Election 2016

Well, What Do You Expect From "Dan Quayle's Brain"? The End of Bill Kristol & Right-Wing Seriousness

The failure to offer credible alternatives to Trump-or to accept Gary Johnson as one-shows that pro-war social cons are a dying breed.

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SNL, NBC

If you were like 99.9 percent of Americans, over the course of Memorial Day weekend, you gave precious little thought to politics, especially the 2016 election that until recently pitted two historically disliked candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, against one another.

But if you were at the Libertarian Party national convention, or you followed the news at least a little, you know now that there is now an "honorable" and bracing "Libertarian Alternative" to the presumptive Democratic and Republican nominees. Former two-term New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, running for the second time as the LP nominee, along with his running mate William Weld (another two-term governor, of Massachusetts), preach fiscal conservatism and social liberalism. They are in favor of things such as abortion rights, marriage equality, more-open borders, more-free trade, and robust Second Amendment rights. Unlike Clinton and Trump, both of whom have said, in effectively identical language, that we need to censor the internet, Johnson and Weld also believe in free speech, too. They are opposed to mindless interventionism and to spending like there is no tomorrow, and they question the sagacity of giving up privacy in the name of the war on global terrorism. Which is to say, the Johnson-Weld ticket represents the center of what most Americans believe.

Over the weekend, you might also have caught The Weekly Standard co-founder William Kristol teasing out a big reveal on Twitter:

Alas, in naming National Review writer David French as his savior-candidate, the only thing that Kristol actually revealed is how sad and misguided the leaders of the #NeverTrump right really are. Indeed, they are as fundamentally out of touch as the #AlwaysTrump and anti-libertarian conservatives with whom they share so many beliefs.

The son of the immensely influential conservative intellectuals Irving Kristol and Gertrude Himmelfarb, Kristol has himself wielded influence in Washington at least since his years as "Dan Quayle's Brain" (that is, his chief of staff). In the mid-1990s, Kristol helped to launch the Rupert Murdoch-funded Weekly Standard and promote what he and his then-colleague David Brooks called "national greatness conservatism," which mostly consisted of supporting wars where you could find them, overspending on the part of Republican administrations, and denouncing "the moral vacuity of dogmatic libertarianism" because it "is poisonous to public life." While I'm no fan of French's—he is a saber-rattling, trans-phobic, anti-immigrant, anti-PC right-winger out of Central Casting—he's not the issue here. That Bill Kristol could straightfacedly put forward a person whose qualifications for president are even less visible than Donald Trump's is the end of Kristol as an analyst worth taking seriously. (I rush to add that Bill Kristol has always been exceptionally personable to me on the few occasions we've met and that he is a great and interesting conversationalist; none of this is personal, it's political.)

He's not alone on the right, of course, in revealing himself to be utterly dogmatic in the way that libertarians are routinely dismissed. Consider another conservative, the publisher of The Federalist, Ben Domenech, who from time to time espouses a not-uninteresting "libertarian populism" (and who is also, like Kristol, an exceptionally cordial and interesting conversationalist). Here's Domenech's take on the Johnson-Weld ticket:

The logical vehicle for any real resistance to Trump or Clinton as the next president would have been the Libertarian Party given that they already have the ballot access hurdle solved. The key was the issue of abortion: an effort with a candidate sufficiently pro-life to satisfy social conservatives would have presented an interesting campaign challenge for Trump and Clinton, given that single issue pro-lifers are going to have a hard time voting for either candidate.

Instead, the Libertarians nominated former Republican governors Gary Johnson and Bill Weld—the latter a particularly odd choice, with virtually no libertarian bona fides—both of whom are, unlike every current libertarian-leaning elected Republican in Congress, pro-choice on the abortion issue (and decidedly not classically liberal on religious liberty, but that's another topic). More's the pity—but they are the Libertarian Party after all, and no real effort was ever made by conservatives to meet them halfway.

To his credit, Domenech slams Kristol for wasting everyone's time with a candidate who is ridiculous as a serious proposition, especially if you're trying to stop a clownish Republican nominee who somehow bested more than a dozen actual senators, governors, and other unqualified CEOs. But what fresh hell is this, that no conservative or Republican can ever be in favor of legal abortion? Is the right wing such that there is no issue but abortion? And that it's a bridge too far when the Libertarians—of all dogmatic ideological types!—nominate two moderate former governors who are former Republicans themselves? And note this: Just as you can be against drug prohibition but against drug use, you can argue strenuously against abortion while not believing it should be banned by the state.

As it happens, just one in five voters insist on a candidate sharing his view on abortion. Among pro-lifers, the percentage is slightly higher (23 percent) and among pro-choicers, it's slightly lower (19 percent). Tying a broad-based political movement—conservatism, Republicanism, or even #NeverTrumpism—to a single issue is always a bad idea, but it's especially so when 40 percent of Republicans support legal abortion.

As I've written before, I don't expect Johnson-Weld to win, and I don't think Trump is the "extinction-level event" to the American Way of Life that many #NeverTrumpers seem to believe.

But what we are seeing in this election, which still has many twists and turns to go, is the end of a broad, right-of-center coalition that has been dissolving since at least the end of the Cold War. Libertarians and conservatives could get along when they had to when the Soviet Union represented an actual existential threat to freedom (and even then, the differences were many and real).

In the rise of Donald Trump, the impotence of the conservative and Republican establishments was made clear. In the continuing failure first to offer and then to spurn credible alternatives, the looming irrelevance of socially conservative and pro-war rightists is only becoming clearer and clearer.

"The Libertarian Moment Is So Dead That Libertarians Are Now the Largest Group," finds Gallup, and the news can't be worse for the current iterations of the Republican and Democratic Parties, who insist on brittle, unchanging, out-of-date positions for their members. Yes, a Democrat (god help us) or Republican (god help us) will almost certainly be the next president of the United States, but if they wave away the simple fact that most of us are now socially liberal and fiscally conservative—they will command even less of our respect and attention and loyalty than they do now.

NEXT: Poll: Most Americans Reject Criminal Penalties for Prostitution

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  1. Kristof hasn’t been relevant since Soap went off the air.

    Seriously, Buckley’s legacy is this hack?

    1. No, his legacy is his dimwitted son, who so glowingly endorsed Obama in 2008.

      1. You know who else endorsed Obama in 2008?

        1. A good percentage of the Reason contributors?

          1. I don’t think any of them wrote anything close to the tongue-bath Chris Buckley gave him, though, gushing about his “first class temperament and first class intellect”, of which Obama has neither.

          2. Well, look, sometimes in a tight race it’s hard to tell which of the two is the lesser evil. But, c’mon, it’s John McCain! How the hell could anybody possibly imagine that sort of evil is lesser in any way, shape, or form? (And now that I think of it, is there really a question that as bad as Obama turned out to be, President McCain wouldn’t have been even worse? Especially with a VP Palin? But McCain truly is the dual-wielding worst of both parties – much like Hillary Clinton.)

            1. one word – Obamacare. That by itself is more destructive than anything McCain could have done.

              1. McCain wouldn’t have signed Obamacare, but possibly something equally as bad. Healthcare was going to be “reformed” on that election cycle and McCain would have given the farm away for a handful of pretty baubles for the military.

                1. that’s a fair point

                2. US would have 51 states by now under President McCain, two of them named ‘Georgia.’

                  Despite the gains, WWIII probably wasn’t a fair price for the ever-so-slightly bigger empire.

            2. is there really a question that as bad as Obama turned out to be, President McCain wouldn’t have been even worse?

              ^ This

              Hell – McCain managed to accidentally arm al-Qaeda without even being president!

        2. Johnny Fuckerfaster?

          1. “I’m goin as fast as I can, Mom.”

    2. Kristof, Kristol

      As much as i dislike both of them, i think its hilarious how many of the pictures you find of Bill on ABC/NBC/MSNBC/CNN just *coincidentally* tend to have a banner under his face mentioning something to do with ‘racism’.

  2. Yeah, Krisol’s “savior” is as laughable as his “real chance”. But it’s all a smoke screen to take media coverage away from Gary Johnson, and to help preferred neocon candidate Hillary Clinton win.

    If the voters seriously consider all 3 major candidates equally, Johnson could well win.

    1. I agree about Johnson – people are looking for an alternative. He just needs to squelch his inner goofball.

      1. This^^^^^

        God he is just awful on TV. He looks pretty good working a crowd but get him talking to a camera and he looks like the sporty rich guy at the end of the bar.

        Can someone please buy them both a stylist?

      2. people are looking for an alternative

        Which is why nominating a pair of big party political hacks with no position discernible from Hillary Clinton was a stupid idea.

        1. THIS^^^^^^^

          1. Still stunned to find that I may have to vote for Trump as the lesser of the evils …. INCLUDING the Libertarian ticket. I guess Bob Barr wasn’t available this time?

      3. No one is looking for an alternative except people who hang out in Reason’s comment section 😉

  3. I don’t expect Johnson-Weld to win, and I don’t think Trump is the “extinction-level event”

    Ye of little faith – the end of time is nigh.

    1. Will we still have space???

    2. “In the rise of Donald Trump, the impotence of the conservative and Republican establishments was made clear.”

      All thanks to GOP politicians claiming they are conservative limited government types, then acting otherwise once elected. IMHO, Trump is lying as well, and why not given all the lies winning politicians get away with. I agree Trump isn’t an “extinction-level” candidate, he’s just the same as the lead lemmings who’ve been running towards the cliff of national bankruptcy. But a Trump administration just might result in the lead lemming Trump going over that cliff with increased deficits, increased debt (something Trump loves), higher interest rates, and leading to default in one form or another (likely just printing up money and inflation).

  4. You’re no John F Kennedy

  5. OT: Seattle “Wrongway Corrigan” city council points to the exact wrong thing to respond to lack of affordable rental housing:

    Seattle City Councilmember Tim Burgess and Mayor Ed Murray are proposing new regulations for short-term home rentals ? like those listed on Airbnb.

    On Capitol Hill, a new micro-apartment building. On Beacon Hill, a fourplex from 1976. In Eastlake, a 1922 apartment house. In Ballard, a duplex dating to 1911.

    What these Seattle properties have in common are multiple listings ? 15 at the Capitol Hill building ? on the popular, controversial short-term rental platform Airbnb.

    The properties are examples of how Airbnb and other online platforms that cater to visitors, such as VRBO, are eating into Seattle’s housing supply and making it harder for local people to find an affordable home, City Councilmember Tim Burgess says.

    1. Virtually every city in the country would kill to have the gift that Amazon and Microsoft have provided to Seattle. How many towns around the country have city councils trying to figure out how to lure more people into the city to work, live, and play? Seattle seems hell bent on making it hard to do any of those things.

      1. Never underestimate the greed and stupidity of proggies and pols. Madison, WI actually managed to run Epic Software – the behemoth of hospital electronic medical records – out of town. A business that most cities would kill for, and the Madison city council finally imposed so many demands on them relative to a huge expansion that they just . . . left.

        1. I just finished living in Seattle for 8 years. The most hilarious thing is that the less fortunate types (baristas, grocery checkers) are more likely to see the harm in progressive policies than college educated dipshits. After SeaTac passed their $15 minimum wage I talked to a bunch of coffee shop personnel before a flight, asking if they were excited about the raise they’d get, and most gave me some variation of “I like having this job, and theoretically getting paid more is good, but people will only pay so much for coffee.” For the tribalist progressive crowd though, questioning elevating minimum wage can only mean you are a be-monocled monstrosity who whips children in his spare time.

  6. and I don’t think Trump is the “extinction-level event” to the American Way of Life that many #NeverTrumpers seem to believe

    SMOD disagrees.

  7. But if David French does become President, whose authority will he constantly be apologizing for?

    1. I for one do not want a cheese-eating surrender monkey as President.

      1. Plus, his mustard sucks. You could use yellow paint and not tell the difference.

        1. Good point. Gulden’s spicy brown ftw.

  8. A few questions….

    1)I agree that the socon obsession with abortion is over the top, but then again you give abortion rights top billing in your list of positive attributes of Johnson-Weld. Do you honestly think it deserves such prominence?

    2)At what point did “marriage equality” become a libertarian belief as opposed to getting the state out of marriage entirely?

    3)Weld believes in “robust Second Amendment rights”? Oh, you’re going to have to find some pretty damned convincing evidence to support that one.

    4)Again with the mindless polling. In order for the Gallup poll showing libertarians as the largest self-identified group to mean anything, wouldn’t we need a bit of clarity as to exactly what these people being polled consider “libertarian”?

    1. wouldn’t we need a bit of clarity as to exactly what these people being polled consider “libertarian”?

      Mexicans, pot, and ass-sex. Duh!

      1. A vote for anal sodomy with Cheech’s bong is a vote for America!

      2. I always picture a cartoon of a sombrero-wearing Mexican smoking a joint, bent over & taking it in the butt, a balloon from his mouth, “Si!” There’s a food truck in the background.

    2. Let me give you some answers.

      1. Nick is a hypocrite. it is as simple as that. He claims SOCONs are obsessed about abortion while he shows no willingness to compromise and seems to completely lack the intellectual capacity necessary to understand the opposing side and why it is not necessarily opposed to liberty.

      2. marriage equity judging by the amount of attention reason gave it, is the most important civil rights issue since Jim Crow. how did it become that way? Two reasons. First, gay marriage is one of the few idea that Libertarians ever came up with that has ever been implemented. So, libertarians give it attention out of proportion to its actual importance to liberty and have a terrible blind spot about admitting the downsides of government gay marriage in a world of public accommodation laws. Second, fashion, cocktail parties, cultural bias or whatever you want to call it. Nick and the rest of the reason staff are urban hipsters and have the cultural biases of urban hipsters.

      3. There is no answer to that other the FYTIW. Everyone is supposed to believe Weld about gun rights but any claim from the major party candidates is of course assumed to be a lie.

      4. Revealed preference versus stated preference. Nick seems not to understand this concept.

      1. Thank you!

        The more my political philosophy develops, the more I find myself annoyed with guys like Nick — I think of myself as libertarian, but some of the stances their standard bearers take I can’t get behind.

        I guess when I think of what the “quintessential libertarian” would be, it’s Ron Paul and not Nick Gillespie.

        1. Nick is a slave to his culture. He is every bit the culture warrior as the worst SOCON. He has a bad habit of using his ideology as a rationalization for doing what his cultural biases dictate. It is a dumb way to be. But that is sadly how many people are.

          1. That’s just a silly assertion. Barring oro-choice (which is really just a disagreement on the nap and when life begins) it is ideologically consistent to believe in equal rights under the law… even stupid laws.

            Ron Paul and Gillespie are both libertarians, I would guess. To try find a quintessential is a fools errand. Just be happy with big tent libertarianism and quit whining.

            1. It is not silly at all. Nick can’t grasp the other side of the abortion debate because his cultural biases won’t let him believe someone could be both pro life and pro liberty. Nick can’t admit the consequences to religious liberty of gay marriage under our current legal regime because his cultural biases won’t let him walk back from the position. Moreover, Nick views things like abortion and gay marriage as more important than religious liberty or gun rights or free association rights and such because those are the things that are important to him. He doesn’t objectively look at it. Lastly, he has a blind spot a mile wide when it comes to seeing how progs can take something like gay marriage or trans rights and fashion it into a weapon to bludgeon their opponents with and to restrict freedom.

              1. I’m surprised that Reason does the labeling thing so well and so often. I thought that was largely reserved for Progressives and SJW idiots. From what I can gather from casual perusal, these are the *new and improved* Libertarian rules to live by:

                1. More abortions and greater abortion access = More freedom
                2. No borders and no border restrictions = More freedom
                3. Shouting down those who disagree with certain lifestyle choices = More freedom

                As to #1, it certainly does not equate to more freedom for that person about to be born. But as you say, Reason staff doesn’t seem to have the intellectual gravitas to really give the matter a serious discussion, other than “my body my choice,” which is no discussion at all.

                #2 is facially absurd. If you don’t have borders, you don’t have a fucking country. How do you enforce people’s private property rights without some sovereign, bordered entity? Through the no-borders UN? Yeah, ok.

                And for #3, it’s a self-evidently a retarded position to take. If Nick or any other Reason writer gave a damn about freedom, they would limit their personal attacks against those who disagree with them on mere cultural issues. What you stick your pecker in, and whether you want to pretend you’re the opposite sex may be part of our zeitgeist, but it is not the defining civil rights issue of our time. Last I checked, we don’t have internment camps for transwomen and I don’t know of anyone being executed by the state because they’re a gay.

                1. Isn’t number 2 true strictly by definition? Your succumbing to poor logic here.

                  1. Shut up, Spenser. He’s strawmanning, dammit, so leave him alone.

                  2. You’re not applying any logic, Spencer. It may be more free to the one entering the country, but less free to the one who’s already a citizen who owns land and pays taxes. If you don’t have borders, then you don’t have citizenship right Spencer? If you don’t have citizenship then what rights do you have? This asinine remark is the best you can do?

                    1. If you don’t have citizenship then what rights do you have?

                      The natural rights I’ve always had. Government doesn’t grant rights; I do not have rights by its sufferance.

                    2. As ever, and per the Iron Laws:

                      Meaning comes from context.

                      Gay marriage in isolation? Sure. Gay marriage in the context of influential activist groups and a legal system that converts “equality before the law” into privileged classes? More complex, at a minimum.

                      Open borders in isolation? Sure. In the context of a massive welfare state and (again) a legal system and activist groups ever on the prowl for more affirmative rights and privileged classes? Not so obvious that its, on net, pro-freedom.

                    3. The Government does not grant rights, but the government IS chartered with protecting them. It does this in a variety of ways including tort law to protect some of those natural rights.

                      The world is not a libertarian paradise. In fact, as bad as it is, the US is one of the more libertarian places in the world. Without enforced borders and controlled immigration rates, this libertarianish place will be controlled by marcsist thinking immigrants that have not absorbed our culture yet.

                      You need to decide, do you want to actually develop a libertarian society, or just posture about it endlessly while demanding utopian suicide for it..

              2. Thanks John, I love ya know matter what they say

                1. And Duke, well put

      2. 1. Nick is a hypocrite. it is as simple as that. He claims SOCONs are obsessed about abortion while he shows no willingness to compromise and seems to completely lack the intellectual capacity necessary to understand the opposing side and why it is not necessarily opposed to liberty.

        Depends on how fanatically they want to stop abortion when the initial moves prove ineffective. The Drug War was ramped up every few years when a couple of years in jail didn’t seem like an effective punishment. It got to the point of death for a couple of ounces of pot proposals. And then it started to collapse.

    3. “Again with the mindless polling. In order for the Gallup poll showing libertarians as the largest self-identified group to mean anything, wouldn’t we need a bit of clarity as to exactly what these people being polled consider “libertarian”?

      Yeah, this is utter bullshit. My sister (a Bernvictim hack, who is supporting that idiot) has on occasion called herself a “Libertarian” destroying any and all value the term might have. She is a spiteful leftist/socialist and a laughable no friend of liberty.

      1. I always simply look at it this way – Bill Maher has long dubbed himself a libertarian. Hell, the LP ran Bob Barr for president once. Sticking feathers up your butt doesn’t make you a chicken.

        1. Oh, man. Bob Barr ’08. That one was a doozy.

          1. Bar was too funny. He went from ardent Prohibitionist to full on cannabis lover over night.

    4. 2)At what point did “marriage equality” become a libertarian belief as opposed to getting the state out of marriage entirely?

      It became a libertarian belief, in the sense that some libertarians could believe it such, when the movement came to the fore in the late 1990s. But when it came up for inclusion in the platform at the LP national con in 1998, it was defeated soundly.

      4)Again with the mindless polling. In order for the Gallup poll showing libertarians as the largest self-identified group to mean anything, wouldn’t we need a bit of clarity as to exactly what these people being polled consider “libertarian”?

      How many times? Quite a while ago the poll was linked to, & it explained the criteria. Any of us could look it up again.

    5. 2)At what point did “marriage equality” become a libertarian belief as opposed to getting the state out of marriage entirely?

      Progressitarian Moment!

  9. But what fresh hell is this, that no conservative or Republican can ever be in favor of legal abortion? Is the right wing such that there is no issue but abortion? And that it’s a bridge too far when the Libertarians?of all dogmatic ideological types!?nominate two moderate former governors who are former Republicans themselves?

    Even though I’m pro-choice, I agree with Gary Johnson on things like parental notification, no taxpayer funding, etc., but the social conservatives’ trouble at the national level — IMHO — is that they come across as insensitive jerks on most other issues.

    Fighting never-ending wars which kill millions of people?

    “Yeah, it’s war. People die in wars. So what? Who cares? DO YOU WANT MUSLIMS COMING HERE TO RAPE YOUR CHILDREN?”

    Death penalty? As Rush Limbaugh says, the only bad thing about the death penalty “are last-minute stays.”

    Drug laws? “If we catch you with drugs, we’re locking you up and throwing away the key. If you’re lucky, we’ll let you out in 20 years after your children have already grown up without their father or mother.”

    Illegal immigrant parents of American children? ROUND ‘EM UP! It’s the parents’ fault if they’re deported and choose to leave their children behind. Conservative “family values.”

  10. If only the libertarians would be less libertarian, the right wing nutters might have gotten on board!

    1. Yeah, clearly the answer is to throw libertarian principles out the window if it might give some aid and comfort to those icky old socons.

      1. And you guys think Pot Ass Sex and Mexicans is just a slogan. It is easy to attract leftists to libertarianism. You just pretend that economic and religious freedom are not really freedom.

        1. No, what you do is just not talk about them. Change the subject. Or make the religious freedom about freedom to use peyote. And it’s easy to avoid talking about economic freedom, since practically nobody else discusses its details in those terms anyway; it’s just part of the background noise.

  11. Hey, just remember: the delegates had a chance to vote for someone who was pro-life, pro-liberty, and pro-Constitution — a guy who would have crossover appeal to the most conservative and small-government Republicans. Instead they chose a guy who thinks Jewish bakers should be forced to make swastika cakes and who goes on and on about common ground with Bernie Sanders (I know what he meant by that, but c’mon dude, think of the optics).

    When the party’s ready to be serious in 2020, I hope Austin Petersen will be running again. No stripteases, please.

    1. Petersen is the choice for people who would rather lose AND STILL be wrong. He’s a fucking idiot with no experience, history of success at anything, or real stances that stand up to scrutiny. He’s a right wing socon, big military guy. He’s John fucking McCain.

      He shouldn’t be considered for much of anything, as far as I can tell, beyond regional shock jock.

      1. I’ll agree that Petersen has no executive experience, which was a concern to me. You’re wrong on everything else.

        From his website:
        Military: “Strengthen national security by reducing/ending foreign aid to nations hostile to the USA. Reconsider overseas troop deployments in areas not important to US national security, and audit the Pentagon.”

        Social Issues: “Encourage a culture of life, and adoption, and educate Americans about the “consistent pro-life ethic,” which also means abolishing the death penalty.” Nowhere does that say ban abortions.

        He’s also said get the government out of marriage, and that all drugs should be legalized. Whatever his personal stances on social issues are, he’s for free choice, unaided and unhampered by the government.

        1. Sure, his website says that, but he’s for preemptive military action, and his pro choice policy isn’t robust so much as it is a skirting of the issue. Just ask him. He will tell you.

          He’s a moron. He has NO SUCCESSFUL record at ANYTHING. EVER. Not just executive experience. Oh yeah, he’s also a douche… for what that’s worth. It seems to work for the Republicans, though.

          1. Johnson also supports pre-emptive military action, especially in humanitarian crises.

            See what you want to see. Make sure to bring a flashlight and be on the lookout for polyps.

    2. Do you mean serious like when they run a candidate who says “First thing I do as President is throw every IRS employee in jail”? Whether you like the IRS or not, whether you think the income tax is constitutional or not, saying things like that makes the general public immediately tune you out as a wacko.

    3. When LP’s ready to be serious, it’ll disband. It does no good for libertarian activists in the USA to have their own political party. They’re much more effective either not doing electoral politics, or doing electoral politics other than in their own political party. The best organiz’n for purposes of your leverage is one that’s poised about 50% in agreement & 50% in disagreement w you on any given matter.

  12. he is a saber-rattling, trans-phobic, anti-immigrant, anti-PC right-winger

    One of these things is not like the others.

    1. Not really. All those other complaints are pearl clutching as well.

  13. For whatever my two cents might be worth, I blame Pat Robertson for this shit. The Bible-thumpers have a disproportionately tight grip on the GOP’s balls because they’re True Believers and a True Believer will work ten times as hard as a regular supporter. The grass-roots, get-out-the-vote, spend-your-spare-time-on-the-phone-banks, show-up-at-all-the-rallies-with-extra-placards, first-to-cheer-last-to-stop, die-hard bust-your-ass volunteers are the ones for whom this is a religious crusade ordained by God Himself. So the GOP bends over for the ten percent nutters because those ten percent nutters are about 50% of your campaign workers and without campaign workers you’re not going anywhere.

    But as Ted Cruz learned, sometimes those religious nuts find themselves a new little dainty-handed golden god to worship and all your thumping the Bible and screeching Scripture won’t bring them back – but it will drive off the non-religious. Sorry, Ted, you should have read your Bible a little more about how apt people are to worship false idols and follow false Messiahs and realized your religion wasn’t going to save you from the mob. What might have saved your sorry ass is going after the people who were turning away from the mob in disgust but they were pretty damn disgusted with you chasing after the mob, so sucks to you.

    1. ^This^

      I might have supported Cruz had he won the nomination (depending on his running mate and general election campaign), but Cruz spent MONTHS telling the world how awesome Donald Trump was and that if only Trump weren’t “weak/soft” on immigration, why, the Great Donald would have been Authentically Conservative.

      It turns out that what many libertarians have said for years is true: The “base” of the GOP was never dogmatically “conservative,” it was comprised of economic and ethnic nationalists who had been aligned with the Pat Robertson wing of social conservatism because those degenerate queers, Muslims, and Mexicans needed to be defeated first and foremost.

      1. Right. If only we could be a Jesus-free utopia like Laos, China, Cuba, North Korea, or Vietnam.

        1. I never said we should be “Jesus-free.”

          And I’m religious. Just keep the government put of it.

        2. It is not Jesus. It is the Christians.

      2. For proof, just read the comment threads at The Federalist. Jeebus-freaks.

    2. This is true. They took over the Republican grass roots in the middle to late 1970s. And it’s not just that they’re true believers, it’s also that they were already organized, via their local churches. The churches didn’t have to be political themselves, but the churches are where they got to know each other. They started w local offices like school board.

      Meanwhile libertarian activists aren’t enough interested in gov’t-run operations like the schools to get involved with school governance. But it’s places like school boards where you get the practice to help when you move on to bigger things. Some libertarians may run for school boards, library boards, fire district boards, etc., but not w any serious interest in governance, so even if they did get elected they wouldn’t benefit from the experience, wouldn’t learn how to forge political coalitions. The could get the experience in non-gov’t positions like co-op, condo, & community ass’n boards & the like, but they’re not interested in those either, much.

  14. And note this: Just as you can be against drug prohibition but against drug use, you can argue strenuously against abortion while not believing it should be banned by the state.

    I keep hearing this. But, what I never hear is anyone explain exactly why. The people opposed to abortion (I’m pro-choice) think it’s, basically, murder. That strikes me as a pretty serious violation of the non-aggression principle. With drugs, the most people’s disapproval isn’t so much moral as practical, a bad choice as opposed to an evil choice.

    1. I keep hearing this. But, what I never hear is anyone explain exactly why. The people opposed to abortion (I’m pro-choice) think it’s, basically, murder. That strikes me as a pretty serious violation of the non-aggression principle.

      True, but for the government to use force (or the threat of force) to stop abortion is basically using one form of aggression to stop another. I tend to view abortion as the political equivalent to the “unstoppable force versus immovable object” dilemma. From a libertarian NAP standpoint, it’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

      1. So you are uncomfortable with protecting rights in general with force, or just in that case?

      2. Mickey is right on this one. The legitimate reason for the use of government force is to protect individual rights. Opponents of abortion think it’s perhaps the worst violations of rights.

        1. True, & the same for ethical vegetarians, but there are far fewer of them.

      3. Libertarians need to remember an important addendum to the NAP: the presumption of innocence. The burden of proof is with the one who declares, not the one who denies. In the case of an issue about which reasonable people can disagree, the government must stand aside. This is foundational. Government aggression, because it is so powerful requires more restraint than individual aggression. Of course, the demarcation between where these disagreements pass from reason to passion is necessarily fuzzy.

    2. I can explain why. The answer is that even abortion is horrible, there is no way to effectively ban it without being willing to take some pretty draconian and awful steps to enforce the ban. If you want to ban abortion and really ban it not some dead letter ban that contains exceptions that abortionists will just drive a truck through, you are going to need to make every woman who loses a pregnancy subject to police investigation to explain what happened and that it wasn’t an abortion and you are going to have to have come kind of government oversight and due process over every decision to abort a child for the mother’s health. And that doesn’t even begin to address what you do about rape.

      I hate abortion but I don’t see how it can be effectively banned within the confines of a just society.

      1. Well said, John.

        *claps*

      2. I think the best you can do is fiercely defend the point of viability as the cut-off point and encourage other options. But it can’t be banned wholesale — you can’t realistically uphold the rights of the unborn on the same level as those of the living. They’ll just have to sort it out with their maker.

        1. I agree. It is more of a moral problem than a legal one. The problem is not that it is legal. The problem is that a million women a year or whatever think it is an acceptable thing to do.

          1. So you DO agree with Nick.

            1. No I don’t. Nick has never explained how he has any objection to abortion or is even able to understand why anyone would.

          2. That’s what bothers me the most — I can accept that bringing a child to term when you’re not ready to be a parent is a difficult choice. And in cases of rape and forced incest, I can’t fully blame people for wanting to be rid of any lasting reminders. An abortion should never be done because you didn’t feel like using protection.

            The callousness with which abortion is discussed really sickens me, not to mention when feminists make it all about the woman’s choice and ignore what the father might want.

            1. That callousness is born of ignorance. I’m probably being naive, but I like to think most people that actually understand how babies are made and how they develop would be mostly opposed to abortion, especially late-term. A large number will just rationalize their callousness. It’s more convenient.

      3. that is a really, really good point. definitely helps me clarify my thinking about a tough issue.

      4. I think John is overstating the enforcement regime necessary to “really” ban abortion, but his overall point has merit.

        The fundamental issue isn’t legal (and never is, really). The fundamental issue is cultural – we as a society have determined that abortion has zero moral consequences and can be used as a form of birth control. As long as that is a prevailing belief, then no, no ban will work.

        I’m a viability guy, myself. Because, as I have said before, I just have to walk down the hall to see with my own eyes that a viable preemie is every bit as much a person as a full-term baby.

        And I get that means that abortions after a certain point will be illegal. I don’t think you need a full-on police state to make that stick. Just like “really” banning murder would require that we all be kept in solitary confinement, but we get by with lesser measures, banning abortion post-viability can be done well enough without the parade of horribles.

        1. RC,

          Last I looked banning murder meant having to explain to the cops what happened whenever someone in your family turned up dead. If you want to ban abortion and treat it like any other crime, then any women who losses a pregnancy better be prepared to explain to the cops what happened.

          I think you and a lot of other people under estimate what is necessary for an effective abortion ban because you don’t really understand how criminal laws are enforced and what a distasteful business that can be. I do.

          1. If you want to ban abortion and treat it like any other crime, then any women who losses a pregnancy better be prepared to explain to the cops what happened.

            That might be true if you go the prom night dumpster baby route. Which already happens to be illegal and will almost always result in an investigation of some type anyway.

            When my dad died in the hospital, guess how many cops showed up demanding my explanation for his death? It’s not any different when a baby dies in the hospital. The doctor signs the death certificate and you pretty much move on with your life.

            1. How many miscarriages happen in a hospital? Very few.

              1. The vast majority take place while a woman is under the care or supervision of a medical professional who can verify the information, which is the relevant portion. A miscarriage under those circumstances would no more require a police investigation than they do now. Believe it or not, prior to Roe v. Wade, cops weren’t busting down doors and taking the rubber hose to women every time they had a miscarriage.

          2. Are you telling me that before Roe v. Wade, miscarriages were routinely subject to criminal investigation?

      5. I’m for legal abortions & even infanticide, but the sort of draconian regime you imagine did not exist when abortion was illegal. Of course that’s because the issue wasn’t politicized then. It was known to go on, & people for the most part didn’t investigate further. Same with euthanasia.

        Daddy’s position on euthanasia (he was a physician) was interesting: He believed it should not be legal, but that authorities should look the other way. In other words, it was important to him to maintain a fiction that it would be illegal, but also important that it be practiced when appropriate. I think he thought that doctors would have better judgment before the fact than juries would after the fact. You’ve heard that it’s easier to get forgiveness than permission?

        1. People are like that. They don’t necessarily want law to comport with reality. Permission involves bureaucracy, procedures, lawyers; forgiveness just presents a fait accompli. I think it was often like that with abortion too, and we see today that most people don’t want it to be legal, but also don’t want it punished. Having it illegal expresses extreme societal disapproval, but having it unpunished means you can still get it and not suffer worse than that disapproval. Merely using one’s freedom of speech to express disapproval isn’t enough for these people, even to answer Gallup polls, for instance; but having it “decided” by gov’t expresses their disapproval strongly enough.

          It’s also like dueling. You put your life in the other person’s hands, but expect he’s going to shoot to miss. Just putting the person in jeopardy is enough, & you might as well let them go.

          Also admission to the Masons & the like. You give them all your property, & they give it right back. For that instant you were a pauper.

    3. If you are opposed to all abortion and you insist that outlawing all abortion is the only thing you will accept, you won’t get anything done. It’s necessary to acknowledge that most people are willing to accept very early abortion. So, for pragmatic reasons, you accept the best conditions you can get practically even though you’d prefer more. It’s called compromise. However, as on just about every issue, there are those who don’t care about results so much as being right (and vice versa).

      1. You won’t get anything done about abortions, but you may get other things done, not least of them signaling to others you can work with what you think about the position?or at least that you share the recognition signal, even if you don’t believe in it. I’m pretty sure that if Roe v. Wade were overturned, many of those who say they want to outlaw abortions would back off. In the meantime it’s convenient that it’s an empty but meaningful gesture.

    4. There are strong constitutional arguments that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided, and that the Feds should not be involved.

      1. It was wrongly decided. Ever read it? There are some laughable court decisions now, but this one was practically devoid of legal reasoning.

        I think the reason I got marked down as “anti-abortion” by a pro- group when I ran for state senate over a decade ago was that I said I thought the Roe decision was incorrect. Or they might’ve assumed it because I was the Conservative nominee, even though on their other questions I was clearly pro-. Or maybe being against tax funding was enough.

  15. The logical vehicle for any real resistance to Trump or Clinton as the next president would have been the Libertarian Party given that they already have the ballot access hurdle solved. The key was the issue of abortion: an effort with a candidate sufficiently pro-life to satisfy social conservatives would have presented an interesting campaign challenge for Trump and Clinton, given that single issue pro-lifers are going to have a hard time voting for either candidate.

    Domenech is pathetic.

    Why the flying fuck should the Libertarian Party essentially “rent out” its national platform to single-issue, anti-abortion social conservatives? They gave their party to Donald Trump mostly on account of him being anti-PC and promising to keep those dirty Mexicans and Muslims out of America.

    You probably could have nominated an anti-abortion Rubio or Cruz if you didn’t spend years farming out your party to fringe nationalists looking for a Big Daddy to take care of them.

    Fuck off.

  16. While I’m no fan of French’s?he is a saber-rattling, trans-phobic, anti-immigrant, anti-PC right-winger out of Central Casting?he’s not the issue here

    So now it’s anti-liberty to be against political correctness? And is French “transphobic” because he said the last thing a boy like “Claire” needed was a vagina? “Phobia” means “an extreme or irrational fear of something.” Is French deathly afraid of Trans folks, or is he expressing a rational thought independent of the Twittersphere? When did the Libertarians supplant science and freedom of thought and expression with emotions and kultur?

    Gillespie’s smug hipness must be a warm embrace.

    1. So now it’s anti-liberty to be against political correctness? And is French “transphobic” because he said the last thing a boy like “Claire” needed was a vagina? …
      When did the Libertarians supplant science and freedom of thought and expression with emotions and kultur?

      Did you miss the Progressitarian Moment?

    2. it’s fear of trance. Can’t hypnotize him!

  17. I beieve Bill Kristof would correctly object to being characterized as “right wing”. He’s more center right, like the current LP ticket.

    1. He’s certainly not a socon. Still a total asshole, but not a socon.

    2. Neoconservatism was never “right wing”. It was disaffected New Deal Democrats who thought Johnson went too far with his domestic programs in the ’60s. The necons gradually displaced the paleos and the “Old Right” in the Republican party, but the language stayed the same. So now you’ve got idiots like Gillespie earnestly saying the Bill Kristol, and presumably his father before him, are “right wingers” when the erstwhile “right wingers” 40 years ago were speaking of Kristol’s neoconservatives as interlopers corrupting their movement.

      1. THIS ^ ^ ^

        Kristol is a POS. Not a conservative POS, a progressive, war mongering, fascist POS.

  18. “given that single issue pro-lifers are going to have a hard time voting for either candidate”

    Single-issue pro-lifers will do what they’ve done since 1973: pretend that the next Republican administration will undo Roe v Wade. Hell, the Bush family was an early, active, and public supporter of Planned Parenthood, and both Bushes got single-issue pro-lifer support.

  19. And what the fuck is this Transphobic shit? When did they have the vote to decide that the only acceptable position was to give the trannies whatever they wanted? Reason really will buy into anything the progs tell them is “tolerant”. Of all of the stupid irrational positions, this one takes the cake.

    1. If you don’t eat a slice of the rainbow-striped cake, or point out that it’s actually a pie and not a cake, you’re a bigot.

      1. Fuck you, hater. It identifies as cake, so it’s cake.

  20. RE: Well, What Do You Expect From “Dan Quayle’s Brain”? The End of Bill Kristol & Right-Wing Seriousness
    The failure to offer credible alternatives to Trump?or to accept Gary Johnson as one?shows that pro-war social cons are a dying breed.

    With all due respect, I can sadly report there are a lot of pro-war social cons out there.
    Just look at all the Trump the Grump supporters.

    1. Trump’s FP is largely anti-war, w/ exception of “bombing the hell out of ISIS”?a position GJ also shares, http://archive.is/HsUBZ

      1. Nowhere in your link does Johnson advocate bombing ISIS.

      2. Trump supported wars in Iraq, Libya, argued in favor of sending troops to fight ISIS, has repeatedly said he would “take the oil” from enemies after bombing them (how do you get the oil — assuming it’s still intact — without sending in troops?), pledges to build up the military which will cost hundreds of billions (“We’ll make the military so big, so strong, nobody will mess with us!”), and threatens trade wars (which will only lead to more militarism).

        Trump is also incredibly thiin-skinned, narcissistic, and gets riled up easily. How anyone can call him “anti-war” is amazing.

        1. Trump never said anything about deploying ground forces to engage ISIS, only bombs.

          ‘Taking the oil’ was in context of Iraq War.

          Peace through strength is fine?Ron Paul advocated the same.

          Unfortunately aspects of perpetual trade war are already builtin to existing agreements; intl. free-trade doesn’t happen, only state-brokered crony-trade. What you perceive as a ‘threat’ is ultimately just a negotiation tactic.

          Trump is egocentric, but there’s little to suggest he’s narcissistic.

      3. Also, I guess that makes Obama “anti-war” ’cause he’s just bombing ISIS.

        Trump will be just as much of a drone warrior/nation bomber and he promises the Pentagon will have fancy new toys to play with.

        1. Sure, it’s possible.

          But he’s at least articulated a decisive break from the standard Neocon/world-police FP doctrine of the past 60+ years.

    2. That will come as a hell of a surprise to the NEOCONs, who are telling anyone who would listen Trump is a dreaded isolationist.

  21. Kristol reminds me of those A-bomb worshipping, veiny-skulled mutants who live underground of the Forbidden Zone in Beneath the Planet of the Apes.

  22. The Weekly Standard and National Review couldn’t get anyone else to run so they picked one of their own writers. This is beyond parity.

    1. It really is. They both have spent the last 20 years kicking people out of the conservative movement. First, they kicked the social moderates out in the 1990s. After 911 they kicked out anyone who had any objection to foreign intervention. This election cycle they kicked out anyone who has any objection to free trade under any circumstances.

      There just are not that many people out there who are predisposed to support them and haven’t already been kicked out of the movement. And the ones that remain seem to have little understanding of their own beliefs. It is mostly buzz words and social signaling now. William F. Buckley must be turning in his grave seeing this.

      1. John, dude – you totally missed the opportunity to jump on his John-esque typo of “parity” (s/b “parody”).

      2. Ah, but did they kick out the Justified Ancients of Mummu?

  23. This my friend is why we roll with the punches. Wow.

    http://www.Complete-Privacy.tk

  24. ROFL! Nick – you’ve lost all your credibility. You’re claiming the party that offers a fat naked Chairman at their convention for a candidate that says he agrees 73% with socialist, big government Bernie Sanders is a rational choice

    I love how you Libertarians disdain a guy that has built a $150 Billion empire with very low debt, who has publicly talked about eliminating government waste (and control) for over 30 years and who has been against the Iraq war when it wasn’t popular and some kind of loon.

    You guys truly embarrass yourselves.

    1. But at least the privacy-bot still has credibility.

  25. They are in favor of things such as abortion rights, marriage equality, more-open borders, more-free trade, and robust Second Amendment rights. Unlike Clinton and Trump, both of whom have said, in effectively identical language, that we need to censor the internet, Johnson and Weld also believe in free speech, too. They are opposed to mindless interventionism and to spending like there is no tomorrow, and they question the sagacity of giving up privacy in the name of the war on global terrorism.

    Hey Gillespie, you’re a lying cunt.

    Johnson’s stance on abortion is much more restrictive than the current regime in the US. Neither Johnson nor Weld supports expanding marriage beyond the current limitations of monogamous partners of any sex (which is not, despite your molestation of the language, “equality”). Weld is to the left of Hillary on gun control. Johnson supports banning religious garb and compelling the speech of religious people in violation of their faith and moral viewpoints. Johnson supports humanitarian military interventions, which may arguably be even more “mindless” than economic ones. And Johnson supports levying a national sales tax and carbon taxes in addition to the current income tax system.

    1. I know you’ve got the unenviable task of trying to slap some lipstick on this pig, but try doing it by way of subtle manipulation of the facts rather than complete fabrications. In other words, stop being a lying cunt. Nobody likes a lying cunt.

  26. Bill Kristol – show me Saddam’s nuculur bomb you fucktard chickenhawk.

  27. what fresh hell is this, that no conservative or Republican can ever be in favor of legal abortion? Is the right wing such that there is no issue but abortion?

    It’s not that they can never be, but Domenech was just pointing out a striking pattern that is clearly no coincidence. For whatever reason, standing for legal abortion cuts no mustard with any prominent Republican politiciians other than moderates, and there are few even of the latter left. I’ve seen for myself in the Conservative Party in the Bronx that being anti-abortion is de rigeur?except for me, it seems, because I’d been brought on board by a libertarian activist in1981, shortly before the current leadership came in (w me?the one I came in with, Rich Shaftan, soon had a falling out w them), and my long ass’n counts for more than my position on even this most-important-to-them issue, on which I have such an extremely opposite position?I’m actually for legal infanticide by parents, let alone abortions.

    It’s hard to blame them for prioritizing the issue so much, considering it’s a literal matter of life and death. But the main thing is that Roe v. Wade put them in a position that’s both hopeless and also seemingly irrelevant, allowing them to maintain this position as a priority, with every candidate secure in the knowledge that they can say, sure, why not make it illegal, and there being no danger of their ever having to make a meaningful vote or other action on it.

    1. The main thing is that a Ron Paul can get elected to many terms in Congress being anti-abortion (which he is), but someone with the same views on everything else but not abortion would have a hard time. Nobody’s going to vote for a candidate just for being pro-abortion, but they’ll vote against a candidate either for being pro-abortion (if those voters are fiscally thrifty) or for being fiscally thrifty (if those voters are pro-abortion). The only way voters will elect a Republican who’s pro-abortion is if that candidate is a moderate (i.e. almost as big a spender as Democrats).

  28. just one in five voters insist on a candidate sharing his view on abortion. Among pro-lifers, the percentage is slightly higher (23 percent) and among pro-choicers, it’s slightly lower (19 percent). Tying a broad-based political movement?conservatism, Republicanism, or even #NeverTrumpism?to a single issue is always a bad idea, but it’s especially so when 40 percent of Republicans support legal abortion.

    True at the grass roots, but for the leadership the cost is practically 0 for adopting the most extreme anti-abortion positions, especially since the law is effectively unchangeable. The way the “Illuminati alignments” have shaken out, they lose hardly any votes for being anti, but would lose a lot for being pro. They’re comfortable with their base, & want to maintain it.

  29. or to accept Gary Johnson as one?shows that pro-war social cons are a dying breed.

    Pro-war social cons were supposed to get behind a gay pot dealing pacifist? You think that’s a realistic option for them?

  30. But what we are seeing in this election, … , is the end of a broad, right-of-center coalition that has been dissolving since at least the end of the Cold War.

    Progressitarian Moment!

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  32. Reason quit sucking Johnson/Weld dick, what you have here is two uninspiring candidates, and I have to laugh when you mention “anti war” when Johnson was asked about World War three he didn’t rule out getting involved, not only that he thinks the government should tell you who you can and can’t do business with. Just admit, the Libertarian Party picked two uninspiring bores that are Republican lite. Johnson didn’t even know who Murray Rothbard was when asked, now agree or disagree with Murray, that is not the point, every libertarian worth his/her salt knows who he is. Shit, if Bill “fail troll” Kristol wants to get behind a third party, get behind the current joke of a Libertarian Party that should be calling itself “Liberal Republican Lite Party.” Folks, get ready for Trump or Clinton, better yet pick a better fucking candidate to back next time at the Libertarian Party convention.

  33. The failure to offer credible alternatives to Trump?”or to accept Gary Johnson as one?”shows that pro-war social cons are a dying breed.

    That you think Gary Johnson is a credible alternative to anybody shows that what’s dying is your grip on reality.

    1. This ^ ^ ^ is accurate.

  34. Well, he’s a Jew for Moses sake. What did you expect?

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  36. Leaving aside the stupidity of The Jacket’s open borders position (I know some libertarians take this position based on very eloquent, idealist arguments, but please do not imagine all libertarians eschew any notion of being ‘American’ by dint of wishing to limit state power)…

    nick – how do you possibly analyze Kristol without me tioning his Israel Firster status – the only reason he’s floating French is in a myopic effort to give the election to hillary – who is completely owned by the Jewish (I’m sorry – ‘pro-Israel… Not Jewish groups at all… Must use the approved goodwordthink) Lobby.

    Kristol and his ilk want to have American blood and treasure expended to fulfill The Oded Yinon plan.

    Surely you know this – too afraid of free speech limits to say it?

    http://www.historycommons.org/…..tancy_2049

    The neocons are largely Jewish Zionist chickenhawks who wish to have America kill lots and lots of Arabs – politically incorrect or not, it is the truth and fuck you for not pointing at the zionist warmonger in the room

    http://mycatbirdseat.com/2013/…..ervatives/

  37. Leaving aside the stupidity of The Jacket’s open borders position (I know some libertarians take this position based on very eloquent, idealist arguments, but please do not imagine all libertarians eschew any notion of being ‘American’ by dint of wishing to limit state power)…

    nick – how do you possibly analyze Kristol without me tioning his Israel Firster status – the only reason he’s floating French is in a myopic effort to give the election to hillary – who is completely owned by the Jewish (I’m sorry – ‘pro-Israel… Not Jewish groups at all… Must use the approved goodwordthink) Lobby.

    Kristol and his ilk want to have American blood and treasure expended to fulfill The Oded Yinon plan.

    Surely you know this – too afraid of free speech limits to say it?

    http://www.historycommons.org/…..tancy_2049

    The neocons are largely Jewish Zionist chickenhawks who wish to have America kill lots and lots of Arabs – politically incorrect or not, it is the truth and fuck you for not pointing at the zionist warmonger in the room

    http://mycatbirdseat.com/2013/…..ervatives/

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  39. Who still pays attention to what that war-mongoloid Jew has to say.

  40. “the moral vacuity of dogmatic libertarianism”

    Even if that were true, it would still be preferable to the intellectual vacuity of Dan Quayle’s brain.

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  44. I like Gillespe …but, what kind of Non-Interventionist is Weld?
    – He was for the Iraq war and he endorsed Kasich.

    Rather than pander to the communist left by trying to draw them in by embracing abortion and the (suddenly hip) trans-issues – how about shrinking the Welfare State and marching back towards a Republic rather than a Democracy?

    I’m all for free movement across borders; but, if my rights are going to be stripped from me (as they are in one-party California) I’m damned sure hell-bent against it.

  45. Dying breed? The pro-life-after-death prohibitionists? What was that line in Atlas Shrugged about people who value death?

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