No Tunku

I’m breaking from my no politics Friday to point out one of the dumbest things written in the last couple years, courtesy of Tunku Varadarajan:

My first instinct as a libertarian is, of course, for Republican victories everywhere, particularly for candidates running specifically on a small-government platform. The big-government Bush Republicans have already been punished; now it’s time to get rid of the big-government Democrats—i.e., all of them.

It is almost like he is unaware that McConnell and Boehner and all the same Republicans will be in charge should they win. Name one “big-government Bush Republican” who has been punished for anything. Cheney looks near dead, but that is punishment from God. The rest of them have not paid one bit for any of their sins.

Are libertarians just naturally the dumbest fucking people on the planet?






131 replies
  1. 1
    thalarctos says:

    It’s been scientifically proven that reading Ayn Rand reduces IQ.

  2. 2
    4tehlulz says:

    Rob Portman is being punished?

  3. 3
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    Are libertarians just naturally the dumbest fucking people on the planet?

    Yes.

    Thus endeth today’s episode of One Word Answers.

  4. 4
    Elizabelle says:

    Tunku has got to be so pleased Howard Kurtz has arrived to take up the mantle of dumbest SOB at the Daily Beast.

  5. 5
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Are libertarians just naturally the dumbest fucking people on the planet?

    No, but they’re like Avis. They try harder.

  6. 6
    Mnemosyne says:

    Are libertarians just naturally the dumbest fucking people on the planet?

    Yes. And they’re that most pernicious type of dumb person, the one who’s convinced that they’re smart.

  7. 7
    morzer says:

    Tunku Varadarajan, Megan McArdle, Nick Gillespie…. the Unholy Trinity of Useful Idiots, brought to you by Koch Industries and other small businesses.

  8. 8
    me says:

    Not necessarily but self-deluded people are.

  9. 9
    geg6 says:

    Yes. Yes, they are.

    And that ends our daily dose of SATSQ.

  10. 10
    mikeyes says:

    There is a good chance that Jim DeMint might be in charge as a lot of people owe him these days. I’m not sure if that is any different, but there is a fued going on in the GOP over who is in charge and the DeMint camp seems to be winning.

  11. 11
    Vishnu Schist says:

    My first instinct as a libertarian republican is, of course, for Republican victories everywhere

    Quote fixed, that should clear up any confusion.

  12. 12
    CJ says:

    Kind of. They are the dumbest fucking people who think they are smart. Teabaggers are dumber but they embrace their stupidity.

  13. 13
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    Impeachment investigations and the ensuing hearings are the epitome of small government.

  14. 14
    gizmo says:

    I’d like to see a list of Libertarian accomplishments. For all their flaws, Democrats and Republicans actually do stuff– they build roads, deliver the mail, provide for the national defense, manage the airports….

    Granted, they may do these things badly– but what the hell do Libertarians do, other than sit in their ivory towers and kvetch?

  15. 15
    Ed Marshall says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    You ever seen the actual study on why stupid people don’t know that they are failing?

    In 1995, McArthur Wheeler walked into two Pittsburgh banks and robbed them in broad daylight, with no visible attempt at disguise. He was arrested later that night, less than an hour after videotapes of him taken from surveillance cameras were broadcast on the 11 o’clock news. When police later showed him the surveillance tapes, Mr. Wheeler stared in incredulity. ‚ÄúBut I wore the juice,‚Äù he mumbled. Apparently, Mr. Wheeler was under the impression that rubbing one’s face with lemon juice rendered it invisible to videotape cameras (Fuocco, 1996).

    We bring up the unfortunate affairs of Mr. Wheeler to make three points. The first two are noncontroversial. First, in many domains in life, success and satisfaction depend on knowledge, wisdom, or savvy in knowing which rules to follow and which strategies to pursue. This is true not only for committing crimes, but also for many tasks in the social and intellectual domains, such as promoting effective leadership, raising children, constructing a solid logical argument, or designing a rigorous psychological study. Second, people differ widely in the knowledge and strategies they apply in these domains (Dunning, Meyerowitz, & Holzberg, 1989; Dunning, Perie, & Story, 1991; Story & Dunning, 1998), with varying levels of success. Some of the knowledge and theories that people apply to their actions are sound and meet with favorable results. Others, like the lemon juice hypothesis of McArthur Wheeler, are imperfect at best and wrong-headed, incompetent, or dysfunctional at worst.

    Perhaps more controversial is the third point, the one that is the focus of this article. We argue that when people are incompetent in the strategies they adopt to achieve success and satisfaction, they suffer a dual burden: Not only do they reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it. Instead, like Mr. Wheeler, they are left with the mistaken impression that they are doing just fine. As Miller (1993) perceptively observed in the quote that opens this article, and as Charles Darwin (1871) sagely noted over a century ago, “ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge” (p. 3).

  16. 16
    Nied says:

    Are libertarians just naturally the dumbest fucking people on the planet?

    As others have said already: Yes.

    To paraphrase Brian Kilmeade: “Not all dumb people are Libertarians, but all Libertarians are dumb people.”

  17. 17
    liberal says:

    Are libertarians just naturally the dumbest fucking people on the planet?

    No, just among the most evil.

  18. 18
    Uloborus says:

    That’s a rhetorical question. Libertarianism is at best a pretty sounding ideal that ignores reality. At worst, and much more often, it’s a socially acceptable way to say IGMFU. I think most often it’s a cover word for people who don’t realize they only differ from a more mainstream political philosophy on a couple of issues.

  19. 19
    Thoreau says:

    Are libertarians just naturally the dumbest fucking people on the planet?

    Not all, just the Team Red apologists who claim to care about limited government while cheering for torture and a trillion dollar war. Those aren’t libertarians in any meaningful sense.

    If you want to see a good libertarian in action, head over to Reason and check out Radley Balko’s work. Thanks to him, a corrupt medical examiner is being replaced in Mississippi.

  20. 20
    Comrade Dave says:

    Are libertarians just naturally the dumbest fucking people on the planet?

    Yes. This ends today’s episode of simple answers to simple questions, Tune in tomorrow when we try and find out if Harry Reid has balls………..

  21. 21
    Aet says:

    They also evidently like taking credit for the actions of Democrats.

    I especially like the subtle use of ‘Bush Republicans’: constantly reinforcing the image that Bush is not of the tribe.

  22. 22
    Judas Escargot says:

    Are libertarians just naturally the dumbest fucking people on the planet?

    Only the true believers.

    The rest are just selfish grifters and enablers, hoping that you’re stupid enough to believe their assorted excuses for having some seriously broken values.

  23. 23

    @gizmo:

    I’d like to see a list of Libertarian accomplishments.

    I’d like to see their plans. Well thought out. With a disussion of consequences, including alternate outcomes and how they plan to deal with those.

    What’s the phrase? Crickets?

  24. 24
    cleek says:

    Personally, I would love to see Paladino and O’Donnell lose, since they’ve distracted attention from the small-government message by adding in their own social conservatism and cultural weirdness. Republican primary voters need to be reminded to be more grownup, and practical.

    grownup, practical, no social conservatism?

    apparently he’s one of those people who has no clue as to the makeup of the GOP base. he thinks the fundies are some kind of weird fringe. a typical “I’m The Real Base” type, i suppose.

    also: “need to be reminded” – arrogant, too !

  25. 25
    Thoreau says:

    Accomplishment:

    http://reason.com/blog/2010/10.....o-hire-fri

    Radley Balko’s investigative journalism exposed horrendously corrupt practices by the Mississippi medical examiner, practices that put countless people behind bars on dubious grounds. The medical examiner is being replaced, and cases are being appealed, because of the work of this libertarian journalist and former think-tanker.

  26. 26
    cleek says:

    @Ed Marshall:
    “But I wore the (lemon) juice” needs to become a tag.

  27. 27
    carlos the dwarf says:

    Are libertarians just naturally the dumbest fucking people on the planet?

    Not dumb. They’re True Believers in the Church of I Got Mine Fuck You, and, like all true believers, they have to ignore all reality that can’t fit into their warped and myopic worldview.

  28. 28
    kuvasz says:

    Are libertarians just naturally the dumbest fucking people on the planet?

    Scratch a Libertarian on the surface and what oozes to the surface is the sap of emotional immaturity and permanent adolescence. Every Libertarian I have met or heard reminds me of a fourteen year old kid who lacks the the mental sophistication of normal adults.

  29. 29
    mclaren says:

    Tunku Varadarjan? Isn’t that the name of one of those Japanese monsters in a 1960s Toho film?

    TUNKU THE TERRIBLE, DESTROYER OF TOKYO! WATCH AS THE RAVENING MONSTER BREATHES FLAME ON THOUSANDS OF FLEEING VICTIMS!

    Directed by Ishiro Honda, of course. With a guy in a latex rubber suit as Tunku.

  30. 30
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

     

    I’m breaking from my no politics Friday

    Oh Lord, give me the strength to resist temptation, but not just yet. Maybe next week. Or next month. I’ll get back to you on that…

  31. 31
    artem1s says:

    its not so much stupidity as their basic voting premise is flawed. you can’t vote FOR something you don’t want. Every time they interfere with the system they want to eliminate, the side that votes FOR something to happen (health care, labor rights, rendition, bomb bomb iran, whatever) wins.

    the stupidity (madness) comes with refusing to recognize that the outcome, for them, is never, ever going to change.

  32. 32
    gene108 says:

    Libertarian is the new cool word for people, who still want to be Republicans, because they don’t like unions, the minimum wage, etc., but aren’t as dedicated to bringing about the second coming of Jesus Christ as the typical rank-and-file Republican is required to be these days.

  33. 33

    Hi and welcome to Simple Answers to Simple…

    ah, fuck it, i have a hangover. yes, they are the stupidest people on the planet.

  34. 34
    Ajay says:

    I read Ayn Rand long time ago and I liked it. Some of it is good for personal growth. But I cant imagine a govt based on its tenets. You have to be an idiot to take it to a level where everything is based on that ideology.

  35. 35
    georgia pig says:

    Are libertarians just naturally the dumbest fucking people on the planet?

    The obvious answer would be yes, but note that they tend to suffer from a particular brand of cluelessness that is highlighted by your Tunku quote. Libertarians tend to have next to zero social IQ. They seem to have a filter that blocks out most social feedback that clearly invalidates their theses about human behavior, like your observation regarding a lack of “punishment” for the congressional Republican leadership. Maybe this is why they commonly fall for simplistic, unified theories of human behavior . . . like libertarianism.

  36. 36
    Aet says:

    @thoreau:

    That’s an accomplishment, but the question was probably more on politics, not journalism.

    @Ajay
    That’s the fundamental problem with libertarianism. The idea of trying to live a life without accepting or giving charity, of a personal philosophy of supreme self-reliance, is fine as a personal philosophy.

    But it sucks the wet ass as political thought. Its callous, irresponsible, and dangerous. Its also not how industrial societies function.

    And all that’s assuming someone is honest.

  37. 37
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Yes. And they’re that most pernicious type of dumb person, the one who’s convinced that they’re smart.

    This. You win the Internetzes for today!

  38. 38
    Dr. Squid says:

    These people are probably the easiest people to con. All you have to do to prove you’re for “small government” is to say that you’re for small government, and they’ll buy it whole hog, at least if you have an R next to your name.

    @Comrade Dave: From what I heard, he doesn’t have the ability to speak basic English.

  39. 39
    mclaren says:

    @Ed Marshall:

    First, in many domains in life, success and satisfaction depend on knowledge, wisdom, or savvy in knowing which rules to follow and which strategies to pursue.

    Yeah, riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

    (catches breath)

    Ahahahahahahahahahahaha!

    George W. Bush. President of the FUCKING UNITED STATES. “Knowledge, wisdom or savvy.” Yeahhhhhh, baby, fuckin’-A!

    Hahahahahahahahahaha!

    Donald Rumsfeld! Condoleeza Rice! Paul Wolfowitz!

    “…success and satisfaction depend on knowledge, wisdom, or savvy in knowing which rules to follow and which strategies to pursue. ”

    Oh, gimme a GODDAMN BREAK. You put all these ignorant incompetent zitbrains together and they still couldn’t figure out how to empty a goddamn fucking boot if the instructions were printed on the heel.

    What, haven’t you people realized? Don’t you have a clue?

    Nobody in charge knows SHIT. They’re all pig-ignorant halfwits. The banks hired WalMart greeters and Taco Ball cashiers as “loan experts” and these bozos didn’t even know what a “mortgagee” or a “downpayment” was. They sat these high-school dropouts at a desk and told ’em, “Sign that paper, boy,” and yep, they did.

    Meanwhile, Condoleeza Rice, that glorious PhD-educated mastermind with her Ivy League trained intellect, was rattling off gems like “We don’t want the first warning sign to be a mushroom cloud.” From all those WMDs we found in Iraq.

    WM FUCKING Ds! IN IRAQ!

    Jesus Christ on a skateboard, how long will the headlines beat you in the face with the evidence until you admit it? The world is being run by YOUR HIGH SCHOOL CLASS. And they don’t KNOW SHIT. They’re just as stupid and just as ignorant and just as clueless as they were back in tenth grade when the height of genius involved pouring salad dressing down some girl’s bra in the cafeteria and giving guys the wedgie in the gym locker room. THOSE are the people who are running things. Senator and Mrs. Blutarsky! ANIMAL HOUSE was prophecy, people! IDIOCRACY isn’t fiction, it’s a fuckin’ DOCUMENTARY!

  40. 40
    Richard R says:

    They like hanging out with the cool kids. It’s like being on the AV squad again.

  41. 41
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    Are libertarians just naturally the dumbest fucking people on the planet?

    Yes. SATSQ

  42. 42
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Libertarians consider it a badge of honor that they will ignore all evidence showing that it’s actually the Democrats that reduce the deficit, thus making them Republicans. Once again, all they care about are tax cuts.

    ETA: I meant to include that the biggest problem that Libertarians have with Democrats is that Dems are willing to raise taxes in order to pay for things. As long as you are not going to raise taxes, it’s OK.

  43. 43
    TheYankeeApologist says:

    Well, the Big Government Democrats DO need to be punished, of course . . . . they didn’t wave their magic wand and get the DADT repeal, the public option, and they SURE didn’t bring Jesus back!

    Clearly, we need to usher in a new age of motorized scooters and public beheadings of Welfare Blacks for all!

    (/sarcasm)

  44. 44
    JGabriel says:

    Tunku Varadarajan:

    My first instinct as a libertarian is, of course, for Republican victories everywhere …

    That means he’s a Republican, not a “libertarian”. I don’t have much use for the “liberaltarian” label that E.D. Kain likes to talk about, but at least it implies that libertarians are supposed to be focused on civil liberties and free markets, not small government for the sake of small government but for the sake of improving society.

    Varadarajan’s “libertarianism” is apparently nothing but far right GOP partisanship. It’s not that he’s actually a libertarian in any real sense of the word (assuming there is one, and I’m not convinced that there is); it’s just that he’s such a fucking idiot that he thinks it sounds more intellectual to call himself one.

    .

  45. 45
    Joshua says:

    Yes, of course they are. You don’t need any brainpower to be a libertarian, you just need to be able to memorize the phrases “get the government out of it”, or “let private companies compete.” I bet Reason includes a card with those phrases with a subscription.

    Of course, the problem is that people mistake this stubbornness and stupidity for clear-minded, consistent wisdom.

  46. 46
    Brachiator says:

    Are libertarians just naturally the dumbest fucking people on the planet?

    They used to be, until the rise of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party People.

    Libertarians tend to have next to zero social IQ.

    The thing is, they see this as a feature, not a bug.

  47. 47
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    I must admit, next to threads bashing Calamity Jane, ones that bash libertarians are my favorite.

    I’m sure that says something about me.

    Calling Dr Freud! Dr Freud!

  48. 48
    FlipYrWhig says:

    The big-government Bush Republicans have already been punished

    I don’t know about “big-government,” but any chance he means the displaced “establishment” Republicans like Specter, B. Bennett, Murkowski, and that guy who Paul beat in KY?

  49. 49
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Researching Foreclosure-gate yesterday and mistakenly clicked on an Atlantic link on google news.

    Up popped the visage of McMegan’s mug.

    Immediately my brain registered an ‘Oh F!’ moment as I reflexively hit the back button understanding that there could be nothing worth reading anything written by a post turtle.

  50. 50
    Rosalita says:

    I’m breaking from my no politics Friday

    and for that you owe us some pet pics. you’ve been stingy lately. Lily? Tunch?

  51. 51
    The Other Chuck says:

    @Thoreau:

    That’s a nice individual accomplishment, and I’m not trying to move the goalposts or anything, but I think we’re looking for political accomplishments in the form of legislation.

    @gene108:

    Speaking as a former Libertarian, I say it’s simply the word for people who won’t admit to being Republican.

    Anyway, I hardly think Tunku’s epistle rises — or more apropos, sinks — to the level of Please Don’t Beat Your Children Inc.

  52. 52
    Svensker says:

    @mclaren:

    The world is being run by YOUR HIGH SCHOOL CLASS. And they don’t KNOW SHIT

    I think you may have hit on the secret to the universe here.

  53. 53
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    Funny how “Big Government” never seems to include our imperialistic and hegemonic armed forces. I would have thought that trying to rule the world bwahaaahaaa! [manical evil laugh] would be sort of the ultimate in “Big Government” and certainly the tallest pole in the tent (both philosophically and in a purely budgetary sense). But so-called Libertarians just never seem to get off the bus at that particular stop for some reason.

  54. 54
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    But so-called Libertarians just never seem to get off the bus at that particular stop for some reason.

    That reason would be hypocrisy. They’re no different than the “embrace the stoopidity” teatard who screams “keep gubmint out of health care but don’t touch my Social Security disbilty check”.

  55. 55
    KCinDC says:

    Cheney may look near dead, but I fear he’ll still be muttering his Very Serious Criticisms of Democrats on security on our “news” channels through at least 2060, and certainly his daughter (and whatever other descendants hop on the gravy train later) will carry on the family tradition for decades.

  56. 56
    coloradoblue says:

    Are libertarians just naturally the dumbest fucking people on the planet?

    I’d have to say No, but just for now. I think the TeaTards are objectively stupider. Demanding ‘Hands off my Medicare’ while asking for Big Gov’t to get out of their lives is demonstrably stupid.

    And I think that any political/economic philosphy that has had power for decades and has been proven not to work is even stupider than the TeaTards (see: Communism, the USSR and Cuba as main exhibits).

    For the Libertarians, they have their philosphy, which many believe to be unbearably stupid, but they have never had the opportunity to use that philosphy in a government. If they ever do get in power and implement their plans, they will fail miserably. If they then still insist that Libertarianism is the best option, THEN they will be the stupidest people on earth.

    IMHO.

  57. 57
    Cris says:

    @mclaren: The world is being run by YOUR HIGH SCHOOL CLASS. And they don’t KNOW SHIT.

    Oh fuck, so it doesn’t get better

  58. 58
    JPL says:

    Joe Klein has an article on Swampland that’s worth a read.
    Ignorance as Authenticity

    But Christine O’Donnell is not like that. She is attractive, to some, because she doesn’t know anything. She couldn’t name a Supreme Court decision she disagreed with, not even Roe v. Wade. There is no way she could ever be confused with a member of the elites; there is no way she could be confused with an above average high school student. Her ignorance, therefore, makes her authentic–the holy grail of latter-day American politics: she’s a real person, not like those phony politicians. In that sense, she–and the lifeboat filled with other Tea Party know-nothings–follow in the wake of our leading exemplar of ignorant authenticity, Sarah Palin (who seems every bit as unaware of public policy–she certainly never talks about it–as she was when a desperate and petulant John McCain chose her to be his running mate).

  59. 59
    Remember November says:

    Libertarians are the right side equivalent of dfh’s, to me. Naive idealists ( and wrong for the most part in thinking that a document written over 200 years ago is not subject to interpretation and evolution by any given society) that’s just my take.

  60. 60
    Steeplejack says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    Ditto for the security state, erosion of privacy, warrantless wiretapping, etc., etc.

  61. 61
    trollhattan says:

    A libertarian is an anarchist with a steady paycheck. As an organized political party (find the hidden contradiction) they do offer a home for disenfranchised narcissists.

  62. 62
    Cat says:

    @Thoreau:

    The medical examiner is being replaced, and cases are being appealed, because of the work of this libertarian journalist. and former think-tanker.

    FYP. You don’t have to be a Libertarian to care about injustice, just a human being. His work could have been done by almost any one of any political leanings.

  63. 63
    daveNYC says:

    And I think that any political/economic philosphy that has had power for decades and has been proven not to work is even stupider than the TeaTards (see: Communism, the USSR and Cuba as main exhibits).

    It can’t be not working that badly if it has managed to hold power for decades. Not to say that communism is a good way to run a country, but it does manage to get the job done, just not as well as capitalism does.

    Libertarianism OTOH, I’m pretty sure that that wouldn’t work. You’d end up with Somalia.

  64. 64
    trollhattan says:

    @KCinDC:

    I suspect he’s technically without a pulse, but like in the Python “bring out your dead” scene, he thinks he’ll go for a walk.

  65. 65
    debbie says:

    If the Republicans should take control, it’ll at least be fun watching McConnell, Boehner, et al come to the realization that they did not in fact “play” the libertarians/teabaggers and that they will not in fact be getting their way.

    @4tehlulz:

    Rob Portman is an absolute fraud. Check out this “Portman’s Plan to Create Jobs for Ohio” he speaks of in every tv ad. It’s six skimpy, generic bullet points, and nothing more. He refers to these bullet points as his “Six Pillars” — Ha! This reminds me of that scene in Spinal Tap, where the guitarist orders up a Stonhenge to play under during a concert, and what shows up is a tiny miniature version that doesn’t even reach his knees? “Owm I supposed to play under that?”

    http://www.robportman.com/1on-.....ohio-jobs/

  66. 66
    Legalize says:

    Are libertarians just naturally the dumbest fucking people on the planet?

    Yes. And the most dishonest. See e.g., every Republican since Eisenhower.

  67. 67
    Cris says:

    small-government platform

    @
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ
    : Funny how “Big Government” never seems to include our imperialistic and hegemonic armed forces.

    @Steeplejack: Ditto for the security state, erosion of privacy, warrantless wiretapping, etc., etc.

    When Republicans say “small government,” they’re not talking about the size of government, they’re talking about the scope. Or as Amanda Marcotte expressed it, “big government” means government that works for more people, “small government” means government that benefits fewer.

    When you look at it that way, there’s no contradiction. Government can be as big, expensive, and intrusive as we can make it, as long as it’s not infringing on the liberty (and the capital) of the right people.

  68. 68
    Remember November says:

    @trollhattan:

    win.

  69. 69
    Mike in NC says:

    The big-government Bush Republicans have already been punished

    Indeed. Book deals, speaking fees, contracts at FOX News, jobs at wingnut think tanks, and all the space they want to spread their bullshit in the NY Times and Washington Post.

  70. 70
    Sly says:

    There’s no such thing as a libertarian. They’re just Republicans who aren’t into Jesus in a big way. Unless they’re actually members of the Libertarian Party, in which case they’re Republicans who are especially into masochism.

    My father will swear up and down that he is not a Republican, he’s a libertarian. Yet he’s voted for Republicans his entire life (he voted for Perot in 1992, and said he won’t be making that “mistake” again). In 1960, when he was 21 and could vote for the first time, he voted for Richard Nixon. A 21 year old who voted for Nixon against Kennedy is a fucking Republican, no matter what name they like to call themselves.

  71. 71
    Bob says:

    “Are libertarians just naturally the dumbest fucking people on the planet?”

    They’re just fucking liars. For example, this dude likes to pose as a “libertarian,” but he’s just another goddamned Republican. I guarantee he didn’t say a peep about “big government” during the entire Bush presidency. Every single last thing about the Republican Party is fake (except, unfortunately, the consequences can be all-too-real). Their rhetoric is made from pre-digested words that have had any actual meaning chemically stripped away, then processed through special machines that extrude something that looks and sounds like an idea, but has no substantial content whatsoever. I hear the rubes just love that shit.

  72. 72
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Aet:

    The idea of trying to live a life without accepting or giving charity, of a personal philosophy of supreme self-reliance, is fine as a personal philosophy.

    The problem with it, of course, is that it requires you to ignore all of the charity and social assistance that you yourself have benefited from over the years and pretend that it was your Rugged Individualism that got you an education, not the public schools that your parents sent you to and the public library that let you check out The Fountainhead at no charge.

    Honestly, I don’t think the teabaggers and the libertarians are that far apart. They both ignore the social benefits that they get and pretend to be rugged individualists who want to be left alone. It’s just that the teabaggers are more blatant about their hypocrisy and don’t reserve it to whining about taxes being theft while they drive on publicly funded roads.

  73. 73
    JGabriel says:

    @daveNYC:

    Not to say that communism is a good way to run a country, but it does manage to get the job done, just not as well as capitalism does.

    Capitalism doesn’t run the country, democracy does.

    (Pause.)

    Oh God, I’m so naive.

    .

  74. 74

    @mclaren:

    I think you just won a prize for best comment. that made my day.

    idiocracy is indeed a documentary.

  75. 75
    Steeplejack says:

    @Cris:

    When Republicans say “small government,” they’re not talking about the size of government, they’re talking about the scope.

    Good point. Unfortunately.

  76. 76

    @mclaren:

    “…success and satisfaction depend on knowledge, wisdom, or savvy in knowing which rules to follow and which strategies to pursue. ”

    Your laughter is sadly misplaced. All of the people you list are either a) gainfully employed making high salaries, or b) retired from very powerful positions with a very comfortable pension plan.

    Success? Check
    Satisfaction? Check

    Now, they may not have had wisdom, but note the quote says “knowledge, wisdom *or* savvy…” I find it hard to argue that the Bush enterprise was at least savvy in fucking over a whole lot of people.

    Oh, gimme a GODDAMN BREAK. You put all these ignorant incompetent zitbrains together and they still couldn’t figure out how to empty a goddamn fucking boot if the instructions were printed on the heel.

    You are a moran, mclaren. They couldn’t empty a boot, and yet they ran the country into the ground for eight long years. You can call them incompetent (you’ll get no argument from me) and ignorant (again, see above), but you cannot say they didn’t achieve their goals, however twisted they may have been.

    Now, it is true that it may not have been successful *for you,* but success is not defined by sociopaths as whether an outcome is desirable *for you*.

  77. 77
    Ripley says:

    My first instinct as a libertarian is, of course…

    …to shit where I sleep.

  78. 78
    Violet says:

    Tunku! So proud to have introduced the B-J community to his hilariously ridiculous writing.

  79. 79
    someguy says:

    @Thoreau:

    The medical examiner is being replaced, and cases are being appealed, because of the work of this libertarian journalist and former think-tanker.

    I’m of two minds about this. On the one hand – Balko is the exception that proves the rule and frankly he isn’t much of a libertarian because he seems to care about other human beings who have nothing material to offer him, which makes him an altruist, the lowest kind of demon in the libertarian theology.

    And if he really is a libertarian and has actually done this good stuff, then I remember another guy who made the trains run on time, and an Austrian buddy of his who liked dogs and was a vegan. Doesn’t prove shit about their larger philosophies.

    Libertardians aren’t dumb: just evil.

  80. 80
    someguy says:

    Plus these fuckers lost the right, forever, to complain about big government and high taxes when they voted for Bush. Seriously, they should lose the right to vote & to talk about politics for that alone.

  81. 81
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    @mclaren: Yeah! Woohoo! This is so brilliant. Your genius astounds me. Ranting against a quote from an old scientific study, and extrapolating from one sentence the definitive explanation of why society sucks. You’re so clever, in fact, that I have no idea who you’re talking to.

  82. 82
    someguy says:

    @daveNYC:

    Not to say that communism is a good way to run a country, but it does manage to get the job done, just not as well as capitalism does.

    Yeah? How’s that “Q” (long term plus short term) unemployment rate of around 17-18% working out for you, and a perpetual unemployment rate in the black community in the high 20s? Seems to me whether communism works or not is a question of whether you’re well entrenched in the upper middle class or above.

  83. 83
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mclaren: Condi Rice went to Denver (twice, BA and PhD) and Notre Dame (MA). Neither are Ivies.

  84. 84

    My first instinct as a libertarian is, of course, for Republican victories everywhere, particularly for candidates running specifically on a small-government platform.

    My first instinct as a left-libertarian is for Republicans to lose spectacularly, go on a soul searching mission and come back as a sane conservative party willing to, you know, actually govern.

  85. 85
    daveNYC says:

    Yeah? How’s that “Q” (long term plus short term) unemployment rate of around 17-18% working out for you, and a perpetual unemployment rate in the black community in the high 20s? Seems to me whether communism works or not is a question of whether you’re well entrenched in the upper middle class or above.

    What part of ‘capitalism works better than communism’ sounded like ‘capitalism is the bestest thing ever’?

  86. 86
    YellowDog says:

    I miss the good old days when the libertarians ran used bookstores (with the best sci fi sections). You had to listen to them spout off at checkout (“plus $.20 for the government” was often the beginning of the rant), but they served a useful function.

  87. 87
    Bob L says:

    @someguy: Oh they absolved themselves on that in 2000. They voted for Bush because his tax cuts would “starve the beast”.

  88. 88
    TomG says:

    For gizmo, @14 – “deliver the mail….”
    Lysander Spooner wasn’t exactly a libertarian but he did run a profitable private mail delivery company, the American Letter Mail Company, that delivered mail until FORCED BY LAW to shut down – not by unhappy customers, but by the U.S. government.

  89. 89
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Saying “I’m a libertarian” is just a way to say “Don’t bother me” or “Fuck off” and feel like it’s a core political principle.

  90. 90
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Cris:

    When you look at it that way, there’s no contradiction. Government can be as big, expensive, and intrusive as we can make it, as long as it’s not infringing on the liberty (and the capital) of the right people.

    Good point.
    Of course when they aim their rhetoric at non-Libertarians, the first metric they reach for is govt spending, so they are being fundamentally dishonest in presenting their philosophical goals to others not already in the movement. I guess some corners have to be cut when you are a vanguardist movement. Funny how we’ve seen that movie before, huh?

  91. 91

    And this is why we call that particular excrescence of Tina Brown’s ego “The Daily Least”.

  92. 92
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Cris:

    Government can be as big, expensive, and intrusive as we can make it, as long as it’s not infringing on the liberty (and the capital) of the right people.

    I think that’s true of conservatives, but it shouldn’t really be true for libertarians. A libertarian shouldn’t think that anyone’s liberties deserve to be infringed, unless that person has committed some kind of offense against someone else’s liberty and/or property. Libertarians are anti-drug-war, anti-helmet-law, anti-foreign-war, etc. That’s why it’s more like a “Fuck off, you can’t make me” ethos.

  93. 93
    Turgidson says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Indeed. That’s the infuriating part. The smug self-righteousness of just knowingthat their completely idiotic ideology is the only true wisdom is insufferable – especially since they know as well as we do that no one will ever actually put their true vision into practice fully (because it’s idiotic) – but they only take that to mean that they’ve never been proven wrong, and thus must be right.

    Retch.

  94. 94
    Shinobi says:

    I’ve never met a libertarian who was wrong about anything. (Because of course the only person who could prove them wrong would be another libertarian.)

  95. 95
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Benen has a related post on Randroid Glibertarian craziness.

    THE MOST AMAZING LIBERTARIAN QUOTE OF ALL TIME

    “The family should be left to resolve it [domestic violence| on their own,” [Amanda] Biondolillo said. “Or private enterprise — private companies can contact the family and say, ‘We heard you were hitting your kids. Can you stop that?’ “

  96. 96
    Mnemosyne says:

    @TomG:

    Yes, and that’s why UPS and FedEx are a figment of your imagination — because private delivery of letters and packages is still banned by the US government.

    /eyeroll

  97. 97
    gene108 says:

    @Remember November:

    Naive idealists ( and wrong for the most part in thinking that a document written over 200 years ago is not subject to interpretation and evolution by any given society)

    Most true Libertarians do not believe the Constitution was set in stone 200 years ago.

    They very much want it to be open to new interpretations so the War on Drugs will end, gays can get married and other civil liberties issues, where they are very much in accord with liberals.

    Unfortunately Libertarians never really defined their agenda government and economic agenda, other than abolishing the Federal Reserve and central banks in general, because they aren’t in favor of corporate based oligarchy running things either, though they favor limited government. They never clearly defined how to limit the corporate oligarchy without government intervention.

    Because of this lack of concrete definition of their economic and government agenda, Libertarians have been hi-jacked by Republicans, who want to float their nasty unpopular economic agenda to enrich their corporate backers – roll back the minimum wage, abolish all social safety nets, work place safety laws and means to sue companies for damages etc. – without tainting the Republican brand. These folks just shifted to calling themselves Libertarians, though they don’t share the vision of closing GITMO, opposing torture, ending the War on Drugs, etc.

  98. 98
    gene108 says:

    @daveNYC:

    Libertarianism OTOH, I’m pretty sure that that wouldn’t work. You’d end up with Somalia.

    Somalia = anarchy.

    Or what happens, when a centralized government totally fails and anyone with the means to raise an army and defend his territory can form his own government.

    This happened to China, when the last Emperor was deposed. War lords started carving out territories for themselves. Same thing with Afghanistan, after the Soviets left and no government existed.

    I don’t think Libertarians want a situation, where the person with the most guns wins.

  99. 99
    agorabum says:

    Thoreau is right; Balko is a libertarian that does good work.

    I think the real reason for much of the vitrol against lib / glibtarians is that today it’s just a popular label used by fairly conventional right wingers. None of these people seem to care about the biggest true issues; military adventurism and abuses of power by the state. These people should have been clamoring for torture investigations and prosecution, but never made a peep.
    They should also want a real free market, not one infected with corporate welfare, regulatory capture, and restrictive licensing.
    Instead, they only care about 2-3% changes on the tax rates at the highest brackets.

    Real libertarians are rare. But glibtarians are a dime a dozen these days.

  100. 100
    HyperIon says:

    @FlipYrWhig wrote:

    I don’t know about “big-government,” but any chance he means the displaced “establishment” Republicans like Specter, B. Bennett, Murkowski, and that guy who Paul beat in KY?

    That’s what I thought he meant.
    And if he did mean that, then one might ask:

    Are many folks here just naturally the dumbest fucking readers on the planet?

    But that would be snarky. Besides I hate libertarians myself; JC mocking the Fonzie of Freedom is always good for a laugh.

    Surely we can find more unambiguous instances of Libertarian idiocy. And remember, PeakWingNut is a lie so it’s really a waste of time to claim “stupidest” ever. That record is being broken somewhere right now.

  101. 101

    Most true Libertarians do not believe the Constitution was set in stone 200 years ago.
    They very much want it to be open to new interpretations so the War on Drugs will end, gays can get married and other civil liberties issues, where they are very much in accord with liberals.

    You know, that’s awfully interesting, because drug laws, gay marriage, and many other civil liberties issues were never mentioned specifically anywhere in the constitution.

  102. 102

    @HyperIon:

    That’s what I thought he meant.

    Hence the time-worn phrase “say what you mean, and mean what you say.”

  103. 103
    GaBuck says:

    @trollhattan: that sounds just about right!

  104. 104
    SteveAR says:

    Are libertarians just naturally the dumbest fucking people on the planet?

    No. That would be liberals.

  105. 105
  106. 106
    morzer says:

    After mature deliberation, and recent reviewing of Stargate episodes, I have concluded that libertarians are the Goa’uld party.

    We now end our obligatory Friday pop culture reference part of the program.

  107. 107
    thalarctos says:

    Libertarian: an Anarchist who is afraid of dynamite.

  108. 108
    Kilkee says:

    to Tom G:
    Lysander Spooner? He’s supposed to be a champion of what? The notion that “private enterprise works better?” Well hell, if the government could decide to deliver mail only to the big cities, as Spooner’s company did, it certainly could do so more cheaply. The added cost of agreeing to deliver mail to, oh, I don’t know, cliff-dwellers in Arizona and ranchers in Montana kind of change the economics a bit. Classic stuff: skim off the easy part of the job and declare that private enterprise works so much more efficiently!

  109. 109
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @SteveAR: No, liberals work at it very hard.

  110. 110

    One of the saddest signs of the degeneration of conservative and right wing libertarian thought, which once was worth taking seriously, was their replacing limited government with small government as their ideal.

    A limited government as our Founders intended it is prohibited from torture, aggressive war, signing statements, abolishing habeus corpus because the rulers are discomfited by it, and so on.

    A small government can do all these things, so long as it lets oligarchs set economic policy. “Small government libertarians” are friends of neither freedom nor the constitution.

  111. 111
    gerry says:

    Simple answers for simple questions…Yes.

  112. 112
    CalD says:

    Are libertarians just naturally the dumbest fucking people on the planet?

    I really think they fall into three basic categories:

    1. People who are stupid enough to think simple-minded solutions to complicated problems actually work very often in the real world (and/or that if it really was that easy, everybody wouldn’t be doing it).

    2. People who are ignorant enough to believe that none of their hair-brained ideas have ever been tried before (with uniformly disastrous results).

    3. Hardcore social Darwinians who think it’s cute to disingenuously promote agendas that play off the stupid and ignorant (see above) against the weak and socially disadvantaged.

  113. 113
    LittlePig says:

    @gene108:

    I don’t think Libertarians want a situation where the person with the most guns wins.

    That may well be true, but, like rainbow-farting unicorns, what you want and what you get are two very different things.

    It would take a police state from Hell to prevent that from happening (after all, (g)Libertarians basically want anarchy with legal personal property protection). And it would be corporate police, because government is bad, bad, bad. That’s the stuff of nightmares. It has the exact same basic flaw as Communism: human nature doesn’t work that way. The relationship between Asperger’s and (g)Libertarianism is not coincidental – the brain’s social wiring is not up to snuff.

    Given the choice, I’d take Somalia in a heartbeat.

  114. 114
    Mnemosyne says:

    @gene108:

    I don’t think Libertarians want a situation, where the person with the most guns wins.

    I think they do, because when they build that fantasy world in their heads, they’re always the guy with the most guns. And it’s virtually impossible to convince them that the fantasy world they’ve constructed is not going to be the world that results from what they want.

  115. 115
    Cacti says:

    Libertarian = republican who enjoys pot

  116. 116
    Barb (formerly gex) says:

    The only libertarian I know IRL travels a lot for work and bitches about toll roads.

    So, yeah.

  117. 117
    Mayur says:

    @SteveAR: “I know you are but what am I?” That’s the best you can do?

    Here’s my witty rebuttal, pitched to the same level:

    Shut up SteveAR, you cock.

  118. 118
    Barb (formerly gex) says:

    @gene108: To me they are just the fiscal Republicans. They pretend to dislike the social conservatives, but will align themselves with them every time in order to get their tax cuts. They’re just sad that the alliance they’ve forged reflects badly on the brand.

  119. 119
    Barb (formerly gex) says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: Many of them are engineers who work for defense contractors. Every last one of those guys bitches about welfare spending as they live high off the hog on no-bid contracts.

  120. 120
    ed drone says:

    Wasn’t it on Balloon-Juice I saw this aphorism (or whatever you call a short statement of this sort):

    “Libertarian” is the word you use when you want to say, “Republican,” but need an extra syllable.

    I think that covers it.

    (I don’t think the phrase was first posted here, but it was here I saw it, so here is where the credit goes.)

    Ed

  121. 121
    Barb (formerly gex) says:

    @Mnemosyne: And even they would not be able to function at the rates they do without USPS.

  122. 122
    Ruckus says:

    @Remember November:
    Libertarians are the right side equivalent of dfh’s, to me. Naive idealists ( and wrong for the most part in thinking that a document written over 200 years ago is not subject to interpretation and evolution by any given society)
    Why would they not think a document just over 200 years old is incapable of being updated with new ideals? A majority seem to think that a document that is 2000 plus years old can not be changed. They seem to have, I don’t even know what to call it, inspiration points for ideals. These they accept at face value, the bible, the constitution, some second rate novels. Any other ideas, ideals, revelations, new knowledge about any of these things, they reject. They know everything. It is a perfect example of a 14 year old. Enough experience to see there is a world around them, just enough knowledge and inquiry to see how some minor things work, the selfishness of thinking that the social world still revolves around them, a lack of humility for not having been wrong on any big issues because they have never had to see or work through big issues.
    Conservatives and libertarians are just those with a better sense of rationalization about the world. They can make excuses about the stuff that doesn’t fall into their world view by blaming everyone but themselves and their ideals.

  123. 123
    Cris says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: I think that’s true of conservatives, but it shouldn’t really be true for libertarians. A libertarian shouldn’t think that anyone’s liberties deserve to be infringed

    I think you’re right; real libertarians* should recognize that individual liberty can only be assured by universal liberty. That’s why I don’t agree with @someguy when he says Balko “isn’t much of a libertarian because he seems to care about other human beings who have nothing material to offer him.” I think someguy is talking about Objectivists, not Libertarians, though I agree it’s a pretty fine distinction.

    (* forgive the true scotsman thing)

  124. 124
    4jkb4ia says:

    No politics Friday

    I suggest that Political Wire is working well for me as a substitute for memeorandum.

  125. 125
    MTiffany says:

    “Cheney looks near dead…”

    What else would the undead look like?

  126. 126
    ...now I try to be amused says:

    @kuvasz:

    Scratch a Libertarian on the surface and what oozes to the surface is the sap of emotional immaturity and permanent adolescence. Every Libertarian I have met or heard reminds me of a fourteen year old kid who lacks the the mental sophistication of normal adults.

    I find the neocons to be similarly unsophisticated. Their “plan” to convert the entire Middle East to democracy via invading Iraq is something a 13-year-old wargamer would think of.

  127. 127
    Shelton Lankford says:

    @KCinDC: And even then, we will have to endure the campaigns of the neo-con remnant trying to get the Dick’s face on Mt. Rushmore, or to name all the things that they didn’t name for Reagan “Cheney”, and a national holiday on the day he was first animated at the factory.

  128. 128
    Shelton Lankford says:

    @KCinDC: And even then, we will have to endure the campaigns of the neo-con remnant trying to get the Dick’s face on Mt. Rushmore, or to name all the things that they didn’t name for Reagan “Cheney”, and a national holiday on the day he was first animated at the factory.

  129. 129

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I don’t know about “big-government,” but any chance he means the displaced “establishment” Republicans like Specter, B. Bennett, Murkowski, and that guy who Paul beat in KY?

    Are you kidding? Fuck no. I’ll believe the shit that Tunku is spouting when Jim DeMint or Dick Shelby face primary challengers and when other Republican candidates start facing serious primary challenges because they’re spending too much money on the Department of Defense or voting for monstrosities like the PATRIOT act.

  130. 130

    Murray Rothbard wrote a great piece about Ayn Rand, called The Sociology of the Ayn Rand Cult. It’s a spot on criticism of the Randroids and of most glibertarians. What gets me the most about glibertarians is how full of themselves, and therefore, full of shit they are. Most glibertarians view themselves as renaissance men, better and smarter than the rest of the people out there, and most of them have nothing to show that actually proves it. They’re not entrepreneurs, straining at and breaking the shackles of convention, they’re hacks like the Koch-suckers at Reason or McMegan McArdle who hold down boring, hum drum jobs that they’re barely capable of doing (McMegan McArdle is as qualified to be the business and economics editor of the Atlantic as I am to be an orthopedic surgeon) and completely incapable of realizing it.

    But glibertarians are convinced, to a man, that they’re John Galt (or, if female, Dagny Taggart). Tak to a glibertarian and you get the feeling that you’re talking to Walter Mitty, and that he believes that he really is a daredevil pilot/surgeon/secret agent. When you compare how glibertarians talk with what they’ve actually accomplished you realize that they’re every bit as full of shit as those drunken morons you meet in a bar who say things like “I could have gone pro” or “You know. I’ll bet that with a little bit of training that I could take Tyson”.

  131. 131
    Jebediah says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:
    Koch-suckers! Maybe it proves how juvenile I am, but that perfect bon mot is making me laugh.

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