Matt Welch Asks, Is Barack Obama a Stealth Libertarian?

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White House

For two groups who share a strong antipathy toward the current president, libertarians and conservatives sure don't agree on much when it comes to Barack Obama. On foreign policy, neoconservatives tend to think Obama is an appeasement-addicted driver of America's perilous withdrawal from the world, while libertarians portray him as essentially serving out the third and fourth terms of George W. Bush. When the president announced in May that U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan would be reduced to 9,800, Weekly Standard Editor William Kristol called the plan "unbelievably irresponsible" and "totally crazy," while Reason's own Nick Gillespie lamented that "Obama gives 10,000 men opportunity to be last man to die for our mistake." It's always a healthy exercise to check your premises and examine whether the people you disagree with may be onto something. But even if you're 100 percent secure in your assessment of the commander in chief, Matt Welch proposes a potentially awful scenario to consider: What if Barack Obama turns out to be the most libertarian president of the post-Cold War era?

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  1. Is Barack Obama a stealth libertarian?

    NO.

    1. How many ways can ‘no’ be said?

      Nyet.

  2. Erase all the negative comments, and now they will suddenly turn positive.

    1. turn that smile upside down!

  3. What if Barack Obama turns out to be the most libertarian president of the post-Cold War era?

    You can do all kinds of things with numbers when you trim them down to only statistical outliers.

    But still…no.

  4. Ummm … What happened to all the comments from earlier?

    1. Welch is just giving us some time to cool down and reconsider our opinions.

  5. ” But even if you’re 100 percent secure in your assessment of the commander in chief, Matt Welch proposes a potentially awful scenario to consider: What if Barack Obama turns out to be the most libertarian president of the post-Cold War era?”

    What an unbelievably stupid question. The idea that Obama is a stealth libertarian, or really even has any beliefs in common with libertarians is laughable. Even if you could argue that his results have been slightly less interventionist than his predecessors Foreign Policy is just 1 area of politics and everywhere else Obama has been a disaster from a libertarian perspective. More importantly however it is clear that Obama has actively wanted to get the US MORE involved in playing world cop than it has been, he has just lacked the political power to do so.

  6. I read this and thought, “Is Matt Welch trolling us?”

    1. No. I think Matt Welch actually buys into this.

  7. In the latest news, I’m taller than Danny DeVito.

    Sorry Matt, this article is just plain stupid and unworthy of Reason. It’s right up there with Steve Chapman’s worst articles.

  8. It’s always a healthy exercise to check your premises and examine whether the people you disagree with may be onto something.

    Why the delete then?

  9. FUCK YOU OBAMA! Always gotta be right, with your little quips! We get it, man. You’re fuckin’ edgy and cool. Yeah! You’re the most libertarian post cold war president! WHOOO! That’s like being the smartest kid with Down syndrome! Oh and, oh, yeah. Why aren’t you in jail?

  10. Wasn’t there something about a 15″ male member up here earlier? Asking for a friend mind you.

  11. Ummm … What happened to all the comments from earlier?

    They’re on file at the Ministry of Love.

  12. This is actually a fairly good article, paired with an incredibly stupid clickbait headline. Nowhere in the article does Matt Welch ask, assert, or imply that Obama is a “stealth libertarian”. He explicitly rejects the idea that Obama is any kind of libertarian. The only point he makes (and which he also laments) is that Obama is 1) in some ways less offensive to libertarians than Clinton and both Bushes, 2) probably less offensive to libertarians than any of his major-party successors. The only thing Welch is comparing Obama to is other Presidents and would-be Presidents, not any actual libertarians.

    1. But is Kim Jong-un more libertarian than his father? Cause that’s important.

    2. Pretty much how I read it. It is arguable that Obama, for whatever reason.. stealth agenda or lack of political power, is the most libertarian president compared to recent inhabitants of the White House, at least as far as interventionism. I don’t necessarily agree, however. I would say, that given our incredibly low bar for “libertarian.” that Bill Clinton could easily take the prize. And that is a bit scary 🙂

  13. Swiss Servator asks “Is Matt Welch a stealth editor”?

  14. Where is the article?

  15. The original post still exists, although it doesn’t appear on H&R

    https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_4617141

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