New York City

The Goldwater Disciple Running for Mayor of New York

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Damn hippies! |||

The New York Times today has a profile out on the undercovered, libertarian-leaning underdog in the New York mayoral race, Joe Lhota. Headline: "Lhota Seeks to Persuade a Liberal City to Elect a Disciple of Goldwater." Excerpt:

Lhota's conservatism also has a libertarian hue: he supports same-sex marriage, abortion rights and the legalization of marijuana, and he is quick to distance himself from the moral prescriptiveness of the national Republican Party. He has occasionally called himself a libertarian, but he recently disavowed the term, saying too many New Yorkers confuse the label with — in his words — "Tea Party crap." […]

In an interview, Mr. Lhota described himself as a champion of the individual who nevertheless believes that government, in moderation, can play a pragmatic role in bettering society.

"Government should steer, not row," he said, sitting in a cramped campaign office overlooking Grand Central Terminal. "Government is to point you in the right direction, and not to do everything for you."

"I was born a limited-government person," Mr. Lhota added. "I've always had this streak going through me."[…]

He devoured the Federalist Papers in school, but it was Senator Goldwater's 1964 presidential run that had him riveted, taken by the candidate's "Western ruggedness" and contrarian bent. […]

"He was not your typical politician," Mr. Lhota said. "He believed the government has no role whatsoever in making decisions which are purely personal, and I believe that."

Elsewhere in the profile, Lhota, who held senior management positions in both the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations, talks of being "a virulent anti-Communist," and says that he was wrong to have opposed the restaurant smoking ban two decades ago. "I thought the world was going to come to an end, and then it didn't," he said. "It was the right thing to do." 

Whole thing here.

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  1. He has occasionally called himself a libertarian, but he recently disavowed the term, saying too many New Yorkers confuse the label with ? in his words ? “Tea Party crap.”

    Difficult to argue with that. But does this guy have any chance with NYC voters?

    1. But does this guy have any chance with NYC voters?

      No.

  2. “…and says that he was wrong to have opposed the restaurant smoking ban two decades ago. “I thought the world was going to come to an end, and then it didn’t,” he said. “It was the right thing to do.”

    That is a little puzzling.

    1. He’s not as libertarian as you or I. Compared to New York City voters and politicians, he’s Lysander Spooner though.

    2. Everyone would agree that if something causes the world to end, it was wrong.

      Therefore, if something won’t cause the world to end, it is right.

      Just simple logic, Suthenboy.

      1. “I thought the world was going to end when Warty kidnapped those young girls and kept them as sex slaves in his dungeon. But, as it turns out, the world didn’t end. So really, maybe Warty was right when he did what he did. I mean, the world didn’t end, right?”

    3. I like how the NY Times puts it this way: “Mr. Lhota now *concedes* he was wrong” (emphasis added)

      I can’t wait for the *Times* to profile, say, a politician who use to support gun control and then changed his mind and “concedes he was wrong.”

      1. I mean, anyone who opposes neo-Prohibition is clearly wrong, and when they see the light the NY Times will welcome the lost sheep with open arms!

        (yes, that’s a lot of cliches, I know)

      2. I can’t wait for the NYT to concede they were wrong about any number of issues.

    4. There’s no constituency that he doesn’t already have that opposes the smoking ban. He’s, and its early so I apologize, trying to appear reasonable to NYCers.

  3. How do you reconcile

    “He believed the government has no role whatsoever in making decisions which are purely personal, and I believe that.”

    with

    “”Government should steer, not row,” he said, sitting in a cramped campaign office overlooking Grand Central Terminal. “Government is to point you in the right direction, and not to do everything for you.””

    Maybe a hearty, fuck off, slaver?

    1. For a city that touts itself as the greatest city ever, and one with a population of 8.25 million people, this is the best proponent of liberty they have?

      I weep.

      1. No, he’s just the best proponent of liberty that was able to succeed in the Republican primary.

    2. It’s still a slave ship if you’re not steering yourself.

      1. “Government should steer, not row”

        You’re right, it’s the galley slaves who do the rowing.

      2. “Now listen to me, all of you. You are all condemned men. We keep you alive to serve this ship. So row well, and live.”

        /NYC mayor

    3. He seems more like a Cass Sunstein disciple than Goldwater disciple

  4. Sometimes man, you jsut have to rol lwith it.

    http://www.GotPrivacy.tk

  5. In an interview, Mr. Lhota described himself as a champion of the individual who nevertheless believes that government, in moderation, can play a pragmatic role in bettering society.

    So… not a libertarian.

    We already have the term, “Rockefeller Republican”. Maybe we should start using “Liebermann Libertarian”.

    1. Well, depends on what you consider an appropriate “pragmatic role”. I think that most non-anarchists would agree that punishing people who hurt other people is a government role that betters society in some way.

  6. “Government should steer, not row,”

    Rowing is for the galley slaves taxpayers.

    1. I shoulda refreshed before I posted.

  7. Sounds like a real schmuck.

  8. Goddammit. The Bloomberg talking girl just made some reference to Mark Zandi’s estimate of the GDP loss from the END OF CIVILIZATION- er… shutdown.

    How do these people convince themselves that this grievously imperfect measurement is nothing more than a reference number which SHOULD be a reflection of productive activity in the economy, and not an ultimate goal in itself.

    We could build camps and furnaces in order to round up and slaughter ten per cent (DECIMATE!) of our domestic population, and that would raise measured GDP, but it wouldn’t make the country better. Unless we started with Congress and the President, and worked our way down the organizational chart from there.

  9. …too many New Yorkers confuse the label with ? in his words ? “Tea Party crap.”

    That’s not limited just to New York, bubba. Even Tea Partiers confuse themselves with libertarians.

    Tea Partiers are really just conservatives whose idea of limited government consists of eliminating all government programs favored by liberals and keeping all programs favored by conservatives. They just happen to be popular right now because it’s such a refreshing break from the usual conservative strategy of talking small government while acting to expand it.

    1. I predict that the next time the Republicans occupy the White House, the Tea Party will vanish and the war protesters will return.

      1. The Tea Party vanished in January 2011. It only lives on in the minds of journalists.

        1. You aren’t paying attention. I see a huge comeback when the ACA exchanges implode.

  10. We’re stuck in a cycle of destruction and hostage taking by Rethuglitard TERRORISTS, people!

    If the government shuts down, teh peepulz will drag them into the streets and slaughter them, in order to make a more perfect union.

    That’s the upside of a government shutdown. Cool, huh?

  11. Let’s not forget that Hillary Rodham was a “Goldwater Girl” back in the day. Going in the other direction, I’ve met a few libertarians who were JFK and/or LBJ supporters before they discarded their low-information understanding of history, politics, and individual rights.

  12. NY politics, where the guy who supports abortion, SSM, and smoking bans is the rampaging right-winger while the guy who loved the Sandinistas is the reasonable moderate.

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