05 May 2010

So. I've been hanging out with the wrong crowd

Every man ever got a statue made of him was one kind of a son of a bitch or another

Fuck. Is what that means.

Read enough of the eggheads, look through the papers, and think through the problems, and they make enough sense that it looks like the people who'd know enough to call themselves something like that would make sense too.

They don't. They're just as dumb and clueless as the rest of us. Or more likely, most of them don't really know enough to call themselves something and just get tagged as it by people who think they are something worth calling it.

There's no good reason that any sensible libertarian should have looked at the Republican party and its national candidates in 2008 and decided to hold their noses and vote ja. That was the party that threw us into Iraq, entrenched us in Afghanistan, and looks to still be trying to figure out a way to get us into Iran. That was the party behind the PATRIOT act and warrant-less wiretaps. Justice Roberts, a GOP pick, was the guy who ruled on Kelo, the much hated eminent domain case. That was the party behind the now hated bailouts of banks and GM (before they were "against" such things). That was the party behind an unfunded massive entitlement program expansion (Medicare Part D) and the flailing sack of money and rhetoric to throw at education known as No Child Left Behind. Any one of these ought to have been a compelling reason to vote against a Republican candidate who supported them, as McCain had in most cases, if not for his political enemy (oh and by the way McCain's name himself is on that campaign finance law that libertarians celebrated being thrown out in part by the Citizens United decision). And still they came on, even with all of them in play?

On what planet does this make sense? Boaz tries to make a case that the link between Republicans and Libertarians can be broken. But if Republicans can go on an eight year tear of ever bigger government projects, civil liberties abuses, and reckless wars, and not break those binds, what does that say about Libertarians if they won't find a way to protest against that and will just whore themselves out to a bunch of sweet talk about how they've learned and won't stray again from these big government Republicans (before even getting into the distracting social causes that energize conservative voters and should horrify classical liberals to even be considered, all that culture war crap or the drug war and authoritarianism of police powers related to it)? Sure they considered finding someone else. Sure it would have helped if there were much of a choice. Stay home and play with yourself if you can't find a decent partner who can't keep themselves in the ballpark of fealty to anything you take seriously.

The positive point is those younger "liberaltarians", who did stray off finally. Perhaps fed up or perhaps excited by equally hollow and pointless rhetoric from the other side. Except that they usually don't vote at all. At least not in a way that counts and adds up to anything. So. If you were on the right and looking for someone to blame, the answer was that you didn't ever make a case FOR, and thus lost. Same as it was before, same as it usually is. Even in '92 when Perot split the "right" voters and Clinton won or in '00 when Gore backers blamed those pesky Nader voters. We didn't start the fires here either. It looks quite a bit like enough of these swinging independent libertarian folks decided to warm themselves in this cold bed of their own making, in a place they are unwanted (voting with conservatives), because they were too afraid that their parting would lead to something, worse, I suppose. Only they got the parting anyway and the old jilted partner is running around stealing our good name trying to make something of it.

The correct answer to any political story is that everybody, everybody, is not worth the paper their name is printed on. At least not until they prove otherwise with acts and deeds. We know what those acts were liable to be with Republicans. We know what they are and were liable to be with Democrats. I've a pretty good notion that they're not liable to be much different within these Tea Party "radicals" than under the old Red-Blue state rivalries. And there simply aren't enough of us to start our own little party off somewhere, nor would going Galt accomplish much, for those Randians among us. Nobody would notice our absence from the daily grind of politics. Gadflies are a lonely profession, but still perhaps even a noble lost cause effort. And we're not even managing to do that right.
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