Thursday, August 23, 2012

Will the Real Objectivist/Libertarian Please Stand Up?

Dear Madame L,

It seems like all the conservative Republican politicians who don't identify outright with the Tea Partyers are calling themselves libertarians, but they are all so deeply in debt to the federal government, I don't see how they can really think they're libertarians. Isn't there a whole Libertarian Party? Why don't they join that, if they're such libertarians?


Confirmed Big-Government Socialist

Dear Comrade,

Madame L likes your style! Thanks for your question, which has given Madame L a chance to research the Libertarian Party and some pseudo-libertarians in conservative Republican politics.

Madame L thinks that anyone who has ever voted for, or accepted, or accepted funds on behalf of constituents, for any government program (Social Security, Medicare, government-subsidized loans of any and every kind, bailout funds, disaster relief funds, ANY program at all) is not really a libertarian. In fact, they are all, like you, and like me, confirmed big-government socialists, even though they can't admit it because they know no one will ever vote for them again if they do.

That said, Madame L has just found an article indicating that the "father of libertarianism," Robert Nozick, eventually lost his own faith in the philosophy.

Madame L thinks life is too short even to discuss Ayn Rand's idiotic, sophomoric, puerile, [insert favorite demeaning adjective here] so-called philosophy of libertarianism. But Madame L brought it up so she could mention that the only people she has ever personally known who admired Ayn Rand or her philosophy were adolescent males. FWIW.

Now, as to the Libertarian Party. Yes, it does exist, and it has a presidential candidate, Gary Johnson.

Gary Johnson: Ryan's no libertarian
Gary Johnson(Credit: AP/Damian Dovargenes
According to Alex Pareene at, "The Libertarian movement has been working for years to infiltrate the GOP and basically what they have accomplished is getting a bunch of Republicans to pay lip service to certain tenets of Austrian Economics."

However, the truth is, Pareene asserts (and Madame L agrees), that these people are only interested in keeping tax rates low for the 1%. If it takes increased taxes on the rest of us 99% (which it does), and if it requires the government using our tax money to bail them out when they ruin the auto industry or banking industry or whatever their next scam will be (which it does), that's just fine with them.

And here's what Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson says about Paul Ryan, the latest and famousest Republican to proclaim his loyalty to libertarian philosophy: "He voted for the Patriot Act, he voted for the National Defense Appropriation Act, he voted to ban online poker, he’s proposing a budget that gets balanced in thirty years. He is anything but a libertarian, anything but." Pareene notes that Gary Johnson also pointed out that Ryan, a social conservative, also voted against marriage equality and against women's reproductive rights.

Look at Paul Ryan's voting record. Again, Madame L thinks life is too short to go into all the details here, but here's one item: the fact that he has accepted government bailout funds for his district.  
At first he said he had never accepted the money: "I'm not one [of those] people who votes for something then writes to the government to ask them to send us money. I did not request any stimulus money." He also said, later, "I never asked for stimulus. I don’t recall…so I really can't comment on it. I opposed the stimulus because it doesn't work, it didn't work."
He apologized for that when it was pointed out he'd lied about it, and "accepted responsibility." (That's a cool trick, isn't it, accepting responsibility retroactively! I wonder if he learned it from Mitt Romney. Nah. All politicians know that trick. They're born knowing that trick, or they would never make it in politics.) 
Later, he said in a statement: "After having these letters called to my attention I checked into them, and they were treated as constituent service requests in the same way matters involving Social Security or Veterans Affairs are handled. This is why I didn’t recall the letters earlier. But they should have been handled differently, and I take responsibility for that."
(Please note that he really thinks Social Security and Veterans Affairs are acceptable---something a true Libertarian would never do.)

Madame L thinks "hypocritical" is too polite an adjective to use for this kind of slimy, wriggly, deniability-based, gutter-living political behavior.


Madame L

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