Election 2014

Midterm Identity Crisis

On election eve, the two major parties don't seem to know who they are any more.

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Major parties
colarusso / Foter / CC BY-NC

In the run-up to the 2006 midterm elections, voters had grown weary of a second-term president with his large-scale domestic bungles (like Hurricane Katrina) and never-ending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As punishment, they stripped the president's party of majority control over both House and Senate.

Eight years later, voters have grown weary of a second-term president with his large-scale domestic bungles (like Obamacare) and never-ending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (And Syria. And Libya.) The big question for the 2014 midterms is whether the opposition party, having already retaken the House of Representatives, will gain a majority in the Senate as well.

For much of the summer, nearly every independent analyst predicted that the GOP would narrowly re-take the Senate in November's elections. At the start of September, popular political prognosticator Nate Silver gave the Republicans a 62.2 percent chance of taking majority control of the body. But as the month wore on, the likelihood of Republican restoration inched down to 58.5 percent.

Even though Americans continue to be depressed about the weakest economic recovery in the post-war era, and even though they consistently tell pollsters that they are fed up with the political status quo, it's still a coin flip as to whether Republicans will be able to take advantage of the dissatisfaction. One possible explanation for the hesitation is that the GOP, after a raucous six years of internecine struggle, still appears to be philosophically mixed up.

Efforts to replace milquetoast GOP incumbents with fire-breathing Tea Party conservatives largely failed in the 2014 primary seasons, with the notable exception of the scalp collected from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.). Establishment stalwarts Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee easily swatted down insurgent efforts to dislodge them.

But the establishment also suffered losses during incumbent-challenging season, most notably in the expensive, nasty campaign to dislodge Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.). Amash, a staunch anti-interventionist and privacy advocate who has emerged as the leader of the House libertarian faction, squared off against primary insurgent Brian Ellis, who was backed by such establishment conservatives as Karl Rove, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), and Michigan's Chamber of Commerce. After a campaign that called Amash "Al Qaeda's best friend," Ellis lost by 15 percentage points, causing Capitol Hill's Liberty Caucus to breathe a collective sigh of relief.

Even though Congress has repeatedly hit new lows in public opinion polls over the past few years, only four House incumbents, and no incumbent Senators, lost their primaries. But the challenges to party orthodoxy keep coming, on issues ranging from gay marriage to foreign interventionism.

Both parties are struggling to adapt to the late Obama era. The fault lines are more obvious in the Republican Party, but the Democratic Party is also riven by divisions over economic populism, immigration reform, and war. If midterm elections are the first shake of the Magic 8 Ball to divine what a post-Obama America is going to look like, the best answer available right now may be: Ask Again Later.

Pink Elephants on Parade

The existence of openly gay Republicans is not a new phenomenon. The Log Cabin Republicans, an organization for gay men and women within the party, was founded in California way back in 1977.

But gay candidates have been grabbing more headlines in recent years, as the GOP struggles to fit into a world growing increasingly comfortable with same-sex unions. The Republican Party has long campaigned on the primacy of heterosexual marriage, re-upping that stance in its most recent national platform, but that position seems demographically unsustainable in coming election cycles. More than half of Americans now say they favor legalizing gay marriage. Even among evangelical Christians, support for same-sex marriage has doubled over the past decade, to 27 percent, according to the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute.

In this context, it makes sense that the three gay Republicans running for Congress this year have drawn significant national media attention. They are Carl DeMaio, challenging Democrat Scott Peters to represent California's 52nd District in San Diego; Richard Tisei, running against Seth Moulton (one of the few Democrats to dislodge an incumbent in a primary this year) to represent Massachusetts' 6th District; and Dan Innis, who lost a primary fight for New Hampshire's 1st District.

Innis, who called for federal surveillance reforms, lost his primary in September to a more traditional Republican named Frank Guinta. DeMaio (who is an independent contractor for the Reason Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes reason) is a pension-reform crusader who came in second in California's top-two primary system earlier this year and will face Peters in November. Tisei, a deregulation-focused business conservative, was not challenged in his primary.

If either DeMaio or Tisei wins in the fall, he'll be the first openly gay Republican elected to Congress. (Retired Arizona Rep. Jim Kolbe came out in 1996 while he was serving in office, not prior to his election.) If Republican voters embrace DeMaio or Tisei, that could send a strong signal to the national party that it's time to move on from the anti-gay-marriage focus championed by strategists such as Karl Rove.

Although none of the three has made gay issues part of his campaign, they don't hide their sexual orientations either. All three included their partners in their public personae, including appearances at photo ops and in campaign literature.

Innis says the media appeared to be more interested in his sexual orientation than the voters were. "Here in New Hampshire not that many people pay attention to it," he said. "I've been asked about it maybe two or three times. Here, it's settled law." (Same-sex marriage recognition came to New Hampshire in 2010.) "We have our 'live free or die' mentality…I think the party has come to a place where it's much more accepting of us now and with us running for office."

DeMaio hopes that sexual orientation will eventually become a non-issue for the party, and that candidates will be judged on their positions and effectiveness on issues of national import. "On [primary] election night, I said this should send a national message that the Republican Party should return to its traditional roots: freedom in all aspects, lower taxes and regulation," he said. "If you're willing to trust people to spend their own money, are you willing to trust people to live their lives?"

DeMaio and Tisei have libertarian threads in their policy portfolios. DeMaio has been pushing for privatization. Tisei opposes tax increases, supports medical marijuana, and is against parts of the PATRIOT Act.

Do the openly gay Republican candidates see the GOP moving in a more libertarian direction? "Let me put it this way-I'm a candidate that supports small government, low taxes, low regulation, and keeping the government out of my daily life," says Innis. "I think here in New Hampshire the Republican Party is turning in that direction."

DeMaio is more direct: "I think American people have grown libertarian. And the party has been flirting with it. It's time the flirtation blossomed into a full romance."

Democratic Fissures

Rifts have appeared on the Democratic side as well: progressives vs. centrists, anti-imperialists vs. interventionists, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) vs. Hillary Clinton.

It's still too soon to know whether Warren will give Clinton a challenge from her left in 2016, though the Massachusetts senator is on the record saying she does not want to run. But there was a preview of what such a fight might look like in September, when New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo fended off a spirited campaign from the progressive academic Zephyr Teachout. Cuomo represented the centrist, pro-business Democrats (complete with accusations of corruption), while Teachout wanted to ban fracking, raise the minimum wage, and roll back business-friendly tax cuts. Cuomo won, but Teachout managed to grab 34 percent of the vote despite being vastly outspent and never having previously run for office.

The Occupy Wall Street movement may not have amounted to much politically compared to the Tea Party, but there's still a whiff of dislike for government-business collusion on the left. Democrats who ignore this trend may end up facing their own Cantor-style surprise down the line.

One of the more interesting and potentially momentous Democrat-on-Democrat issues is the public-sector pension crisis, which is blowing up budgets across the country-especially in blue states such as New York, Illinois, California, and Rhode Island. In that last state, arguably the most affected by the pension crisis, Rhode Island Treasurer Gina Raimondo demonstrated by winning the Democratic primary for governor in September that pension-reform politics can work for Democrats.

Raimondo's most notable accomplishment in office was orchestrating a massive overhaul of Rhode Island's collapsing public pension program in 2011. She modified benefits for current retirees and existing workers, not just future hires, as other states have done. Most public employees in the Ocean State now have "hybrid" plans that blend 401(k)-style defined contributions with annuities.

As The Wall Street Journal noted in September, "The reforms have saved Rhode Island and its local governments $400 million this year alone. That's not chump change for a state that collects $3.5 billion annually in tax revenues. The money preserved thousands of public jobs and freed up money for schools and public works."

Raimondo also declared at a primary debate that she doesn't want to raise taxes. Disaffected public-sector unions have attempted to cast her as a tool of Wall Street, but Raimondo was able to win a plurality with 42 percent of the vote against two other Democratic candidates.

A Reason-Rupe poll from 2013 shows that Americans are on Raimondo's side, preferring to move public sector employees into 401(k)-style savings programs and make employees pay more into their benefit packages. The public simply is not buying the tool-of-Wall Street narrative, not even union-loving Democrats.

War Drums

Will any of these issues, or the many other policy problems and scandals that have plagued the Obama administration for the past couple of years, even matter in November now that the country is once again involved in a bombing war in the Middle East?

Polls have shown that around two-thirds of Americans favor military strikes against the Islamic State (ISIS) but not the deployment of ground troops. (The fact that there are active military personnel on the ground wearing boots seems not to factor into either the policy preferences of the public or the pronouncements of politicians.) And while Americans are still significantly less likely to support foreign intervention than they were in 2003, in the wake of the ISIS beheadings there has been an uptick in their willingness to do something, even if the precise threat that the Islamic State presents to the U.S. remains unclear.

President Barack Obama launched the latest U.S. war in Iraq, and the new one inside Syrian borders, without explicit congressional authorization and in the absence of an imminent threat. He said he welcomed "congressional support" but did not need it.

While some Republican leaders, such as Amash and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, along with some Democrats, such as Rep. Adam Schiff of California and Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa, argued forcefully for a congressional vote, most of their colleagues quietly acquiesced to the president. Congress easily passed a bill to spend $500 million to help arm and train Syrian rebels, and then it ended its session for fall campaigning. The rising left/right anti-war, anti-surveillance bloc that has received so much press attention over the past 18 months suddenly looked a lot less powerful.

The Bums Stick Around

America's perception of Congress is in the dumpster. Gallup's September poll put congressional approval at a mere 14 percent, one of the lowest ever seen prior to a midterm. According to a Washington Post/ABC News poll from August, half of voters were not just sick of the institution as a whole, but also unhappy with their own representative. And yet when it came down to it during primary season, there was very little punishment administered at the ballot box.

The most notable primary defeat this cycle was Eric Cantor's loss in Virginia to the unknown academic David Brat in June. Cantor was exactly the sort of Republican whom Tea Partiers had hoped to put on the chopping block-a big-government conservative and D.C. showhorse who supported the use of Washington to prop up his big- business buddies and voted "aye" on bailouts, war, and No Child Left Behind.

But that proved to be the high-water mark for throw-the-bums-out. No matter which party controls the Senate come January, we will likely see much more of the same that got us into our present morass.

NEXT: Democrats Anticipate Loss of Iowa Senate Seat

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  1. I’m hoping for a Senate split of 51 (R) and 49 (D) making Rand Paul the most powerful libertarian in history.

  2. Even though Americans continue to be depressed about the weakest economic recovery in the post-war era, and even though they consistently tell pollsters that they are fed up with the political status quo, it’s still a coin flip as to whether Republicans will be able to take advantage of the dissatisfaction. One possible explanation for the hesitation is that the GOP, after a raucous six years of internecine struggle, still appears to be philosophically mixed up.

    Or maybe people have finally come to the realize it just doesn’t matter. The problem is not politicians’ parties, it’s professional career politicians. No matter whom you vote for, you’re going to get fucked. And not in the good way.

    1. No. It’s the people, not their representatives. Allow no re-election and you’d get some improvement, but a lot less than you think.

      Are the people getting what they want? No, of course not. They want a pony. But there is no pony. So they’ll have to settle for a horse’s ass.

      1. + 1 cow pie

  3. How about ending the duopoly? I realize no electoral system is perfect, but FPTP has limited our options/choices. However, it will be extremely difficult to get the Republicans and Democrats to relinquish their built-in advantage. Oh well

    1. “difficult to get the Republicans and Democrats to relinquish their built-in advantage”

      In the same sense that it would be difficult to persuade a Rottweiler to give up the steak he’s eating.

      1. That’s a pretty good euphemism.

        1. What?!?!?

          1. The euphemism being dems and repubs munching on the plebes.

            1. Oh, I see.

  4. I’m always going to root against the party that has Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren as serious voices in it.

    The GOP sucks, but there’s still that 5-10% of them that aren’t totally awful if maybe even a little bit good. That, and the religious right is fading fast in relevance and a less bellicose foreign policy posture is becoming more viable in the Republican Party among younger members.

    1. The GOP sucks, but there’s still that 5-10% of them that aren’t totally awful if maybe even a little bit good.

      And when the party starts running more candidates like that 5-10%, I’ll vote for them.

      1. And when the party starts running more candidates like that 5-10%, I’ll vote for them.

        Unfortunately, somehow everyone believes their particular candidate is part of that 5-10%.

    2. I think you’re missing the biggest offense of them all: They put NANCY PELOSI in charge. She is their leadership. It’s fucking baffling.

      1. She was the big bang of a failed democratic universe… and the despicably arrogant trunked whore Republicans failed to rip her goddamn insipid and retarded ass to shreds.

    3. I would like to see a less bellicose foreign policy posture, but with the exception of a few it really hasn’t materialized.

      Recently, it looks like the trend away from hawkishness has reversed. It is unfortunate.

      1. .

  5. Sorry, Mr. Shackford, but as much as you’re trying to paint it as both parties evolving in a libertarian direction, it just isn’t true. I wish it were. But, as you yourself note, the Democratic battle is between Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren, a hardcore progressive versus a communist. The Republicans have a lot of work to do, I’ll be the first to grant you that. But, as your article shows, they are moving in the right direction. The only movement the Democrats are making is toward more control over every aspect of people’s lives.

    1. Sorry, she is not a Communist. Just because we vehemently disagree with someone politically does not mean we should mislabel them. IMO, it’s lazy, misleading, and potentially counterproductive.

      1. Welcome to the internet. How was the winter on Mars?

        1. At least we know how millenials feel about this subject.

      2. You’re right, instead we should adopt the left’s policy of arguing silly distinctions.

        In all seriousness though, she’s close enough to being a communist that the label isn’t a problem.

        1. What kind of communist? The kind that rules with an iron fist and wants to create forced labor camps?

          It’s a loaded term that has lost clear meaning in American political discourse.

          1. Why dies any of that matter to you?

            Why are you allowing yourself to be derailed by a casual epithet?

            Why do you require strict doctrinal definitions during an informal discussion?

            1. I see it as a pointless smear word. There are some communists/marxists in the United States, but they have next to no power and are not in the Democratic Party’s inner circle. I suppose they could be hiding or lying, but all indications are that most Dems are crony capitalists.

              Crony capitalism is not the same as communism. They’re both bad, but we should make a distinction.

              1. If someone is a dog-kicker, you call them a dog-kicker, not a goat molester. It’s a question of knowing one’s enemy and describing them correctly.

                1. “If someone is a dog-kicker, you call them a dog-kicker, not a goat molester.”

                  What she is, and what she was called, are not far enough apart for that analogy to be valid.

                  “It’s a question of knowing one’s enemy and describing them correctly.”

                  To who? Who decided that casual epithets of some, but not total, accuracy are out of bounds?

                  1. If you mean “communist” in a figurative or contemporary Euro-commie sense, then that’s fine.

                    If you means “government stealing and operating businesses,” I would disagree, since Warren seems to be…yes, a crony capitalist, laying on regulations which the big guys can comply with and the little guys can’t, stifling entrepreneurship among the poor, and trying to buy off the poor with welfare.

                    If you mean literal communist, she can shrug it off and say “I don’t want to nationalize businesses, I just want them to be Socially Responsible!”

              2. “I see it as a pointless smear word. ”

                That’s exactly what is was well done!

                Also, I should point out that you didn’t answer any of my questions, which I’m actually happy about as they were rhetorical and your entire line of thought bores the shit out of me.

              3. I suppose they could be hiding or lying, but all indications are that most Dems are crony capitalists.

                And most Dems aren’t Elizabeth Warren.

                The thing is it isn’t a pointless smear word. Warren is pushing an agenda of massive state control. I wouldn’t call Lawrence Tribe or Alan Dershowitz a communist. Hell, I wouldn’t call Ted Kennedy a communist. I don’t think the epithet is entirely out of line with respect to Warren.

                1. “The thing is it isn’t a pointless smear word.”

                  Apologies I genuinely thought you were using it for an offhanded “close enough” description.

                  1. I am. That’s my point. If it were a pointless smear word, it wouldn’t really work as close enough.

                    1. So, a pointed smear word then.

              4. Crony capitalism is not the same as communism.

                I debate whether that’s true or not, but ultimately it’s not relevant to my contention. I don’t like the phrase “crony capitalism” because it gives Capitalism a bad name.

              5. There are some communists/marxists in the United States, but they have next to no power and are not in the Democratic Party’s inner circle.

                Hilarious. Evidently, Anita Dunn does not exist in your universe.

                Frankly, given the incredibly small number of communists/marxists it is beyond bizarre to see them overrepresented in modern-day governments — but at the same time, a regular feature of leftist governments in the Western world. Perhaps if such governments did not have the compulsion to put Marxists in their governments, they would not be so often be aggregated with such.

              6. She wants the government to control the economy. Perhaps just calling her anti-free market. But the difference of socialist, communist, or fascist is not in what they want but in the method of achieving it which for all intents and purposes makes the distinctions meaningless except for a pedant.

                1. I suppose they will all end up in the same place if you take them to the extremes: totalitarianism. I simply don’t see most Democrats possessing that desire. I may have a low opinion of Dems, but it ain’t that low.

                  For example, Dems have significantly infringed on our civil liberties recently by supporting bills like the PATRIOT Act or engaging in highly questionable practices when in the White House, but there is still a fairly large difference between the nature of those policies and Stalinist tactics. It doesn’t mean they couldn’t be taken that far and/or utilized under such a framework, but I’m skeptical that it will ever happen here.

                  1. I suppose they will all end up in the same place if you take them to the extremes: totalitarianism. I simply don’t see most Democrats possessing that desire.

                    Which is reasonable. The thing is, what is the term you’ll apply to someone critical of the Democrats for not having that desire? If not having that desire is what you think differentiates Democrats from communists, then it isn’t at all unreasonable to conclude that those critical of the Democrats for not having that desire are communists or a relatively close proxy.

                    1. Historically speaking, I think that is a major differentiating factor. I addressed this below, but it does seem as if “communism” and “totalitarianism” have become practically synonymous in American political discourse.

          2. None of them want an iron fist & forced labor camps. They all think they can probably get what they want without them. But when they find out they were wrong, they’d rather grow an iron fist than give up on what they want. So, iron fist.

            1. But when they find out they were wrong, they’d rather grow an iron fist than give up on what they want. So, iron fist.

              Which makes the “at this point, what difference does it make?” hillary quote just that much more hilarious, in a very sad way.

          3. The kind that rules with an iron fist and wants to create forced labor camps?

            Warren? Yes. Without a doubt. I’ll post a Pol Pot quote and a Warren quote and ask you to pick which one is which.

      3. Elizabeth Warren is not a Communist in the same way Rand Paul is not a Libertarian.

        1. That’s about as good an analogy as I can see.

        2. I think Paul is fairly close to mainstream libertarian thought in the United States, but Warren diverges significantly from the policies promoted in say the USSR or North Korea.

          1. Paul opposes legalizing drugs and strict non-interventionism. Can you name anything that Warren differs comparably dramatically from mainstream Marxist thinking on?

            1. I’ll assume we’re talking about the doctrine of Marxism-Leninism. She very clearly hasn’t advocated for (or tried to implement) policies that would eliminate private property or completely replace all market mechanisms with central planning.

              1. I’ll assume we’re talking about the doctrine of Marxism-Leninism. She very clearly hasn’t advocated for (or tried to implement) policies that would eliminate private property or completely replace all market mechanisms with central planning.

                Uhm, which Elizabeth Warren do you believe you’re talking about again?

                I can list policies that she, specifically, has advocated that do exactly all this.

                1. Legislation or proposals to abolish all private property and all market mechanisms? Thousands of burdensome regulations suck, but it doesn’t mean she is a Commie.

                  1. Actually, Marxists (I specifically didn’t opt for Marxist-Leninists) don’t universally demand the immediate abolition of private property. There are whole schools that work on the assumption that it can be done incrementally.

                  2. Thousands of burdensome regulations suck, but it doesn’t mean she is a Commie.

                    In her specific (claimed) area of expertise – consumer finance – the regulations she has favored always boil down to the destruction of all existing contracts in favor of extraordinarily vague agreements that she will be empowered to interpret for “fairness”.

                    As a practical matter, destroying detailed written contracts in favor of arbitrary power is as close to the fuhrerprinzip as we’re likely to get in the US. And the fuhrerprinzip is ultimately a communist principle, because under it private property is purely an illusion.

                    If Warren ran all areas of the economy the way she advocated running the CFPB…yeah, I gotta go with communist. She might not perceive it that way, but her perception is irrelevant.

            2. Who said Rand Paul opposes legalizing drugs? I bet if the opp’ty presented itself he’d go for it, but until then he’s not saying he supports it, and yet you won’t see him working to undermine those who do.

            3. If elected as President, I think Rand Paul will “evolve” on the drug issue. The fruit never falls far from the tree.

      4. Okay, does totalitarian fuckwit work for you?

        1. No, but hardcore progressive would work.

          1. How about authoritarian? Definitions: expecting or requiring people to obey rules or laws, not allowing personal freedom, favouring or enforcing strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom.

            If the shoe fits…

            1. Perhaps, but I definitely don’t see her as being in the same vein as a Putin or a Hugo Chavez. Is there such a thing as a “soft authoritarian”?

              1. Whether she’s of ‘the same vein’ as other authoritarians is irrelevant, what matters is the actual definition of the term. Putin and Chavez don’t define the term authoritarian, they are defined as authoritarian due to their policies.

                ‘Authoritarian’ is simply the belief in submitting to the demands of authority over support of individual liberty or freedom. You’re correct in arguing that she’s not a communist, but let’s not fog other terms up with newspeak either.

                1. Then the vast majority of politicians would be classified as such under this definition. Isn’t it typically used more narrowly in academic discussion?

                  1. .

                  2. “Then the vast majority of politicians would be classified as such under this definition.”

                    And that changes the definition of the term how…? Yes, authoritarianism is a shockingly commonplace concept. Just because people lack the awareness to understand that a position is fundamentally authoritarian does not make it un-authoritarian.

                    But if you’re going with a more ‘academic argument’ Linz covers it with four concepts:

                    1. Limited, not responsible, political pluralism”; that is, constraints on political institutions and groups (such as legislatures, political parties and interest groups).
                    2. A basis for legitimacy based on emotion, especially the identification of the regime as a necessary evil to combat “easily recognizable societal problems” such as underdevelopment or insurgency.
                    3. Neither “intensive nor extensive political mobilization” and constraints on the mass public (such as repressive tactics against opponents and a prohibition of anti-regime activity).
                    4. “Formally ill-defined” executive power, often shifting or vague.

                    All of which describe the modern American political system.

                    1. I have no problem with it, but calling Warren an authoritarian when pretty much every other politician is doesn’t really hit home.

              2. Makes little difference. It’s all at the bottom of the Nolan chart.

                1. Regarding the Nolan chart and political groups placement therein, why would an American conservative automatically rate low on the personal freedom scale. I understand a conservative is trying to conserve the status quo and will not abide deviation, however, what happens when you establish libertopia? What do you call those people who wish to maintain this social arrangement? An American conservative is trying to conserve a socially classical liberal state. There is no way an American liberal’s stated political system allows a society with greater personal freedom then would the conserved society of an classical liberal.

                  1. I get what you’re saying.

                    I think the Nolan chart breaks liberty into two aspects, fiscal and social, so as to be able to describe recent party affiliations on the same chart with authoritarians and libertarians with respect to liberty.

                    I never understood how Team Red and Blue ended up with the positions they did. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to it other than R- this is how it’s always been done and D- we want to do the opposite.

                    Post libertopia affiliations will revert to a one dimensional continuum of liberty and anti liberty…good vs evil…and we won’t need to slice liberty into two components to explain the Teams.

                    1. Except it isn’t really clear to me that the Nolan chart has a lot of meaning, anymore. For simplicity’s sake I’ll limit my discussion to political philosophies and not to applied politicians. It probably made a lot of sense when it was developed in the 60s. At the time, conservatives were opponents of free speech or weird religions or “them hippy freaks”. But, in 2014, I just don’t see it. Your average progressive is orders of magnitude more opposed to social freedom than your average conservative. I guess you can make a case that conservatives have moved from pure conservatism to libertarianism, while liberals have moved from pure liberalism to authoritarianism. But, that seems unsatisfying. Shouldn’t we define the ideologies as they define themselves?

          2. No. Hardcore progressive would describe Hillary Clinton or the current administration. Warren’s challenge to them is that they aren’t totalitarian enough. And playing word games to get around that fact doesn’t change things.

            Let me ask you, would you call Rick Santorum a theocrat?

            1. Most hardcore progressives/social democrats (maybe, a more appropriate term) I know strongly dislike the policy portfolio of the Clintons and the Obama Admin. For instance, think of people like Nader.

              Yes, I think they try to exert too much control in the economic sphere, but they clearly are not totalitarian communists like Stalin or the Kim Family. In fact, they tend to agree with libertarians when it comes to foreign policy and civil liberty related issues.

              I suppose I haven’t really thought about Santorum’s specific views in detail, but he is certainly a strident social conservative.

              1. .

              2. Most hardcore progressives/social democrats

                “Obama and Clinton are no true scotsmen!”

                1. I don’t think Clinton or Obama would be described as members of the far left throughout the developed world. Heck, there are/have been elected politicians in the United States that are generally farther to the left (e.g., Feingold).

                  Despite their leftist domestic policy preferences, some of them consistently stick up for important civil liberties and oppose foreign wars, so I don’t think it is particularly useful to lump them all together. Occasionally, they do have significantly different policy preferences or philosophical positions.

                  1. I don’t think Clinton or Obama would be described as members of the far left throughout the developed world.

                    I see, your goalposts are mobile.

                    1. I never moved the goalposts. I’ve always thought many conservatives and libertarians in the United States should take a broader perspective when attempting to classify themselves or Democrats ideologically. Historically, we have been unique in our support for free(er) markets. Not that many European countries haven’t made significant strides in recent decades.

                      I just don’t think throwing around terms like “communist” or fascist” does much good. I would contend it harms the quality of our political discourse. Especially since they aren’t really being used accurately and/or people have vastly different definitions. I also recognize we already have sh*tty political discussions in the US, but why contribute to it further?

                    2. I just don’t think throwing around terms like “communist” or fascist” does much good.

                      So… your feelings are hurt when a group is accurately labled?

                    3. There isn’t much emotion involved. I do think that it is wrong to effectively insult others by using inaccurate (and loaded) language, but I’m not angry or upset.

                      I can understand why people use such terms, but I would prefer it if they were more careful/precise.

                  2. Despite their leftist domestic policy preferences, some of them consistently stick up for important civil liberties and oppose foreign wars,

                    Laughed out loud. Good one.

                    1. I’d argue it’s impossible to judge a group until they have actually achieved power. Historically Marxists were profoundly anti-war…until they were in a position of power, and then they became brutal expansionists and oppressors.

                      This, for the record, is one of the reasons I don’t consider myself a libertarian despite holding a lot of similar positions…my paranoia that you guys will abandon your principles as soon as you get a taste of that sweet, sweet power. Nothing personal, but talk is cheap and all that. But at least you recognize that the state and violence are not ideal ways to manage society, and I hope we get to see if you’ll act on that.

                    2. Know who else was profoundly anti-war until they were in a position of power?

                    3. There are at least a few. I was obviously not including Obama or Clinton.

              3. In fact, they tend to agree with libertarians when it comes to foreign policy and civil liberty related issues.

                Oh really?

                So they believe employers have the right to hire and fire whomever they choose? They are screaming for an end to hostilities in Iraq?

                You are thinking of the democrats of 20-50 years ago. Liberals if you will.

                The progressives have moved far, far south and east and are much closer to socialists, communists and fascists than they are to the traditional “left”.

                1. I never meant to suggest that they were a strong contingent in the current Democratic coalition or that they hold spotless civil liberty records (economic issues are an obvious concern). However, certain Democrats like Barbara Lee have consistently fought to end intervention. For instance, see this house vote to end the Afghanistan War back in 2011:

                  http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2011/roll193.xml

                  93 total voted to end it and 85 of them were Dems, so some of the “traditional left” still exists.

              4. Totalitarian communists weren’t totalitarian communists either. They were people who were going to help establish rights to houses, jobs, etc., etc. Just turned out once they had the power to do that, and realized they couldn’t- they became totalitarians. Have you ever read the USSR constitution. It’s like the Democratic Party platform word for word. Living wage, healthcare, jobs, houses…

                1. As I said above, I do question how many Dems would actually be willing to go that far. Many Bolsheviks resorted to totalitarianism/authoritarianism in no time at all. Emma Goldman detailed this a few years after the 1917 revolution, so it wasn’t as if they were driven to it after years/decades of frustration.

                  I also think there are core elements/components of Marxist philosophy that could be interpreted in a manner to justify these brutal practices. Mikhail Bakunin recognized this early on and (rightly) castigated Marx’s concept of the “dictatorship of the proletariat”.

              5. And most communists will tell you that the Soviet Union or Cuba or North Korea aren’t “true communism”.

                1. Which is why throwing out the word “communist” or “marxist” to label someone is often not very revealing. I would think most people in the United States strongly associate it with the totalitarianism of the USSR or North Korea, so I consider it to be a fairly serious accusation/charge to publicly level against another individual.

            2. Conservatives are fascists and progressives are communist. Easy as that.

            3. Only if you spelled theocrat A-S-S-H-O-L-E.

      5. Moreover, you’re drawing a pointless distinction about something that is incidental to my point. Warren is pushing an ideology in complete opposition to anything even remotely resembling libertarian principles. The challenge to the Democratic establishment isn’t coming from a push for more freedom. It’s coming from a push for less.

        1. Well, unless you’re female or gay, then the Democrats will fight for your freedom to kill and force others to work for you, respectively.

    2. Modern history has shown that it’s generally not a good idea to ally with fascists against socialists. Hillary’s tenure at State would suggest she’s really no different from the neoconservatives she left in place there, and is likely their favorite for 2016. We should welcome a strong challenger (or two, if we can have Bernie Sanders in the race) who can irreparably weaken Hillary’s campaign and afford a Rand Paul victory in the end.

      1. Modern history has shown that it’s generally not a good idea to ally with fascists against socialists

        Can one be a fascist without being a socialist? I am assuming by socialists you do not mean the state owns 100% of the means of production and there is no private property. I take the general meaning of socialist to be a person who believes that if the state does not like certain outcomes derived from individual liberty then the state has the authority to intervene in any manner it deems necessary to achieve the outcome most beneficial to the state.

  6. Sorry, she is not a Communist.

    Nobody in the Party inner circle is a Communist. What’s your point?

    1. Simply put, that she isn’t a communist. I would never deny that she’s on the American political left, but I think you’re stretching the truth if you refer to her as a “communist”.

      1. .

        1. I assure you I am not. You may never believe me, but I do want to set the record straight.

          1. Why does it matter to you if the record is correct if you aren’t bo?

            1. I don’t want my views to be attributed to another individual. Plus, you guys don’t seem to like Bo much. Hey, if you all are starting to get tired of me then so be it, but I don’t want a bad reputation because people think I am someone that I’m not. Furthermore, I also wouldn’t want the reverse to happen to Bo.

              Also, because it is my name! Because I cannot have another using this e-mail on Reason! I have given you my views; leave me my name!

              1. Swear at me. Call me a fucking dickhead.

                1. Yeah, I’m with Francisco. Call me or anyone a series of horrible swears and slurs and that’s all the proof I need.

                  1. Is that what he does? That’s not my style at all.

                    1. No, just the opposite, Bo is too much of a fucking pussy to swear at anyone.

                    2. No, see, Bo is incredibly pedantic about swearing and his polite appearance. If you were to engage in foul-mouthed verbal gymnastics it would support your case.

                    3. Unfortunately, I’m going to let you down if that is the case. I realize that my core beliefs or judgments may be fundamentally wrong/flawed, so I try my best to remain respectful.

                    4. Nope

              2. Also, because it is my name! Because I cannot have another using this e-mail on Reason! I have given you my views; leave me my name!

                It’s actually trivially easy to change your username. Not quite as easy as it was pre-registration, but still pretty damn easy.

                1. Well, somehow I lost my orange name after registration. I guess that’s some kind of demotion.

                  1. Well, you can’t change your name to one that’s already in use. And the orange is just a link to your email or a website that you can chose to provide/make public or not.

                2. I didn’t know that. Thanks for the info. I hope you caught the reference though.

              3. “Plus, you guys don’t seem to like Bo much”

                If you can guess why, you might not be Bo.

          2. Hmmm, I didn’t believe it, but now you used a specifically lawyer-y term in a pedantic defense…now I’m suspicious.

  7. the GOP…still appears to be philosophically mixed up.

    So what? The major parties are always philosophically mixed up. One does not build a large party on a philosophy, but on trading of support for support. The only way to un-mix them would be to separate the factions, and then separately they’d be powerless to accomplish anything.

    1. The only way to un-mix them would be to separate the factions, and then separately they’d be powerless to accomplish anything.

      I fail to see a problem with that.

      1. Complete gridlock. Awesome:)

        1. Keeping everything the way it is now, forever?

          1. Better than trusting Government to do something.

    2. Exactly, in the DNC you have the old manufacturing unions who love the Marxist rhetoric but traditional have been very conservative on the social stuff. That’s quite the mix of rednecks and hippies.

    3. That exactly. The country thankfully is not a majority anything. It is a collection of ad hoc majorities on various issues.

      1. Which, unfortunately, is reduced to the lowest common denominator of two parties.

        Fucking Democracy. I want our Republic back.

        1. I am not so sure about that. I think the problem is too little participation and imput by the population at large. The majority of the country has opposed every single big expansion of government in the last 100 years from Wilson to the New Deal to the Great Society to Obamacare. And they have punished the party that did it severely after it was done. The problem is that the parties that did those things didn’t care and were able to keep them from being reformed even after the public objected.

          I think our problem is not the voters. It is our elites. Our elites in both politics in the media honestly think government is the solution to every problem and their job is to do it even if the rubes are too stupid to know what is good for them.

          1. See, I view the problem differently. I think the plebes believe Government is the only solution to every problem and continues to vote people into office that hold the same beliefs.

            1. If that were true, the Democrats wouldn’t be getting ready to get killed this Tuesday. If that were true, Democrats would be running on Obamacare in the stimulus rather than pretending they didn’t happen.

              It is a nice myth to tell us that the free shit brigade rules the country and is the reason why we are here. But it is just not true. And you can tell its not true by looking at what politicians actually say when the run for office. They never run on “I gave you free shit and will give you more”. Sure, that is what they do once they get in there. But when it comes to elections it is always about some culture war issue or some claim to want to make government responsible and go after all of the deadbeats. The reason for that is that appealing to the free shit brigade doesn’t get you elected. Giving them free shit gets you power and gets your cronies jobs once you are, but it doesn’t get you there.

              1. But you’re leaving out that the FSB (free shit brigade) is only upset because of how their Top Men managed to fuck it up. The FSB is still there, it’s just the other party that promises better, different free shit looks more appealing this particular time. Or do you believe that anyone could possibly believe that the Republicans are going to undo anything done in the past (insert number of years) this time?

                I’m asking questions to derive an answer, not to lead you to my conclusion.

                1. You are ignoring what the Democrats have actually done and what they are now saying. The Democrats have done nothing but give free shit away for 8 years since taking Congress. If that were actually popular, they would be talking about how they gave away all of that free shit and how the only way they can give more is if you re-elect them. And that is not what you are doing.

                  The reason why them fucking up matters is because most people don’t want free shit. They are just willing to tolerate the government giving away free shit as long as it is competent.

                  I wish I could kill the FSB meme off. It doesn’t advance freedom or anything good for the people who claim to defend freedom to demonstrate a complete and utter contempt for the country and the people in it. That is going to convince no one of anything other than Libertarians and Conservatives are assholes who think everyone who doesn’t agree with them is a bum.

                  1. . That is going to convince no one of anything other than Libertarians and Conservatives are assholes who think everyone who doesn’t agree with them is a bum.

                    I feel old far beyond my actual age, and firmly believe that anyone that wants free shit is a bum and a thief. I don’t care if their feelings are hurt, because I see no change possible. I know, it’s depressing and vindictive, but it’s also true.

                    1. Then don’t worry about it. Why worry about something that isn’t going to change? Meanwhile, to those of us who think it might change, that attitude is very counter productive. It does no good just to bitch and moan and tell everyone how studid and lazy they are. Most people are not stupid and lazy. America is still the hardest working country on earth. There are still a ton of amazing and interesting things that get done in this country. And it drives me nuts when people sit around and pretend all of America looks like Detroit because doing so lets them feel smug while also allowing them to feel sorry for themselves because the world is just so horrible.

                    2. Most people are not stupid and lazy. America is still the hardest working country on earth.

                      I do agree with that, but my gripe is that the FSB has reached critical mass and is not stoppable anymore. The only questions left are which free shit they take this time.

                    3. “I feel old far beyond my actual age, and firmly believe that anyone that wants free shit is a bum and a thief. I don’t care if their feelings are hurt, because I see no change possible. I know, it’s depressing and vindictive, but it’s also true.”

                      They’re also ignorant. Most seem to have no idea where the government’s money comes from, and the few that do seem convinced that it is somehow the “rich” responsibility to pay for them to sit on their asses all day.

                    4. If that were true Bard, the Republicans would never win a single election. I know the Republicans are craven cowards but they don’t out free shit the Democrats. It is not even close. If the country really were like the one you described the Democratic Party would rule everything. And yet it doesn’t. And it is not because the Republicans have this wonderful image and are able to promise more free shit than the Democrats.

                    5. I know the Republicans are craven cowards but they don’t out free shit the Democrats.

                      The GOP and the Democrats usually tie on social security and Medicare – so on the number 1 and 2 free shit line items, they tie.

                      They generally tie on farm price supports, too.

                      I’m stupefied that you think that people don’t campaign on free shit when just about every major party politician swears up and down they will fight to protect social security and Medicare.

  8. Jeezus Krist, how are any of you managing to think clearly right now? I’m in Carl DeMaio’s district and I’m alternating between catatonia and frenzy. The race is a dead heat, but the difference between DeMaio and Peters is chasmic. I don’t know how I’m going to make it to Wednesday morning. I’d start drinking now, but I’ve got a teeny list of errands that require driving and clear speaking.

    1. I, for one, see absolutely no difference between two politicians that want to take my money.

      1. Okay, so I see not everyone is thinking clearly.

        1. Will you please elaborate? What differences will there be if one candidate is elected over the other? I’m on the east coast and not familiar at all with this race.

          1. Okay, here’s an example. It’s from the past, but that’s better than speculation about how things will go in Congress.

            San Diego has been madly fighting with its own city council on jacking the minimum wage to $15/hr. Peters and DeMaio are both former councilmen; DeMaio was always a firm No, Peters a firm Yes. My friend with an ice cream bar will have to close it if the minimum wage hike goes through, and the local ice creamery that supplies her will lose a client. So there’s two iotas of difference. And to me, those little iotas are the kind of difference that’s meaningful.

      2. I’d pay higher taxes to make government stop doing most of what it does. Like Will Rogers said, “Thank God that we don’t get all the government that we pay for”.

  9. Christ, politics is tedious. Adam should’ve just had a threesome with Eve and Satan and called it a day. I have no fucking idea how that even applies to any of this political bullshit, but whatever. Who the fuck cares? The Republicans will win and Fox will throw elephantine golden showers and sperm all over the room every time I turn it on and the radio will spill the jizz of worthless conservative talking heads for months on end.

    And nowhere in all this sweaty jubilation will freedom be advanced- not a single fucking instance.

    1. Finally, a winner.

    2. You’re an optimist. I think the Democrats are going to take the close races.

      1. And the Democrats will fuck freedom up the ass with their tiny boners just as feverishly as their prehensile-trunked counterparts.

      2. I’m a pessimist. I think that Democrats or Republicans are going to take the close races. I’m a glass-is-empty kind of guy.

  10. http://dailycaller.com/2014/10…..nce-shows/

    It appears the failure to control the border is what has given the country the entrovirus epidemic. The thing about this issue is that it is not an argument against immigration. It is an argument against uncontrolled immigration. Moreover, it really an argument against tight legal immigration. Immigration is no different than drugs. If it is legal, you can control it. Since we have such tight restrictions on immigration, we wouldn’t have so much illegal immigrtaion and would be better able to keep sick people out of the country.

    I doubt, however, that argument will be made and the issue will be either supressed or spun by the anti-immigration people as an argument against all immigration.

    1. It appears the failure to control the border is what has given the country the entrovirus epidemic.

      Wow, John. It’s almost like my quarantine argument was valid.

      1. No. It is almost like controling the border with Mexico is different than controlling immigration with West Africa. If Ebola were loose in Mexico, you argument that shutting the border wouldn’t work would make sense. The problem is that we were not talking about Mexico.

        1. No. It is almost like controling the border with Mexico is different than controlling immigration with West Africa.

          I see zero difference; if one border is open, then effectively all borders are open.

          Open does not equal Closed.

          1. I see zero difference

            Have you never looked at a map? Do you not realize that West Africa lies thousands of miles away and across an ocean from the US and Mexico and the US share a land border hundreds of miles long? Anyone in Mexico who wants to come to the United States can do so by simply walking across the border. If someone in West Africa wants to come here they must either fly or take a boat. It is the reason why there are very few illegal aliens in the country from West Africa and millions of them from Mexico and Central America.

            If you can’t understand that difference, I don’t know what else to tell you other than the Atlantic Ocean is not the Rio Grande.

            1. If you live in West Africa, does it matter whether you fly to the US or Mexico?

              Picking either one is such a vast improvement in quality of life that you’re packing your bags and getting on that plane even if it’s got a 99% chance of crashing in the Atlantic.

              1. You still have to fly though.

              2. If you live in West Africa, does it matter whether you fly to the US or Mexico?

                Clearly it does or we would have just as many West Africans here illegally as we do Central Americans. It is not like they wouldn’t come in large numbers if they could. It is just that they can’t since the only way to get in the country is to have the money for a plane ticket and the ability to get a tourist or student VISA. That makes coming here impossible for most West Africans. Mexicans in contrast only need a bus ticket or to hitchhike to the border where they can walk across.

                You are just telling yourself bullshit here. Why can’t you accept the fact that oceans make a difference in how difficult it is to control immigration?

                1. You are just telling yourself bullshit here. Why can’t you accept the fact that oceans make a difference in how difficult it is to control immigration?

                  Tell that to (pick any non native american race present in country today).

                  Immigration laws don’t work dude, all they do is make immigration more difficult for the people that are willing to tolerate mountains of bullshit. To those that aren’t, they’re 100% irrelevant.

                  1. Immigration laws don’t work dude,

                  2. Immigration laws don’t work perfectly. But they do reduce immigration or people wouldn’t want them gone. Moreover, saying you can never stop all immigration is different than saying you can’t stop travel for a defined period of time during an epidemic. They are two entirely different issues.

                  3. “Tell that to (pick any non native american race present in country today).”

                    Um I wasn’t aware that anyone was trying to immigrate to various indian tribes. Pretty sure most people living here are descended either from people who immigrated to the United States legally, or the people who colonized, and settled a mostly depopulated region of the world.

                    1. Well, there were those who had no choice in the matter as well.

              3. They don’t just have to fly, they have to get a VISA to get into Mexico. It is harder to get a VISA into Mexico that it is to get into the US. Anon acts like the US is the only country in the world that ever checks passports or controls its borders.

                1. Anon acts like the US is the only country in the world that ever checks passports or controls its borders.

                  Have you ever traveled in Europe?

                  Cause I’ll tell you re-entering the US sure makes it look that way.

                  1. I have lived in Europe. And they check your passport. Try getting in without one sometime. You won’t get on the plane.

                    Also, try going into Europe flying from the Middle East with a Middle Eastern Passport. It won’t be quite the walk through you think it is.

                    I don’t know what to tell you other than your fantasy that West Africans can come to the US by just getting on a plane without a passport or VISA and flying to Mexico and then walking across is just not true. You refuse to give up that fantasy no matter how many times and how clearly it is explained to you.

    2. “I doubt, however, that argument will be made and the issue will be either supressed or spun by the anti-immigration people as an argument against all immigration.”

      Thats only if you consider shouting racist, and nativist an argument.

    3. You make a good point about how open immigration (i.e., if you can afford the ticket to Ellis Island, you can come) is often conflated with open borders. However, I strongly disagree with your characterization of the article. At best, the article reports that one dude has a theory that the particular strain of virus behind the epidemic is one usually found in Central/South America. But theories, like opinions, are like assholes; everyone has one. Even the guy theorizing this admits we don’t have an answer as genetic tests haven’t been run.

      The real story is that these tests may not be run because the answers have the possibility to embarrass the Obama administration.

      1. Sure just because the epidemic started with a strain ordinarily found in Central America and coincided with an influx of unacompanied children from central America is no evidence that the influx is responsible for the epidemic. It is just some theory some evil Mexican hating doctor pulled out of his ass.

        And you are right, the full investigation won’t be done because it would embarass the Obama Administration and the country in general doesn’t ask questions that might make anyone but white males look bad, Obama or no.

        1. Sure just because the epidemic started with a strain ordinarily found in Central America

          Umm… did you RTFA? According the article, no one yet knows what strain or strains caused the epidemic because no one has done the tests yet.

          Officials “have to do the genetic analysis” to disprove or prove the link, Nora Chapman, an enterovirus scientist at the University of Nebraska, told The Daily Caller.

          But there’s already more than enough statistical evidence for American citizens to demand that scientists test the viruses to see if Obama’s progressive border priorities spread the dangerous contagion throughout the country during 2014.

  11. Simply put, that she isn’t a communist.

    Aww, are your feelings hurt?

    For the record, I don’t think she’s a communist, but if she wants to play one on teevee in order to exploit the economically ignorant FEELZ of the empty headed youth cadre voter, fuck it; let’s call her one.

  12. Isn’t it typically used more narrowly in academic discussion?

    What the fuck does that have to do with the discussion here and now?

  13. Does Rand Paul pass the Libertarian purity test? Rand recently spoke about Jesus Christ and his teachings:

    Mr. Paul emphasized his opposition to abortion. As he was introduced to the crowd, a video of an ultrasound and the murmur of a beating heart played, accompanied by lines from Mr. Paul’s speeches like, “I will always take a stand for life.”

    He ended his speech with a line from 2 Corinthians: “Where there is the spirit of the Lord, there is liberty.

    “No civilization,” Paul added, “can long endure that does not respect life from the not-yet-born to life’s last breath.”

    Looks like the Cosmotarians are the ones with the identity crisis.

    1. Yes, because the only possible arguments against abortion are biblical.

      1. Not sure if you’re being sarcastic there. Plenty of people have problems with abortion that do not believe in the bible. Like me for example.

        1. This pro-life Buddhist was being very sarcastic.

        2. Many of the “libertarians” here love Rand Paul because he’s more or less a “libertarian.” Cosmotarian refers to “a libertarian who holds socially liberal personal opinions about abortion, homosexuality, race, and other social issues.”

          Many of the folks here want unrestricted abortion and they also hate religion — particularly the christian kind. Their hero, Rand Paul, is a christian, hates abortion and quotes the bible.

          Because Episiarch, and others here, aren’t bright enough to see the contradictions and how that leads to an identity crisis (the candidate I love also loves things I hate) is beyond me. Of course, Episiarch’s replies aren’t surprising considering most everything he writes is either puerile or a personal attack.

          1. Oh man, your butthurt is delicious.

            Rand Paul is some people’s hero? Really? Only to people who are stupid and pathetic enough to make a politician their hero. And for people that stupid, I doubt there is any “contradiction” or identity crisis. People that expect and hope for some asshole politician to come save them don’t have enough identity to have a crisis.

            Your “gotcha” is moronic. It’s hilarious that you think you have a point. But keep whining, it’s certainly entertaining.

            1. Epi, maybe you didn’t read my remark below about your usual method of discussion.

              I rest my case.

              1. My mistake Epi. It was the comment you were replying to, which makes it even more hilarious and sad.

              2. Rest that case, big guy. It still doesn’t help your moronic point. But hey, it allows you to whine and avoid addressing criticism, so it has that going for you.

                1. Exactly what was your criticism? I never saw it. I read a lot of screeching and deflection and you seemed to have missed my point entirely.

                  If you can address the contradictions presented by Rand Paul’s social and political views to Reason’s, please do. But if all you’re going to do is ridicule me, then really Epi, it gets tiresome.

                  1. You haven’t presented any contradictions. Abortion and religion are not libertarian issues.

          2. This I think is the genius of Paul and why I think he is the best bet to win the nomination and although I am loath to admit something this optimistic, the best bet to win the Presidency in 2016.

            He is not Romney or McCain. He is going to appeal to the millions of SoCONS who stayed home in 2008 and 2012. On top of that he is not his father. He is not going to piss off the national security conservatives the way his father did. You can tell this by how desparate the attacks on Paul by the national greatest Republicans are. They are calling him idiotic things like “isolationist” and trying to pretend he is the same as his father. It is not going to work because he isn’t.

            Yet Paul manages to do this without taking on the baggage associated with the social conservatives. He can get their votes while doing in a way that doesn’t open him up to the beltway douche bag “he is just a dumb hillbilly” attack the way someone like Jindal (who is a fucking Rhoades Scholar BTW) would be. Paul hits just the right notes to win the nomination and build a coalition that will win the election.

            1. (who is a fucking Rhoades [sic]Scholar BTW)

              So are Robert Reich, Bill Clinton, Nick Kristof, George Stephanopoulos, and Naomi Wolf.

              Not helping.

              1. Two things. I wouldn’t describle any of the first three as stupid. They are just wrong. Wolf is may or may not be stupid but is such a broken and angry person it is hard to tell.

                Second, even if you or I don’t consider the disctinction as great as it once was, the media sure as hell does. It shields genuine idiots like Rachel Maddow from criticism all of the time. Yet, doesn’t seem to matter when it is not their side.

          3. Does Rand Paul pass the Libertarian purity test? Rand recently spoke about Jesus Christ and his teachings:

            Looks like the Cosmotarians are the ones with the identity crisis.
            reply to this

            Many of the “libertarians” here love Rand Paul because he’s more or less a “libertarian.” Cosmotarian refers to “a libertarian who holds socially liberal personal opinions about abortion, homosexuality, race, and other social issues.”

            Many of the folks here want unrestricted abortion and they also hate religion — particularly the christian kind. Their hero, Rand Paul, is a christian, hates abortion and quotes the bible.

            Duke, from what you’ve written, I don’t think you have the first fucking clue of what it means to be a libertarian.

            Abortion and religion don’t have jack shit to do with whether you are a libertarian or not. The two are not libertarian issues. There are no left leaning libertarians anymore than there are right leaning libertarians. There are ONLY libertarians. People who value not violating the rights of others.

            Furthermore,

            I’ve NEVER met a person who can pass the libertarian purity test.

            1. Do you mean 100% or 60% as “pass”?

              1. If you’re above 75%, you’re okay by me.

            2. The libertarian purity test can’t pass the libertarian purity test.

          4. Their hero, Rand Paul, is a christian, hates abortion and quotes the bible.

            I’d support Paul because if he governed according to the principles he espouses, his religion wouldn’t matter.

            He could be a fucking Aztec heart-cutter-outer and it wouldn’t matter a damn.

            The fact that I hate Christianity and, say, robc loves Christianity would be irrelevant in a just political order.

          5. Because Episiarch, and others here, aren’t bright enough to see the contradictions and how that leads to an identity crisis (the candidate I love also loves things I hate) is beyond me.

            I take it you’re single.

      2. See my reply below HM.

    2. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      You used “cosmotarian” without irony, make an appeal to…the Bible?, and think you have a point. This is some top shelf shit right here folks.

      Have you been drinking early? Maybe with Jesus?

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      1. Have you been drinking early? Maybe with Jesus?

        Have you not?

        Jesus always has to have a cold one after mowing my lawn.

        1. Hey, man, I just got up recently. And I have to squat. Then I can drink.

      2. Epi, what exactly is your point? Mine is quite simple if you’re able to understand it. See my reply above.

        1. Man, you can’t do that with replies… People be boozing this Saturday eve, brolord.

          1. Dude, I’m like up there and down there and what the fuck? Seriously, bitch is not kind.

            1. It’s Sunday morning here. Coffee and phenylpiracetam for breakfast.

    3. I’m as “pro-abortion” (in the sense of being for its legality) as it gets, but if someone is anti-abortion for this reason, I’ll trust him much more than the avg. person re policy in general.

  14. my best friend’s mom makes $78 an hour on the internet . She has been without a job for 10 months but last month her pay was $15356 just working on the internet for a few hours. see this website…

    ???? http://www.cashbuzz40.com

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