Election 2020

What a Libertarian Hopes To Learn from Tonight's Democratic Debate

Andrew Yang's crazy stunt, Joe Biden's real-time decomposition, and whether any candidates believe in limits to government.

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The third debate among candidates for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination is tonight at 8 p.m. (scroll down for information on where and how to watch, who is participating, who was excluded, and more). The field has been trimmed to 10 candidates and a persistent 10-point gap has opened up between the three front-runners and everyone else. With time before the primaries growing shorter and the list of dropout candidates growing longer, there's every reason to expect the political promises to get a lot more desperate, and the personal attacks much uglier.

As an independent libertarian who believes in maximal personal and economic freedom, high levels of immigration and free trade, and non-interventionist foreign policy blended with cultural soft power and diplomacy, my vote is up for grabs. Though I typically vote for the Libertarian Party candidate, I have voted Democratic in the past (once, for Walter Mondale in 1984) and could see doing so again under the right circumstances. So I'll be watching tonight with a volatile mix of deep interest, hope, dread, and boredom.

More specifically (and in ascending order of importance), I'll be watching for three things: Andrew Yang's rumored big stunt, Joe Biden's overall ability to comport himself, and whether anyone on stage will posit any meaningful limits to what the government can do to regiment virtually all aspects of our lives. The last is especially important in the wake of last week's CNN's Climate Town Hall, when all the candidates effectively agreed that environmental apocalypse had to be stopped by any means necessary.

3. What is Andrew Yang's big stunt? The campaign manager for the avuncular tech entrepreneur and monomaniacal champion of a universal basic income has promised that his candidate will do "something no presidential candidate has never done before in history." Just what the hell that might mean is anyone's guess, but it's worth tuning in for.

Yang has zero chance of becoming the Democratic nominee, but his enthusiasm, intensity, and basic honesty and decency are attractive qualities. With a nod toward his progressive rivals Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.), he is avowedly not a socialist. It is troubling that belief in free enterprise is deeply contested in today's Democratic Party, but Yang rarely fails to talk up the benefits of capitalism, especially its ability to produce lots and lots of stuff.

That said, his fears about automation leading to a jobless future are simply wrong, and his support for Medicare for All should worry any of us who think the already-immensely regulated and government-financed healthcare system in the United States needs more free market forces in it, not fewer. His claim that his plan to give all Americans $1,000 a month would "permanently grow the economy by 12.56 to 13.10 percent" doesn't pass the smell test either, even as it's nice to hear someone on the Democratic side talk about growing the economy rather than merely redistributing existing wealth.

2. Can Joe Biden (literally) keep it together? The longtime former senator and former vice president has been the frontrunner since announcing his candidacy. It's easy to see why: He's got great name recognition and eight years as Barack Obama's second banana helped launder his reputation as a gaffe-prone joke.

It's important to underscore that Biden's documented history of bizarre plagiarism and racist-seeming comments are the least-troubling aspects of his decades in power. He's an unreconstructed drug warrior (who is still dragging his feet on saying he's OK with marijuana legalization) and is far more hawkish than the other Democrats or President Donald Trump. That is to say, his actual policy preferences over the years are bad news from a libertarian perspective.

Despite his frontrunner status, his 2020 campaign in many ways seems to be a reboot of Hillary Clinton's failed bid four years ago. He is the establishment candidate, the ultimate insider who seems a little too smug and entitled. His advanced age—he's 76—becomes more and more of an issue every time he confuses web addresses and text messages or seems to believe Margaret Thatcher is still prime minister of Great Britain. During last week's CNN event, one of his eyes turned red from an apparent blood vessel popping. That wouldn't be a good look in relative youngsters such as Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D–Hawaii) or South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg. In an old man such as Biden, having body parts that "are now generating their own gaffes" is a major problem. His slow-out-of-the-blocks performances in the first two debates suggest he's either unwilling or unable to sustain the energy needed to run for president, much less run the country if elected.

Biden's main selling point is a feeling that he is the one Democrat who is centrist enough to beat Donald Trump. Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) earlier this year, the president begged the Democrats to let him run against the Green New Deal and the new "socialism" being espoused by the like of Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.). Even though he was a major player in an administration that increased the size, scope, and spending of the federal government, Biden is the only Democrat who can easily push back against the notion that his party is going pink. But all of that is for naught if his body breaks down again during a three-hour debate, or if he goes full Admiral Stockdale or fails to come out swinging and with sustained stamina. It might be Biden's nomination to lose so far, but he's always one mental or physical screw-up away from joke status.

1. Will anyone here limit the federal government? The Yang and Biden subplots will make tonight's debate more interesting but they are indeed minor diversions from more serious matters. The major question for me—and I suspect for many of the large number of voters who are taking the 2020 election much more seriously than they did the 2016 race at the same point in time—is whether any Democratic candidate will speak about limiting the power of the federal government. To date, the Democratic candidates have proposed massive expansion after massive expansion.

There's Medicare for All, a vague term that means different things to different candidates but always include tons more spending of tax dollars and regulations emanating from Washington. In the more fully fleshed-out versions by people such as Sanders, it means getting rid of private health care altogether, something favored by only about 10 percent of us. Then there are the plans for student-loan forgiveness, free college for everyone, job guarantees, reparations for slavery, and for taxes paid by same-sex couples who couldn't file 1040s as married, and on and on.

At the Climate Town Hall, Elizabeth Warren waved away a question about whether she would regulate what sorts of light bulbs she would let people buy if she became president. That's exactly the sort of small, divisive thing the energy companies want us to fight about, she said before going off on an error-riddled tear about how "three industries are responsible for 70 percent of carbon pollution" and how she would force them (which means us as consumers) to be more responsible. She's also in favor of breaking up big tech companies. Warren and all the other candidates were more than ready to dictate more and more decisions we get to make in our daily lives. Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.), for instance, said we should ban plastic straws before talking about how bad paper straws were. Is there any space for a Democratic candidate who won't limit what you get to do in the name of the environment, economic fairness, or demographic equality?

All the Democrats on tonight's stage are making a variation on the same pitch: The American economy is fundamentally broken, the system is rigged against you, you deserve better, and I will make everything all right. In an age of anxiety, resentment, and fear—all of which are being stoked by Donald Trump—that sort of paternalism will appeal to many people, perhaps even enough to put a Democrat in the White House.

Yet there are also signs that rank-and-file Democrats are much less progressive than party activists or presidential candidates. African-American Democrats, a key group for the party, tend to be less left-wing than the party leadership on many issues and polls consistently show that "moderates and conservatives" make up about 50 percent of Democrats while only about 19 percent consider themselves "very liberal."

There's no question that the folks up on stage tonight—even relative centrists such as Joe Biden—are more liberal than the party they might up end representing in the presidential race. Even in a moment when an appetite for bigger government is at a 68-year high, the grand plans of this crop of candidates may well be too much for voters in 2020.

Tonight's Democratic Debate is being hosted by ABC News and Univision from Houston. It runs from 8 p.m. ET until 11 p.m. ET and includes the following candidates:

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden
  • New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker
  • South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg
  • Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro
  • California Sen. Kamala Harris
  • Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar
  • Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke
  • Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders
  • Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren
  • Entrepreneur Andrew Yang

For more details on format and where to watch, go here.

NEXT: The Ban on Flavored E-Cigarettes May Lead to More Smoking by Teenagers As Well As Adults

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  1. Picking anyone but Joe Biden is an insane idea. Picking Joe Biden is a terrible idea.

    3 hours of televised debate will not change the truth.

    1. The truth is, even if they pick Biden as a candidate, and he wins, our President is likely going to end up, either de facto or openly, his VP. Who will probably be one of the candidates in this debate.

      The guy is declining almost as you watch, I feel sorry for him.

      1. Biden/Gabbard is the only hope. And isn’t going to happen.

        I’m as OK with Trump winning again as I’m OK with anything that happens in politics.

        1. Biden/Gabbard would actually be preferable, because 1) I’m not so sure his health is going to hold up through a 4-year term, much less 8 years if he’s re-elected, and 2) if he picks Harris, Warren, or Buttigieg, I wouldn’t put it past the DNC apparatchiks to suicide him before the mid-terms to get both a sympathy bump in 2022 AND put someone the Millennial base prefers in the big seat.

          Gabbard is the best assassination insurance Biden could have.

          1. She’s done for. She had the nerve to go on Tucker Carlson and actually halfway praise Trump for firing Bolton. The media has already begun trying to rehabilitate Bolton’s image. Hell if Dove came out against Trump they’d probably praise him too.

            1. Dove = Rove. Damn fat fingers and poor fine motor skills.

            2. She was done for the second she dunked on Kamala on live TV to her face. You don’t do that to one of the DNC elect and not got unpersoned.

    2. “3 hours of televised debate will not change the truth.”

      No, but it will drive me to drink more heavily.

    3. Picking Biden could be a lot of fun. The more he talks the better things get. Keep in mind I’m not taking into account any kind of policy, but if he had a podcast I would listen. The first half hour would be apologies for what he said in the previous episode.

  2. As an independent libertarian who believes in maximal personal and economic freedom, high levels of immigration and free trade, and non-interventionist foreign policy blended with cultural soft power and diplomacy, my vote is up for grabs.

    You vote? Yuck.

    1. “Fast. Cheap. Good… Pick two.” That’s what you’re doing when you choose a candidate. Except you’re also not getting the two qualities you picked any more than the one you sacrificed.

      With Trump, generally a non-interventionist (despite bluster). Economic freedom? I guess. Personal freedom? As long as you don’t like the mist you’re pulling into your lungs to have any flavor. Free trade? NEVER. But are any of the Democrats really going to be any less protectionist on trade or immigration? Are you going to see the regulatory burden under which the private sector toils lifted? Tonight’s debate will be a shitshow as far as libertarian concerns go.

      1. I can see the Democrats going all in for free trade just to oppose Trump. No, actually, I can’t.

        1. A lot of my liberal friends seem to be all pro-free trade now that Trump is anti-free trade. People who complained about NAFTA seemed to lament Trump . . . what exactly did he do to NAFTA?

          Anyway, I doubt it survives into President Warren’s “economic patriotism” push in 2021.

          1. And people who decried the TPP and understood full well that HRC was lying through her teeth when she said she would cancel it, watched Trump follow through on his promise to cancel it and said nothing, turning their attention to other affairs.

      2. Tonight’s debate, the primary, 2020 election, next 4 years, etc. Rinse. Repeat.

    2. You vote? Yuck.

      This is a closed primary in NYC, of course Nick’s “independent libertarian” vote is up for grabs.

      1. It’s not even really a mask anymore. It’s like Pinocchio insisting that he’s not a liar.

        1. What happens to Pinocchio’s nose when he says “I am lying”?

          1. If Pinocchio’s dick grew everytime he told the truth, it would have been far more effective.

            1. And then, if he ever finds himself in a threesome situation, all he needs to do is utter a logical paradox to please both ladies at the same time.

            2. Robert Crum addressed that very thing in his classic “Snatch Sampler.” It was about a character named “Pedochio” whose dick grew every time he lied. So you can imagine what happened when this chick he’s banding asked him to tell her that he loved her…

              1. She got all choked up?

          2. Instead of getting turned into a real boy, he gets turned into Jim Carrey.

      2. This is a closed primary in NYC

        What is? The debate?

        Doesn’t Nick live in Ohio?

    3. Does KMW know about this?

    4. Not only that he admits to voting for Mondale and is open to voting for any of these authoritarian nimrods. I had to check the by-line to make sure this wasn’t written by the Rev. Is it possible the Rev is Gillispie’s troll sock?(channeling tulpa, I apologise).

  3. ” I have voted Democratic in the past (once, for Walter Mondale in 1984) and could see doing so again under the right circumstances”

    Given all the state-mandated associations in this year’s social liberal candidates’ programs / postilions, doing so again seems very remote.

    Not voting would easily be the better option.

    1. Not voting would easily be the better option.

      Well sure, but then you can’t virtue signal about how were still ~14 mos. out from an election with more than a dozen democratic candidates that range from minimally passable to terrible but that you’re considering that you might have to not vote vote libertarian vote other 3rd party vote democrat.

      1. Also noted that voting Republican has never happened. Ever. In spite of Dems being far more grating moral scolds for a long time now.

        1. Where was that noted? Or are you just noting your assumptions? Not sure why he would address voting republican one way or another when discussing a Democratic primary debate.

          1. “Though I typically vote for the Libertarian Party candidate, I have voted Democratic in the past (once, for Walter Mondale in 1984) and could see doing so again under the right circumstances.”

            From the article. Zeb, try and read it. It’s not like this came out of nowhere. He said he’d vote Democrat and has done so before. He has never once said he’d vote Republican “under the right circumstances” — meaning he’s a prog who likes pot and that is about it.

            1. Try and read the word that he actually wrote, not what you assume he meant. You are reading things into the article that aren’t there. He didn’t say anything about whether or not he might vote for a republican because he isn’t talking about republican candidates.

              1. reason staff don’t seem to mention when they vote Republican.

                They talk left and right about being available to vote Democrat.

                Whatever, it’s their stupid wasted vote. Trump is winning reelection and I will enjoy the tears flowing from reason’s web page.

                MAGA!

            2. That’s exactly how I read this article. No libertarian could have ever voted for Mondale nor any of this crop of democrats.

          2. 14 mos. out and pretty much any candidate from either party could go full Hitler and start calling for outright purging of Jews but Nick, an “independent libertarian”*, is not entirely opposed to the idea as long as it’s the right Democrat.

            *Closed primary meaning Nick would have to register as a Democrat assuming he hasn’t been a registered Democrat since the Mondale ran.

            1. I thought he lived in Ohio.

              Also, what?

              1. I thought he lived in Ohio.

                I don’t keep tabs on Nick but his bio says, “Gillespie, the father of two sons, lives in New York City.”

                Also, what?

                We don’t have any idea who the candidates and the platforms are between completely unpredictable and predictably unpredictable. It’s a Rohrschach Test. You hold up a random inkblot and Nick looks at it and says, “I think I might vote Democrat.”

              2. Normally, you observe that the coin is reasonably fair and wait until it’s in the air to call it, but Nick’s leaning democrat before the referee even has the coin out of his pocket.

          3. Why would he address (assign) the “anxiety, resentment and fear being stoked by trump” when discussing a democratic debate?Clearly the dems are very shrill on all 3 points.

    2. ” I have voted Democratic in the past (once, for Walter Mondale in 1984) and could see doing so again under the right circumstances”

      Yeah, me too.
      It all depends on how pure my heroin is.

      1. If your heroin is laced with fentanyl, you’ll definitely be voting Democrat. Possibly multiple times depending on where you’re buried.

  4. Sigh…..I was sooooo hoping Marianne would make on stage. 🙁

    1. I approve this euphemism.

    2. Are you saying that without Marianne, there is no cromulent target for your pent up affection?

      1. No chipper, I am saying that Marianne provided quite a lot of entertainment, and the SNL skit writers are probably crying into their chardonay wondering what material they could possibly get with Amy….

        All kidding aside, I want to hear more from Andy Yang. He is the only non-politician in the group.

        1. I think Yang is wrong about a lot of things, but he seems reasonably sane wrong. Like, you could actually discuss the matter with him and maybe change his mind.

      2. And we have a word for the day!

        cro·mu·lent
        /ˈkrämyələnt/
        Learn to pronounce
        adjectiveHUMOROUS
        acceptable or adequate.
        “the continental breakfast was perfectly cromulent”

        1. How embiggening.

        2. My sincerest contrafibularities, I’m anaspeptic, frasmotic, even conpunctuos over your pericombobulation.

    3. “Sigh…..I was sooooo hoping Marianne would make on stage.”

      I was hoping Fidel Castro would make it on stage, but he’s dead.
      Plus, he’s too conservative for today’s democrats.

      1. I don’t think they want her around since the hot mic with her saying Fox news is nicer to her than the leftist.

      2. Plus, he’s too conservative for today’s democrats culture.

        I’m almost certain his stance on tobacco would be conservative by conservative standards.

  5. Hell, I don’t have to watch the “debate” to know whether any of the Democrat candidates believe there is a limit to the government’s power. They don’t believe there is a limit.

    Shit, they don’t even acknowledge limits imposed by reality. They certainly won’t acknowledge constitutional limits.

  6. I am not really sure what Nick wants from the Democrats. In 2016 they ran a very sensible slightly left of center candidate and lost. Why should they believe that picking Joe Biden, almost the equivalent of HRC, will be any more successful. Look who won, the guy that boasted that he would build a wall, that Mexico will pay for, that everyone would have better health care for cheaper, and we being winning so much we could not stand it. There is no room in either party for a sensible person who will run on status quo, maybe with a few tweaks to get everything in tune. What happens to the middle of the road candidate, well same think that happens to a racoon in the middle of the road.

    1. I still harbor the suspicion that the Dem “leadership” have given up on 2020 and are just letting the idiots blow off steam so they can bring the “moderates” back into the 2024 campaign.

      Trump is just blundery enough to do something stupid and lose the election, but it’s not likely. But then what will the GOP do for 2024? Pence? ha ha. There’s no anointed successor, and anyone who would try promoting free trade or smaller government would be laughed out of the running as unbelievable. I bet the Dems win 2024 because (a) their extremeists will have shot their wad, and (b) the GOP has no one to replace Trump.

      1. No way = I still harbor the suspicion that the Dem “leadership” have given up on 2020 and are just letting the idiots blow off steam so they can bring the “moderates” back into the 2024 campaign.

        Team R & Team D are going all out for the 2020 House races and state legislature races. It is all about the Census and redistricting.

    2. In 2016 they ran a very sensible slightly left of center candidate and lost. Why should they believe that picking Joe Biden, almost the equivalent of HRC, will be any more successful

      Please. Biden and his team wouldn’t have been stupid enough to not campaign in the upper Midwest, unlike the “very sensible slightly left of center candidate” who listened to her Millennial urbanite Team of Dipshits, rather than her two-time campaign-winning husband. Those have always been his kind of people, and would have ensured that PA, WI, IA, and MI stayed in the Dem camp.

      If Biden had run in 2016, we’d be sitting here laughing at Gropin’ Joe’s antics instead of the left losing their shit over BLONARD BLUMPH!!!111!!1!!

      There is no room in either party for a sensible person who will run on status quo

      Biden wouldn’t still be in the lead after all this time if it was otherwise.

      1. As pointed out elsewhere, Biden isn’t a centrist. At all.

        He is wherever the center of the DEMOCRAT party is.

        Look at what he has proposed. Little of it even remotely resembles moderate anything.

        1. It’s laughable to even call Hillary a “centrist” because her only concern was and ever will be power-mongering because she felt she deserved it.

          Hell, Trump’s basically a 70s-80s Democrat, which tells you how far around the bend society has gone the last 40 years.

          1. Hell, he is Bill Clinton with a combover and less of a hard on for bombing Yugoslavia.

            1. Many of us have been pointing this out for years, but one might notice that the lich that is Nancy Pelosi has been fighting her own party for years now. Just think about that for a minute, and despair.

  7. when all the candidates effectively agreed that environmental apocalypse had to be stopped by any means necessary.

    Except nuclear power. Anyone who thinks there will be some great tipping point in just 12 years, and yet does not support nuclear power, is a liar and control freak whose only desire is power.

    1. It’s almost like they’re bought and sold by the renewables lobby.

      1. Al Gore?

        1. Naw, he ate them.

        2. Manbearpig must be stopped!

    2. It’s not about the environment, it’s about remaking the economy and wealth redistribution.

    3. We can barely build a power line in this country because of NIMBY. How you going to build a nuclear power plants. No one wants to be near one and nobody wants the spent fuel. Until you get a town that says, hey build the nuclear power plant here, you might as well forget about it as a power source.

      1. Go for it. I’d love a burner reactor or thorium reactors rather then the coal fired plant we have and the eye sore inefficient (and often broke down) windmills we actually have in my area.

      2. Until you get a town that says, hey build the nuclear power plant here, you might as well forget about it as a power source.

        Why don’t we let “towns” make those decisions for themselves?

        1. Indeed. I suspect M4E doesn’t realize how competitive towns can be for jobs and exportable products like electricity.

          They aren’t wrong about the waste though, although there’s a lot of dispute over who’s to really blame for all the problems creating the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository.

          1. The amount of waste is vastly overstated, especially if you built burner reactors that can use that waste.

            1. It’s not the amounts, it’s the NIMBYism of not wanting the waste to be anywhere specific. Yucca was theoretically a solution, but then it suddenly wasn’t for pretty vague reasons (at least as I understand it).

              The Obama administration and Congress tried to kill it, and apparently the Trump administration is trying to get it going again.

              Either way it’s a lot of government spending, apparently.

      3. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant has two new nuclear reactors being built. When reactors 3 & 4 come online , it will be the largest nuclear reactor plant in the USA.

      4. It’s almost like we don’t have deserts that the Feds own and could, I have to imagine, sell to nuclear plant companies.

        The country isn’t exactly packed with people. Entire population could easily fit in TX alone.

        1. Can not build power plants in deserts. Need water for cooling water.

      5. And who’s fault is it that it’s so difficult to build nuclear power plants?

        Last I checked, it’s typically leftists and Democrats who demonize this, the safest form of power we’ve yet devised!

        1. “And who’s fault is it that it’s so difficult to build nuclear power plants?”

          Answer: The companies and staff who ran Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima.

  8. Your #1 question was answered months ago. The answer was “hell no”. The Democrat candidates are utterly in thrall to their radical authoritarian wing.

    1. I do fully expect Bidan to shift towards the center in the general. He’s a party guy, that’s what party guys do. The others? Not so much. They’re full on crazy.

      1. Let’s just hope one of his eyes doesn’t decide to shift to the center on its own tonight.

      2. Biden is only a moderate relative to the crew he is stacked up against.

  9. “”Joe Biden’s real-time decomposition, and whether any candidates believe in limits to government.””

    Real-time decomposition. That’s funny. Will Biden lose an ear tonight?

    It’s pretty obvious they believe in limits on the peasants. The ruling class not so much.

  10. Prediction, RE: Andrew Yang’s Big Surprise:
    He will reveal that he is, in fact, two midgets standing on each other’s shoulders.

    1. Hope he leaves his clothes on. We don’t need no Mobius strip.

    2. Don’t all Democrats stand on the shoulders of midgets?

      1. “Oh, Lawdy!”

    3. “Prediction, RE: Andrew Yang’s Big Surprise:” Yang is actually Hillary Clinton that had a gender operation so she could get elected.

      1. He is actually a time traveler sent back in time to keep the reanimated head of Richard Nixon from being re-elected?

    4. RE: Andrew Yang’s Big Surprise:
      He’ll be wearing a MAGA hat and an ‘I’m With Her’ t-shirt

  11. What a Libertarian hopes to learn from tonight’s Democratic debate? If you’re a Libertarian, you know the only thing you might possibly learn from a political debate is a vague idea of how many shots of tequila it takes before you lose track of your pants. If you have any hope left at all, you ain’t libertarian.

    1. I would rather spend the evening trying to figure out how to slam my dick in the toilet seat than watch the debate. That’s how much hope there is.

      1. Agreed. I wasn’t sure Democrats could field candidates worse than Donald, but I give them credit where credit is due. They worked overtime and found people I dislike even more.

        An impressive accomplishment.

        The only real election I care about at this point is the Republican primary, and I don’t really care about that either since Donald will almost certainly carry it. Nothing else is even vaguely important at this point.

        1. And so far all that is running against him is Weld (gag, just vomited a bit in my mouth) and Sanford.

          1. Yeah, the only reason I even vaguely care about the primary is if Paul got into it but I don’t see that happening. And, frankly, he’s probably more useful where he is given that it appears Trump will listen to him on occasion.

            While Paul ain’t perfect, so far he’s the only guy I could see myself voting for on purpose rather than voting against someone else.

      2. I would rather spend the evening trying to figure out how to slam my dick in the toilet seat than watch the debate.

        Doesn’t work with those soft close seats. Believe me.

      3. Ouch! Look, it’s a crazy idea dude, but it is NOT difficult to figure out how!

        Imma skip both. Haha.

    2. I drinking game every time one of the democrat candidates says “free” Healthcare, education, etc. As if all the doctors, nurses educators will work for free. All the hospitals and schools will be built for free and operated and maintained for free. Where did they find the golden angel that will just bestow all this free stuff? Why doesn’t any ask that question?

  12. his candidate will do “something no presidential candidate has never done before in history.”

    Bring out the Ho Train?

  13. Yang’s stunt will be incredible. Unfortunately, like Daffy Duck’s, he can only do it once.

  14. “What a Libertarian Hopes To Learn from Tonight’s Democratic Debate.
    Here’s what all fellow libertarians will learn from tonight’s democratic debate: The democrats are as fucked up as the republicans.

    1. Sure, they’re both fucked up, but the Democrats are also determined to render everybody defenseless. And that says a lot about how much they think we’ll like what they’ve got planned after they’ve accomplished that.

      The Republicans don’t seem to think they’re going to piss the public off enough to have to worry about the American people being armed. The Democrats know they will.

    2. Enjoy capitalism, healthcare choices, and your savings account now because eventually a democrat will step in to take them away

      1. Aren’t you just a ray of sunshine.

        1. Forgive me for repeating DNC talking points

          1. I thought you were just channeling the Rev and Tony.

      2. Well yeah, but they’re our “betters”, so of course capitalism, healthcare choices and savings accounts are overrated.

        Haha

    3. The democrats are as fucked up as the republicans.
      Yup, but the Democrats scare the hell out of me far more than the Republicans.
      Their authoritarian mindset and reworked Aktion T4 approach to human life are demonic.

  15. “All the Democrats on tonight’s stage are making a variation on the same pitch”……..

    EVERYTHING IS SO TERRIBLE AND UNFAIR!!!!!!!

    Happy people have no place in the D party. They just mine for victims, even if they have to create them. Pathetic pandering and virtue signaling is all they got.

    1. They don’t create them they import them

    2. Unless you mean create them through welfare schemes that cripple minority communities. In which case I agree.

      1. It’s both.

  16. “In an age of anxiety, resentment and fear – all of which are being stoked by Donald trump”……

    Haha. I thought this article was about dems?

    Anxiety: only 12 years to “save” the planet!
    Resentment: Tax the rich! I have a RIGHT to have the government force other people to pay for my basic needs!
    Fear: A handful of white nationalists are taking over the country!

    Haha. Wow. Talk about projection!

  17. “What a Libertarian Hopes To Learn from Tonight’s Democratic Debate.”

    From that title I thought that Nick would be telling us what a [lL]ibertarian hoped to learn from tonight’s Democratic debate. Instead, the article was all about him.

    Tip for you Nick: The only thing a *libertarian* would hope to learn from tonight’s Democratic debates is that all the candidates promise to move to Venezuela and leave us the hell alone.

  18. All serious Koch / Reason libertarians must commit to supporting whoever gets the Democratic nomination. Just look at the damage Drumpf has done:

    The economy is in the toilet, with Charles Koch’s net worth stalled out below $60 billion.
    The country is literally being turned into The Handmaid’s Tale.
    There are concentration camps in which people are literally forced to drink from toilets.
    Mueller’s exhaustive investigation proved everything Rachel Maddow said about #TrumpRussia was correct.

    “But, but, Joe Biden’s eye was bleeding!” I’m sorry, that’s not a valid reason to sit out the 2020 election, or waste your vote on a third party.

    1. Haha

  19. I can’t wait for Nick and the rest to write articles about why they’re voting democrat because abortions and open borders. It’s going to be entertaining as fuck and they’re going to be absolutely miserable about it. Principles would result in a non-voting scenario but they’ll never get pro open borders money by doing so.

    Get some sleep now because in about a year you’ll be getting a lot of “how do you sleep at night?”

    1. Will you acknowledge that you were wrong if that doesn’t happen?

      Every presidential election they write about who they are voting for (or why they are not voting). And every time some idiot claims that they all voted Democrat. And every time that idiot is very wrong. Don’t be that guy,

      1. I take a modicum of pleasure knowing Shikha Dalmia voted for Hillary Clinton.

        1. From Shikha…

          “2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? Wasn’t a citizen in 2000. Voted for Bush in 2004 because I HATED Kerry. Even given the total disaster that Bush has turned out to be, I could never have voted for Kerry.”

          How the times change

      2. I promise if reason staff promise to admit that none of them are actual Libertarians.

        They have Lefties and Anarchists on staff. That’s it.

        Need more than the hack writing that they put up here at reason? Ask them why during election 2018, reason did not cover the hundreds of Libertarians candidates running around the USA.

    2. I predict Shikha Dalmia will submit Reason’s most persuasive essay explaining her decision to support the Democrat.

      #ImmigrationAboveAll
      #(WithAbortionACloseSecond)

      1. “We must protect non-citizens and their interests at all costs, especially when it comes to free abortions”

      2. Ah, yes, the two issues on which Ron Paul diverged from libertarianism. Us old school libertarians used to always say, pre-2008, that Ron Paul is good on everything except immigration and abortion. Then he brought in all these conservatives who were never able to shed that baggage.

        1. Because expanding the party and allowing different view points is so against the ethos of old school libertarians.

  20. Yang has zero chance of becoming the Democratic nominee, but his enthusiasm, intensity, and basic honesty and decency are attractive qualities.

    If I had to vote for a Democratic candidate (had to) Yang is one I could vote for. Not because I have any wide, sweeping agreements with him, but that he’s one of the microscopic few Democrats that can even point out what the problems are, let alone any kind of half-sane solutions.

    I also don’t think he really believes in a certain amount of stuff that he spews when cornered into a pre-fabricated townhall… where you HAVE to agree that you beat your wife and are thus forced to declare exactly how you’re going to stop.

    The other of course is Tulsi. The Gulag Archipelago of the rest of the candidates is just too much to stomach– because they seem to actually believe that stuff they spewed in the pre-fab townhall, so they’re right out the window.

    So yeah, Democrats, it’s Tulsi, Yang or Trump. Your move.

  21. Oh, another thing I’d like to point out by those vanishingly few democrats who still believe, deep down in their hearts that America loved Hillary, you notice she’s not running this time around. If it was all a fluke produced by Russian bots, then you would have run her again. Revealed preferences vs stated preferences, kiddies.

    1. It’s still a long long way to the Convention where delegates can anoint her if the primary winners are a shitshow. Probably long odds, but the Clintons won’t pass up a chance to rake in more moola if at all possible.

      1. I’m waiting for the Dems to nominate Michelle Obama by acclamation.

        Got my #I’mWithHim bumper sticker and everything.

    2. A “white nationalist/supremacist” is going to terror attack the final dem primary debate, collapsing the building onto all. Hillary will then be lowered (very, very carefully) from a helicopter to stand atop the rubble and regretfully accept the burden of being the D nominee.

  22. I know most commenters here prefer an L party that is pure and useless – but I for one would really like to see alternatives to yet more DeRp. And from now until next March or April would be a perfect time for L debates that would include the current folks running (pure and unelectable but prob able to make people think a bit) and the wasting-their-time-with-DeRps like Sanford/etc (electable and maybe able to show how L ideas can be made workable here on planet Earth)

    IDK why L’s don’t do this. The point ain’t to get big TV ratings. they won’t since only cSpan will broadcast them. But to get the attention of the tiny number of organizer-types and lower-level candidates who ARE paying attention and show them there is an alternative to DeRp

    1. Seriously – the value of potentially triggering involvement – for the L’s – of people like Mary Matalin (and other organizer types) or Mark Cuban (and other big money types) or the slew of podcasters/youtubers and other young creative activists (who were the SOLE reason Ron Paul took off in 2008) or potential lower-level bench candidates (who find that DeRp doesn’t fit them and who bring some grassroots with them but need a viable political party).

      Come on L’s! This is political theater season. This is the only time of election season when the influencers of politics are paying attention. Demonstrate that you are alive.

      1. Hell – L’s could host ‘theme’ debates. One on environment – and invite Greens and Blue-Greens. One on foreign policy – and invite Greens and Consttiuton. Etc. Every one of those sorts of debates would show how empty the DeRps actually are.

        1. Who would be in these debates? Half the members of the LP already seem to run for president. Giving them a stage would stroke a lot of egos and lead to some really “impressive” performances.

          1. That’s actually why it would be best to invite people who aren’t Libertarian as well – who disagree. Make it a real debate on a real topic. That would eliminate the preaching to the choir and would pretty much eliminate all those ‘L’s running for pres’ who can ONLY preach to the choir. Unless they just want to publicly embarrass themselves or up their game.

            1. I don’t believe the LNC has the power to include or exclude any announced candidates from something like this. Any criteria set up for inclusion would run in to all sorts of opposition. “What test? That’s what the other parties do to keep us off the ballot.”

              1. I’m not thinking any candidate would be excluded. I’m thinking more of joint debates. That would tend to exclude the serious but solely ‘preach to the choir’ types but only cuz they have nothing to say in an actual debate. Performance artists and satirists and clowns – well Idk but presumably LP can make a choice as to whether it wants to be the LP or the Monster Raving Loony Party.

    2. IDK why L’s don’t do this.

      Yeah, I don’t get it either. It’s like they show up to a sports match in the last five minutes, hung over, and wonder why they never win.

  23. Since no candidate in history has ever stood on a stage and said, “My name is Andrew Yang and I’d like to be your next president”, just about anything he might do would technically meet the criteria, but that’s trivially true.

    Given that his whole shtick is centered on the UBI, I expect him to make it rain in some attempt to “prove” that people will support the UBI because they like free shit. As if that were ever in doubt. But in doing this, he will be doing something no other candidate in history has ever done – voluntarily giving away his own money.

    1. If he actually had the balls to drop $1 million in $1 dollar bills from the ceiling to represent the UBI, I’d give him a ton of credit for both honesty and creativity.

      1. We already know what happens when you just give someone a lot of money.

        His sisters repeatedly try to convince Ted to seek employment, although he still believes he is “set for life”. By this time, Ted has become resentful to the film producers for giving him the money. The film then ends telling the viewer that, six months after finding the money, Ted refuses to disclose his latest bank balance; however, his sisters fear that it is less than $5,000.

        On a December 1, 2006 airing of The Oprah Winfrey Show entitled: “Are You Ready For a Windfall?”, Ted and filmmaker Wayne Powers were on the program to promote the documentary and speak on their account of the experiment. When asked by Oprah how much of the $100,000 he still had, Ted replied “none.” Ted also mentioned that he is homeless again, and content with his current circumstances.

        1. They should find some comfortably middle class person to give $100k to (I’d suggest me) and then they can see how it can improve someone’s life. Giving money to people who have no idea what to do with money will never help.

          1. Especially a homeless guy who likely had serious mental health problems to begin with.

            1. I believe that they vetted someone that lacked any specific mental health issues (real mental health issue– not just ‘he makes decisions I don’t like’ mental health issues). The experiment would be useless if they gave it to a ranting schizophrenic who thought the Catholic church was sending him messages through his eyeglasses.

              1. Assuming they didn’t just throw a bag of cash at him, he had to have access to a bank account and a way to declare a $100K gift.

                1. Assuming they didn’t just throw a bag of cash at him, he had to have access to a bank account and a way to declare a $100K gift.

                  I believe they provided that to him.

              2. You mean they don’t send you messages, am I the only one?

              3. The problem being that when you are selecting homeless people, you are already selecting from a group that is purely comprised of people with some mental health issues assuming they’ve been homeless for any length of time.

                1. That’s why I said “real mental health issues” like a diagnosed psychosis. We can certainly point to the types of decisions people make and declare them (in many cases rightfully so) a kind of “neurosis”. For instance, after the money was gone, the guy was homeless and declared he was happier that way. To someone like me, that doesn’t seem like a “sane” way to live.

                  However, it doesn’t change the fact that we’re repeatedly told by UBI supporters that the mere existence of money will dramatically improve the lives of the poorest people. It doesn’t always follow, in some cases it can make it worse. I think there’s a narrow band where it can certainly help– but I think that help has a very… limited horizon of usefulness.

                  1. However, it doesn’t change the fact that we’re repeatedly told by UBI supporters that the mere existence of money will dramatically improve the lives of the poorest people.

                    Yeah – just because $1k could make a positive difference in someone’s life, that doesn’t mean they’re going to do anything intelligent with that money.

                    My uncle, who lives in a trailer in his daughter’s backyard, would take that $1k and scream “Vegas, Baby!”

                    1. “Vegas, baby”!

                      Haha. I don’t live in a trailer, but I would too!

                      Wait, this is universal, right?

                  2. There is no case to be made for UBI that doesn’t involve some pretty intense ignorance of reality. There is no way to pay people for not working that doesn’t result in more people not working, and automation isn’t going to close that gap in our lifetime I’d bet.

                    If there’s a UBI, there’s no smart things left to do with money unless you believe in perpetual motion devices. The price of anything they could buy with that money that could be deemed ‘smart’ would instantly be priced out of whatever the UBI is.

                    1. The UBI is fine as long as it replaces all the other welfare programs.

                      The primary beneficiaries of welfare programs are the middle-class bureaucrats paid to administer the welfare benefits. It would be more efficient just to write checks and get rid of the welfare cases employed by the government.

                      It may sound counter-intuitive, but most poor people are poor because they don’t have money. Give them some money and they’re not poor any more. The temporarily financially embarrassed are not the real problem and the homeless/drug addict/crazy people have bigger problems than just being poor.

                      The real problem cases are the multi-generational welfare cases, the ones where living on welfare is a way of life. And you’re wrong if you think these people are poor because they’re stupid and they make bad choices – they’re doing the best they can with what they got. Does it make sense to you that anybody would go get a minimum wage job where if they work hard all day they can make almost as much as they can make sitting around all day doing nothing? Does it surprise you that people who have never seen a bit of capital would have a hard time understanding capital? The welfare system is run by people in the fish distribution business, why would you expect them to teach people to fish?

                      The welfare system is a trap – it gives you just enough to survive and it punishes you for trying to get more than that. If you’re the teen-age daughter of a welfare mother and you’ve had to learn to sleep with the dresser pushed up against the door and a baseball bat in the bed in case one of your mother’s “boyfriends” decides to pay you a visit in the middle of the night, you’ve got a pretty fucked-up life and the easiest way to get ahead is to have a baby and then you get your own place and your own income. But they don’t give you cash, they give you Section 8 housing and food stamps and Medicaid and so on, stuff that’s like money but not actually capitalizable.

                      I can guarantee you, you go down to the projects and hand out the cash equivalent of welfare benefits and you’re going to see some entrepreneurship. These people aren’t stupid, they know exactly how much crack and weed and smack and every damn drug you can name wholesales for and what it retails for and they understand the concept of a profit margin just fine. Give it some time and they’ll understand the value of human capital and the concept of investing in themselves. And the value of not having some little rugrat you have to spend half your money on. Because having a little capital pays them to consider such things that being trapped in the welfare system doesn’t pay them to consider.

                      No, a UBI wouldn’t solve all the problems, probably not even half of them, but it’ll solve more than the current system solves. And every welfare case that breaks the chain of dependency is one more person that understands freedom.

                    2. The UBI is fine as long as it replaces all the other welfare programs.

                      No, a UBI wouldn’t solve all the problems, probably not even half of them, but it’ll solve more than the current system solves.

                      The case that it simply replaces them assumes that we’re OK with the welfare programs, their funding, and the taxation to support them in the first place.

                      Somebody breaks into your house, points a gun at you, demands $1000, and, when you hand them 10 crisp $100 bills, says they want 50 wadded up $20. You’re allowed to tell them, ‘Fuck you.’ and refuse. *Especially* if they’re doing so under the guise of working for you and making society better.

                      The UBI is a stupid libertarian non-issue, arguing about six vs. a half dozen eggs while strangling the golden goose and is optimistically sold as solving problems without acknowledging the fact that it could and likely will create new ones while setting existing ones as firmament and paving over them.

          2. Giving money to people who have no idea what to do with money will never help.

            It’s like giving the Newark, NJ school district $100 M.

  24. Geez, Nick, you voted for freaking Mondale? You must have been so high in the 80s.

    1. Cool kids who listened to the Ramones didn’t vote for that bummer fascist reactionary Reagan, maaaaan.

      1. Yeah, but freaking Mondale? Not even Reagan could make Mondale cool.

        1. Mondale was so uncool he almost lost his home state. Granted Gore and Trump have since both lost their home state, but Mondale nearly gave Reagan a 50 state win.

    2. >>could see doing so again under the right circumstances.

      must list circumstances.

      1. Trump’s the GOP nominee and Amash is not the LP nominee.

        1. That was a great analysis on UBI. Giving microloans might also actually help impoverished people. I’m starting to think that the elite doesn’t like poor/impoverished people.

  25. We will learn that 1) Democrats cannot do simple math, and 2) They give less of a shit about the deficit than the Republicans.

  26. “…my vote is up for grabs.”

    That sums up the supposed-Libertarianism of Gillespie and Reason itself.

    How the hell can your vote be up for grabs by any of these filthy statists? You don’t have to like Trump, hell I don’t particularly care for him, but list every Democrat policy–and they’re all in lockstep–and compare it against Trump’s position. Is Gillespie saying there is no difference? Is he saying the Democrat position is LESS authoritarian?

    At least vote LP. At least vote your fucking conscience. Have some integrity. But no, for Gillespie, his vote is up for grabs by any one of these petty little dictators. He sounds like some airhead completely lacking in any philosophical or moral education who’s ready to be swept off his feet by the first sweet-talker that offers him dinner and drinks.

    But perhaps we don’t have to look too hard for the real reason: open borders. It’s staggering what some folks will pretend not to see or hear just to get their fix.

    1. That scam exposed several years ago when the Reason staff listed which candidates they supported for President to show how “diverse” their viewpoints were, and the only Reason staffer they could find who voted for Trump hadn’t written an article in years.

      They’re a bunch of fucking progs who pretend to be libertarian because they think it makes them sound edgy and cool and counter-intuitive…but when it comes down to it, there are more of them who’ll pull the lever for a Stalinist like Bernie Sanders than a conservative. I’m sure their claims to be libertarian are sincere, of course…the first people leftists lie to are themselves.

    2. Gillespie’s vote being up for grabs is because he hates every good thing Trump has done. Every one.

      We have already heard these Democrats advocate Socialism for months now and the only truly hateful articles about politicians are posted about Trump. Not Biden, not Tulsi, not Hillary Clinton, not Kamala Rouge, not Warren, not Buttguy….

      1. Absolutely. You never see the venom for Sanders (a guy who shilled for the USSR during the Cold War and moaned about how great it would be to see breadlines in the U.S.) in Reason’s articles. But to them, Trump is the devil incarnate despite pushing a lot of policy that aligns with libertarian policy goals. And they’re sympathetic to Dems.

        The first thing you have to be in order to be a libertarian is an anti-communist. If you aren’t opposed to communism (or even worse believe that it improves overall outcomes), you’re not a libertarian…you’re a fraud.

        1. And it’s Bernie, and Tulsi, and Mayor Pete, and Beto, and Hillary. Friendly names for people with unfriendly policies. Fits right in with Fidel and Che; just a couple of well-meaning guys.

          You see the self-identified libertarian type all over the place these days. Most of them are just Liberals who realize Liberal has developed a funky smell. Then there are the Left Libertarians who are dumb enough to believe a big state regime for economics won’t result in a big state for personal liberty. That’s a very old socialist belief but at least those oldsters never ran away from the word socialist. They owned it.

          They’ll use the No True Scotsman argument against you, which is bullshit, because if a libertarian is nothing else, they are an advocate for a small state. That’s the fucking definition of the True Scotsman. You don’t get to tell me I can be raped by the government at every turn and claim to fly the banner of liberty. Case in point: look at the support for Yang and his UBI.

          1. Yup. In fairness, I recognize that Trump isn’t a libertarian, he just happens to align with libertarians on quite a few issues (and is opposed on others)…I just happen to think the ones where he agrees with libertarians are the more critical issues, and the (very) few where Democrats agree with libertarians are fucking bullshit throw away issues that either the Dems are lying about (legalization, economic improvement) or that Dem-supporting “libertarians” are too fucking clueless to recognize as carrying extreme downsides (to wit: open borders).

            It’s like they’ve taken the “pure libertarian” ridiculousness to its most stupid and destructive extreme…Trump isn’t a “pure libertarian”, so the response must be to vote for people pushing socialism just to teach Trump a lesson about not being pure enough. The insanity in that approach should be self-evident, but people like Gillespie or Dalmia don’t see it. Or maybe they do and they were just full of it all along.

            1. That is, incidentally, why I now consider myself a libertarian-leaning conservative rather than a conservative-leaning libertarian. I don’t see national borders as illegitimate, I don’t believe in legal abortion up to the moment of birth, and I don’t pretend that we live in a world of free trade and aren’t being harmed (intentionally) by Chinese protectionism or that China is our friend and just wants a mutually beneficial relationship with us.

              I’ve been out in the world long enough to realize that only a fool doesn’t understand that the world is comprised solely of people who like us, share our values, and only want what’s best for us. That’s utopia…that kumbaya bullshit is what the useful idiots for the left get suckered into believing so they’ll hand over power to the commies.

            2. “…that the world *isn’t* comprised of…”

  27. Nick–you describe yourself as “libertarian” but then list examples of your views, most of which do not propertly define the term.

    Prime example: non-interventionism. This is orthogonal to the liberty principle. That’s like saying, “I’m libertarian because I’m vegetarian”. One can be a non-interventionist and a libertarian, but the two terms are not synonymous.

    To “intervene” simply means to take sides in a dispute. Siding with the force-initiator would be aggression. Siding with the victim of force-initiation, would not necessarily be aggression. Without the possibility of intervention, there would be no police or military, because that is what those agencies do, professionally.

    Ayn Rand would be rolling in her grave if she heard “liberty” equated with political pacifism. In reality, liberty lies in the “Golden Mean”, midway between force-initiation and pacifism.

    For a more accurate and thoughtful view of libertarian foreign policy, please visit our FB page, Libertarian Party Defense Caucus.

    1. Gillespie is NOT a Libertarian.

      This is just another example of how he really thinks and it ain’t Libertarian.

    2. Though I typically vote for the Libertarian Party candidate, I have voted Democratic in the past (once, for Walter Mondale in 1984) and could see doing so again under the right circumstances.

      Then your political judgment is garbage and you need to quit pretending you’re something other than a self-loathing progressive (rightfully) ashamed of admitting his true leanings.

      You can’t vote for a leftist authoritarian (which is what all of the Democrat candidates are) and still be a libertarian, Nick. Their values are in complete opposition to libertarianism. Well, you could…you’d just be the dumbest libertarian walking the Earth. And you both voted for Mondale and then admitted to it as if it was some moral accomplishment of which to be proud.

      1. Sorry…posted this in the wrong box. Didn’t mean it as a reply.

      2. +10

    3. Nah, fuck that noise. Libertarians HAVE to be non-interventionists. You are changing the meaning of the term. It refers to foreign policy. And GTFO with Rand. She hated libertarians and held some morally reprehensible views (like nuking Iran).

      1. And Chipper offers his true Scotsman argument, going away feeling smug but puzzled why the LP never grows or wins anything.

        1. Ayn Rand said she wasn’t a libertarian and had a lot of mean words to say about them (“scum of the intellectual world”). So how is saying Rand was not a libertarian a No True Scotsman argument?

          1. It wasn’t about Rand it was :”Libertarians HAVE to be non-interventionists. You are changing the meaning of the term. It refers to foreign policy. “. Also above he references how Ron Paul “Us old school libertarians used to always say, pre-2008, that Ron Paul is good on everything except immigration and abortion. Then he brought in all these conservatives who were never able to shed that baggage.” True Scotsman argument. But you instead focused only on the part about Rand.

    4. Ayn Rand was not a libertarian.

    5. “Siding with the victim”……..,,assumes that there is a victim.

      I’d be ok with not taking sides at all in many conflicts, because, “not my problem”. Siding with victims is the leading cause of meaningless virtue signaling.

  28. Andrew Yang is going to wear TWO ties out on stage tonight. It’s 4 years past 2015, so it’s about damn time.

  29. We need a tough candidate who will stand up to Big Vape.

    1. So, working people on a budget who can’t afford to buy a lot of low calorie food to have the energy to get through the work day will get a food subsidy from the UK government imposing diet foods for all?

      Making people eat more food for the same caloric intake will overload the sanitary sewer and waste water treatment systems.

    2. How does that even make any sense? It’s like they think they can just wish for stuff and it will happen.

      And what about naturally skinny people? Are we just supposed to starve?

      And I’m pretty sure can’t reduce the caloric content of, say, butter or meat or flour.


      1. And I’m pretty sure can’t reduce the caloric content of, say, butter or meat or flour.

        Which is, of course, why those luxury goods will be reserved for their betters.

        1. “let them eat gluten free soy cake?”

    3. In their defense taste, texture, and visual appeal have already been slashed; nutritional value is the only thing left to cut.

  30. Dems are wrong thinking they have to nominate a centrist to beat Trump. Biden can’t bring back Trump-voting centrists unless a major recession hits, and any increase in turnout of moderates would likely be a wash, and wouldn’t compensate for all the farther left elements refusing to come out and actively vote for an insider centrist with an appalling civil rights record. The only hope is to nominate Warren or Sanders and drive up turnout enough to win. There’s just not that many who would flee to Trump over Sanders/Warren who didn’t do so already in 2016.

  31. What a Libertarian Hopes To Learn from Tonight’s Democratic Debate

    Libertarians know all they need to know about Democrats. They are Socialists and have nothing in common with Libertarians.

    Even any issue that intersects with Libertarian principles is still an attempt by Democrats to control someone.

    Weed: Democrats will not push to repeal the Controlled Substances Act to make Marijuana 100% legal as it should be under the lack of ban powers in the US Constitution. Democrats just want weed legal enough to tax it and get votes. Libertarians want weed 100% unbanned.

  32. Just saw Trump talking about the gun control legislation he’s working on with the Senate Republicans – but not to worry, the Second Amendment will be completely protected.

    How about before we talk about “reasonable, common sense” gun control, we admit that the “reasonable, common sense” gun control legislation known as the Brady Bill obviously didn’t work and we repeal the Brady Bill? No? Why aren’t you willing to compromise on this issue? Or is your idea of compromise just “you give, we take”? If you won’t accept that the “reasonable, common sense” Brady Bill was reasonable and common sense enough, I have no reason to believe that you’re going to be satisfied by the next bite of the apple, either. In fact, I’m pretty sure you’re lying about your ultimate goal here and I’m not falling for your “just the tip” argument.

    1. Trying to find a reference to new announcements, or were you referencing an older announcement? If it is new, do you mind providing some context of his latest stance? (This is not snark or sarcasm, I am generally curious).

      1. “I think we made some good progress on background checks and guns,” the President said after emerging from the briefing.

        https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/12/politics/trump-gun-policy/index.html

        Now just imagine if that quote had been from Obama…

        1. I would be just as opposed to it as I am under Trump. I will contact my senators and congressman to voice my opposition, the same as I did whenever Obama opened his mouth.

          1. Opened his mouth about gun control.

  33. I have voted Democratic in the past (once, for Walter Mondale in 1984)

    the fuck?

  34. Voting didn’t work, so…let’s do it some more! Or, examine your political paradigm. Is it wise (working)? Is forfeit of your sovereignty to an elite resulting in the loss of your control and the gain of control for a few who will enjoy a moral blank check and the people’s permission to initiate violence, threaten, creating freedom/democracy? No? Then STOP it! Stop creating your helplessness and then begging your rulers to help you. Take responsibility for your self-governance, boycott the old failed concentration of power (use of violence). Be politically responsible, politically mature, and try using reason, rights, and a voluntary, non-violent system. Or, after millennia of war, poverty, corruption and oppression, just keep doing the same and hope for change.

    1. Be politically responsible, politically mature, and try using reason, rights, and a voluntary, non-violent system.

      Yeah, and once you start doing that, government will totally leave you alone, because governments are passive little bitches that way.

      1. They keep track of who votes so they know to leave those people alone.

    2. Voting is for suckers.

      1. And juice wonders why we keep getting the same dumbfucks in office. It must be nice to be so libertarian that you are willing to only accept 100% purity or otherwise not vote at all.

        1. We get dumb fucks in office because if you offer everyone a free pony, it works. I’d say blame the electorate, but not for their voting habits. More like the fact that people are dumb fucks, and this is reflected in our politicians.

          Why do you think Progressives spend 99% of their energy on ‘educating people’. They even say it right on the front of the box: they do it to change society. The problem, in this case, is the misinformation they use as ‘education’. (Notwithstanding the very idea that society should be managed in the first place.)

          After all, how else could one convince people that the very system that gave them the luxury to moan about safe spaces is the system they should destroy?

          1. True. But the first step is electing people who are serious about school reform then. There is only two ways to change society. Peacefully through debate and persuasion. Or violently.

  35. “All the Democrats on tonight’s stage are making a variation on the same pitch: The American economy is fundamentally broken, the system is rigged against you, you deserve better, and I will make everything all right.”

    Hey, it worked for Trump.

    1. You’re absolutely right! And it worked for Obama too–just a different bogeyman. His was the rich dude, King Donald’s is the foreigner.

      1. And regulations and his biggest argument against foreigners is he believes the current trade arrangements benefit others at the expense of America. To a degree, especially with China, he has a point. He has negotiated freer trade with Japan and South Korea. He has offered to eliminate all tariffs and trade barriers if others do as well.

    2. Well it was a lot more broken under Obama because of the government burden m most notably duhh! Taxes

      It astonishes me how fucking dumb people are

  36. From what i’ve Seen here in the comments, i’d Be perfectly fine if self-professed Libertarians didn’t vote.

    1. I’m a libertarian who first voted in 2016 and proudly supported the most qualified candidate ever, Hillary Clinton. Why wouldn’t you want me voting?

      #StillWithHer

      1. I didn’t vote for Hillary or Trump. The first is an unreconstructed militarist and the second was telling everyone that Mexicans were rapists and that we should tell people trying to escape Syria that they were SOL. Besides, they were probably terrorists anyway.

        Tell me all the reasons you voted for Trump. Did some humanities professor microaggress against you by using a gender neutral pronoun. That seems like something that might bother you and not me.

        1. You’re arguing with a parody account.

    2. But, per your handle, aren’t you a “self-professed Libertarian?”

      1. Nah, he’s a Media Matters keyboard warrior earning a paycheck by astroturfing.

  37. Alas, limited government is not going to happen no matter who wins the general election.

    1. Several things need to happen first. Term limits, destruction of public sector unions, and expansion of the House of Representatives. A solid, fair way of ending gerrymandering would be nice (including minority-majority districts). I also wouldn’t mind if every state adopted the Nebraska model for how the electoral college is elected.

      1. The 1910 census the population was just above 92 million, we are currently at about 330 million. The last increase was done in 1913 based upon the 1910 census.
        Repealing the 19th amendment would also be nice but likely infeasible at any point in the near future v

  38. Nick cracks me up.
    Of course all of these folks are fucking idiots.
    Orwellian times ten versus anything Trump has proposed
    But he’ll recover and write an Orange Man Bad or “both sides” article tomorrow

  39. Have we learned anything yet?

  40. Joe Biden: “We never locked kids in cages!”

    Nigga, the pictures were taken during your administration!

    1. So that justifies it when Dump does it, right?

      1. You deserve to be in a cage more than they do.

      2. Bonus points for the played-out BLONARD BLUMPH reference, shrieky-poo.

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