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The DemDebate Clarified That Many Libertarian Views Have Gone Mainstream

Clinton, Sanders, Webb, O'Malley, and Chaffee are nobody's idea of small-government crusaders, but they got some things right.

CNNCNNWatching the just-concluded Democratic Debate on CNN wasn't exactly exciting, but it was clarifying.

It showed the wide appeal of various positions that have long been the province mostly of lonely libertarians.

When it came to endless wars and constant buildup of defense spending, for instance, or the need to end awful criminal-justice policies, or to be more humane and welcoming to immigrants, many of the Democratic presidential candidates hit notes that could have been sung by Milton Friedman or Gary Johnson, the former two-term New Mexico governor who pulled 1 million votes in 2012.

It was nothing less than bracing to hear the self-described democratic socialist Bernie Sanders and former Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee defend votes against the invasion of Iraq. Vietnam vet and former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb is nobody's idea of a pacifist, but he too talked seriously of using the Department of Defense as, well, a form of national defense, instead of as a perpetual first-strike force. Tonight's event actually had the temerity to acknowledge the failure of 21st-century U.S. foreign policy, even as one of its major architects was right there on stage. With the exception of Rand Paul, the Republican candidates haven't dared cross that line.

All of the Democrats, even frontrunner Hillary Clinton who has attacked the idea of granting illegal immigrants driver licenses in the past, were far more libertarian toward immigrants than anybody in the Republican hunt. That's a shift, especially for a Democratic party that long saw low-skill immigrants as a threat to union workers. The GOP, once upon a time a party in which George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan would outdo each other in praising even illegal immigrants, should be ashamed of itself. All its potential presidents can do is talk about building a bigger, thicker, and ultimately ineffective wall on the U.S.'s southern border (that is, when they are not floating the idea of walling off our border with Canada). Overwhelming numbers of Americans favor granting illegals a pathway to legal status, if not outright citizenship. That sort of welcoming libertarian attitude is firmly in the American grain and a party that is so adamantly hostile to newcomers does not have a bright future in an increasingly globalized world.

When it came to drug policy, or at least recreational pot, the Dems were far more libertarian than their Republican counterparts. Hillary Clinton, ever the frowning schoolmarm, can't quite bring herself to acknowledge the failure of the drug war or embrace legalization, but even she granted the legitimacy and efficacy of medical marijuana. Too many Republicans either are flat-out against legal pot or hide behind dodgy federalist positions that are constantly shifting depending on the issue at hand (it's OK if states want to enact anti-immigrant statutes or anti-gay marriage bans, but not OK if they want to legalize pot). Chaffee actually offered Edward Snowden a free ticket home and Sanders, while stopping short of such amnesty, also had good words to say about the guy. Webb and Sanders were passable on gun rights.

Yet despite passing agreement on various issues, there wasn't a single Democrat on tonight's stage for whom I would seriously consider voting.

Again and again, their answers seemed to be mostly wilted salads of buzzwords—BILLIONAIRES! GLASS-STEAGALL! FAMILY LEAVE!—that they emitted on a regular schedule, like air fresheners in public toilets. The economic plans of everyone up there tonight ranged from terrible to truly awful. Unsurprisingly, Sanders couldn't go more than four or five words without denouncing the "handful of billionaires" he swears are running every aspect of the country. Clinton explicitly called for taxing the rich and completed her latter-day turn to progressive populist by pushing for free and reduced-price money for everything from college to daycare to maternity leave. When not sidestepping his own awful record as an over-policing mayor of Baltimore, O'Malley couldn't stop talking about building an electric grid so clean you can eat off it.

But in ultimately disappointing libertarian viewers, the Democrats were simply providing balance to the Republican contenders. The GOP crew similarly sometimes makes common cause with libertarians, yet it too veers off shared territory soon enough. Yes, Republicans typically talk a good game when denouncing the size, scope, and spending of government buth when it comes to defense spending and waging war, they are as far from libertarians as the Democrats are when it comes to economic and regulatory issues. Virtually all of the Republican candidates are truly awful on immigration, with some such as Trump rarely missing an opportunity to dehumanize Mexicans who come here to better their lot in life. The GOP is almost unanimously  godawful on marriage equality and drug legalization, too, and dips into crony capitalism when it comes to ethanol subsidies and other perks favored in early-voting states.

But to stress the differences between small 'l' libertarians and Democratic and Republican candidates for president is to look for love in all the wrong places.

The fact is that each party is espousing an increasing number of positions that fit within a consistent libertarian approach to the role of government. Given the increasingly shrinking number of people who cop to being pure Democrats or Republicans, we should be looking at policies not parties or politicians. The consensus against interventionist foreign policy is building, just as the country is moving toward pot legalization and social tolerance. Very few of us believe that we can endlessly fund the massive entitlement spending we already have, let alone toss on whole new programs to bail out student borrowers. Between tonight's debate and what we've seen of the GOP's presidential candidates so far, libertarians can take some real comfort in the fact that each party is ripping us off more and more with every passing election.

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  • George Washington||

    I've heard it all

  • BambiB||

    Did you hear the part about the Libertarians wanting to sell out America to the third world invasion - so America can become just like the third-world hell holes they came from?

    I heard that part loud and clear, "Reason".

  • Zen||

    https://www.lp.org/platform

    Article 3.4

    You might be in the wrong party. This one favors free minds and free markets.

  • Sevo||

    Nick, that's a whole lot of stretching to find some really small pearls. Bernie didn't demand the nationalization of all industries, so I guess that's a positive, but, hey...
    Remember, "On several occasionions during President Obama's campaign he promised to immediately close Guantanamo once he is elected." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8USRg3h4AdE
    And I notice that no one made it clear to HRC that, under the laws that affect most of us, she should be under indictment. That is surreal, after experiencing Nixon's debacle.

  • George Washington||

    I understand the whole desire to be positive, but in this case It seems as if he's doing so at the expense of reality.

  • Sevo||

    I don't understand the desire to be positive when there is little to support that view; Nick is not going to win converts by grasping at straws such as: "The fact is that each party is espousing an increasing number of positions that fit within a consistent libertarian approach to the role of government."
    No, they're not. The 'candidates' are chumming for votes by tossing any and all baits in the water to see what gets the most bites. THEN we'll see what they back, still as candidates.
    Once, and if, they get into office, we'll find, as we did with Obo closing Gitmo (among other lies) what they have bargained away to get there.
    Nick, you're on 'way firmer ground pointing out that politics is a trailing indicator, and we should all, as best we can, act as if the clergy didn't exist.

  • Winston||

    Gillespie is going full "clap your hands if you believe!"

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    It's Nick's fantasy, I'll stay out of it. There are a few small steps on social issues (which is good), but overall they are all statists wrt to freedom and the economy.

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    Did you read the whole thing before commenting?

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    Did you read the whole thing before commenting?

  • Sevo||

    Butler T. Reynolds|10.14.15 @ 8:32AM|#
    "Did you read the whole thing before commenting?"
    Yes, I did. Did I miss some part you'd like to cherry-pick?

  • LynchPin1477||

    The fact is that each party is espousing an increasing number of positions that fit within a consistent libertarian approach to the role of government.

    Um, no. Some of the candidates are espousing policies that align with libertarian goals but none of that seems to be part of a consistent philosophy of liberty.

    And maybe that's OK as far as it goes, but let's not kid ourselves about what these people believe.

  • mfckr||

    This.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    I definition of liberty is different than Nick's, I suppose.

  • ||

    There pretty much hasn't been any pearls of any size to stretch for in the Republican debates. We truly are doomed.

  • MarkLastname||

    Maybe they'll be busy enough fighting each other for the next 4 years that most of us can get by unscathed? Wishful thinking?

  • GamerFromJump||

    But, they like Open Borders! That forgives all!

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Can somebody look up the Dodgers score for me? I don't have the internet right now...

  • ||

    The Dodger won... hey, wait a minute!

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I wanted to do that with the Cal score on Saturday, but I was robbed.

  • MSimon||

    Cubs win! Cubs Win!

  • C. Anacreon||

    Finally, someone mentioned the Cubs. What a night for Chicago, beating the arch rivals. What I'd give to be in Wrigleyville tonight.

    As an 8 year old in the summer of 1969, I became sports, baseball, and Cubs fan, just to have my heart broken. It has continued on like that for almost 50 years. For many of us this is a very magical moment. Wow.

  • Sevo||

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    You're not a Giants or A's fan?

  • C. Anacreon||

    You're pretty much stuck with the team you grow up with, and I spent the first 25 years of my life around Chicago. I don't mind the Giants and I pretty much like the A's. My son is way into the A's but also loves the Cubs, despite growing up two thousand miles away from them. Something about them being his Dad's team.

  • Curtisls701||

    Happy to see them knock the Cards out of the post season. Being a Royals fan, I didn't really want to see another I-70 Series, 30 years later. ;)

  • Ceci n'est pas un woodchipper||

    Lipstick on a pig. Webb was the most libertarian of the candidates on stage, and that's really saying something. If you step back just a little bit, nothing was said on that stage that would give anyone the slightest hope that a presidency under one of those candidates would result in smaller government and greater freedom, with the possible exception of Jim Webb, who seemed to be there for the sake of symmetry alone.

  • Robert||

    What it seems to be saying is, because polled potential primary voters have so disfavored him, it indicates overwhelming rejection by the grass roots of such policies. That what you meant?

  • MSimon||

    I especially liked the statement to the effect: "We must destroy capitalism in order to save it."

  • JWatts||

    "We must destroy capitalism in order to save it."

    Yep, clearly the Libertarian moment has arrived.

  • squarooticus||

    2016 is the libertarian moment, and also the year of the Linux desktop.

  • SIV||

    Didn't Trump, Rand Paul, Ben Carson and a few other Republicans call Iraq a mistake or worse?
    Did the Republican frontrunner defend our intervention in Libya like the Dem frontrunner just did?
    Nick seems to think every GOP-er is Lindsey Graham/Marco Rubio/Jeb!

  • SIV||

    And that Jim Webb is as relevant as Jim Gilmore and Bernie Sanders role is strictly to channel Hillary dissent into Hillary support.

  • woody the woodchipper||

    Jim webb is my guy
    Motto: "Jim webb 2016...or ill kill you"

  • Sevo||

    Beats hell out of "Vote for Boyle/son of toil" and $5 for a drink at the bar.

  • mfckr||

    Nick has jumped the shark and is getting really desperate.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    No kidding

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    You're just lazy. You need to read the whole thing first, then comment.

  • Inigo "Chip" DuBois||

    Got to disagree with this. I think Nick has pretty consistently espoused actual LIBERTARAIN positions on every issue. I see lots of commenters on here faulting him and others for not being conservative enough or for feigning "liberal" views in order to get invited to cocktail parties, and I've got to call bullshit.

    In spite of what Red Tony, AmSoc, and the other trolls on here want to believe, libertarians are not just a branch of the republican party. We share a common belief in free markets and reduced government, yes, but let's face it guys -- the republicans only TALK about that (sometimes) but never actually work to bring it about even the smallest measure.

    It's true the dems are not really any better. Yes, it's nice that, except for Hillary, they SUPPOSEDLY believe in scaling back the War on Drugs, question all the domestic spying, and are not 100% on board with more foreign intervention, but, just like the Republicans, they are still unquestionably statist.

    That is the primary distinction of being libertarian, in my mind. We can disagree on immigration (I happen to like it because I think truly free trade and free market implies the free movement of labor as well as capital and goods), but we are NOT statist whereas the two major parties undoubtedly very much believe in ever-increasing government power and influence.

  • woodNfish||

    He is absolutely 180 degrees wrong on illegal immigration and open borders. Those are not libertarian positions, they are the positions of a moron.

  • Zen||

    https://www.lp.org/platform

    Article 3.4

    So uh, it looks as if his position aligns perfectly with Libertarianism.

  • Zen||

    I have a friend that just recently changed his voter registration away from the LP. He believed the internal right-left divide here was too large for us to ever get our shit together and succeed as a voting block.

    Sucks man.

  • Mike M.||

    Like I said yesterday, libertarians ceased being his primary target audience a while ago.

  • Bodica Slayer of Woodchip||

    I heard "Salon" is looking for a new editor, now that Joan Walsh is moving to "The Nation".

    Me thinks that Nick is looking for street creds to prove his worth to his new Lizard-People Overlords

  • ThomasD||

    Could have sworn it was ENB angling for that job.

  • SIV||

    The GOP is almost unanimously godawful on marriage equality and drug legalization, too, and dips into crony capitalism when it comes to ethanol subsidies and other perks favored in early-voting states.

    Marriage equality? Didn't the SCOTUS "settle" that one?

    Drug legalization? The Dems must have backed that when my stream failed. As for the Republicans, excepting Christie, Rubio, Fiorina and Jeb!, aren't they all "states rights" on mj legalization? Did any of those Dems ever call for legalizing all drugs at any point in the past like the GOP front runner once did? Has any Dem ever called for the legalization of heroin like one Republican did at a debate in the last election cycle?

    The Republicans as a whole aren't clean on crony capitalism but I don't see them anywhere near as down with it as the Dems. For all the banker-bashing it sounded like tonight's candidates believe not bailing out said banks is "not an option" and I didn't hear them denouncing the biggest corporate welfare they were the sole supporters of, Obamacare. The green energy giveaway boondoggles backed by the donks dwarf the smaller subset still supported by some Republicans

  • Winston||

    the country is moving toward....social tolerance

    Isn't "social tolerance" a self-contradictory term? A society that doesn't tolerate views that it regards as being unacceptable is by definition intolerant.

    Very few of us believe that we can endlessly fund the massive entitlement spending we already have, let alone toss on whole new programs to bail out student borrowers.

    Citation please. Even if they do they are likely to blanche when it comes time to actually cut entitlement spending. And will they stand for the DemOp media demonizing such a thing? And what about the public's desire to avoid shutdowns and Get Things Done?

  • Winston||

    Clinton explicitly called for taxing the rich and completed her latter-day turn to progressive populist by pushing for free and reduced-price money for everything from college to daycare to maternity leave.

    Thank goodness Canada is not trending toward that...oh wait!

  • Winston||

    Once again Gillespie makes Ernst Thalmann in 1932 sound sane and reasonable.

  • Winston||

    Also if Obama does implement background checks through EO will that be evidence of the Libertarian Moment?

  • Hayeksplosives||

    "The Demdebate clarified that many libertarian views have gone mainstream".

    Except for that all-important second half of the simplest libertarian creed: "...and don't take their stuff."

  • PapayaSF||

    +1

  • Winston||

    Gillespie also reminds me of those Liberal belle époque writers in late Victorian England who though that the era was the epitome of human perfection and things could only get better for England and the degeneration of liberalism into socialism was either Not Going To Happen or was a Good Thing.

  • GILMORE™||

    Its notable that the thing nick believes the Democrats are most "Libertarian" on...

    ....is Foreign Policy

    Something which it should be recognized has no real "libertarian" ideological basis for it whatsoever... and is merely a current-consensus view of people *who happen to be libertarian*

    (*one i share, but one I repeatedly point out has no real practicable foreign policy theory to back it up)

    People might argue that libertarian foreign policy is necessarily Rothbardian - but as far as i can tell, even for him it was a set of ideas strapped on from the "Old Right" which merely seemed to appeal to him, and had no basis in some logical argument that 'isolationism' is a means to maximizing the liberty of individuals vis a vis the state.

    its also notable that his views were never widely shared, and people have sometimes pointed out that they don't even make a lot of sense

    That aside... I also think its sort of odd that he'd swallow these Nice Democrat Noises... given the leading Dem candidate's own personal track record... which makes the current "a finger in every pie" president seem downright Restrained

  • Winston||

    If the Democrats were secretly a bunch of libertarians we would have seen that in 2009-2011.

    It is true that Libertarian foreign policy is mostly an excuse why they don't want the US to intervene anywhere because apparently they have no enemies and it is against its interests but it falls apart when dealing with non-US allies since according to libertarian theory they have enemies and national interests.

    When it comes to Russia though then they are justified in invading Ukraine and Syria because they have Real Enemies (i.e. the US) and because Hitler. Not to mention irredentism and naval bases. The US invading Cuba and trying to kill Castro on account of him overthrowing a US-backed regime close to the US and allying with America's enemies and setting up nukes on island with historical connections to the US is bad though.

    Oh and China can do what it wants because of the Opium Wars and Japan. And Japan was justified in WWII because of Commodore Perry apparently.

  • Winston||

    How can I forget that the US propping up Mohammed Reza Pahlavi and Hosni Mubarak since they provided "stability" was bad but overthrowing Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi and Assad is bad since they provide "stability."

  • kbolino||

    I have yet to see anyone--libertarians included--articulate a cogent foreign policy and follow through on it consistently. Reagan talked tough but pulled out of Beirut, Clinton fucked up Somalia but then doubled down on Bosnia, Bush 43 promoted preemptive action but got stuck nation-building, and Obama vacillates between disingenuous apologies and noncommittal recklessness.

    There are certainly "better" and "worse" as far as foreign policy goes, but broad strokes like "promote stability" or "promote democracy" don't seem to carry much weight outside of academic debates.

  • Winston||

    There is the fact that there was been very few actually anti-war throughout history but quite of lot of people who opposed certain wars for political expediency and used language that condemned war in general.

    In the case of libertarians their foreign policy is mainly based on the America Firsters with a smattering of anti-WWI interventionists and anti-Cold Warriors. Problem is quite of few of those people weren't really anti-war. Many anti-Cold Warriors where Communists who outright supported the USSR and included people who supported WWII. During WWII you had Nazi supporters and those who wanted the US to intervene more in China. Harry Elmer Barnes opposed the World Wars and the Cold War and was a Holocaust Denier who claimed that "Hitler was the most "reasonable" leader in the world in 1939".

    And judging by the writings of Mencken and Randolph Bourne their opposition to the US joining WWI wasn't because of non-interventionism but of outright support for Germany.

  • GamerFromJump||

    How about a two-point plan:

    - Splat jihadis.

    - Back up (actual) allies.

  • Win Bear||

    How about... stay the fuck out of other countries and only engage militarily when the US is attacked.

  • Winston||

    And yes it is true that "Neocon" is being overused to mean any sort of interventionist foreign policy. As if the neocons were the first and only group to do so in history and weren't a specific group of disgruntled Democrat Cold Warriors who joined the Republicans over 'Nam.

    I mean Raimondo was talking about the "Neoconning of the Democrats" when his writing shows that the Neocons were disgruntled Dems and where heavily influenced by Wilson, FDR, JFK and LBJ!

  • LynchPin1477||

    I'd define a libertarian foreign policy as diplomatic and economic engagement w/out military engagement, except in cases of legitimate defense.

    It's basically libertarian philosophy regarding individual interactions ported to interactions between nation-states.

  • Ranselaer||

    I wasn't aware there was a libertarian position on illegal immigrants. The Dems' position seems to be, let them all in and give them free shit so they'll vote Democrat. What's our position again?

  • Winston||

    Libertarian position is Weed, Messicans and Ass-sex. Democrats support them so they have libertarian positions even if what they advocate in support of those is far from what libertarians want, don't you know.

  • Winston||

    It also strikes me as the equivalent of saying that ISIS is libertarian because they also oppose US intervention in Syria or that some black guy who thinks blacks can't be racist and whites should be discriminated against is also libertarian because libertarians oppose anti-black racism too.

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    You're so smart. Please post more.

  • PapayaSF||

    Some say "freedom of movement," but I'm well-known around here for thinking that's a "right" that, in the real world of bankrupt welfare states, leftist multiculturalism, a declining need for unskilled labor, and Islamism, often works against a bunch of other libertarian ideals.

  • Gary T||

    The pure libertarian position is not partisan on the issue of immigration.
    The fact is the the United States is a collectively owned territory, that is subject to the vicissitudes of the times and attitudes of the people who own it.
    Like any private property, the owner, or collective owners, get to pick and choose purely at their unlimited discretion what the immigration laws are, and what the borders mean in practice.
    International law does not conform well to libertarian law; international law is really anarchistic at its fundamental. Immigration is an international legal issue, and libertarianism can only suggest things there as a matter of morality, which is really a wishy-washy concept.

  • Winston||

    By Gillespie's logic isn't Europe libertopia? They have gay marriage and immigration and some countries have legal pot too.

  • PapayaSF||

  • Winston||

    You Know Who Else wanted large amounts of people to immigrate to German territory?

  • PapayaSF||

    Stalin?

  • ||

    I have been assured the open borders have never, ever, failed to produce spectacular success.

    I see a bright future for Germany.

  • Bodica Slayer of Woodchip||

    Which is what I believed about Nick & Matt all along - redefine "libertarian" as modern liberalism.

  • Mike M.||

    Personally, I wouldn't lump Welch in with the Beltway crowd, but I would say he desperately needs to start hiring more people from outside the fucking Beltway.

    Almost every one of the DC "libertarians" here is either a complete faker, or cares more about their job and social stati than they do about libertarian principles.

  • Gary T||

    On the liberal half of libertarianism, perhaps.
    But absolutely NOT on the economic liberty half of libertarianism.

  • Kuwanki||

    There was this guy in Norway that Nick reminds me of. Damn it, i can't think of his name.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Nick, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  • Gary T||

    I dunno.
    I feel a bit smarter after reading his stuff.

  • Swiss Servator||

    they emitted on a regular schedule, like air fresheners in public toilets

    You have to respect a line like that.

  • BigT||

    when they are not floating the idea of walling off our border with Canada

    As I recall, said candidate simply said it should be considered - he did not 'float' the idea.

    Overall this is still a tallest midget contest. Maybe a few donkeys have grown an inch or two. I think that is Nick's message: applaud the growth, but they're still mental midgets.

  • Bodica Slayer of Woodchip||

    No, Nick is giving more weight to libertarianish social issues and very little to libertarian economic ones.

    Which makes Nick a Democrat. As I believed all along.

  • Gary T||

    You mean a socialist-lite, dontcha?

    Ouch.

  • Eman||

    LIBERTARIAN MOMENT guys, seriously. forget that piece a couple days ago about libertarians' goals diverging from gays' as their positions became more popular. that's nothing like this at all. It used to be okay for democrats to be vaguely in favor of marijuana decriminalization, but now it's super not okay for them to not be (at least nominally, there seems to be a very fine balance they need to strike where they talk positively about legalization but dont actually do anything scary about it). gay marriage went STRAIGHT from illegal to mandatory without any of the usual gradient. Oh yeah and all those candidates from both parties talking absolute nonsense about immigration, that, um...

  • brady949||

    Mandatory gay marriage?

  • ThomasD||

    Support for gay marriage is absolutely mandatory on the left. Drug decriminalization not remotely so.

  • Gary T||

    Mandatory option to marry the same gender as yourself.

    I wonder what would happen if two straight people decided to marry.

  • Drake||

    Given the increasingly shrinking number of people who cop to being pure Democrats or Republicans...

    Because they have dropped the mask and now cop to being pure Socialists? And that is probably a mask for their actual inner communist.

  • Rockabilly||

    tax regulate spend spend spend

  • josh||

    sanders will be declared the victor in most every poll after this and every subsequent democratic debate. but he'll win the hearts and minds and lose the war. he's giving it away and sanders supporters will think back on how they lost it and naturally not blame the candidate, but think it was stolen from them.

    when every gop candidate is asked if "the american people are tired of hearing about hillary's emails?", the proper response is, "i can tell you who isn't...and that's the fbi and justice department". he provided them with a perfect setup on the one thing that keeps dragging hillary down, but at the same time made sure it would become less of an issue in the democratic race.

  • Almanian's Rusty Woodchipper||

    Jesus, Nick. Roll down the window on the Volvo and throw that crack pipe OUT the window.

  • prolefeed||

    I didn't need to watch that debate to know that your choices here range from lying, hardcore statists to even more lying and even more hardcore statists.

    Way to put lipstick on that pig, Nick. Now go kiss it.

  • The Grinch||

    He's lost his Goddamn mind, assuming he really had a Goddamn mind to lose in the first place.

  • Bodica Slayer of Woodchip||

    Marriage equality is the law of the land or have you been hybernating for the last 6 months?

  • retiredfire||

    U.S. Constitution: Article 1, Section 1: All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

    Please inform me when this body made legislation that stated homosexuals could be married, aside from the fact that such was not granted as a power to the Congress in Article 1, Section 8.

    Absent that, it is not "the law of the land".

  • Win Bear||

    I don't agree with the SCOTUS reasoning in this case, but nevertheless, their decision defines the law. Case law is also law. Furthermore, SCOTUS can modify existing law if they find it unconstitutional.

  • Gary T||

    The concept of equal protection is what states that all homosexuals can marry as a matter of right.
    Since there isn't anything fundamentally different in the eyes of the law between a homosexual and a heterosexual, and heterosexuals can marry, the consequence is that homosexuals can also marry.

  • The Grinch||

    Shorter take: I wouldn't vote for any of these people but I'll damn sure try to get you to vote for them by talking down their negatives and talking up their positives. Eat me Nick.

  • Bodica Slayer of Woodchip||

    +100

  • Mickey Rat||

    I forget, did Gillespie devote his discussion of the GOP debates into a rant about how bad the Democrat's positions are? Or does criticizing Democrats require strong emphasis that he does not like Republicans? Watching the social signaling is great comedy these days.

  • The Grinch||

    If by funny you mean kind of sad in a rather pathetic and transparent way, you're spot on.

  • Rayson||

    "Gary Johnson, the former two-term New Mexico governor who pulled 1 million votes in 2012."
    1 million people roughly = 0.3% of the entire population.

    This why I stick to supporting Libertarians inside the Republican Party.

  • eyeroller||

    Libertarians inside the Republican Party are probably 0.1% of the population.

  • ThomasD||

    That's still approximately 100,000 more libertarians than there are in the Democratic Party.

  • eyeroller||

    Libertarians inside the Republican Party are probably 0.1% of the population.

  • Bodica Slayer of Woodchip||

    Libertarians inside the Democratic Party are 0.00000000000000000001%

  • Gary T||

    .3% of the population is not the proper comparison

    You need to compare 1 million to the number of people who voted.

  • Eric Bana||

    I relish the idea of Hillary not becoming president, but then I think of the alternatives... (depressed sigh).

  • Henry Baker||

    Just vote for Hil and spare yourself all that angst. You know you want to. Just do it.

  • Azathoth!!||

    The GOP crew similarly sometimes makes common cause with libertarians,

    ....by actually electing them.

    Gotta make that clear. Republicans actually elect libertarians, Nick.

    Democrats? Not so much.

  • Drake||

    Consider yourself disinvited for cocktails.

  • Bodica Slayer of Woodchip||

    Yes, Republicans have elected libertarians or at least can be guilted into libertarianism.

    But Democrats? There is not a single libertarian Democrat, Nick's loving write-up about Jared Polis notwithstanding.

    It's kinda funny, if it wasn't so transparent - Nick's attempt to fool us into thinking - "look! I saw libertarians at the DNC debate! I swear!"

  • Bodica Slayer of Woodchip||

    Great examples: Justin Amash, Thomas Massey, Rand Paul.

    Have Democrats EVER elected a libertarianish Democrat? Ever? They're the party of Big Govt!!!

  • Gary T||

    Dennis Kucinich?

  • Paulpemb||

    Democrats are only in favor of increased immigration because it secures a new class of client voters for them, thus enabling them to enact their goals of more government and less liberty. This is not a libertarian position, it is a means to an end.

    The Democrats goal is to become the PRI of the United States.

  • Bodica Slayer of Woodchip||

    Kinda like the libertarian support of marriage equality. Once same-sex marriage became the law of the land, the gay community became just another special interest group looking for government force and coercion.

    I asked a same-sex marriage supporter to advocate for plural marriage. I was laughed at. Then, I was mocked as being misogynistic (polygamy is BAD for women).

  • ||

    Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do...... ✹✹✹✹✹✹ www.buzznews99.com

  • Bodica Slayer of Woodchip||

    After that Jared Polis (D) fiasco from last month, I thought you would have learned, Nick.

    Frankly, I don't believe a word you say anymore.

  • Bodica Slayer of Woodchip||

    Nick, tell me - who are the Democrat libertarianish equivalents of a Justin Amash, Thomas Massey or Rand Paul?

    Go ahead . . .find them & report back. We got time.

  • woodNfish||

    More batshit crazy nonsense from Gillespie who couldn't tell a libertarian from a communist.

  • Bodica Slayer of Woodchip||

    He just needs to get that dream job at "Salon" and quit with the bullshit.

  • Henry Baker||

    More delusional garbage from Gillespie, who's no doubt reveling excessively in relaxed pot laws somewhere.

    Democrats -- ALL Democrats -- are scum of the earth with absolutely NO redeeming qualities. Period.

  • ThomasD||

    Gillespie persists in his blatantly false equating of government granting you limited permission to possess or consume plant matter as at all libertarian.

  • Gary T||

    Leave Nick Gillespie ALONE.

  • muskegonlibertarian||

    None of them support really "libertarian ideas" like repealing prescription laws, drug laws in general. None of them support having the US stop being "the world's policeman". None of them oppose converting our police forces into an "army of occupation" equipped with military type weapons. None of them are in favor of elimination of government enforced professional and occupational monopolies that add a trillion and a half additional economic burdens on the general public. None of them support allowing private citizens from importing lower cost medicines from outside the US. None of them support the idea of allowing American citizens the freedom to start small businesses without a massive burden of federal, state, and local regulation. None of them support lowing the cost of housing by elimination of regulations that are designed to prevent lower income people from having a home if their own. None of them support universal schooling vouchers that would pay for "results" (proof of education) regardless of "who" does it. Many more people would home school if they could receive money to educate their children themselves. Or have the freedom to seek or create economic forms of transportation.

    I'm old enough (77) to remember an America where we were much freer than we are today...

  • ThomasD||

    In the Republican debates we had participants expressly noting that the Constitution only codifies rights that humans already posses by the nature of their very being - a belief common to the majority of people within that party.

    In contrast to the rising tide of socialists within the Democratic party, who see all rights as coming from government.

    Libertarians are right to criticize both parties when they do not match up to libertarian principles. But the idea that libertarians could ever find common cause with the rampant socialism present in today's Democratic Party would be laughable if it was not so mendacious.

  • Longtail||

    Don't Libertarians hate immigration?

  • ThomasD||

    Minimal states generally translate to minimal border control and minimal interference with employer-employee relations.

    Libertarians also recognize that open borders are not compatible with a welfare state.

  • Ahem'||

    Ok one more time, as long as said "libertarians" in last nights debate continue to give said "immigrants" free shit when they come here I will continue to advocate for a taller, thicker scarier looking wall.

    If you would like to come here, assimilate and join the rest of us productive types, well then, welcome aboard.

  • pronomian||

    A bunch of pro bernie supporters are bent that the C-linton N-ews N-etwork deleted a bunch of their comments. They're actually surprised that CNN would be biased, go figure

    http://mediaequalizer.com/bria.....r-comments

  • Galane||

    When Democrats claim to support any libertarian ideal *they are lying*. If the Democrats were really libertarians dressed in jackass suits, they'd have done away with every federal weapons law and we'd have a far simpler and less "progressive" federal income tax.

  • ThomasD||

    I'm ok with them lying (they are politicians - it is foolish to expect more) so long as what they espouse are actually libertarian ideals. Their lip service would at least mark a change towards wider recognition and credibility.

    I find it more problematic when someone pulls bits of their utterances out and proclaims them to be libertarian when it is plain that they are not remotely so. In that instance there still is servicing going on, but of a different sort.

  • ||

    Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do...... ✹✹✹✹✹✹ www.buzznews99.com

  • patskelley||

    Last one to donate their house and all their property to the state to feed the hungry is a rotten egg!

  • Garagefather||

    Libertarians have to choose between a party that is bad on social issues and one that is bad on economic issues. It is easiest to make the case, especially from a libertarian point of view, that being bad on economic issues will have a much larger overall negative effect on the nation and can cause much more damage than being disagreeable, from a libertarians POV, on social issues.

    Therefore I conclude Libertarians will vote the the candidate closest to their views on social issues.

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