Libertarians for Chris Matthews

Who needs Howard Dean when you can have Chris Matthews?

Dean, like all slimey politicians, squeals and squirms to avoid answering Matthews' hardballs. Matthews doesn't let Dean's bullshit fly.

DEAN: You can?t say-you can?t ask me right now and get an answer, would I break up X corp...

MATTHEWS: We?ve got to do it now, because now is the only chance we can ask you, because, once you are in, we have got to live with you.

But the best is at the very end:

DEAN: I hate right-to-work laws.
And let me tell you why it?s OK to be forced to join a union. The union is out there negotiating for your wage increases. Why should you get a free ride? Why should you should be able to go to work for that company, get the same benefits as everybody else who paid their union dues and you paid nothing? That?s why I?m against right-to-work laws.

MATTHEWS: OK.

DEAN: But I do believe it?s important for states to be able to make their own laws.

MATTHEWS: You understand why a libertarian would disagree with you, right? A libertarian would think they had a right, he or she, to work where they can do the job.

DEAN: Yes, but why should they-but why should they get the benefits of everybody else who is paying dues and get a free ride?

MATTHEWS: Because it?s a free country.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

Hell yeah, it's a free country. Libertarians for Dean makes about as much sense as Jews for Jesus.

[Kudos to Amy Phllips for the link]

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Dean does get one thing

Dean does get one thing right.

As president-first of all, marriage none of the federal government?s business. Marriage is a state issue. We chose not to do gay marriage in our state. California chose to do domestic partnerships. As president of the United States, if a state chooses to do gay marriage, that is their business. That is not the federal government?s business. Equality under the law is what?s important. How states get to that is their business, not the federal government?s business.

He just needs to take it further. :)

The Libertarians for Dean

The Libertarians for Dean website supports affirmative action, increased regulation for business ('cause capitalism works when it has "guard rails" on it), breaking up "media monopolies", and tax increases. In addition, they have spoken highly of other Democratic candidates, none of whom have libertarian credentials.

Why don't they just dispense with the elaborate circumlocutions they go through to identify themselves as libertarians, and call themselves

"Liberals for Dean"?

Here's where the labelling

Here's where the labelling brou-haha regarding libertarian actually matters a bit- when you have fools like Bill Maher calling themselves "libertarian" when they're in fact hard-left (and thus mean libertarian as libertine), it is useful to get some sort of distinction out there.

But really, it should simply be called 'leftists for dean', which of course would be redundant with other web sites, hence the false advertising.

DEAN: Iran is a more

DEAN: Iran is a more complex problem because the problem support as clearly verifiable as it is in North Korea. Also, we have less-fewer levers much the key, I believe, to Iran is pressure through the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union is supplying much of the equipment that Iran, I believe, most likely is using to set itself along the path of developing nuclear weapons. We need to use that leverage with the Soviet Union and it may require us to buying the equipment the Soviet Union was ultimately going to sell to Iran to prevent Iran from them developing nuclear weapons. That is also a country that must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons much the key to all this is foresight. Let?s act now so we don?t have to have a confrontation which may result in force, which would be very disastrous in the case of North Korea and might be disastrous in the case of Iran.

Let me offer a defense of

Let me offer a defense of Libertarians for Dean. The more eloquent ones are definitely not (modern) liberals. They are Libertarians who are trying to make the best possible political outcome out of a bad situation.

Although they sometimes make the argument that his actual policies (gun rights) are more in tune with libertarian ideas, the thrust of their argument (as I understand it) is that a powerless lefty is preferable to a powerful righty who talks a good libertarian game but instead massively increases the size of govt.

I would appreciate that

I would appreciate that argument, if I saw it more. Most "Libertarian for Dean" type sites or posts that I run across are more about touting the "positives" of Dean, rather than admitting he's a lousy candidate but likely to have no power.

I can't, for the life of me, see any positives in Comrade Dean. Between Re-Regulation and what should be called his "creative Federalism" (states can do whatever they want, as long as its what I want them to do), he's a nightmare candidate. He's not even an anti-war candidate, just anti-Bush's War. Libertarians dont even have that to hold their hats on. He'll just as likely invade Aruba as be a peacenik. He doesn't rule out war, just ones that the left don't like.

The *only* thing he has going for him is the possibility of being a powerless lefty in the face of a hostile Republican congress. But that applies equally for all of the fools running for the Democratic ticket. Edwards or Clark have better policies than "moderate" Dean, after all. And really, can we count on the Republicans holding congress? Worst case scenario- Dean with a democratic house & senate...

JUST SAY NO, people...

Jonathan, I think your

Jonathan,

I think your description is pretty good. As a (sometime) poster at LFD, I have to say it's pretty disheartening to hear my views derided as "liberal." When I look at Dean, I see the best possible choice, given the circumstances. Is he the perfect candidate? Not even close. Is he a better choice than Bush, given Bush's proven record of saying one thing and then doing another? I have a hard time saying no. And is he better than the other Dems in the race? Let's not even go there.

In Dean we have a man who has demonstrated that he at least understands the concept of federalism, who knows that a budget so far in the red is bad for the country, who wants to destroy the "No Child Left Behind" mess, who refuses to hand down federal mandates without providing funds, and who by his own admission would not hesitate to use the military when necessary for national defense. When he says he wants to "re-regulate" business, I take it with a grain of salt because the whole game is rigged thanks to decades and decades of government interference and deregulating everything right away would only benefit those who are already on top. I don't know about you, but that's anything but a free market to me. And as much as I loathe the idea of raising taxes, when he says he wants to repeal the Bush tax cuts I can't help but feel that at least a partial rollback would help to curb the problems caused by the uunbelievable irresponsibility of the massive tax cuts enacted without an accompanying decrease in spending.

Some things about Dean I don't like? I don't like his idea of expanding student loan programs to everybody. I don't like the idea of government giving health insurance to the entire nation (though the healthcare situation in America is yet another case of a rigged market that simply can't be un-rigged without benefiting only those already on top). I don't like affirmative action. But these are the positions most likely to be cancelled out by a legislature under the other party's control. By contrast, all of Bush's worst ideas have been made policy by a rubber-stamp Congress. You tell me - how is that good for the country?

Those out there who absolutely have to have ideological purity match up with electoral decisions, those who can't stomach making compromises, must not know much about the history of this country. If it weren't for compromises, we wouldn't even have this country! (Doubters, see the Constitutional Conventions.) Some of us are willing to make compromises to prevent the worst case we can envision from occurring. I call it pragmatism; you can call it what you will.

I couldn't disagree more

I couldn't disagree more that Dean understands or respects the idea of federalism.

In any case, a libertarian in my view should OPPOSE the idea of federalism per se. Federalism presupposes the existence of a large, powerful federal government with mandated programs that happen to be administered at the state level (think Medicare/Medicaid).

I want to radically shrink the size of the federal government.

All of the apologetics for Dean are wasted on me. It's not that I have a closed mind, its just that Dean himself has obviated the possibility of me doing anything other than VOTE AGAINST HIM.

Dean doesn't need explainers or interpreters. In any case, the harder his explainers try, the more they look like political cultists.

Stay away from the Kool-aid, friends...

Jason, Yes, that is what I

Jason,

Yes, that is what I generally understand as the Libertarians for Dean argument to be.

However, I still take issue with a couple of your points which seem to be support of Dean's policies.

When he says he wants to "re-regulate" business, I take it with a grain of salt because the whole game is rigged thanks to decades and decades of government interference and deregulating everything right away would only benefit those who are already on top. I don't know about you, but that's anything but a free market to me.

No, that sounds exactly like a free market to me. Immediate complete deregulation is preferable to partial deregulation anyday. The poor suffer most with partial deregulation because they have less money with which to bypass the system. But the worst outcome would be more re-regulation.

And as much as I loathe the idea of raising taxes, when he says he wants to repeal the Bush tax cuts I can't help but feel that at least a partial rollback would help to curb the problems caused by the uunbelievable irresponsibility of the massive tax cuts enacted without an accompanying decrease in spending.

But I am skeptical that a raising of taxes would in any way, shape, or form create future spending cuts.

Those out there who absolutely have to have ideological purity match up with electoral decisions, those who can't stomach making compromises, must not know much about the history of this country. If it weren't for compromises, we wouldn't even have this country! (Doubters, see the Constitutional Conventions.) Some of us are willing to make compromises to prevent the worst case we can envision from occurring. I call it pragmatism; you can call it what you will.

Unfortunately, I have over a long course of constant comprimising decided that I am through compromising my rights. Compromising in democracy is ever expansionary and ultimately leads to its downfall. The Constitution was a horrible compromise as it put in place mechanisms that would eventually result in the behemoth Federal state we have today. The Republic would have been much better off if the Anti-Federalists had had their way. I believe that today the ultimate idealists are the pragmatists. It is they who have the faith that giving something up today will result in getting something back in the future.

About Chris Matthews - I

About Chris Matthews - I don't know why, but I have always liked him, even though I disagree with most of his political views. Although he is a lefty, he is the type that really thinks lefty policies will help the little guy, instead of the type who simply hates the rich. And he doesn't let people get away with BS.

One point of clarification.

One point of clarification. A union shop is created by a clause in a private contract negotiated between an employer and a union. What a right to work law does is prohibit employers from making such private contracts. In addition, it mandates that a union represent all workers in the bargaining unit, whether they support its services with dues or not. Sounds pretty anti-market to me.

That being said, I'm very much opposed to union shops, and prefer the Wobbly idea of "minority unionism." I don't want a union to be undermined by people who are only in it because they are forced to be, but can still vote on contracts.

Johnathan, Don't tell me

Johnathan,

Don't tell me that you are a libertarian who doesn't believe in the law of unintended consequences.

It's a fundamental argument in the Hayekian rejection of socialism.

Dean is dangerous because he actually believes he would help people, when the opposite is the case.

I think that most of those who support Dean at this stage of the game are beyond help. They've become seduced by the cult of personality, and would rationalize anything Dean says, no matter how ridiculous.

Don't tell me that you are a

Don't tell me that you are a libertarian who doesn't believe in the law of unintended consequences.

What part of what I've written lead you to say that?

Johnathan, It's an easy

Johnathan,

It's an easy exercise to show that voting for a candidate merely in protest is counter to the attainment of one's long-term interests.

Pragmatism is a philosophy that advocates "what works" rather than "what is practicable" or "what is reasonable". The most pragmatic action is to simply vote for the candidate who most closely matches your views, regardless of the actions of others.

If libertarians want to be noticed, they should vote for the LP candidate or an independent candidate with a libertarian political philosophy.

Trying to game the system by voting for a candidate who clearly has an antilibertarian philosophy toward private property (he would try to weaken, rather than strengthen property rights) and freedom of contract, is giving up the two basic legal concepts that define individual liberty.

Bush does come closer than Dean to the libertarian position on these two issues- not that I'm any fan of Bush. My vote will be a vote AGAINST Dean, but I'm not sure whom it will be FOR.

I'd hate to see libertarians hoist themselves by their own petard just because they feel betrayed by Bush. If a libertarian candidate got more than 4% of the popular vote, the libertarian voter would definitely be in play.

maxinquaye, I believe you

maxinquaye,

I believe you have either misinterpreted what I have written or have me confused with someone else. I do not advocate voting for Dean. I am simply trying to explain what those libertarians who are contemplating doing so might be thinking (and I am not one of them). Like I said before, I would rather stick to principles rather than compromise.

My apologies-- rereading all

My apologies-- rereading all of your comments, I see that I did mistake you for someone else.

No biggie.

No biggie.

Maxinquaye: I think that

Maxinquaye:

I think that most of those who support Dean at this stage of the game are beyond help. They've become seduced by the cult of personality, and would rationalize anything Dean says, no matter how ridiculous.

It's unfortunate that you're so willing to pigeonhole. Read my comments above if you'd like to see someone who won't rationalize anything the man says. For every time I point out something I can live with, I also point out things I don't like and don't support.

Of course, judging by your previous comments I'm just a liberal anyway, no matter what I say or do. So what do I know?

Jonathan:

Unfortunately, I have over a long course of constant comprimising decided that I am through compromising my rights.

What's so unfortunate about that? When you put it like that it sounds pretty noble to me.

Jason, My intent is not to

Jason,

My intent is not to pigeonhole you as a liberal, libertarian, or anything else. I think your support of Dean is earnest.

I also think that libertarian support for Dean can lead to several undesirable results.

Also:

1) The GOP has no guarantee of holding the House or Senate. The GOP margin in each is razor thin. The "deadlock" argument is dependent on a continuation of a GOP legislative majority.

2) The Clinton-era deadlock was a result of a moment of peace at the end of the Cold War. Regardless of whether you support the current Iraq/Afghanistan engagement, we are no longer in an environment where drastic cuts in military spending are politically salable.

Worst case: Dean would win, the House and Senate would both go Democratic. Dean would get his health care plan, his tax increases, and the rest of his lefty lunacy.

Best case: we get a very anti-business president (GOP keeps the House and Senate) who re-regulates industry and stands in the way of any tax reform whatsoever.

Dean could re-regulate industry without any legislation at all. He could use executive orders to implement the law with a very anti-business attitude.

For example, he could sic the Justice Department on News Corporation or GE without even consulting Congress.

He could order the Justice Department to take an adversarial position against right-to-work laws in the federal courts.

Further, Dean would appoint Federal judges who would apply principles of distributive justice rather than procedural justice. At least Bush's appointees, such as Janice Rogers Brown, were libertarians. She was opposed by the Senate Democrats because she had written that Lochner v. US was decided wrongly. This clearly marks her as a libertarian.

FWIW...

I'm not sure I understand

I'm not sure I understand how right to work laws work. If they prevent unions from negotiating a closed shop with an employer then that's wrong.

JTK: "Right to work" is the

JTK: "Right to work" is the same as "at will". Whatever you can negotiate with an employer is what you get. At Will states generally don't allow closed shops.

On a general note, I don't think that "Jews for Jesus" is as appropriate as maybe "Rock against Drugs" or "Pacifists for War."

"JTK: "Right to work" is the

"JTK: "Right to work" is the same as "at will". Whatever you can negotiate with an employer is what you get."

Unlees you're a union and negotiate a closed shop?

"At Will states generally don't allow closed shops."

That's what I thought and it's not compatible with libertarianism. All parties should be free to negotiate whatever they can.