Antonin Scalia

The Fight Over Scalia's Replacement Shows Why Most People Hate Dems & Reps

Dems & Reps both have a good argument in the fight over who should pick the next Supreme Court member. Sadly, the argument is that both sides are sacks of shit.

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By now you've heard not only that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died over the weekend but that the only reason President Barack Obama is going to nominate a successor is because he's a Kenyan-born socialist whose only reason for living is to destroy America and its exceptionalismism (that's American exceptionalism taken to the next level, as it will be when we finally get a president again who was at least born in North America)!

Or perhaps you fully understand that the only reason all the GOP presidential candidates and Senate Republicans will refuse to even consider Obama's nominee is because they are secret members of the Ku Klux Klan who have opposed the country's first black president because they are racist homophobes in the direct employ of the Koch Brothers, the Bilderbergers, and the International Banking Conspiracy.

In fact, when it comes to the argument over whether a president should nominate a person to the Supreme Court in his last year in office, Republicans and Democrats can marshall all sorts of historical prejudice, most of which has been soaking in partisan hypocrisy like housewives' hands used to soak in Palmolive dish detergent. What is not at issue, however, is that the president has the constitutional right to do so and the Senate has the constitutional right not to act.

I'm less interested in relitigating the recent and distant past when it comes to unspeakable acts of jurisprudential bullshit (hello, Chuck Schumer! hello, Ted Cruz!) than I am in pointing out how perfectly the current situation illustrates why confidence and trust in government has tanked in the 21st century. Before poor old Nino Scalia, the pride of Trenton, had even gone fully cold, Democrats and Republicans were already carping about the replacement process and hurling invective like a troop of howler monkeys playing with its own feces. The parties' handlers in the media—whether actually paid for by GOP or Democrats or simply assuming the mantle of "expert analyst"—went into partisan hyperdrive to walk through just what an outrage it was that Obama would even dare to nominate anyone or that the Senate would refuse to contemplate even a clone of Scalia (well, at least if it was derived using fetal stem cells…).

This sort of display helps explain why partisan identification among Americans is at or near historic lows. In Gallup's latest take on the issues, just 26 percent of us will admit to anonymous pollsters on the phone that we are Republicans. That's one point above the historic low. And just 29 percent of us will cop to being a Democrat, which is the lowest recorded figure in Gallup's decades of asking.

Of course nobody wants to be one or the other. 

Look at these idiots, whose lives are completely and utterly consumed by tribal affiliations that are about energizing as looking in the toilet and discovering bloody stool. In a simpler America—an America that was like only about $15 trillion in debt, ISIS referred to an old kids show, Butler University was the country's basketball underdog, and Anthony Weiner was still professing his innocence—Matt Welch and I wrote:

Even with John Boehner (remember him?) gone off to pasture and Harry Reid threatening retirement, I'll stand by that line. It's not just party affiliation, either. As noted, confidence in government (including the presidency, the Supreme Court, and Congress) is well below historical averages:

The presidency is 10 points below average, the Court an even dozen, and Congress a whopping 16 points. That's not because Americans have become bad people; it's because we've become increasingly sentient and understand fully that these institutions are full of malarkey most of the time. The major parties do their best to wave away these long-term trends and act as if the polarization they spew like Mr. Freeze spews icicles isn't their fault.

I come not to defend polarization based on principle nor to bury it. If the Democrats and Republicans, or liberals and conservatives, actually acted out of clearly articulated and heartfelt beliefs, that would be easier to respect. But of course they don't. When George Bush went to elective war, the left called dissent as American as cherry pie. When Obama tripled troop strength in the "not dumb" war in Afghanistan, the left stayed home and the right bitched about his lack of willingness to drop bombs and use drones. When Republicans wanted stimulus (in early 2008, Bush did this, look it up), it was wise or foolish, depending on your affiliation. When Obama did the same a year later, it was wise or foolish, depending on your affiliation. Ad nauseaum. 

Both sides have contributed mightily to toxic atmosphere and I'll leave it to their devil's advocates to spend countless hours saying the other side is the real problem. And I'm far less interested in any sort of kumbaya moment than I am a recognition that disagreeing in politics can be an entirely honorable affair if it's honest and open. And if it proceeds from the recognition that politics is a means to an end, not an end in itself. If politics is your life, you don't have one.

I've written before about the problem with low-trust societies: Ironically, they push for more government involvement in everything as a reaction to reduced confidence in government. It's counter-intuitive but there it is. Especially from a libertarian perspective, it's a good idea if government is highly competent and sharply limited in its size, scope, and spending. In fact, the two things go together.

I would submit that the decline in party identification and trust in government we've seen in this century makes total sense when you consider how poorly conservative Republicans governed and how poorly liberal Democrats have governed. Bush delivered not simply the opposite of what he promised (lower spending, humble foreign policy) but was incompetent in significant ways (Katrina, the wars, etc.). Obama may have inspired hope but similarly burned good will by deporting immigrants in record numbers, siccing the feds on medical marijuana shops, being pointlessly hawkish, and shoving a still-unpopular health-care bill through on strictly partisan lines. Each president was more than capably aided by their parties and their zealots.

You know what might actually provide a small respite from all this? If Obama actually did nominate a moderate justice (such things exist, I'm told). Not some mushy-headed centrist, but one who represents not the grim extremes of Washington politics but that large plurality of independent American voters who tend to be socially liberal and fiscally conservative. And if the Republican Senate actually took up confirmation hearings in a spirit of tough-but-fair-vetting (maybe they could also drop the glue-sniffing question, too, since who really wants a SCOTUS that isn't huffed out of its mind all the time?).

But you and me and the NSA all know that's not going to happen. So let's continue apace with Plan B. Not the day-after pill but the different, far-more-controversial political contraceptive Matt Welch and I discussed in The Declaration of Independents. Hell, it's already playing out as we watch party identification numbers fall: Let's continute to evacuate partisan politics as a central arena of meaning in our lives and instead hold the worst elements in check via ad hoc, issue-based coalitions that push back against bad laws and ideas from either side of the aisle while working to build great and interesting and free lives beyond politics. That's where life was always meant to be lived anyway.

NEXT: The ACLU Hates Corporations More Than It Loves Civil Liberties

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  1. If you can’t see this is the hill to die on, then screw you Nick. You’re not helping the libertarian moment

    1. Yeah,if you want free speech and gun rights you don’t want a Obama pick. Let’s talk about the EPA too.

      1. And the ‘climate change’ debate has turned into a wealth transfer issue.Think that’s ok Nick?

        1. Nick’s rule is this: if you can’t score points for your side, pretend to be above the fray.

      2. Ok, if you want your rights to speech and defense restricted because safety, then let Obama pick the next justice. If you want your rights to speech and defense restricted because terrorism, then let the next GOP president pick. I’m not sure the GOP is as much different from Obama as you might hope.

        1. They’re worse, actually, Unless you live on the dole. Is that you – living on the dole?

    2. I’m pretty sure Nick doesn’t have a say in what Republicans in the Senate decide to do.

    3. Exactly. There’s bullshit political sniping, and then there are crucial issues of monumental importance. Replacing Scalia is the latter. This shouldn’t be up for debate.

      Of course, the official Libertarian position is to snark and act like smug dickheads who are above it all no matter what the issue is, so this article isn’t really surprising. Makes it way easer to justify sitting on their ass while complaining about how the world is going to hell and nobody listens to them.

      1. Of course, the official Libertarian Reason position is to snark and act like smug dickheads who are above it all no matter what the issue is, so this article isn’t really surprising. Makes it way easer to justify sitting on their ass while complaining about how the world is going to hell and nobody listens to them.

        FTFY.

    4. Nick’s article is one big, fat, fucking “post hoc ergo propter hoc” fallacy.

      The increase in political “independents” has nothing whatsoever with a growth in societal libertarianism. Nor does it mean the people are disgusted with political partisanship & political grandstanding.

      Try this on for size, Nick – the American people are LAZY. They aren’t “fed-up” – they’re well-fed sloths

  2. Sadly, the argument is that both sides are sacks of shit.

    I sort of feel like this is an insult to arguments, sides, sacks, and shit.

    1. I sort of feel

      Your feelz are an insult to my arguments, sides, and most definitely my shit.

      1. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

        1. *throws hands in the air*

          There’s always one guy who has to bring religion into it.

        2. *throws hands in the air*

          There’s always one guy who has to bring religion into it.

        3. I’m no missionary! I don’t even believe in Jebus!

    2. And “of.”

      1. “Of” deserves it, and it knows why.

    3. And sadness.

  3. Obama actually did nominate a moderate justice (such things exist, I’m told). Not some mushy-headed centrist, but one who represents not the grim extremes of Washington politics but that large plurality of independent American voters who tend to be socially liberal and fiscally conservative.

    Sure. And this jurist can ride to his Senate hearings on his magical white unicorn, Reggie.

    1. Why does the jurist have to be a ‘he?’ And why is the unicorn white? Huh, you cishet racist shitlord?

      1. Solid logical points!

    2. There’s no such thing as a moderate justice. There are only justices who believe in “deferring to congress” or “upholding individual liberty”.

      I don’t know why Reason is so confused. They need to read Randy Barnett

      1. Bingo! And they should consider reading their own Damon Root.

    3. And if Obama really does nominate a good candidate, there’s no reason the next President can’t nominate the same candidate.

      And if the Republican Senate actually took up confirmation hearings in a spirit of tough-but-fair-vetting

      They’d be accused of bigotry. I know we’re in a prisoner’s dilemma here on who goes first, who gives up advantage in order to curry favor with the other side, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t a fool to do so in the current environment.

      One way out would be for the Senate to send Obama a list of nominees (“advice”) that they would give a hearing and a vote to this year, with the further “advice” that they won’t do so for any nominee not on the list, regardless of their merits. If that list includes some unquestioned stars of the judicial firmament, they will have done something both constructive, and politically astute in the current environment.

      1. Leadership? From Congress? Whatever you’re on, I need some.

        1. Whatever you’re on, I need some.

          Agile Cyborg will be holding office hours at his usual time and location: around 10:30-11 PM, in front of the 7-11.

      2. Sure, Obama will nominate Janice Rogers Brown saying that the Supreme Court needs a black woman on it.

        Obama could no more nominate someone like Brown (who is a fierce defender of individual rights) than he could fall to his knees and beg America to forgive him for ObamaCare.

        1. There’s a shortage of immigrants from Communist countries. He should nominate Alex Kozinsky.

    4. So what if Obama did nominate, say, a Kennedy clone? How would the GOP respond? Would they quietly confirm this person, or would they try their damnedest to paint this person as an extreme Leftist and block them? The only way to “defuse” this fight is if both sides agree to let it go and I don’t see that happening. Most likely Obama will nominate someone like Kagan or Sotomayor and the Senate will pitch a fit.

      It doesn’t really matter anyway. Neither party is interested in putting up a justice who will actually favor individual liberty as protected by the Constitution.

      1. So what if Obama did nominate, say, a Kennedy clone? How would the GOP respond?

        If they announce, in advance of any nominee, that there will be no hearings and no vote, then I would say they are in good shape to not have hearings or a vote on any nominee until after the election.

        If, as I expect, they do the stupid thing and don’t stake out their position on principle, then they will be ass-raped one way or the other, and deserve every thrust.

        1. Okay, now what if Obama nominates someone that both parties would hate, on principle, but the GOP would have to pretend to like to maintain their pro-liberty facade, like Gary Johnson’s lawyer clone? Is that the only scenario in which we the people win?

          1. If they announce, in advance of any nominee, that there will be no hearings and no vote, then I would say they are in good shape to not have hearings or a vote on any nominee until after the election.

        2. Just for a dumb question, does being ass-raped hurt more, or less, if you don’t deserve it? The R’s are going to get it either way, good and hard.

        3. If, as I expect, they do the stupid thing and don’t stake out their position on principle, then they will be ass-raped one way or the other, and deserve every thrust.

          Like the bear says in the joke, “I don’t think you’re here for the hunting.”

  4. “I’ve written before about the problem with low-trust societies: Ironically, they push for more government involvement in everything as a reaction to reduced confidence in government.”

    I swear someone could make a pretty good argument about governments using immigration as a tool to foster distrust within communities.

  5. Yeah, because the mushy middle is so good at protecting individual liberties.

    Just because “everyone hates the political parties” doesn’t mean they’re going to gravitate to libertarianism.
    In fact, it’s just the opposite.

    And frankly, Nick – I’m getting sick of your stupid, immature whining.

    1. The exit door is over there.

      1. Oh, shut the hell up. Who do you think you are – Nick’s beard?

        That is Matt’s job

  6. Frankly, all Nick Gillespie cares about is same-sex marriage and pot.

    1. YOU FORGOT MEXICANS.

      1. Oh, yes – Mexicans, same sex and pot. Eureka – the libertarian moment is HERE

        1. And trans ,don’t forget them.Got to pee in the guy’s,women’s restroom of their choice.

      2. I think the appropriate term is Mexican-Americans.

        As opposed to their brethren and cistern across the border, Mexican-Mexicans.

  7. “Dems & Reps both have a good argument in the fight over who should pick the next Supreme Court member. Sadly, the argument is that both sides are sacks of shit.”

    Just one of the many reasons why Gillespie is full of awesome.

    “What is not at issue, however, is that the president has the constitutional right to do so and the Senate has the constitutional right not to act.”

    Doesn’t this mean we should be siding with the Republicans?

    Not side with the Republicans for being full of shit–shouldn’t we side with them because we’re talking about one of the few remaining constraints on the Executive?

    Neither the Democrats nor Republicans are to thank for the separation of powers–they’ve both done what they can to subvert the separation of powers whenever their favorite asshole was in the White House. But in this case we should absolutely be cheering for Republican bullshit.

    Yes, when Republicans defend the separation of powers on principle, it is bullshit. Because they don’t really believe in our principles. That’s our bullshit. It’s just that when libertarians defend that particular Republican bullshit, we don’t do it for bullshit reasons. We’re doing it on principle.

    We’d have cheered on Democrats if they’d stood up against Bush the Lesser’s attack on our Constitutional rights, wouldn’t we? Even though we’d know they don’t really give a damn about our Constitutional rights or anything else that’s good or holy.

    1. I don’t really see a “side” in this debate when it comes to process.

      I’ll “side” with Republicans in stalling if Obama’s nominee is likely to be anti-liberty (though for the sake of appearances it would probably be best to at least give them a hearing).

      I’ll “side” with Obama if the nominee seems to be OK on liberty and if there is any realistic prospect of getting someone better after the election (e.g. if it seems like Hillary or Sanders are likely to win or that the Senate will change hands).

      The reason for the scare quotes is that I really can’t see a side which is genuinely pro-liberty, so all we are left with are strategic choices.

      1. Agreed. Obama and the GOP should just stop talking about what each side “should” do in this case. Stop talking and start acting. Obama should make a nomination and let the quality of that nomination speak for itself, regardless of what Congress decides to do with that nomination.

      2. “I’ll “side” with Republicans in stalling if Obama’s nominee is likely to be anti-liberty (though for the sake of appearances it would probably be best to at least give them a hearing).”

        I can’t imagine why Obama would nominate someone who isn’t anti-liberty. To a progressive, what’s the point of nominating a Supreme Court justice if he isn’t anti-liberty.

        And I hope the Republicans reject every anti-liberty nominee, too. Lots of people have been rejected for all sorts of reasons. Hell, the Republicans in the Senate torpedoes Harriet Miers, and she was nominated by a Republican.

        I certainly plan to defend the Republicans for being obstructionist. When progressives are in power, I am pro-obstruction.

        1. After seven years only the willfully obtuse cannot imagine the sort of person Obama, left to his own devices, would want to see on the Court.

          But Obama is not left to his own devices, the Senate too has a voice. And they know Obama equally well.

          So, in no uncertain terms they, appreciating and being fully respectful of Obama’s own goals and guiding principles, have told him “if you are intent on offering up the sort of person you would otherwise want on the bench probably best that you do not waste your (and our) time.”

          There is nothing dishonest, or nefarious about such an exchange, and it goes straight to the heart of how the process was designed and intended to function – it is a political event.

          So the question is: What will Obama do?

          Can’t vote present this time, he has to do something.

          Given that he cannot get what he truly wants, what he will do is what Obama does. He will choose someone like what he would want, but also someone whose Senate snubbing will animate every sort of wedge partisan issue.

          ie. He will politicize the political.

    2. The problem is: the Republicans, like every other time, are going to bungle this. They’re going to come across looking like the asshats they are, and they’ll lose the election. Let’s be honest, Hillary is going to be President. When the Republicans screw it up, they’ll have a Democratic Senate too.

      When that happens, do you think the Clintons aren’t going to have the most imperialist Presidency ever? On top of it, she’ll have free reign on 3-4 SCOTUS appointees, so we’ll be fucked for 50 years at least.

      1. It depends on the nominee.

        They’re going to grill nominees on questions like religious freedom and whether nuns should be forced by the government to provide birth control.

        Ted Cruz is on the judiciary, and he’ll use the opportunity to show boat–depending on whether he’s won the nomination. If he’s still fighting for it, yeah, he might make an ass of the Republicans by playing to the Republican base. If he’s won the nomination by then, he’ll do what he can to make himself look as centrist as possible.

        It just depends. I suspect the committee will defer quite a bit to one of the Republicans front runners.

      2. No, it is the media who will lift Heaven and Earth in an attempt to paint them as asshats.

        Just like they went out of their way to portray elder Bush as out of touch and technologically inept meanwhile continually giving Hillary a complete pass on her own varied and incredible technology “issues.”

    3. In theory, political factions defending their turf is a major part of how the government is supposed to keep itself in check. Not necessarily out of high principle, but out of self-interest. Sort of the invisible hand applied to government.

      And again, Gillespie seems to conflate a vague identification with social liberalism and fiscal conservatism with a commitment to a philosophy of government that actually promotes those principles, despite what these people are actually supporting. It is putting words before deeds and appears divorced from the reality of the moment.

      1. “Gillespie seems to conflate a vague identification with social liberalism and fiscal conservatism with a commitment to a philosophy of government that actually promotes those principles.”

        I don’t see Gillespie that way at all.

        He literally called both sides “sacks of shit”.

        1. That is nice Ken except this is one of the few times Republicans are doing the right thing. Why are Republicans being sacks of shit for preventing Obama from appointing someone who will overturn Heller and Citizens’ United?

          1. I argued that they’re doing the right thing.

            It’s right up there.

            They’/re full of shit, but they’re doing the right thing.

            1. Yes they are. And yet, Nick still breaks out the same tired “pox on both houses” routine. It is not just tiresome and predictable. it is pathetic.

              1. Just because they sometimes do the right thing doesn’t mean that they aren’t still sacks of shit. You don’t have to pick sides to say when one side is doing something not-terrible.

                I don’t see anything pathetic or inconsistent about saying “a pox on both their houses, but this house got it right this time”.

                1. They may be sacks of shit, but does he have to say so now?

              2. At least he’s predictable. Pedestrian, but predictable.

          2. The problem is they’re going to lose the long game. The Dems and media will spin this and make them look like morons. Further they’re not doing this in a principled defense of separation of powers: they’re trying to save the nomination for their guy.

            1. Reasons notwithstanding, the Senate not giving the President what he wants is supporting separation of powers, no?

              1. I agree. I’m just more worried about he consequences. We’ll wind up with Hillary and Dem Senate which will be a executive power perpetual motion machine.

                We know Obama is going to nominate a far lefty just to throw fuel on the media fire.

                1. Maybe, but all of these things were going to happen anyway.

                  President Obama was always going to nominate a far lefty. Hell, I don’t think he KNOWS anyone who isn’t a far lefty.

                  The media was always going to savage the R’s as RacistSexistBigotHomophobes (…etc. ad infinitum).

                  The R’s were always going to play hardball just long enough for maximum damage to their brand name, then fold and give ‘O’ everything he wants.

                  …we are well and truly fucked.

            2. Those are only “problems” if you give a shit about what the media thinks about Republicans or somehow think that the right thing done for the wrong reason somehow ceases to be right. I don’t think either of those things.

              The bottom line is that Obama cannot be allowed to appoint a replacement for Scalia. That is the immediate danger. And the Republicans thankfully seem to be up to that and should be applauded.

              1. I don’t give a shit about what the media thinks of the Republicans except, they’re going to use this as a huge get out the vote for the Democrats.

                1. They would do that anyway. Convincing their low sloped forehead followers that the Republicans are THE RACIST is all they have. That dog will either hunt or it won’t regardless of what happens here.

                  1. Perhaps we’re just doomed.

                  2. I think in this case the Republicans will be painted as TEH MISOGYNIST (who am I kidding, they’ll do both). The SC is about abortion and to a lesser extent campaign finance restrictions to Democrats.

                2. Bullshit. Progressives are anxious to ratchet up government control of our lives. Conservatives are scared out of their minds that the replacement of Scalia and a Democrat president for them being disarmed and silenced.

                  I see the impetus for republican turnout to be stronger many of them believe their freedom hangs in the balance.

            3. So you’d rather lose the short game, the intermediate game and the long game.

              Screw you, coward.

              You are going to die, sooner or later. This is the hill to die on.

            4. The Dems and media

              The real issue in the last 30-40 years is media bias or more subtly the bias + the belief that they aren’t biased. If the media would just come out (besides Fox and MSNBC) admit their alignments things would be different, maybe better as well.

              The mere fact that posters here say Dems + media all the fucking time points to a real systemic problem.

  8. People hate Dems & Reps because they love the fighting and vitriol. We are a competitive country and we love a good contest. In fact we even have tv shows about games and stuff, and they are top rated. One of which is called “The Apprentice”. You should watch it – they play games and contests and then the losing team has to appear and they pick out the weak link and there’s a guy who says “You’re fired!” It’s awesome!

    Will gutting the political parties lead to Libertarianism? Or will it lead to Nationalist Socialism? Let’s take a look back in history and see….

    1. Will gutting the political parties lead to Libertarianism?

      I think it will lead to some form of proportional representation/parliamentary system. But it’s the internet that’s leading to the gutting of the political parties – there’s only two of them and getting all your political views into two boxes is as silly as getting all your entertainment from three television networks or your porn from two magazines. (Three if you count National Geographic.) The flip-side of mass production is mass consumption and the need to produce something palatable to everyone winds up producing the blandest, least-offensive, plasticy-est dreck imaginable. Cornflakes and Oldsmobiles and nekked titties when you want a jalapeno and swiss fish taco, a tricked-out electric pink Miata and a one-legged transvestite midget screwing a kangaroo. You’ve got a whole new world of choice out there because niche marketing is still mass marketing when you’ve got the internet. Why the fuck are there still only two parties, Grampa?

  9. ‘I would submit that the decline in party identification and trust in government we’ve seen in this century makes total sense when you consider how poorly conservative Republicans governed and how poorly liberal Democrats have governed. ‘

    No, Nick. They aren’t governing poorly. Just the opposite, in fact. They are governing exactly within expectations.

    You kinda think government can govern “good”; the very act of governing is badness. The only thing libertarians want is “less bad”. (Obviously, this is not you, Nick – you’re too busy shilling your stupid book, waiting with baited breath for the elusive libertarian moment )

      1. No. Exactly as I wrote it.

          1. Exactly how I wrote it, worm at the end of my hook

  10. I see a Obama pick rolling back 1st and 2cd amendment rights,So,fuck you Nick.

    1. And the 9th. And the 10th. And the 4th. And the 5th.

      He’ll kindly leave the 3rd alone.

      So, double fuck you, Nick

      1. And commerce clause,steal land,triple fuck you Nick.

      2. Is there a point to your whiny butt-hurt?

        1. Yes, there is as a matter of fact. I’m leading a movement to get Nick fired from Reason and replaced with Kevin D. Williamson.

          You got a problem with that, Nick’s Goatee? [you can’t be a beard, because, well – that is MATT’S JOB]

    2. The ironic thing is, Obama is better on 1A than any of the current candidates. As for 2A, he is pretty bad, but then again the ones who support it (like Trump and Cruz) I wouldn’t trust to follow through. They are either liars or conspiracy theorists or both.

      1. Obama isn’t better on 1A. He wants to overturn Citizen’s United – doesn’t he? Where the hell have you been?

        1. Don’t forget Burwell v. Hobby Lobby.

      2. Obama is better on 1A than any of the current candidates

        What version of the 1A do you have that doesn’t include “freedom of speech” or “freedom of religion”?

        1. Or freedom to buy a ad on TV,newspaper or radio?

          1. You’re right, I forgot “freedom of the press”.

      3. The ironic thing is, Obama is better on 1A than any of the current candidates

        Other than Jeb Bush, there isn’t a single Republican candidate who doesn’t support Citizens’ United. Obama in contrast is open in his contempt for it.

        THERE IS MORE TO FREE EXPRESSION THAN PORN!!

      4. Freedom of religion – he wants nuns to pay for birth control pills. Now, how the hell is that better on 1A?

        1. He wants nuns to send a letter to the Fed saying they *won’t* pay for birth control pills.

          1. Except the nun’s insurance company pays instead, which means the nuns’ pay. So, screw you.

            1. First up, keeping funding and expenditure streams separate so as to maintain separation when mandated by law isn’t a new thing. It’s what allows religious charities to freely discriminate in some arenas while being obligated to serve everyone equally in others, depending on what is paying for what. So per established practice, nope.

              Second up, I’m happily married, so you’re not my type.

              1. You’re more Tony’s type – admit it, you are. He, like you, finds any excuse to justify sick perversions

                1. Sex within a monogamous marriage is a “sick perversion”?

                  1. Perversion : the alteration of something from its original course or meaning; a state of distortion or corruption of that meaning; a misrepresentation, falsification, or travesty

                    Only someone who can’t get past the immature & lazy thinking of “Beavis & Butthead” & pick up a thesaurus once in a while believes “perversion” is the sole domain of sex.

              2. Next you’re going to tell me that building more housing for rich people won’t help the poor. After all, they’re separate stocks of housing, and we all know that money isn’t fungible.

                The insurance company isn’t paying for contraception out of its generosity. Its premium subscribers ultimately pay for it. Just winking and nudging doesn’t change that fact.

      5. “The ironic thing is, Obama is better on 1A than any of the current candidates.

        I dispute this.

        1A isn’t just about free speech; it’s also about freedom of religion.

        And Obama isn’t just hostile to freedom of religion, he’s also hostile to free speech. . . . especially our right to buy advertising and criticize candidates during elections.

        1. Fine. At least he’s better than Trump – “‘Oh freedom of speech, freedom of speech’ – Those are foolish people.” So if people are throwing out Repubs and Dems, they are getting something worse.

          1. Oh, Trump sucks. No question about that.

            And only, what, 67% of Republicans voted against him in the last primary?

          2. You do know that the majority of the Democrats in the Senate support and voted for repealing the 1st Amendment?

      6. Right now the entire Democratic Party is objectively terrible on all aspects of the 1st Amendment. Their entire Senate caucus voted to amend the constitution to limit political speech last year.

        1. Right now the entire Democratic Party is objectively terrible on all aspects of the 1st Amendment. Their entire Senate caucus voted to amend the constitution to limit political speech last year.

          This cannot be repeated enough. The Republicans are pretty awful on many issues, but the Democrats have actually attempted to amend the Constitution to allow Congress to regulate political speech. That is flagrant assault on one of the most fundamental rights in any free society, and it’s appalling that they have almost uniformly been re-elected.

          1. Yep and if they ever bring a bullshit amendment like that to my state for ratification, I’d prefer we vote to secede.

  11. A Supreme Court justice is simply an attorney who can convince Congress to confirm him or her by doing the best job not answering their questions. I can’t wait to see what constitutional genius is put forth by whichever party gets to.

    1. I’ll join whatever political party nominates Randy Barnett.

  12. “nobody wants to be one or the other. “

    Hipsters

    1. I was neither one nor the other back when no one had even heard of them.

      1. I burned my mouth pretty bad last night because i ate my pizza before it was cool.

  13. Obama actually did nominate a moderate justice (such things exist, I’m told). Not some mushy-headed centrist, but one who represents not the grim extremes of Washington politics but that large plurality of independent American voters who tend to be socially liberal and fiscally conservative.

    And exactly what would such a person think? Would this person support Heller and Citizens United? If not, then from any reasonable Libertarian perspective they believe the 1st and 2nd Amendments should be read out of the constitution. If they do, Nick is delusional if he things they would be considered anything approaching centrist by the media or would have even a snowball’s chance of getting nominated by a Democratic President.

    Anton Scalia is one of the five votes who saved the 1st and 2nd Amendments. And Obama has made it clear for years he hates both Amendments and anyone he nominates will vote to overturn both Heller and Citizens’ United. Given the stark reality that allowing Obama to appoint a replacement for Scalia means ending Constitutional protection of gun rights and free political expression, what choice do the Republicans have other than to refuse to confirm anyone Obama appoints and hope they win the election?

    It is not that Nick criticizes Republicans. It is that he criticizes Republicans in lame ass pathetic ways even when they do the right thing, which they clearly are here.

    1. Because Nick is no libertarian. Honestly, I wish he’d just resign and move on to Salon, where he belongs. Maybe he can share a cube with Joan Walsh.

      1. I get it that he is not a Republican and should call out Republicans when they do things that are counter to freedom. The problem is that Nick calls out Republicans when they stand up for freedom. The Republicans holding the Senate and being willing to refuse to confirm whoever Obama appoints is the only thing standing between us and no longer having any 1st or 2nd Amendment protections. And Nick does his douche bag pox on both houses routine. It is just pathetic.

        1. He ALWAYS does it. When National Review published their “Against Trump” edition, what did Nick do – published a “screw you, anyway NRO – you’re just not ‘pure’ enough for my (libertarian) take”. It’s as if you don’t think EXACTLY like Nick Gillespie does and when he does it, your take on agreeing with him (big picture) is still not enough.

          But, I did so enjoy Kevin D. Williamson’s rebuttal . . . .and the Twitter war that followed. It was certainly worth the price of admission.

          1. I missed that. I think Williamson has lost his mind on the Trump issue but he is a hundred smarter and more interesting than Nick. I will have to look that up. I bet that fight didn’t go well for Nick.

            1. No, NRO was perfect on Trump. And for a veritable plethora of reasons – from freedom (David Boaz, Cato) to ethics (Russell Moore).

              And yes, Nick drew the short straw. PhD or no, Nick can’t compete with a guy who came up with the term rodential-nautical metaphor . . ..”Trump and his daughter, Ivanka, both resigned from the board just before the bankruptcy filing, inviting unkind rodential-nautical metaphors ”

              Gillespie is Salieri to Williamson’s Mozart.

    2. “If they do, Nick is delusional if he things they would be considered anything approaching centrist by the media or
      would have even a snowball’s chance of getting nominated by a Democratic President.”

      Kennedy is considered a centrist, and was in the majority of both Citizens United and Heller. I agree that I don’t think it’s likely Obama’s first pick is anyone that close to the center. But I could see him doing that if it’s getting close to the election and it looks like the GOP might win.

      1. By that time, the GOP Senate would be even more embolden and it would be pointless to nominate a centrist.

        And Kennedy is only considered a “centrist” when he is voting liberal. The media didn’t consider him that way when he voted for CU and Heller. More importantly, since there has never in my entire lifetime been a single Supreme Court Justice who did anything but move further left or at best stay the same once on the court, what possible confidence could you have that anyone short of a raving right winger would not change sides once on the court no matter what they said during confirmation?

        Are you really willing to bet your right to political speech and your right to own a gun on the assurance of someone the New York Times calls a “centrist”? I am sure as hell not.

        And Obama has never once in his entire life shown any understanding of the political process or how compromise actually works. All he knows how to do is divide and attack. So, you can bank on him picking someone with appalling views but with the right identity credentials.

        1. Are you really willing to bet your right to political speech and your right to own a gun on the assurance of someone the New York Times calls a “centrist”? I am sure as hell not.

          Here’s the thing, John. Neither you, nor Nick, nor anyone else reading this is in a position to place such a bet. All we can do is watch and comment.

          I think you are pretty much right on this one. The Republicans in the Senate should not let anything go forward. But I’m pretty sure they aren’t taking the views of some libertarians on the internet into consideration when making their decisions either.

          1. The validity of Nick’s criticism here has nothing to do with whether the Republicans are actually listening. Nick is wrong here and the people who read and comment on his article should point that fact out.

            1. OK, what is he wrong about? I just read through the article again and I see a bunch of general cultural commentary, but not really anything saying that the Senate or Obama or anyone should do anything in particular. It seems like pointless repetition of his usual schtick, but I’m not sure where he is wrong.
              I think there is a legitimate strategic question on whether the Rs should hold hearings for any Obama nominee or not.

              1. He is wrong to criticize the Republicans for doing the right thing. He is drawing an appalling false equivalence here.

        2. “By that time, the GOP Senate would be even more embolden and it would be pointless to nominate a centrist.”

          It would probably be a last ditch effort to try to make the Republicans appear unreasonable and either get them to cave or to try to hurt their election chances.

          I was making no argument about what the Republicans should or shouldn’t do. I was just making the point that there already exists a justice who is considered by most to be a centrist who is in favor of Heller and Citizens United. Stop reading more into it than that.

          1. was making no argument about what the Republicans should or shouldn’t do. I was just making the point that there already exists a justice who is considered by most to be a centrist who is in favor of Heller and Citizens United.

            Okay, name him. I follow this stuff fairly closely and i cannot think of a single person Obama could nominate that fits that description. Both CU and Heller are anything but “Centrist” among legal academics. That is sad but also true.

            1. I already told you, Kennedy. I’m sure you can find some lefties who think he’s a far-right reactionary, at least after those decisions, but the prevailing view of him is that he is a moderate judge. Do you really need me to provide evidence that there has been a general view of the court as being split 4-4 ideologically, with Kennedy as the swing vote?

              1. Kennedy is on the court. Name someone not already there. And you seriously don’t think Kennedy wouldn’t be Borked if he were nominated today? Are you kidding me.

                Again, give a name or just admit you are making shit up.

      2. I consider centrists the most dangerous members of the court. You can rely on the proggie wing to consistently vote for more government power and control over our lives, and the various schools of thought within the “conservative” judges are fairly predictable. Even Kennedy, especially in recent years, tends to have ever-so-slightly moved toward a pro-personal liberty mentality. But a Justice like O’Conner was a wild card. Her decisions are, from a jurisprudential standpoint, completely incoherent and some of the worst bullshit you’ll ever read.

        1. I think a point that has been well elucidated over the past few days following Scalia’s death is that matters as much, if not more, that the decisions the SC reaches be rooted in an ideologically consistent tradition, than that they go “the right way” all the time.

          John put it rather squarely in the difference between the majority in Brown and the Harlan dissent in Plessey. Being right for the wrong reasons is only good in the short term. Being wrong for the right reasons is sometimes better, although it may not do the current crop of petitioners any good.

          Having said that, being wrong for the wrong reasons is always bad.

        2. Kennedy is considered the most centrist member of the Court, and I don’t think he’s anywhere near the worst or most dangerous.

          1. I guess you love compromising.

            This is what compromising gets you – big, intrusive govt

        3. Pure jiggery-pokery applesauce indeed

  14. This “both sides do it” regarding the parties is simply BS. Sure, the Democrats are self-serving, corrupt and full of crap, but so is every human being, and in particular every person who has any power. At least the Democrats attempt to govern. The Republicans, on the other hand, have long-since ceased to even bother to try.

    By the way, I “looked it up,” as Mr. Gillespie suggested regarding how the parties viewed the stimulus acts of 2008 and 2009. As it turns out, he’s wrong (mistaken? misleading? who knows?) when he writes that the parties viewed the stimulus as “wise or foolish, depending on your affiliation.” The 2008 Act (which Gillespie says the Republicans wanted) passed with strongly bi-partisan votes in both Houses. In fact, most of the relatively few “no” votes were from Republicans. In 2009, however, no Republican House members voted for the bill, and only 3 Senators did so.

    In short, the problem is the Republicans, not both parties.

    1. Maybe they voted against because it was a shit bill that didn’t accomplish anything except funnel money to useless projects and explode the national debt?

      Nah, couldn’t be. They just don’t know how to “govern”.

      1. I wasn’t arguing the merits of the stimulus bills. I was just pointing out Gillespie’s falsehood where he wrote that the people who supported the bills changed depending on party affiliation. That was only true about the Republicans, not the Democrats.

        1. I wasn’t arguing the merits of the stimulus bills

          Then you don’t have a point about “governing”. Don’t make broader claims than the ones you can actually support.

          1. I made more than one “point,” and the reference to the stimulus was specifically to “support” my “point” that what Gillespie wrote was wrong.

            1. Except you failed to make that point, or any other. Try again, this time without trying to be more clever than you are.

    2. If you call taking away gun rights and the right to participate in the political system “governing”, sure. For those of us who like those things, fuck you.

      1. Besides all that, “did they vote for the porkulus of 2009” is a stupid test for “governing” ability.

        1. Yeah. Isn’t rolling over and voting with the other party after they just won a blowout election, the opposite of what this guy is criticizing?

    3. “At least the Democrats attempt to govern. The Republicans, on the other hand, have long-since ceased to even bother to try.”

      What, exactly, is your definition of govern?

      1. Governing is when you sic the cops on people for not doing what they’re told.

        *bonk bonk* on the head . . .

        STOP RESISTING!

      2. “Governing” is when you take an unlimited amount of money out of the taxpayers’ future paychecks–and spend it without any dissent whatsoever.

        Why won’t those crazy Tea Party Republicans just let us “govern”?

        1. Why do you think that the “Tea Party” became a big deal in the “conservative” movement only after Obama became President? Do you honestly think that “fiscal conservatism” is really a thing for most of the “members” of the Tea Party? If so, why is that true only during Democratic administrations (with the exception of a relatively few who I will concede actually give a shit about that sort of thing)?

          1. The Tea Party became especially big in the wake of TARP.

            After Obama took office, one of the first things he did was squander $350 billion from TARP bailing out Wall Street investors and effectively nationalizing GM.

            The Tea Party coalesced in opposition to TARP–and it coalesced outside of the Republican Party specifically because Bush and the establishment Republicans in Congress had been complicit in TARP and overspending, as well.

            In fact, the Tea Party really became a force within the Republican Party by defeating establishment Republicans in the primaries who had supported TARP.

            Anybody who thinks the Tea Party only opposed what Obama did because it was Obama that did it doesn’t know anything about the Tea Party. No one has suffered more from the Tea Party’s rise than the establishment Republicans that supported TARP and overspent during the Bush Administration.

            John Boehner wasn’t the leader of the Tea Party. He’s out on his ass because the Tea Party despises him for TARP and his complicity in overspending.

      3. “Governing” is when you let Iran enrich their own uranium in exchange for magic beans.

      4. The Republicans, on the other hand, have long-since ceased to even bother to try

        He’s right to this point: The Republicans have enthusiastically abrogated the Congressional powers that would allow it to play its Constitutional role.

    4. “At least the Democrats attempt to govern. The Republicans, on the other hand, have long-since ceased to even bother to try.”

      This is absurd.

      Libertarianism is the idea that people should be free to make choices for themselves. What’s “attempting to govern”?

      Is that when we just do whatever we’re told?

      Here’s a hint: if your solution to the high cost of health care involves siccing the IRS on poor people for not buying it and forcing nuns to violate their religious convictions under the penalty of law? Then you’re not “governing”.

      You’re “bullying”.

    5. This “both sides do it” regarding the parties is simply BS. Sure, the Democrats are self-serving, corrupt and full of crap, but so is every human being, and in particular every person who has any power. At least the Democrats attempt to govern. The Republicans, on the other hand, have long-since ceased to even bother to try.

      By the by, what has your party affiliation been? Just out of pure curiosity here.

      1. I used to be a Republican, until the Iraq War, when the scales fell from my eyes. For several years thereafter I considered myself a libertarian. Since Obama’s presidency began, I’ve come to believe the argument that was often made to me that libertarianism is (a) not really workable, and (b) generally applied only in service of conservative causes.

        Sure, there’s the anti-police and anti-drug stuff, which is good, and I like the libertarian ideas regarding foreign policy more than either major party. But in domestic policy, really “libertarianism” is simply a demand that the state be limited to protecting property rights, which of course by definition means that those people with the most property will gain the greatest benefit from such a limited state.

        In short, I’m now a Democrat, not because I agree with everything they support, but because they’re the only serious political party in our country right now.

        1. by definition means that those people with the most property will gain the greatest benefit from such a limited state

          Who is more harmed by the theft of a car, the guy with 8 Lamborghinis or the guy whose only car gets him to work every day?

          Your condescension for the poor and your belief that they are unable to accrue property or put it to productive use is sickening.

          In short, I’m now a Democrat, not because I agree with everything they support, but because they’re the only serious political party in our country right now.

          In other words, you are now a Democrat because you couldn’t square your elitism with libertarianism, and so chose the former.

          1. I find your hyperbole and disregard for history’s lessons regarding more purely “capitalistic” economies to be discouraging.

            1. What hyperbole? Address what I said and show how it is wrong.

              Also, let’s see some of “history’s lessons” while you’re at it.

            2. So, if the guy has 8 Lamborghinis, that’s what – 8 Lamborghinis too many?

              1. So, if the guy has 8 Lamborghinis, that’s what – 8 Lamborghinis too many?

                I don’t know if you’re responding to me or to Jonny Scrum-half, but I was not trying to say that the guy with 8 Lamborghinis could stand to lose a few, only that the value of property rights should not be measured in dollar values or quantity of property.

        2. “libertarianism” is simply a demand that the state be limited to protecting property rights, which of course by definition means that those people with the most property will gain the greatest benefit from such a limited state.

          You need to learn what “by definition” means.

          This is a bad argument, but a lot of people seem to think it makes sense for some reason. Poor people benefit at least as much as rich from well protected property rights. Rich people can afford to protect their own property in all kinds of ways. Poor people, not so much. Why do you think that in countries with shitty corrupt governments have some rich people, a shit load of poor people and not much in between? Without property rights, the poor have nothing to build on and no way to improve their lots other than by getting stuff handed to them. Which will never make them anything other than slightly less poor.

          1. I’m not arguing against property rights, for Christ’s sake. I’m saying that if all you care about is property rights, you’re going to have a government that exists basically to protect the people with property. How is that even arguable?
            Also, you should consider that ultimately all governments – monarchies, democracies, even dictatorships – govern only according to the consent of the governed. If enough people think that they’re getting the shaft, the government will be overthrown, and property rights aren’t going to be protected at all.

            1. How is that even arguable?

              Everyone has property. A government that protects property protects everyone. How is that arguable?

              If enough people think that they’re getting the shaft, the government will be overthrown, and property rights aren’t going to be protected at all.

              So we should bow to the mob and give them whatever they want? Or do we just placate them with the stolen property of others?

            2. I’m not arguing against property rights, for Christ’s sake. I’m saying that if all you care about is property rights…

              Right there, your entire premise is false because no one but you is claiming that libertarians care only about property rights.

              1. Right there, your entire premise is false because no one but you is claiming that libertarians care only about property rights.

                While I agree that it’s a ridiculous strawman, if you accept the premise of self-ownership, then all other rights fall under property rights. Depriving you of your life, doing harm to your person, or otherwise interfering with your use of yourself, can all be seen as violations of property.

                I will grant that it’s more of a philosophical argument than a practical one, though.

                1. While I agree that it’s a ridiculous strawman, if you accept the premise of self-ownership, then all other rights fall under property rights. Depriving you of your life, doing harm to your person, or otherwise interfering with your use of yourself, can all be seen as violations of property.

                  I will grant that it’s more of a philosophical argument than a practical one, though.

                  I suppose I consider property rights to derive from the rights to life and liberty, instead of the other way around, but you’re correct that there is little practical difference. Our lefty friend here, though, seems to be using the term property in only the strictest sense.

            3. Jonny Scrum-half:

              If enough people think that they’re getting the shaft, the government will be overthrown, and property rights aren’t going to be protected at all.

              This is actually not very historically accurate.

              History shows that massive amounts of power and wealth inequality can exist and be a very stable society.

              Inequality that leads to revolution, leading to relatively free, more equal societies are a rare occurrence. It’s usually accomplished very slowly or not at all.

              People frequently show a strong tendency for taking it and just keep working.

            4. Yeah, you are.

        3. Wow. You support a political party that stokes the embers of class envy, jealousy and resentment. And steals from the “others” all because their adherents covet.

          If people weren’t such resentful dicks, there would be no DNC

      2. Now, if we just put you on a tugboat , we could see what Williamson means by a “rodential-nautical metaphor”

    6. Funny to see this guy and John in the same thread, making the exact same argument, just with the parties swapped.

    7. Congress is there to fund stuff and pass laws. Not to govern. That happens mostly at the state level and through the executive branch.

    8. Jonny Scrum-half:

      Sure, the Democrats are self-serving, corrupt and full of crap, but so is every human being, and in particular every person who has any power

      Jonny Scrum-half:

      But in domestic policy, really “libertarianism” is simply a demand that the state be limited to protecting property rights, which of course by definition means that those people with the most property will gain the greatest benefit from such a limited state. In short, I’m now a Democrat, not because I agree with everything they support, but because they’re the only serious political party in our country right now.

      Yeah, I’d hate to start living in a country that didn’t benefit the little people.

  15. Nick, when you going to give up the idea that there are “independents” with libertarian leanings?

    “I’m not a Republican or a Democrat. I just play one in the voting booth.” is a far better description of these losers.

  16. I don’t really give a shit what Gillespie says anymore. We have been on the verge of the “libertarian moment” now for years. Of course we are $19 Trillion in debt (not counting SS and Medicare/Medicaid). And why does moving away from party affiliation automatically mean towards some sort of “libertarian” leaning movement.
    “Socially liberal and fiscally conservative” doesn’t equal libertarian. Bloomberg could be called that. He certainly is no libertarian. This could desribe someone who is “pro-choice” and wants to cut the defense budget. What about Citzen’s United? Freedom of religion? 2A? Eminent Domain? Cutting welfare (both corporate and private)? WODs?

    I have no confidence that just because someone doesn’t like Republicans and Democrats is embracing liberty.

    1. False equivalency is one of the greatest rhetorical weapons of evil. The Democratic Party is openly committed to repealing the 1st and 2nd Amendments and Nick considers the Republicans to be just as bad because they won’t go along.

  17. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail.
    +_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+ http://www.incomefactory.orgfree.com

  18. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail.
    +_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+ http://www.incomefactory.orgfree.com

  19. I don’t think people got Nick’s point in this article. It’s not saying the GOP should rubber stamp any Obama nominee, it’s pointing out that their stance of “Oh we shouldn’t nominate a SCOTUS justice in an election year” is partisan bullshit, and that the two side’s rhetoric would be flipped if a liberal justice died in an election year under a Republican president. And he uses the example of both side’s posturing on this issue to make a point about the lack of confidence in the political system today. At no point does he indicate that he thinks Obama will nominate a moderate justice, or state that they should confirm his nominee regardless.

    1. So if the tables were turned and this was the last year of President McCain’s second term and the Democrats were saying “no appointment during an election year”, do you honestly think the Republicans would ram an appointment through and not be cowed into deferring to the election? If you do, you have a lot more confidence in the Republicans’ commitment and nerve than I do.

      If only the Republicans were as viciously and nakedly partisan and devious as the Democrats. Things might be a bit better.

      1. “So if the tables were turned and this was the last year of President McCain’s second term and the Democrats were saying “no appointment during an election year”, do you honestly think the Republicans would ram an appointment through and not be cowed into deferring to the election? If you do, you have a lot more confidence in the Republicans’ commitment and nerve than I do.”

        I wouldn’t be surprised if enough of them ultimately did cave, but McCain would definitely nominate someone, and the bulk of the GOP would not be saying “Of course we shouldn’t nominate someone in an election year!” as they are now.

        1. probably but so what? The Democrats are committed to effectively repealing the 1st and 2nd Amendments and all Nick seems to care about is that the Republicans play partisan politics, like every other politician in history does.

          1. “and all Nick seems to care about is that the Republicans play partisan politics, like every other politician in history does.”

            If you think this piece was just a criticism of Republicans, that’s your own bias showing. If Obama (predictably) nominates a leftist hack and Nick goes easy on them, then by all means take him to task. But there’s no reason to get up in arms because he decided to write a piece about what the nomination fight says about the state of politics, before any nominee has even been proposed. There’s plenty of time to write articles about how bad the nominee is once they are nominated.

            1. Nick will NEVER take Obama to task. THAT’S what you don’t understand.

              Nick is far from the “pox on both their houses” writer.

              Remember, Nick was so sure Jared Polis was a libertarian-leaning Democrat, because Congressman Polis was a gay man who loved videogames.

              And just look how THAT turned out.

    2. that the two side’s rhetoric would be flipped

      And this was the Daily Show‘s schtick for a long time. And then Obama got elected and they showed their hand by softballing any criticism of him.

      But that’s irrelevant since Nick’s point has nothing to do with libertarian issues.

      1. “But that’s irrelevant since Nick’s point has nothing to do with libertarian issues.”

        Not directly obviously, it’s just an indictment of the status quo. I don’t really see why that’s a problem. Reason is political commentary outlet with a libertarian bent. I don’t think it’s surprising or wrong that they have some commentary that isn’t specifically about “libertarian issues.”

        1. Eh, I still don’t see what purpose it serves qua liberty, but I will at least recognize that Gillespie has shown some consistency on this matter:

          Recess Appointment Case Before SCOTUS Serves Up Hypocrisy on a Cracker
          Recess Appointments Are Awful When the Other Guy Does Them!

          1. “Eh, I still don’t see what purpose it serves qua liberty”

            Again, does it have to? Reason is a libertarian publication, but they’re still a political commentary outlet. I don’t see why it’s some sort of outrage that they might have pieces of political commentary that aren’t 100% related to libertarianism.

  20. Rather than argue over what happened with the Fortas/Thornberry nomination in 1968, why not just have Senators say (if Democratic), “I look forward to confirming a zealous progressive like the one whom Obama will nominate” or (if Republican), “if President Obama nominates an originalist with a proven record of fighting for the Bill of Rights, federalism, the life of the unborn, and the institution of marriage, then I will cheerfully vote for that person, otherwise not.”

    1. “Bill of Rights” includes “First and Second Amendment”

  21. Gillespie thinks that if you say “Everything sucks” then you’re a libertarian. You’re not, you’re an asshole. Hating both parties means nothing. Communists hate Republicans and Democrats as do Nazis, monarchists and sociopaths that fail to rise in either party.

    The question isn’t who’s more principled, the R’s or the D’s? The question is which path is least likely to result in a major loss of liberty? A far left Supreme Court justice is more dangerous than no new Supreme Court justice. Period.

    The ultimate bullshit comes from the people who say “What if Obama nominates a ‘qualified’ judge?”

    The only constitutional requirement for a Supreme Court justice is a pulse. Being in a coma would not disqualify someone especially since people in comas can’t concoct “constructions” that turn penalties into taxes.

    1. “The only constitutional requirement for a Supreme Court justice is a pulse.”

      Check your living privilege

    2. “The only constitutional requirement for a Supreme Court justice is a pulse.”

      You’re obviously referring to Justice Charles Whittaker, who resigned from the court in 1962 after about five years of service because he could not take the stress of having to decide cases. He actually had a nervous breakdown deciding how to vote in Baker v. Carr and was ultimately forced to recuse himself from the case.

      1. Baker v. Carr

        Holy shit. I did not know about that case. Just reading the Wikipedia article lead me to think “so that’s why politics in the 1960s and 1970s was so fucked up”. The courts gutted dozens of state constitutions and shredded the urban-rural balance at the state level.

        The more I’ve read about Warren, the more I’ve thought he was a shithead, but this is the first time I’ve thought he was just flat-out evil.

  22. The question isn’t whether people have more or less confidence in government. The question is whether they have more or less confidence in themselves to run their own lives. I’d sure like to see that survey’s results.

    The little wusses in college who need safe zones don’t exactly radiate confidence. If there was ever a generation ready for the leash it’s this one.

  23. Please listen carefully to what the DemoGOP have to way about each other before voting Libertarian.
    When Petr Beckmann was on the Reason board he published in Access to Energy a differential equation for future vote share based on the current rate of increase and current ballot share. Despite a weak, counterfeit candidate, the LP doubled its vote count last election. That equation could now forecast the growth of the Libertarian share of the vote. Does anyone have it written down?

  24. List of Democrat judicial nominees to the federal bench that the GOP has gone out of its way to smear and block from the bench:

    yeah. both sides, my ass! The left has made controlling the court a priority because most of what they want to do is unconstitutional and most of what the conservatives have achieved legislative process or state initiatives (i.e., Democracy!) isn’t, but they need the courts to entrench their preferred policies and remove those items from public debate and the democratic process while striking down just about every conservative achievement.

    People don’t trust government because it has overstepped its bounds. Here the GOP Senate is actually doing its job and rescuing America from another fucking leftist determined to undermine and rewrite the Constitution. Libertarians should be thanking their lucky stars and joining the fight, but unfortunately, they’re mostly too busy being fucking losers who refuse to pick sides Republicans aren’t pure. Maybe you can stay home or vote third party to make sure Hillary or Bernie gets elected and see where that gets you. Tards.

    1. I support the Republicans not approving any candidate who isn’t grossly better than Obama’s last two appointees. However, their procedural delay isn’t worthy of praise if they end up confirming someone shitty, or they lose the upcoming election and someone shitty ends up getting appointed.

      1. Although the second of those possible outcomes would not necessarily be their fault.

  25. I’m fearfull that the repubs won’t stand their ground as usual and accept Obama’s choice and they will use the excuse that they would rather take Obama’s choice than wait and maybe have to take Hillary’s choice. which would be a valid argument since the clowns the Repubs are giving us for president and the total lies of the Media I think Shillary will win.

  26. What is not at issue, however, is that the president has the constitutional right to do so and the Senate has the constitutional right not to act.

    When are we going to disabuse ourselves of the notion that any branch of government has rights? This sort of linguistic construction conflates “rights” and “temporary power(s) granted” as if they were the same.

    The president does NOT have the “right” to nominate a new Justice. The senate does NOT have the “right” to refuse.

    The president has been granted the power by the Constitution to nominate a replacement. The senate has been granted the power to consent or not.

    Government does not have rights. Individuals do.

  27. Despite what the sober journalists say, no one who really cares at all really believes that SCOTUS nomination contests aren’t ideological from start to finish. Reason also does a wonderful job of rationalizing every bad ruling so that their faithful don’t lose heart. I don’t see a rising tide of independents as “cryptolibertarians” waiting for an Eisenhower to lead them. A Trump maybe, but that’s not quite what Nick wants.

  28. King Obama is nominating Himself for the Supreme Court.

  29. from a purely political point of view, once the gop has a presidential nominee, their strategy falls apart. what they’re really playing for is when obama most wants a new justice meets the time just before it costs them votes.

  30. Fear not, when it comes to nominating judges to the SCOTUS, rest assured Trump will appoint textual originalists who will not support the totally insane idea that allows statutory U.S. citizens at birth to be declared an Art. II, ?I, Cl. 5 natural born citizens by the grace of Congress. Can the same be said of Sen Cruz or Sen. Rubio?

  31. I’m surprised any of the “trust” numbers are as high as they are. Some day, with any luck, the people will figure out that for the political class, ideology is only a means to an end. It is the false dichotomy that divides the electorate and thereby makes it possible for politicians to prosper. What the political class works so hard for is personal enrichment. That is why term limits are absolutely necessary if we are ever to have even moderately honest representative government. Each and every time we return an incumbent to office, we help preserve the criminal enterprise that our government has become. There isn’t a sitting member of Congress that doesn’t participate in conspiracies to embezzle public money. Inside the beltway it’s simply called fundraising. If you’re not happy with government, quit voting for incumbents. At least you won’t be an unwitting accessory criminal syndicate otherwise known as the US government.

  32. I am so bloody deathly sick of this false equivalency bullshit. The Republicans are bat crap fucking crazy. Period, full stop. You need to watch Bill Maher’s YT take-down of Jon Stewart’s event on the Washington Mall. His refutation of your lackadaisical laziness is gold.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDl6in1OwZY

    This is the source of the root of the lack of trust in government. Saint Ronnie said it all. Is bloody goddamn fingerprints are all over this chaos. One side, the Republicans, started this mess.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhYJS80MgYA

  33. Greetings earthlings and statist automatons! Dream On?:

    “……In your dream, Donald Trump is not a fraud,
    In your dream, Sanders is not a fraud,
    In your dream,all the rest are not frauds,
    In your dream, Obama is not a fraud,
    In your dream, Reagan was not a fraud,
    In your dream, all the rest were not frauds,

    In your dream, the constitution was not a scam,
    In your dream, the Supreme court is not a scam,
    In your dream, 9/11 was not a scam…….”

    Lyrics excerpted from:

    “Dreams [Anarchist Blues]”:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMXtoU…..e=youtu.be

    Regards, onebornfree.
    onebornfreedotblogspotdotcom

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  54. Who the fuck trusts banks?

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