Nick Gillespie defends libertarians as something more (or less) than caricature.
The specter of libertarianism is haunting America. Advocates of sharply reducing the government’s size, scope and spending are raising big bucks from GOP donors, trying to steal the mantle of populism, being blamed for the demise of Detroit and even getting caught in the middle of a battle for the Republican Party. Yet libertarians are among the most misunderstood forces in today’s politics. Let’s clear up some of the biggest misconceptions.
Still, hard to take any column (or movement) seriously that pretends Ayn Rand was an intellectual.
Republicans need to make up their minds: Is President Obama a socialist or a corporate stooge?
“The president claims his economic agenda is for the middle class. But it’s actually for the well-connected,” Paul Ryan, the GOP’s 2012 vice presidential nominee, wrote this week in USA Today, rejecting Obama’s latest proposal for a corporate tax cut. “There’s no doubt that it works well for them. But for the rest of us, it’s not working at all.”...
Republican lawmakers seem to think that Americans have short memories and lack Internet connections, for their latest line of attack — that Obama’s health-care and tax policies favor the corporate elite — directly contradicts their previous allegation that Obama was waging “class warfare” with “socialist” policies attacking these very same corporate elites.
Making Obama out as the defender of the elite is the populism side of libertarian populism. Yeah, its as awkward as it reads here, but the GOP literally has nothing else.
I've been meaning to write a deadly dull low-traffic blog post on the subject of "libertarian populism" for a while now, and I think my bottom line is this—economic populism can (and probably should) become more libertarian, but libertarianism can never be populist.
I'll have my own deadly dull low-traffic blog post on the subject tomorrow, Matt, so you don't have to and much more today after the fold.
Rightbloggers Look to "Libertarian Populism" (Minus the Neo-Confederates) as Key to Future Success
In case you missed it, the new Republican watchword is "Libertarian populism," which is quickly being embraced by people who are neither libertarians nor populists. But it's a shorthand for an impossibly inane attack that Republicans are trying out, seeing if they can make any hay by charging that President Obama is only interested in helping rich people at the expense the rest of us. Okay, the rest of you, I guess, because these are Republicans we're talking about, and they're not part of that "us," but you get the idea. All of sudden, people like Paul Ryan are out there saying, "The president claims his economic agenda is for the middle class. But it's actually for the well-connected. There's no doubt that it works well for them. But for the rest of us, it's not working at all."
The “libertarian populism” debate has already gotten interminable. On the other hand, Republicans have already pivoted to making a version of this their official message, having transitioned from bashing President Obama as the socialistic enemy of Job Creators to bashing him as a corrupt crony-capitalist handmaiden of wealth. The ease of this transition reveals the inherent flabbiness of the concept and its very limited use as a governing principle.
has an incomprehensible column today citing the idiocy of Ted Cruz and Rand Paul and concluding it's all because Obama refuses to compromise and McCain got old or something.
As everyone knows, Republicans are to blame. They are the obstructionists, the just-say-no enemies of women, immigrants, health care for the poor, shoes for the born and equality for gay whales, to mention a few.
This “narrative,” as they say, is pure propaganda. President Obama achieved huge legislative victories (Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, bailouts, two Supreme Court appointments) when he had hefty majorities in Congress. Once those margins were lost or reduced in the 2010 election, the president’s focus shifted to scoring political points by shouting, “Obstruction!” In truth, no serious efforts have been made toward compromise because it is in neither side’s political interest...
Today, as time would have it, McCain is Mr. Establishment. He not only lunches with the enemy but dines with the president. Isn’t this how life goes? Teenagers eventually grow up and become their parents. McCain is the GOP grandpa swatting at ankle-biting upstarts such as fellow Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.
Read it for yourself and see if you can figure it out. I give up.
Thank God for Gail Collins:
In normal times, back when Congress got things done and disco was extremely popular, the transportation bill was easy to pass. Everybody likes roads and bridges. This year, THUD was a labor of love in the Senate Appropriations Committee, where Barbara Mikulski is chairwoman, Patty Murray is the leader of the transportation subcommittee and Susan Collins is the top-ranking Republican. I am not going to point out that they are all women. Just that they worked well together and were considerate of everyone’s feelings.
After long and effortful negotiations, they came up with a bipartisan deal that made most people reasonably happy. In another show of good will, Murray — who handled the bill on the floor — agreed to let the senators keep debating until their tongues fell out and permitted the introduction of more than 80 proposed amendments. “Including,” she said in a phone interview, “one totally off-message and off-subject on Egypt.”
Ah, yes. That would have been the work of Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, the libertarian White House wannabe. Paul proposed withdrawing foreign aid to Egypt and using it for bridge repair. The Middle East is not something you’re supposed to fiddle around with during a transportation debate, but, as Murray said, she was going the extra mile. The amendment was defeated 86 to 13.
ARLINGTON, Va. — This state is good at peddling guns. Now it’s peddling lies about New York.
A war between the states erupted Friday, after Mayor Bloomberg blasted Virginia for its weak gun laws.
Bloomberg railed that 90% of all guns used in city crimes in 2011 came from other states — and that more of them came from Virginia than anywhere else, including the weapon that killed NYPD officer Peter Figoski in December of that year.
“We’re getting killed, and we’re getting killed with guns ... from elsewhere,” Bloomberg charged...
We wish the mayor well as he attempts to address these issues within his home state and we hope he won’t hesitate to call on us if our law enforcement agencies can be of assistance in ensuring public safety in New York City,” she sniffed.
But the Daily News checked the numbers — and McDonnell isn’t facing facts.
New York State, with 3.5 murders per 100,000 people, had a lower murder rate than Virginia, which had 3.9 killings for every 100,000 people.