Sunday, July 13, 2008

The amazing things you find out about yourself on the Web

Maybe it's ego--OK, yes it's certainly ego--but every so often I google my name and "Libertarian" to see where I'll turn up. That's how I found out (albeit belatedly) that I had been quoted by Time.

Now I discover that my ditching of Bob Barr over his interview making DOMA a pillar of the new States' Rights Dixiecrat Libertarianism was actually carried over at Freedom Democrats, where--I am exceedingly pleased to note--I am carried in the same paragraph as Steve Kubby and Thomas Knapp:

Bob Barr's appearance on Fox News Sunday has triggered a backlash or sorts in the libertarian community, specifically with respect to Barr's comment regarding DOMA....

This prompted Steve Kubby to post “States’ Rights” is an Anti-Libertarian Concept. Steve Newton is now finished with Barr. Thomas Knapp posts that Barr is a Dixiecrat States Rightest in the tradition of Strom Thurmond and George Wallace.

Not that I'm in the habit of being a Barr apologist, but I believe this reaction is a bit over the top.

Imagine, lil' ol' me, famous for over-reacting.

Maybe I'm also over-reacting to Senator John McCain's homophobic views about gay adoption [h/t to Waldo for pouring through the transcript for this disgusting nugget]:

Q: President Bush believes that gay couples should not be permitted to adopt children. Do you agree with that?

Mr. McCain: I think that we’ve proven that both parents are important in the success of a family so, no I don’t believe in gay adoption.

Q: Even if the alternative is the kid staying in an orphanage, or not having parents.

Mr. McCain: I encourage adoption and I encourage the opportunities for people to adopt children I encourage the process being less complicated so they can adopt as quickly as possible. And Cindy and I are proud of being adoptive parents.

Q: But your concern would be that the couple should be a traditional couple.

Mr. McCain: Yes.

OK, this officially places McKKK-cain behind Bob Barr in my estimation. I suppose that's over-reacting as well.

What's intriguing about all this brew-haha over Libertarian politics, is that amazingly enough in places as different as Freedom Democrats and Eric Dondero's Libertarian Republican I have somehow acquired a reputation as a radical Libertarian.

I'm not quite sure how that happened: I came out against Mary Ruwart's candidacy on the age-of-consent issue, supported George Phillies for the LP nomination, and strongly held a "wait and see" attitude toward Bob Barr for several weeks.

If you examine the archives of this blog, you'll find that my political and philosophical positions are much more pragmatic than radical, and Tom--my local anarcho-capitalist reader--will readily tell you that I'm not willing to ditch as much of the government as he thinks I should.

So how did I become a radical?

I think that it is possibly the result of having a few positions in my inventory from which I will hardly budge.

I can think of two at the moment.

If you're in favor of continuing an interventionist foreign policy, replete with an empire of military bases around the world and a defense-industrial establishment capable of wagging the dog, then I'm not going to vote for you.

[Bob Barr passed that one; Barack Obama and John McCain both failed miserably.]

If you're in favor of institutionalized governmental discrimination (at any level of the government) against American citizens based on their sexual orientation, then I'm not going to vote for you.

[Barack Obama seems to be passing this one; Bob Barr and John McCain both fail.]

This would seem to leave me with Cynthia McKinney, except for provisional intractable position number three:

If your IQ doesn't appear to be measurable in at least the high double digits, then I'm not going to vote for you.

[OK, sure, that was in bad taste, but this is a f**king blog for God's sake--get over it.]

Point being: apparently holding non-interventionism and non-discrimination as core values makes one a radical.

If I'd known that, I'd have applied for my card a long time ago.


Anonymous said...


Nowhere in my piece did I call you a radical. If you read my post, what I elaborated on was the distinction between States Rights and Federalism, where the former explicitly rejects the Incorporation Doctrine. To the best of my knowledge, Barr does not reject the incorporation doctrine, so the insinuation that he is a Dixiecrat States Rightest is erroneous, even if he goes on conservative talk shows and semantically uses the term States Rights.

Btw, I tend toward the anarchist spectrum of libertarianism, but since I don't envision a mass voluntary opt-out from the State occuring anytime soon, i do tend to be a bit more pragmatic politically, which means it takes more than semantics to get me riled up.

If Dondero is calling you a radical, that's between you and him, but it's inaccurate to be lumping in FD into that running narrative.


Anonymous said...

Welcome to my world, Steve. Lots of Libertarian centrists have been slammed as "radicals" both inside the LP and outside of it, simply for insisting that self-described "libertarians" ascribe to some consistently libertarian thought pattern.

Ironically, four years ago we were all blasted as sell-out compromising statists by the same people. But we haven't changed -- they have! ;)

Eric Dondero said...


Libertarian Centrists - Rudy Giuliani, Jack Kemp, David Dreier, Arnold Schwarzenegger, William Weld, Steve Forbes,

Radical Libertarians - Boston Tea Party, Tom Knapp, L. Neil Smith, Ernie Hancock, Anthony Gregory, George Phillies, Mary Ruwart, David Bergland,

Hardcore Libertarians - Libertarian Party.

Mainstream Libertarians (right smack dab in the middle of the libertarian movement) - Eric Dondero, PJ O'Rourke, Cato, Jonah Goldberg, Reason, Republican Liberty Caucus, Leon Drolet.

Paleo-libertarians - Lew Rockwell, Ron Paul,