Goats, outing themselves among sheep


Here’s what the notorious liberal Charles Johnsonless and regime libertarian Timmy Sandefur are all exercised about.

I’m amazed that a local Republican party put this up — given that their leadership has been equally deserving of a Ceaucescu Christmas. Ah, but in Washington, even members of the Duopoly are part of the lunatic fringe.

I used to be pretty tolerant of regime libertarians. I figured that we all worked in our own ways, some of us more radical than others, and as long as somebody was trying to move the football forward, they were on our team. I was mellow, I read Boortz every day and thought he was basically OK, kum-ba-ya…

Then came 2007-08, and a credibly libertarian candidate for President. And what did Johnsonless, Boortz, and the beltway libertarian crowd do about Ron Paul? They did everything in their power to try to discredit him. They took the football and tried to run it back for an own-goal. And who stood firmly on libertarian principle, and who supported Ron Paul as the best man for the job? The “fanatics” at Lew Rockwell...who promptly replaced Boortz on my daily reading list.


10 Responses to Goats, outing themselves among sheep

  1. Tom Jackson says:

    Charles Johnson can’t be blamed on the “regime libertarians.” He was a neocon last year; this year he seems to be more of a conventional liberal.

    I’m probably one of those dreadful “regime libertarians” myself, but I would have been happy to see Ron Paul do better in the GOP primary.

  2. jeffreyquick says:

    I don’t know what to blame Johnson on…maybe the same meds Andrew Sullivan is taking? Nor does his whining particularly bother me… he’s already turned himself into a running joke on the internet. But Sandefur’s post is a real piece of work.

    LP members had no obligation to support a Republican candidate, even Ron Paul. They could have shut up. But to actively work against Paul was a disservice to the movement. The “racist crackpot” turned out to be the only one who knew what was happening to the economy and had workable solutions for it. Not to mention that Paul as GOP POTUS candidate would probably have been more libertarian than Barr/Root.

  3. Tom Jackson says:

    I remember people criticizing Ron Paul (just as there were people who criticized Bob Barr, often for good reason) but I’m having trouble thinking of any “beltway libertarians” who actively worked against him. What do you mean, exactly?

  4. jeffreyquick says:

    I’ll need to go through search engines some more. Some non-Beltway polers included Dale Franks and Matt Yglesias. I’ll do a direct search at Reason tomorrow. Also interesting is how Glenn Beck tore into him…and now he’s halfway Paulian himself.

  5. kishnevi says:

    Matt Yglesias? Since when did he become a libertarian? He’s the type who criticizes Obama for being not leftist enough, and whenever he comes out with “regulation is generally bad”, it’s the prelude to an argument that “in this case regulation is actually a very good thing”. When I stop reading a blog because it’s simply another leftie canting column, you know it’s a leftie canting column.

    And Johnson simply seems to have gotten disgusted with the anti-Moslem vitriol found in certain places. I seem to remember a certain person left a certain Yahoo mail-list for similar reasons….

  6. Jeffrey Quick says:

    Didn’t say Yglesias was a libertarian…though interestingly liberals were the worst pilers-on. It was late, I was trying a search to corroborated a subjective impression I had formed 2 years ago, etc.

    There are enough refugees from lgf that your defense of CJ won’t fly. H’s got several other hobby horses to ride, and is quick on the ban trigger for anyone with contrary opinions. His blog, his rules — but I got bored and quit reading, and he’s become a bit of a joke on the Net (not as much as the “Trig Truther” maybe).

    Re I-S: similar but not identical. It wasn’t “anti-Muslim vitriol” — I can spew that with the best. In the case of Islam, familiarity breeds contempt. My issue was that it had become all-Bruce-Tefft, all the time, and that Bruce is essentially a neo-con. The whole vibe, post 9/11 became that almost any infringement of liberty was acceptable, as long as it preserved us from the Muslim Menace. Carry that far enough, and the equation starts to change; at least Islamic countries aren’t ruled by the banksters and have sound money.

  7. jeffreyquick says:

    Tyler Cowan was badtalking “Ron Paul–Lew Rockwell Libertarianism” at a Cato Institute function.

    Initially Cato was cold toward Ron Paul, and – unbelievably – ran a column called “FREDeralism!” in support of Fred Thompson’s proposals for renewed federalism, the 4522nd time a Republican politician has made such promises (and the 4522nd time D.C. think-tanks have fallen for them). They danced on his grave a bit after the New Hampshire primary. Then, once it became obvious that his supporters still loved him and would crawl over broken glass for him, they ate some crow and actually invited him to speak.

  8. Jeffrey Quick says:

    While I have a hard-on about the Stato Insitute, hereis a list of recent cases where various members were definitely on the wrong side of the issues.

  9. Tom Jackson says:

    I’m not particularly interested in the feuds, and I feel more culturally attuned to the Cato folks then the Lew Rockwell people who pine for the good old days of the Confederacy. I’ll just note that democratic centralism — the notion that every libertarian had an obligation to line up behind Ron Paul, regardless of any reservations they might have — would seem to be an uneasy fit with a political movement that’s supposed to be based on individualism.

    Also, it seems to me libertarians tend to exaggerate their differences. You’ll find few libertarians who support the war on drugs, for example, or an intervenionist foreign policy, regardless of how they feel about Ron Paul, the “Stato Institute,” etc.

  10. Jeffrey Quick says:

    OK, a lot of it is culture. As I get older, I get more conservative socially, largely because I can compare now with the 1960s and can see that many of my values led to ill results. Earlier, I was more willing to side with the liberal-style. The decentralist, agrarian part of the pro-Confederate vibes fits well with me…but there’s that damnable issue of slavery, and perhaps the effort to separate it out is as doomed to failure as reclaiming the swastika as a good-luck symbol.

    Ultimately, it’s all about style, and I’m cool with that. The problem is that when libertarians squish (and they always do) the squish in the direction of their original tropisms. Right-style libertarians get warmongery and anti-pleasure (e.g., Neal Boortz), lefty libertarians tend to anti-money, anti-clerical, and socially Jacobin. The solution is to stick to principle, so there’s little room left to squish.

    There are issues we just won’t agree on: e.g., abortion. I used to ride to ExecCom on Columbus with David Macko and some lib-lib (forget his name now, and he’s dead anyway), and that would get dragged out so that one couldn’t get a word in edgewise. I started firmly pro-choice. Now I’m pro-life but extremely squishily so, to the point where most lifers wouldn’t consider me one at all.

    I don’t think every libertarian had to line up behind Paul, but I think that when there’s a good thing happening, one should go with it. It was, practically, the most ethical and effective thing one could do, if one was going to be involved in electoral politics at all. It would have been particularly interesting if Paul had gotten the nomination and run against the reeking ticket that came out of LPCon ’08 (which, BTW, I did vote for). I think that there could be a case made that a vote for Paul would have been more pro-liberty than a vote for Barr. Granted, you wouldn’t be building the LP institution/brand, but there would be the possibility of hijacking the GOP band to some extent. But in a case like that, I’d have no problem with a libertarian touting Barr over Paul…as long as it wasn’t an anti-Paul hatchet job, which is what I saw.

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