Obama Administration

Thanks, Mr. President, For the Reminder That You're as Big a Bastard as Your Predecessors

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President Obama at Ohio State University
U.S. Government

Whatever the outcomes of the scandals that have beset the Obama administration over the past few days — especially IRS scrutiny of government critics and the Justice Department's snooping on the Associated Press — they've taken on a special importance simply by capturing our attention. A presidency that began with such high hopes of "hope" and "change" has conducted itself just like so many administrations before it. A president who, just ten days ago, mocked "voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity," has been caught presiding over an Internal Revenue Service that, yet again, applied inquisitorial scrutiny to critics of the government, a Justice Department that, once more, snooped on journalists, and a Federal Bureau of Investigation that can't help spying on the public's communications. These abuses remind us not that the Obama administration has invented new ways to abuse power, but rather that even this supposedly fresh start commits the same old excesses that inevitably result from a surfeit of coercive power and plenty of targets of opportunity on which to wield it.

At Ohio State University, President Obama said:

Unfortunately, you've grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that's at the root of all our problems; some of these same voices also doing their best to gum up the works.  They'll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner.  You should reject these voices.  Because what they suggest is that our brave and creative and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can't be trusted.

We have never been a people who place all of our faith in government to solve our problems; we shouldn't want to.  But we don't think the government is the source of all our problems, either.  Because we understand that this democracy is ours.  And as citizens, we understand that it's not about what America can do for us; it's about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but absolutely necessary work of self-government.  (Applause.)  And, Class of 2013, you have to be involved in that process.  (Applause.)  

The founders trusted us with this awesome authority.  We should trust ourselves with it, too. …

To take him at his word, President Obama believes that democracy is somehow immune to the abuses that otherwise beset government. That because the use of coercive power in a democratic system is "done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but absolutely necessary work of self-government," therefore "we should trust ourselves with it."

But even assuming that "we" are as worthy of wielding coercive power as the president suggests (a dubious proposition for anybody who is familiar with the trial of Socrates, which saw the poor bastard sentenced to death for offending the sensibilities of the citizens of Athens) "we" are usually busy working, raising families, having drinks with friends and otherwise living our lives. The power of government is inevitably really wielded by a professional political class, with a good deal of input from well-organized groups with interests in specific areas of policy. That's the way it always is. And that power is always used against critics of those in power, dissenters to majority views, and inconvenient scrutinizers of officeholders and their activities.

The founders, for all of their many flaws, understood that coercive power is inevitably abused, which is why they didn't trust us with anything like the "awesome authority" that is currently wielded by the government. It's impossible to believe that veterans of the stamp tax and the trial of John Peter Zenger would have been even slightly surprised by the use of tax collectors against political targets, or by the targeting of journalists.

And yet here we are, with a president who simultaneously professes the goodness of government even as that government misuses power in all the old familiar ways, changing only to adapt to new technology.

So, as we prepare to hand authority over our health care system to a tax agency that has, time and again, wielded its power for political purposes on behalf of whoever is currently in power, we owe thanks. Thank you, Mr. President, for demonstrating that you're just as untrustworthy a bastard as all of your predecessors. Thank you for reminding us that, no matter the public assurances we receive, every iota of power given to the government will be misused. We repeatedly forget these lessons, and we need our reminders.

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  1. Much. Worse. Than. Nixon.

    1. You must not remember Nixon that well.

      1. Nixon was a lot more popular than Obama just before he got taken down:

        http://www.google.com/imgres?i…..AA&dur=119

        1. Do you see a similar collapse in Obama’s future? I think he’ll finish in the red, but only by a few percentage points.

          1. Nope. But only because Obama is a cult of personality, and the media has thus far carried his water, so any wrongdoings will be spun as something new rather than something he’s been doing all along.

      2. “You must not remember Nixon that well.”

        You must not know that much about Obama.

        1. “You must not remember Nixon that well.”

          Now that I think about it I realize you’re right. I forgot that Nixon had declared that he had the right to terminate any human being’s life at his sole discretion and that with the push of a button could he “take care of” his enemies.

          My mistake.

    2. For old time’s sake:

      Barack Obama: Dumber than Carter; Dirtier than Nixon.

      1. And redder than FDR.

        1. Oooooh…close call.

  2. The Atlantic writer gets “what” right, fumbles the “why”.

    So basically, according to the IG report, a substantial portion of the delay in processing the improperly selected cases came about because they were sent for review to a team consisting of one guy, who then had to wait more than a year for help on them from the main office.

    And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why people hate the government.

    As if incompetence is more excusable than antipathy.

    1. Incompetence, unconstrained discretion, barely limited power, dishonesty, corruption. How could you lose with that combination?

      1. I mean, if you really read the constitution, it’s really about how the government needs to be bigger and tax more and take over more segments of the economy. I mean, if you really read it anyway.

        1. If I squint my eyes just right, it says “Absolute power kicks ass absolutely.”

          1. Like a Mad magazine cover, you just have to fold it in the right places.

            1. I’m going to try it when I get home with my Heritage Foundation Pocket Constitution?

            2. “Like a Mad magazine cover, you just have to fold it in the right places.”

              Or you can cut the words out and glue ’em back together in a ‘pleasing pattern’!

            3. Shoot, you smart asses didn’t even notice there was a treasure map on the back of it until Nick Cage pointed it out (on some Discovery Channel show, I think).

              If you can’t even find the map, how can you be so sure there aren’t a bunch of enumerated powers written in fancy invisible ink too?

              1. The treasure map was on the back of the Declaration of Independence.

                The back of the Constitution says “Just kidding about all that enumerated powers shit. Fuck you, that’s why.”

                Only constitutional law experts know about that though.

      2. Okay, first we’ll give some numbnuts in Ohiotucky all of the power over approving a new class of tax entities. Then, we’ll make sure he doesn’t know the rules for exercising his power. Finally, we’ll set up a mendacious query for which tax entities to dump in his lap.

        What could possibly go wrong? As with the Deputy AG who they were lining up to run the bus over last night in the AP scandal, were I think dude in Cinci, I would start naming names to reporters right now.

        1. This assumes, of course, that we believe a word of what we’re being told.

          1. It does depend on the proposition that the IG’s office has more competent people in it than the rest of the government.

            1. It’s not the IG so much as the witnesses and documents they have to work with.

        2. Ohiotucky

          You apologize for that, RIGHT NOW! I will not be conflated with the “people” of Ohio.

          1. Hey now, we’re not all progtards. Although, after spending some time at Ohio State, I’m beginning to doubt the truthfulness of that statement.

      3. You know who else finally lost with that combination?

    2. Oh my goodness! That explains everything! It’s not like they could shift people around to meet changing demand!

      Those poor managers!

    3. Looks to me like an underfunded office is the whole problem. Sequester.

      1. That’s absolutely where they want this to go, though I doubt seriously the abuse is limited to recent times.

      2. Dude, do NOT read the comments, because yeah.

        1. I liked this non sequitur. It has a certain drooling kind of flair.

          Dcoronata ? an hour ago ?
          I remember watching a report on accountants whose job was to produce credit ratings for entire countries for the three major bond rating agencies.

          Essentially the one auditor would go to the government, check its books, and after a few days of research decide if the entire nation’s credit rating was correct.

          One guy, doing one country, for a credit rating agency.

          Forget government, private business is just as guilty for trying to have such important work produced as quickly as possible, as cheaply as possible.
          ?Reply?Share ?

          1. Yeah, that may have been my favorite. I was like oh, she’s going to talk about how much more efficient…oh. Oh…

          2. Essentially the one auditor would go to the government, check its books, and after a few days of research decide if the entire nation’s credit rating was correct.

            So the person who checks the books of governments is an idiot, and this is the fault of private agencies.

            This is like the people who complain about private prisons, as if the laws that put people in those private prisons are constructed out of whole cloth by corporations.

            1. as if the laws that put people in those private prisons are constructed out of whole cloth by corporations.

              They’re not?

              1. Of course they’re not, and anybody who claims they are is trying to deflect criticism from the real culprits. Corporations didn’t make pot or cocaine illegal. Hell, Monsanto would no doubt love a few more cash crops to patent.

                That’s the thing about corporations. Whether they’re evil or benign doesn’t matter. They’re not united, and so whatever economic power they can amass isn’t that threatening.

      3. “Looks to me like an underfunded office is the whole problem. Sequester.”

        ‘We didn’t have a large enough staff to prevent that break-in!’

    4. Read the comments if you are tempted to self immolate.

      As someone else said, that place has really gone to hell the last few years.

      1. All I saw was a lot of KOCHTOPUS and CITIZENS UNITED and KARL ROVE. Nothing unexpected.

        1. Those people fancy themselves intellectuals and LOVE to down vote anyone who dare put up a counter argument.

          Entertaining and sad at the same time.

      2. Read the comments if you are tempted to self immolate.

        I was going to, but Ghostery blocked the comments, showing 21 (!) blocked items at that site. Smart software.

    5. Still. After all of this, they are still reaching for anything, ANYTHING to excuse the gross misconduct and unbelievable incompetence of the Obama administration.

      1. Still. After all of this, they are still reaching for anything, ANYTHING to excuse the gross misconduct and unbelievable incompetence of the Obama administration.

        They wouldn’t be very good partisans if they didn’t, would they?

        TEAM BLUE has painted themselves in to a corner the last 4.5 years. They have trumpeted the goodness and benevolence of government as an institution so loudly that they MUST spin any and every move by the government as good. This was predictable; it’s just a matter as to whether the media will do its job this time, or whether they’ll continue to carry Obama’s water despite his intrusion on them.

    6. All of which seems fishy. Other groups applying for tax-exempt status didn’t have this wait. Other groups didn’t have the same line of questioning.

  3. The founders trusted us with this awesome authority. We should trust ourselves with it, too.

    Does that count for the 2nd amendment too?

    1. By “ourselves,” he means “me.”

      1. Sort of a “royal we” thing huh?

        1. No, it’s the democratic we, where one person represents the will of the people.

          1. I need to brush up on my statist english.

            1. I would, because that’s going to be the official language before too long.

    2. Um, the Founders actually totally distrusted government and thought everyone else should, too. That’s why they kept saying it and memorialized their distrust in some old document.

      1. I direct this to the Lord Obamarama.

      2. RIGHT WING CONSPIRACY!!!

        1. That’s true, I suppose they were “right wing” by modern standards. Who knew that Nazis founded the country?

          1. But I thought anti-royalists were always Red. Isn’t that what the socialists teach?

            1. No, no, those were Europeans. We went wrong when we steered away from European socialism, see.

              1. Ah. Thank you, comrade.

                1. Throw off your chains, brother. In favor of these new chains.

                  1. ^^^ That kinda’ made me sad. 🙁

          2. I’m pretty sure that is the first rule of prog club.

          3. Yep – The Founders were National Socialists, through and through.

      3. True but, (& I will probably take some shit for this) they did create a more centralized & more powerful federal government than existed at the time. Not to excuse the abuses & power-grabbing that has gone on since, but that was the goal.

        Some people, of course, were concerned. A number of the anti-federalists were pretty prescient.

        1. Raven Nation| 5.15.13 @ 1:10PM |#
          “True but, (& I will probably take some shit for this) they did create a more centralized & more powerful federal government than existed at the time. Not to excuse the abuses & power-grabbing that has gone on since, but that was the goal.”
          Yep, it remains an experiment. They had hopes they could allow some centralization and still keep it in check by the power of that document. So far, it looks like the current round is going to the power-grabbers.

          “Some people, of course, were concerned. A number of the anti-federalists were pretty prescient.”
          Yeah, but they didn’t predict what would happen absent that centralization. See, oh, alternate endings to the war of 1812.

          1. “See, oh, alternate endings to the war of 1812.”

            You’re arguing the British would have re-asserted control? Not disagreeing, just want to make sure I understand.

          2. Why are we supposing there would have been a war of 1812?

      4. Truly, that’s just an upside-down core contention by presidential rejectionists using a textualist algorithm to skew interpretation of the Constitution.

    3. NO!
      They didn’t have 3D printers when they were writing the constitution back in the neolithic age.

    4. Um, let me be clear: either you support my common sense gun regulations or you’re a dangerous extremist.

    5. The 2A gives the military the right to arm themselves. That’s what “militia” means.

      1. The funny thing about that is that if you have been in the military you know that NO ONE mistrusts their own people with guns more than the military. You might get some credit if you are a navy seal (and NO ONE ELSE in the Navy even knows the business end of a gun, just like the Air Force), but if you are some luckless line-unit 11B, you are essentially considered only fit to carry a weapon at your discretion IN A COMBAT ZONE. Christ, you can’t even have your guns in your house if you live on most Army posts.

  4. But didn’t I.F. Stone say that Socrates execution was just?

  5. “Thanks, Mr. President, For the Reminder That You’re as Big a Bastard as Your Predecessors”

    So, what you’re saying is President Obama is responsible for 9/11?

    1. No I think the science is settled, Bush caused everything bad that has ever happened to anybody ever.

    2. Huh?!?

    3. Well, he’s a closet Muslim, so….

    4. Yes. Quite simple to pull off, really. All I had to do was have explosives planted at the base of the towers, then on 9-11 we pretended like four planes were being hijacked when really we just rerouted them to Pennsylvania then flew two military jets into the World Trade Center filled with more explosives and shot down all the witnesses in Flight 93 with an F-15 after blowing up the pentagon with a cruise missile. It was only the world’s most intricate and flawlessly executed planm ever, ever.

      1. I don’t know about anybody else but I’m star struck right now

      2. And instead of making it look like Saddam Hussein was responsible, since we wanted to go to war with his country, we made it look like Al Qaeda did it… Yeah, that part we didn’t think through all that much…

        1. “Always keep your foes confused. If they are never certain who you are or what you want, they cannot know what you are like to do next. Sometimes the best way to baffle them is to make moves that have no purpose, or even seem to work against you.”

      3. IM-f’ing-PRESSIVE!

      4. Okay, but who took a dookie in the urinal?

        1. Not me, upper deckers are more my style.

        2. I’ve got such a massive clue right now…

      5. The really clever part was knowing that following 911, the new joke president would become really popular for a while, start two wars that would be pretty popular until the start of his second term, at which point Obama could get elected to the senate, do nothing but make speeches for two years and then get elected president over the inevitable dud that the Republicans were sure to run. Incredible foresight.

      6. You almost had me suckered there. Then I saw “planm”.

        Even THE Top Man can’t forge a single paragraph without a typo. Really throws cold water on the idea of a “perfect conspiracy”.

        1. That’s just what he wants you think.

  6. ROMNEY WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN ANY DIFFERENT!

    /Tulpashithead

    1. I KEEL YOU! I BREAK EVEVERAY BONE IN YUH BODY!

  7. I’m not sure how his supporters can spin this. The dude has basically told us that he’s found out about the IRS and AP scandals from the news like the rest of us. He’s either a liar or an idiot that has no control over his own administration.

    1. That’s a road that they have continuously and strenuously refused to travel down. Yet they have managed to spin it so far. Cognitive dissonance and an utter lack of any integrity helps a lot.

      I hope they turn on him. I really, really do, because partisans are total jackals and will tear him apart if they turn on him. But turning on him is going to be amazingly difficult for them. We’ll see.

      1. Anyway how’s your sex life?

      2. “But turning on him is going to be amazingly difficult for them.”

        They neither can, nor will. They will carry on like Stalin’s victims at the show trials – all the way to the end, they will still voice full-throated support of the Leader and the Party.

        1. “He will be merciful to us once we have played our part well.”

        2. The whole AP dragnet thing might actually turn them against him. They’ll never turn against the party, but they might decide they need to sacrifice The One for the good of the many.

      3. The IRS thing has absolutely no legs among Obama supporters or low-info BLUEs, in large part because they don’t understand the nature of the 501(c)4 designation. If you tell people what the law actually says about what kinds of groups should be tax-exempt under this status, they will simply complain that those are political groups that shouldn’t be tax-exempt to begin with because they’re obviously political in nature, and that’s just wrong.

        Of course, don’t bother asking whether the same kinds of groups on their side are different…

        1. It’s not the IRS thing that might get them to turn, it’s the totality of the fuckups and mendacity combined with the press striking back after the AP scandal. I’m not saying it’s going to happen, it’s just that if it were to, that’s how it would go. Remember, we’re talking about herd animals here. If the herd changes direction, they all change, and will go off a cliff if that’s the direction they’re running in. We’re not talking about thinking, functional beings here.

          1. Yeah, the AP thing has a better shot, and the combo may help. But the IRS on its own I think is just nothing, just like Benghazi on its own was nothing. Because it’s all about the degree to which the press decides they’re not going to put up with being fucked with over this AP thing.

            I know you’re not a West Wing watcher, Epi, but my bf has a theory (for those who are/were) that basically everyone in the administration is Josh Lyman (the character modeled after Rahm). Totally venal, totally self-absorbed, and only concerned with what they themselves are doing to show that they’re the smartest guy in the room, all the time. So it’s a shit show of dozens of prima donnas trying to prove how smart they are, all while failing to even remember to work together. And they’re all sociopaths.

            I love Josh…but yeah.

            1. I too love Josh, but when you step back from it, he is kind of a dick. Remember how at the end of the first season he used their rescue of an airforce dude to strong arm a Congressman? Leo tore him a new asshole for that.

              Leo/CJ was actually kind of the key to that show’s/presidency’s sucess. Sam, Toby, and Josh all constantly needed to prove themselves as the smartest in the room, wheras CJ and Leo were more concerned with doing things the right way, and kind of accepted that they weren’t the smartest but just good people trying their best.

              1. I love Josh…but yeah.

                I too love Josh

                So this what stokes the fires of your love?

                “Totally venal, totally self-absorbed, and only concerned with what they themselves are doing to show that they’re the smartest guy in the room, all the time.”

            2. Was Josh the bad guy in Billy Madison? Either way, yes, every one of them in this administration is a sociopath or worse. But I could say that for the last several administrations. Clinton’s people actually spilled American blood in America in Waco and Ruby Ridge. I was in high school when all that happened and it set the stage for me to hate government with everything I’ve got.

        2. Of course, don’t bother asking whether the same kinds of groups on their side are different…

          Consistency requires principles.

        3. In other words, Obama could be caught raping a four year old boy and they’d believe that the problem was the Republicans putting the child up to seduce poor Barry.

      1. I vote both.

        Each seems an apt descriptor, and are not mutually exclusive.

      2. Well, there’s conclusive evidence that he’s a liar. If his administration collapses before his term is up we’ll have conclusive evidence that he’s incompetent. I think that one is 50/50.

    2. Because CitizensUnitedSequesterRacism.

      1. I like that – “Because Republican Obstructionism, fueled by racism and KOCH KKKORPORASHUN $ (because of Citizens United) caused the Sekwestur to make Obama do it, which he totally didn’t…whatever it is you wingnutz are saying.

        /Prog

        1. KOCHTOBUSH!

    3. I’m not sure how his supporters can spin this.

      Well, the new talking point in regards to the IRS scandal is that the Citizens United decision created such a flurry of 501(c)(4) applications that the IRS just couldn’t keep up with them all.

      The AP scandal is justified because the FBI was investigating terrorists. Why do you want the terrorists to win?

    4. He’s either a liar or an idiot that has no control over his own administration.

      At a gathering or a charity group I work with the subject of Scandalation Administration came up and the argument was (seriously) that the President has better, more important things to worry about.

      When I tried to clarify if they meant that the scandals were not important enough to merit interest or that being responsible for the conduct of his government isn’t part of Obama’s job. I got an equal mix of both answers.

      The cognitive dissonance is fucking stultifying and terrifying.

      1. I wonder how many of them actually believe it, and how many are just saying it because they’re afraid of giving ammunition to Team Red.

        1. To be honest, most of these people are rubes. The work I do was establishing and maintaining a database of charity cheats for a bunch of inter-connected (mostly Christian church) charities. The lefty-leaning ones were the most likely to be cheated, and in some cases cheated really big. Like one pastor who bought $17,000 of heating oil for a family that clearly heated their home with wood, but coincidentally owned two diesel vehicles (as if a heating bill of $17,000 wasn’t a huge fucking clue).

          Quite a few of these people are so glaringly and blissfully unaware of reality that I really wouldn’t be surprised if they really believed it (actually I’d be surprised if they weren’t being sincere).

          1. Makes sense. Church groups seem to be easy targets for hucksters.

    5. ^^This.

      I am debating the whole “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity” aspect of this administration, and so far stupidity seems to be the clear winner at this time. I think it’s partially because Obama just has zero humility and thus he thinks he’s right even when he’s WAY WAY off. That’s why he keeps saying “well, I heard about it when you did in the news” all the time, as if to say he’s just an observer, not like the ACTIVE POTUS.

      Dude is in way over his head and it’s starting to be impossible to hide this from people.

      1. I’m betting that Obama is both stupider and vastly more venal than we could have ever imagined. There’s no reason he can’t be both.

        1. Stupid, venal, and alarmingly veritaphobic.

          1. Stupid, venal, alarmingly veritaphobic, narcissistic and remarkably incompetent for someone in his position.

            What I find hilarious in the comparisons between Obama and Bush is that Obama is supposed to be this Einstein-level genius but now that the mask is slipping people are finding out that he’s actually an idiot with zero leadership qualities. Meanwhile, Bush was supposed to be this incompetent cowboy, but stories keep trickling out from his tenure that show that he was actually extremely intelligent.

            http://keithhennessey.com/2013/04/24/smarter/

            This is not to say that Bush didn’t make terrible decisions too, but it’s funny that they both appear to be the exact opposite of what the media has portrayed them.

            1. The media is stupider and more venal as a whole than even Obama or Bush. Remember, Obama and Bush had/have power. They were/are at the top. The media is just the scavengers circling around who want the scraps.

              1. Agreed. Watching Chuck Todd suddenly get all uppity with Carney during that press conference yesterday -after he’s carried Obama’s water for the last six years- was pathetically telling.

                And NOT A SINGLE FUCKING ONE OF THEM asked Carney yesterday or any day since Hicks testified why the administration claimed they didn’t know Benghazi was a terrorist attack despite the fact that Hicks testified that HE TOLD THEM IT WAS ON THE PHONE WHILE IT WAS HAPPENING.

                I still am fucking lost as to why this point seems to have been ignored.

            2. I’m no Bush fan, but yes, I agree that he appears to be more intelligent than Obama. And to have at least one or two principles of some sort, though I’m willing to be wrong on that one. After all, he was an asshole president.

            3. Well, for the proggies, particularly, the question of Bush as stupid was never, ever, a matter of empirical judgement. It was an article of dogma. Modern progressivism rests on the assumption of its adherents’ intellectual superiority. Without the presumption of superior intelligence, they’d have to face the fact that they’re essentially just another flavor of busybodies, not really much different from the caricatures of the religious right they’ve drawn for themselves.

      2. Sorry, I can’t buy that. Stupidity would sometimes work against him. The “mistakes” here are consistent.

      3. Dude is in way over his head and it’s starting to be impossible to hide this from people.

        This is my take on Obama too. He’s not fit to be president both because he’s nothing more than an ideologue, and because he has absolutely zero experience in managing people, much less the largest payroll in the world.

        The media has opted to carry his water and provide cover before now. That’s the only reason why it’s been able to remain some kind of secret for so long.

        The man is utterly incompetent.

    6. He’s an inveterate pathological liar; this is all Saul Alinsky 101. None of this behavior should come as any surprise at all to anyone who took the time to study him in the early days of the first election. Everything that has been happening these last few years has been well planned out.

      1. I was snickering at him when he was an empty vessel in the IL Senate and the slurpers in the Chicago Sun Times were saying – SOMEDAY, PREZ!

        Oops.

      2. Everything that has been happening these last few years has been well planned out.

        Not a very good plan, was it?

        1. Quite the contrary, from their standpoint. What’s bad to most normal people is good to these guys.

    7. “He’s either a liar or an idiot that has no control over his own administration.”

      That’s the reason they keep tossing heads in the can; Obozo doesn’t KNOW Holder’s doing all that crap.
      I mean, c’mon! How’s a man to enjoy a round of golf now and then?

    8. Why can’t he be both?

      1. And if Comrade Stalin Obama knew, surely he’d put a stop to it.

  8. “We repeatedly forget these lessons, and we need our reminders.”

    I sure hope that we doesn’t include the vast majority of the H&R commentariat – We seem to have never forgotten.

    “The founders, for all of their many flaws, understood that coercive power is inevitably abused”

    Amen, which is why I have shunned it – I am breathing easier since I left the Armed Forces, and left the State’s Attorney.

    1. I probably know on a personal level more libertarians who are veterans and became so due to the experiences being in the military than I know libertarians without any military background. It is not uncommon.

      1. I understand the need for authority and such in a military setting…I think I handled it well, but there is something corrosive about holding that much power for too long. I was perfectly ready to sheathe the sword and hang it up over the mantle piece. Now I am just another guy in line at the store, another commuter and another Dad at the school band concert…whew.

  9. I used to be mad that my tax money was being wasted on junkets, fat salaries, and all-around laziness. I’ve come to realize that I’d be much better off if it actually were being wasted.

    1. How about both?

  10. “A presidency that began with such high hopes of ‘hope’ and ‘change…'”

    Really? I guess there were some fools who believed it.

    1. +1,000.

      1. More like 50 million. Fools that is.

  11. Yet conservatives loved government 2001-09.

    1. Fuck off, sockpuppet.

      1. There is a “Warty”?

        I thought you were an inside joke like STEVE SMITH.

        1. This should give you pause about the veracity of many of the things you think.

          1. Suthenboy for the win! It’s GOOOOOOD!

            Suthenboy, you just made the best comment of the day! What are you going to do next?

            1. What are you going to do next?

              BOOOOOOOOOSCH!!!

    2. Oh ok. Guys nevermind about our current government being a POS, the conservatives love government from 2001-2009! It’s all good now!

      1. If you play the sockpuppet’s game, it will never leave.

        1. Don’t bother. They’re too enamored with being easily manipulated by some moron who gets their rocks off by being a fake character on a blog.

          1. You just have to ruin the fun huh?

          2. They’re too enamored with being easily manipulated by some moron

            … says the guy who toys with Tulpa. 😉

            1. Tulpa isn’t a sockpuppet, he just argues and reasons like one. Wait… “sockpuppet” means “4-year-old,” right?

            2. Not any more. I’m done. He is nothing but a troll at this point.

            3. Nobody “toys” with Tulpa anymore. We insult him or ignore him. There’s nothing else to do with people like him.

        2. How do you know you’re not playing its game right now?

          Anyway, it’s been here for how many years? I think it will never leave.

    3. But…but…BOOOOSH!

      Nobody here loves government – whether it is BS “compassionate conservatism” – ha! Or O!care-stimulus-cronyfunding.

      Fuck off, slaver applies to all of you statists, no matter what TEAM jacket (sorry Nick) you wear.

      1. Don’t apologize to Nick. It’s The Jacket you should fear.

      2. But you don’t call Republicans “statists”. That is the fatal flaw in your thinking.

        Both parties are statist, pal.

        1. Yeah John, if your head wasn’t so far up Republican ass you’d clearly see that people like Obama, Soros, and Buffet are the real libertarians.

          /derp

        2. The party that gave the IRS incredible amounts of power over peoples’ medical records is the more statist party.

          Republicans are statists. Democrats are believers in the GLORIOUS TOTAL STATE.

          One is like Gollum. The other is Sauron.

          1. Gollum is too pathetic and weak. More like Saruman and Sauron. Or Isildur and Sauron if you want to give the Republicans a whole lot more benefit of the doubt than I am willing to.

        3. Palin’s Buttplug| 5.15.13 @ 1:22PM |#
          “But you don’t call Republicans “statists”.”

          Selective reading or just plain abysmal ignorance?
          Ah, hell; both.

        4. They’re both statist when they’re in power. When they’re the opposition, both tend to be more or less appealing.

      3. Remember, LT: It’s not a real person. It’s a character.

        1. His trolling is a pity, really. Whoever is doing the sockpuppeting would probably be a fun guy to have a chat or two if he ever decided to abandon the schtick.

          1. It’s Dave Weigel, and it’s not really schtick. It’s a natural extension of his flacking for Obama while he worked here, and the strategizing he and his fellow media lefties were doing on the “JournoList”.

        2. Yes, and it cannot read very well either.

        3. I don’t know. I’m really not convinced. It has been so consistent for so long that I have a hard time believing that anyone would bother. But I suppose I have a hard time believing a lot of things that people actually do.

    4. Are you at a conservative website?

    5. Yet conservatives loved government 2001-09.

      Really? Because Bush had like a 22% approval rating when he left office. That implies that an awful lot of Republicans disapproved of his job, at least towards the end.

      1. This is a point that can’t be stressed enough. You don’t have the shameless partisanship on the right like you do on the left. Even low congressional approval ratings have always been driven by the right, despite the fact that they control one of the houses. The lefties, OTOH, loved their 2006-2010 congress, the one that created more debt than the previous one that they had (rightly) criticized so strongly for.

        This is the thing I can’t stand the most about politics.

    6. Re: PAlin’s Buttplug,

      Yet conservatives loved government 2001-09.

      And still do. So now go to one of the conservative forums and explain it to them. Do the Lord’s work, for once.

  12. The founders, for all of their many flaws, understood that coercive power is inevitably abused, which is why they didn’t trust us with anything like the “awesome authority” that is currently wielded by the government.

    By founders you mean all those pesky anti-federalists, right?

    1. You mean anti-progress right?

    1. The Internal Revenue Service is now facing a class action lawsuit over allegations that it improperly accessed and stole the health records of some 10 million Americans, including medical records of all California state judges.

      Um, what?

      1. He said, the IRS is getting much bigger and more powerful to run ObamaCarousel. Can’t you read?

      2. Just testing the beta version of the Obamacare enforcement software would be my guess.

      3. Someone has a black robe fetish?

        or

        Blackmail material (“Rule in our favor, your Honor, and nobody will find out about your hemorrhoids?)

        1. Or they just grabbed as much as they could which included those judges.

          1. Mine was funnier, your was more accurate.

        2. “(“Rule in our favor, your Honor, and nobody will find out about your hemorrhoids?)”

          If that were the *worst* you could find about CA state judges, I’d be leading a celebratory parade right now.

          1. Rule in our favor, your Honor, and nobody will find out about your vaginal myiasis.

    2. compensatory damages could start at a minimum of $250 billion

      Okay, now I’m going to go throw something.

      1. Remember that time that the government gave the banks $700 billion, and it sounded like a lot of money?

        1. THAT WAS A LOAN!

      2. Let’s abolish the IRS. Time for a flat tax.

        1. If a bona fide scandal with the IRS selecting audit targets for political reasons doesn’t lead to a wide hue and cry for a move to a flat, entirely apolitical tax, nothing will.

        2. Or, just go to the states so we don’t have to deal with those assholes in Washington at all.

      3. What if we took it out of their operating budget?

  13. I have noticed several times the shitweasel saying that we are a democracy. This guy was a constitutional scholar? Yep, and I am a a flying pig.

    1. This goes back to Rousseau, who wrote of the volont? g?n?rale (“general will”) of the people being the basis for all laws. It’s easily perverted into a justification for tyrants, who just claim unilaterally to be acting in the interest of the people.

        1. “Have you ever felt the need of wanting someone that could just show up and solve a problem for you? ”

          Uhhhh….no.

          This could explain why I just dont get people.

          1. I’d have to disagree with you. There are a lot of people in Washington DC who could solve problems for us simply by committing seppuku.

          1. Little joe once got angry at me for calling Hugo Chavez a caudillo. Ah, the good old days.

            1. Chavez was the people. Now they have no soul.

      1. It’s all in that social contract that you signed in blood on that moment that you did not decide to leave this country to go and live somewhere else.

    2. I am sick today and cant do a thing. Earlier I caught myself, a grown man, amusing myself by shooting flies off of dog shit in the back yard with a bb gun. ugh, I have to get well.

      So I came inside and wanted to watch something interesting and useful on youtube. One thing led to another and suddenly I am watching video after video of ‘greatest fails’.

      Holy shit. Those morons are fucking awesome. And they vote. One dude stripped and leapt from a car hood full body into a huge jumping cactus. They have absolutely no grasp of physics. It appears to me that their understanding of physics comes from watching cartoons. No grasp of the consequenses of their actions. I am guessing this genius extends to other areas as well.

      Hint – If you are fat and out of shape you cant do a triple summersault off of the roof onto a concrete driveway. Even if you are in shape you have the same skull as everyone else and you cant break car windows or brick walls with it. Oh, and people cant fly.

      Big important Hint – You cant elect a socialist to the presidency and fill the legislature up with them and expect the economy to flourish.

      1. One thing led to another and suddenly I am watching video after video of ‘greatest fails’.

        I always end up getting sucked in by those too.

      2. This is a great comment. Everyone else, take note!

  14. http://www.politico.com/story/…..91386.html

    Democrats are privately befuddled by the White House’s flat-footed handling of this P.R. and legal mess, blaming a combination of bad timing, hubris and communications ineptitude.

    “Befuddled,” as in “surprised.” They are actually surprised that this administration is arrogant and incompetent.

    1. He’s just doing a bad job of selling it. Once he gets the next speech tour going extolling the virtues of siccing the IRS on political opponents and seizing journalist’s phone records, people will come around to liking it.

    2. What, you mean democrats had a moment of introspection that did not involve blaming republicans?

  15. Dan Carlin brought up the OSU speech and made a lot of good points in his latest Common Sense episode.

    http://feedproxy.google.com/~r…..wdcc52.mp3

    1. I’m a big fan of his history podcasts, but I’ve avoided his political podcasts because I suspected his views would annoy me and spoil the history ones for me. I’ll check this out, but be aware that I might have to come over and break your knees.

      1. Flex-ray vision at work!

      2. He’s hard to pin down. He loves the military, but he says he’s pro-liberty, but then he also touts the benefits of democracy. He’s definitely not a doctrinaire libertarian, but he’s also not a D or R. Something tells me he would call himself a “pragmatist” or something like that. So, only occasionally annoying. But I agree, his history podcasts are outstanding.

        1. He loves the military, but he says he’s pro-liberty

          These are not mutually exclusive positions.

          1. It’s the difference between loving the military reflexively or conditionally.

      3. I find Carlin’s podcast stimulating and enjoyable. Many times he says things with which I don’t agree, but he always makes me think. There’s nothing wrong with being confronted with new opinions and insights. I particularly liked his recent podcast where he broke down the situation with North Korea.

  16. The IRS. When you put it all together it spells “theirs.”

  17. Source: Acting IRS chief blames two “rogue” workers for “overly aggressive” handling of tea party tax-exemption requests.

    CNN

    “Scandal” over. Too bad.

    1. “”Scandal” over. Too bad.”

      Yeah, dipshit, that’ll do it.

    2. And once they found out two years ago, they immediately fired those workers or took them off of handling applications, right? Because if you know you have rogue workers and yet let them continue doing what they’re doing, you have a rogue agency.

    3. Sadly, I suspect you’re probably right. There’s no way they weren’t going to throw a few of their own under the bus to appease those naughty Republicans who came around asking questions.

      I can’t see the AP story sticking, either. It’s dirty, but any dirtier than much else in the past decade to which we’ve grown accustomed? Journalists will report for water-carrying duty on Monday; for the rest of us, it’s another Benghazi.

    4. The acting IRS chief would never lie. And of course, the fact that two “rogue” workers can wield this sort of power in the first place is just hunky dory. You are truly Hayek’s heir.

    5. Re: Palin’s Buttwipe,

      “Scandal” over. Too bad

      What did I tell you, guys? That the Buttwipe is a mendacious, economics-illiterate mountebank who fancies himself a “fiscal libertarian.” The incredibly absurd conclusion above provides further evidence of his lack of intellectual integrity and of not having even a semblance of respect for other people’s intelligence.

  18. “Because what they suggest is that our brave and creative and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.”

    Notice how the statists use individualist rhetoric? Self-rule? Self-rule means I rule myself, not that I turn over my independent agency to a centralized authority. My relationship with Barack Obama hasn’t got anything to do with self-rule…he rules and I’m ruled, and that’s that.

    Of course they do that because people are naturally individualistic, and only make want to make concessions to the collective where they must.

  19. Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems; some of these same voices also doing their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave and creative and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.

    Um…Mr President…President Jefferson would like a word.

  20. Living in Chicago, I was introduced to the undeserved hysteria of Obama before it infected the whole nation. The guy as a state senator was an empty suit and when he represented Illinois in DC, he was an empty suit. But yet he is our President. I think one of the reason’s why he won in 2008 was because he could bullshit like none other but also people projected their hopes and dreams on him. The worst part about it is that like all other mortals, he is fucking up but yet people still will defend him no matter what he does. We are truly fucked.

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