Libertarians, Brace For Heartbreak

Elections, Foreign Policy, libertarianism

David Gordon is hopeful. “Surely it is grounds for optimism when one finds a knowledgeable account of [Murray] Rothbard in The New Republic!” he remarks. David is referring to “Rand Paul Will Break Libertarian Hearts, Just Like Reagan Did” by Jeet Heer. An excerpt:

… The late Murray Rothbard, a towering intellectual and political activist in libertarian circles, was a striking example. During the 1940s, he belonged to New York’s Young Republican Club, but during the Cold War he concluded that the GOP’s militarism was a betrayal of the traditional anti-war and isolationist principles of the Old Right. During the 1950s, Rothbard preferred Democrat Adlai Stevenson to Eisenhower, and while some other libertarians like Milton Friedman jumped on the Goldwater bandwagon in the early 1960s, Rothbard still distrusted the Republicans. “Goldwater and the Conservative Movement are not only not libertarian, but the preeminent enemies of liberty in our time,” Rothbard wrote in 1964 in a letter to a small libertarian magazine called the Innovator. “For the Goldwaterites are, first, aggressive and ardent champions of American imperialism and intervention in political affairs all over the globe; and, second and most important, are eager advocates of nuclear war against the Soviet Union.” During the heady days of the late 1960s, when he dreamed of a new politics cutting across the traditional left-right spectrum, Rothbard even forged an alliance with the Maoist Progressive Labor Party, preferring them to Nixon’s Republicans.

Although Rothbard had a propensity for extremist gestures, he shouldn’t be dismissed as a fringe figure, at least not among libertarians. His application of Austrian economic theory to America, formulating a critique of the Federal Reserve as a central source of bad policy, was widely influential, not least on Rand Paul’s father, Ron Paul. Moreover, Rothbard’s allergic reaction to the Republican Party was widely shared within the libertarian movement, culminating in 1971 with the formation of the Libertarian Party (LP).

The party—founded by David Nolan, an anti-statist advertising man who was disgusted by Nixon’s embrace of wage and price control—quickly gained the support of a wide swath of the libertarian movement, including generous subsidies from David and Charles Koch. David Koch was even the LP’s vice presidential candidate in 1980. In the 1970s, the Koch Brothers seemed to have shared Rothbard’s hope that libertarians forge a partnership with the radical left. In the mid-1970s, Charles Koch made a bid to buy The Nation magazine, hoping to use it as a wedge for an opening to left-of-center opinion. When that attempt failed, Koch financed Inquiry, a libertarian journal that published many left-wing radicals like Noam Chomsky.

For Rothbard, the mission of the LP was to be a “party of principle,” as against the GOP, a party of expediency. This disgruntlement with the GOP remained core to the LP’s identity. Andre Marrou, who was the LP’s presidential candidate in 1992, despite his checkered history of not making child care support payments, voiced the common consensus when he said in 1991 that Nixon “really disappointed me. He didn’t cut government like he said he would—just like Bush and Reagan.” After a lifetime of spurning the GOP, Rothbard returned to the Republican fold in 1992, just three years before his death, giving his blessing to George H.W. Bush. Rothbard became a born-again Republican because he saw Pat Buchanan’s success in the primaries as proof that there was a still a vital anti-establishment wing to the party. Ron Paul, who was deeply swayed by the ideas of Rothbard and his ideological mate Lew Rockwell, made a similar return to the GOP. The Koch Brothers, perhaps out of pragmatism, have also turned their energies toward the Republican Party.

Yet if there has been a Republican turn among libertarians, it is worth remembering that this movement has come from people who don’t see the GOP as their ideal vehicle but rather as a necessary evil. Moreover, Rand Paul is not necessarily one of those people. Unlike his father, he didn’t leave the Republican Party and return as a blistering libertarian voice. He has always been a Republican, albeit one that spoke with a libertarian lilt …

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UPDATE II: Alan Dershowitz On Making His Accusers Pay

Crime, Feminism, Gender, Political Correctness, Sex

You’d think that rape and false accusations of rape are a political cause and not crimes to investigate. Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz seldom comes up with obtuse, bad answers. But even this sharp civil libertarian ditched his initial forceful arguments from justice, when put on the spot about being falsely accused of sexual abuse. Two minutes and thirty eight seconds into this CNN interview, Erroll Barnett questions Dershowtiz as to what good it would do to jail the “troubled” women who had falsely alleged that Dershowitz and a host of other codgers sexually abused them. “What do you expect to get out of it,” asked Barnett facilely.

Instead of reiterating his initial, irate and forceful warning about the harm these habitual liars do to their victims’ reputations, standing in the community and finances; the need to punish such liars for their attempts to profit by siccing the law on their innocent victims—Dershowitz noodles on about the indirect harm a false accusation of rape does to real victims of rape.

UPDATE I: Dershowtiz did a good job until the end, of promising swift justice to this hussy. Then he waffled a bit. The crazy idea that these false accusers should not be punished was the CNN angle.

UPDATE II: Dershowitz is brilliant, hence his flawless delivery. He is also a lefty, hence his slight capitulation to the accuser.


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Rand Paul Shoots From The Hip

libertarianism, Political Philosophy, Politics

Rand Paul might be a disappointment to principled libertarians, however, one cannot deny his smarts, quickness, humor and verbal fluidity. On some matters, Rand is even trying to somewhat pacify us libertarians by articulating a kind of gradualism; he seems to be promising to eventually arrive at our positions (no foreign aid, for example), only gradually, first kicking overt haters off US welfare rolls. That sort of thing.

His refusal to apologize and be more obsequious is refreshing.

Here are captions of Rand’s interview with Wolf Blitzer, down to the one hysterical headline:

“Rand Paul Sparks Uproar About Abortion.”

“Justice System Not Treating People Equally.”

On Hillary Clinton’s Emails.

“I’m Universally Short-Tempered With All Reporters.”


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S.E. IDIOT & Jake Tapper Rubbish Ron Paul

Gender, Neoconservatism, Republicans, Ron Paul

In the event that you’ve failed to keep track of the succession of empty headed bobbing heads called on to impart their “analysis” on the idiot’s lantern—you’ll find everything you need to know about S.E. Cupp, “commentator,” in “Just Another Mouth in the Republican Fellatio Machine.” While Cupp is not as off-putting, banal and over-the-top as Jedediah Bila, she’s up there.

In any event, here is an exchange about Ron Paul between two of CNN’s towering intellects, Jake Tapper (an OK journalist when he sticks to reporting) and Cupp:

TAPPER: S.E., let’s start with you. I know you’re not Senator Paul’s biggest fan. But removing your views on him, he could be a serious contender, I think. …

… There’s one other elephant in the room, and that is Ron Paul, his father, who is — I don’t know how to say it without ending up with nine million tweets, but has very objectionable views to many Americans, to many Republicans, and has affiliated himself with some real crackpots on the right. I think that is definitely guarantee those tweets, but…

CUPP: [smirking smugly] Incoming.

TAPPER: How do you deal with that? How do you deal with somebody like Ron Paul?

CUPP: Rand Paul?

TAPPER: Yes.

CUPP: Yes.

Rand Paul sort of I think spent the past decade watching his dad run for president, and thought to himself, I can do that better. And so I think you have seen him moderate because he understands rightly that Ron Paul’s views were completely unpalatable.

So he’s starting from that, you know, far right or left — I don’t even know what to call it — place of Ron Paul and moderating toward the center. The trick is going to be to take the Ron Paul supporters, the young folks who liked Ron Paul’s libertarianism, and also make his — again governing philosophy, which is different from his libertarian philosophy, work for the center.

That’s going to be a tough thing to pull off. I know you’re confident he can, but I think he’s going to have a tough time with that.

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Rand Paul: ‘People Shouldn’t Be So Afraid Of Freedom’

Foreign Policy, Iraq, Neoconservatism

Admirably, Sean Hannity went through the gamut of issues with Rand Paul, who announced today he would stand as a Republican presidential candidate. From Paul’s initial critique of the Civil Wrongs Act to the war against Iraq—Mr. Hannity shied away from no controversy. On toppling secular strongmen—Saddam, Assad, Mubarak, Gaddafi—Rand Paul did not, for once, let libertarians down, as is his wont. Instead, Paul condemned the disastrous toppling of all the secular strongmen of the Middle East who kept radical Islam at bay. If it were up to the neoconservative, we’d be bombing both Assad and ISIS in Syria. Cui Bono?

“Almost anyone in the Senate would have better defended the Bill of Rights than Lindsay Graham,” snorted Paul, taking a much-needed swipe at the awful Graham, evil twin of more-bombs-from-above-and-more-boots-on-the-ground John McCain.

Paul cleverly framed his plan to poach traditionally Democratic and independent voters, not by promising them stuff, but by emphasizing the entire Bill of Right and not only the 2nd Amendment.

Yes, weening people off “free” stuff and onto freedom is a good tone to strike.

Let’s see if he keeps it up.


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Err, Isn’t Iran Fighting ISIS In The Middle East!?

Iran, Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Meet The Press’ Chuck Todd that the deal with Iran, the details of which are still unclear, is a deal with the “preeminent terrorist state of our time.” Iran, says Bibi, is “a militant, Islamic power, built on regional corporate domination. In fact, bent on world domination.” It has as its “explicit goal first” the annihilation of Israel, “but also ultimately” the conquest of the Middle East and the threatening [of the US].”

“[E]very territory that is vacated in the Middle East,” noted Netanyahu, is “taken over by the forces of militant Islam, either those led by Iran or those led by ISIS.”

Wait a sec, isn’t Iran fighting ISIS in the Middle East!? Isn’t that a good thing? Doesn’t it mean that Arabs are finally taking out their own trash, instead of expecting Americans do die trying?

Or perhaps Netanyahu is of the position that only Muslims approved by the world superpower (the US) and the region’s superpower (Israel) are fit to fight ISIS?


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