Eminent Domain

Bugs Bunny vs. Donald Trump on Eminent Domain

Cartoon rabbit, unlike New York developer, understands the 'the sanctity of the American home'


As mentioned here last night and this morning, Republican Party 2016 presidential frontrunner Donald Trump said some truly awful things yesterday in support of the use of eminent domain to force small property owners to sell to big developers. There are no shortage of good written arguments in the Reason archives for why Trump is wrong about that. So let's instead turn to a character who knows a thing or two about Manhattan real estate barons and homeowner "holdouts"—Bugs Bunny:

It's important to note that Mr. Bunny's critique was not limited to reliably unpopular private-to-private property transfers, but also to instances of "good" eminent domain, like for the building of freeways:

Links via Ken Basart and pugilistatrest.

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  1. You didn’t want to go the “Wreck it Ralph” route huh, Shackford.

    1. I don’t even know where to begin telling you what’s wrong with that comment.

      1. What? They stole his stump to build a high rise and he had to live in the dump. They might as well have wrote “TRUMP” on the building.

        1. I guess it is weird that Scott would rather tie his argument to two classic animated shorts instead of something that happened in the first 14 seconds of a movie and was never mentioned again. That must be why he posted under Matt’s name.

          1. I have no idea why I thought it was Shackford.

          2. There it is. The bottom linked article. I didn’t scroll up far enough.

  2. Bugs Bunny is my only hero. Come on, Warner Brothers. We want a complete chronological Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies set!

    1. Aw come on, who’s more heroic than Scrooge McDuck? I can’t think of a more popular Libertarian character.

      Though yes, Bugs is close second. Unlike most of WB stable, he embraces the NAP and usually doesn’t start anything.

      1. He’s so wascally, though

      2. Scrooge McDuck is Disney, not WB, if I recall correctly.

        1. Also, as someone who identifies as a duck, I find his miserly ways highly offensive.

          1. You should be more offended at Howard.

            1. Oh, I’ve already started an anti-Howard campaign on the Twitter.

              1. That must be why the SPLC added you to their list of domestic terrorists.

      3. The thing I have against the present political system is that it tries to make everybody exactly alike. We should have a million different patterns.

        They say that wealthy people like the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers are sinful because they accumulated fortunes by exploiting the poor. I feel that everybody should be able to rise as high as they can or want to, provided they don’t kill anybody or actually oppress other people on the way up. A little exploitation is something you come by in nature. We see it in the pecking order of animals?everybody has to be exploited or to exploit someone else to a certain extent. I don’t resent those things

        Carl Banks, the creator of Scrooge McDuck

        1. Carl Barks created Scrooge McDuck. You might be thinking of Carl Banks the linbacker from the 90s or possibly Carlton Banks.

          1. Yes, I suffer from Carlton Replacement Syndrome. (CRS)

            1. So you’re the one watching repeats of Rhoda.

          2. I feel like someone should mention Carl Weathers, because… Carl Weathers.

            1. Hold on. You’re not going to throw out that chicken bone, are you?

            2. Sure, why not? Throw him in there. In fact, you add some broth and a potato? Baby you got a stew going.

      4. McDuck is a dummy. How he amassed that fortune is beyond me. He keeps it in gold, locked in a vault, rather than investing it. Not exactly the smartest move, especially since the Beagle Boys are constantly trying to steal it. It’s much easier to steal some gold coin than to steal a factory, or stock in a company.

        1. You realize he only keeps his “petty cash” in the money bin? What is stupid is his venture capital investments in Gyro Gearloose.

          Good money after bad, I tell you.

        2. Don’t you get it? That gold is his walking around money. It’s on top of all the investments he has. He’s THAT rich.

          1. Plus, he likes to swim in it

          2. You mean swimming around money? If that vault is just his piggy bank then I’d love to see his portfolio. He must own the world, plus several neighboring worlds.

      5. Road Runner is a good libertarian too… ‘cuz ROADZ & his stance on N.A.P. * Meep meep.

        1. Nah…Wile E. Coyote is hella libertarian….always trying and failing miserably.

        2. No, little shit only wins because laws of universe don’t apply to him. He’s like the opposite of libertarian movement.

          1. Just because he’s figured out the laws of the universe doesn’t make him un-libertarian, it just means you are haters of success. ;p


    2. I have no problem with awarding Bugs Bunny just about any award the world has to offer.

    3. Daffy Duck FTW

      1. +1 Duck Dodgers

      2. Daffy Duck was the loser to Bugs Bunny’s Trump. Always getting his stupid beak blown off.

    4. CN, the best you’re going to do is search DailyMotion for videos using LT012 and so forth.

  3. Warner Bros. had a bunch of good cartoons with classical liberal themes to them back in the day. I might root around for links to some of them.

    I remember clearly my education in capitalism began with a cartoon that was a twist on the story of the Shoemaker and the Elves. After helping the shoemaker out as in the classic tale, the Elves get recalled to elf headquarters, and the shoemaker complains that he doesn’t know how to run a business and will go broke without the elves making all the shoes for him, so the elves give him basically a microeconomics 101 lesson. The lessons of that cartoon stuck with me much more that a hundred thousand facile morals on the importance of sharing or whatever in modern kids shows.

    There was another one where a guy gets hurt after crashing his car, and the car is put on trial for it. The prosecution makes the car out to be a menace, but it gets off when it’s pointed out that it’s the humans operating cars that bear the responsibility for their actions.

    There are some good kids shows out there today, but it doesn’t seem like any of them try to teach anything useful or practical anymore.

    1. I remember when Porky was selling gas. It had a sign that said “Gas 1 cent/gallon” then it had all the taxes and fees and it was like 35 cent a gallon.

      1. Wesley Mouch appeared in a Tazmania episode in the 90s.

        1. You’re making that up. Of course the only thing I remember from that show is that the dad and uncle were Bing Crosby and Bob Hope.

    2. I recall a Bugs Bunny cartoon from when I was a kid where Bugs and Yosemite Sam were running for mayor. Bugs gives a speech in Teddy Roosevelt costume, saying, “I speak softly, but carry a big stick.” Yosemite Sam runs up and shouts, “Yeah, well I speak LOUD! And I carry a BIGGER stick. And I use it!”

      It mostly went over my head at the time, but looking back, that’s friggin hilarious.

  4. Guys, I’m going to need at least 3 more Trump/Eminent Domain articles or my day just won’t be complete. Keep ’em coming.

  5. Bush pioneered the abuse of executive authority. Obama quietly expanded it. Trump openly embraces it (assuming he’s the executive). It should be no surprise that he strongly advocates for something like eminent domain. I’m sure he sees Judicial review as an unnecessary impediment to him building our futuristic uuuuutopia.

    1. It’s gonna be so great it will make your head spin.

    2. “Bush pioneered the abuse of executive authority. ”

      No, you’re thinking of Lincoln(wartime) and Teddy Roosevelt(peacetime).

      1. you’re thinking of Lincoln(wartime) and Teddy Roosevelt Thomas Jefferson (peacetime).


      2. Yeah, Washington, actually. But that was like a hundred years ago.

      3. Come on. You know, Bush should be blamed for every thing /sarc

    3. “Bush pioneered the abuse of executive authority. Obama quietly expanded it. “


      Executive orders were a major feature of presidencies starting with Teddy R., through Franklin R. They’ve actually been trending lower and lower since Carter.

      The fact that they were never “new” doesnt make them any better, obviously.

      Much is lost in this sort of “raw #” analysis, since *what* the executive order attempts to do is often more significant than the means itself.

      I think there may be an argument that they could make sense when there is strong popular support for some policy shift which politically, representatives are too cowardly to forward. Something like complete shift on Federal Marijuana policy would be an example (that hasn’t happened).

      When they are used for blatant political purposes re: policy that the country has strong and divergent opinions about (e.g. Immigration)… i think they become far more objectionable. We don’t elect dictators and shouldn’t countenance Executive Decree.

      Still, even then they function as a challenge to congress to get its act together and work on some legislation to over-ride and obviate the executive assertion.

      short – i think the devil is in the details on how they are applied.

      1. Agreed. My only point was that I expect Trump to be even worse on executive overreach than either of the previous two presidents, both of whom expanded executive power quite a bit (though often with the express consent of Congress and SCOTUS). So, we shouldn’t be surprised that Trump supports policies like eminent domain.

      2. Fewer EOs, many more signing statements and policy directives.

  6. good written arguments

    Written arguments that are good or arguments that are written good well?

    If this were a professional operation I’d just assume the former, but….

    1. Some body needs to go to the Derek Zoolander school.

      1. I’m pretty sure that if it is the former, it should be “good, written arguments”. At least it would clarify things. Can I can get a ruling from Niki?

        1. English grammar is something that has always mystified me.

          1. The language is cobbled together from a hundred different dialects of peoples who hated each other and could not understand each other. Just enough of everything was thrown in so that everyone in England could read just enough to get the drift of the KJ Bible. Eventually the bastardized language in the KJB became ‘English’ as everyone learned to read more anmd more of it and so it became the language on the street as well.

            You are mystified for a reason.

            I think a similar thing happened in Italy with Dante’s Inferno.

  7. Bugs Bunny is always appropriate.

    And Chuck Jones was way better than Robert McKimson.

    1. Chuck Jones’ work is one of the high points of Western Civilization.

        1. I love that piece

        2. Pretty awesome.

  8. Whenever the block-head goon construction worker, boxer, train conductor, etc… entered the scene in a Bugs cartoon, you knew he wasn’t going to have a good day. We need a man like Bugs again.

    1. Those were the days

      1. So you’re saying I missed the libertarian moment?

        1. no, just a tired old tv-show reference

          “Boy the way Glen Miller played
          Songs that made the hit parade.
          Guys like us we had it made,
          Those were the days.

          And you knew who you were then,
          Girls were girls and men were men,
          Mister we could use a man
          Like Herbert Hoover again.

          Didn’t need no welfare state,
          Everybody pulled his weight.
          Gee our old LaSalle ran great.
          Those were the days. “

          1. It may be old, but it was fucking awesome.

      2. Didn’t need no welfare state

        1. +1 Meathead

  9. This is just like a Bugs moment:
    NY inmates beat Harvard’s noted debate team by arguing schools should be able to bar kids of illegal immigrants


    1. It’s not that stupid scream/rap debate nonsense is it?

      1. Debating in tongues? I’m still hoping that’s a hoax.

        1. Too much of it out there to be a hoax.

    2. I’m surprised the Harvard team would venture to such an unsafe space.

    3. “The purpose of the debate was to highlight the success of the Bard Prison Initiative, through which inmates are able to engage in a “rigorous” course of study, tuition-free, upon the conclusion of which they can earn a degree from Bard College

      …which as everyone knows, carries enormous prestige and utility

    4. “”They caught us off guard,” Harvard debater Anais Carell told The Journal.”


      – Another described their performance like “being shanked in the yard” or “forced to toss their salad”

      1. Anus Carell in a prison debate?

  10. Nah, the inmates out-smarted the *smarties*

  11. See also: Herbie Rides Again:

    “Alonzo Hawk is a mean-spirited property developer who has bought several blocks of land in the downtown district in order to build a gigantic shopping mall. There is one problem however; an elderly widow named Steinmetz won’t sell the one remaining lot that Hawk needs to proceed with his scheme. “

  12. I think America prefers big government conservatism. They’ve been voting for it for at least 47 years.

  13. Trump! Gamergate! and eminent domain!!

    All in one epic Coulter facebook post!!


    Someday this internet is going to end…


  14. Kelo was as much a travesty of justice as was Dred Scott. The Justices that affirmed it should be ashamed – and would be if Leftist’s had the capability.

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