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Libertarians For Obama ? You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me

by @ 5:27 pm on June 9, 2008. Filed under 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Politics

Ron Chusid links to this article by Bruce Bartlett about libertarian support for Barack Obama:

The largest group of Obamacons hail from the libertarian wing of the movement. And it’s not just Andrew Sullivan. Milton and Rose Friedman’s son, David, is signed up with the cause on the grounds that he sees Obama as the better vessel for his father’s cause. Friedman is convinced of Obama’s sympathy for school vouchers–a tendency that the Democratic primaries temporarily suppressed. Scott Flanders, the CEO of Freedom Communications–the company that owns The Orange County Register–told a company meeting that he believes Obama will accomplish the paramount libertarian goals of withdrawing from Iraq and scaling back the Patriot Act.

Libertarians (and other varieties of Obamacons, for that matter) frequently find themselves attracted to Obama on stylistic grounds. That is, they believe that he has surrounded himself with pragmatists, some of whom (significantly) come from the University of Chicago. As the blogger Megan McArdle has written, “His goal is not more government so that we can all be caught up in some giant, expressive exercise of collectively enforcing our collective will on all the other people standing around us in the collective; his goal is improving transparency and minimizing government intrusion while rectifying specific outcomes.”

I’ve got to admit that I just don’t get. These are smart people we’re talking about here and yet it seems like they haven’t read what Obama actually advocates on issues like health care, urban policy, education, and the economy. Because, once you read those proposals, and you listen to what Obama actually says when he gets around to talking about policy, it’s fairly clear that his solution to most problems can be summed up in four words, more government, less freedom.

And, as if that weren’t bad enough, there’s his so-called energy policy:

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama sought to tap into Americans’ anxiety over high gasoline prices on Monday by pledging to seek a windfall profits tax on U.S. oil companies if elected.

Launching a two-week focus on the ailing U.S. economy, Obama drew a sharp contrast with Republican John McCain, his rival in the November election, accusing him of a “full-throated endorsement” of President George W. Bush’s fiscal policies, including tax breaks for oil companies.

“I’ll make oil companies like Exxon pay a tax on their windfall profits, and we’ll use the money to help families pay for their skyrocketing energy costs and other bills,” the Illinois senator said.

I mean, seriously, how can anyone who claims to believe in free markets vote for someone who proposes nonsense like this ?

I’ll agree with any criticism of John McCain and the Republicans you want to throw at me, but if you don’t want to vote third-party and truly think that this election really does come down to only two choices — Barack Obama and John McCain — then the only responsible thing anyone who believes individual liberty could do would be to stay home or leave the Presidential ballot blank. Neither one of these men is worthy of your vote.

H/T: KipEsquire

16 Responses to “Libertarians For Obama ? You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me”

  1. Chodeo says:

    The problem this year, is that the Libertarian candidate, Bob Barr voted for the patriot act, is a staunch drug war hawk, and generally has a terrible record on civil liberties.

    So, of all the candidates I still think Obama will be the best choice for libertarians, in spite of the entitlement spree he wants to go on. If it’s a choice between big government neoconservatism, and big government liberalism, the choice should be easy; at least a liberal administration will roll back some of Bush’s most egregious sins.

    Not to mention that many of the Libertarians you cite are supporting Obama because of the view that he will be the most pragmatic in his approach — something that should be valued when you don’t see eye to eye with a candidate on every issue.

  2. Chodeo,

    You do realize that electing Obama will mean getting rid of big government neocons and replacing them with even bigger government neo-liberals, don’t you ?

    And, as for Barr, here’s an excellent article on how his views have changed:

    http://tinyurl.com/6euq9v

    He’s not perfect, but then no politician is, and I believe his professed changes of opinion are genuine.

    And, if I didn’t I sure as hell wouldn’t waste my vote on Obama or McCain.

  3. Libertarian says:

    Yeah, I think both candidates miss the “perfection” benchmark just a wee bit. After voting for the LP candidate in every election since 1980, I think the “best choice” for libertarians this November will be to save gas, stay home, and watch which set of idiot voters outnumbers the other.

  4. Cody says:

    I can’t in good faith fully support any of the candidates, but I won’t stand by and risk another four years of a Republican hawk as our commander in chief.

  5. Libertarian says:

    I absolutely cannot stand it when someone tells me that my 3rd party vote is “wasted.” Argh! To me, the only way you can waste a vote is by not voting your conscience. And whenever someone tells me, “you have no right to complain if you don’t vote” my answer is, “No. The people who have no right to complain are the ones who voted for the winner.”

  6. Kevin says:

    http://tinyurl.com/6hvvvw

    Obama also supports the national Realtor and mortgage lender fingerprint registry

  7. I’m one of those libertarian-leaning Republicans who sure as hell won’t be voting for John McCain in November. However, I can’t cast my vote for statist Obama either.

    Why did my Party have to let true conservatives down….

  8. PW says:

    So you’re saying that we should not vote at all, given that one candidate is a warmongering old man who can’t remember if he pooped his pants ten minutes previous. At least Obama is advocating more government to help the people of this country, rather than suppress them.

    “Americans work harder than the people of any other wealthy nation. We are willing to tolerate more economic instability and are willing to take more personal risks to get ahead. But we can only compete if our government makes the investments that give us a fighting chance – and if we know our families have some net beneath which they cannot fall.”

    Sounds pretty logical to me. What’s wrong with letting the little guy get ahead? It sounds like you’re advocating big business here.

  9. Jackie says:

    It is ironic but I feel that the right is going to get Obama to the white house by voting for him or by staying at home either way McCain won’t get their votes.

  10. PW,

    No I am advocating freedom. Which is something that neither John McCain nor Barack Obama truly believe in if their policy positions are any indication.

  11. It is ironic but I feel that the right is going to get Obama to the white house by voting for him or by staying at home either way McCain won’t get their votes.

    If that happens, it’s the Republican Party’s fault for nominating yet another boring, old white, moderate Republican.

  12. I can’t in good faith fully support any of the candidates, but I won’t stand by and risk another four years of a Republican hawk as our commander in chief.

    So you’re willing to trade-in for a Democrat whose naivte on foreign policy is so vast it could fill an encyclopedia ?

    Not only don’t I think Barack Obama will withdraw from Iraq if he’s elected ($ 100 says that there will still be American troops in Iraq in 2010 and 2012 regardless of who wins in November), I can easily see him getting us involved in unecessary wars for “humanitarian” reasons in places like Darfur where we have no business getting involved.

  13. Chodeo says:

    > You do realize that electing Obama will mean getting rid of big government neocons and replacing them with even bigger government neo-liberals, don’t you ?

    I don’t think this is the case. I think based on the last 16 years, the GOP unequivocably wins the title for biggest domestic spenders. I’d challenege you to look up domestic spending stats for Reagan, Bush, Clinton and W if you disagree.

    What’s more important though is that when liberals tax and spend, I am usually only offended once. I sincerely resent having my money taken, but am not terribly offended that they want to use it to offer more affordable college tuition, extract people from poverty, or fund stem cell research programs.

    When the neocons take my money, the offense is so much more egregious, because not only am I deprived of what I’ve rightfully earned, I suffer again when I am forced to pay for abstinence only, anti-gay, or creationist propaganda. Or to fund a idealistic, unwinable war (Drug War, or Iraq War, take your pick.) The list goes on, but big government liberalism is certainly the much lesser of two evils, in my opinion.

    And to re-iterate my point on pragmaticism, if you honestly believe that Obama will govern from a position of idealism, without vetting his proposals with his opponents, do not cast a vote for him. I don’t think this is the case, and I think he’ll be forced, especially on spending issues where he will work with the house, to govern much more moderately.

    Finally, the Bob Barr article was an interesting read, but I remain unconvinced. There are just too many issues (Patriot Act, Drug War, gay rights, etc) that Barr has supposedly changed his tune on. I am still too skeptical that he honestly believes in personal freedom.

  14. Chodeo,

    And I look at Obama’s voting record and the records of those who support him and I see more of the same Democratic crap that we’ve been fed for decades.

    If he wins, there are going to be a lot of people who are very disappointed.

  15. Libertarian says:

    I agree with you Doug, in that we’ll have tens of thousands of troops in Iraq indefinitely, no matter what. I was ready to one-up your wager, though, when Hillary was in the race. I work with a whole bunch of Republicans who see nothing but good if a politician has an “R” after his/her name, and nothing but bad if there is a “D”. I intended (if Hillary won) to bet $1000 that her 2012 budget would be more than the 2008 defense budget. I think it would have been easy money.

  16. I intended (if Hillary won) to bet $1000 that her 2012 budget would be more than the 2008 defense budget. I think it would have been easy money.

    That’s not a bet I would’ve been inclined to take the opposing view on.

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