Archive | December, 2012

New Year’s Resolutions for GOPsters

31 Dec warns Republicans that if they raise the debt ceiling and give in to spending, Libertarians will happily take their voters from them:

  2012 168POST A COMMENT

In the wake of the GOP’s election losses, media mavens and party elders inevitably express deep concern that the party has become “too conservative” to win elections. The party, we are warned, must moderate its positions to better appeal to voters in the “middle.” Results in nine different races, however, suggest that the GOP needs to reaffirm its commitment to conservative values. In two Senate races, one Governors’ race and six House races, libertarian candidates won enough support to potentially cost Republicans victory. The votes won by libertarian candidates far exceeded the Democrats’ victory margins. 

In Indiana, Dem Rep. Joe Donnelley defeated Republican Richard Mourdock by 141k votes. The libertarian candidate won 146k votes, about 6% of the total. In Montana, Sen. Jon Tester defeated Rep. Dennie Rehberg by 18k votes. The libertarian candidate won 31k votes. The same story is true for six House races:
  • AZ-01 Dem margin 7,914 Libertarian vote 14,450
  • AZ-09 Dem margin 6,967 Libertarian vote 14,361
  • MA-06 Dem margin 3,650 Libertarian vote 16,668
  • MI-11 Dem margin 7,527 Libertarian vote 11,611
  • NH-01 Dem margin 12,874 Libertarian vote 14,968
  • UT-04 Dem margin 2,646 Libertarian vote 5,703
Now, libertarian voters can be a fickle lot. While libertarian-leaning voters have long been part of the Republican party’s winning coalition. Many of these voters became disillusioned with the party during the Bush years, which witnessed a significant increase in government spending and a new entitlement program. There was also widespread discontent over the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 
If anything could have repaired the rift, though, it was the election of Barack Obama. Obama not only continued all of Bush’s foreign engagement, he went on a spending bender. Amazingly, he and the Democrats were even more aggressive drug warriors than Bush and the GOP. 
The GOP ought to have been able to win ample libertarian support this election, as the campaigns were fought where the two philosophies intersect, namely government spending and regulation. In Indiana, where the GOP tripped over the issue of rape and abortion, it’s probably understandable that the libertarian attracted 6% of the vote. 
The GOP is most successful when it embraces limited government and individual responsibility. It fails when it is merely a slightly more cost-efficient version of the Democrat party. The party forgets this at their peril. 

Living with Guns: A Liberal’s Case for the Second Amendment

31 Dec

JANUARY 9 Noon Cato Institute

Living with Guns: A Liberal’s Case for the Second Amendment

In the aftermath of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, firearm regulation has understandably moved to the forefront of our national political debate. Even before Newtown, the tragic mass shootings in Arizona and Colorado, and the botched Operation Fast and Furious, had kept this issue in the news. But many now are indicating that this tragedy, its nature and how it has stunned our nation, pushes the issue to a tipping point.
While America has a tradition of private gun ownership for self-defense and sport, what can be done about the growing conflict between an individual’s right to own guns and the public’s desire to be safe from gun violence? The Second Amendment has long been one of the most divisive issues in American society. While there have been few national legal developments since the Supreme Court’s rulings in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010), states have been adjusting their laws — and public facilities changing their security systems — ever since the Columbine school shooting in 1999, and litigation continues in the lower courts.
Unfortunately, national discussions of gun policy often devolve into sound bites, dueling headlines, lobbying campaigns, but accomplish little. Polarized, entrenched positions fail to constructively grapple with the fundamental policy question: How do we keep guns away from violent criminals? Should we focus on mental illness, background checks, assault weapons, or something else? In Living with Guns, former New York Times reporter and editor Craig Whitney re-examines the right to bear arms, why it was enshrined in the Bill of Rights, and how it came to be misunderstood. Whitney proposes pragmatic solutions to control gun violence rather than guns, and ideas to keep them out of the hands of the people whom everyone agrees shouldn’t have them. Commenting on this timely new book will be Alan Gura and Alan Morrison, who were on opposite sides of the Heller case.

What happens to your taxes if we go over the fiscal cliff

30 Dec

What happens to your taxes if we go over the fiscal cliff | Inman News

NFL Player Chris Kluwe on Being a Libertarian

30 Dec

NFL Player Chris Kluwe on Being a Libertarian

Apply Now for the 2013 Searle Film Fellowship at Reason TV

30 Dec

Apply Now for the 2013 Searle Film Fellowship at Reason TV

Big Boi’s Post-Election Racist Moment: “I Voted for Gary Johnson”

30 Dec

Big Boi’s Post-Election Racist Moment: “I Voted for Gary Johnson”

D.C. Hotels Less Busy For Obama’s Second Inauguration

29 Dec

D.C. Hotels Less Busy For Obama’s Second Inauguration « CBS Baltimore