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The Myth of Libertarians as Social Liberals
National Review Online ^ | 2009-02-11 | Jonah Goldberg

Posted on 02/11/2009 1:53:16 PM PST by rabscuttle385

All good points and I agree with them all to one extent or another. But — and you knew there had to be one — it bothers me when conservatives offer the blanket concession that social liberalism and the social aspect of libertarianism are one and the same.

To say you are an economic conservative is to say you are a libertarian on 95% of the relevant issues. But to say you are a social liberal isn't anything like saying you are a libertarian on 95% of social issues.

Social liberals are often quite aggressive advocates of using state power to impose their preffered versions of "liberty." Most libertarians are disgusted by thought-policing political correctness, by forced "sensitivity" training, by so-called Hate Crimes tribunals and racial and gender quotas. They detest smoking bans, forced volunteerism and the whole panapoly of Nanny State outrages. They may detest religious incursions on government, but they also detest governmental incursions on religion. Most libertarians are localists who believe that the federal government doesn't have an all purpose writ to make everything better. They believe in the autonomy of business and other institutions to do what they want — within obvious limits — even if what they do is bad.

. . . . .

...liber(al)tarians make a terrible mistake when they assume that a few shared values about what constitutes "social goods" or "tolerance" means that libertarians and liberals actually share a common vision of the role of government.

...liberals are dishonest or ignorant when they claim that they are particularly libertarian in their outlook when, more often, they are merely strong champions of having the State mirror and impose their value choices.

(Excerpt) Read more at corner.nationalreview.com ...


TOPICS: Politics
KEYWORDS: biggovernment; liberaldrugtopians; liberals; liberaltarians; libertarians; lp; lping; statists
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1 posted on 02/11/2009 1:53:16 PM PST by rabscuttle385
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To: bamahead; djsherin

.


2 posted on 02/11/2009 1:53:31 PM PST by rabscuttle385 ("If this be treason, then make the most of it!" —Patrick Henry)
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To: All
Statists of all stripes—whether they be liberal, conservative, or just plain nuts—are thoroughly dangerous.
3 posted on 02/11/2009 1:55:57 PM PST by rabscuttle385 ("If this be treason, then make the most of it!" —Patrick Henry)
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To: rabscuttle385

The “social aspect of libertarianism” varies widely from person to person.

On abortion they split on the extremes...but the national Libertarian party attempts a compromise that is just plain silly, and is essentially pro-abortion.


4 posted on 02/11/2009 2:03:45 PM PST by kidd (Obama: The triumph of hope over evidence)
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To: rabscuttle385
Statists of all stripes—whether they be liberal, conservative, or just plain nuts—are thoroughly dangerous.

Careful Rabscuttle, you run the risk of being thoroughly misunderstood unless you explain yourself.

What do you mean by trying to classify conservatives as statists?
5 posted on 02/11/2009 2:06:17 PM PST by SoConPubbie (GOP: If you reward bad behavior all you get is more bad behavior.)
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To: SoConPubbie
What do you mean by trying to classify conservatives as statists?

Because most of them are. That's why.

Limbaugh is top of the heap on this along with that idiot Hannity.

L

6 posted on 02/11/2009 2:07:50 PM PST by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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To: rabscuttle385
"...liber(al)tarians make a terrible mistake when they assume that a few shared values about what constitutes "social goods" or "tolerance" means that libertarians and liberals actually share a common vision of the role of government."

Apparently, there are actually some libertarians who are afraid Baptists will try to stop them from fornicating. It's irrational, but it exists. They also seem to think that reading long-winded Ayn Rand novels will somehow protect them from this imaginary threat. But Vegas has never been shut down during conservative Republican administrations.

7 posted on 02/11/2009 2:09:03 PM PST by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: kidd
is essentially pro-abortion.

Frankly, I don't get how the Libertarians support abortion.

The choice argument as put forth by both Libertarians (big-L) and social liberals has a glaring flaw: by choosing to engage in sexual activities that carry the inherent risk of pregnancy, the woman is implicitly choosing to accept that risk. And, as such, if she voluntarily chooses to engage in activities that could potentially lead to pregnancy, she must also simultaneously accept the personal responsibility that is inseparable from her choice. And, if the woman is not of legal age, the responsibility for properly informing the woman, as well as the responsibility for the woman's failures, ought to fall squarely on the heads of her parents or legal guardians.

That said, this argument fails when you consider cases of rape and incest; that's where the waters really are murky.

8 posted on 02/11/2009 2:09:42 PM PST by rabscuttle385 ("If this be treason, then make the most of it!" —Patrick Henry)
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To: rabscuttle385
Well, see, those types don't actually believe in the freedom of nature. They want to disrupt the natural reproduction process artificially.
9 posted on 02/11/2009 2:11:36 PM PST by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: SoConPubbie; Lurker
What do you mean by trying to classify conservatives as statists?

I didn't say that all conservatives are statists. But I did imply that there are some conservatives who are statists.

The danger with advocating expansion of Government for your own ends is that you are not guaranteed to remain in power perpetually, and as another group that is opposed to you may eventually gain power, and the right to use such Government machinery, that group may elect to use the Government you create...against you.

10 posted on 02/11/2009 2:12:02 PM PST by rabscuttle385 ("If this be treason, then make the most of it!" —Patrick Henry)
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To: kidd
This libertarian thinks that if it's human, then deliberately killing it without it's consent is murder.

If a fetus is killing it's mother for whatever medical reason, it's up to the mother if she wants to give her life to her unborn child, or to prevent her own life from being taken.

No matter where you come down on this one, the FedGov has ZERO authority to either forbid or mandate abortion or the financing thereof.

11 posted on 02/11/2009 2:12:32 PM PST by Dead Corpse (Utinam coniurati te in foro interficiant)
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To: Lurker
Because most of them are. That's why.

Limbaugh is top of the heap on this along with that idiot Hannity.

L


Wow, that was really intelligent.

Now, how about trying to use some type of logically argument to back up your empty assertions.
12 posted on 02/11/2009 2:13:31 PM PST by SoConPubbie (GOP: If you reward bad behavior all you get is more bad behavior.)
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To: Dead Corpse

If the fetus is indeed human, the 14th Amendment requires the federal government to act to prevent the deprivation of life without due process.

The 14th Amendment also requires the federal government to have its own definition of what a person is, so, even though that definition was done incorrectly in Roe v. Wade, the federal government will, indeed, determine the legality of abortion nationally.


13 posted on 02/11/2009 2:14:58 PM PST by Philo-Junius (One precedent creates another. They soon accumulate and constitute law.)
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To: SoConPubbie; Lurker; Allegra
Wow, that was really intelligent.

Now, how about trying to use some type of logically argument to back up your empty assertions.

Lurker is correct. Limbaugh appears to be...a statist.

"We'll take back our government. It's going to be a bigger, more powerful, stronger government and we're going to turn it against the left in ways they could have never imagined."
—Rush Limbaugh, 2009-02-11

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2183501/posts

14 posted on 02/11/2009 2:16:05 PM PST by rabscuttle385 ("If this be treason, then make the most of it!" —Patrick Henry)
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To: rabscuttle385

What Rush is pointing out is that liberals, in charge now, are going to create a “bigger, more powerful, stronger government” and that government will be in place when the pendulum swings and the people elect a conservative government.

Then the liberals will have to face the monster that they are building with this “stimulus package”.


15 posted on 02/11/2009 2:21:10 PM PST by Anitius Severinus Boethius
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To: rabscuttle385

I don’t listen to Limbaugh much and this quote reminds me why.


16 posted on 02/11/2009 2:22:00 PM PST by djsherin (Government is essentially the negation of liberty.)
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To: rabscuttle385

“Government is not the solution to the problem, government IS the problem”. Ronald Reagan (Hannity rocks!)


17 posted on 02/11/2009 2:24:57 PM PST by CIDKauf (No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.)
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To: Dead Corpse

“No matter where you come down on this one, the FedGov has ZERO authority to either forbid or mandate abortion or the financing thereof.”

Exactly. This Libertarian agrees with that sentence completely.


18 posted on 02/11/2009 2:25:44 PM PST by sadiebella
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To: rabscuttle385; Dead Corpse

I think the biggest issue with abortion is the question of whether or not the fetus is living. If alive, no circumstance permits abortion, including cases of rape and incest, unless it threatens the mother’s life.


19 posted on 02/11/2009 2:26:19 PM PST by djsherin (Government is essentially the negation of liberty.)
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To: rabscuttle385

Part of the problem, at least, is the fact that some liberals call themselves “libertarians”... Arlen Specter used to repeat that he was a “fiscal conservative and a social libertarian”; he was and is neither.


20 posted on 02/11/2009 2:28:51 PM PST by Mogwai (You say "far right" like that's a bad thing!)
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To: Anitius Severinus Boethius

I don’t want the government to remain strong when the pendulum swings the other way. The fact that it swings the other way should mean that we get less government.

Although that wasn’t true when we held Congress and the presidency during Bush’s term... lost opportunities.


21 posted on 02/11/2009 2:28:56 PM PST by djsherin (Government is essentially the negation of liberty.)
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To: rabscuttle385; All

And lets not forget that Libertarians want all drug laws overturned so they can all get legally stoned.

It’s true. It’s in their Party Platform.


22 posted on 02/11/2009 2:31:02 PM PST by Responsibility2nd
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To: sadiebella

That depends. A murder case that crosses state lines or occurs on federal property is a federal case, by definition. An abortion that crosses state lines ought to be analogous to a federal murder case, otherwise there will be a constant power struggle between states to determine jurisdiction.


23 posted on 02/11/2009 2:38:08 PM PST by messierhunter
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To: Lurker
that idiot Hannity.

LOL!!! You sir are not "a great American!"

24 posted on 02/11/2009 2:39:54 PM PST by Poison Pill (Help, I've voted Republican and I can't get up!)
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To: Dead Corpse
No matter where you come down on this one, the FedGov has ZERO authority to either forbid or mandate abortion or the financing thereof.

You nailed it!

25 posted on 02/11/2009 2:40:17 PM PST by Diego1618
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To: sadiebella

—and this small “l” libertarian agrees, also—and also suspects that there was less of a “drug problem” in 1880 with no prohibition, than there is now-—


26 posted on 02/11/2009 2:46:23 PM PST by rellimpank (--don't believe anything the MSM tells you about firearms or explosives--NRA Benefactor)
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To: rabscuttle385
"We'll take back our government. It's going to be a bigger, more powerful, stronger government and we're going to turn it against the left in ways they could have never imagined." —Rush Limbaugh, 2009-02-11
I didn't like or agree with that as a prediction, either - but more than a call for action it was a warning of how terrible the Obama Administration is going to be, and a warning to the Democrats that the Obama Administration will be so egregious in its deprivation of the rights of Americans that by the time it is removed from power - as eventually it will - the reaction against it will not be contained within the bounds of the Constitution.

I don't agree with it - but I fear the possibility that he might be correct. People are already saying that it will be a long 4 years, but I greatly fear that four years hence we will see the destruction of the Republican Party - or, if they don't have a care, at a minimum that the Republican Party will fail even to place in 2012 as it did a century ago in 1912 when it trailed not only Wilson but Teddy Roosevelt and his Bull Moose Party. That is IMHO baked in the cake unless the McCain faction wakes up and smells the coffee, because so many conservatives will refuse to support another McCain-style candidacy that such a candidacy would reduce the Republicans to at least temporary irrelevance.


27 posted on 02/11/2009 3:00:18 PM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (Change is what journalism is all about. NATURALLY journalists favor "change.")
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To: Responsibility2nd
And lets not forget that Libertarians want all drug laws overturned so they can all get legally stoned.

Well....that's certainly not what I want. But......I would be in favor of addicts buying their (discounted) drugs at Walgreen, Thrifty and Rex-All instead of the "Bloods" and the "Crips"...... Wouldn't you? At least they wouldn't be forced to break and enter, acquiring fenceable goods to sell to support their habit.

We will never learn the lesson of Prohibition which spawned the involvement of organized crime in the booze business and helped secure it a permanent foothold in our society. We have done the same thing with illicit drugs and wonder why there's a pusher on every school corner.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize.....if something is illegal there are Gazallions of dollars in profit to be made.......because of the risk. Take a poll. Ask how many drug dealers and pushers if they would like to see the drug laws repealed. You won't find a one!

28 posted on 02/11/2009 3:00:35 PM PST by Diego1618
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To: rabscuttle385
That said, this argument fails when you consider cases of rape and incest; that's where the waters really are murky.

Not so. You're looking at it from the wrong standpoint. Libertarianism only requires that result if you do not acknowledge the humanity of the unborn child. Libertarianism can be framed in terms of legitimate state use of force -- the state only legitimately uses force to protect its members from force and violence by others. Thus, a state may, and probably must, enact laws prohibiting murder, assault, rape, etc. This is the minimal basis of any society, and only anarchists would argue that a state has no legitimate right to act to prevent the murder of defenseless members.

If the unborn child is a human being, that defenseless human being is entitled to protection by the state since it is incapable of protecting itself from violence by others.

29 posted on 02/11/2009 3:08:59 PM PST by FateAmenableToChange
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To: Diego1618

Spoken like a true Liberaltarian.

Amen!

Replace the drug dealers with politicians and government employees.

And don’t forget the tax revenue on each ounce of crack or pound of pot!

Think of the thousands of new hospitals and prisons we could build to accomodate all the millions of new addicts reduced to poverty and crime as they are too stoned to go to school or work.

Yayy Liberaltarians!!!!

What’s wrong with wanting America to resemble the opium days of China one hundred years ago, anyway?

Prohibition is ALWAYS BAD, ya know?


30 posted on 02/11/2009 3:13:34 PM PST by Responsibility2nd
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To: FateAmenableToChange
If the unborn child is a human being, that defenseless human being is entitled to protection by the state since it is incapable of protecting itself from violence by others.

True, but you do not at all address the problem that is rape: it's insult added on injury to be legally bound to bear your rapist's child.

That's why I said the waters were murky in such a case.

31 posted on 02/11/2009 3:17:44 PM PST by rabscuttle385 ("If this be treason, then make the most of it!" —Patrick Henry)
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To: rabscuttle385

One thing libertarians are not, is politically adept.

The consistent mistake of third parties is to run for the presidency first. Instead they should run for the weakest congressional seats they can find, and build momentum to become a “tie breaking” party in Washington.

With as few as a dozen seats in the US House, the libertarian party would have enormous influence playing off the Democrats against the Republicans. In this way, the libertarians could find their core agenda addressed, and not have to compromise any of their principals.

Does anyone believe that if they applied themselves to it, the libertarians couldn’t get 12 seats out of 435 up for grabs every two years?


32 posted on 02/11/2009 3:33:20 PM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: rabscuttle385; Lurker
Lurker is correct. Limbaugh appears to be...a statist.

Quit cherry-picking things that Limbaugh, possibly outside the context of what he meant and trying to apply them as if they represent is ideology.

Anyone who has spent anytime at all listening to Rush absolutely knows he is a small-government conservative.
33 posted on 02/11/2009 3:46:38 PM PST by SoConPubbie (GOP: If you reward bad behavior all you get is more bad behavior.)
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To: Responsibility2nd
Replace the drug dealers with politicians and government employees.

No....this is what I said: I would be in favor of addicts buying their (discounted) drugs at Walgreen, Thrifty and Rex-All instead of the "Bloods" and the "Crips"...... Wouldn't you? At least they wouldn't be forced to break and enter, acquiring fenceable goods to sell to support their habit.

How you construe this to mean that the government would be in the drug business.....is beyond me. If you believe it is better to have armed gangs soliciting and selling illicit drugs in our society rather than voluntary exchanges taking place between legitimate businesses and customers, then that tells me much about your thinking.

Think of the thousands of new hospitals and prisons we could build to accommodate all the millions of new addicts reduced to poverty and crime as they are too stoned to go to school or work.

Would that be a similar amount to what we had to build and spend when we decided to make spirits available to the free market again?

What in the world would possess you to believe that we would experience an increase in addicts? The exact opposite would be true..... and instead of stealing and committing felonies to support their habit they would probably be able to spend the same amount as they do now for a bottle of aspirin. I don't know of too many folks engaged in criminal activities to support their Excedrin addictions.

What’s wrong with wanting America to resemble the opium days of China one hundred years ago, anyway?

You seem to be the one wanting politicians and government employees involved more and more in our lives....not me. Think of all the judges, attorneys, police officers, D.E.A. personnel and prison officials we could retire to Burger King if the drug problem ceased....and it would. You know, I know it and everyone on this forum knows it!

This nation did not have a drug problem until our benevolent government declared war on drugs! This is much the same as......we did not have a poverty problem until our stupid government declared war on that! Maybe we should declare war on food.....then there would be so much of it available (it would then be illegal) that no one would ever go hungry again.

34 posted on 02/11/2009 3:57:29 PM PST by Diego1618
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To: rabscuttle385

I have found libertarianism consistent with traditional conservative beliefs (even on social issues) in reference toward government when one is ALSO an Original Constitutionalist. The Constitution is the tie that binds libertarianism and conservatism.


35 posted on 02/11/2009 3:59:05 PM PST by JSDude1 (R(epublicans) In Name Only SUCK; D(emocrats) In Name Only are worth their weight..)
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To: Diego1618
This nation did not have a drug problem until our benevolent government declared war on drugs!

You're factually incorrect about that. The drug scene was horrendous, washing through every school in the nation before the war on drugs started. The war on drugs was a reaction to a nation whose kids were being seriously dragged down.

36 posted on 02/11/2009 4:05:06 PM PST by Lakeshark (Thank a member of the US armed forces for their sacrifice)
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To: Lakeshark
You're factually incorrect about that. The drug scene was horrendous, washing through every school in the nation before the war on drugs started.

And it doesn't do that now? Do I understand this to be your position?

I lived during the years the drug wars were started and it was not that way. What it did do was to give our government more and more access to our personal business and create a monstrosity of an agency that is full of worthless bureaucrats and parasites.

37 posted on 02/11/2009 4:14:13 PM PST by Diego1618
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To: SoConPubbie
Now, how about trying to use some type of logically argument to back up your empty assertions.

Drop a call into Limbaugh (the drug addict) or Vannity and ask them their opinion on the Federal War On (some) Drugs.

Then ask them exactly where in the Constitution Congress is given the authority to make growing marijuana on your own property for your own use a Federal crime.

Then watch their phony statist heads explode.

L

38 posted on 02/11/2009 4:23:22 PM PST by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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To: FateAmenableToChange
If the unborn child is a human being, that defenseless human being is entitled to protection by the state since it is incapable of protecting itself from violence by others.

IMHO, you put too much faith in the state.

I can appreciate the sentiment, but the fact is that once you give the state such authority, they can exercise it at their pleasure. Imagine gun control laws ostensibly passed to protect children in a home, and then extended under this doctrine to cover any home where a pregnant female could conceivalbly reside.

If you think that sounds ludicrous, take a look at what passes for "having a substantial effect on interstate commerce".

39 posted on 02/11/2009 4:28:43 PM PST by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: tacticalogic

You may object to it, but the 14th Amendment mandates federal government prevent the denial of equal protection of state law to all persons.

If fetuses are held to be persons—as they should be—then the federal government is indeed mandated to prevent it in every case not meeting the strict scrutiny of the courts.


40 posted on 02/11/2009 5:36:10 PM PST by Philo-Junius (One precedent creates another. They soon accumulate and constitute law.)
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To: Philo-Junius
If fetuses are held to be persons—as they should be—then the federal government is indeed mandated to prevent it in every case not meeting the strict scrutiny of the courts.

The if they are provided every protection extended to any other child, any miscarraige should be investigated as a potential homicide, just like the unexplained death of any child.

41 posted on 02/11/2009 5:38:39 PM PST by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: tacticalogic

This troubles you why, exactly?

But in any event, why, all of the sudden, are we arguing practicality instead of principle?

I thought it was the principle which was important here.


42 posted on 02/11/2009 5:41:16 PM PST by Philo-Junius (One precedent creates another. They soon accumulate and constitute law.)
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To: Philo-Junius
I thought it was the principle which was important here.

I have a habit of looking for potential unitended consequences.

43 posted on 02/11/2009 5:43:18 PM PST by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: JSDude1
The Constitution is the tie that binds libertarianism and conservatism.

Bingo!

My suggestion is that we join forces and work together until the federal government is, what, half it's current size? Then we can argue amongst ourselves about the "true reason for government."

44 posted on 02/11/2009 5:48:09 PM PST by Swing_Thought (Become a free market capitalist. Accept no substitutes.)
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To: tacticalogic

The death of fragile children (neonates, etc.) are rarely subjected to criminal investigation, just as the deaths of most elderly persons are closed with a simple physician’s signature on the death certificate.

But it’s interesting to see how quickly vaunted libertarian principle goes by the board when there’s any threat to the sex, drugs or rock’n’roll.


45 posted on 02/11/2009 5:50:42 PM PST by Philo-Junius (One precedent creates another. They soon accumulate and constitute law.)
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To: Swing_Thought

Yup! And I also know that is the left who is the “agressor” (and big government/tyranny advocate) when they force “social issues” to come into the forefront through the courts. It’s a false dichotomy to believe one ~’CAN’T’~ be both a conservative socially, fiscally, ~and~ libertarian. CHEERS!


46 posted on 02/11/2009 5:56:57 PM PST by JSDude1 (R(epublicans) In Name Only SUCK; D(emocrats) In Name Only are worth their weight..)
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To: Philo-Junius
But it’s interesting to see how quickly vaunted libertarian principle goes by the board when there’s any threat to the sex, drugs or rock’n’roll.

Not nearly as intersting as how quickly a difference of opinion turns into accusations of moral turpitude and criminal intent.

47 posted on 02/11/2009 6:06:12 PM PST by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: Diego1618
I was referring to your statement. Which was incorrect.

I said nothing about now.

48 posted on 02/11/2009 6:08:41 PM PST by Lakeshark (Thank a member of the US armed forces for their sacrifice)
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To: tacticalogic

Shrugging your shoulders and walking away from infanticide is indeed moral turpitude.


49 posted on 02/11/2009 6:49:34 PM PST by Philo-Junius (One precedent creates another. They soon accumulate and constitute law.)
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To: Philo-Junius

Fascinating.


50 posted on 02/11/2009 7:08:07 PM PST by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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