Move from Libertarian Party to GOP: Koch brothers change tactics, not beliefs

REUTERS
Despite the benefit of David Koch's money, the Libertarian ticket received just 1 percent of the vote in the 1980 presidential election.

In a recent post revisiting President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous “four freedoms” speech and contemplating the ever-changing ways that freedom talk is used in U.S. politics, I mentioned that David Koch of the oil-rich Koch brothers had run for vice president on the Libertarian Party ticket in 1980, at a time when the party’s platform called for the abolition Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and all income taxes.

Nowadays, the hundreds of millions of political dollars the Kochs donate and raise and spend directly on advertising via their Americans for Prosperity network are used to help Republican — not Libertarian — candidates.

Over the weekend, The New York Times, delving more deeply into the Koch brothers relationship with Libertarianism and relying on extensive documentation in an archive of Libertarian Party documents at the University of Virginia, shows that David Koch’s presence on the 1980 ticket was largely designed to take advantage of the loophole in campaign finance laws that allowed a candidate to spend unlimited amounts of his own money to promote his campaign.

“David Koch ultimately contributed about $2.1 million, more than half the [Libertarian] campaign budget,” the Times notes. But Charles and David Koch are not the only Koch brothers, and other family members became concerned that the involvement with Libertarianism was costly and could be bad for the family business long term.

Despite the benefit of David Koch’s money, the Libertarian ticket received just 1 percent of the vote in the 1980 presidential election (which nonetheless remains the best showing the party has ever made). Reading the Times piece, it seems fairly clear that the Koch brothers haven’t abandoned Libertarianism in favor of Republicanism because of a change of heart, but one of tactics.

That $2.1 million David Koch spent on the Libertarian campaign of 1980 pales in comparison to the $125 million that Americans for Prosperity will spend this year — which includes not only their funds but money they raise from like-minded others — but nowadays Koch money generally flows to the benefits of Republicans. Writes the Times’ Nicholas Confessore:

Since 1980, the Republican Party has moved closer to the Koch family’s views on government regulation. Its rising members now court the Kochs and like-minded donors at twice-yearly “seminars” that the brothers organize. In 2012, David Koch was a delegate to the Republican National Convention.

“I think the Republican Party has a great chance of being successful and that’s why I support it,” Mr. Koch told reporters at an American Prosperity reception in Tampa, Fla., that year. “The Libertarian Party is a great concept. I love the ideals, but it got too far off the deep end, and so I dropped out.”

Comments (45)

  1. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 05/19/2014 - 10:48 am.

    In other words

    Money can make a big difference, but it’s not enough to create a party from scratch.
    A hostile takeover of an already successful concern is the standard American business practice, and the Koch boys are following it. Their end hasn’t changed; they’ve just become more sophisticated about the means.

  2. Submitted by Peder DeFor on 05/19/2014 - 11:26 am.

    Loophole?

    What a minute, spending your own money on your own campaign is a ‘loophole’? That doesn’t sound even a little bit right to me. (And somehow, there is a distinct lack of concern about this ‘loophole’ whenever Gov Dayton’s career is discussed. How strange.)

    But to the main point, how awful that someone would try to urge other people to agree with their political views! How dare the Koch brothers try to move the GOP in a libertarian direction. Next thing you know, there will be more GOP candidates in favor of gay marriage and ending the drug war. Imagine, working within the political process to advance your ideals. This isn’t what democracy is about!

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 05/19/2014 - 01:26 pm.

      What?

      I agree that the term “loophole” here is unduly pejorative.

      The problem is not with the Koch brothers, per se. Instead, the problem is with the outsize influence their money (and the money of the other conservative machers, which dwarfs anything unions have ever come up with). Their voice will be heard, but will anyone who does not have several billion dollars to devote to the cause have a chance to be heard? No, that isn’t what democracy is about.

      Maybe I’m just not up on these things, but are the Koch brothers really concerned about gay marriage and ending the war on poor people who use drugs? I thought their interest in “liberty” started and ended with their liberty to dump toxins in the ecosystem, and despoil the landscape. Have they ever said anything about gay marriage? How about limiting draconian criminal sentences, even though that would go against the interest of their ALEC-buddy Corrections Corporation of America?

      Frankly, I don’t see the Republicans getting much traction from a libertarian agenda. The base is going to stay at home, once they learn that their position on the social issues that brought them out in the first place is going to be contradicted. Are younger voters going to go Republican? They may like the new stands on drugs and gay marriage, but what about the economic issues? The libertarian agenda is going to do nothing about the high cost of a college education or student loans, and trickle-down economics has shown itself to be dazzlingly ineffective at creating real, livable jobs. What’s left?

      • Submitted by Peder DeFor on 05/19/2014 - 01:58 pm.

        Gay Marriage

        RB, I don’t blame you for not knowing more. Here is a Politico article from before the 2012 election: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/80483.html
        From the article: “The 1980 vice presidential nominee for the socially liberal — but fiscally conservative — Libertarian Party, Koch told POLITICO “I believe in gay marriage” when asked about the GOP’s stance on gay rights.

        Koch said he thinks the U.S. military should withdraw from the Middle East and said the government should consider defense spending cuts, as well as possible tax increases to get its fiscal house in order — a stance anathema to many in the Republican Party.”

        I’ll take your deep concern over the future of the Republican party in consideration. Frankly, the past few years of wild government spending has created an abysmal record on the high cost of education, student loans and creating real, livable jobs. Don’t think that young people haven’t noticed.

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 05/19/2014 - 04:08 pm.

          Job creation

          In the last few years, good, livable jobs have disappeared. Higher education has become increasingly unaffordable without mountains of debt, usually obtained from some lender whose business practices can only be described as Dickensian. Meanwhile, the richest Americans are amassing ever larger slices of the economy for themselves.

          The Republican/conservative answer? Stay the course! More of the same! Maybe someday you’ll become extremely wealthy. In the meantime, you’re a serf for those who did better in the genetic lottery than you did. Be grateful for whatever soul-crushing underpaid labor you can find.

          That campaign may need some rethinking.

          • Submitted by Peder DeFor on 05/19/2014 - 10:55 pm.

            The Dem Answer

            I don’t think that you can honestly say that Republicans and conservatives are wanting to ‘stay the course’. The Dem answer to job loss has been mountains of regulations, threats of arbitrary wage hikes and destabilization of the health care market. And look at those jobs roll in!

            • Submitted by Todd Hintz on 05/20/2014 - 08:04 am.

              Answers

              While the jobs aren’t exactly “rolling in,” I would say the Democratic model is working very well here in Minnesota. We have among the least unemployment and best job growth in the country.

              As for regulations, it’s deregulation that got us into this financial mess in the first place. It’s about time we put back some of the controls so we don’t get another meltdown that came a hair’s breadth away from repeating the Great Depression.

              I have to say I heartily approve of arbitrary wage hikes for those at the bottom of the social/economic scale. For many decades we’ve seen compensation for those at the top rise into the stratosphere while those at the bottom stagnate and fall. A little equity in the system is a good thing.

              For the healthcare market, it needs more than just a good shake-up: it needs to be completely redone. Obamacare didn’t go even remotely far enough. In my opinion it should have gone for a single payer universal government-run model coupled with compensation reform to a results-based model instead of procedure-based.

              Anything less than that is just spitting in the wind.

              • Submitted by Peder DeFor on 05/20/2014 - 01:39 pm.

                More Answers

                Todd, probably the best state in the country in terms of job creation since the recession started is Texas. They, pretty obviously, don’t follow the Democratic model. In fact, Minnesota and Wisconsin are both right together in terms of job growth and they’re obviously using different methods. You might need to look a little further than state government to find out what’s working and what isn’t.
                Re: deregulation. Ok, I’ve been asking this for years and haven’t gotten a satisfactory answer, maybe you can help me out here. If you could go back in time to 2002 or so, who would you suggest the regulators listen so they could put betters rules in place to stop the meltdown? Or what regulations would you suggest?
                I’m sure your ideas on shaking up the health care market are very pleasing to people whose premiums and deductions just went through the roof. Also, I’m sure the people who have been forced away from their doctors and hospitals are pleased as punch with the shake up. But your heart is in the right place, so who cares about the reality on the ground, right?

            • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 05/20/2014 - 09:41 am.

              “Threats of arbitrary wage hikes”

              There is nothing I can say that sums up the Republican indifference to the average working American better than those five words.

              • Submitted by Peder DeFor on 05/20/2014 - 01:25 pm.

                Arbitrary

                Dem message to young job seekers: “We love you so much, that we’ll force businesses to offer start up jobs at such high wages that will make it harder for them to actually hire you.” Very compassionate.
                If you stopped 100 people on the street and asked them what would improve the overall economy, how many do you think would say that we need a higher minimum wage? The problem isn’t that the jobs that are there don’t pay enough, it’s that there isn’t *enough* jobs out there. Everything we’re doing is making that worse.

                • Submitted by Todd Hintz on 05/20/2014 - 01:56 pm.

                  Health Care

                  “Everything we’re doing is making that worse.”

                  Well, not quite everything. Obamacare lets people stay on their parent’s plan until they’re 26 and gives people the opportunity to work for smaller companies or their own start-ups without having to worry about healthcare.

                  Obamacare doesn’t go far enough in my opinion, but it’s a step in the right direction.

                  • Submitted by Peder DeFor on 05/21/2014 - 08:16 am.

                    Making it Worse

                    If this has freed so many young people to do their own start ups, then why is the number of start ups falling? http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/on-small-business/us-tech-startups-an-endangered-species/2014/02/11/0b2a5fa6-9333-11e3-84e1-27626c5ef5fb_story.html

                    Even if it is having some beneficial impact (and who knows, it might be), that benefit is outweighed by all of the other things that are being done to make it harder. That goes back to regulation, but it also includes things like extreme licensing demands and mountains of paperwork.

                    Note to anyone who is facing big increases in insurance premiums and deductibles: you should apparently be happy to pay the increases because 25 year olds can now pursue their dreams of working for small companies! The Republic is saved!

                    • Submitted by Todd Hintz on 05/21/2014 - 11:52 am.

                      Even Better

                      Wow, talk about a cynical attitude! With some people the glass is not only half empty, but it has a hole in it and what water is left is quickly leaking out.

                      Looking at the graph from the article Mr. Defor cited, the downward trend in start-ups kicked off in tech start-ups in 2001 and in 2008 for start-ups in general. You’re simply looking at the continuation of a trend that started before Obamacare was even implemented. Without additional data to narrow down the cause and effect, it could be that the slope would be even steeper if it wasn’t for the benefits of Obamacare.

                      Also keep in mind that Obamacare not only benefits the 25 and younger crowd because they can stay on their parent’s insurance, but also older people as the program decouples health insurance from job status.

                      If you want to grumble about licensing fees, that’s the direct result of the “no new taxes” pledge we’ve been dealing with for a long time. No one wants to pay a couple of bucks in taxes to fund government, so it’s made up for in fees, which is just another 50¢ word for tax. Basically you pay for it as you go.

                      As for regulations, we would all love to live in a world with no rules attached to society, but that’s just not reality. I’m sure you and no one else wants to live in a place like Somalia, which does not have a functioning government and rules are doled out at the end of an AK47. So I’m sure you can agree that rules are indeed a necessary thing in order for society to function. The only issue then isn’t whether we have rules, but rather how many rules there are.

                      The reason we have so many rules is because as soon as a simple rule is written, some idiot gets his lawyers on it and does all he can to circumvent them. So additional rules have to be written to close up those loopholes. “Well, it doesn’t say I can’t run a 20 ton truck over your road that’s only designed for 15 tons, so I did it. Sorry about tearing up the pavement…” If people would stop trying to game the system at every turn then we wouldn’t have the need for so many rules and regulations to keep them from damaging society.

                      The government isn’t the problem–it’s our fellow businesspeople.

                      We have met the enemy and he is us.

                    • Submitted by Peder DeFor on 05/22/2014 - 07:57 am.

                      Regulations

                      Todd, maybe if you read something like this you’ll understand: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/former-congressman-bonior-longtime-liberal-on-capitol-hill-discovers-the-profit-motive/2014/04/26/3d99e3a2-c9a3-11e3-95f7-7ecdde72d2ea_story.html

                      It’s the story of a long time Dem congressman who has entered the restaurant trade in DC. He has money, he is well connected and he’s now discovering how hard it is to open a business. “Bonior said if he had the power, he would lighten up on pesky regulations. “It took us a ridiculous amount of time to get our permits. I understand regulations and . . . the necessity for it. But we lost six months of business because of that. It’s very frustrating.”’
                      Well, if you don’t want to spend six months chasing after permits, maybe you should move to Somalia then!
                      The Somalia dig is a prime example of ‘nuance’, right? If someone complains that we have too much regulation, then what they really want is NO regulation. They want anarchy and lawlessness, right? If someone thinks that the regulations and licensees (the actual license paperwork, not just the fee) are too much, then they’re really looking at taking everything apart.
                      Can any serious person believe this?

                      I’m a little sympathetic to your point about circumventing rules, but I think you have it backward. The more complex the rules, the easier they are to skirt. This is especially true when those complex rules are written by large companies that have an interest in keeping the small ones from succeeding. The more regs there are, the easier this is to accomplish.

                    • Submitted by Peder DeFor on 05/22/2014 - 09:22 am.

                      More on Regulations

                      This is worth a read too: http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2012-09-16/why-is-it-so-hard-to-become-a-cosmetologist-in-america-

                      “The average cosmetologist in the U.S. trains for 372 days before earning a license. The average emergency medical technician spends 33 days in training. From this, one might conclude that Americans are obsessed with primping but tragically unprepared for emergencies.

                      Actually, the disparity merely confirms what a muddle the process of occupational licensing is. In 1952, fewer than 5 percent of U.S. workers required a state license. By 2006, according to a survey that year by the Gallup Organization, 29 percent of workers said they needed a government-issued license to do their job.”

                      Can anyone defend this on a rational basis? Beauty shops are a pretty classic small, start up business. What effect does a year long licensing program have on the ability/desire for someone to start one? It’s pretty easy to guess. I don’t have figures, but I’d be surprised if these regs didn’t have a disproportionate effect on women and minorities too.
                      One incredibly easy way to improve our job situation would be to have various legislatures comb through their regs and stop situations like this. No cost and more opportunity. (Or does this somehow make us like a ‘no rules’ Somalia???)

                • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 05/20/2014 - 02:14 pm.

                  Making it worse

                  How would more low-wage jobs make things better?

                  You are also relying on the discredited canard that a higher minimum wage will stifle job creation.

                  • Submitted by Peder DeFor on 05/21/2014 - 08:26 am.

                    Discredited?

                    Talk to the CBO: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/02/18/cbo-minimum-wage-jobs/5582779/

                    There is some uncertainty out there about just how big of an effect a minimum wage hike has. Fortunately, the city of Seattle has decided to do us all a favor by passing a rather large increase. My guess is that this will work out great – for neighboring cities. Time will tell.

                    RB, you strike me as a thoughtful person. Let me ask you this, if the CBO is correct that a higher minimum wage would involve a trade off of 500,000 jobs but 900,000 fewer people in poverty, would you take that trade? (Yes, those numbers involve ranges and guess work, but for the sake of argument, let’s just say that this particular look in the crystal ball is right on.)
                    I wouldn’t. Poverty is awful. I’ve lived below the poverty line so I know this. But I also think that not having a job of any kind is worse. There are psychological scars and erosion of skills that make any future climb up the ladder much harder. Also, having even a low paying job gives a person opportunities to move up from low paying.
                    In other words, I’d much rather have 500,000 more low paying jobs at McDonalds, than I would have 500,000 fewer at a higher wage.

                    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 05/21/2014 - 09:12 am.

                      Jobs v. Poverty

                      That’s a fair question.

                      As you say, poverty is awful. Joblessness is awful, too. I have been out of work for extended periods of time in the past, so I know well the psychological scars from sitting at home all day, praying for an interview. On the other hand, I think the scars of poverty are worse. Poverty impacts not just the person who is poor, but has a broader impact on society as a whole. A low wage job enriches no one except the employer. The opportunities to move up to a higher paying job are much overstated. The college kid flipping burgers for the summer may justly look forward to increased opportunities. The person for whom low wage work is a way of life for life can’t do that.

                      Incidentally, the CBO report did not involve original research. It was a consensus of economic studies, weighted towards the finding that their would be a net job loss. It was pretty sloppy work.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 05/19/2014 - 07:18 pm.

      Dayton spent his own money on his own campaign.

      The two Koch Brothers are not running for political office,
      nor have they revealed where most of their family’s political spending goes.

      • Submitted by Peder DeFor on 05/19/2014 - 10:50 pm.

        Own Campaign

        The article references the election when one of the Koch brothers was actually running for election. It refers to his self-funding as a loophole.

        • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 05/20/2014 - 09:21 am.

          You are right

          David Koch did run for VP as a Libertarian,
          and Eric did state that this was to take advantage of a ‘loophole’ in campaign financing laws.
          The difference from Dayton’s campaigns was that there is no indication that Koch had any interest in the office itself; he was on the ticket for the money that he could bring in. In Garner’s words: ‘The Vice Presidency isn’t worth a bucket of warm spit (sic)’.

          • Submitted by Peder DeFor on 05/20/2014 - 01:22 pm.

            What a Strange Defense

            Are you suggesting that if somehow the Libertarian party had won, that he would have declined the office?

            • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 05/20/2014 - 03:39 pm.

              No

              Just that holding the office was not the (primary) reason he was on the ticket.
              Being on the ticket allowed him to make unlimited campaign donations; -that’s- what he brought to the party.

  3. Submitted by Peder DeFor on 05/19/2014 - 02:00 pm.

    Dark Money

    I’m sure there will be plenty of follow up and concern over this story of $40 million of dark money coming from prominent liberal donors: http://freebeacon.com/politics/exclusive-democracy-alliance-network-revealed/

  4. Submitted by Jeremy Lyons on 05/19/2014 - 02:19 pm.

    This is nice and all but,

    What’s with all the attention given to the Koch Brothers who are #59 on the all time list of top donors?

    https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 05/19/2014 - 03:42 pm.

      Because all the Koch family money

      that David and Charles Koch control ranks a lot higher.
      The #59 ranking is based on contributions by those two under their own names to groups required to reveal the sources of their funding.
      It does not include the various Koch family foundations.
      See
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:A_Maze_of_Money.png
      for an idea of how they move the family stash around.
      Since much of their donations go to groups that are not required to reveal their donors, the total amount is unknown.
      Mother Jones’ (progressive, of course) estimates that their donations are at least ten times that of George Soros, whose donations are much more transparent.

      • Submitted by Jeremy Lyons on 05/19/2014 - 08:25 pm.

        Yes but doesn’t this assume that no other donors are donating to groups that are not required to reveal their donors? Or assumes that at least other groups or individuals are donating less? Also, if these amounts are unknown, how do we know the Koch Brother’s dark money is any more than any other donor’s dark money? Again, why the fixation on the Koch Brothers? I’m working off the most comprehensive list that I’ve seen to date.

        I like the transparency of the link that you provided, as I had not seen that before; however, you lost me at Mother Jones. I don’t know that using Mother Jones as a source is reliable. In time I hope that we’ll see the real numbers behind a lot of these donors, as transparency is important.

    • Submitted by Max Hailperin on 05/19/2014 - 03:54 pm.

      Read what it says

      Be sure to read the text above the list, which explains what it omits.

    • Submitted by Pat Thompson on 05/19/2014 - 04:30 pm.

      An incomplete list

      The link Jeremy provides is interesting but note that it doesn’t include donations to groups like Americans for Prosperity or PACs/superPACs. Which makes it kind of meaningless when talking about Koch funding or any other dark money source, left or right.

      • Submitted by Jeremy Lyons on 05/19/2014 - 08:26 pm.

        Agreed Pat so why the fixation on the Koch Brothers? We don’t know what everyone is donating other than the opensecrets.org list. Why is it assumed the Koch brothers donate more than everyone else? We need more transparency, or at least I do, to determine this.

  5. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 05/19/2014 - 06:19 pm.

    Did Harry Reid write this article?

    It must be a slow news day or lack of editorial imagination to bring up once again the evil “Koch Brothers.”

    It is sure to get a typical response from the DFL faithful, but a failure to provide equal scrutiny and outrage concerning Democratic donors who practice similar big money speech is hypocrisy.

    • Submitted by Eric Snyder on 05/20/2014 - 08:53 am.

      The point of the article isn’t difficult to miss

      The Kochs have a history of extremism in their political views. That’s the point. There’s obviously too much cash unregulated and unseen, coming in from all sides. But not all sides share the same views.

      • Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 05/20/2014 - 09:40 am.

        extreme views??

        Who is to determine if their political views are extreme? You? I thought you believed in free speech?

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 05/20/2014 - 12:16 pm.

          Free speech?

          Who said the Koch brothers would not be allowed to speak? Labeling their views as “extreme” does not abridge their right to express those views.

        • Submitted by Eric Snyder on 05/20/2014 - 01:34 pm.

          reply to Ron

          Ever hear of the term non sequitur? How do you leap from an observation about the Koch brothers to concluding opposition to free speech?

          One possible definition of extremism, the one I implicitly, now explicitly, draw upon, is a political ideology that’s a) far outside current discourse and practice and b) to some significant extent ignores generally accepted standards of evidence, suffers from lack of analytical rigor, and downplays or disregards various ethical assumptions in favor of arbitrarily narrow and incoherent formulations of what constitutes ‘the good.’

          I wouldn’t expect you or anyone else to necessarily accept this—my conclusions about the Koch’s libertarianism—unless we had a chance to really dive into details.

  6. Submitted by Joe Musich on 05/19/2014 - 06:50 pm.

    How did the Koch family …

    earn their wealth again ? Who do their political donations go to ? How well do the benefactors of their largess speak for their entire constituency ? Which of the Koch ideas have been implemented ? Have these implementations helped or hurt most Americans ? How do they define progress in the political process ? Who will their ideas for goverance both help and hurt ? Is their political philosophy representative of the American public ? Just askin’

  7. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 05/20/2014 - 09:28 am.

    Anti-campaign finance reform comes from the right

    The Koch Brothers merit attention as the poster boys for anti-campaign finance reform. Their organization brought the lawsuit that has now resulted in Minnesota’s campaign law being enjoined by a federal judge. Citizen’s United was represented by a free Koch Industries’s lawyer former Solicitor General Ted Olson.

    Maybe the reason the right is only identified in articles about anti-campaign finance reform is because only the right is opposed to campaign finance reform. It seems to me that one of the “principles” guiding the right these days is that America is and should be a plutocracy, i.e. elections should be paid for by the highest bidders and elected officials should be beholden to the small fraction of those who have all the money and wealth in this country.

    There are admittedly some influential Democrats who also seem to believe this. These people believe they are realists and that the current system cannot be changed in a country where the dollar is king. But these individuals do not represent a whole party which remains diverse as it is disorganized. The Kochs can try to mask their faith in plutocracy by calling themselves “libertarians” but in taking over the Republican Party they will be returning that party to its old roots as the party by, for and all about the rich.

  8. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 05/20/2014 - 12:06 pm.

    The crazy leading the blind…

    To the extent that Libertarians Usurp the republican party they will only render their agenda more incoherent. Ultimately Libertarianism is an incoherent ideology riddled with contradictions, ignorance, and dishonesty.

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 05/20/2014 - 02:35 pm.

      Live and let live,

      the libertarian credo is certainly foreign in a society that attempts to make a person’s earnings community property and their political thoughts a hate crime.

      • Submitted by jason myron on 05/21/2014 - 03:18 pm.

        The “Libertarian Credo”

        sounded profound back in college when we were sitting in a dorm, passing a joint around while discussing political ideology. Fortunately, 90% of us grow up and find that the world doesn’t quite operate that way. The other 10% retreat to a bunker, hoard ammo, yell at their TV and see tyranny behind every bush.

  9. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 05/20/2014 - 03:37 pm.

    Like I said…

    “the libertarian credo is certainly foreign in a society that attempts to make a person’s earnings community property and their political thoughts a hate crime.”

    And there you have it.

  10. Submitted by Peder DeFor on 05/21/2014 - 09:12 am.

    Libertarians

    Rand Paul, the most libertarian of the GOP, is talking about the right to trial and the presumption of innocence. He should drummed from polite society for his threat to the great ordered future! Can you believe how the ignorance and incoherence of this man? It’s like he still believes in some kind of 17th century philosophy or something!

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 05/21/2014 - 11:08 am.

      Yeah…

      Peder, no one is talking about “drumming” anyone, just not voting for the guy. And the presumption of innocence has been a standard feature of our jurisprudence for over 200 years, or did you think it was Paul’s new idea?

      See, this is why Libertarianism is ultimately incoherent, it’s sees citizenship as a form of oppression. We live in the most successful liberal democracy in human history with an historical arc of expanding access, freedom, and equality. We live in a country where a guy can go on national television and declare that he doesn’t recognize the US government, and where another guy can shoot and kill a teenager with impunity, and yet libertarianism tells you that we’re loosing our personal “freedoms” and sinking into a communist state that’s practicing mind control on daily bases. This is quite simply nothing more than a science fiction movie plot masquerading as a political ideology.

      And if you think “Soylent Green is people” is a bizarre political ideology you should see what these people say about economics! For economic theory they reach back to the Austrian School of economics. The ideas that flow out of that well are at best mumbo jumbo, at worse dictatorial as in the so-called “free markets” that required the overthrow of elected governments all over Central and South America.

  11. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 05/21/2014 - 12:13 pm.

    Rand Paul’s new ideas…

    I know Paul has had trouble with plagiarism so maybe he did claim that the presumption of innocence was HIS idea?

  12. Submitted by Joe Musich on 05/22/2014 - 11:19 pm.

    Look at this …

    It is an “enjoyable” read. It really illuminates what passes for leadership today.
    http://www.democracynow.org/2014/5/21/behind_the_koch_brothers_new_book

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