Social Conservative Worries That the GOP Is Getting More Libertarian, And Also That It's Getting Less Libertarian

A party pulled in multiple directions


Beneath the image macro, the beach.

In a post Thursday about CPAC—a yearly lollapalooza for young conservatives and their gurus, currently underway in the D.C. suburbs—my colleague Robby Soave reported that social conservatives have been fretting about the libertarians making inroads in their movement. To see an odd manifestation of that fear, read this passage from Frank Cannon of the American Principles Project:

CPAC recognizes the need to include and give a voice to the full spectrum of conservatives, because without such a continuing effort, there is real torquing of the conservative movement from a fusionist conservatism towards a more libertarian, immigration-restrictionist, and corporatist Republican party.

Not to spell out the obvious or anything, but to the extent that a party is getting more corporatist and immigration-restrictionist, it is not getting more libertarian. At best, this is a poorly worded description of a party being pulled in several directions at once. At worst, Cannon is confused about what the words he's using mean.

In other CPAC news: Former NSA chief Michael Hayden is apparently under the impression that he's a libertarian. Maybe the word can mean anything you want.

NEXT: CPAC's Foreign Policy Split: Old Hawks and Young Doves

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  1. Your face is a libertarian.

    1. You’re a towel!

  2. At best, this is a poorly worded description of a party being pulled in several directions at once.

    That’s how I read it. He’s (poorly) describing a coalition at odds with itself.

    1. I once heard the difference between union and unity described as such,

      “Son, if you take two cats and tie their tales together with twine, then throw them over a clothesline, while you may have a union, you damn sure don’t have unity.”

    2. The only thing poor about the description is the accidental use of the word “and” instead of “or”. It was in an online page that, while it probably had more time & cause to be worked over than most blog posts, still doesn’t deserve this kind of criticism, Jesse W., or an excuse for that headline here (whichever editor put it in), which would be more deserving of, say, a book. Thanks for calling att’n to the piece, even if the snark about it here wasn’t called for.

  3. You keep using that quote. I do not think it is what you think it is.

    1. Yeah, I really hate the way these internet memes invariably contain stupid errors, whether it be in spelling, grammar, or simple accuracy.

      In this case it’s accuracy that’s the issue. Here’s the real quote, which any self-respecting Princess Bride should recognize.

  4. Maybe the word can mean anything you want.

    I mean, Bill Maher calls himself a libertarian.

    1. But he’s a leftist so the Jaquette is OK with it.

    2. I call Bill a turd farmer.

    3. I remember when Guliani tried to define it…..

      Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.

      What is it about the lisping, mincing NY GOP crowd (Guliani, Peter King, etc.)…are they all closet “bottoms”?

      1. That douchebag oughta get hooked on a dictionary and read what the effing definition of freedom is.

    4. He may be the most famous “libertarian.” Probably why casual observers know lots of wrong things about libertarians. I’m not much for the purity test but I can’t figure out how Maher connects himself to libertarianism.

      1. Oh, I remember, it’s because he wants to legalize MJ. I guess that’s one thing.

          1. But I LOVE meat!

            Ban him!

  5. “Maybe the word can mean anything you want”


    1. Eh, you’ve got too big a war-boner to know the difference GILMORE.

      1. Where’d you get that impression?

        1. Where’d you get that impression?


          I don’t have reasonable here at work, but Bo explains it in that link.

          1. You “got that impression” from…Bo?


            1. (i see now what you mean)

              “there’s a difference between “let’s avoid wars” and “let’s never intervene”.”

              yes. Thanks. never mind everything else.

      2. FYI –

        pointing out that ‘non-intervention’ isn’t functional as actual ‘foreign policy’…

        (given that what constitutes ‘intervening’ for the purists includes everything in the foreign relations toolbox – diplomacy, alliances, trade relations, sanctions, security agreements, aid, etc – it is nothing except an absence of ‘policy’.

        Never mind that there have been pointed criticisms made of the Rothbardian fantasy-world FP approach which no ‘non-interventionist’ has seemed capable of addressing)

        ..or that people like Sheldon Richman are batshit-insane?

        …neither makes one an advocate of an aggressive, militaristic foreign policy (aka “warboner”)

        Its like a vegan accusing everyone else of being Bloodthirsty-Meatists

        1. Gilmore, you’re delightful. As you struggle to run away from your stances you embrace them at the same time. You can’t help yourself.

          1. “‘MEATIST!!! I TOLD YOU!!'”

        2. Don’t bother Gilmore. There’s a certain breed among libertarians who cannot distinguish between the notion that statecraft will necessarily exist in the most libertarian government and raging warboner imperialism.

          These people cannot be reasoned with.

          1. “statecraft will necessarily exist”

            yep, more or less my point in a nutshell.

            the bizarre thing is that the same people who will declare me apostate for merely acknowledging reality, will then turn and declare ‘some’ interventionist-policy ‘better’ than others… despite having previously taken the position that there *is no flexibility possible* in their ideological framework. You’re either on the side of Good and Right, or you’re an *interventionist* for merely acknowledging that ‘all foreign policy involves some degree of influence-wielding that is coercive’

            else, why is it a claim of ‘non-intervention’-as-policy…. rather than a preference for ‘least-intervening’ policy? (probably a fair description of what i’d prefer)

            The ideological ‘grey area’ always re-emerges for their rhetorical convenience.

  6. Libertarian. That word that is used to describe everything from total fascism to total anarchy.

    1. Its like “democracy” that way.

      1. The Swiss Army Knife of words….it gives you the ability to shoot heroin while boning a Zebra and establish re-edukation kamps for badthinkers!

        Truly a wonderful word!

  7. CPAC recognizes the need to include and give a voice to the full spectrum of conservatives…

    Make no mistake. We are NOT conservatives, and we’re here for your party Frank. /libertarian

    1. If you think the founding documents were libertarian, I think libertarians would be under conservative.

      If you think we could go back to governmental levels of the past, that’s also conservative.

      1. Libertarians overlap with conservatives on certain issues. We overlap with liberals on certain issues. That doesn’t make us conservative or liberal.

        1. The only thing that makes us ally with the Republican party (and conservatives in general) is that small area where the Repubs/conservatives pay lip service to limited government and personal initiative/accountability.

  8. If I dye my hair blue, stop shaving my chest, and get a bunch of jangly earrings, it would be appropriate to say that I’m getting bluer, hairier, and more metallic… despite the fact that no single part of me is changing in all three of those ways.

    to the extent that a party is getting more … immigration-restrictionist, it is not getting more libertarian.

    So Ron Paul is not libertarian?

    1. “If I dye my hair blue, stop shaving my chest, and get a bunch of jangly earrings”

      I thought you were going to add something like “I would then run for office as a Libertarian.”

      1. Nope, still too tame.

      2. To run as a Libertarian, you need to dye your skin blue.

        1. Like the guy in Montana (???) who went on the colloidal silver binge?

          1. We used to see a guy in the ER all the time who abused silver and developed argyria (blue skin) as a result. He looked like a bad alien from Star Trek TOS. He was also pretty crazy, not sure if the silver did that (or the crazy led to the OD on silver).

        2. I thought it was yellow, but that the yellowing of the skin was actually an unintentional byproduct of the jaundice that all libertarians naturally develop when they seek solace from the cold cruel world of state ubiquity at the bottom of a bottle…

          1. Have one of your orphans use their tears to clean your monocle…..that should help remove the yellow tinge!

            1. But the tinge is blue! It’s blue I tells ya!

    2. Oh, look. The lying shitbag Tulpa is here.

      Before anyone assumes he’ll argue in good faith, read this.

      1. Wow, that’s the first time I’d ever read that thread.

      2. It’s almost as good as the juicy ham tears thread.

    3. “So Ron Paul is not libertarian?”

      I don’t know, ask Bo he is the only one who can determine what a real Libertarian is.

      1. I would swear it says “R” next to his name.

        1. Did he say “libertarian” or “Libertarian”?

  9. I’m going to give Cannon the benefit of the doubt: He’s talking about the *Republican* Party here, so he’s probably referring to the confusion and chaos of the party’s various positions.

    He could have been *much* clearer, of course.

    1. Yeah he’s talking about Reagan’s definition of conservatism being a mix of 3 different groups or ideas: libertarian economics, security, and religious groups. He’s not saying that libertarians represent the other two ideas. It’s really the opposite. The context is that hose views, even to the extent that they disagree are part of conservatism.

      People may disagree on that definition of conservatism, but it’s not what the author has made it out to be.

      1. I always heard that conservatism was an unlikely alloy of libertarianism mixed with traditionalism. I always thought that was pretty accurate.

        It’s always why I always thought it made more sense for libertarians to reach out to conservatives then leftists. A conservative is at least part libertarian, I can’t really say the same about a leftist.

        1. A conservative is at least part libertarian, I can’t really say the same about a leftist.

          The Liberals of 20 years ago were as much libertarian as Conservatives are today.

          Civil liberties…drugs, sex, free speech, anti-war…

          Conservatives are ever so slightly more libertarian than the left. Which is to say they are 55% libertarian and growing, whereas the left is 45% and shrinking.

          1. Frank, I think I’d set those percentages lower, but I can’t argue with the trend.

          2. The Liberals of 20 years ago were as much libertarian as Conservatives are today.

            Civil liberties…drugs, sex, free speech, anti-war…

            More like 40-50 years ago. Liberals were largely full authoritarian progressives by the late 1980s. Opposition to the state went from a moral obligation to treasonous sedition one day in January of 1992.

            1. Opposition to the state went from a moral obligation to treasonous sedition one day in January of 1992.

              It had a renaissance of sorts in the 2000s, though.


            2. January ’93, actually.

  10. Enigmatic alt text. Is that the Marquis de Sade? Is he going to the beach?

      1. The word is “inconceivable”? Haven’t seen the movie in the clip, so looks like it’s an enigma wrapped in a riddle inside a movie I haven’t seen.

        1. Haven’t seen the movie in the clip

          How.. how is this possible?

          1. Some people have boycotted anything and everything with Rob Reiner’s name on it lest he use his proceeds to further intrude into others’ lives via the state.

            1. I didn’t know he did that.

        2. I think I saw most of that movie on TV once, but it’s not necessary. It’s self explanatory by the clip, whose larger meaning in the movie I don’t remember. How can you not be able to conceive of things you’ve already seen?

    1. Prepare to die.

      1. As you wish.

      2. Stop saying that!

        1. Anybody want a peanut?

  11. General Hayden once had enough power to disappear pretty much anyone on the planet.

    A career intelligence officer who has always worked for, and worked to expand and wield, the might of the state’s fist.

    No, sir, you are not a libertarian. Keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better.

    1. General, I served with Murray Rothbard. I knew Murray Rothbard. Murray Rothbard was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Murray Rothbard.

  12. I prefer the simpler times, when I was defined as a Republican who smokes pot.

    1. Real libertarians are Republicans that smoke pot and have buttsex with Mexicans.

      1. Smoking pot and sodomizing Mexicans go together like a fist in glove.

        1. Is getting sodomized one of those jobs that Americans just won’t do?

          1. Judging by the cast of your average Max Hardcore movie….an emphatic “no”.

            1. No that Master has awarded control of the Net to the communications Gestapo the future for free porn could under serious threat.

      2. But our hearts are beating inside Republicans according to Ronald Reagan (PBUH).

    2. A Republican who smokes pot, aka a libertarian.

    3. Al Franken called me this to my face.

      my ex-girlfriend brought me to a show the guy was doing @ Joes Pub back before he was a senator… when he couldn’t remember the name of the afghan operation before it got ‘pc’-rewritten – from ‘Infinite Justice’ to ‘Enduring Freedom’ -, i helpfully reminded him. He asked if i knew that offhand because ‘i was a republican’. My girlfriend excitedly screamed “he’s a libertarian!” and he offered the ‘oh, a republican who smokes pot’.

      My retort was, “Maybe i’m a Democrat who actually passed economics class?”

      I got a slight “ooooh” from 3-4 people. No one else thought it was much of a burn. neither do i actually. fuck that guy. the tickets were free and i still want my money back.

      1. Lucky for Al there’s Minnesota, otherwise he’d still have to pay the audience to watch his show. You bet-cha, uffda!

      2. Well I think it’s a good one. Award yourself one gold star,

        1. Not bad at all, especially on the spot.

          Al was just recycling an old joke. You had to come up with a new one. You win on points.

      3. “a Democrat who actually passed economics class”

        From what I remember of his political wit of the little I read years ago, it’s much too fact-based and mature to not go way over his head. You would’ve had to throw in “poopy pants” or something similar for him to understand.

  13. Contrasting today’s Republican party against the party of just 30 years ago it’s considerable how little hold the social conservatives have today compared to just a few decades ago. Of course the same could be said of the democratic party. Still, it’s a little difficult to understand how anyone would be willing to lose everything just to hang onto some prudish and outdated views.

    1. “Contrasting today’s Republican party against the party of just 30 years ago it’s considerable how little hold the social conservatives have today compared to just a few decades ago”

      Of all the trends Nick ‘called’, he got this one pretty much spot on.

      where is it… there’s an article where he pointed out that the SoCon “watershed” moment had come…and it was going to be all downhill from there.

      Anyone? I seem to recall it being somewhere in Bush’s second term.

      It was shortly before he and Matt started flogging the ‘libertarian moment’. around 2008-2010. 🙂

      1. Still can’t find it, but this interview nick did w/ Bill Moyers seems to reference it.

        (I think he’d been on a real tear in 2007 on how the Religious Right already had their watershed moment and their influence was basically over and in permanent decline)

      2. Probably in his first term, before he lost influence and a Repub Congress.

    2. Contrasting today’s Republican party against the party of just 30 years ago it’s considerable how little hold the social conservatives have today compared to just a few decades ago.

      You could say the same thing about Libertarians.

      1. Murray Rothbard =

        l. Slash Taxes
        2. Slash Welfare.
        3. Abolish Racial or Group Privileges.

        Abolish affirmative action, set aside racial quotas, etc., and point out that the root of such quotas is the entire “civil rights” structure, which tramples on the property rights of every American.
        4. Take Back the Streets: Crush Criminals
        Cops must be unleashed, and allowed to administer instant punishment, subject of course to liability when they are in error.
        5. Take Back the Streets: Get Rid of the Bums. Again: unleash the cops to clear the streets of bums and vagrants.
        6. Abolish the Fed; Attack the Banksters
        7. America First. Stop all foreign aid
        8. Defend Family Values
        …public schools must allow prayer, and we must abandon the absurd left-atheist interpretation of the First Amendment that “establishment of religion” means not allowing prayer in public schools

        ….every one of these right-wing populist programs is totally consistent with a hard-core libertarian position … on such vexed problems as drugs, pornography, prostitution, or abortion… pro-legalization and pro-choice libertarians should be willing to compromise on a decentralist stance; that is… to leave these problems up to states and better yet, localities and neighborhoods, that is, to “community standards.”


        I was under the impression that this ‘Rothbardian’ libertarianism was supposed to be more ‘left-leaning

  14. I think it means ‘I like the butt sex and week’.

    1. You blew the layup.

  15. OT: Your Saturday nut-punch

    WASHINGTON PARISH, La. — One of the worst days of Douglas Dendinger’s life began with him handing an envelope to a police officer.

    In order to help out his family and earn a quick $50, Dendinger agreed to act as a process server, giving a brutality lawsuit filed by his nephew to Chad Cassard as the former Bogalusa police officer exited the Washington Parish Courthouse.

    The handoff went smoothly, but Dendinger said the reaction from Cassard, and a group of officers and attorneys clustered around him, turned his life upside down.

    “It was like sticking a stick in a bee’s nest.” Dendinger, 47, recalled. “They started cursing me. They threw the summons at me. Right at my face, but it fell short. Vulgarities. I just didn’t know what to think. I was a little shocked.”

    1. Not knowing what to make of the blow-up, a puzzled Dendinger drove home. That’s where things went from bad to worse.

      “Within about 20 minutes, there were these bright lights shining through my windows. It was like, ‘Oh my God.’ I mean I knew immediately, a police car.”

      “And that’s when the nightmare started,” he said. “I was arrested.”

      A ‘living hell’

      He was booked with simple battery, along with two felonies: obstruction of justice and intimidating a witness, both of which carry a maximum of 20 years in prison. Because of a prior felony cocaine conviction, Dendinger calculated that he could be hit with 80 years behind bars as a multiple offender.

      1. What the officers and attorneys did not know was that Dendinger had one critical piece of evidence on his side: grainy cell phone videos shot by his wife and nephew. Dendinger said he thought of recording the scene at the last minute as a way of showing he had completed the task of serving the summons.

        In the end, the two videos may have saved Dendinger from decades in prison. From what can be seen on the clips, Dendinger never touches Cassard, who calmly takes the envelope and walks back into the courthouse, handing Wall the envelope.

        I’m just shocked. No perjury charges against any of the officers. Sheriff says they did nothing wrong. He’s suing.

        1. No perjury charges against any of the officers

          You know there were two prosecutors that testified that the guy asssaulted the cop? Everybody talks bad about the cops because they’re troglodytes but the prosecutors are just as evil and the judges are all former prosecutors – yet somehow they actually get the respect cops think cops deserve. Which makes them worse than the cops in my book.

    2. On the subject of nut punching, what ever happened to Radley Balko?

      1. He writes for the Washington Post now. I got that link from him in fact.

      2. Killed by extended testicular trauma.

      3. I decided to use the Internet to do a search while it’s still legal. WaPo.

        1. I decided to use the Internet to do a search while it’s still legal.

          Now, now, it’s still perfectly legal under our Net Neutrality laws. All we need you to do is fill out this Consent To Search form, this 99-B form, acknowledge that you are not knowingly utilizing the Internet for criminal purposes HERE, sign the Gender/Race/Culture Equality agreement here, and by doing the above you agree to pay a $0.75-per-character-$2.00-minimum fee for searching.

          Thanks for using USAGoogle!

          1. Yeah, like they’d restrict to to “knowingly”.

        2. The internet will remain searchable. Sure, the FCC may force Google to retool its algorithm in such a way that it only pulls in .gov webpages, but this is the price we pay for civilization.

          1. No, it’ll be more like this: “Google search results are unequal, demonstrating discrimination by race and sexual orientation….”

  16. The Washington Post?? Nice nut punch, Balko. Well, that explains why you completely fell off the radar. How many subscribers they have over there these days? A dozen? Half a dozen?

    1. Eh. He was preaching to the choir here, and the HuffPo readers agreed with him but blamed everything he wrote about on Republicans. At WaPo his message at least has a chance to get out to a few more people on the fence.

      1. Ah, missed that part. Must have happened while I was back home for an extended stay without Internet access. When I left he was attacking police misconduct. When I returned he was gone.

        Well, thanks for the explanation.

        1. I was back home for an extended stay without Internet access.

          Dude, Rykers Island isn’t really your home, you know.

        2. When I returned he was gone.

          That sort of thing happens at HnR. Just ask [REDACTED]

          1. Don’t talk about [REDACTED]!

            1. This is why there are no [REDACTED].

              1. Things were a lot better around here when [REDACTED] was running things.

                1. I have heard no denial to the allegation that [REDACTED] fucks [REDACTED].

                  Just sayin’….

  17. I find it bizarre that anyone would advocate getting more “corporatist” as a positive thing.

    Not that they know what it means or anything, but “corporatist” is a hate-word for progressives. It’s like deliberately labeling yourself “neo-liberal”.

  18. Who the fuck is this crazy man? Is it Mary?

    1. I’ve seen Hihn show up once and awhile, he’s a special breed of crazy likely separate from Mary, he may or may not be this guy.

      Admittedly he seems to have slightly improved his writing ability over time, he no longer uses internet shortforms and smugly writes *laughing* at the end of every paragraph. Now he just calls people dumbfucks.

      1. He is not Mary Stack. He is in fact the person whose site you link to.

        Here is the proof.

        He is also, most assuredly, batshit crazy. He blathers on, making sense only to himself, like a stroke victim. His writing here looks nothing like his writing elsewhere, which leads me to believe that he may just be losing his mind in his old age.

        Not worth the time debating as he is incapable of it.

        1. Not worth the time debating

          It really is like arguing with a mental patient – one with a bad case of Tourette’s and, sadly, a knowledge of how to bold text. Thank god for reasonable.

  19. What have we done to deserve this maroon M Hihn AND Botard AND Mary Stack AND…

    Oh, wait – deserve’s got nothing to do with it.


    Happy Saturday, almost everyone!

  20. I see you people are trying to give the angry senile man a stroke. I approve.

  21. This is awesome!

    it works for filtering out specific people… also, probably other stuff i’m not aware of. But basically “reasonable” for Firefox (needs Greasemonkey to run)

    This entire thread is only 1/3 as long now because everything ‘Hihnified’ is gone.


  22. My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do,

  23. That link was a terrible. “To refuse to use force against a aggressor when we can do it is to authorize his aggressions.”

    That is such BS. The singing revolution in Estonia occured without any troops on the ground. The USsR killed millions, yet there was no invasion to help out. Instead, individuals throughout Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania got together and had their peaceful revolution, and it worked.

    Since WW2, there has been over 70 interventions from the U.S. alone into other countries. Have we become more free? After WW2 (and even WW1) and all of the sacrifice of my brothers and sisters who served before me, didn’t result in these countries continuing to fight for their freedoms. The EU has become a bastion of socialism, and utilizes the violent state to ensure the surfs stay loyal to the state.

    Maybe if they fought for their own freedom, would they have fought to keep it. Instead, the fighting and sacrifices made were in vein, as these liberated countries chose slavery instead of being free.

    If you and the individual that wrote that drivel wish to intervene in other places, put on some boots, fatigues, or coveralls, grab an m16 and head on over there and fight your damn self. Don’t hide behind us waiving your don’t tread on me flag saying you support freedom, while pushing those of us who have balls enough to fight.. to fight some bullshit conflict while you claim how great your foreign policy of “selective” intervention is.

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