Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Well, it was a rough night for us on the Right/Libertarian side of things, but there was some good news in my neck of the woods. The Republicans held onto the governorship in Nevada as well as two of the three Congressional seats that we've held for some time and John Ensign easily defeated Jimmy Carter's son to return to the Senate. Nevada seemed to go against the trend, but that's Nevada for you.

I think what has happened will be bad for the country, but the Republicans have no one to blame but themselves. And admittedly, I myself am to blame as well. Ronald Reagan came to Washington in 1981 saying government wasn't the solution to our problem, government is the problem. This was the guiding principle for Republicans for two decades, but somewhere along the way, it fell to the wayside. This happened for many reasons: the love of power and the desire to keep it, the unattainable quest to get the MSM to like us, and so on. I myself turned a blind-eye to the growth of government under Republican rule due to the war on terror. So sure I have been (and still am) that President Bush and the Republicans are the only ones that will fight our enemies and feel that our country is indeed worth fighting for that I've taken the position that you have to take the good with the bad. This may have been a mistake. We have to get back to demanding the party run on Reaganesque principles: reduced government; low taxes; low spending; strong defense. Many fatalists are saying the dream is dead and that it'll be generations before we can hope to turn the tide. Not so. Nothing is impossible if you can imagine it and if you're willing to work your butt off to achieve it.


McCoy said...

It may have been a rough night for conservatives and neo-cons, but it was a victory for Libertarians. Finally there is going to be some sort of check on the big government, big deficit, pro-torture, anti-civil rights Bush administration.

Any self-proclaimed libertarian who sees virtue in supporting an administration that virulently opposes gay marriage, advocates warrantless wiretapping on its own citizens, opposes science, suspends habeas corpus and holds detainees incommunicado, and is prepared to pass laws to interfere with the medical decisions of individuals and their families isn't a libertarian by any reasonable definition of the term.

Jim Rose said...

If you think a Nancy Pelosi/Democrat victory is a libertarian victory, you don't know what libertarianism is.

McCoy said...

I don't think that this was a personal endorsement of Pelosi (what percentage of voters cast a ballot with her name on it?), but rather a rejection of the very anti-libertarian policies of the Bush administration.

I provided support for my claim. You merely restated yours. Since you clearly avoided the issue, might you be so kind as to share what you think a Libertarian outlook on the issues that I mentioned above might be?

John McGourty said...

Obviously, one person wasn't responsible for the Republican defeat but the final Senate seat -- Montana -- was affected/determined by the 10,000 votes received by blue-skinned Libertarian Stan Jones.
The guy might have been the nuttiest candidate on the ballot anywhere.
Blue skin? He ate colloidal silver for two years and his skin turned blue.

Jim Rose said...

You're being defensive McCoy, which weakens your position greatly. I didn't bother to question your claims because they're so simplistic and pedestrian that I didn't see the point, but very well...

It's true that much of the Bush/GOP agenda is anti-libertarian, but it's hardly a victory for libertarianism when you replace one anti-libertarian agenda with another. Both parties have anti-libertarian positions, just in different areas. Sure the Democrats are for gay marriage/unions, but they want to nationalize health care. Sure the Dems don't want to interfere with family health decisions, but they want to raise taxes through the roof and bring back the "fairness" doctrine to squelch free speech. The Republican's/Bush "oppose science"? Now you're being disengenuous. Whether you agree with their position on stem-cells or not, it's a moral issue and it's not like they're Christian Scientists or some crap like that. As for the wiretap, torture stuff...you need to grow up. Being libertarian doesn't mean you agree to sign a suicide pact with those that want to kill you. That's what wrong with the Libertarian Party...too much ideology and not enough reality.

Bottom line, there's no winning for libertarians at the moment. The only hope we have is gridlock in which nothing gets accomplished.

Reliapundit said...

well said JR!

McCoy said...

There's nothing "defensive" about pointing out the fact that you made a claim (twice) without providing an argument in support of it.

As you've acknowledged, the Bush administration has been advancing an agenda that's not been very libertarian friendly for quite some time. This election is a victory for libertarians in that it has finally put in place a much-needed check. You're correct in pointing out that there are also points of dispute between the Democratic agenda an libertarian ideals, but keep in mind that this election did not result in an overwhelming majority in both the House and Senate, nor did it (obviously) result in a Democratic executive. As a result, libertarian leaning Democratic and Republican congressmen are in the enviable position of having significantly more pull than they have had in the last few years. Bottom line: The runaway anti-libertarian Bush agenda has had a check put on it that it didn't have before, the Democrats do not have enough new power to advance a radically anti-libertarian agenda of their own, and libertarian leaning congressmen now have more potential power in the legislature. It may not be Libertarian eutopia, but the suggestion that it was a "rough night for libertarians" is, I think, self-evidently ridiculous.

From his pushing of anti-science policy via NASA appointees, to his rejection of overwhelming opinion regarding climate change, to his stance on the teaching of creationism/ID in public schools, etc… the Bush administration can hardly be characterized as having been "science friendly" over the past few years.

The unregulated, unmonitored warrantless wiretapping of America citizens goes against the basic tenets of Libertarianism, as does torture, extraordinary rendition, and the holding of detainees incommunicado. The advocacy of such morally bankrupt actions are hallmarks of neo-conservativism, and while there may be some libertarians who have jumped onto that ship, it shouldn't be confused with the Libertarian ideology itself.

The truth of the matter is that the Bush administration has driven true libertarians away. While it's true that most libertarians do not agree with the entire Democratic agenda, many realize that a bare Democratic majority in congress is a prudent step in stopping the madness of the current administration.

Jim Rose said...

You do make some good points (finally), but let us not forget that the new "moderate" or "conservative" Democrats that are coming to town are there at the pleasure of Nancy Pelosi. If they want to stick around for more than 2 years, they're going to have to tow the party leadership's line, which is decidely anti-libertarian. But who knows? Maybe they'll have some guts and fight for a more moderate agenda, but I don't have a lot of faith in the likes of Heath Schuler when it comes to intellectual savvy.

Pray for gridlock.

Also, be careful of your use of the term "neoconservative." It's been well established that that term was created by the Left as a sort of slur on Conservatives that favor Israel. The whiff of Leftist anti-Semitism can't be washed off this beltway buzzword. Just a piece of advice...take it or leave it.

Peace out!