Stossel is usually rebroadcast on the FoxNews channel as well during the weekend, but they seem to have passed on airing a Libertarian debate.
I feel slightly odd recommending this show and talking about how brilliant the guests are as I have attended lectures by all three of them. They are all very different personalities, and each of them basically makes me want to go back to law or graduate school and become more intellectually engaged.
Russell is a sometime contributor to reason, Coyne has written two books, one each on war and on foreign aid, and Napolitano is well known as FOX’s in house judicial and constitutional expert.
Mediaite’s Thaddeus Russell Talks ‘Liberal War Hawks’ with FBN’s Stossel
Meanwhile, Senator Rand Paul is extensively interviewed on Geraldo At Large, rebroadcast at 1:00 am on Fox News. Geraldo also shows a clip from the Zapruder film in another segment, which he was the first person to televise 30 years ago.
It’s curious that Ann Coulter is charging libertarians with sucking up to progressives. I don’t disagree with her that one can find libertarians or “liberaltarians” who do this, especially in academe, the media, and inside the Beltway. But Ms. Coulter herself in her tortured legal “philosophizing” thinks that African Americans, and African Americans alone, should be given special legal privileges no one else has, at the expense of everyone else, because America once had race slavery. What is that if not sucking up to “liberals”? Especially when black comedians like Chris Rock point out that American Indians had a harder time than blacks. Not to mention the fact that, if you want to play this game, women and gays didn’t have a jolly old time before or after Emancipation. And that no one alive today in any of these groups has been a slave, except to the federal and state governments, and no government programs overall help disadvantaged groups get out of their underclass status.
Coulter’s barbs and jokes at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Committee, where she is less defensive than when before libertarians, are indeed entertaining.
Ms. Coulter’s history with libertarians predates the recent Students for Liberty/Stossel kerfuffle about which Nick Gillespie writes on the reason magazine website today.
She was once approached by the Connecticut Libertarian Party to run for Senate against a RINO Republican when she opined that she would seek the LP line to run against him and make him lose to the Democrat. The LP decided she was not sufficiently pro-decriminalization so it thanked her for the meeting and did not allow her the candidacy. (A woman scorned?)
Early in her career out of law school she became friends with a libertarian Republican fellow Hill staffer and lawyer (who is now my neighbor). He stills reads her books before they are published and tries to persuade her each time to remove the most non-libertarian elements. Following CoCo Chanel’s advice about accessories, she is reported to only remove one item each book.
At her book signing in DC last year at the offices of Grover Norquist group, Americans for Tax Reform, Ms. Coulter entered to first encounter me and a Ron Paul donor to whom I had just given a Gary Johnson button. It was the day after Romney’s one good debate, and she grabbed my friend’s blouse and looked into her face nose to nose and said “Oh no no no no no no no – after that f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s performance last night you must be for Romney!” She then grabbed my own epynomous button for my Congressional campaign on my shirt and stared at me, to which I non-confrontationaly said “It’s for a local campaign.” She released me intact from her grip. Later one could hear her reply to a book buyer’s question of how her day was going – “it was great until I got here, and even here there are Gary Johnson buttons!”
I even enjoyed sitting a few rows away and watching Ann be interviewed before 1400 mainly very unsympathetic libertarians this past weekend at the 6th Annual International Students for Liberty Conference in Washington, D.C. (Living within walking distance of the several locations where all 6 have been held, I’ve been lucky to attend 4 of them.). The interview was a taping for John Stossel’s show, and she was interviewed in a two hour sequence of interviews that included Congressman Justin Amash and former Ambassador John Bolton (who was also interviewed last year). I believe these will be aired as the next two Stossel shows, one tomorrow night, and one the following Thursday, on Fox Business, with various insomniac broadcasts on both Fox Business and the Fox News channels.
Like Bolton, my girlfriend Ann always pitches herself as a libertarian, “but….” She wants a world of nations where people have maximum individual freedom except where allowing it would diminish it. She’s Hegelian even though not Marxist. Bolton of course worries about civil liberties and non-intervention allowing tyrants abroad to gain power, a worthy debate but one where he would have more cred if he had spent more time in the past calling for defunding tyrants.
Ann’s hang ups include worrying that people using pot will become slackers, and end up on welfare adding to the oppression of all of us tax serfs. It’s similar to the somewhat more credible fears that illegal immigrants will be used to oppress taxpayers, especially since we now know illegal immigrants are using $2 billion in tax funded health care, set to explode under fully government controlled medicine.
Here’s the problem though – we don’t have any accurate statistics on the budgetary and opportunity costs of the drug war or of illegal immigration. I just ran for office in DC and I tried to find numbers on arrests, incarcerations, and budgets, either for the drug war as a whole or for pot specifically. I’m not sure anyone knows. Nor do I think anyone knows how many people have criminal records for non-violent drug crimes, nor how many have been prevented from obtaining employment because of them, such that they did either end up on welfare, or have much reduced life term earnings and careers.
Clearly Ms. Coulter knows everyone who smokes pot isn’t a slacker; at one point in the Q&A she replied to someone who asked why she so often smeared libertarians as stoners that “you’re not stoners, you’re nerds.” So apparently some people can smoke pot and still become successful IT entrepreneurs.
Likewise we don’t know how many red blooded, native born, Americans, or even legally immigrated ones, can only make a living running farms, restaurants, and construction companies because they have access to illegal immigrant workers. Maybe in both cases we need to make the economy more vibrant, and the tax funded benefits more meager, so that stoners and illegals will simply find it more attractive to get a job, start a business, or have a career. In the free market community Ann, which you are welcome to join, we call those incentives.
Both Bolton and Coulter have a blind spot (which doesn’t mean they can’t argue that their opponents have their own blind spots, and ask whose is bigger). They see the problems of welfare parasitism or Islamic violence, but don’t ask if our policies are funding and fomenting it. Is the only evil that lazy slackers go on welfare, or is it also an evil that government schools, government regulations that keep poor people from starting small businesses, and the drug war that gives them criminal records, keeps them from ever getting out of welfare. Thereby incidentally leaving whatever opportunities do remain available for nice girls from suburban Connecticut schools who have the grades to get into law schools (and access student loan programs and other forms of upper middle class welfare). Most of these Connecticut girls end up being the Elizabeth Warrens who perpetuate the system, living in DC on their 6 and 7 figure salaries as regulators and lobbyists, blocks from the people they have condemned to lives of poverty and illiteracy. Ann’s path is better, but not good enough.