether out of compassion or just a desire to keep the poor from forming gangs to ravage the suburbs) just as long as the taxation doesn’t inconvenience them too much. The only argument that seems to even break through is to ask if they think there’s too much enabling of irresponsibility. Most will agree that X% are capable of working and being responsible citizens…but they have no idea how to throw these folks off the gravy train without hurting those who are deserving of help. If they reach this point, one can
    start getting into specifics.

    1. you misread his implication

      ..”a retreat from the most basic social commitments to the weak, the elderly and the disadvantaged,”

      That means =

      “…man, this ‘libertarian’ bullshit is totally fucking up our whole excuse for taking money from some people and throwing it at others, which is *the entire point of political power*! If he undermines slavish devotion to an all powerful state, HOW THE FUCK ARE WE GOING TO SUCK MONEY OUT OF THE PEONS?? This guy is blowing a sweet deal! Give him the Serpico treatment!”

  29. Gee, another oh so punchable face. Why is it that these statist assholes always have such punchable faces?

    1. They should have just titled this post “Punchable Face Alert.”

      My theory is that these statists are all be formerly awkward kids who got punched too many times in the playground and developed a complex where they become the bully. Kind of like molested kids who have a higher tendency to become pedos, perhaps.

  30. Under the administration of mr Gerson’s idea of a ‘sane and calm’ GOP, we saw politicians routinely changing the “Alert Color” of the nation (although all i recall is various shades of “orange”… suggesting, “you might die today in a flaming cataclysm! or maybe not!”), citizens were encouraged to have a gasmask and a ‘safe room’ at home (dont’ forget to duct-tape the windows!), a policy of removing *shoes* from air travelers was instituted (well, the ones who werent’ arbitrarily placed on a secret ‘no-fly’ list), and the NSA decided to bypass federal oversight when deciding to routinely wiretap the communications of Americans. Oh, and strapping people to a table and dumping water through a towel held over their face in order to ‘simulate drowning’ is DEFINITELY NOT TORTURE! Why would you think that??? You are PARANOID dude!

    How dare Rand suggest there’s *anything* about the use of Federal power to be mistrusted? GERSON LOVE POWER!!! POWER GOOD!!! USA!USA!USA~! KILL THE LIBER-TRAITERS!@

  31. Of course a government fellator gets upset when you threaten to turn off the spigot. This is the same guy who talked mad trash about Ron Paul during the GOP primaries. He hates that whole family.

  32. At first I read his name as Gergich and all I could think was, “Damnit Jerry!”

  33. Rely on it, the media will give this Bush apologist more credibility than the guy who consistently stood against Obushma and their schemes.

  34. Why is he wearing his glasses upside down?

  35. Sometimes man you jsut have to roll with it.


  36. I would support Rand Paul, but I wouldn’t want anything to do with his father’s campaigns.

    In any case, ideology has little to do with the antics of the political class. They are all thieves. Thievery is the ends. Ideological posturing, maneuvering for power, all of it, is just means by which to steal.

    Perhaps Paul and a few others are not part of that. But I don’t see any difference between Lindsay Graham and Barack Obama. They might as well be the same person.

    When we look at the idiotic decision made with regard to spending and the debt, thievery is the only possible explanation. The leadership of the Democrat party does not simply misunderstand economics and therefore champion hare-brained schemes to “simulate” the economy. The leadership of the Right does not exaggerate the significance of their own proposed “spending cuts” out of a lingering attachment to Keynesian “economics.” They both (Left and Right) are simply embarked on a quest to fleece everything of value from the the country before it turns into Zimbabwe. That’s it. If you can grasp that, you get the whole picture.

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