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Jeff Flake and the Hated—Yet Vital—Libertarian Center

Temperamental centrism and case-by-case decision-making, on Brett Kavanaugh and other issues, irritates nearly everyone—and is necessary.

Jeff Flake's weird Friday. ||| Ron Sachs/SIPA/NewscomRon Sachs/SIPA/NewscomIt wasn't just elevator-activists Ana Maria Archila and Maria Gallagher who were furious at Jeff Flake Friday morning, after the soon-to-retire Republican senator from Arizona began arguably the craziest day of his tumultuous past two years by announcing that he intended to vote "yes" to confirm embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

"I wish I could say I am surprised by Jeff Flake," Washington lifer Norman Ornstein tweeted. "Sadly, I am not. Party wins again….He failed the moral test." In blue-checkmark land Flake was a "coward," a "poisonous jellyfish that looks harmless because it has no spine yet still manages to sting you." The clickservative right, meanwhile, rallied temporarily to one of its least favorite senators. "I have plenty of disagreements with @JeffFlake but I am so proud that he is taking a stand and voting yes on Brett Kavanaugh," wrote Candace Owens. "Stay strong!"

As we know, Flake did not stay strong, at least by #MAGA measurements. Instead he played Hamlet, dramatically delaying a Senate Judiciary Committee vote (during which Twitter lit up with cracks like, "Would any serious writer even dare invent a character called Senator Flake who can't seem to make his mind up whether to back his own side?"), before finally announcing his initially confusing deal to send Kavanaugh's confirmation to a full Senate vote in exchange for spending up to one additional week on an FBI investigation into existing allegations into Judge Kavanaugh's alleged sexual assault as a youth.

Now, as Flake prepares for a joint 60 Minutes interview Sunday with his friend and compromise partner Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), most partisans on both sides have retreated to their usual position: Hating Jeff Flake. He's an "out of touch narcissist," said Fox News Channel host Laura Ingraham. Countered Linda Stasi in the New York Daily News, "While it looks like Sen. Jeff Flake found a backbone, the truth is, he did exactly what every Republican did so successfully during the entire ugly, disgraceful hearing of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh—he tried to appear both empathetic and strong while acting every inch the coward."

There is no place more despised in American politics right now than the center. Not the ideological center, necessarily, but the temperamental center. That space inhabited by people who recoil instinctively from bloody-knuckled partisanship and the collectivist demonization it requires, who lament the erosion of democratic norms and the delegitimization of mediating institutions. At a moment of intense polarization, when the time for choosing was yesterday, who has the patience for such scoldy fence-sitters?

You can find a lot of libertarians in this unhappy camp, averse as they usually are to the tribal political hysterics of the day. Flake is among the most libertarian members of the Senate; in the House, arguably the most temperamentally centrist member is the one who prefers describing himself with the (as-yet lower-case) l-word: Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.). Amash's Twitter feed these days is filled with such cheery observations as, "Political discourse today is driven almost entirely by tribalism and bias and very little by principles and truth. We've come to a sad and dangerous place. Liberty cannot survive without virtue."

But you can find a lot of anti-libertarian people in the temperamental center as well. Bill Kristol. John Kasich. Benjamin Wittes. The late John McCain, and the D.C. establishment that mourned him (and its own receding power) for a week last month. There is a whole cadre of anti-Trump conservatives who have not yet come to grips with the way their support for war, surveillance, spending, bailouts, and wink-nudge populism helped discredit their precious establishment in the first place.

Jeff Flake is coming from a more consistently principled position. In 2006, when many of today's noisy #NeverTrumpers were in the Bush administration governing poorly and doubling the national debt, Flake, then a congressman, was keeping it real with Reason's Katherine Mangu-Ward: "You look at any measure of spending—overall spending, mandatory, discretionary, non-defense discretionary, non-homeland security spending—whichever way you slice it, the record looks pretty bad."

Pox-on-both-houses centrism, even with some libertarian flavoring, does not always lead to wisdom. Setting your own coordinates by the position of the other two poles is reactive, unsteady, a recipe for squishiness. (This is one of many reasons why, even though there are many of libertarians who can be found in the temperamental center, there are a lot of other, more anarchistic libertarians who positively hate that place and the people associated with it.)

As I recounted in a column last December, "Flake moved to confirm as attorney general Jeff Sessions and, before that, Loretta Lynch. Both are abysmal on civil asset forfeiture, a form of government theft the senator has long decried. He voted in favor of the authorization for use of military force in Iraq, though he later turned against the war. He advocated missile strikes on Syria in September 2013 and again when President Trump lobbed some in April 2017." His hands are not spotless.

But after a week as ugly as the one America just experienced, there is value in having a sensitive soul near the levers of power. "The U.S. Senate as an institution—we're coming apart at the seams," Flake told The Atlantic's McKay Coppins. "There's no currency, no market for reaching across the aisle. It just makes it so difficult."

Just these last couple of days—the hearing itself, the aftermath of the hearing, watching pundits talk about it on cable TV, seeing the protesters outside, encountering them in the hall. I told Chris [Coons], "Our country's coming apart on this—and it can't." And he felt the same.

Cue a million cynics playing their tiny violins, and 10 million partisans finding holes in the Flake-brokered settlement. And yet.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), one of the few senators on the Judiciary Committee to not completely beclown themselves this week, made a persuasive point Friday. It was this: "The question is not if it's messy—Senator Flake himself said yesterday, this is not a good process, but it's all we've got. The question is, what do you do when it happens, when you're in a position of power? What do you do when it happens? You may not like how this came in at the last minute—I would have liked to know about it earlier, too, but I didn't. The question is, what do you do when it happens?"

The Republican position, until Flake intervened, was the one articulated forcefully by Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) on Thursday: Democrats sat on the confidential allegation by Christine Blasey Ford until the last minute, deployed it cynically (and in violation of Ford's desire for confidentially) only as a last-gasp measure, then used the resulting media storm to delay, delay, and delay some more. "If you vote no," Graham snarled at his Republican colleagues, "you're legitimizing the most despicable thing I have seen in my time in politics."

This was both persuasive argument and ominous warning. It is damn near impossible to view the two-party divide in America right now and imagine it getting anything but much worse. Might, not right, is the rule of the day. Inconvenient individuals will be like cockroaches on a steamroller. Meanwhile—not a small point, this—a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court hangs in the balance less than 24 hours after searing testimony that made the accuser look more credible and the accused somewhat less so, while also underlining that corroborating evidence was practically non-existent (in part because the committee inexplicably ruled out subpoenaing alleged witness Mark Judge).

So what to do?

Commentators in the temperamental center—Timothy P. Carney, Megan McArdle, Ross Douthat—proposed variations on the same theme: Just investigate a bit longer, clear up some of the more soluble disparities, and schedule a prompt vote. The non-grandstanding Democrats on the committee (basically Klobuchar and Coons) articulated a similar bargain.

But it took a haunted-looking Flake, reportedly operating on zero sleep, normally handsome face puffed up with five extra pounds of frown, to make that reasonable and de-escalatory framework a reality. The libertarian wing of the temperamental center delivered a result that at least temporarily forestalled the worst of American smash-mouth politics.

The resulting FBI investigation is already being circumscribed and contested. The chances of votes being significantly changed look preliminarily small (Flake himself has said that he hopes to vote yes). It's always a safe bet that each new week of American politics will be worse than the last.

Which means only one thing: Sooner rather than later, voters can get back to hating Jeff Flake. And wishing there were more like him.

Photo Credit: AdMedia/Newscom

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  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Jeff Flake is in no way a libertarian. what an absurd notion.

    WTF Welch?

  • harpac||

    Christ, here we go again. Time to purify tye ranks?

  • Red Tony||

    >Purify ye ranks
    >>Ye can't purify ye ranks!

  • See Double You||

    What makes Jeff Flake a libertarian?

  • Robert||

    I think he showed up that way in some multi-dimension ranking some yrs. back. Or maybe an inference from a combination of ratings by 2 or 3 single-issue orgs.

    Or maybe he just said so.

    He's certainly not Floyd Flake.

  • TuIpa||

    Fuck off Hihn.

  • See Double You||

    Robert is not Hihn.

  • TuIpa||

    Oh yes the fuck he is, other Hihn sockpuppet.

    Are you really so intellectually stunted that you think WE CAN'T TELL? You need someone smsrter than you to help ypu chamge your style.

    That lack of intellect is why you are going to die old, hated, and utterly irrelevant to libertarianism in any way.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    if Hihn is even Hihn. 'Hihn' might just be the original sock and not who is actually posting.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Has Cosmotarian been purged from the comments section?

  • ThomasD||

    He's a Reason libertarian. Which means he talks about principles but abandons them when the principals do not line up according to his preferred outcomes.

  • jm15xy||

    They like to talk about libertarian positions. But when the opportunity comes to implement them, they listen to their interventionist insticts,

  • Rorschach||

  • vek||

    He is a perfect Reason Libertarian... He's willing to squish and compromise on every fiscal, size/scope of government, gun rights, or other important issue that the right supports... But on every dumb issue the left is obsessed with THERE CAN BE NO CONCESSIONS MADE! Because if the left doesn't get what they want, that clearly means you're a Nazi or something.

    Flake is a cuck. He's not a good conservative when he needs to be, and he's not a good classical liberal when he needs to be either. He just blows with the wind, and usually makes the worst possible choice on issues where he splits from the mainline Republican party.

  • Rorschach||

    He is a perfect Reason Libertarian...

    Exactly.

  • SIV||

    Flake is actually an "authoritarian", as are most centrists. Don't deny the science!

  • ||

    Thanks for the link: fascinating study.

  • SIV||

  • ||

    You know, this may not be so crazy a notion. The many 'centrists' I know tend to, when push comes to shove, fall right in line with the authoritarian, progressive narrative.

    Very few people will be absolute in their, for example, defence of free speech or stick to their principles where the concept of liberty are concerned. Heck, even Reason seems to waver on this.

    I've read McArdle articles that sounded more progressive than libertarian.

  • Robert||

    I just started reading it, came to "Data and Methods", & already have a good idea of what's going on here: Prescriptivists—authoritarians—must be somewhat arrogant to be prescriptivist. Part of that arrogance is that they represent the center.

  • ThomasD||

    " Part of that arrogance is that they represent the center."

    Or the arrogance that there even is a 'center' much less that it represents a desirable state.

    Much like Welch, they think they know, while also rejecting the possibility that others might know different.

  • Robert||

    There's always a center. Not that it stands for anything stable, just the sum of all the vectors at the moment.

    center = mean

    Sometimes it even is mean!

  • Azathoth!!||

    There is no 'center' in politics.

    It's an illusion created by the 'left-right' concept.

    If 'far right' is bad, and 'far left' is bad, they it follows that 'center' must be good.

    But the things that are bad on the 'far left' and the 'far right' are totalitarianism and authoritarianism, usually in combination.

    What those things actually are is ideas of governance from the past that don't serve humanity in a way that benefits humanity to the fullest.

    The American experiment, the actual empowerment of the individual, was the first step in a new direction.

    And that new direction, like it or not, is what's called the 'right' today.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Sorry, bro, but the modern right is not about empowering the individual. It is just another form of collectivism, this time a collectivism centered around nationalism and traditionalism, and not class-based collectivism like with the socialist left. If you don't believe me, try kneeling for the national anthem at a football game, and see how the right "empowers the individual" in this case.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Oh Little Jeffy, you must be a tired little tyke. Off to bed with you.

    You're so tired you rave about things you aren't capable of understanding. It isn't collectivist to express disgust at people, disrespecting you and things you hold sacred.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Both kneeler and person protesting that kneel are expressing valid viewpoints, Jeff.

    Allowing this is a precept of the right.

    Trying to stop it is not.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Here, Jeff, from the Kanye post--


    Wearing a MAGA hat with a Kaepernick shirt is EXACTLY the point of the US.

    Both are absolutely valid.

    When Kaepernick started taking a knee and people started protesting it, the problem wasn't Kaepernick or the people who were against the taking of the knee--the problem was those people who thought the one protest was valid while the second wasn't.

    The problem, as always, was the left and the media.

    Your problem, Jeff, is that you think I am talking about leftISTS, when I'm talking about leftISM.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Your problem, Jeff, is that you think I am talking about leftISTS, when I'm talking about leftISM.

    So what is your definition of leftism?

    And aren't leftists "practitioners of leftism"?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    So all those conservatives were "empowering the individual" when they booed Kaepernick, burned their Nike gear, demanded he be fired, boycotted the NFL, etc.? Really?

    They were demanding conformity to their nationalist views. They weren't demanding it at the point of a gun, but they were still demanding it nonetheless.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Kaepernick was empowering the individual with HIS protest.

    And those who thought his protest was wrong and were protesting it were doing the EXACT SAME THING.

    You are a leftist, it is not surprising that you cannot see this. Humans are things to you, groups. A means to an end. Even when you profess to be for liberty it is not of a type that can apply to individuals because it must always be curbed for the good of society overall.

    Thus, the law should be 'free speech', but everyone should self-censor lest they face the 'appropriate' justice of the mob.

    Because to you, society is more important that the individual.

    What is leftism?

    Any ideology that values the group over the individual
    Any ideology that does not understand that humans can only be equal before the law.
    Any ideology that treats individuals as faceless cogs.

    That'll do, for a start.

    And, yes, Jeff, people who practice leftism are leftists. But that may not be a permanent condition.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    They were demanding that the hired help at an event they paid to see not insult them by having their little kneeling tantrum during the event.

    You just like it because you hate patriotism, and probably America too.

  • John Galt Jr||

    chemjeff radical individualist|9.30.18 @ 3:06PM|#
    Sorry, bro, but the modern right is not about empowering the individual. It is just another form of collectivism, this time a collectivism centered around nationalism and traditionalism,

    And the Christian Taliban.

    But don't confuse the right with Republicans. It's today's GOP which has driven most of the honorable right to become Independents. In disgust.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    There is no significant far right in American politics currently. Just two authoritarian statist parties. One Stalinist, one not.

  • John Galt Jr||

    If 'far right' is bad, and 'far left' is bad, they it follows that 'center' must be good.

    Only to a retard. It means "different from" or "neither."

  • Azathoth!!||

    Only to a retard.

    Exactly, which explains why you, a retard, incessantly claim the center.

    How can I tell? Because no one, anywhere, defines 'center' as 'different from' or 'neither'

    Retard.

    Poor Michael. But it DOES explain so much.

  • TuIpa||

    "Robert|9.30.18 @ 11:26AM|#"

    Fuck off Hihn.

  • Generalissimo||

    Let me see, Flake, Soave, Gillespie, and Dalmia are Libertarians according to Reason.

    If that is true, I must not be.

  • John Galt Jr||

    You're not. And don't even know what it means.
    How socially liberal are you?

  • buybuydandavis||

    John Galt Jr - Hihn = Sock Puppet

  • buybuydandavis||

    Dalmia is a "progressive libertarian" according to Dalmia

  • John Galt Jr||

    Liar

  • vek||

    Actually, she has called herself that before. I read it in one of her own articles actually...

  • See Double You||

    Hihn will deny basic, established fact to advance his progressive agenda.

  • TuIpa||

    Fuck off Hihn.

  • John Galt Jr||

    Fucking liar

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano confirms.

  • MJBinAL||

    PROGRESSIVE libertarian?

    Isn't that somewhat like a pregnant virgin?

  • Rorschach||

    Yes. Yes, it is.

  • Drave Robber||

    My favorite denomination these days is "laissez-faire stoicism".

  • ThomasD||

    I'm a strict hedonist.

    But only in the classical sense.

  • Trigger Warning||

    Soave is pretty much Voldemort, but replace evil with the vapors.

  • Freddie||

    Before "Aleppo" and a few other stumbles, I think Gary Johnson was on to something by trying to change the image of libertarians from wild-eyed radicals to the moderate adults in the room. It is common sense moderate to combine free markets with social tolerance and a look-before-you-leap foreign policy.
    Purity? Look, I'm a (literally) card-carrying LP member and I feel guilty about playing softball in a league run by the city (socialist softball!). But I recognize that the real world is analog, not ones and zeroes. I will use my judgement to determine if supporting a particular candidate or organization will significantly advance libertarian principles even if it falls short of privatizing Parks and Rec.

  • tlapp||

    Thank you, there is no libertarian that could vote for the Patriot Act as is and even argue to make it permanent. Good riddance to this phony libertarian and shameless self promoting ass.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    Bullshit, libertarianism isn't a tribe, there are various shades of it like everything else. Your comment is every fucking thing that is wrong in politics today.

  • msimmons||

    "...that made the accuser look more credible and the accused somewhat less so."

    What hearings was Matt watching? I guess people see what they want to see. Suggests TDS. Ford may have been sincere in her beliefs and affect (given her professional background, it was probably easy to feign anxiety disorder or PTSD), but sincerity =/= credible. My tree hugging ivory tower leftist wife thought she was mostly making stuff up, and the idea that her admitting not remembering many and key details increased her credibility is right out of 1984.

  • geo1113||

    The only thing centrist means is sucking up to Democrats.

  • John Galt Jr||

    Yerah, that fucking Ronald Reagan,.
    (smirk)

  • geo1113||

    Reagan needed Democrats to get things passed.

  • John Galt Jr||

    That's why it's NOT "sucking up."
    Thank you for playing.

  • Red Tony||

    Tell me, Welch, did he let you stick your dick in his mouth? Because that is the ONLY explanation for your constant journalistic fellating of the man. Flake isn't a libertarian; at most, he's a squishy libertarianish Senator–and if you want somebody who's squishy and libertarianish, why not go with Donald fucking Trump? I mean, you can say what you will about loveprostitution and his boner for the Republicans, but Donald Trump has at least done some libertarian things. Flake doesn't ever step up when something that libertarians actively disavow is on the table, and the fact that this magazine continues to metaphorically (and perhaps literally) fellate the man every time he so much as lets out a fart makes no fucking sense whatsoever.

    I'll admit that I didn't read the article. I assume that it's (theoretically) about Kavanaugh and the hearings. And I don't really know how to feel about the whole shitshow except that I believe everyone has come out of this thing smelling like shit. But the fact that Reason constantly tries to gargle Flake's dick confuses the crap out of me.

  • Red Tony||

    This from a guy who complains about Trump because he doesn't hit what you term "classical liberal checkpoints."

    Just admit your a fucking prog and MoveOn.org.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    So explain how you're different from Trump, aside from your love of welfare and oppressive regulations.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    He also loves gulags and confiscating other people's money.

  • Red Tony||

    This from a guy who complains about Trump because he doesn't hit what you term "classical liberal checkpoints."

    Just admit you're a fucking prog and MoveOn.org.

  • Sevo||

    Sarah Palin's Buttplug|9.29.18 @ 10:28PM|#
    "The libertarian purity test is a bitch. No one has ever scored over 95%."

    Yeah. Try again, maybe you'll hit 10%, turd.

  • Fancylad||

    This from a guy who wouldn't know a libertarian position if it up and hit him right in his copy of the Little Red Book he keeps in his shirt pocket over his heart.

  • Fancylad||

    Comments like that is why I'm convinced the progressive movement's current dalliance with lgbtq advocacy and gay marriage was solely to enable them to portray Christians as bigots.
    As soon as the Ernst Röhms of GLAAD have served their purpose in stigmatizing the rival religion, it'll be time for the Night of the Long Knives all over again.

  • John Galt Jr||

    Comments like that is why I'm convinced the progressive movement's current dalliance with lgbtq advocacy and gay marriage was solely to enable them to portray Christians as bigots.

    Good point. Without that dalliance we may have never known how bigoted you are.

  • TuIpa||

    Hey look, now the Rev is running another sockpuppet.

  • John Galt Jr||

    We're all sock puppets. All engaged in a massive conspiracy against you.
    And other retards on the Authoritarian Right.

  • Fancylad||

    how bigoted you are
    Buttplug starts in with the homophobia and then Hihn's sockpuppet starts calling people who disagree "bigots".
    What the hell boys, at least sing from the same hymnal when you're being fifty-centers.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    "No Fancypants, I am no conservative like you are - a toe-tapping forlorn homo looking for oral sex in a men's room airport like other conservatives mens - or perhaps you are a Hastert type and into young conservative fellers...."

    No faggot. You and your democrat pals are the ones who like raping women and children. Democrats are the party for sexual predators.

  • leninsmummy||

    You really hate gays, huh?

  • IceTrey||

    I thought all you had to do was accept and live by the NAP?

  • John Galt Jr||

    A common fallacy.

  • TuIpa||

    Fuck off Rev.

  • See Double You||

    Dude, John Galt Jr is a known Hihn sockpuppet.

  • TuIpa||

    You mean like Robert?

  • John Galt Jr||

    Conspiracy freaks be like chimps.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano be like retards.

  • Trigger Warning||

    I scored a "Fuck you!" on the purity test, which is an A+.

  • Homple||

    Reason's odd stance probably results from two influences: (1) hints from whoever pays the bills and (2) desire to stay in line with fashionable public opinion.

    Mark Twain's essay "Corn Pone Opinions" explained this a long time ago.

    PDF here:
    https://tinyurl.com/y88oedpf

  • jm15xy||

    It's not "whoever pays the bills". We know who pays their bills.

  • SIV||

    Billionaires?

  • Fancylad||

    (3) fear of being burned at the stake for blasphemy at the next WaPo drinks get-together. Peer pressure is a bitch.

  • ThomasD||

    It's ostracism that they fear. Puritans have always been big on shunning, progressives are from the same cloth.

  • vek||

    It really is... The Cosmotarian branch just cannot stand to appear "intolerant" about anything, even when there is nothing wrong with being intolerant or sensible about a position hardcore lefties have a hard on for.

    Reason will squish and accept compromise on ANY libertarian positions that come down on the conservative side of the spectrum... But ZERO compromise is the only thing acceptable for anything that the left favors.

    Example:

    They have said in a million articles how "reasonable" gun control is totes cool... But any limits on saaay transgendered people being able to use PUBLIC facilities of their own choosing, even though it will weird out and make uncomfortable far more people than it is helping (trans=less than .5% of the population), and you're literally a Nazi.

    Which direction you're willing to squish on things is VERY telling. Flake fails this same test IMO. Whenever he bends, it's always to the left.

  • ThomasD||

    How many times have we seen a conversation go something like this?

    Leftist: These are the standards that I demand you abide by.

    Non-leftist: I disagree. Further, I do not wish to be bound by that, but if you insist on imposing those terms then I likewise insist you hold yourself to said same standards.

    Reason 'libertarian': Hypocrisy! You cannot hold someone else to a standard you don't agree with! Why can't you just compromise?

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Reason's odd stance probably results from two influences

    All the odd stances of journalism result from either or both of two things. A skewed view of the world or a lack of any real skills - journalism is the last refuge of both types.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    There should be no confusion. Flake hands the progressives wins when they need it. Not always, but enough. Plus he hates Trump so that immediately sanctifies him.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Who called out that Welch would make some article fellating Flake in the comments recently? I know I read it. Give that man/woman a cookie.

  • John Galt Jr||

    For how much longer will you be slurping on Trump's cock, 5-6 times a day?

  • TuIpa||

    How much longer will you be running this sockpuppet?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    "For how much longer will you be slurping on Trump's cock, 5-6 times a day?"

    He won't be able to for lomg, since you're always getting there first. Plus Trump's cock always ends of smelling like your ass after you're there. Just way you like Mr. ATM.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    If Flake makes a Kasich like run for President, possibly on the same ticket as Kasich, Matt will be writing 'the Libertarian Case for Jeff Flake', followed by articles analyzing what the millennials think about it.

  • Nardz||

    Why would it confuse you?

    Reason is a progressive rag that dresses itself up as libertarian.
    Welch is a faggot (stronger together!) who misses no opportunity to promote progressive pets - both issues and politicians.

    Why people maintain their denial that Reason is- absolutely - in the bag for totalitarian socialism continues to baffle me.

  • ThomasD||

    They think libertarian outcomes are something that government can create.

    aka kinder gentler statism.

  • MJBinAL||

    This is a valid point, and nails the important point. Flake is all talk. When push comes to shove he is not going to the mat for his "libertarian" principles, he falls into line.

    Trump is hardly a libertarian, but does have some libertarian ideas. He does however, go to the mat for this views and has implemented some policy changes that ARE libertarian.

    The irony is the things the Democrats are most upset about with Trump are exactly those libertarian moves. They could care less about the "trade war" but are really upset about the reduced regulations at the EPA for example.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    And you love him for the endless pit of Obamacare and the green gestapo not to mention the tax hikes and the weakest recovery in modern history.

  • See Double You||

    If Obama is the center, then the center loves domestic spying and threatening journalists with prison, unilateral war, lying about the cause of the Benghazi attack while crushing an innocent American's First Amendment rights, growing the regulatory state at a record pace, instituting Title IX inquisitions, exploding the national debt, fucking up the health insurance market, and on and on...

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Actually the aesthetics of Obama's skin color are one of the few pleasant things about him. Almost makes up for the ears.

  • MJBinAL||

    True enough. I found Obama and Biden pretty much equally distasteful. Obama is probably better looking. LOL

    Obama often messed up and accidentally said what he meant (you didn't bulld that) and revealed what a progressive shit he was. Biden often messed up and said stupid things that made no sense of any sort. Neither of them worth the powder it would take to blow them up.

  • Rorschach||

    Your name's a lie, leftard; it's Hussein's rectum you've been plugging with your tongue for the last decade.

  • ThomasD||

    Lol. Give it a rest Welch. We all know you would never hold the left to the same standards that they insist on imposing upon everyone else.

    Look at how they have responded to Graham.

  • speedylee||

    "The clickservative right"

    Really?

  • Michael P||

    "Clickservative" is apparently what passes for serious commentary and fair coverage at Reason these days.

  • ThomasD||

    Libertarian postmodernism...

    Now a libertarian "center."

    both of which apparently involve dropping liberty in favor of comity (but only with the left.)

    Libertarianism is not about moving to the center, especially not when there are totalitarian at work.

    It's about increasing liberty.

  • Fancylad||

    See guys? we're not heretics at all here at Reason... we believe in the doctrine of postmodernism, we're "Good Centrists", we voted for the Lightbringer, we renounce the Donald and all his evil works..."

  • Eddy||

    "Instead he played Hamlet"

    IIRC Hamlet killed three people personally and ordered a hit on two more. If he'd actually been more decisive, he'd only have killed his uncle and left his ex-girlfriend's dad, her brother, and his two college buddies alone.

  • Eddy||

    (oops, I mean spoiler alert)

  • Red Tony||

    Honestly the story it's originally based on is better, because he decides "fuck it, let's net the fuckers" and proceeds to put them in net traps.

    Then he kills them.

    And everybody lives horribly ever after.

  • JeremyR||

    He also told his girlfriend to work in a brothel.

  • rudehost||

    Nunnery certainly doesn't translate well in 2018 English though.

  • Macaulay McToken||

    Yeah, sure. Whatever you say.

    If flip flopping and using your current position to angle for a post-Senate lobbying and/or "political analyst" gig is what you call being a part of the "libertarian center", than I suppose it's time to become a partisan.

    Because at least partisans are (somewhat) principled.

  • Eddy||

    "Pox-on-both-houses"

    Is this an attempted paraphrase of the part in Romeo and Juliet, Act 3, Scene 1, where a dying Mercutio says (twice) "A plague o' both your houses!"

    If so, why change the perfectly good "plague" to "pox"? It even changes the meaning, I think - a plague hits whole communities (in this case, families), while the pox is an STD which presumably wouldn't be communicated through a whole family (though one never knows, I guess).

  • kevrob||

    Not all poxen are STDs: smallpox, for instance.

  • Eddy||

    OK, but what was the usage in Shakespeare's day?

  • Eddy||

    Lance the boil, end the agony, hold a vote - if he's confirmed, let the Dems work on their impeachment fantasies or move on to the next outrage of the month - why cater to them if you don't have to?

  • vek||

    The Dems of recent years are little more than screaming children. You don't give in to their BS, you shut that shit down. Period. The reason their shrieks have become so loud is because adults didn't tell them to STFU years ago. As long as a spoiled child gets away with their tantrums, they will continue and escalate.

    That is literally what politics in this country has come down to... One side whining soooooo loud the country decides to give in every time. I say enough. Ignore them. Hell, insult them and call them whining children in just those terms. They deserve it. Don't even consider their nonsense pleas, because they don't deserve consideration. This is the way to get them acting like adults again.

  • jm15xy||

    Free markets are an extremist position. The hostility, yes hostility, feel for free markets and those who advocate for them makes the phrase "libertarian center" oxymoronical. Or take libertarian open borderers.

    What is true, however, is that this has nothing to do with Kavanaugh. The Judge has pretty conventional (that is, non-free-market) views on the powers of federal and state government to regulate the economy. The fate of the regulatory and interventionist state does not hang in the balance in this nomination fight.

    But, it is useful to remember that libertarianism, to the extent that it supports free markets, is an extremist and unpopular position.

  • Eddy||

    But...but...haven't you tested yourself on the Nolan Chart yet?

  • Eddy||

    Kirkland uses far more vivid rhetoric than you. His abuse is more creative. Yours just doesn't do it for me anymore. Sad.

  • Red Tony||

    You got a problem with homos?

    Because we don't have a problem with you.

    In fact, we love you.

    Good...
    and...
    hard.

    *porno music begins playing*

  • Eddy||

    Is there some sort of rivalry betwixt yourself and Kirkland? Is he horning in on the space you used to claim exclusively for your own?

  • Fancylad||

    Well yes, and so is Tony. Most of the lefties here at Reason are. I assumed you were too.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    The lefties are all homos.

    The right-wingers are all uneducated, disaffected racists; superstitious, backwater-dwelling misogynists; and can't-keep-up, spectrum-inhabiting, authoritarian losers.

    Where is the hope for America?

  • vek||

    Funny thing is, all great nations on the rise are always right leaning in their tendencies. They're not pussies or panderers. They're hard men, in the not gay way. LOL

    But left thinking societies always arise out of the abundance created by hard core right wing thinking, and eventually the soft men who do pander, become overly emotional, and just generally cuck, magically destroy the society built by tough men.

    Empires rise in hob nailed boots, and descend in slippers and all that jazz...

    The funny thing is you think the pussies wearing slippers are the better people in society! LOL If, or more likely when, America falls apart and the conservatives types are the ones who get it all put back together, perhaps you'll realize the fallacy in your thinking.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I see no evidence that right-wingers' bigotry is good for society, or that a decent person would embrace it even if it worked.

    I see no evidence that conservatives' superstition-based gullibility is good for society -- our best schools are science-based liberal-libertarian institutions, while conservative campuses are third-rate, censorship-shackled, nonsense-teaching goober factories.

    I see no evidence that Republicans' misogyny is good for society, but I am not a disaffected, anti-social, right-wing incel.

    Right-wingers have been losing the culture war for decades, and for good reason, and perhaps for good. America is at its greatest when it rejects right-wing positions.

    Carry on, clingers.

  • TuIpa||

    I knew you were here running socks you easily detected unoriginal fuck.

  • jm15xy||

    It's not about that, it's about what most people who aren't libertarians think about how to handle the economic system.

  • Eddy||

    I agree with your point - obviously Reason and other libertarian institutions are trying to position themselves as centrists, but I doubt they'll get much milage on this.

  • Eddy||

    To your average "centrist" (not endorsing these views, just explaining them) -

    ..."Common sense gun control" is the responsible middle position between total confiscation and Wild West anarchy

    ...Some form of welfare state is the "centrist" position between outright communism and dog-eat-dog, every man for himself dystopia

    ..."Reforming the public schools" is the "centrist" position between the status quo and the wild-eyed zealots calling for vouchers

    etc.

  • Robert||

    medical marijuana (but maybe not smokeable)
    immigration amnesty + stricter controls
    conferring more w NATO on interventions
    more-prescriptive food stamps & subsidies
    mixture of SS tax hikes & benefit cuts
    Nordic woman-as-victim model of prostitution punishment-decrim
    condition eminent domain takings on municipal referendum

    As to what a libertarian centrism-of-temperament would be, I guess moder'n in pursuit of virtue. But that's not what Jeff Flake's about either.

  • TuIpa||

    Fuck off Hihn.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I'm totally for welfare, as long as it comes from private charitable organizations, and not government.

  • IceTrey||

    Extremists also resort to extreme action. We are radical. Dude.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    I'm uncomfortable with this idea of a "libertarian center." It implies the left and right in this country are equally bad, and we libertarians should position ourselves somewhere between them. However, that ignores how truly extreme the right has gotten over the past couple decades.

    Consider the American political landscape in 2018.

    The right: Supports a white nationalist immigration policy that, as Shikha Dalmia has noted, is comparable to fugitive slave laws. Restricts abortion access in an effort to transform this country into The Handmaid's Tale. Believes science-denying nonsense, such as gender being determined by chromosomes and anatomy.

    The left: Disagrees with libertarians on minor issues like the minimum wage and billionaire tax rates.

    Who would want to occupy the "center" when libertarians have much more in common with the left? The progressive / libertarian alliance is the best way forward for our movement. We don't need to ally with "centrists" like Jeff Flake. On the Kavanaugh nomination and other important issues, we're closer to Senators like Harris, Feinstein, Warren, and Gillibrand.

  • Eddy||

    Uncanny.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Ummmmm, Drumpf is the issue here.

    I wasn't alive for Ronald Reagan's presidency, but I learned in college the Republican Party has moved WAY to the right since those days. Maybe once upon a time it was true that Democrats and Republicans were equally bad from a libertarian POV. But now? Orange Hitler has taken control of the party and given us libertarians no choice but to align with Democrats.

  • Fancylad||

    but I learned in college the Republican Party has moved WAY to the right since those days.
    No it hasn't, in fact it's moved left.
    The clerisy and the Democrats however, have moved into a weird radical authoritarian, racialist, misandrist, emotional scientismist, anti-Western, aristocratic mindset, that wasn't even really present in the extreme fringes of the left thirty-five years ago.

    Your professor is a lying demagogue, and you've been drinking his kool-aide like a naive simp.

  • Michael P||

    What you learned in college was wrong. In the 1990s, even Democrats outlawed gay marriage at the federal level. Now, even Republicans are mostly in favor of it. The same kind of pattern holds on an awful lot of topics.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Nah . . . most Republicans are still bigots who hate gays -- because old-timey superstition and the results of childhood indoctrination among the gullible -- but pretend to be tolerant because they recognize the culture war is lost.

  • TuIpa||

    Why do you bother running sockpuppets when you're not smart enough to change your writing style and avoid detection?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Why are you so gullible and disaffected? Backwater religious schooling? Economic inadequacy?
    Homeschooling involving substandard parents? Decades of anti-social insularity? Resentment of modern, accomplished, educated people?

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Arthur L. Hicklib speaks from experience as a life-long self-loathing hayseed.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    He's also a high school dropout. And his dick doesn't work, just like Carlos Mencia.

  • Mencken Sense||

    You hit this one out of the park, OBL.

  • SIV||

    It's A+ all the way. OBL won me over a long time ago with "Reason-contributor Noah Berlatsky"

  • Red Tony||

    Let's be honest: there is absolutely nothing incorrect about this Hihnpost.

    Usually Hihnposts are full of shit, but this is absolutely true.

    Hihn and the voices in his head have been saying this for fifty years, and they're certainly both loud and repetitive.

    (Logical? No. But loud and repetitive, yes.)

  • John Galt Jr||

    Libertarians are neither left or right, Sluggo

    Fiscally conservative and socially liberal fits neither.
    But thanks for sharing your feeeeeeelings

  • TuIpa||

    Cry more shreek.

  • John Galt Jr||

    Libertarians are neither left or right, Sluggo
    Fiscally conservative and socially liberal fits neither.

    duh

  • TuIpa||

    As is always the case, Hihn shows up with multiple sockpuppets, and still needs to fuck off.

  • vek||

    Don't worry OpenBordersLiberal-tarian, when the Right Wing Death Squads get started up I'll make sure to let them know you were a parody troll account, and not serious... Because anybody who seriously believed what you write, which is sadly many millions of people, DEFINITELY would deserve to get thrown in a camp. LOL

  • Paloma||

    Can you name me one Republican senator or representative who has come out in favor of restricting abortion access? MOST countries, including leftist ones, restrict abortion to some degree. That doesn't turn them into the fantasy of The Handmaid's Tale.

    And gender is a grammatical term, so it can be determined by whatever criteria linguists want to use.

  • MJBinAL||

    Actually, most of the EU, INCLUDING THE NORDIC NATIONS, have more restrictive abortion regulation that the United States does,

    Most of the absurdity of the abortion discussions revolve around Roe v, Wade. In truth, Roe v. Wade was, and is, horrible law. It found a new right without any consistent basis behind it. The extension of privacy to a woman controlling her body ONLY WITH REGARD TO HER WOMB, never made sense.

    If such a coherent right exists, it would need to include her entire body, and t would extend to both men and women. The consequences of such a ruling would have been extensive. Examples include:

    It is currently not legal to donate a kidney to your neighbor, let alone sell it to him. (if you donate it, the donation board gives it to whoever they consider most needy, not who you want to have it)

    Prostitution would be legal, as the bodies of all participants are covered under personal privacy.

    The list could go on for days. Certainly the court was not about to start protecting freedom like THAT, so they carved out a new special "right" just for women. Bad Law, poor logic, and horrible policy in the long view.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    That space inhabited by people who recoil instinctively from bloody-knuckled partisanship and the collectivist demonization it requires, who lament the erosion of democratic norms and the delegitimization of mediating institutions.

    If there is one thing that the vast majority of libertarians ought to agree upon, it ought to be a commitment to treat people like individuals, instead of a collective blob.

    I see this as one big reason WHY liberty is so important. Because real people cannot be reduced to some one-dimensional caricature and so should not be treated by anyone, let alone by the state, as if they are. So the best option is to recognize the liberty of all people to live their lives as they see fit (consistent with the NAP of course) and for the state to butt out of trying to collectivize people.

    I'll be the first to admit that I'm not perfect on this score either, but at least I recognize it is something to aspire to.

  • Sevo||

    Sarah Palin's Buttplug|9.29.18 @ 11:03PM|#
    "Our rights are derived from Gawd/Jeeby. If you are not a Christian you don't have said rights. That is straight from the Federalist Society hymnbook."

    Fucking lefty ignoramus pipes up to prove it again. No one made any such claim and that coke is not doing you any favors.
    Fuck off, turd.

  • Fancylad||

    Federalist Society hymnbook
    Is it anything like your Rules for Radicals?

  • John Galt Jr||

    They have identical value. Both evil bastards,
    Left - Right = Zero

  • TuIpa||

    And here you see Hihn is so pathetically obsessed that he cannot avoid giving himself away, despite going to the trouble of running multiple sockpuppets.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano's IQ = Zero

  • Sevo||

    chemjeff radical individualist|9.29.18 @ 10:58PM|#
    "That space inhabited by people who recoil instinctively from bloody-knuckled partisanship and the collectivist demonization it requires, who lament the erosion of democratic norms and the delegitimization of mediating institutions."
    -------
    "If there is one thing that the vast majority of libertarians ought to agree upon, it ought to be a commitment to treat people like individuals, instead of a collective blob.
    I see this as one big reason WHY liberty is so important. Because real people cannot be reduced to some one-dimensional caricature and so should not be treated by anyone, let alone by the state, as if they are. So the best option is to recognize the liberty of all people to live their lives as they see fit (consistent with the NAP of course) and for the state to butt out of trying to collectivize people.
    I'll be the first to admit that I'm not perfect on this score either, but at least I recognize it is something to aspire to."

    And that relates to the article how? And WIH does it mean?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    You mean not "believe all women?" How about the vast majority of libertarians agreeing on due process and the burden is on the accuser? Yes or no?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    You mean not "believe all women?"

    Of course not. Women, just like men, are capable of being wrong.

    How about the vast majority of libertarians agreeing on due process and the burden is on the accuser? Yes or no?

    No, and here's why. Suppose I invite you to my house, and later, you start acting like a jerk. Do I have the right to throw you off my property? Yes or no? Do I have the right to do so even without affording you any due process protections whatsoever (consistent with the NAP)? Do I have the right to do so even if I don't meet any sort of rational burden to prove you are acting like a jerk?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Except that you literally have evidence of me acting like a jerk in that case. Are you really this obtuse?

    Here's the real example: someone tells you that I was at their house and molested their wife and names 3 other ppl there, none of whom can substatiate the story. Is it reasonable to believe the accuser?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Except that you literally have evidence of me acting like a jerk in that case.

    I do? In my example, it's only my subjective opinion that you were acting like a jerk. Should I have the right to throw you off my property even on this flimsy evidence? Should I have the right to throw you off my property even if witnesses disagree that you were acting like a jerk? Should I have the right to throw you off my property even if I don't give you a chance to respond to the accusations of being a jerk?

    The answer is of course "yes" to all those questions. This is why "due process" and "burden on the accuser" aren't universal. Those concepts only apply to more formal, legalistic settings. And trying to apply them to every single interaction undermines private property rights.

    Here's the real example: someone tells you that I was at their house and molested their wife and names 3 other ppl there, none of whom can substatiate the story. Is it reasonable to believe the accuser?

    That depends. In your example, am I on a jury deciding your fate in a criminal trial?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    I do? In my example, it's only my subjective opinion that you were acting like a jerk. Should I have the right to throw you off my property even on this flimsy evidence?

    You can explain how that subjective opinion isn't emotional, right?

    That depends. In your example, am I on a jury deciding your fate in a criminal trial?

    Does that change the facts or not?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    You can explain how that subjective opinion isn't emotional, right?

    Perhaps it is emotional, perhaps it is coolly rational. Either way, I can do as I please with my property, correct? I don't have to grant you any due process protections whatsoever (consistent with the NAP) in deciding to throw you off my land, correct?

    The libertarian position shouldn't be to demand that everyone act like rational Vulcans in their actions. The libertarian position should be to acknowledge people for who they are - emotional, rational, subjective, all at the same time - and respect their liberty to do as they please even if we don't like the result, even if we think they "ought" to act some other way.

    Does that change the facts or not?

    It changes the standard by which I may choose to judge you.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Well at least ypu finally admitted you're only making an emotional appeal and not based on the facts.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Well at least ypu finally admitted you're only making an emotional appeal and not based on the facts.

    Should I be required to make every decision on Vulcan-like levels of logic and reason?

    If I want to throw you off my property, should I be permitted to do so based on purely emotional and subjective reasons? Yes or no?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    You make any decision you want based on your feelz, you just don't get to claim that there's any basis for that decision other than your emotions.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    How about if I make a decision that is not based on "pure feelz", but is instead simply based on a different standard than one that you would choose? Is that acceptable to you?

    Because you keep wanting to claim that the only "correct" decision is the one in which Kavanaugh is an innocent choir boy, and everybody else is just emoting on "feelz". When in reality, different people are using different standards - some more rigorous than others - and my point is that the very high standard you are demanding that everyone else use in judging Kavanaugh is not some universal standard that ought to be applied to everyone in every case.

  • BigT||

    So vague, ancient, unprovable, unsupported, contradicted, allegations are enough to derail a 30+ year record of honest jurisprudence? That's some standard you got there.

  • MJBinAL||

    Your example, involves someone on your property. You have the right, to make someone leave your property, for any reason you choose. Due process is not required because it is your private property.

    Since you have personal property rights, your example does not relate to the conversation and does not substantiate the point you are trying to make.

  • Sevo||

    "But it took a haunted-looking Flake, reportedly operating on zero sleep, normally handsome face puffed up with five extra pounds of frown, to make that reasonable and de-escalatory framework a reality. The libertarian wing of the temperamental center delivered a result that at least temporarily forestalled the worst of American smash-mouth politics."

    What a pile of bullshit. Poor guy; stayed up all night trying to find the best way to be king-maker!
    We can discuss libertarian issues all day long, but Flake's waffling on Kavanaugh ain't one of those. Welsh makes no claim otherwise, other than some pathetic innuendo that bi-partisanship is preferable to opposition.
    Flake caved on an appeal to emotion, on a purely partisan matter, the slimy POS. And if we end up with RGB II as a result, I'll be watching here for the apologia. From Welsh.
    And also, if so, we all know where to send our heart-felt "FUCK YOU" letters, cc Welsh.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    My cat is more libertarian that your LBJ-fellating self.

  • Red Tony||

    Really? I thought you would've loved the War on Poverty, seeing as it encompassed massive enlargement of the welfare state and government controlling the masses in one fell swoop–everything you desire in one package!

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Which is why you were such a Barrycare shill.

  • Eddy||

    I don't think Darwin's ideas were normative.

    If people have enough votes which they can exchange for gifts from the federal treasury, they are strong - politically strong.

  • Sevo||

    Sarah Palin's Buttplug|9.29.18 @ 11:27PM|#
    "I am a Darwinist. Only the strong survive."

    I was hoping a couple of weeks ago that your lack of posts meant you died; sorry you haven't.
    You're a fucking ignoramus who has no idea what those words you post mean.
    You and Clinton ought to get together over some strychnine to discuss that "is" means; the world would be better off.
    Fuck off, turd.

  • Sevo||

    Sarah Palin's Buttplug|9.29.18 @ 11:59PM|#
    "Sevo, I understand that you were gang-raped in the ass by a couple dozen Turkish freighters. Thus your hostility is forgiven."

    Turd, I understand you tried to fuck your daddy many times and he didn't let you. And if he had, you might have overcome some of your daddy issues and been less of a fucking lefty ignoramus. Perhaps.
    What a pathetic piece of shit. If you have a dog, it's odds on the dog hates you.
    Ever pay off your bet, asshole?

  • newshutz||

    Sarah Palin's Buttplug said, "nothing worth reading".

    SPBP changed his handle over ten years ago and he is still going strong blowing smoke and lies. What drives a person to continue to be scorned for so long?

  • MJBinAL||

    Hmm, aren't you fortunate that libertarians are fond of the NAP and the rest of the country is more or less law abiding and don't just shoot losers.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    He gave us the welfare state that you love. Just admit that you've got his image on a dozen body pillows.

  • Sevo||

    Sarah Palin's Buttplug|9.29.18 @ 11:12PM|#
    "Matt Welch is far more libertarian than you uptight Jesse Helms stick-up-the-ass self, Sevo."

    As if you had any idea what the word meant, turd.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Is this the same center that kept Obamacare? The same center that compromised on the budget? The same center that makes its decisions based on feelz and not facts? That center?

    Nothing says libertarian like emotion over reason. Nothing says libertarian like abandoning bedrock principles for the raw emotion of the mob.

    while also underlining that corroborating evidence was practically non-existent (in part because the committee inexplicably ruled out subpoenaing alleged witness Mark Judge).

    "Practically?" Now you are just flat out lying. There is none. None. The July 1 party? The one including Garrett whom she was dating but somehow failed to mention? The other supposed witnesses, none of which can corroborate any of her story? And Judge submitted a sworn statement to the committee already. Care to explain why you are so certain that in person testimony would change that? Based on exactly what corroboration?

    And Amy Klobuchar absolutely beclowned herself. Ask her what she's doing about Keith Ellison. For that matter ask yourself. There's a sudden lack of pearls to be clutched.

    Save your fainting spells. You abandoned your principles (if you ever had any) long ago. The mask is never going to fit again.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    So who are the "real libertarians" then, Skippy? Trump? Richard Spencer? Who?

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Massie, Amash, usually Paul.

    That's about it.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Certainly not those like you who make decisions completely on emotion. Because this is just someone behaving badly at a party and asked to leave. This is just a job interview. It's only an allegation of sexual assault with no evidence, but her voice cracked and he was angry. And he's an elite, preppy asshole who deserves it anyway, right? Anyway who disagrees must be a white supremacist says the guy who laments that we shouldn't collectivize people. Yeah, that rings true.

    But perhaps you can explain the sudden rehabilitation of the warmonger bill kristol. Sure, he's anti-libertarian but he's in the "tempermental center" with all of the right-thinking people.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    You are the one emoting on the issue, not me. I haven't called anyone a white supremacist for disagreeing with Ford, and I haven't said anything positive about Bill Kristol at all. You are upset and unhinged.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    I haven't called anyone a white supremacist for disagreeing with Ford,

    That's rich.

    So who are the "real libertarians" then, Skippy? Trump? Richard Spencer? Who?
  • TuIpa||

    Chemjeff is a disingenuous lying piece of trash and you legitimize him by bothering to address him.

    He will not argue in good faith and whem cornered with the fact that his position is wrong, will use literally any fallacy or excuse to avpid admitting it.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I speak of him like he's a retarded child. Still better than he deserves.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Little Jeffy, you've certainly called other posters here racist for disagreeing with you in the past. So cut the shit.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    And you haven't answered the question.

    Who are the "real libertarians" in your view?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Apparently you think it is OK to destroy a man's life based on an accusation with no evidence. I've already told you that the real libertarian position is that you need evidence to support such an accusation. And your reply is some meandering hypothetical of someone "acting like a jerk" which is "subjective." Is sexual assault "subjective" too, because that's the false equivalency you're trying to establish

    But since you need a name (apparently because you can't understand the notion of a principle), here's one: Ilya Shapiro:

    That brings us to a hearing that revealed no new evidence but failed to overcome the presumption of innocence that anyone in Kavanaugh's shoes must have. Not because his accusers must present proof beyond a reasonable doubt — this isn't a criminal trial — but because a he-said/she-said situation, when compounded by bad faith and a media circus, inures to the accused.
    ...
    But any senator who votes against Brett Kavanaugh because of Dr. Ford's allegations—let alone the ridiculous ones that have emerged lately—brings shame on his or her office.
  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Would this be the pro-gay-marriage, pro-open-borders Ilya Shapiro? Huh.

    Something tells me you are invoking his name out of convenience. He supports you in the current outrage of the day, so he is a "true libertarian". But when the next immigration outrage strikes and Mr. Shapiro argues against your point of view, he will be then a libertarian apostate.

    But hey, if you've come around to the gay marriage and open borders point of view, then good for you!

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Youjust literally proved my point. You worshipped Shapiro when he agreed with you and now you dismiss his arguments because... feelz. Talk about convenience.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I don't worship anyone. I agree with him when I find his arguments convincing. I disagree with him when I don't. *I* wasn't the one who held him up as some model libertarian. *You* are the one who invoked his name very conveniently as the "true libertarian" even though he disagrees with you on many other issues of libertarian interest.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    And since you think flake is libertarian now, it's good to know that you now approve of the tax cuts and defense spending.

    But what's really rich is that you were the one demanding a name of a true libertarian while I was arguing it is the principle that matters, only to have you recant when I supply aname and argue that it's the principle that matters. Can yoi be any more disingenuous?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    And since you think flake is libertarian now

    I never said that. Funny how you are always putting words into my mouth.

    "BUT YOU DO IT TOOOOO!!!!!" is the Skippy rejoinder, I suppose. As if that excuses everything.

    And I also never said principles didn't matter. I asked for someone whom you would consider a "true libertarian". Because quite frankly all I ever see you do in these forums is whine and complain and bitch and moan. You love to complain about everyone and everything. So the intent of my question was to ask if there was someone whom you would consider at least someone worth respecting, instead of someone only worthy of your complaints. And I think you gave an answer of convenience only, because Mr. Shapiro's views on other issues seem to contradict yours.

    What I actually would like to know the answer to, from you and others who just come here and complain about Reason's version of libertarianism, is what you would like to see as an alternative. Instead all I see are endless bitchfests. It gets tiresome.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Again, you were the one demanding a name.

    This is LITERALLY what I posted:

    But since you need a name (apparently because you can't understand the notion of a principle), here's one: Ilya Shapiro

    And then you come back with this dishonest "true scottsman" bullshit? I begin to understand why you have no compunctions destroying a man's life with no evidence.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I asked for the "True Scotsman Bullshit" right from the start! I was very up front about it! And you took that as yet another opportunity to whine and complain.

    But you don't like me asking for names? Fine. How about giving, say, a list of principles that you think every libertarian ought to adhere to, universally, under all cases. Would that be more acceptable to you? Or are you just going to whine and complain about that too?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Well at least you admit your own bullshit. I'm not whining about it. I was pointing out that instead of arguing principle you went straight to personality and kept harping on that point instead of sticking to the principle.

    True or false, defamation is real?

    True or false, the democrats acted in incedibly bad faith? Or do you want to stick with both sides withheld the accusation, both sides refused to participate in the staff investigation that kavanaugh agreed to immediately?

    And now you want some clinic on every trait of a libertarian? I can see why you want to change the subject.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Oh my dear lord. Virtually every comment from you is some sort of whine. Reason sucks, Reason libertarianism is phony, you're not real libertarians, you have no principles, you all have TDS, blah blah blah. When are you going to stick your neck out a little bit and actually say what you stand FOR? Oh wait you won't do that because then that would invite criticism of your own views. Much easier to just sit back and throw grenades at everyone else.

    I don't think you have any true, universal guiding principles of your own. You just enjoy criticizing the views of others much more.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    And yes you are the one who has gone full on emotional on this issue. You think not getting a job promotion is the same as "destroying a man's life" because you are now peddling in hyperbolic outrage. You aren't even reading or engaging with my argument. No, sexual assault is not the same as "acting like a jerk", but I would expect someone who isn't responding to my argument in good faith to make that claim.

  • TuIpa||

    "You think not getting a job promotion is the same as "destroying a man's life" "

    No you fucking imbecile, he was smeared as a rapist in public.

    How fucking stupid are you? His fucking family is getting deatj threats, but you're so invested in your stupid fucking position, you ignore what is actually happening because of how stupid you'd look if you admitted any of it.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Isn't it just awful when certain people abuse their free speech liberties to make unfounded accusations against people?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    This from the guy who faints every time trump tweets.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Jeffy is pretty fuckimg stupid.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I've already told you that the real libertarian position is that you need evidence to support such an accusation.

    And as I've already told you - that very much depends on the circumstances of the situation.

    If your view is that I need to have evidence to support an accusation against a public figure, then who should enforce this "need" requirement? If I want to call Obama or Trump or any other politician a lying cheating weasel, do I "need" evidence of lies or cheating before saying so? If not, then why do I "need" such evidence before making accusations against Kavanaugh?

    Now if your argument is that dialogue is best served if participants used evidence-based, fact-based reasoned arguments in advancing their positions, then I agree with you. That would be the ideal. But I also recognize that people are free to act however they wish, even in ways that I would personally disapprove of.

    I don't like how this very flimsy accusation has been used so cynically in this entire SCOTUS confirmation process. But I also don't see how these types of accusations could be prevented without harming the liberties of those wishing to make those accusations. People are free to say mean nasty things after all.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    People are free to say mean nasty things after all.

    So we can expect no more whining about trump tweets? Good to know.

  • Paloma||

    Most of those who vote against Brett Kavanaugh would have done so anyway. Ford's accusations simply give them a good excuse to pretend it wasn't partisan. And also to attack anyone who still does vote for Kavanaugh as heartless women haters who let a rapist take office.

  • MJBinAL||

    He did answer Jeffy. Try reading again.

  • vek||

    When I read that line about Kristol being in this amazing center position my jaw about dropped. One of the worst neo-con pieces of shit EVER.

    This magazine has lost its shit over Trump. Especially considering he is governing as one of the most libertarian presidents in many decades, as sad as that may be. I mean who else actually rolled back regulations? Is fighting international agreements that take away national sovereignty? Or many other things. I disagree with how he goes about a lot of stuff, and much he says, but the stuff he's actually done has been better than any presidents in a long time.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Yes, because scapegoating foreigners and dehumanizing vast numbers of people is oh so libertarian.

  • TuIpa||

    How the fuck would you know fake libertarian?

    Here's why you're a garbage poster. Instead of making the libertarian case for your point, you literally retreat to tweendom, and like a child fire off

    "Yes, because scapegoating foreigners and dehumanizing vast numbers of people is oh so libertarian."

    You literally resorted to childish teenage girl sarcasm, forward ZERO arguments in your favor, then strut around like you won something.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Someone posting under the sock of Tulpa has no business lecturing anyone else on being a "garbage poster".

  • TuIpa||

    Weird, if you weren't so fucking stupid you'd realize that ypur implication would actually mean I am UNIQUELY QUALIFIED to lecture you about beimg the garbage poster you are.

    You even suck at attempted insult, and I am extremely happy you got upset because you realize you're a garbage poster.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    You know, Tulpa, we were having a relatively decent conversation until you decide to come here and blow it all up. And then you call people names in order to stroke your own sad pathetic ego. You are the reason social media bubbles exist in the first place, with people filtering out garbage like you.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Jeffy, you're a garbage poster. I've explained this to you before.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    But it's ok to dehumanize specific people whose opinions we don't like. We don't need to argue the point when we can instead call them rapists. It was bad when trump did it, but it's ok when a scotus appt is at stake and the dems do it.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Good Lord, Skippy. I have never called Kavanaugh a rapist, I have said repeatedly over and over again that I don't think he did what Ford claims that he did. How many more times do you want me to say it?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    But it's ok for his reputation to be destroyed in this manner, right? It's, like, getting kicked out of a party or something.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    It is not "ok" for anyone's reputation to be destroyed by a false accusation.

    It is also not "ok' to demand every single accusation in every single situation should be held to standards of evidence that would only apply in a court of law.

    Get it?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Do you?

    But enough pigeon chess for today. You get the last non sequitur.

  • MJBinAL||

    You really need to READ and do your best to comprehend what is said.onsidering

    "he is governing as one of the most libertarian presidents in many decades, as sad as that may be. I mean who else actually rolled back regulations?"

    You see, he is not suggesting that Trump IS libertarian, just that on balance he has been doing more libertarian things than any recent President. And that is without question, true. Does that mean he is primarily libertarian? I don't think so, but that does not invalidate the point vek make.

  • vek||

    MJBinAL, yep. I'm more of a Ron Paul/Thomas Jefferson kinda guy, but Trump has done better than any of the tools that have actually been in office lately.

    And Jeff,

    "Yes, because scapegoating foreigners and dehumanizing vast numbers of people is oh so libertarian."

    What is un-libertarian about that IF IT'S TRUE? If a certain group in fact creates a disproportionate amount of problems in a society, is that still scapegoating? Or is that knowing how to read statistics? Look up FBI murder rates. Hispanics are represented at a little over double their percentage of the population in most years. Whites are represented at less than 1/4 their percentage of the population in murders... Or were you talking about Muslims? The ones responsible who commit acts of terrorism at something like 10,000 times the rate of any other Americans?

    You're afraid to call a spade a spade. Facts aren't always favorable, deal with it. I'm part Mexican for fucks sake! But Hispanic immigration in this country has been a disaster, BECAUSE we've mostly been getting nothing but the bottom of the barrel. It's not even an even cross slice of the population, just low skilled.

    If a part beaner can accept this shit, a presumably lily white shit lib like you should be able to.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    Ron Paul/Thomas Jefferson kinda guy,

    They are almost exact opposites. If Jefferson were alive today, he would not lie so blatantly about the Constitution.

    He would know the 9th Amendment is a STRICT limit on the 10th.

    He would NEVER brag of sponsoring a bill that would have forbidden SCOTUS from even hearing any challenge to DOMA ... making homoseuals the first Ameericans denied the right to defend their Constitutional rights since ... slavery. Shameful

    He would NEVER say anything as stupid as "rogue judges overturned DOMA." He was not crazy enough to reject balance of power, with checks and balances between 3 co-EQUAL branches. And never -- ever -- said that states can have powers never delegated, because the Constitution left us totally defenseless against state governments.

    And Jefferson would know the difference between federalism and the states rights promoted by the KKK and southern racists.

    TOTAL opposites.

  • SIV||

    (This is one of many reasons why, even though there are many of libertarians who can be found in the temperamental center, there are a lot of other, more anarchistic libertarians who positively hate that place and the people associated with it.)

    Fuck your "democratic norms" and "mediating institutions", Welch.

    Carney, McArdle and Douthat all present the same deluded fantasy of what is actually going on, what an FBI investigation could achieve, and the possible "healing" that will follow .

    I especially liked the one where Mr and Mrs. Blasey remember that night they picked up their drunken daughter and admit they should have known something was wrong when they asked her "did you enjoy the gangbang Chrissy"? and she responded by ralphing in the backseat of the family Vista Cruiser.

  • Red Tony||

    It wasn't a rape, dumbass. It was consensual. And no, I don't remember every dick vividly, seeing as I was boozed up at the time. Although I didn't like bleeding out my ass for the next few days. Somebody was way too rough back there. And I had to get tested (came back clean, thankfully). But apart from that, good time, would recommend.

  • Red Tony||

    What the fuck are you talking about? Sevo's fine. You know, apart from the fact that he read about Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation in the papers soon after it happened.

  • Sevo||

    Sarah Palin's Buttplug|9.29.18 @ 11:36PM|#
    "Do we need to set up a GoFundMe for Sevo and his recovery?"

    Recovery from pointing out that a coke-addled lefty ignoramus is a coke-addled lefty ignoramus?
    Fuck off, turd. You probably don't even get to fuck your daddy anymore.

  • Sevo||

    Sarah Palin's Buttplug|9.29.18 @ 11:25PM|#
    "Sevo, when you were gang-raped in the ass did you remember every vividly?"

    You fucking scumbag, do you ever post anything that isn's at least dishonest and most often a lie?
    Fuck off, you pathetic excuse for humanity.

  • Red Tony||

    Honestly, I'm pretty pissed that my parents never did this. Admittedly, that's because I didn't get involved in any gangbanging until after I moved out, but still, it would've been nice for them to at least offer.

  • Red Tony||

    The bad decisions aren't caused by the alcohol. They're caused by you. The magic was inside you all along.

  • Sevo||

    Sarah Palin's Buttplug|9.29.18 @ 11:37PM|#
    "SNL dammit! I must have blacked out from drinking."

    Please snort enough coke and drink enough to die. The world could use an improvement in intelligence, turd.

  • Red Tony||

    He can't afford cocaine. Instead, he just sniffs glue.

  • Sevo||

    "He can't afford cocaine. Instead, he just sniffs glue."
    I'll be more than happy to buy him a case, and if he needs it, squeeze the tubes up both his worn-out nostrils.

  • TuIpa||

    5 dollar handies don't get him as far as they used to.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I thought he was huffing paint.

  • Eddy||

    OK, we've had our fun, but this is the time to cultivate and flatter Flake and his fellow squishes.

    That should be fairly easy with Flake because he'll soon be gone from the Senate.

    Praise their moderation and sense of fairness, compliment them for serving as the conscience of their party, etc. I dunno, name some bridges after them or something?

    They want everyone to know they're bold mavericks, rising above politics. Humor this conceit so long as their votes are needed.

  • Eddy||

    Meanwhile, let the other side scream at them in elevators.

    And when Flake retires like Cincinnatus (if Cincinnatus did speaking tours and other gigs), then there will be time enough to breathe a sigh of relief.

  • Sevo||

    "Humor this conceit so long as their votes are needed."

    say "nice doggy" as you look for a rock?
    OK, I got your point. You don't throw the rock until you get the 'nice doggy' vote.
    THEN you throw the rock.

  • Eddy||

    Ah, even Sevo is feeling the love!

  • Sevo||

    And Flake is so modest in his king-making 'distress'...
    'I've labored so hard over this issue! I could have taken the easy way out...'
    Pace RMN.

  • MJBinAL||

    I guess the good news about the "Maverick Flake" is that unlike the "Maverick McCain", he didn't killj a bunch of his fellow airmen and destroy a carrier on his way to becoming a useless turd.

  • Agammamon||

    Flake might be a centrist, but he's not a libertarian.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Flake is more of an unprincipled opportunist than he is a centrist.

  • Jerryskids||

    I don't see how you can see that the Dems were acting in bad faith by sitting on this highly dubious accusation until the last minute just to throw a monkey wrench into the works and yet take their offer of "just one teensy-weensy one-week delay of the vote" at face value. The problem isn't that the investigation isn't going to change any votes, the problem is that the bogus investigation of a bogus accusation gives the Dems one more week to come up with even more bogus bogosity to argue for another delay in the vote, and another and another and another.

    But I suppose I'm being cynical by assuming that every shitweasel in DC is acting in bad faith and ought to be strung up by their intestines. Witness Dick Blumenthal snarling that Brett Kavanaugh on the bench is "your worst nightmare", seemingly forgetting that Literal Hitler is sitting in the Oval Office thanks to his good buddy Vlad stealing the election just in the hopes of triggering WWIII and exterminating all life on the planet. That was last month's worst nightmare I guess, and next month there will be some other worst nightmare we should be shitting our pants over.

  • John Galt Jr||

    The goobers are full of shit psychos, as always.

    They "sat on" the letter because Dr Ford refused to go public,
    If it hadn't been leaked we'd have never heard of her.
    But that doesn't create enough wacko hysteria for the Trumptards.

  • Michael P||

    Dems knew that an anonymous accusation wouldn't get any traction. Even after Feinstein's stage whisper, Dr. Ford did not seem like she was coming forward, so Dems leaked the letter to the press, and later lied about leaking it.

  • John Galt Jr||

    PROOF? Here's mine, Gomer (sneer)
    Kavanaugh committed perjury several times, repeating two lies..

    1) He claims he was legally allowed to drink beer, but his drinking was illegal. The drinking age in Maryland changed to 21, before he became a senior, and he was not 18 as a junior. Associated Press

    2) He also lied that the other four people at the party have "denied" the events. HE is the only one denying it. The others all said they could not remember it, BIG difference. Only one other student was in the room, Mark Judge, and even he did not deny it happened, only that he could not recall it. AP Fact Check

    Most notable to me, Kavanaugh twice REFUSED to answer if he was the out of control drunk depicted in Mark Judges book as "Bart O'Kavanaugh." (wink wink) Is that because he was under oath? (lol)

    Check my sources. If recent history on this topic is a guide, this will now be followed by the typical raging hatred and personal attacks by Trump's loyal cyber-bullies NEVER any SUPPORTED challenge to the known facts.

    Because: Left - Right = Zero
    Both authoritarian, less than 40% of Americans, and still shrinking..

    It's over Trumpsters. Deal with it.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    So?

  • TuIpa||

    Fuck off hinh

  • A Thinking Mind||

    I'm surprised there's not more talk here about those two ladies who ambushed him in the elevator to yell at him about how they were sexually assaulted, and every thing Kavanaugh does now will victimize them again. It's a cheap, bare-bones, appeal to emotion fallacy. "If you care about women, you can't believe Kavanaugh is telling the truth."

    Sure, these ladies are on the extremist side of the spectrum...except for so many media outlets breathlessly reporting how brave and powerful they were in their shouting tirade, trying to blame Jeff Flake for all the misplace pain they feel. I don't really like Jeff Flake, but I felt a great deal of sympathy for them since I wouldn't want to be the guy to say on TV, "Stop being a stereotypical hysterical female and get your ass in some therapy, in the meantime let me go home and get some sleep."

  • Sevo||

    Fuck off, Hihn.
    You have poisoned your 'brand'. Even it you ever had a valid point, no one here gives a shit.
    Just fuck off and die. The world will be a better place.
    In fact, if you are married, I'd bet your wife wishes you'd fuck off and die (this assumes she's more intelligent that you).

  • Red Tony||

    His wife was more intelligent than him. That's why they divorced.

  • TuIpa||

    I love this particular Sevo.

  • Generalissimo||

    So I guess you are voting No on Kavanaugh.

    Excellent, let's get to the vote and end this shit show.

  • JFree||

    Mark Judge is the only person in/near this whole thing that I respect. He may be a blackout drunk but at least he has the judgment to know that avoiding the whole vomitjello wrestling competition is probably a good idea.

  • Sevo||

    JFree|9.30.18 @ 1:01AM|#
    "Mark Judge is the only person in/near this whole thing that I respect. He may be a blackout drunk but at least he has the judgment to know that avoiding the whole vomitjello wrestling competition is probably a good idea."

    Oh, here's the bullshitter JFree again!
    Hey, JFree, please provide evidence for you bullshit:

    "JFree|9.23.18 @ 11:43AM|#
    HAHAHAHA. The propaganda spewing puppet voices his individual opinion.
    report spam

    Sevo|9.23.18 @ 3:15PM|#
    Only responding to the imbecile as the imbecile deserves.
    Tell me, you fucking ignoramus, when was the last time a KKKorpurashun demanded your information at gun-point?"
    Still checking back you fucking lying ignoramus. Put up or shut up.

  • John Galt Jr||

    How many sniveling cowards here? (so far)

    David Nolan|9.30.18 @ 12:38AM

    He has absolutely denied everything said against him .. including his heavy drinking ... but REFUSES to deny the ONLY published account of a blackout drunk ... named Bart O'Kavanaugh! WHY?

    There can be no other reason. He was under oath and feared a perjury trap.

    How many goobers can ignore so simple a quiestion. An in-con-veeeeeeeeeeeeeen-yent fact,

  • TuIpa||

    Fuck off other Hihn sockpuppet.

  • JFree||

    Thank you for remaining on hold. A customer service rep will be with you shortly.

  • Sevo||

    JFree|9.30.18 @ 3:36AM|#
    "Thank you for remaining on hold. A customer service rep will be with you shortly."

    Continue slinging bullshit. I'll continue to call you on it every time.
    Fucking lying ignoramus.

  • TuIpa||

    JFree is so fucking stupud, he bitched about a link not working for hours, kept getting told it WAS working, then CONTINUED TO BITCH about it after he realized he was wrong.

    "You should format your linls sp they work with my shitty primitive network" he moaned.

    No motherfucker, you should lesrn how to set up a fucking network to work with properly formatted links you fucking clown.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    How many sniveling cowards here? (so far)

    David Nolan|9.30.18 @ 12:38AM

    Kavanaugh was asked, twice, if he was Bart O'Kavanaugh. And he refused to answer. Twice.. WTF?

    The first time he locked his jaw and refused to say a word. The second time, he sneered, you should ask Mark Judge.WTF HOW - when Kavanaugh also refused to request a hearing to clear his own name.

    "You should ask Mark Judge ... but I don't want you to. And this two-faced SLIME could wind up on the Supreme Court? WTF?

    He has absolutely denied everything said against him .. including his heavy drinking ... but REFUSES to deny the ONLY published account of a blackout drunk ... named Bart O'Kavanaugh! WHY?

    There can be no other reason. He was under oath and feared a perjury trap.
    The stench of corruption is now overwhelming.
  • Get To Da Chippah||

    He has absolutely denied everything said against him .. including his heavy drinking ... but REFUSES to deny the ONLY published account of a blackout drunk ... named Bart O'Kavanaugh! WHY?

    Because he didn't write the book in which the name appears, idiot. How the fuck do you expect him to speak with the certainty needed while under oath to a question like that?

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    The absolute craziest Trumptard on the page? (sneer)

    How the fuck do you expect him to speak with the certainty needed while under oath to a question like that?

    If he didn't puke in the car and pass out ,,, AS HE SAID HE NEVER DID ... TWICE!!

    Also lied about the drinking age!

    Kavanaugh said, "Yes, there were parties. And the drinking age was 18. And yes, the seniors were legal" VIDEO PROOF

    The drinking age in Maryland changed to 21, before he became a senior, and he was not 18 as a junior. Associated Press

    Psycho liars defending a psycho liar (vomit)

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Notice how you didn't refute my answer, or the incontrovertible fact that you're an idiot? I sure noticed.

  • John Galt Jr||

    Get To Da Chippah|9.30.18 @ 4:57PM
    the incontrovertible fact that you're an idiot?

    I'll TRY to dumb it down ... and WILL prove you're a liar.

    I ridiculed your dumbass notion that he cannot deny "something" ij a book because he didn't write the book.

    AS DOCUMENTED. he was asked if he was "Bart O'Kavanaugh" -- described as a blackout drunken classmate who puked inside a car and passed out ... when he said under oath, twice, that he had never passed out

    VIDEO proof that you're full, of shit ... from those damn commies at .... Fox News! (sneer)
    http://video.foxnews.com/v/584.....show-clips

    Still confused, Goober?

    Bart O'Kavenaugh was a fictitious name ... according to BRETT KAVANAUGH! (sneer)
    So HE admits he was asked if he was the one who puked inside a car and passed out.
    NO MORE EVASION ... Why did Kavanaugh refuse to deny being a blackout drunk, on the only PROVEN event?

    You lost on the facts again ... so throw another infantile hissy fit.

    (sneer)

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano having a bitchfit again.

  • Sevo||

    Regardless of the lefty twits; the facts here are not hard to see:
    1) Any claim that Flake's waffling on Kavanaugh are in any way related to libertarian principles are in no way clear from Welsh's article. Nor are they even suggested such that those who lean toward a libertarian POV could see a connection.
    2) Flake seems to have decided being a king-maker role (with a dramatically long face) is best suited for his persona.
    3) Flake is a narcissistic asshole driven by a vid of two hags in an elevator.

  • Sevo||

    BTW, the image of Flake is just sooooo sympathetic! Look at that concern in his eyes! Look at that lack of sleep (we were told that). Look at that.......
    Pathetic desire to be king maker.
    Screw you, Flake

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Losing the culture war -- and even the dullards among conservatives are recognizing that they have lost to their betters in the contest to shape America -- has made a lot of faux libertarians especially cranky.

    If they're not careful, and become as unhinged as Brett Kavanaugh, with weepiness blurring their vision, they might slip up and attack Martha McSally for accusing a man of a long-ago rape.

  • TuIpa||

    "Losing the culture war"

    At least you finally accepted that you lost.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    How are clingers going to win?

    Are you going to return prayer to our good schools? Turn the clock back on racism, misogyny, gay-bashing, and the other forms of ignorance and intolerance? Put childish superstition back in science classes? Build a wall? Make attendance at country music festivals, revival meetings, NASCAR events, and backwater religious schools compulsory? Rescind graduate degrees? Stop our can't-keep-up backwaters from emptying? Ban hip-hop, rap, most movies, and essentially all comedy? Ban abortion, then contraception . . . then revive blasphemy prohibitions? Dismantle Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare . . . or prevent universal health care? Return America back to "good old days" that never existed? Force Americans to subsidize Israel's right-wing belligerence? Require black men to lower their gaze in the company of white women? End America's traditional welcome of immigrants? Ban Muslims? End school lunch programs?

    I expect the next large step of American progress to involve implementation of universal health care (which I hope is officially labeled Obamacare). What would be the first major step in conservatives' reversal of the tide in America's cultural struggle, after a half-century and more of progress?

  • JeremyR||

    Libertarians are not centrists. We are anti-government extremists. We want as small a government possible, both economic and socially. That is not centrism.

  • John Galt Jr||

    Umm, on the 2-dimensional scale used by most Americans ...with communism the extreme left and fascism the extreme right ... where would you place us?

    We are anti-government extremists.

    No, those are goobers ... NO CLUE how to create a free society. And no interest. Even Ayn Rand RIDICULED them

    "Always be pro-liberty. Never be anti-government."

    Liberty lovers focus on expanding individual liberty, which ALWAYS limits or reduces government (as secondary)

    Anti-gummint goobers focus on shrinking government, which does NOT always expand individual liberty. As PROVEN by Medicaid ,,, which goobers would repeal in defiance of free market!

    Prte-Medicaid, Americans willingly paid to provide health care to every uninsured, regardless of age or income, in thousands of charity hospitals financed by a variety of voluntary charities, foundations and fraternal organizations. That private infrastructure MUST be rebuilt, which REQUIRES a phased transition from government to the private sector.

    "Git gummint out" FAILS ... TOTALLY ... thus empowers progressives, thus treasonous.

    THINK. If Americans have always been willing to pay for universal treatment ... and progs are the ONLY ones CLAIMING to provide that ... who wins? duh

    DUMBFUCK REPUBLICANS refused the original BIPARTISAN Obamacare ... which would have killed single-payer forever. THEIR anti-gummint gooberism created the Obamacare we're stuck with. Fuck 'em.

  • Michael P||

    "Extreme left" and "extreme right" as endpoints is not a two-dimensional scale. Politics have way more than two dimensions, anyway, and libertarians are defined as being fair far in the "small/unintrusive government" direction.

  • SIV||

    "Fascism" is not on the extreme right in the American political context (Wilson and, especially FDR are the closest thing we've experienced to that. You could throw in LBJ and "W" Bush as well). Birchers, millitias, an-caps and reactionaries of various stripes are out there

  • John Galt Jr||

    Birchers, millitias, an-caps and reactionaries of various stripes are out there ON THE LEFT

  • Robert||

    Liberty lovers focus on expanding individual liberty, which ALWAYS limits or reduces government (as secondary)


    I can list any # of real or hypothetic policy choices where that wouldn't be true.

    Was it pro-liberty when US states in the 20th C. insituted state lotteries? They increased gov't (new offices, more hires), but they allowed people to gamble legally where they couldn't previously. Same w states repealing their liquor prohib'ns to institute state stores: monopoly replacing zeropoly.

  • TuIpa||

    See, now that is classic, Hihn uses one of his sockpuppets to respond to another of his sockpuppets.

    The insane man has literally created multiple personalities to talk to himself because he is so terrible that he got banned and no one will talk to the real Hihn.

  • John Galt Jr||

    I'm not a Hihn (whatever than means).

    Robert disagreed with me, strongly (lol)
    Does TULPA think state lotteries are coercive? (sneer)

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano now blatantly lying.

  • John Galt Jr||

    Robert, like most right-wingers -- and/or anti-gummint goobers I mentioned -- -confuses government size with government power.

    Pay aftention. I'll TRY to du,b it down to yopur levek.

    Libertarians -- and Objectivists -- agree that ALLOWING VOLUNTARY TRANSACTIONS = liberty!!!
    Like paying for highways OR ANYTHING with user fees. Ta-Da!

    Likewise, the buildings and overhead you mention are paid from VOLUNTARY TRANSACTIONS ... NOT TAXES.

    You do understand, right, that nobody forces you to buy a lottery ticket? It's a free and voluntary exchange.

  • MJBinAL||

    Wow, are you stupid.

  • TuIpa||

    Fuck off Hihn.

  • Allutz||

    I could have agreed about the existence of a "temperamental center" in theory, but the people you included in it are not that. Kristol, Flake, Kasich, McCain, these are not men of even temperaments that despise partisan bickering, they are political narcissists; moths to the flames of attention and self importance.

    You know who is actually a moderate both politically and temperamentally? Susan Collins. And do you know what she does most the time? She respectfully takes her disagreements to Schumer and McConnell (usually in private first), then sticks to her choice. And this is a respectable way of carrying out moderation (even when I don't like the results). What is not respectable is treating every mildly difficult question like Brett Favre deciding on retirement. Flake, Kasich, and McCain all revel(ed) in the reporters flocking out to Hattiesburg to see which way the wind is blowing on any issue, and they equally revel(ed) in the reporters fawning coverage when they make the "principled" (which is usually the opposite of such) decision.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Flake will be an *open* democrat by 2020.

    Much like McCain and his Obamacare repeal no vote, this is Flake's farewell FU to the Right.

  • John Galt Jr||

    Why are you people so bat-shit crazy?
    Anyone who doesn't conform to all your diktats MUST be a ... proggie or Democrat.
    (sneer)

  • TuIpa||

    Fuck off Hihn

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Why do you figure Sen. Flake would abandon the right?

    Did he graduate from a good university or something? Does he live in an educated, modern community? Does he not send his children to backwater religious schools?

  • TuIpa||

    I like that you know that you're so inconsequential to any political movement that you spend your time crying to people who do nothing but laugh at you.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    My preferences prevail in America. Yours are disregarded and, increasingly, mocked.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    An unbridled investigation could lead to the Bureau to quickly determine there's no thread to pick up and therefor no way forward, or they could drag it out interminably, milking the investigation (or kicking the political can as long as possible), so the one-week cap was both a good move and the doom of its credibility.

    Really, the only downside to the investigation at this point is that it rewarded sleazy political maneuvering. Always beware the man with one foot out the door.

  • MatthewSlyfield||


    You may not like how this came in at the last minute—I would have liked to know about it earlier, too, but I didn't. The question is, what do you do when it happens?"

    First you ask why it happened. If it happened because someone was aware of it months ago and sat on it but then brought it up at the last minute for partisan impact you dismiss it, because giving in to blackmail only encourages more blackmail.


    while also underlining that corroborating evidence was practically non-existent (in part because the committee inexplicably ruled out subpoenaing alleged witness Mark Judge).

    No, corroborating evidence was completely non-existent.

    While they didn't call Judge for oral testimony, he did submit a sworn written statement. As did the other two people Ford named as having been at the alleged party where the gang rape allegedly occurred. All three written statements denied any knowledge of any party where they, Kavanaugh and Ford were all present at the same time.

    There was no point in calling any of these witnesses to testify.

    There is no point in the FBI investigating this allegation. No date, no location, all named witnesses deny the existence of the party. The FBI could spend the next 30 years investigating this, there is zero probability of any result other than "inconclusive".

  • Robert||

    Sorry, Mr. Welch: You're seeing something that's not there.

  • TuIpa||

    Sorry Mr Hihn, you think you're fooling people and you aren't smart enough to pull it off.

    Hihn + a pile of dogshit = 2 piles of dogshit.

  • Juggernaut||

    I think the central questions involve knowable facts and I think people go out of their way to avoid confronting the facts. Take Mark Judge as an example. According to Judge's own words he could very well have abused women while drunk. He thinks Jim Crow was a time when people were well mannered. It's a scandal that Kavanaugh is friends with Judge even if you subtract the allegations against Kavanaugh.

    There are Kavanaugh's Yale classmates with personal knowledge who claim Kavanaugh was lying about his drinking during the Senate inquiry. These are the only people who could know the truth of this and they say Kavanaugh is a liar. None of us have that type of knowledge.

    It's entirely appropriate to give more weight to Ford's testimony and to distrust Kavanaugh's testimony. Ford answered the questions. Kavanaugh was evasive and dishonest. If you were on a jury you would have ever basis to decide against Kavanaugh after that testimony.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    "He thinks Jim Crow was a time when people were well mannered."

    What's wrong with that? Do you think that literally the only thing that's changed since Jim Crow is that blacks can eat at lunch counters? Or that every single metric has improved?

    "Ford answered the questions. Kavanaugh was evasive and dishonest."

    That's hilarious. Are we talking about the same frequent flier who claimed she couldn't make it Monday because she was afraid of flying?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    What's wrong with that? Perhaps it's because he's using Jim Crow as his historical marker for good manners?

    I love how the Kavanaugh defenders have moved from giving Kavanaugh the benefit of the doubt, and are now on to giving all of Kavanaugh's friends and defenders the benefit of the doubt too.

  • TuIpa||

    I love how upset you are that your leftist buddies cost you this one.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Why not, his accusers all between them have squat for evidence or corroboration.

  • Tony||

    Except their own testimony. Does it come as a surprise to you that rapists don't write their rapes into their calendars?

  • Get To Da Chippah||

  • Tony||

    Well, you're a despicable person.

  • MJBinAL||

    Looking in your mirror when you wrote that weren't you Tony? LOL

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Except their own testimony.

    Which is worthless when the people they name as corroborating witnesses all deny being there, or end up claiming that they just "heard about it" from others, who they also won't name.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Who needs evidence when you have feelz? The thing is it's ok to say you don't like the guy and don't want him on the bench. What's not OK is to destroy his life and reputation while openly weeping about trump being a big meanie.

  • Tony||

    Why is that not OK? Who says? Republicans, those exemplars of statesmanlike calm who would never unfairly attack their opponents?

    "But Obama really was born in Kenya!"

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Unsurprising that a fascist like you likes mob "justice."

  • Tony||

    Susan Collins choosing not to endorse a rapist for the supreme court isn't mob justice.

  • MJBinAL||

    It is wrong then Republicans do it also.

    BUT.....

    History on USSC appointments shows that Republicans approve appointments by Democratic presidents. There are no cases where Republicans launched the kinds of personal destruction against candidates that were launched against Bork, Thomas, and now Kavanaugh.

    The Republicans do lots of stuff I hate, but this particular type of nasty behavior seems to be and exclusive Democrat special.

  • TuIpa||

    Fuck off Rev.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I will enjoy watching your betters continue to piss all over your preferences with reason, tolerance, science, education, inclusivity, liberty, and social justice. A half-century of it hasn't been enough for me. You, I suspect, have had your fill.

    Tough.

  • John Galt Jr||

    ^^ This

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    A half-century of it hasn't been enough for me.

    No, but your fellow travelers becoming human windchimes just might.

  • MJBinAL||

    Ah, Rev, I have stepped over better than you sleeping it off on a street curb. If your intellect was as large as your ego, you would make Einstein look like a mental midget. Unfortunately, it appears that your ego is so large it has left no room left for intellect. Sad.

  • Ken Shultz||

    It's no surprise that the Republicans are playing politics with this--since that's what the Democrats are doing. They're trying to drag this out as close to the primaries as possible, either to delay Kavanaugh's confirmation until they can retake the senate and reject him and to make the midterms a referendum on rape (as well as Trump).

    Jeff Flake has been planning to challenge Trump for the nomination in 2020 for months, and anything he can do to differentiate himself from Trump is an accomplishment. After all, his ambitions surely go beyond 2020. He'll challenge for the nomination in 2024, too.

    The problem is that Flake is showing himself not to be a leader. He's screwing his fellow Republicans who were already leery of being on the wrong side of a referendum on Trump--and really don't want to run on the wrong side of defending what amounts to an entitled frat boy against sexual assault. The Republicans were likely to lose the House anyway. If they lose the senate now, senate Republicans will blame Flake, and so will the party donors who finance presidential campaigns.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    The real problem for Flake is that the reason he didn't seek reelection was that he'd become too unpopular in Arizona to risk the primary. Gore can tell you what being unpopular in your home state can do to your Presidential ambitions.

    Basically, any Republican who runs against Trump for the 2020 nomination is doing so just as a gesture, and a gesture that mostly appeals to Democrats. Barring some development such as Mueller actually finding a crime by Trump, the nomination is his for the asking, he's that popular among Republicans.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The real problem for Flake is that the reason he didn't seek reelection was that he'd become too unpopular in Arizona to risk the primary."

    If Trump had run against anyone but Hillary, that Democrat might have won. We shouldn't look at the fact that he beat Hillary to gauge the depth of his popularity. At the time Flake had to start making a decision about whether to do the donor circuit to make a challenge against Trump, Trump appeared more vulnerable than he is now.

    And, remember, whatever support Trump enjoys from the Republicans at the grass roots, the donors were all giving their money to someone else in 2016. That's why when Flake presents himself to donors in New Hampshire (which he's been doing since March), he tries to position himself as an establishment Republican. Cruz, Rubio, . . . those guys were Tea Party--anathema to the Republican establishment not so long ago.

  • Ken Shultz||

    So, I see two things going on. 1) Trump might be vulnerable to a challenger two years from now--especially if we go into a recession. 2) Being the establishment front runner as early as possible is a big advantage, and Flake has as much credibility on things like fiscal conservatism as anybody. This means that, on one hand, he wants to present himself as a legitimate challenger to Trump. I think he picked the wrong opportunity to do that. Drawing this investigation out is probably shooting the viability of candidacy in the foot.

    If the Republicans end up losing control of the senate, the donors (who are out there spending like crazy to keep Republicans in control of the senate) aren't going to forget it come 2020.

  • Ken Shultz||

    To me, this looks like that time Chris Christie kissed Barack Obama's ass on national television just a short time before the presidential election when Obama was running against Romney. Chris Christie gave Obama the kind of free publicity you can't buy--and the party faithful never forgot it. His political future in the Republican party was ruined by that, which is why he ended up attached to the Trump campaign with all the other deadender Republicans.

    Jeff Flake is like that now. The Democrats whole strategy is to delay the confirmation vote. Flake played into that to the detriment of his fellow Republicans, and that shows he doesn't have the leadership skills necessary to rally the party. If you want to lead the party and win the nomination, the last thing you want to be is the Republican who unnecessarily cost your party control of the senate.

  • Tony||

    Chris Christie suffering from a single moment of not punching a Democrat during a fucking natural disaster is what's wrong with politics, and that quasi-fascist hysterical demonization project wasn't created by Democrats.

  • Restoring the Dream||

    Sorry to be pedantic this early, but it's a peeve of mine: It's not congress and Senate, The Congress of the United States is the House of Representatives and the Senate. Both your representative and your senators are your congressmen. I hate it when people say "congress" when they mean House of Representatives.

    *Pedant rant ends*

  • Eddy||

    Isn't that ironic?

  • AlmightyJB||

    Lol.

  • vek||

    Say what you like about the individual choices he makes... Supposedly some people agree... IMO his actual choices are almost universally garbage too.

    But Flake is anything but a libertarian. He is just a squishy, principle free coward. He seems to blow whichever direction the wind is going.He squishes on fiscal stuff, like a garbage conservative. And he bows to the left on every nonsense outrage issue they stir up. But he isn't even coming at those social issues from a principled position like a purist libertarian might IMO, merely one of being to terrified of not looking good for the trendy (lefty) crowd.

    Supposedly he was okay back when he was in the House, I don't know a ton about his career back then. But the last several years every single time I can remember him voting against the R majority it was when the Rs were in the right. He then of course votes for all the worst things the Rs push too! What a great libertarian! LOL

    He's not like Rand Paul or Amash where they have good and sound principles they clearly go by. They vote ways I don't like sometimes too, but I just get the impression they're doing it for the right reasons, not out of being a pussy.

    This Flake fellating is a joke.

  • Rockabilly||

    I Woke and Reason turned into HuffNPuffToast.

  • Ken Shultz||

    If you're making fun of the Huffiana Post, you're not really woke yet.

    That's not the real test though. The real test is whether you hate yourself for all the things you did to various minorities before you were born.

    Soon after that, you'll start hating other people for not hating themselves, but one step at a time.

  • Rockabilly||

    Wha?

  • MJBinAL||

    LOL

    I love this!

  • ||

    At this point, we run the risk of diluting the term libertarian.

    It seems people of all ideological stripes are trying to ride whatever 'moment' libertarianism has by appropriating it.

    Hence you see people stupidly claim they're 'communist-libertarian' or 'socialist-libertarians' or 'centrist-libertarian' (whatever the heck that means) and so on. I've read people claim to be 'libertarian' but support free speech laws.

    None of these people are libertarian - at least to the extent I've come to understand (and appreciate) it.

    There should be a base line that which no self-described libertarian should ever waver on. Freedom of speech, the 2A, low taxes, private property, free markets are not to be compromised.

    So whenever I hear or read calls for a 'socialist- libertarian' alliance, I look back at the basics and dismiss this outright.

    There's nothing to be gained with left-wing progressives and socialists. They're from another planet as far as I'm concerned at this point.

    Stick to your principles or hit the cocktail circuit.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Personally, I have always thought that the bedrock foundations of libertarian thought, irrespective of any particular ideology, are (1) individualism, and (2) voluntaryism.

    Individualism - people are to be regarded as individuals, with their own unique talents and abilities. They aren't one-dimensional caricatures and shouldn't be treated as such.

    Voluntaryism - people should eschew force whenever possible and use cooperation and persuasion in order to accomplish tasks.

    If you look at it from that point of view, there is no necessary contradiction between libertarianism and, say, communism - as long as it is *voluntary*, and each individual is respected for his/her own talents and abilities.

    I think libertarianism is most closely associated with the free markets, because markets are the best alternative for upholding the ideals of individualism and voluntaryism. However, when the markets start dehumanizing individuals and forcing them into choices that they wouldn't otherwise make freely, that is when the association starts to fray.

  • geo1113||

    "However, when the markets start dehumanizing individuals and forcing them into choices that they wouldn't otherwise make freely, that is when the association starts to fray."

    Ergo, they are no longer free markets.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    No that's not necessarily true. Monopolies and anti-competitive behavior can arise spontaneously in markets even if there is no force or fraud involved.

    And the mass consumer market IS dehumanizing to an extent. Promoting brand loyalty and allegiance to some tribe. There always ought to be options for those who opt out of such things.

  • ThomasD||

    "Promoting brand loyalty and allegiance to some tribe" is 'dehumanizing.'

    LOL I see why you generally resort to projection. When you don't you clearly get out of your depth.

    Loyalty and allegiance are individual expressions of free will. We are social animals - it is all but axiomatic that given the opportunity we will do these things of our own volition. That others will seek to capitalize upon this impulse - for whatever reason or goal - is inherent in the species.

    IOW it's not dehumanizing, it is entirely representative of being human.

    Once again you show us why, despite all your protest to the contrary, you are indeed a leftist. We are not a tabula rasa; human nature is very real and very powerful.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Loyalty and allegiance are individual expressions of free will.

    So are iconoclasm and individualism.

    IOW it's not dehumanizing, it is entirely representative of being human.

    Based on *your experience*, yes. But that is just your experience. That is a big reason why I reject most of these "naturalistic" arguments to justify human behavior. They can be used to justify almost anything.

    "We are naturally social animals, therefore tribalism!"
    "We are naturally cooperative, therefore communism!"
    "We are naturally risk-takers, therefore capitalism!"

    None of these adequately describe every single person, nor can they possibly do so. That is why they fail the individualism test. You've just taken your naturalistic argument and projected it as a different type of collectivism.

    you are indeed a leftist.

    You all throw around that word as carelessly and as recklessly as those on the left throw around the word "racist". And so I take your accusations of LEFTIST!!!! as seriously as someone on the the left making accusations of RACIST!!!!!.

  • ThomasD||

    "We are naturally social animals, therefore tribalism!"
    "We are naturally cooperative, therefore communism!"
    "We are naturally risk-takers, therefore capitalism!"

    Bravo, you can reductio ad absurdum. Been practicing?

    Your 'based on my experience' approach is lame even for you. It's not 'based upon my experience' it is observation of basic human behavior. Observations made by a few more people than just me.

    Loyalty, allegiances, iconoclasm and individualism are all characteristics of humans - they are the active expressions of the choices we make as individuals. Nobody ceases to be an individual having decided or done any of those things. But it is you who wrongly characterize (only some of) them as dehumanizing. That's silly and (now apparent to be) ignorant.

    That you do not understand from whence your leftist worldview springs is not my problem. It is apparent that you lack the knowledge base to understand any brief explanation of human nature and what it implies that I could offer.

    That you think being labelled 'leftist' is akin to being labelled 'racist' says more about you than I could ever say.

  • ThomasD||

    Have you ever actually read Marx and Engels?

    You should. You'd find it very revealing.

  • ThomasD||

    Perhaps then you might come to recognize explicitly what you already accept implicitly.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Have you ever actually read Marx and Engels?

    You should. You'd find it very revealing.

    Because I don't think markets are above reproach, that makes me a Marxist now? Seriously?

    What specifically about Marx do you think I agree with?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Oh good heavens. Look, human beings are wildly diverse and exhibit wide variety in their beliefs, behaviors, and characteristics. To funnel people into one narrow mode of behavior, inhibits the flourishing of other modes of behavior. To the extent that markets tend to produce conformity, that is a problem IMO. I don't think it is a problem that needs to be fixed by government or coercion. But I do think it is a criticism of markets. And as far as things go, it's a pretty mild criticism.

    That you think being labelled 'leftist' is akin to being labelled 'racist' says more about you than I could ever say.

    No, only that many people on the right throw out "leftist" as just an all-purpose smear, doing violence to the actual meaning of the word, just like how many people on the left throw out the term "racist". But no, being a leftist is not the same as being a racist.

    But if you disagree, then please, tell me what your meaning of the term "leftist" is, and how you think I supposedly fit this definition.

  • ThomasD||

    Come on Jeff, the Marxism is as plain as the nose on your face."the mass consumer market IS dehumanizing to an extent. Promoting brand loyalty and allegiance to some tribe."

    I get that you have been so steeped in leftism that asking you to see it is like asking a fish to see water. It's not a smear to note which well that water comes from. It's an observation of what you value.

    And - be honest with yourself - you weren't really saying that those behaviors make people less human, what you were doing is denying them their agency. You were saying that when people do exhibit those behaviors we should not afford them the respect that you would afford people who exhibit your preferred choices of "iconoclasm and individualism."

    But secular heaven forefend that 'iconoclasm' extend to rejecting the dominant and pervasive leftism of today. That's not being a 'radical individualist' that's being something sinister.

    I got on you then because you were so close when you were talking about voluntaryism. But you fell back into reflex to when someone else called you out on another apparent contradiction of how free markets can somehow create force.

  • ThomasD||

    Human nature is not your enemy, and it is not the thing that is used to "justify almost anything." It is the rejection of human nature, and the idea that man can be re-invented in unlimited ways that, in the hands of the totalitarians, came to justify almost anything.

    You ask what is leftism - Here's your starting point

  • Azathoth!!||


    Based on *your experience*, yes. But that is just your experience. That is a big reason why I reject most of these "naturalistic" arguments to justify human behavior. They can be used to justify almost anything.

    "We are naturally social animals, therefore tribalism!"
    "We are naturally cooperative, therefore communism!"
    "We are naturally risk-takers, therefore capitalism!"

    Not when you are accurate.

    Humans aren't 'social animals'. They can socialize, but it is not a requirement.

    Humans are not naturally cooperative at all. They are naturally self-interested. They will cooperate easily if they feel it is in their interest to do so. They do not function well when they are forced to work together.

    No animal is a natural 'risk-taker'. Taking risks is a contra-survival behavior. What you're calling 'risk taking' is actually an impulse toward territorial acquisition.

    You have to understand naturalistic arguments in order to use or try to debunk them.

  • MasterThief||

    I'll go ahead and agree with that. In its ideal form, communism should be a system where the community helps one another and competition is unnecessary/nonexistent. Many libertarians argue that on a small scale communes are at least permissible so long as nobody is forced into the system. It's the violation of the NAP that almost universally comes with socialism that puts it so at odds.

  • ||

    Yes. Voluntary socialism is a natural part of the human experience. When I mention socialism or communism it's the political variety.

    So I can accept your view.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Sometimes you can be downright reasonable, for a filthy Canadian. :)

  • Azathoth!!||

    If it's voluntary it isn't socialism or communism.

    And there's a lot more to both of those than simple cooperation.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    If it's voluntary it isn't socialism or communism.

    Nonsense. That's why their called communes, communal living etc.

    At least you're not bat-shit r crazy enough to say that Bernie, Barack and Elizabeth are socialists, like the wacko right.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Watching faux libertarians offer pointers on how libertarians should be more conservative -- statist womb management, authoritarian immigration policies, government gay-bashing, protectionism, contraception bans, endless detention without trial, government promotion of (certain) superstition, tariffs, torture, state micromanagement of clinics -- is always enjoyable.

  • Sevo||

    Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland|9.30.18 @ 3:03PM|#
    "Watching faux libertarians offer pointers on how libertarians should be more conservative..."

    Watching lefty shitbags offering advice to those who aren't is amusing, lefty shitbag.

  • Rorschach||

    Watching you child-abusing goose-stepping totalitarian leftard traitor hypocrites scream about "Islamophobia" while the Muslim "refugees" crucify your fellow baby butchers, burn your fellow climate cultists at the stake (using Al Gore books as the kindling) and defenestrate your fellow fags, dykes, and trannies to cheers of "Allahu Akbar!" is going to be hilarious.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    Two totally fuckng waxcko liars.
    And .. incredibly .. we now have one even crazier than Sevo!

    NOTHING he said is NOT right-wing. And I understand your shame at seeing it so bluntly.

    The stench of ignorance-based hatred pollutes the air.

  • majil||

    Flake comes from a family long steeped in the molesting of children and the abuse of women .
    It is the Mormon guilt and need for attention (50/50 split) and nothing else that caused him to be a cock sucker and stab Graham in the back

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    So what made majil a raving pyscho?

    And the INFANTILE babbling of Rorschach and wreckinball? (unless they actually are 12-year-olds)

  • Tony||

    Let me guess... he doesn't suck Republican cock quite enough to be a true libertarian.

  • Rorschach||

    So what does Hussein's rectum taste like, Tony?

  • wreckinball||

    Always a dumb fuck. It comes natural to you I guess.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Is the late John McCain still casting Senate votes? In NY or Texas nobody would bat an eye at such a thing, and my own interest is purely out of curiosity. Is he still casting votes-after-death?

  • Curly4||

    Democrats have done that in some cities for decades.

  • ||

    I find the notion of a "temperamental center" quite captivating. As a socialist libertarian, I obviously have a lot of disagreements with the senator. But I am pleased that his conscious effort to on a personal basis reach out across the aisle, as in his desert island trip with New Mexico's Martin Heinrich, has in this case proven so fruitful. I doubt that he could have managed his feat without his good working relationship with Chris Coons.
    Chapeau!

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    + 1

  • Curly4||

    During the Clinton administration when Bill was accused of raping several women at least one of them he paid off in a settlement all the democrats called these women every derogatory name under the sun for their accusation against Bill. They certainly did not think that they should be heard. But that was then and this is now but there is one thing that has not changed. The democrats are calling the accused (in this case) every derogatory name under the sun again and demand that the accuser be heard which they did not give the Clinton accuser the same privilege.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    What a shameful crock of bullshit. Shane on you for being brainwashed by the likes of o Alex Jones, Limbaugh, Breitbart and WND.

  • Freddie||

    Before "Aleppo" and a few other stumbles, I think Gary Johnson was on to something by trying to change the image of libertarians from wild-eyed radicals to the moderate adults in the room. It is common sense moderate to combine free markets with social tolerance and a look-before-you-leap foreign policy.
    Purity? Look, I'm a (literally) card-carrying LP member and I feel guilty about playing softball in a league run by the city (socialist softball!). But I recognize that the real world is analog, not ones and zeroes. I will use my judgement to determine if supporting a particular candidate or organization will significantly advance libertarian principles even if it falls short of privatizing Parks and Rec.

  • ThomasD||

    What you call tolerance is nothing of the sort. Not when it includes government compelling someone to baking a cake against their will. 'What's a leppo' was nothing compared to that profile in squishy statism.

    Welch thinks Flake is libertarian because he spends his time pointing fingers at Republicans. Which is fine. But I sure wish Flake had a counterpart in the Democrat party, not that Welch would lionize anyone like that.

  • Freddie||

    By social tolerance I mean that who you marry or what you smoke is your own business. I agree the baker has the right to decide for whom he bakes a cake...but here is an example of where we have to carefully pick our battles. The principled libertarian position is not 1st amendment but freedom of association and freedom to contract. Yes, this means a business has the right to practice discrimination - but a free market will punish that business as its competitors put profit over prejudice. But no one will listen to the "but" and the libertarian making this argument will be branded as racist.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    What you call tolerance is nothing of the sort. Not when it includes government compelling someone to baking a cake against their will

    If you mean Gary, you're either a psycho liar or an eagerly brainwashed puppet.

    Gary's point was to oppose a special exemption from public accomodation laws ... based on religion ... under a Constitution that mandates Separation.

    So why do YOU defend religion as a favored class ... in total opposition to our founding principles, and the 14th Amendment?

  • William Walsh||

    Flake is a libertarian?

    And I'm an underwear model.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    A LOT more so than Ron/Rand Paul!

  • Just Say'n||

    If Jeff Flake is a "libertarian" according to newly woke Welch then surely libertarians are no alternative at all.

    A reminder on the votes that Jeff Flake didn't struggle with:

    - Voting for Gina Haspel

    - Voting for the most recent budget

    - Voting against a resolution to condemn the US's participation in the starvation of Yemen

    - Voting to renew the data collection program

  • Just Say'n||

    Woketarianism is a brain disease and a moral failing. And it has absolutely nothing to do with less government and liberty.

    Reason is a disgrace

  • wreckinball||

    Woketarianism LOL, I will plagiarize that one.

  • Rorschach||

  • wreckinball||

    Jeff Flake is vital to nothing.

  • FlameCCT||

    Seriously Matt?

    Flake is just that a flake! He is not much different than other Progressives whether they call themselves Democrat or Republican. I would be very careful as the Libertarians are being slowly taken over by the Progressives and will become nothing but male bovine excrement just like #Occupy, BLM, SPLC, etc.

  • fgsll||

    Fascinating that SOMEHOW that flake Flake has become a 'libertarian'. One comment has it absolutely correct -- he is Hamlet. In the morning he tells the committee he will vote 'yes' then two young girls yell at him in an elevator and he folds like a Two Dollar Suit. THIS is your 'hero'??? Do you ever NOT express your hatred for Donald Trump, who seems to have many libertarian ideas.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Cosmotarians are the Reason kind of libertarian.

  • drisco304||

    Flake demanded that Ford be heard. So they televised the hearing where Ford was heard. Flake then said the hearings were tearing the country apart. Think, Jeffry, THINK. Stop demanding things that tear the country apart.

  • TommyInIdaho||

    The Democrats' goal is to delay confirmation in the hopes of gaining Senate seats in November and blocking Trump nominations. Whatever he is or isn't, Flake's support of an FBI investigation supports that goal. Bonehead play, Senator.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Haven't there been a boatload of Trump judicial nominations approved already? And yes, this one is a bonehead play.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Ah, Senator Snow Flake is again Reason's BFF. How sweet.

  • CE||

    He's "one of the good ones" (Republicans)

  • bill steigerwald||

    Many trillions of dollars ago, in 2005, odd-man Jeff Flake claimed to be a lonely libertarian congressmen among the drunken big spenders of both parties:

    He was one of only eight to vote against the usual Porky transportation bill, for all the rights reasons.

    When I asked him then what his politics were he gave the right answers:

    Q: When you're asked what your politics are, how do you describe yourself?

    A: In today's parlance, I'm a conservative. I prefer the term classical liberal, myself, a la Milton Friedman. But I consider

    myself conservative.

    Q: We at the Trib have been probably tougher on conservatives -- for not being very conservative -- than we

    have been on liberals.

    A: Well, I can tell you, I'm not pleased at the direction our

    party is headed on fiscal responsibility. We don't look very

    conservative at all.

  • Rick Stewart||

    When Reason commenters show why they haven't sold anyone any liberty lately, I always feel better reading Matt Welch.

    Thanks, Matt

  • jackndc||

    I actually subscribed to Reason when I was just coming out as a libertarian, but after a few years I realized that the people who write it live in a land that is far removed from reality. I guess if you smoke enough your brain cells might be able to connect the dots of this nonsense.
    Senator Flake is the ultimate swamp creature that real libertarians would oppose. Sadly Reason fails to rise to the occasion. As usual.

  • CE||

    The center is where the votes are. Gary Johnson had the right idea, he just didn't seem presidential enough for most people.

    America has about 2 percent libertarians, and three-fourths of them don't vote.

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  • Ishrugged||

    Libertarian according to welch means: naive, a useful idiot, no convictions, illogical, untrustworthy, easily rolled, and bad negotiator.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    That's a conservative.
    Or a liberal
    Or a bigot like you.

    Left - Right= Zero

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