Pete Buttigieg

These Positions Place Pete Buttigieg at Odds With Libertarians

The Indiana mayor has some policy preferences that don't square with personal freedom or limited government


Pete Buttigieg is running for president. For libertarians, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, appears to be a welcome addition to the far-left-leaning Democratic primary. After all, his views on foreign intervention and free college are small consolations in a field that is largely set on growing the scope of government.

Some of Buttigieg's other positions, however, put him at odds with libertarian voters.

Court Packing

Several Democratic candidates have expressed a desire to expand the Supreme Court in hopes of weakening the influence of conservative justices.

In a speech at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, Buttigieg suggested expanding the court to 15 justices. This new court would be composed of five conservative justices, five liberal justices, and five rotating appellate justices, each unanimously agreed upon by their peers.

Though this proposal sounds good to those who despise simple majority decisions, it runs into a number of issues.

Besides the fact that Democratic candidates are advocating to expand the Supreme Court now that a Republican president has the power to appoint justices, Bloomberg columnist Stephen L. Carter observes that the proposal would seriously disrupt the appointments themselves. If a sitting president already makes an appointment and a second seat becomes vacant, Americans would then potentially have to wait several election cycles for the seat to be filled.

The proposal also gives justices more power by choosing who gets appointed. This both goes against an important check on the judicial branch, and is likely unconstitutional, as presidents are the only people allowed to appoint justices.

Chelsea Manning

Whistleblower Chelsea Manning was previously sentenced to 35 years in prison after leaking sensitive documents about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to Julian Assange's WikiLeaks. Her sentence was commuted by President Obama. She is currently sitting in jail after refusing to testify against WikiLeaks before a federal grand jury. In addition to criticizing Manning, the Washington establishment is also celebrating Assange's recent arrest in London.

Buttigieg is one of the politicians who is currently not in Manning's corner.

Speaking with CBS News Radio, Buttigieg criticized leakers like Manning and Edward Snowden.

"I certainly agree that we've learned things about abuses and that one way or another that needed to come out," he said. "But in my view, the way for that to come out is through Congressional oversight, not through a breach of classified information."

Mandatory National Service

Buttigieg has previously invoked his military service to criticize endless war. He's also used his experiences to speak positively about national service. Though he hasn't presented any official positions, his sentiments on the latter indicate that he would be comfortable with mandatory national service.

Earlier in the month, Buttigieg told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow that national service would be part of his campaign. While his proposal is otherwise vague, Buttigieg explained that service could be an answer to bridging social divides. Maddow responded that even the Pentagon is against conscription for the sake of morale and quality of recruits.

Beyond the Pentagon's concerns, Reason's Nick Gillespie cites Milton Friedman to argue the libertarian position on forced military service. To sum, it is better to have an all-volunteer army than "an army of slaves."

Such a casual proposal carries great repercussions for the power of choice and expression. Ideally, if American citizens were against an intervention, they would simply not sign up for the service.

Though Buttigieg has yet to truly commit to a major campaign proposal, his thoughts should not be taken lightly. If libertarians are looking for a mainstream candidate who will not join pointless wars, then Buttigieg aligns with their views. If they're looking for a firm commitment to shrinking the size and scope of government, they may not find much common ground in this candidate.

Bonus Link: Ira Stoll calls Buttigieg "the most interesting Democrat running for president."

NEXT: The Hunt for Stoned Drivers

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  1. Re: Supreme Court.
    There is nothing magic about the number 9. Increasing or decreasing the court size is not per se wrong. I am not necessarily in favor of his scheme for how to choose the composition of the court, but discussion about changing it shouldn’t be per se off limits.

    1. There is something about Democrats always wanting to rejigger the rules to favor them when they lose control of an institution like the courts or the redistricting process

      1. Yep. Imagine if Trump came out tomorrow and said “I agree, let’s increase it to 15 judges…here’s my 6 nominees.” And Mitch says “Approved! Confirmed, confirmed, confirmed, confirmed, confirmed, confirmed”.

        Or if all the Dems run on increasing the court size under the *next* president and Trump wins again? Will they all suddenly recant their positions (we know the answer is yes).

        While 9 is not a magic number, it was a bad idea when FDR wanted to do it. It would be a bad idea if Trump tried to do it. It’s a bad idea for Dems to be pushing it now. It will be a bad idea the next time it is raised.

        1. There’s a better argument to increase the number of Congressional representatives than there is to increase the number of Supreme Court justices. Given how much the country’s population has grown and the demographic layout in the last 100 years, urban enclaves in particular would be better serviced if one person wasn’t representing an entire city. Districts with a combined urban/rural split are going to be more likely to cater to urban sensibilities because that’s where the votes are–give the rural area a dedicated rep, and their concerns won’t be ignored by the person who’s supposed to care about their interests. Suburban towns get their own rep depending on population size, since their interests don’t necessarily align with those of the urban core.

        2. Would it ever be a “good idea”?

          1. I think the closest we could get would be if the justices couldn’t be nominated until the president signing the bill leaves office. Even then it would kinda suck because the successor, of whatever party, will obviously attempt to pack the court to suit the party not the country.

        3. In any case, the court-packing thing is nothing more than left-wing sour grapes, and just the latest episode in their nearly century-long effort to politicize judicial appointments.

        4. “It’s only authoritarianism when the Right does it”

      2. Well, both Team Red and Team Blue pull the same stunt. They put forth a plausible nonpartisan reason (“power to the people! election security!”) for demanding a change to the rules, but ultimately it’s because they think the change will benefit them.

        Although I will say that Mayor Pete’s proposed scheme is not as bad as it could be.

        1. No, this is not a “both sides” thing. The Democrats consistently complain the established rules are unfair when they lose control of an institution and do not see a way to get it back under the current system. There is the court packing, electoral college elimnation, taking away redistricting from the legislatures. The Democrats lose, it is the rules that are wrong, not them.

          1. Then how would you regard Republicans’ insistence of more voter identification procedures for purposes of “electoral integrity”? I happen to agree with voter ID generally, but I am not naive enough to believe that Republicans are being completely forthright about their full motivations here either.

            1. So, you agree that people should ID themselves to cast a vote to eliminate fraud, as to not disenfranchise other legitimate voters, but are against it because Republicans

              Are you seeing the problem here? Hint: It’s you

              1. “but are against it because Republicans”

                That’s you projecting again. I didn’t say I was against voter ID. I said I’m not so naive as to believe that Republicans are pushing this solely for the pure and noble cause of ‘clean elections’. I think Republicans think they will gain an electoral advantage by pushing this issue, and THAT is mainly why they push it. Do you?

                Do try to read what I write.

                1. Well, dipshit, let’s just say they are all for the right policy for wrong reasons. How does that make it not the right policy?

                  Democrats have a long history of institutionalized voter fraud. From Poll taxes and literacy tests, to the ’60 elections. Dead Voting, and 102% turnout in inner-city precincts. And the shock and horror of absentee ballot harvesting that happened in NC, it is actually legal and standard practice in most Blue States

                  Republicans certainly think they will gain an advantage by free and fair elections, There is nothing wrong with that. It should be applauded.

                  1. I left out Motor Voter and giving Drivers Licenses to illegals and encouraging them to vote in local elections as a way to get them coming back to the polls

                  2. Yeah yeah “Team Red is the good team, Team Blue is the bad team, blah blah blah”

                    Why do Republican proposals to “combat fraud” routinely include limitations to early voting? What type of fraud do they think will be stopped by this tactic?

                    Why do these proposals often include reductions in hours that polling places are open? Why do they often include reducing the number of polling places?

                    And why are these proposals often justified by paranoid and largely unjustified fears of widespread vote fraud that supposedly currently exists?

                    The trend here is to make it more difficult for people to vote in general.

                    1. They don’t. Your straw man talking points straight from the Stacy Abrams Aftercampaign –

                      Local Governments (often controlled by Democrats, in her examples specifically controlled by Democrats) control where the polling places are.

                      Early voting has been increasing, not decreasing. It used to not even be a thing. Republicans introduced it to my state.

                    2. Now, tell us why leaving dead people, and those that have moved out of the jurisdicion decades prior, on the voter rolls is a central tenet of Democrat strategy

                    3. North Carolina:

                      These were all Republican efforts, you know.
                      Maybe at one time Republicans were in favor of early voting, but that is not the trend recently.
                      Why do you think so many Republican-run states are seeking to restrict early voting? What type of fraud do you think it would prevent?

                    4. And in case you hadn’t noticed I’m not sticking up for the Democrats either. They have a corrupt political incentive to avoid certain reforms – particularly cleaning up outdated voter rolls – because they can use them as a way to play dirty tricks with the vote tallies. It’s folly to claim that only Democrats are uniquely capable of dirty tricks when it comes to the vote.

                    5. Jeezum Crowe, do you read your own links?

                      Ohio Republicans instituted 28 days of early voting. Democrats added 7 days when you could register and vote simultaneously. Then the Rs did away with that.

                      You don’t think same day registration is prone to abuse?

                    6. Ohio Republicans instituted 28 days of early voting.

                      Umm, no, the article does not say that.

                      Democrats added 7 days when you could register and vote simultaneously. Then the Rs did away with that.

                      Yes, they were reducing early voting opportunities. As I said.

                      You don’t think same day registration is prone to abuse?

                      Sure, it could be. Where is the evidence that same-day registration was abused in Ohio, so much so that the Republicans were justified in making the changes that they did?

                      Or was it, instead, Republicans scoring a team point against Team Democrats by undoing what they perceived to be a voting reform that benefitted Democrats more than Republicans?

                    7. Now please explain why the changes in North Carolina and Wisconsin were justified, other than just simply “sticking it to Team Blue”

                    8. Here is my hypothesis.
                      Early voting benefits Democrats more than Republicans because voters who have to take advantage of voting on days other than on Election Day tend to be poorer and more urban, who are more concentrated in Democratic districts.
                      So that is why Republicans are targeting early voting, and then using the pretense of “stopping fraud” as a thin veneer of a justification.

        2. His plan has a veneer of fairness, but that’s actually its worst feature. By requiring 5 liberal and 5 conservative justices you are not only locking in the political partisanship we already have, but likely making it much worse. Knowing that the “other side” has 5 justices of their own there is no reason to ever try to nominate a middle of the road justice, or even one that might not toe the party line on every single issue (e.g being pro-choice and pro-2A, as Kennedy was)

          It would guarantee that 10 of the 15 justices would be extremist ideologues, and likely make the battle to nominate the remaining 5 even worse than the fights already are

          And that’s ignoring the fact that allowing the court to select its own justices is likely an unconstitutional breach of checks and balances

        3. “Both sides!”

          When has the Right ever suggested packing the Supreme Court?

          1. When has the Right ever suggested packing the Supreme Court?

            Not recently, as far as I recall. But that wasn’t the specific complaint that I was responding to. It was more generally an observation that both sides are not above trying to manipulate the rules in order to gain a partisan advantage. Is this really a controversial opinion to you?

            1. Packing the Supreme Court and changing the rules on parking tickets are very different scales of changing the rules. And it matters what the context of the actions was.

              It’s not whether both do something described completely generically that includes mountains and molehills. It matters who’s doing the mountains, and who’s doing the molehills.

              The same people saying it’s totally ok for the dems to expand the court to pack it with Dems would of course have shit fits if Trump did it himself. And if it’s a-ok to change numbers, maybe Trump should change that number to 1, then back up to 9?

            2. So in other words, you didn’t have an actual point.

      3. Haven’t you heard? Gerrymandering is bad.
        I mean, it was right and socially just when Ds did it to increase the number of black-majority districts and increase the number of inner city black congressmen. But it was cynical and evil when the Republicans did it to put all the blacks in one district, and increase the number of Republicans elected statewide.

        1. “It’s only bad when Whitey does it”

          1. Fuckin’ honkies!

      4. Rules are always a one way street with the Dems.
        Rules apply to Republicans, not Democrats.

        When rules are inconvenient, the Dems change them. They threaten court packing when they don’t get their way. That’s how FDR hammered through his massive expansion of government power.

        Note that the Court shouldn’t have knuckled under like that. They should have made FDR pack to court to remove any pretense that he hadn’t rammed through his policies over the legal rulings of the Court.

    2. Well, if Drumpf proposed adding a 10th and 11th justice, that would clearly be wrong per se.

      1. It’s not wrong to have the discussion, no.

        1. Is it only ok to talk about, or is it ok to do, EquivocatorJeff?

          Please answer for both proposals.

          Both sides!

          1. It depends on the arguments presented, as with any proposed course of action.

            1. “I refuse to answer the question because it would demonstrate just how full of shit I am”

              1. Sometimes Pedo a Jeffy sounds halfway sane. But then I remember he is still PEDO Jeffy. And that isn’t changing with time.

    3. The main thing is that there’s nothing anti-libertarian about amending the US constitution on a structural matter like this. It’s a thoroughly goofy idea that’d have who-knows-what effects in the centuries to come, but it’s not anti-liberty in & of itself.

      1. Not in itself, except it gives control of the courts to the party of collectivism and utilitarianism.

        1. Who knows what parties those would be 100 or 200 yrs. from now?

          1. How much bad precedent can be set in stone by state decisis in the meantime?

      2. I’m referring to amending the constitution to change, among other things, the method of selection of judges & their term of office. The # of judges is statutory.

      3. Changing the rules when you lose so the loss doesn’t have as much consequence is anti rule of law.

        But it’s not actually amending the Constitution. That’s the problem. The number should be in the Constitution so that the Left can’t play the Court Packing game, even in threats. That’s what gave us the huge expansion of government power in The New Deal. Something quite anti liberty.

    4. “each unanimously agreed upon by their peers”

      Suggesting such a rule should immediately disqualify anyone from the grown ups table.

      In politics, people don’t agree. That’s the whole problem government is designed to resolve – conflicting preferences.

    5. Gosh court packing is now an acceptable Libertarian position. This author is another phony progressive. There is so much wrong with “Mayor Pete” It numbers more than 3 items but Pete is in line with most progressives on free healthcare, free college, even climate change. I guess these are now Libertarian positions as well..Zuri (nice name for a progressive) lists some of the most banal problems with Pete… Pete is really out to promote his brands of elitist Socialist Oligarchy. What most people don’t know about Pete is that his father was the founding member of the Gramsci International Society and in lock step with his scumbag father, Pete is promoting his new Democratic Capitalism which is simply hardcore socialism. Why does Reason hire insidious and duplicitous left wing journalist in order to stink up it’s website?

  2. A progTard is at odds with libertarianism.

    News at 24/7 !

    1. This is my shocked face.

    2. You would prefer a Bible-beating Aborto-Freak big government conservative at odd with libertarianism no doubt.

      1. Troll Alert; Don’t feed this troll and it will shrivel up and die.

        1. No, it’s more likely that he’ll post kiddie porn links in another attention-seeking fit.

          1. “No, it’s more likely that he’ll post kiddie porn links in another attention-seeking fit.”
            Or SHOUT in an attempt to get attention. Scumbags are like that.


          1. Why don’t you go back to watching your kiddie rape movies? You sick piece of shit.

            No one wants your toxic pedo ass here.

      2. “You would prefer a Bible-beating Aborto-Freak big government conservative at odd with libertarianism no doubt.”

        Over any Justice the Left would appoint, or who is currently on the bench.

        It’s really not complicated, particularly since the Left went totalitarian in the 21st Century. In the 80s, maybe you could get a not insanely horrible Justice from the Left. Not anymore.

        1. The left wants control and command governance. I don’t agree with Trump on a few issues and I don’t want to have a beer with him. That said I would stack him up against any of the long list of progressive losers and he definitely smells a whole lot better. I am not sure what is happening to Libertarians. Thank god Bill Weld is gone … seriously, running on the Republican ticket ,what an a$$hat.

          1. What happened to this formerly Libertarian magazine is that it got trampled in The Long March Through the Institutions.

            And Nick went postmodernist.

  3. He is only mildly irrational, not bat guano crazy like his colleagues.

    1. Mighty low bar there….

  4. Five seconds of searching turned up this quote:

    On healthcare, Buttigieg says he believes the United States should “move in the direction of a ‘Medicare for all’ system,” but only gradually

    That could be added to your incredibly short list.

    1. MediCare For All is slogan promising to solve everyone’s problems without detailing the costs in taxes, choice or quality in medical care which will result. It is a con.

      1. Much like reparations, universal basic income, “free” college….

      2. Medicare for All, Healthcare Freedom for None

        Not that we have much healthcare freedom now.

    2. So he believes in free but lousy healthcare. Why is he different than the rest of losers ? He plays piano? Speaks several languages?
      Who cares he is a Socialist .. he in on the record as speaking against freedom in lieu of the “collective good” Any so-called Libertarian that supports this piece of crap is no Libertarian.

  5. He’s the Obama of 2016. A mediocre politician nobody would have even heard of except for the fact that he’s gay. I actually do like him better than most of the other candidates, but he’s already playing up the “I’m gay and I’m picking fights with Mike Pence over stupid shit” nonsense, and the media will never ever ask him any hard questions about anything.

    1. The Obama of *2020*.

    2. He’s gay. That makes him doubly white, or so I’ve heard.

      It would seriously fracture the Black voting bloc. Not gonna happen.

      He’s entirely a pick of the media.
      “He’s gay and smart! My leg is *so* tingling!”

      How do you think he’d work out with the Muslim vote?

      1. He has Muslim lovers as well.. seriously he is married to a guy who is equally banal.

  6. Although Mayor Pete isn’t my first choice — that’s still Kamala Harris — he has plenty to offer us Koch / Reason libertarians. Obviously he’d be better on immigration than Orange Hitler. And I believe he supports unrestricted access to abortion care during all 3 trimesters.

    Moreover, we cannot overlook how wonderful it would be to elect the first openly LGBTQ+ President.

    1. “we cannot overlook how wonderful it would be to elect the first openly LGBTQ+ President.”

      Why would that be “wonderful”?

    2. Maybe even the *4th* trimester!


  7. I didn’t know it was mandatory for Libertarians to endorse Chelsea nee Bradley Manning? That certainly seems an odd one to toss out here. Buttigieg is a progressive with plenty to complain about…it seems maybe Zuri Davis is more fascinated by Manning than some of the rest of us?

    1. You did not know that the only acceptable Libertarian position is no state secrets whatsoever, including troop movements and merchant marine shipping schedules.

    2. Before I create my TrannyTraitorProgitarian sock puppet, allow me to get into character and suggest that leaking diplomatic cables is of preeminent importance to us Progitarians, moreso than mere economics and freedom to trade and enter mutually beneficial contracts and keep our own earnings and whatnot

      1. I’ve always used “Progressitarian”, but “Progitarian” has a nice ring to it.

    3. With all that Pete supports in the Progressive -Anti-Libertarian platform not supporting Chelsea/Bradley seems a little light on substance. Zuri is a hack what can you say.. I think they scrounged him up from the feces lined halls of the Atlantic

  8. I admit that Pete is less objectionable than a drug warrior like Harris, but I’m afraid I don’t like him or any of the candidates, on either side.

    I vowed to never again vote for a Democrat or a Republican. The two party system needs to be euthanized. Release the public from its 22 trillion dollar debt, endless war, surveillance state tyranny already! Stop voting or supporting anyone who is a D or an R.

    1. “Irrelevancy NOW!”

      “Not my fault! Both sides!”

  9. The new layout is poorly designed. The comment open/close button lives in the same column as the flag comment buttons and the page jumps around horribly on a phone when open. This would not be a problem if you could undo an accidentally flagged comment, but you cannot for some reason known only to the madmen who designed this.

    1. It’s cute that you think they want the comments to work.

  10. If they’re looking for a firm commitment to shrinking the size and scope of government

    That case is hopeless given our two major parties.

    1. Come on, don’t be so pessimistic about the Democrats. Remember the Obama years? How he personally created the strongest 8-year run in the history of our economy?

      1. +1; good one OB

        1. It was the longest run of job creation in history if facts matter to you (doubtful).

          1. Notice how scumbag turds are always picking cherries? I wonder if that’s the limit of their abilities?
            Or are they just fucking lefty ignoramuses?

          2. You can really milk your job creation streak if you throttle it so much you never get the usual post recession bounce.

          3. It wasn’t. You’ve been too focused on seeing small children violently raped. As to why you thought anyone here would think that was in any way cool is beyond me.

            PB, you are one sick peace of shit. You should really consider harming yourself.

      2. He personally created? How? The same way he created US energy Independence by slow walking permits on government land?

  11. On The Issues:

    1. Buttigieg has said the Democratic party needs to be in conversation with labor unions and supports the economic opportunities presented in the Green New Deal.
    2. Buttigieg joined Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which supports comprehensive background checks and opposes guns in schools and permitless carrying.
    “Just expressing one war vet’s hurt at seeing weapons of war used on peaceful Americans here at home.”
    3. “We can quibble over marginal tax rate levels, but we know that a lot of people in this country are not paying their fair share. There’s this talk about this being some crazy left-wing position, but I think the idea that some people aren’t paying their fair share, and we’ve got to change that, that’s something most Americans get.”
    4. Buttigieg supports increasing the minimum wage…He also told the podcast Pod Save America that he thinks it’s worth taking universal basic income seriously, saying, “It’s the right moment to have the conversation.”
    5. “We need to ‘depoliticize’ the Supreme Court, with one option being expanding the Supreme Court to 15 justices with 10 appointed “in the political fashion” and five appointed by a unanimous agreement of the other 10 justices.
    6. Buttigieg has made it clear that he believes climate change deserves crisis-level attention from the United States government
    7. He also spoke about voting reform, including creating automatic voter registration, giving people the day off on Election Day, and allowing Puerto Rico to have a voice in the electoral process for presidency. He is also on record as saying “the electoral college has got to go.”

    1. Buttigieg’s just a bog-standard Millennial progressive. There’s nothing in his policy proposals that isn’t boilerplate MSM punditry or college campus fantasias.

      As has been pointed out here repeatedly, if he was straight, no one would give a shit about him because there’s nothing particularly different about him from any other Dem candidate, and it’s a lot more likely that he’s really running for the VP nod or a prominent Cabinet position. His own party didn’t even want to put him in charge of running the DNC.

    2. The court is politicized because it has been treated as a super legislature, expecting them to dictate policy Putting in gimmicks as to how many justices there are and how they are chosen does not change the political role they have taken on.

    3. ” . . . There’s this talk about this being some crazy left-wing position, but I think the idea that some people aren’t paying their fair share, and we’ve got to change that, that’s something most Americans get.”

      Too true; the over 50% that pay nothing have to be brought back into the American mainstream by paying taxes.

    4. So Buttgag is pretty much a far left progressive authoritariani Marxist. Got it. No wonder the progtards are spooging over him.

  12. The only candidate I’ve like so far is the coffee guy (he is the only one in either party that wants to cut the size of government) and he has zero chance.

    1. Just like your pro child rape agenda has zero chance of becoming successful.

  13. As to candidates who “won’t get us into senseless wars”…..

    I give you Obama. The anti-war left just loved them some Obama.

    How’d that work out? Did we end up with more, or less undeclared, unauthorized war?

    So far Trump has only managed the “no new war” part of the anti-war isolationist wing’s hopes. And that’s on shaky ground.

    And Bush… remember “no nation-building”… yeah, stuff happened, people did things…

    Oh, and Bill Clinton in the aftermath of Desert Storm…. “we are not the world’s police”…. remember that? Yeah… “Europe can handle a European matter” lasted for what, a year or two? Then the same German Chancellor who told the US to mind its own business began chastising Clinton for not doing anything to help. So off to war….

    So I’m gonna go with “no”, you can’t trust a candidate’s position on not getting involved in wars.

    1. “Then the same German Chancellor who told the US to mind its own business began chastising Clinton for not doing anything to help.”

      No surprise there. The Germans are incapable of so much as airlifting a company over the polish border.

  14. Look, we’re ideologic outliers, OK? It makes no sense to headline a piece, “These positions place…” anyone “at odds with [radical] libertarians”, as if it were just those few positions & just that particular person. If you want to highlight a way this candidate is particularly bad, like the national service notion already highlighted here, fine, but don’t act like we have a narrow set of grievances.

    1. That’s why it’s so amazing that the current prez, though not a radical libertarian ideologically, is doing so much good by us.

      1. I don’t think it speaks to highly of us that the most bumbling, buffoonish and unprofessional President in the TV era keeps on accidentally aligning with us.

          1. runs clips of Obama in bike helmet and mom jeans, missing 20+ layups in a row, girlthrowing the first pitch at a baseball game…

            1. I am in pain just thinking about what an absolute twit that guy was for 8 years

    2. False.

      There has probably never been as much overlap between the Republican and Libertarian parties as there is now in 2020.

      But, still, we have idiots here calling Republicans “bible-beaters”, the party of Trump. And in an article about Mayor Fn Pete, no less, the chief Bible Beater (misquoter?) in public life today. Mayor Pete not only claims to speak to God, but for God. He is much more sanctimonious than anyone to run for POTUS since Pat Robertson 30 years ago.
      I guess the Rs need to be as openly hostile to Christianity as the mainstream press to make any headway in Reason circles.

  15. He is also a proponent of his party’s “Equality Act” which is bake the cake writ large.

  16. WHAT?



    1. Let it go, damikesc, it’s Reasontown

  17. He is a democrat.
    He will have to run on the party platform.
    The party platform will remain as anti-freedom as ever.
    Therefore, he has no credibility on any ‘libertarian’ position.

    1. He will have to run on the party platform.

      Nah. He’ll run on whatever the leftards in the media want to hear.


      1. Isn’t that pretty much the party platform these days?

  18. yeah Mayor Pete and “positions” should be out-of-bounds it’s too easy

  19. There is a legitimate argument to make, with the Democrats, that where the figurehead on top stands on the issues isn’t the only important issue.

    Whether the Democrat president only tacitly supports the Green New Deal, what difference does that make in practice? If and when a Democrat congress passes the Green New Deal, will President Buttigieg sign it or not–isn’t that the only question that matters?

    The Green New Deal, with its political suicide implications, isn’t the only alarming trend in the Democratic party today. What if they decide to fix healthcare by expanding Medicare to everybody? What if they pass a bill to ban “assault weapons”? What if they pass hate speech laws? Can we depend on any Democrat president to veto such legislation?

    I have zero faith in any Democrat running for president to stand up against the worst impulses of their authoritarian and socialist party, which are common in the Democratic Party. Until I develop some kind of faith that the elected Democrat will take a principled stand against his own party, that may be reason enough for a libertarian to vote for Donald Trump. Once again, as the Democratic party becomes increasingly authoritarian and socialist, it is entirely appropriate for a libertarian capitalist to become increasingly Republican.

    1. Although I agree, I’ll bring up the counter example:

      Clinton rode a wave of anti-conservative exuberance on the left into office… by using the centrist language and “dog whistles” of the right. And he mostly ended up as a centrist president, probably due in large part to a strong opposition in the Gingrich-lead congress.

      1. I’m not following your logic.

        Bill Clinton was elected president on the back of a recession and in response to a fiscally conservative third party challenge that took 19% of the vote, nationally.

        In 1994, Clinton got his ass handed to him by the Gingrich congress, running on a platform that would make him seem like a libertarian today. Republicans were elected to control both houses of Congress for the first time since 1953.

        How were the Republican goals of 1994 like the authoritarian and socialist goals of the Democrats of 2020?

        Looking at the other side, how is the Democratic Party of 1996 like the Democrats of 2020? The Democratic Party of 1996 may have been anti-NAFTA and anti-GATT (unlike President Clinton), but they were by no means as authoritarian and socialist as the Democrats are today with the Green New Deal and Medicare for All. If the Democrats of today were like the Democrats of 1996, I might argue that voting for or against Clinton doesn’t really matter.

        Because the Democrats of 2020 are so authoritarian and so socialist, it really does matter now. We need a president who will veto their legislation, and we can’t trust anyone in the Democratic field to do that. So, doesn’t it need to be a Republican?

        1. Not to mention his two policy proposals before Gingrich took control were
          a) a tax hike on “the rich”, which passed
          b) Hillarycare, far more ambitious than ObamaCare, which failed miserably and gave us Gingrich

          Not a lot of ‘centrism’ until it proved politically necessary for survival

        2. Clinton also ran against a President who had little desire to campaign and seemed to be running out of a sense of duty more than anything else.

          1. Hard to believe that GHWB at one point had approval ratings in the 80% and still lost to the Clinton pigs

      2. “When a Dem dog whistles, they have to borrow the dog whistle from a Republican.”

        Uh huh. How about it’s the Left that always always always plays racial politics?

        Whenever Clinton got in trouble, he’d find a Black to pick a fight with in public. Jessie Jackson. Sistah Souljah. There was another one I don’t recall.

      3. “Clinton rode a wave of anti-conservative exuberance on the left into office… by using the centrist language and “dog whistles” of the right. ”

        When Democrats are racist against Blacks, it’s obviously because they’ve been possessed by the Right.

    2. Dems today make me wistful for Mondale and Dukakis.

  20. Oh, and being a statist member of a party that loves socialism.

    That’s one more item left out of the article.

  21. Too funny, the people calling Mayor Pete a “far left dingbat” or whatever. He is more or less in the center of the Democratic Party. He is nowhere near AOC’s or Bernie’s level of economic retardation.

    1. Faint praise… if the center of the Democrat party is for packing the supreme court, abandoning the electoral college and economic ruin via the “green new deal”, they are not going to win a lot of votes outside the fold.

      1. Socialism Green is People.

    2. Yeah he’s definitely one of my LEAST hated Democrat nominees so far, but even as a gay man it bothers the hell out of me that the only reason he’s even on the news and getting any attention is because he’s gay. That doesn’t make him brave or heroic. There’s nothing brave about coming out or running for office as a gay mean anymore. It is an advantage, not a disadvantage, especially in the press.

  22. Mandatory National Service

    Hey Zuri: you misspelled “temporary slavery”.


    1. Cultural appropriation!?

  23. This article seems to be a far reach to write something about Pete Buttigieg. Are Libertarians really driven by the issues of court packing, Chelsea Manning and national service? The fact is that most people are going to vote for one of the two major party candidates. We are all going to blend major ideologies to come to a personal one. So why not decide what issues are important to Libertarians and rate the candidates on that scale. It would be more useful than this article. I would also guess that an honest assessment would show Pete Buttigieg is more Libertarian that the current occupant of the White House.

    1. I would also guess that an honest assessment would show Pete Buttigieg is more Libertarian that the current occupant of the White House.
      Guns – no
      Taxes – no
      Regulations – no
      Free Trade – no
      Due Process – no
      Freedom of Religion/Compulsory Cake Baking – no
      Freedom of Speech/Government compelled speech – no
      Freedom of Association – no
      Individual Rights over Group Identity – no

      Infanticide? Is Infanticide a core Libertarian Principle now?

      1. Really?
        Taxes – Trump lowered taxes by borrowing money. Is spending more.
        Free Trade – read the newspapers. Trump is tariff crazy.
        Due Process – not if your seeking asylum
        Freedom of Religion – Pence thinks he should be able to stop you from marrying if he objects. He also want to control women.
        Freedom of Speech – not if you want to knee during the National Anthem

        I could go on but I think your wrong. I would say that Pete Buttigieg is a stronger libertarian.

        1. 1) True. Pete would do better?
          2) Free trade — Trump has had some success with trade deals.
          3) Due process — college men might disagree with you.
          4) When has Pence stopped marriages or controlled women?
          5) How, exactly, did he outlaw kneeling?

  24. Just three things? I think not.
    “As the mayor of South Bend, Buttigieg is a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group that advocates for gun control legislation at the state and federal level. He also supports universal background checks, and opposed allowing guns in schools and so-called “Stand Your Ground” self-defense gun laws.”

  25. All the lefties, atheists, Episcopalians (but I repeat myself), social libertarians, cafeteria catholics, and uptight country club Republicans who just loathe evangelicals and pro life Catholics – they suddenly seem to love mixing religion and politics now when Mayor Pete does it. Whoda thunkit. Just like Obama’s liberation theology redistributionism and collective guilt. No problem with using SJW religion there at all.
    And of course there’s the high church of Environmentalism and Climate Change…

    The truth is Mayor Pete is much more preachy and sanctimonious than anyone in the Republican Party, at least since Pat Robertson 30 years ago. He actually claims to speak not just to God, but for God.
    He is as strident as any fundamentalist when he says “God made me this way, your problem is with him”. Leaving aside the moral and theological questions of whether he is wrong or right, anyone and everyone can and has used that to excuse for anything and everything, from slavers to kleptomaniacs to pedophiles to serial sexual harassers. It is the pseudotheological demagogic flip side of “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve”

    Just how long will it be before anyone, anywhere tells Mayor Pete to keep his religion to himself? Or better yet, It, and therefore he, has no place in politics? We have US Senators doing that to people like Amy Comey Barrett. Don’t hold your breath on the supposed Church-and-State Separatists having any logical consistency or integrity. It’s always been about suppressing those icky smelly WalMart Christians

    1. Leftist activists are puritanical totalitarians, whether or not they say they believe in a God.

      People are perfectly capable of believing in Holy Law without a Holy Lawgiver.

  26. During primary season, Democrats pretend to be further left than they are and Republicans pretend to be further right. Mayor Pete has the sense to call himself a Democratic Capitalist. If he says that while everyone else is moving left, that’s a good sign.

  27. The Indiana mayor has some policy preferences that don’t square with personal freedom or limited government

    *Some* policy positions?

    Which ones does he have that do square with personal freedom or limited government?

  28. Pete Buttplug is just another douchey Progtard that libertarians should be wary of because, quite likely, he will say 1 thing and do another. He’s just a Democrat version of most NeoCon Republicans. Fuck him.

  29. “Buttplug ”

    Scott Adams always refuses to suggest a nickname for Buttigieg, but you can see that he’s really *dying* to. He finds his name so hilariously homophobic he can barely contain himself.

  30. How in the f*^% does one absolutely define “liberal” vs “conservative” judges? Everything is oversimplified to fit into a narrative for stupid people, of course. How and why judges rule the way they do is considered irrelevant. Reading opinions is for squares! It’s just some sort of abortion/guns/cake slaver “yes/no” right? I suppose it is on CNN.

  31. NEWS FLASH: Mayor Pete is a Socialist!

  32. What does it say about America that an openly gay man has a better shot at the presidency than an openly atheist woman or an openly Jewish man?

  33. Governments pass Laws preventing the placement of cigarette Ads – or porno stores within appropriate distances from Schools , because they say it will influence Children to practice what they see advertised on those signs. Mayor Pete is planting big ole slurpy kisses on the lips of his ‘husband’ [oh Lord] – at podiums across America. That behavior is then displayed , just as Pete intended it to be – Across the American media. Pete knows this behavior will have the effect of influencing America’s children and young adults to view homosexuality as normative , and that is Exactly what Pete wants and is about. By the way , Mayor Pete says he found his hubby on one of the infamous ” gay online dating sites ”. this ‘Wonder boy’ is the typical ‘Wonder boy’ – then he has dozens to hundreds and even thousands of anonymous sexual contacts , he is part of a contingent of people who account for nearly 85% of all serious social sexual diseases in America [CDC stats : look it up ] . If Pete were Donald Trump , there would be mass CNN and Abc correspondents – trampling each other to ask questions of him , similar to the above – about his gay lifestyle – his ‘online dating’ and his explanation for why gay men are so fantastically ridden with sexual disease.

  34. I received this stupid email from Pete’s campaign the other day. This is another position that is at odds with freedom.

    Please note: this email contains language that may trigger feelings of trauma related to gun violence.

    Twenty years ago, two Columbine High School students murdered twelve peers and one teacher.

    Two decades later, the rate of school shootings has increased. In 2018, there were more incidents of gun violence and more gun deaths at schools than any other year on record. In no other developed nation do students face these unprecedented levels of gun violence in their schools.

    We owe it to every victim, every survivor, every student, every teacher, every parent, and all school staff across America to pass universal background checks, to place restrictions on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and to prohibit bump stocks

    I was a high school student a thousand miles away when the Columbine massacre took place. It changed the psyche of young people in America. The era that followed saw more active shooter drills. Hiding in classrooms and bathrooms. Advice on how to stand on the toilet to hide your feet. Second-guessing your peers. Plans for airport-style security to get to class.

    Our teachers are left to decide if they are strong enough to try to take down an active shooter. If they should close the door and shield their students, or try to lead their students out to safety. They are asked to think about how to barricade their doors, as much a part of their job as how to structure their class time.

    Student, parent, and teacher activists — from Columbine, to Virginia Tech, to Sandy Hook, to Marjory Stoneman Douglas — have shown what elected officials in Washington have lacked when it comes to common-sense, comprehensive gun reforms: courage.

    These simple, bipartisan steps will not stop every single gun death. But today, on the 20th anniversary of the Columbine massacre, we owe it to Rachel, Daniel, Dave, Kyle, Steven, Cassie, Isaiah, Matthew, Lauren, John, Kelly, Daniel, and Corey to commit to these basic measures to make our country and our communities safer.

    And we owe it to every young person and every educator to make sure that they have a safe place to learn and teach.

    When I was deployed in Afghanistan, it was my responsibility to carry two weapons — a pistol and a rifle (an M4, which is not that different than an AR15 if we’re being honest) — on foreign soil on the orders of a U.S. president. I’m aware of the capabilities of some weaponry that simply does not belong on the streets of American neighborhoods in peacetime.

    I think most people understand that as a member of the generation defined by mass shootings, and as a veteran of the military, I’m coming to these views honestly. And even in my very red state of Indiana, many common-sense reforms are widely accepted and understood to be constitutional. Yet Washington can’t deliver. This must change.

    We must do better for each other.

    We can do this if we decide to.

    Thank you,


  35. […] a forthcoming history of gay D.C., who will talk about the meaning and import of South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg‘s surprisingly traction-gaining candidacy for […]

  36. […] a forthcoming history of gay D.C., who will talk about the meaning and import of South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg‘s surprisingly traction-gaining candidacy for […]

  37. […] a forthcoming history of gay D.C., who will talk about the meaning and import of South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg‘s surprisingly traction-gaining candidacy for […]

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