Drug Policy

Mark Kleiman Says I Show My Red Team Loyalties by Criticizing Republicans



The other day Mark Kleiman cited my criticism of an alarmist New York Times story about the menace that e-cigarette fluid poses to the children of America. I would say he cited it favorably, because he agreed with what I said, except this is the way he expressed his agreement: "Libertarians, like stopped clocks, are right twice a day." From my perspective, Kleiman is occasionally right as well, especially when he writes as a dispassionate drug policy analyst rather than a partisan Democrat.

Speaking of which, Kleiman cannot resist delving back into our argument about rescheduling marijuana, the substance of which was never clear to me. He continues to claim my discussion of the issue betrayed a "misunderstanding of the Controlled Substances Act," although he has never actually explained what I got wrong. I gather that Kleiman was offended by the headline over my January 31 post about a CNN interview with President Obama: "Obama, Who Evidently Has Not Read the Controlled Substances Act, Denies That He Has the Power to Reclassify Marijuana." Kleiman reads this as "an accusation that the President 'had not read' the law," and he takes umbrage at the suggestion. But the headline actually was intended as a joke, since I'm pretty sure Obama knows the executive branch can reschedule marijuana without an act of Congress, although he suggested otherwise in the interview. "What is and isn't a Schedule I narcotic is a job for Congress," he told Jake Tapper. "It's not something by ourselves that we start changing." In my view, that reply was, at the very least, evasive and misleading, and I suspect Kleiman would agree if Obama were a Republican.

So perhaps Kleiman is simply projecting when he charges me (again) with blind partisanship, saying "Sullum and his colleagues play for the Red Team," which "reflect[s] the partisan bias of the people who pay the bills at Reason.com." Which people are those? Kleiman, as usual when he implies that people who fail to agree with him do not really believe what they say, does not get into specifics. Furthermore, his charge that I am a loyal follower of the Republican Party does not jibe very well with his charge that I am a rigid libertarian ideologue, since it is not really possible to be both. But the really telling thing about Kleiman's claim that I "play for the Red Team" is the evidence he cites: my March 19 column titled "Don't Republicans Abuse Executive Power?" In case Kleiman missed it, my answer was yes. Here are some clues from the column, which discusses the ENFORCE the Law Act, a bill approved by the House of Representatives earlier this month:

While the bill's name is ridiculous and its mechanism is dubious, the basic premise of its supporters, almost all of whom are Republicans, is correct: As the House Judiciary Committee's report on the bill puts it, Obama has engaged in a "pattern of overstepping [his] constitutional bounds." But so did his Republican predecessors—a fact the report seems designed to obscure….

The most striking aspect of the executive excesses cited by Republicans may be what they leave out. Why no mention, for example, of the way Obama misused money meant for financial institutions to bail out the car industry? Perhaps because this blatantly illegal diversion of congressionally allocated funds was initiated by George W. Bush.

Partisanship likewise helps explain why the committee report explicitly eschews discussion of presidential abuses justified in the name of national security. Those include some of Obama's most troubling power grabs, such as routinely collecting innocent people's phone records, going to war without congressional authorization, detaining terrorism suspects indefinitely without trial, and killing people he unilaterally identifies as enemies of America. But as Bush showed, national security is a bipartisan excuse for ignoring the law.

In the same column, I defended Obama against the charge that exercising prosecutorial discretion in drug cases violates his duty to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed." According to Kleiman, all of this amounts to Republican cheerleading. 

One final thing: Kleiman claims "Sullum rather lost his temper" when he accused me of financially motivated insincerity. Similarly, in the comment thread of an earlier post, Kleiman said I "react[ed] badly." If you go back and read the exchange (especially the second paragraph of Kleiman's January 31 post), you can judge for yourself who lost his temper and reacted badly.

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  1. Putins Buttplug calls shenanigans on your criticism!


  2. So Kleinman posts on here as Palin’s BP?

    1. So Kleinman posts on here as Palin’s BP?

      Mark Kleiman Says I Show My Red Team Loyalties by Criticizing Republicans

      Don’t know ….but shreeky says everyone here is in the tank for the repubs and that there is precious little criticism of them at reason.com….I doubt Mr. Kleimans assertions will ring true with him.

      1. I’m a registered Libertarian, though I was temporarily registered Republican to vote for Ron Paul in the primaries, foolishly thinking that an an absentee ballot system would work. To me Team Red and Team Blue are only Team Purple.

    2. No, that would be another leftist media slimeball named David Weigel.

      1. You say that all the time. I don’t disagree, but put the evidence on the table.

        1. The only point I ever noticed in favor of that idea is their mutual fondness for calling people “ratfuckers”.

          That said, whatever your opinions on Weigel, it’s really giving PB entirely too much credit to claim he has the smarts of a successful and nationally-read author. The accusation probably delights him.


  4. Gee, its almost like there’s a concerted effort by the lefty propaganda mill to drone on endlessly about the “SOCON/RED LEANINGS” of the libertarian movement.

    Because everyone knows that TEAM RED brand is such dogshit= so why not continually associate libertoids with them until no one knows the difference? All it takes is a few ‘Bo Cara.Douchehats’ to endlessly reiterate that disagreement with them equates to being a Grand Dragon in the John Birch Klan.

    Both Buttplug and BCE have decided to slap the ‘Conservative’ label on *me* for criticizing them – which I find particularly odd given that I have pretty much zero input into Kulturwar topics or Abortion or The Bible Says or ISLAMOFASCISM! or the Gay Agenda (aside from being a funny joke)… they go so out of their way to insist *they* are indeed proper and card-carrying Libertoids (something no one else bothers to announce); yet their default, knee-jerk defense is to always call their critics “SoCons!!” – which I find hilarious given that most of the more doctrinaire libertarian community think of H&R as COSMOS TO THE MAX.

    Where in the “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you…'”-sequence are we? Somewhere between “Laugh” and “Fight” I’d guess.

    1. From the standpoint of movement conservatives out in the wild I’m a raging libertine, but I’m among the conservative-est people here. Since next to most H&R people I look like Jonathan Edwards, I shudder to think of the kind of people who see Reason and H&R as conservative.

      1. I think we should replace public schools with LSD.

        1. I like the way you think.

        2. I cannot condone subsidizing LSD. But profit making vending machines, deal!

      2. I’m assuming you mean spiders-in-the-hands-of-an-angry-God Jonathan Edwards, but my first thought was Crossing Over with Jonathan Edwards, and I had a giggle.

        1. The first guy, but they both had ideas about crossing over.

          I read Edwards’ sermon in (public) school, though it was just taught as literature. I’m guessing you got it as instruction?

          And the spider thing is what I remember from it.

          1. Weirdly I can’t remember where I read it. It wasn’t the Lutheran schools I went to from 3rd to 9th grade, and it wasn’t particularly in line with my church’s teachings. I know a friend of mine had referenced it offhandedly when I was in high school, I may have read it then, or if not then, my early American history course in college.

            Bit of a crank, but he’s good with imagery.

            1. That’s true, as Eddie highlights I think everyone who read that remembers that spider imagery, no matter how long ago they read it.

            2. Maybe one of those camps to cure you of teh ghey!111!!!!

        2. I was headed to the Shanty, myself, Sunshine.

      3. Eddie, on a lot of debates here your positions and comments are mirrored by quite a few.

        Now, that does not say much in areas where libertarians and conservatives tend to agree. But the amazing thing is how many people here sound like you on issues where traditionally that is not true…

        1. You’re going to accuse the other commenters of agreeing with me?

          I’m going to regret asking this, but…can you think of an issue where you disagree with me but other commenters agree?

          1. Immigration?
            Gay marriage?

            1. Three issues where libertarians are constantly disagreeing with each other. Proves nothing.

              1. Yeah, they just happen to be three main issues for social conservatives too, right?

                But of course, notice that I mentioned paleos. When libertarians disagree over these issues, it usually can result in a paleo identification.

                1. We fail to appreciate distinctions you see, because despite talking about these things for a decade, Bo has arrived to explain to us who is on which side of these important dividing lines.

                  1. Gilmore, did you just try to talk to the others here by responding to my comment? You are trying way to hard to distract from who you really are there my friend.

                    1. “‘who you really are “”

                      So where do I stand on these particular crucial dividing lines that makes me “conservative”, again?

                      – immigration
                      – abortion
                      – gay marriage


                2. And while those issues may spark debate among the community here, it is worth noting that the overwhelming majority opinion on ghey marriage is supportive here (with the only issues that people have being the domination of ghey issues at a time when we percieve more pressing matters), the strong majority is open borders and most of those that express some skepticism do so for welfare state reasons rather than anything cultural. The abortion threads may be more evenly split, but at 50/50, that demonstrates a diversity of opinion within the libertarian community that is noticeably absent from any other community of like minded individuals.

                  1. I think it is fair to say that most commenters here support gay marriage, but you do get an awful lot that use the standard paleolibertarian dodge of ‘government should not be recognizing marriage, recognizing marriage of gays would be to expand this, therefore it should be opposed.’ And I guess abortion is 50/50. I would dispute that the strong majority is open borders, it strikes me as 50/50, but I imagine that varies from thread to thread.

                    My point is that on each there is significant difference of opinion from, say, the LP position and/or the position of most Reason writers. I am not aware of any similar deviations in a left wing direction found as significantly among the commentators here, and if it were I think a lot of people would not identify as a nice diversity of opinion but would be howling about Democrat shills.

                    1. The point I make wrt immigration is that the majority of those who express misgivings about a completely open border policy do so because they view it as an economic issue rather than a social one. And even then, I don’t think the issue splits 50/50 here within the cosmos, just maybe some of the more restrictionist speak up.

                      Though the movement at large it may be that some of these cultural issues seem to be wedging a bit, I think that’s in part because we’ve probably quadrupled the number of people who self-identify as libertarians (many of whom are disaffected GOPers). Most will fall off the libertarian bandwagon the next time they get a chance to rally behind team red. But some will remain and some of those will have their viewws on ghey marriage, immigration, or aboriton altered in the course thereof. Beyond that, those of us who’ve primarily cast ballots for libertarian candidates as far back as the 90’s are really the ones you ought to define the movement by

                      Besides, isn’t the ability of the libertarian movement to tolerate a measure of dissent in its ranks evidence of a more tolerant affiliation?

                    2. I understand your point about immigration, but I think it is just a pretext for people who want to call themselves libertarian but at the very least retain quite a bit of conservatism. The freedom of labor to move, of freedom of association and freedom to contract are fundamental liberties. When these people say ‘well, we can not support these because of the welfare state’ I do not buy it: they usually do not say the same thing about drug legalization, a freedom which implicates the welfare state.

                      I think you are spot on when you say that libertarian self-identification has grown recently, and a lot of that is due to the Tea Party. The promise of the Tea Party is it naturally leads a lot of people to libertarianism, the problem with it is a lot of those people really remain conservatives at heart.

                      I think we should be a more tolerant party and movement, I never question someone’s libertarian bona fides unless they question mine first. When someone who deviates from the LP more than I do starts to question my libertarianism, then yes, I will start to say ‘what the?’

                    3. I don’t question your libertarianism, but to borrow a Thatcherism (since as demonstrated below, I reserve the right to use Maggie for whatever purposes I deem appropriate: you’re a bit wobbly. You seem more a pragmatist, willing to entertain compromises of principle, especially in the areas economic areas of libertarianism. Trust me, much as this board is generally supportive of Rand, should he ever gain the keys to the castle and actually have to govern, there will be much gnashing of teeth and caterwauling about how he betrayed the movement. Its inevitable that a movement that has been on the fringes of political discourse is going to attract people that find themselve uncomfortable with compromise.

                      I’d also add that you’re more of a liberaltarian. That is a minority portion of the movement right now because of the left’s control over the executive and larger cultural apparatus. But you’re still a confirmed libertarian to me, just squishy and one that I’ll endlessly debate with. I do think you approach from the standpoint of skepticism of govt, which is indeed the tempermental default of a libertarian.

                      Shreek on the other hand is nothing but a progressive pretending otherwise.

                    4. I do not see me as a pragmatist on economic issues. Perhaps you are referring to the fact that I think inequality can be a problem? Otherwise I am a strict adherent to the NAP on things economic. I have spent a good chunk of my time here arguing with Tony about the minimum wage (of course with no result).

                      I guess I can be fairly described as a liberaltarian in that when it comes to cultural issues where the NAP is not at issue, I probably side with liberals a lot.

                      Shreek is what you guys call PB, right? I think he is a mirror image of a guy like Gilmore, they just can not let pass a criticism of their Team, and that betrays them.

                    5. My view there may have been tainted by your sometimes wearing the hat of devil’s advocate.

                      I respectfully disagree on your judgement of gilmore. Again, I think he comes from the same tempermental default of skepticism where it concerns govt action.

                      I think it helps to consider people’s affiliations with their self-described libertarianism in the overly simplified smallest political quiz thing, namely on a spectrum. You and Gilmore are both within the libertarian galaxy, but at opposite ends. The result thereof is that you and he may find more common ground with people outside the libertarian galaxy on a wide range of issues and so you label eachother progessive and conservative respectively eventhough the reality is you more serve as the brackets that contain the madness that is someone of the more rank and file persuasion (and I think we have proven that people that can contain that madness and provide a more marketable face to each side are necessary).

                    6. No = he’s a douche.

                    7. again bo =

                      since you’ve seen fit to label me on the ‘conservative’ side of things here… which of these positions do I maintain the ‘conservative’ view on again?

                    8. I’m a Libertarian and I could easily accept a “Reason writers’ vision” of government.

        2. Oh God…it’s here. MAKE IT GO AWAY

          1. You have been here for a while Cyto…oh, you mean me.


      Neil deGrasse Tyson hosts a new series on Showtime After Dark about when science gets seeexxxaaaay.

      1. Skinemax tried to do something similar with Stephen Hawking but…it didn’t work out. That’s Skinemax for you.

        1. Not to be outdone, HBO is releasing a new “Hot Science” show featuring Amy Mainzer and Kari Byron discussing quantum physics in lingerie. Coming Soon!

          1. And that’s why HBO is the best network. I heard the CW is going to start a science show featuring vampires.

            1. You briefly mentioned it in the thread we were talking about Black Sails, but I am enjoying the sleaze-off that the cable channels are having right now.

              Black Sails certainly helped put Starz in the conversation, but tough to match HBO for pure consistency.

              1. Have you checked out Showtime’s The Borgias? It was clearly a Showtime reaction to GoT, but it’s really, really good, and they do a nice level of nudity/sleaze too. Plus it’s somewhat historically accurate. Jeremy Irons is great as an incredibly pompous scheming Pope.

                1. Jeremy Irons as an incredibly pompous scheming Pope?

                  Sold. Thanks, I’ll check it out.

                2. What the hell? I watch Borgia on Netflix.

                  It sure looks like they made two identical series.

    3. As usual with Gilmore he gets lots wrong, but in ALL CAPS.

      I do not call people here SoCons. I have noted that some people here are amazingly touchy about criticism of SoCons, but I have always said they are probably Republicans and/or conservatives or paleolibertarians.

      I only ‘announce’ I am a libertarian because, oddly enough, people like Gilmore questioned whether I was one because I….criticized SoCons when they advocated NAP violations.

      But to the point, Gilmore may not be a SoCon, but he is so clearly a conservative it is downright funny to see him protest that. In an earlier thread today on Chris Christie someone said simply ‘Conservatives frequently see government as the solution to various problems.’ Pretty standard thing for a libertarian to say, right? Well, of course Gilmore criticized it. He can not let even the most standard criticism of conservatives go by without protest.

      1. “Declaration of victory! Smug revision of reality. Paraphrase and reinterpretation to support an ongoing baseless narrative. Statement of what ‘all libertarians’ think (because it is *expert*!) Spin tu quoque reversal defense of slimebag Anthony Weiner as being a fair and balanced comment! hem and haw, bearstroke! Ergo, Q.E.D!”

        1. Add to the list of things beyond Gilmore’s understanding: predicates.

          1. “Pretentious self-exaltation, intellectual ostentation!”

            1. Maybe less Word of the Day Calendar, more Introduction to Logic would be a start?

              1. The Logic that makes me “conservative”.

                Name the “conservative” positions I have endorsed, please, ye font of pure deduction.

                1. Gilmore, I already noted one data point: why would that rather innocuous comment earlier today set you off?

                  1. In other words, your hyper-touchiness to criticisms of conservatives and/or Republicans seems to suggest something.

                    1. Name my conservative policy views, Bo

                      Evidence. Not “suggests”

                    2. Gilmore, when something walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and gets really upset whenever someone criticizes ducks…

                    3. The reason no one takes you seriously bo is that when you are forced to actually provide substance for your bullshit claims, you start this rhetorical dance to avoid addressing the facts. This is why I think you are a pathetic little shit.

                    4. Your obsessive anger is noted, but I have given you substance, over and over. I put it in child-like form in the last comment in the hopes that your evasion of it was due to lack of comprehension.

                  2. “‘why would that rather innocuous comment earlier today set you off?””


                    eyeroller|3.28.14 @ 12:45PM|#

                    Conservatives frequently see government as the solution to various problems.

                    GILMORE|3.28.14 @ 1:10PM|#

                    Vague comment is vague

                    THIS is your example of my hyper-partisan over-reaction to criticism of ‘conservatives’.

                    Please Bo, DO substantiate your view.

                    Or else continue to demonstrate my initial point = you label people who MOCK YOU as ideological enemies rather than people who simply think you a silly, condescending, pseudo-intellectual self-important twatwaffle, completely independent of any political views whatsoever.

                    1. Why would you criticize that comment, Gilmore? You do not see it as pretty standard libertarian fare?

                    2. ….

                      Questions to evade point are questions?

                      mendacious Bo is mendacious?

                    3. I made essentially that same question in my first post on this thread, it is you that has been evading it since.

                    4. I know you’re still kinda new here Bo, but saying “Vague comment is vague” isn’t criticizing, it’s a statement.

                      Oh and thanks Gilmore, I don’t feel like twatwaffle is used nearly enough on here!

      2. I could probably be described as living my personal life as a SoCon, but I can’t think of a justification to impose my preferences on other people.

        1. More than a few here might be surprised that much the same could be said about me. I was raised by very theologically conservative parents and still regularly attend a similar church. I read Scripture and attend church regularly.

          I do not hate Socons, there are many in my family, my church, my community and among my friends. I just think they are wrong about a lot of their policy preferences, and I think they have some strange ideas about sexuality. Other than that they make terrific relatives, neighbors, classmates.

          1. perhaps we can read more about it in your forthcoming memoir, “All About Me: And Why You Must Care”

            1. The projection, it burns!

          2. See, the irony here is that I’m probably a bit more socially conservative (albeit not necessarily politically outside the abortion issue, more like culturally as I find our culture morally bankrupt and devoid of all accountability).

            Yet I live a lifestyle that is nary a shade removed that from of a wild-eyed cocaine-fueled orgy filled with sex toys, 55-gallon industrial sized lube containers, photoshopped pictures of Maggie Thatcher in various lascivious acts with safari wild-life, and legions of men and women of wildly diverse ethnic ancestry.

            1. So, clearly a “conservative” then.

              1. Considering most of this occurs inside of bathroom stalls at airports, yes. Clearly conservative.

                1. Two foot taps of approval.

            2. That is a remarkably vivid description.

            3. Your last paragraph there was True Detective level disturbing.

        2. I wouldn’t impose mine on anyone either, though most wouldn’t put me in the SoCon lifestyle category. My concern is other people imposing theirs on me. However, I probably should mention that not many SoCons dig loud motorcycles.

    4. “….to endlessly reiterate that disagreement with them equates to being a Grand Dragon in the John Birch Klan.”

      Wrong party. Thats the blue one.

      “….they go so out of their way to insist *they* are indeed proper and card-carrying Libertoids (something no one else bothers to announce);”

      Well, I would, except I can never seem to show up on time to take the Libertarian Purity Test, so I have no idea how I would score.

      1. You’re not allowed to take it if you don’t have at least one orphan to polish your monocle.

      2. The first rule of the Libertarian Purity Test is to not take the Libertarian Purity test.

  5. On the other hand, another Hit-and-Runner furiously denounces the Maryland legislature for raising tobacco taxes, a demonstrably effective means of reducing smoking, because a predictable side effect will be increased smuggling from states with lower taxes. Libertarian conclusion: cigarette taxes are evil. Alternative conclusion: cigarette taxation should be a federal rather than a state matter, or alternative the federal government should provide incentives for high-tax states to moderate their levies and for low-tax states to raise theirs.

    I agree, raising taxes/banning things at the federal level is the perfect way to crack down on smuggling and black markets. It’s a good thing we haven’t tried this before, otherwise I’d have to conclude I was the one being the partisan hack.

    1. Why, exactly, it is properly the state’s business to reduce smoking, is not at all clear to me.

      Harm to self? Not the state’s business.

      Increased medical expense? Not the state’s business unless its the state’s medical expense. As far as that goes, it reduces the total government outlay on medical care (true fact: smokers may die young, but they die cheap). Regardless, having volunteered to pick up the bill, the state is in a poor position to bitch about how big the tab is.

      (3) Harm to others? At worst, well below the threshold that the state should concern itself with.

      1. The state’s business is doing the business of the state. And buddy, business is good.

      2. (4) The state discourages harm reduction.

  6. There is a degree of seriousness in terms of comment sections on websites of which have assumed more importance than is deserved.

    Seriously people, it’s the fucking internet. Settle down.

    Kleiman is still an idiot but there is a reason most people ignore PBP on this board, which is similar to the reason why people ignore the crazy cat lady screaming at the tree in the middle of her yard.

    1. Dude, if you have ever lived next door to the screaming crazy cat lady you would know that you ignore her at your peril.

      *narrows eyes and makes extra super serious face*

      1. Yeah. No one can park their car on the crowded street in front of her house even though she doesn’t have a car.

  7. “”Sullum rather lost his temper””

    “Why is Jacob Sullum so full of anger? His apparent hatred must stem from his hyper-partisanship. It is sad and disappointing he could not participate in the dialogue which we welcomed. This is yet another example of how our critics fail to join the reality-based community.”

  8. What a surprise, Kleiman is projecting his own partisanship, bad reaction, and excuse making onto Jacob. Who could ever have seen that coming?

  9. Kleiman appears to be obsessed with Sullum.

    For what it’s worth, Kleiman, if you’re reading this, being impressed by Sullum’s work is nothing to be ashamed of. Lots of well-educated people have been doing it for years.

  10. Kleiman reads this as “an accusation that the President ‘had not read’ the law,” and he takes umbrage at the suggestion.

    I suppose Kleiman also takes umbrage at suggestions that the President has not read the ACA or the Constitution.

    1. Unpossible! He’s a Constitutional Law Professor. That means he cares about the Constitution and we should never second guess his decisions!

    2. You cant be progressive without projection.

  11. Who is this ‘Mark Kleiman’ person?

    1. He’s like the Paul Krugman of Drug Policy.


      1. I (unfortunately) went to read a little bit of his writing.

        “There is no serious alternative to the liberal program” for every conceivable area of public policy is his position.

        1. He may be right, but I’m still keen to try one other than the Republicrats.

      2. “a Professor of Public Policy ”

        Unemployable in the productive sector, of course.


  12. you can judge for yourself who lost his temper and reacted badly.

    Oh Oh let me guess…

    Was it the left wing hack?

  13. They’re scared. I see these libertarian = crazy tea partier equations by the left more than ever. They must see some disturbing trends toward libertarian notions, especially in the youth. Perhaps libertarians really are taking more from the democratic candidates in these close elections…or perhaps they are in those younger demographics.

    1. They should be scared. We’re winning and in more ways than one. State-level government was stormed en masse in 2010 by a tranche of Republicans that, while hardly out-and-out libertarians, are serious reformists. Act 10 in Wisconsin. States are competing with each other by income tax cuts all over the place. There are going to be more states without income tax in a few years. Really, the seizing of state legislatures and governorships in 2010 was a far better prize than the presidency in 2012.

      A libertarian was a serious factor in Virginia’s election, and he not only got a big helping of the youth vote he even got a big helping of people that would have voted Democrat. Worse, Sarvis aside, Coochi got more of the young-ish folk than McCauliffe.

      We’re infiltrating the GOP. The Tea Party is probably past peak and in its evening, but the people Ron Paul brought into the GOP are probably still metastasising through the party infrastructure.

      We’re winning on the environment. Even lefty governments are ditching a bunch of the green nonsense for economic growth. Can’t redistribute wealth if it’s not generated. Millenials identify as environmentalist at a lower rate than any other age category. That’s devastating.

      They are out of ideas and one way or another they will be out of cash or wealth to steal. We have the ideas and the will to take over the GOP. The GOP has a reservoir of potential presidents incubating in state governor offices. Plus Randall.

      1. I think Paul’s recent Berkley speech put the fear of God in a lot of them.

        1. What should really put the fear of God in them and moreso in Hillary is the harmony between Rand’s foreign policy views and America’s today. Rand is the perfect fit for today’s tired broke America that doesn’t want to hear fairy tales from his Dad about how we must repent and also don’t want to hear about we must Save the Day yet again. Hillary is almost the perfect opponent for Rand in this regard. He could do to her what was done to GoldWater in foreign policy.

          1. I think you do not get that Ron Paul’s ‘we must repent’ rhetoric is very likely in service of his ‘we must not Save the Day yet again’ goals.

            1. No it clearly isn’t. As a matter of fact the former clearly works against the latter. Rand figured that out and hence his success. Ron’s a Putin apologist who seriously believes that pre-Shah Iran was some kind of liberal democracy. His ‘institute’ is stuffed with similar clowns.

              1. I think Ron Paul is a non-interventionist, and he thinks a rhetorical way to get that across is to say ‘the US is flawed and many of our interventions demonstrate that.’ A lot of neocons start their calls for war by going on about how wicked this or that leader of another nation is, so I can see why he thinks that.

                1. I don’t care about what neocons say as I am not one of them. Here we see you missing the point and making justifications that miss the point.

                  Ron Paul recently went on TV to tell everyone how ‘The Banks’ want Ukrainian intervention and he never condemned Russia for its behavior. Libertarian foreign policy is doomed until it amputates and denounces Neo-Rothtardian degenerates like Ron Paul.

                  1. I think you are missing what I am saying: Ron Paul is aware that in the marketplace of ideas many neocons and others who want wars start their efforts by going on and on about the wickedness and evildoings of intended targets of intervention. He counters that by reminding people that we are not perfect.

                    I do not know that Ron Paul ‘never’ denounced Russia’s behavior. If he did not he probably should, but I think he is wary of feeding those beating the ‘drums of war’ so to speak.

                2. I think Ron Paul is a non-interventionist, and he thinks a rhetorical way to get that across is to say ‘the US is flawed and many of our interventions demonstrate that.’ A lot of neocons start their calls for war by going on about how wicked this or that leader of another nation is, so I can see why he thinks that.

                  Therein lies Ron’s political achilles’ heel whereas its evidence of Rand’s political acumen. Ron merely adopted one of the two sides of the coin, the neocon “OMGZ TEHY SO EVUL!1!1!” or the progressive left’s “OMG WE SO EVUL!!1!11!”

                  Rand transcends that. He’s TRANDscendent (allow me to TM that before it becomes some sort of trite new sexual identity affiliation for progressives who want to feel othered). He shifted the dialogue and found a third way to define things: “Wow, that Putin is one gawdawful sumbish but i’ll be damned if I wanna poke the bear too hard. Let’s register our discontent with his acquisition but not escalate this into something bigger.” or in Syria “Bashar Assad is no bandleader, but er, maybe we shouldn’t go around arming these Mujahadeen types, lest we forget what happened with Afghanistan.”

                  1. I would agree that Rand’s approach is better, both politically and as a matter of fact. I am just not going to hold Ron’s approach against him, I think he hopes to reach the same goal by it, and there is some truth to the idea that we, too, have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, so to speak.

                    1. Rand to his credit legitimized his father’s thesis in one regard: his victory speech in 2010 he discussed American exceptionalism and stated that we aren’t innately exceptional and that our being considered exceptional is dependent on the actions we take (the implication being that we have sinner and fallen short of that or are on the path towards being irredemably so).

                      While this seems self-evident to those of us with benefit of a functioning brain, it again was a synthesis that partially vindicates both the left and the right by agreeing with the left that we have the capacity for grave moral failure and vindicating with the right that we have the capacity for exceptional moral virtue.

                    2. Agreed, it was a great line in a great speech. If I remember correctly it was so well put too, ‘America is exceptional, but innately so…’ As you said, masterful bridging of the views of the left and right.

                      I really agree with Cyto’s overall point that Rand Paul could be the best candidate against Hillary. Paul embodies a lot of what Obama tried to cast himself to be when he beat Hillary: highly principled, and Rand adds to it something that could really produce a neat dynamic, principles that overcome the usual Team Red/Blue headbutting.

                    3. Sucks that he’s all of five foot nothing though. I shudder to think of the possibility that he ends up looking shorter than her in the debates.

                    4. Oh, and I also vomited in my mouth a little bit just realizing how pathetically superficial contemporary American culture is that I’m legimately concerned that Rand is unelectable solely based on his height. But that gets back to my scathing critique of how vapid we’ve become (and I still maintain that Obama’s two electoral victories are a direct result of this combined with white guilt).

        2. Nothing good ever happened at Berkeley when I went there.

          1. You never ‘got lucky’ when you went there?

            1. That number is probably in the triple digits, but define “lucky”.

          2. That’s because you should have gone to Pacific Tech. Smart people on ice!

            1. Google can’t even tell me what your are talking about.

              1. I think it’s sort of like ITT.

  14. What a little bitch.

  15. Speaking of left wingers be fuckwits about libertarians.

    Here is an article about Bitcoin and dogecoin.


    “Without being too inflammatory, the user base for bitcoin is basically crazy libertarians who are increasingly poorly informed about currency systems and macroeconomics.

    “[Dogecoin] has all the features of bitcoin ? technologically speaking ? but frees itself from the libertarian culture of bitcoin that turns off so much of the mainstream.”

    Never mind that most owners of Bitcoin and Dogecoin don’t speak English and have not one fucking clue what a libertarian is or what reddit is. The majority of bitcoin and Dogecoin transactions take place in China and India.

    It is just vitally important to chose which cryptocoin based on which one the cool kids are using and which one left wing nut jobs need to use as a cudgel to beat up their ideological political enemies.

    1. increasingly poorly informed about currency systems and macroeconomics.

      “Increasingly” poorly informed? Did we used to be better informed about them? Have currency systems and macroeconomics changed significantly? Did this change happen to occur on or around January of 2009, by chance?

      1. Again…I like the way you think.

      2. Maybe he is talking about how Milton Friedman talked about the necessity and inevitability of a digital currency before he died.

        Though I doubt it.

        More likely he is having a hard time coming to grips with the fact that libertarians came up with and propagated an idea he likes.

    2. Didn’t DogeCoin lose a ton of its value?

      1. To be fair all crypto lost a ton of value in the past few days on china central bank rumors.

        Anyway i am not here to talk shit about Dogecoin.

        It seems in the US it has found a niche with reddit users. Cool i guess. But this idiot seems to think that niche is the dogecoin market let alone is the new crypto market and then takes that falsehood and uses it to beat up on libertarians randomly.

        he may as well have said he found a new coffee bean for sale at whole foods that he real likes and then went off on some tirade about how the old coffee beans he use to get were somehow tainted by vial libertarians.

        I think he has libertarians on his mind…or at least some strawman version of them in there.

    3. Separating libertarians and control freaks might be my favorite bitcoin feature.

      Doge guys are getting kind of annoying.

      1. Too bad BTC is taking such a hit from China being a little bitch.

        1. meh.

          without China the value would be much less then it is now.

      2. To be honest i don’t think any of us have ever met one of the majority of Dogecoin users.

        it is just the niche of dogecoin using reddit users who are annoying. The vast majority of dogecoin users are not Americans or native English speakers.

        It is sort of fun watching millennial progressives come to grips with the fact they are fundamentally challenging US monetary policy and subverting progressive credit card and banking regulations though.

        “I love dogecoin and I love Obama’s Keynesian economic policies!?!?! Oh shit what do i do?!?! I know, i will take a giant shit on libertarians to make myself feel justified.”

    4. “In contrast, the dogecoin community doesn’t have anywhere near as much of an ideological bent,” he said. “It is basically a bunch of people happily passing around a silly toy currency and giving coins to their friends.”

      Which is why fad coins like Doge will ultimately fail. For those crazy libertarian types, the alt currency is an active expression of a passionate ideal about freedom, monetary philosophy, bank power, etc (choir, horns…Hallelujah!). For his “mainstreamers” it’s about using this “silly toy currency” as a signal to hipness and fashion. They just want to brag about how they bought a $5 piece of toast at their local toast cafe using some “doges.” How quaint. But movements, especially revolutionary ones with staying power must have an ideology.

      1. BTC is supposed to be an economic revolution. You can’t base that on ideology but on an advantage over the normal means of doing something. BTC or some other altcoin will do that too.

        WTF does this douche even think he’s proving? Yeah one community has an ideological bent and the other are just making a joke. So what?

        1. I guess I would argue that currently BTC is the idea of a potential advantage. Certainly, with the regulatory opponents and the fact that most goods still cannot be bought or sold with the currency, it is in the hope that it catches on and upends the current monetary brokers. So, while I don’t disagree in what it is supposed to be it is neither the easiest thing to use or obtain right now. So it’s advantages are few. It is ideologues, either in the form of speculators who keep it funded, or in my form, who do use it where I can in effort to further the monetary revolution.

      2. They just want to brag about how they bought a $5 piece of toast at their local toast cafe using some “doges.” How quaint. But movements, especially revolutionary ones with staying power must have an ideology.

        I fail to see how being quaint in your interactions in the marketplace us not an active expression of a passionate ideal about hipness.

        You are falling into his progressive double speak trap. Dogecoin as a toy is just as much a tool to change the world as any other crypto.

        Just wait until some hipsters make $100k from tips off some stupid internet meme then get a letter from the IRS….dogecoin could be the wedge that turns the whole lot of them into full fledged warriors of liberty.

        1. “I fail to see how being quaint in your interactions in the marketplace us not an active expression of a passionate ideal about hipness.”

          I fail to see how being quaint in your interactions in the marketplace is not an active expression of a passionate ideal about liberty.

          I derped.

          1. Actually, I think you were right in your first iteration.

            1. Actively participating in a free market is an act of liberty.

              Giving a shit about their potential motives seems kind of culture war-y to me.

    5. The majority of bitcoin and Dogecoin transactions take place in China and India.

      Interesting. Of course, one of the features of bitcoin is that it really doesn’t matter who uses it, the math is the same.


  16. I would bet that Kleiman’s problem is one I find common in a lot of media types: they live in bubbles where everyone thinks like them, and so they have very truncated argument skills. He knows so few actual conservatives and libertarians like Sullum (whom, it should be pointed out, many of the ‘libertarians’ here would disagree with on immigration, foreign policy, etc.) that to him they are all the same: ‘people that disagree with me.’

    1. I think you are onto something.

      I was genuinely surprised to talk to a political reporter from a major AZ newspaper, who had never really put together the pieces on (a) Obama being a product of the corrupt Chicago Daley machine, (b) Obama importing a bunch of corrupt Chicago Daley operatives to the White House, and (c) the White House acting like thuggish Chicago goons, especially in their attacks on media people.

      1. I have literally had liberals tell me, when I merely mentioned that many people can not stand Obama and think he warrants impeachment, ‘really? there are people that hate him that much?’

        1. “They just hate him because he’s black. Redneck racist, they are.”

      2. I think academics have become so thoroughly steeped in utilitarianism (and convinced of their role in a utilitarian society), that they equate people who primarily value free will as barbarians.

        The idea that uneducated people should be free to make choices for themselves is simply seen as barbaric.

        We’ve had a revolution over the course of Kleiman’s career, too, where we can measure things like we never could before. Thirty years ago, the statistics we have now and the ability to measure things like we do now simply didn’t exist.

        That revolution made utilitarianism a hot commodity in academia because there was suddenly so much to do. The reason we talk about global warming now and we didn’t before is in no small part due to being able to measure temperatures now like we couldn’t before…and there are a thousand things like that.

        Respecting human agency as a guide to public policy looks boring and passe by comparison. From an academic standpoint, there simply isn’t much new to do in that area. You say that people should be free to make choices for themselves for qualitative reasons–regardless of efficacy and sometimes in spite of it–and how’s a utilitarian academic supposed to respond to that?

    2. I preface with “I could be wrong since I could only stand so much M.K.

      He just seems to have so little imagination. Hidebound by the ideology that he has held onto for so long he can’t evolve or even consider that he doesn’t know what’s best.

      He had a thought, liked it so much, he declined to have another.

  17. There are two possibilities:
    1) Kleiman knows full well that he is at least far short of the truth in the matters, and is mounting an offense in the hopes that enough arm waving will keep that hidden.
    2) Kleiman really is confused enough to misunderstand the issues and is simply making that clear.
    Or, both, I guess.
    Regardless, PRBTHFFFFFFF!

    1. PRBTHFFFFFFF? Can your explain your teenager speak to us elderly folks?

  18. “Libertarians, like stopped clocks, are right twice a day.”

    Peaceful libertarian use sun-dials, the gun toting ones use military time. Will that cliche ever get stale?

  19. We discussed the confusion that unprincipled people experience when trying to understand the behavior of those who do earlier today in your Hobby Lobby article Sullum, regarding Steve Mazie. Epi nailed it pretty good. It is no surprise that Kleiman would alternate between calling you a team red player and a wild-eyed libertarian. He is unable to make sense of your motives.

    Also, lefties lie. It is what they do.

    1. He just knows Sullum criticized Obama. Only Republicans swayed by the Kochs do that, of course, so that he must be.

      1. This sounds remarkably similar to how you’ve decided to label me ‘conservative’, Bo?

        1. You are electric?

          Sorry, your question mark placement reminded me of that Ron Burgundy moment, and since I have already answered your question a few times just to have you stalkingly repeat it I thought I might as well note that moment.

          1. “”since I have already answered your question a few times “”

            Where have you ever found any evidence of me being “conservative” bo?

            – immigration?
            – Drug war?
            – abortion?
            – gay marriage?
            – religion?
            – ANYTHING?

            repeating yourself that you have repeatedly repeated yourself is, as noted, one of your oft-utilized bullshit evasions which you have come to be known so well for.

            1. You’re an interventionist on foreign policy, so there’s that.

              But again, not everyone that I think betrays a partisan conservative leaning is because of the positions they take. I actually can not recall many positions you take on anything, usually just odd rants about Democrats and progs without any substance I can recall.

              What makes me think you are a conservative is that you are amazingly sensitive and upset over criticisms of conservatives and Republicans. I mean, look how when I produce an example of this from today even, you steadily refuse to answer my point about it. You’re bothered to the point of obsessively stalking and repeating yourself about the subject while never addressing the point. That is what people do when they are afraid they have slipped and outed themselves.

              1. So = you have no evidence of any policy views, and you thought my pointing out that a vague comment was vague was sufficient for you to read into that some kind of “upset”-thing.

                I didn’t really need more evidence that you’re a complete fucking idiot, but its nice to get it all documented for future reference.

              2. “Bo Cara Esq.|3.28.14 @ 9:02PM|#

                You’re an interventionist on foreign policy, so there’s that.”

                Why I’m treating you like a real person and NOT Tulpa’s sockpuppet, I don’t know anymore, but for the record =

                ‘Criticism of doctrinaire libertarian foreign policy theory as being fundamentally impracticable and by very definition *impossible* to maintain in the context of the current modern relations of nation states DOES NOT equate to some equally fictitious theory of “interventionism”

                i.e. – calling libertarian FP ‘bullshit’ does not require advocacy of its theoretical ‘opposite’ – making the case that it does reveals just how fucking stupid you are and incapable of even understanding the critique being made.

                When people like, say, Sheldon Richman go so far as to equate things like friendly relations with ex-soviet states as examples of American ‘interventionism’ then the term itself ceases to have any real meaning. Calling people who believe the entire spectrum of diplomacy and foreign relations are both necessary and *inevitable*, “Interventionists”, isn’t in any way a comment on these ‘others’, but rather demonstrative of what a complete and utter pea-brained fuckwit you in fact are.

                But don’t let that stop you from trying to find yet more elusive ‘evidence’ of my ‘obvious and apparent conservatism’

  20. Who’s Mark Kleiman, andy why do you care what he says?


    1. He’s an economist who struck me in the 1990s as one of the few non-libertarians to think sensibly about drug policy.

  21. From Clown Kleiman’s CV:

    B.A. magna cum laude (high honors in political science, honors in economics, honors in philosophy), Haverford College, 1972 M.P.P., Harvard Kennedy School, 1974. Ph.D. (public policy), Harvard, 1983.

    So many accolades in such subjects from such schools makes Kleiman the hot-dog Kobayashi of bullshit – and little else. No wonder he’s so stupid.

  22. Kleiman is acting like a typical message board troll.

    He still can’t figure out that we’re serious when we say we’re not Republicans–because we keep criticizing Obama. Why would we criticize Obama if we’re not Republicans? We must be wolves in sheep’s clothing, so he keeps trolling Sullum until the truth comes out!

    And it is trolling–making silly accusations, moving goal posts about, accusing people of losing their temper, and then declaring victory.

    Mary or Tulpa couldn’t do much better.

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