Friday, November 02, 2012

How to vote for limited government

To people who care deeply about limited government as a principle, it's perfectly obvious why one cannot vote for Barack Obama. But Judd Weiss provides an excellent explanation of why such people also cannot reasonably cast a vote for Mitt Romney. A few choice excerpts:
Both Romney and Obama will drive full speed towards the cliff. The only difference is Obama will drive a little faster, but it's a negligible difference, and certainly not one worth spending energy on.  
Our only hope to prevent a bleak dystopian scenario from unfolding is to send a powerful NO!! in the face of the forces that are pushing us there....  
People complain about politicians not having principles, but that's only because it's the ones without principles who win. If having principles makes a politician unelectable, that's not an indictment on the politician, it's an indictment on the voters....  
It's not just that Mitt Romney lacks clear principles, he is actually worse on economic principles than many of the Republicans that the Tea Party overthrew in 2010. 
Everything the successful Tea Party stood for is abandoned with Romney. Sure there's limited government rhetoric, mixed with statements like "Regulation is essential. You can't have a free market work if you don't have regulation".
If you think Democrats are sorely disillusioned with Obama after 4 years of disappointment, can you just imagine how most Republicans will feel after 4 years of daily nonsense like that from Romney?  
...Romney doesn't actually understand or have concern for limited government free market principles, he's only concerned about coached talking points. Romney doesn't even understand principles, period. He spends much of his time defending himself from his inconsistencies.  
I cannot for the life of me see how Romney represents hope for something better than Obama....  
If we get enough votes for Johnson, and Romney suffers a decisive loss against a weak President as a result of it, you can be sure that it will be noticed. Gary Johnson is a very effective protest vote to let the rest of the political establishment know that there is a strong movement for liberty that you dismiss at your own peril.  
Obama was an embarrassing mistake for those on the left. Romney will be far more embarrassing and disastrous. Don't constrain yourself to options that you know are awful. There is no hope for anything good to come out of a Romney presidency. If we want limited government principles but we all jump on board and vote for Mitt Romney anyway, then we truly have no hope for the future, and we have ourselves to blame.


Yakshi said...

I read the same article this morning. (For some reason, realclearpolitics linked to it.) Instead of thinking that it was "excellent analysis," it unintentionally made me proud with how big our government currently is. A little more expansion and we'll all be fine.

By the way, the "anti-gun" remark is completely baffling. Obama expanded gun rights during his first term, unfortunately.

Annnnnd back to poker.

VegasDWP said...

But Romney has a "secret weapon" ... magic underpants!!

Rakewell said...


That "anti-gun" comment is easily defensible. Obama is, without doubt, the most anti-gun president in this nation's history, in terms of what he would ideally like. See, e.g.,

It's true that he recognizes political reality and has not expended many of his political chits on gun control. But he has appointed two Supreme Court justices who feel free to dismiss the Second Amendment as meaningless rhetoric. Less well known is a bunch of regulatory steps that make life harder for gun owners, such as greatly increasing the difficulty of shipping firearms across state lines for work by gunsmiths, and banning the import of rifles that no previous administration has had any problem with.

Is Obama "anti-gun"? Absolutely. We have in office a president who is in favor of completely banning private ownership of any handgun, who wants to see a national ban on concealed carry, who supports a 500% tax increase on guns and ammunition, who wants to close down 90% of gun dealers--and who sees no Second Amendment barrier to such action. That he realizes the inability to enact his preferred agenda does not change that appalling and unprecedented reality.

Zin said...

Gary Johnson is nothing but a pot head period. Gary Johnson will get all the pothead users vote.

Romney looks lost in space 99% of the time.

Obama is not perfect but Obama is our best bet.

Our government needs a major overhaul, needs to get rid of all the loopholes stop hedging the laws.

Rakewell said...


How can you say that government needs an overhaul and simultaneously maintain that Obama is the best candidate? How is four more years of the same bullshit governance an "overhaul"?

Wolynski said...

Excellent, as usual, article by Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone

So I take it if you're surrounded by a flood on your rooftop, you'd refuse help from a government agency. Ditto for house on fire.

The Libertarian Party should be re-named the Hypocrisy Party - against big government, but the first to wave that pesky (and no longer pertinent) 2nd Amendment.

Rakewell said...


A proposal: Let's first agree to get the government out of the business of killing children with drone strikes in Pakistan, deciding which kinds of light bulbs you're allowed to screw into your sockets, throwing millions of people in prison for growing marijuana, transferring money from the poor and middle class to the rich, taking your cigarette tax money to run ads trying to convince you to quit smoking, regulating how close to restaurants food trucks can park, conducting warrantless surveillance on us, prosecuting online poker sites, and groping/x-raying us at the airport. THEN, once we've done that, we'll have our debate on the proper role of government in disaster relief.


Rakewell said...

Now I feel like ranting a little bit more.

I was living in North Las Vegas on November 21, 1980, when the terrible fire broke out in Bally's (which was then called the MGM Grand), killing 85 people. I didn't know what was happening for quite a while. I just knew that I was seeing a whole bunch of helicopters from Nellis Air Force Base fly back and forth overhead. They were being used to rescue people from the roof of the hotel.

Not only do I not have a problem with that, I'd say it would be unconscionable to have such resources close at hand, sitting idly, and NOT use them to save lives.

This view does not tarnish my libertarian credentials, nor does it make me a hypocrite. It makes me a pragmatist.

The most hard-core libertarians think that all roads should be privately owned, but they still drive on the ones the government currently provides. They think that currency should be privatized, but they still cash their paychecks in US dollars. Etc.

I'm not that extreme, but I can cite lesser examples. If I had kids, they'd probably be in public schools, even though I think the world would be better if all schools were private. I am adamantly opposed to any level of government building or subsidizing sports arenas, but that didn't keep me from attending a Twins game or two at the Metrodome when I lived in Minnesota. I think Social Security is both an unconstitutional transfer of wealth and a piece of fiscal insanity, but if it's still going when I hit 65, I'm not likely to return the checks unsigned. On all those counts, you can call it hypocrisy if you want, or you can call it pragmatism.

If I were king of the world, what role would the various levels of government have in disaster/emergency relief? Frankly, I'm not sure. It's not something to which I've devoted much thought. But after being anointed king, I would start down my list of things to make governments stop doing. I would start with the most egregious, wasteful, and expensive stuff, and disaster relief would be so far down that list that I probably couldn't get to it in my lifetime.

There are so many vastly more massive and important ways in which we need to end excessive governmental spending and meddling that to focus on disaster relief, simply because it scores cheap and easy rhetorical points in the immediate aftermath of a giant hurricane, is petty and dishonest.

Moreover, doing so trivializes the real issues that confront us, as if a few billion on emergency aid and many TRILLIONS in debt were somehow equivalent in import, or as if one must be either equally in favor or equally opposed to both.

Zin said...

Grump what i mean is the Legislative Branch needs an overhaul, all we have is grown adults acting like kids. Pride and egos need to be left at home. Making laws should not be this hard.

Wolynski said...

I agree with your first post.

The second, however...

Social Security keeps millions from poverty - I'm all for it.

I'm against private ownership of land, unless it's like Norway - you can own it, but anyone can camp there.

How come tiny England has produced so much great literature? Excellent public schools, not private (although that's probably changed by now).

I saw the excellent Fran Lebowitz at the Smith Center. In her words, we need government because supplying water and electricity to millions is beyond private capacity. And profit is innapropriate anywhere but in business.

Who ended slavery? Government. Who gave women the vote? Who gave workers a 40 hr work week plus paid vacations? Need I go on? Apple workers in China are jumping off the roof while the psychopath Jobs designed a super duper yacht for himself. Oh, yeah, private is better, is it? For whom?

Of course, governments oppress as well. It's not the size, it's the function.

Sorry, Bob, but can't agree with your second rant.

Sorry, Bob

sevencard2003 said...

how do u feel about the way NJ refused help from a crew of electrical workers who traveled to NJ from alabama to help out, simply because they were non union and NJ law only allows union workers?

also how do u feel about the way our ambassador to libya was REFUSED the help he needed that night, how obama watched the attack happen in his office on video in real time, and how he gave the order to NOT go in and help?

in light of this recent statement by u

Not only do I not have a problem with that, I'd say it would be unconscionable to have such resources close at hand, sitting idly, and NOT use them to save lives.

Rakewell said...


1. I do not know that either one of those things is a fair and accurate statement of events.

2. As for Libya, sending military into a foreign country to do battle is so vastly different than deploying them a few miles within our own borders for a non-combat rescue that comparing them is completely pointless. The former decision, while perhaps correct in some circumstances, is complicated by all sorts of complex considerations from which the latter is entirely free.

Yakshi said...

It seems what a variety of people are trying to point out is that libertarianism in large part denies the existence of the social contract that binds the country.

On the other hand, if libertarians had their druthers and could put Johnson in office, and if he miraculously could have his way and cut 43% of the federal budget, the necessary result would be a prolonged recession. Even if libertarians argue for the long-term health of that choice--it isn't healthy, long term or short term--such a cut would never happen. Oddly, libertarianism remains too idealistic (when it occasionally makes sense) to ever be a practical or pragmatic choice--especially on the national stage.

Pete said...


Fisrt its not hypocritical for a liberatrian like myself to use the government services we are forced to pay for (and which government often does not allow private competition). I do not believe these services should be run by the government ..... but since the government does not give me a choice about paying for them ... I may as well use them.... The difference is that when the government finally gets out of those businesses I will not cry that I want them provided to me for free.

You say "Who ended slavery?" well it appears that you think the answer is Government. Even if what you mean is who ended the slavery of blacks in the United States you are wrong. Because that slavery only existed with the aid and assistance of the government to begin with. But I would argue that our government has not ended slavery ..... it has actually enslaved us all.

"Who gave women the vote?" --- well who was it that denied it in the first place?

"Who gave workers a 40 hr work week plus paid vacations?" Fuck if I know. Where is that happening. I wish I had a forty hour work week and paid vacations.... OH I get it .. IF I was a government employ I could have a 40 hour work week of doing nothing and then get a paid vacation ..... Well an employer who produces nothing and provides nothing can;t really be self sustaining.....