Last week, my colleague Brian Lehman wrote a great post on gay marriage, offering up a deal for social conservatives in order to ease some of the tension over it. I would like to sweeten the pot, a bit, if that’s possible.
For a long time, we’ve had the right and left wings in this country ignore the pressing issues of our time—crushing debt, a horribly mangled tax code, an economy infested with out of control cronyism and regulation, a monetary system that isn’t working, dismantled civil liberties, and looming entitlements that threaten to wash away all of our prosperity in a megatsunami of unfunded liabilities—to focus instead on issues such as gay marriage, abortion, Islamic mosques, and whether or not Barack Obama is a neo-marxist anti-colonialist Kenyan who wasn’t born in the United States (and ate a dog in Indonesia when he was five.) Oh, and Chick-Fil-A.
Because of this more important things we should be focusing on, and because we need to do something about them today, I would like to put forward a “grand bargain” of sorts between conservatives and liberals, so we can put the social issues conflict to rest. It basically involves a trade, and while I know nobody is going to be 100% happy with it, I think it will lead to overall better happiness. (Paging Jeremy Bentham.)
The bargain is such: in exchange for conservatives dropping opposition to same-sex marriage, liberals will tone down their crusade for abortion.
Orginally published at Yahoo! Voices:
It has been pretty clear for months that Ron Paul would not be the Republican nominee. Instead, Mitt Romney will be the man to face Barack Obama in November. Ron Paul supporters and other Libertarians are trying to decide which direction the liberty movement should take. Some will want to work within the GOP; others will want to move back to the Libertarian Party; and others will want to quit politics altogether. I believe the best way to advance the liberty movement is to work within the Republican Party, while maintaining an independent movement to put pressure on politicians to pass pro-liberty legislation.
Read the rest of the article here.
There has been an interesting an important back and forth on this site over the issue of fusionism. Jeremy Kolassa made the case that little, if anything, has been accomplished by fusionism. In response, Jason Pye defended fusionism, citing a litany of conservative leaders and organizations that have been welcoming of libertarians and advanced libertarian policy.
I think both authors make well thought out cases and I think this debate is a healthy one. My post isn’t intended to weigh in on the general question of fusionism, clearly I am a believe in fusionism - though I recognize that there are times when fusionism is a loser for libertarians. Instead, I wanted to specifically speak to an individual that my friend Jason Pye pointed to as an example of a conservative leader who has offered an “olive branch” to libertarians: South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint.
I respect and like Jason a ton (which you know always is going to preface a disagreement), but in this case Jason is simply wrong. Jim DeMint is no friend of libertarians - unless, of course, you toss out gay people or anyone else who cares about gay people from the libertarian movement.
Jason cited the Mike Huckabees and Rick Santorums of the world as responsible for trying to keep libertarians out of CPAC. Well the ugly truth is that Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum have been down right welcoming compared to Jim DeMint - as it regards CPAC. Indeed, Jim DeMint officially joined a boycott of CPAC because of the inclusion of a gay group - GOProud - that I helped co-found.
Of all the commentary on the SCOTUS decision today, this one stood out to me. It’s from a post written by Erick Erickson over at RedState, titled “I’m Not Down on John Roberts.” (Really, at this point, who could be?) There’s one paragraph that got my attention. The italics are his; the bold is mine:
Fifth, the decision totally removes a growing left-wing talking point that suddenly they must vote for Obama because of judges. The Supreme Court as a November issue for the left is gone. For the right? That sound you hear is the marching of libertarians into Camp Romney, with noses held, knowing that the libertarian and conservative coalitions must unite to defeat Obama and Obamacare.
With all due respect, Mr. Erickson, that is balderdash.
As I have written, the entire reason that this decision was made, the entire reason that this abomination has passed, was because a conservative justice, appointed by a Republican president, made it so. In effect, Roberts pulled some random garbage out of left field with a Death Star’s tractor beam in order to make this work.
And so somehow, because a conservative had upheld this unrepetant bag of you-know-what, libertarians are going to jump to their side by electing the guy who created Obamacare’s prototype?
Excuse me, but just what in the name of the Father, Son, and the Unholy Ghost is Erick smoking?
Oh hallelujah. From my friend Michael Bastasch at the Daily Caller News Foundation:
At the Idaho GOP convention in Twin Falls, the state GOP decided to preserve the platform of abolishing the Federal Reserve Bank and instituting dollars backed by gold and silver.
“We recognize the failure of the Federal Reserve System to maintain a sound U.S. dollar and the danger of mercantile banks controlling the issuance of our currency. We believe the Federal Reserve Bank should be abolished and the issuing power restored to the people with the stipulation that the U.S. dollar be backed by gold and silver,” reads the recently adopted 2012 platform.
The platform goes even further and encourages Idahoans to acquire precious metals.
“We believe Idahoans need to protect their savings from the ravages of inflation, which is hidden taxation, and encourage citizens to participate in a systematic acquisition of precious metals which represent real value as opposed to paper currencies,” the platform continues.
An Idaho GOP spokesperson declined to comment on the record about the state party’s 2012 platform and the platform of abolishing the Fed and instituting U.S. dollars backed by gold and silver plank.
What more did you need to say, other than “It’s awesome!”?
First, as you’re probably already aware, the Supreme Court has ruled that Obamacare is constitutional, and that the individual mandate is also constitutional, but not as how it was argued in Congress, but rather as a tax. So instead of the extremely dangerous Commerce Clause (which is really, really badly written) we have it surviving under Congress’ taxing power.
This is really just as bad. Although now technically, they can’t “force” us to buy things with Commerce power, the federal government now has absolutely no limits on taxing us. This is going to be 1775 all over again, except we can’t say “No Taxation Without Representation!” (unless we live in DC.)
The one silver lining that some are bringing up is that, because Obama campaigned hard on Obamacare and the mandate not being a tax, and now with SCOTUS saying “it’s a tax,” he’s going to be royally screwed come November. I have to agree with the results; I’ll defer to one of my friends who has this down:
— George Scoville (@stackiii) June 28, 2012
That is pretty much going to ruin Obama’s chances of reelection, especially with so many already up in arms over this (something like 55-60% wanted this law overturned?)
However, as another friend of mine points out, this is no silver lining at all:
Former McCain advisor and George W. Bush Communications Director Nicole Wallace speaks to Rachael Maddow and tries not to admit that it matters. But clearly it does. For instance, in Virginia, Paul supporters have thrown out the Primary (saving taxpayers a ton of money) in favor of choosing their nominees at the state convention instead.
Wait, WHAT? It was a total shock to me, but apparently, 54% of Americans are cool with an atheist president. Via Allahpundit at Hot Air:
I’ve blogged a bunch of these Gallup polls over the years and my demographic has always been at the bottom of the barrel preference-wise. But things are improving: In 2007, just 45 percent said they’d vote for an atheist, then last year it crept up to 49 percent. Now we’re over the hump at 54. I wonder why. It’s not like the “new atheism” suddenly exploded onto the national scene over the past six months, and to hear believers tell it, the new atheism is more likely to alienate people than persuade them. Maybe, maybe not. What you’re seeing here, I think, is the fruit of normalization: It’s not so much that people are becoming more sympathetic to atheism (although that might be true) than that, as atheists become more visible culturally, people see for themselves that we’re not that weird or threatening. Acceptance of gays works along the same lines, of course, except that they’re further along than we are. For a vivid illustration of that, follow the Gallup link up top and check out the breakdown among different age groups. Young adults react to gays and atheists similarly; older adults, not so much. Note the trendlines in the table I posted above, too. Thirty-five years ago, atheists held a double-digit lead on this question over gays. Today, the opposite is true.
If there’s one thing that can be said for the national GOP leadership, it wouldn’t be that it has fully considered the long-term ramifications of its current predicament. Consider the “presumed” nominee this election cycle, one Willard “Mitt” Romney. Formerly a liberal Republican when it suited him in Massachusetts, the wily politician is hoping that eight years in absentia from holding office and growing distrust of our current President will propel him to the highest office; all without having to stand tall on any conservative meat and potato issue.
The last time a Republican won with this strategy, it was a squeaker of an election. Eight years of Clinton fatigue made even some democrats weary (a mathematical necessity if any Republican can expect to win the Presidency)..
Consider that Dubya in 2000 at least threw a bone to anti-war liberals and conservatives by claiming he would institute a humble foreign policy and eschew the nation-building that had ended so tragically for our former allies in Serbia ( ironically the US sided with extremist Muslim groups tied to Osama bin Laden ) and our troops in Somalia. In fact, it was this particular stand that may have solidified conservative support for Bush and some moderate anti-war liberals.
To add a bit of intrigue into the mix, Ralph Nader decided to run on the Green Party ticket splitting some of the anti-war left away from Gore and Bush resulting in a nail-biting affair that left most astute watchers with a bad taste in their mouth. It was not pretty watching weeks of hanging chad on TV and ugly legal challenges to election results that left the real outcome in doubt.
For a group of people who follow the veritable patron saint of Austrian economics on Capitol Hill, the fans of Ron Paul don’t seem to understand the Austrian concept of “malinvestment” very well. Malinvestment, as described by the Mises Wiki, is:
Malinvestment is an investment in wrong lines of production, which inevitably lead to wasted capital and economic losses, subsequently requiring the reallocation of resources to more productive uses. “Wrong” in this sense means “incorrect” or “mistaken” from the point of view of the real long-term needs and demands of the economy, if those needs and demands were expressed with the correct price signals in the free market.
Of course, the concept applies more to commercial dealings than with efforts in the political sphere, but I think it works here too, especially when you regard recent messages from the Ron Paul faithful:
Ok so the Rand endorsement let us all down a lot along with all of the discouraging emails and videos directly from the campaign. I think for the most part we are over the hump if you know what im saying.
Now think… before all of these shenanigans how much did you believe Ron Paul could win! And remember when we realized all the delegates are unbound?! That was amazing and at that point it was the cream of the crop. We were gonna win hands down, romney has no chance in hell.
You remember all those fuzzy feelings right?