#rsrh The cyber-libertarians discover that liberals are not cyber-libertarians.

It’s almost funny.

“The Democrats criticized Bush for suspension of civil liberties and guaranteed them in their 2008 platform. In their 2012 platform, those guarantees have all been erased.”

I don’t really recommend the EFF/Al-Jazeera article – the author seems to think that suggesting that black people are too incompetent to get picture ID is somehow a blow struck for civil rights – but the general theme is pretty clear.  It turns out that liberals are actually, shock, happy to use the power of the State to enforce social and domestic policy!  Which is great when a libertarian agrees with that policy; when they don’t?  …Not so much.

As I said, almost funny.  The joke kind of loses something after the sixtieth or so time you see somebody fall for it.

Moe Lane

Via Instapundit.

Since when is Twitter public property?

As I understand this stalking case, the guy’s facing criminal charges for cyberstalking, which in this case seems to be somewhere between ‘being a relentless jerk’ and ‘there may be actual worms in his head.’  I understand free-speech concerns, but Twitter isn’t actually public space: it’s a private forum where people are permitted to register and participate without paying a fee.  And I’m not being pedantic, here: it’s that distinction that allows site moderators to moderate sites*.

Which is not to say that, say, Eugene Volokh is wrong to question the law itself.  The defendant seems to have avoided sufficiently explicit and credible threats of violence, at least from a legal point of view (warning: I am not a lawyer); and I favor a high bar for that sort of thing.  But I think that it makes more sense for Twitter to seek legal redress against somebody who is deliberately abusing their communications network to harass other people.  For that matter, isn’t this sort of thing more properly a case for the civil court system anyway?

Moe Lane

*This is, as I can attest personally, a distinction that is lost on a lot of ‘libertarians.’

QotD, That Would Be Nice edition.

Glenn Reynolds, letting out his inner libertarian:

So now that New York will have happily-maried gay couples, can we get started on letting them have the closets full of assault rifles?

Lurking in that question is the key difference between liberalism and libertarianism – and it’s liberalism that comes off second-best in the comparison.

#rsrh Out: liberaltarianism. In: libertarian centrism!

(Via Instapundit) Oh, God, not this again.

Reason has an interesting debate on the question of libertarian political strategy. Should libertarians seek to forge an alliance with conservatives or liberals or neither? Conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg and Tea Party leader Matt Kibbe argue for reconsituting the libertarian-conservative coalition that was badly frayed if not completely severed during the Bush years. Cato Institute scholar Brink Lindsey argues against that view. Although I am much closer to Lindsey’s political views than Goldberg’s, I find myself agreeing somewhat more with Goldberg’s position in this particular debate.

Yup!  He should be. Continue reading #rsrh Out: liberaltarianism. In: libertarian centrism!

Liberal Mask Slipping Watch, Libertarian Edition.

Mind you, Matt Welch is not surprised that it has; otherwise, his fairly comprehensive evisceration of this Salon article whining about the maturity level of libertarianism would have been a good deal more, ah, exercised.  I imagine that being editor-in-chief for Reason generally means that one gets used fairly quickly to the pander-then-minimize cycle that libertarians get from both Democrats and Republicans – I say this as a Republican, mind you.  I’m not even apologetic about it: my only regret is that we pander too little and minimize too much.  Why?  Because of paragraphs like this:

The “worldview” of libertarianism suggested, back in the early 1970s, that if you got the government out of the business of setting all airline ticket prices and composing all in-flight menus, then just maybe Americans who were not rich could soon enjoy air travel. At the time, people with much more imagination and pull than Gabriel Winant has now dismissed the idea as unrealistic, out-of-touch fantasia. They were wrong then, they continue to be wrong now about a thousand similar things, and history does not judge them harsh enough.

The differences between libertarians, liberals, and conservatives can be handily seen with this paragraph.  When asked whether the government should be involved in something, the libertarian will default to “No;” the liberal, to “Yes;” and the conservative to “I don’t think so.”  What a lot of conservatives forget is that their answer and the libertarian answer is not quite the same; once a conservative is convinced that government intervention is acceptable or even laudable he will enthusiastically support it*.  And what a lot of libertarians forget is that while “No” and “Probably not” are not quite the same, “No” and “Yes” will never be the same; even in places where the results would be the same the process is significantly different**.  In other words: to a libertarian, a conservative is an ultimately unreliable ally (and vice versa).  But a liberal’s just going to be somebody who’s only right by accident.

What?  What do liberals forget?  That conservatives and libertarians have triple-digit IQs, of course; and that they can read.  Hence, absurdities like the Salon article that sparked Matt’s ire.

Moe Lane

Continue reading Liberal Mask Slipping Watch, Libertarian Edition.


Yeah, some people are still trying to revive that one.

Professor Bainbridge (via Instapundit) is having fun with demolishing this one by bringing up public sector unions, and why the Democrats won’t abandon them for libertarian votes. It’s a perfectly good practical observation, but I’d like to kick liberaltarianism right in its fundamental principles, so here goes:

What, precisely, is the liberaltarian response to health care? Putting only one-twelfth of the US economy under government control?

Thanks, I’m here all week! Tip your waiter! …until the beginning of the next fiscal quarter, when the new federal guidelines on compulsory nondiscriminatory automatic gratuity surcharges on all waitperson-customer interactions go into effect.

Moe Lane

PS: The fact that you were worried there for a second that there might actually be new federal guidelines goes a long way towards proving my point.

Crossposted to RedState.

Not to be all self-reflexive and stuff…

…but I think that RS McCain’s link to my Waters post is interesting because it’s showing a certain confluence of interests.  As some of you may know, I’m a former Democrat myself (like RS McCain, in fact): and as most of you have worked out by now, I’m a good GOP Party man (decidedly unlike RS McCain).  And while I’m sympathetic to a lot of libertarian notions – enough to define me as one of those Dread Moderate Squishes on a variety of topics* – I’m not one.  300 million people in this country: we can’t run it all via town meetings.  That being said, everything he wrote after: Continue reading Not to be all self-reflexive and stuff…