Monday, March 05, 2012

Things I Don't Get, #349,723

I am not a registered member of any political party. As a matter of fact, I find the whole notion of party politics, and even voting itself, a little distasteful. The idea that if enough of us raise our hands, we can take all the money away from that guy over there is a little repulsive to anyone of good moral character.

To the extent that I do participate in the political process, it's in a combination of protest and self-defense; at least I voted back at the people who want to run my life. I mean, they're going to vote at me no matter what, so I may as well use the provided form to register my disapproval, if nothing else.

Anyhow, there's a certain class of people who will read the paragraphs above and, like a knee tapped with a mallet, launch into a "Well, when you Libertarians can elect a dog catcher, then we'll take you seriously, until then..."

This always sounds to my ears as "Well, our guys may be despicable turd-burglars, but at least they win elections!" and therefore makes absolutely no sense to me.


TenMile said...

Off topic, but of interest.

Anonymous said...

To me there is no longer any point of participating in elections any more. Only approved candidates will be on the ballot. Radical right need not apply. I refuse to give my consent to be governed by electing any of them.

Ed Rasimus said...

You offer an increasingly common interpretation of our two-party political system. Let me simply suggest a few points: Party is an indicator of ideology. At the simplest, in America, one party favors individual responsibility and free markets, the other believes in governmental regulation and government solutions to problems.

Voting is about more than the Presidential race. Since most people don't know the down-ballot candidates from Joe Bagadonutz, the easiest clue to what an individual might favor is the party ID.

When you don't identify with party and therefore don't vote in primaries you don't get to impact choice of quality candidates and therefore must take whatever they put before you in the general election.

Bottom line, however, is that America is currently to lazy, stupid and welfare-conditioned to be democracy and we will never regress to a republican format as described in the Constitution of 1789. We're screwed. Now move those deck chairs back there over to the port side and strike up the Titanic band.

Tam said...

Ed Rasimus,

"one party favors individual responsibility and free markets"

Which one's that? The party of the PATRIOT Act and Medicare Part D?

"Voting is about more than the Presidential race."

Reading a blog that frequently comments on state and local elections and politics and leaving that comment says something, but I'm not sure what.

Tam said...

The party of TARP and Smoot-Hawley! Nixon's wage and price controls and the EPA! The party of Romney and Rockefeller!

Oh, I could have fun with this one all day, Ed... :D

Frank W. James said...

Tam: I'll let you run with this one because anyone who still believes there IS a difference between the 2 major parties in this country is living in a place so far away I can NOT possibly begin to show them where they are so WRONG.

Talk about living in the past, way long ago past...

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

"At the simplest, in America, one party favors individual responsibility and free markets, the other believes in governmental regulation and government solutions to problems."

If that were true, it would be nice. Unfortunately, in America, one party believes in governmental regulation and government solutions to problems, and the other believes in governmental regulation and government solutions to problems. The only difference between the parties is which problems they want government to solve.

"When you don't identify with party and therefore don't vote in primaries you don't get to impact choice of quality candidates and therefore must take whatever they put before you in the general election."

Y'know, that's really funny, because by the time my state's Republican primary rolls around I have to "take whatever they put before me" anyway - I don't get to "impact choice of quality candidates", because there aren't any quality candidates.

Heck, even if VA had the first primary, there wasn't much of a choice - and the only good one got mysteriously shut out early on in a successful bid to damage his campaign. The idea that us peons actually have a say in who gets nominated is pretty laughable.

Lewis said...

Maybe if we said, "One party's voters . . . " and "the other party's voters" but as far as the machine hacks go, it's all gravy, baby, and who's going to break all those iron rice bowls? (He said, stuffing his metaphors into a mix-master set on "puree.")

Bubblehead Les. said...

Let us not forget that, in order to be "Reasonable and Bipartisan," many States now have "Open Primaries", where any one of any Political Ideology can cast a Vote. So, if I was an Incumbent President, and I'd like to have one Fool to run against that I know I can Beat, would it not behoove me to have my Campaign Staff ensure that they get out the Vote from My side to ensure that my hand-picked Fool wins that State's Primary?

Not that I'm saying that Elections are about as meaningless anymore as a... er, excuse me, I seem to have an ACORN stuck in my throat. Could some "Controlling Legal Authority " hand me a glass of WATERGATE please?

Tam said...

Bubblehead Les,

You mean like all the Republicans who voted for Hillary in Democrat primaries last time around?

You haven't forgotten about that already, have you? ;)

Larry said...

C'mon Tam, that's not fair. There is a big difference between the two major parties.

One has a donkey and the other has an elephant. See? Big difference. An elephant is way bigger than a donkey.

Anonymous said...

The central problem is that we have not had a leader since Calvin Coolidge who understands that:

1. The business of America is business.

2. And that this business doesn't need a bunch of meddling pecksniffs from the government as "help."

There is now only one path before us, and it isn't pretty. I suggest people look to Greece and Spain for examples of what our future holds...

og said...

We get the gummint we deserve. Apparently we've all been very, very bad.

I can speak this as truth for myself, lord knows, but I had no idea y'all were such bad people. Shame on you!

perlhaqr said...

My other favorite response to that sort of thing is "what, are you opposed to democracy?" to which they are always totally gobsmacked when I reply "well, yes, of course I am."

WV: "ponecide weeryin" -- I find this form of ponycide very wearying.

John Venlet said...

Tam, you should give up even your protest and self-defense voting.

Stretch said...

All together now!

Anonymous said...

I understand the concept of protest voting very well.

I plan to register as a republican for 24 hours in order to vote for Ron Paul in the upcoming primary. I just want to sooth my own conscience.

If the back room boys at the dead elephant party insist on Mittens vs.Obama, I'll vote for Obama. And let the pieces fall where they may......

Panamared said...

It may well be that part of the problem with what's happening in America is that the idea that we live in a Democracy is so wide spread. The Founding Fathers were adamant that they had not produced a Democracy, but a Representative Republic.

The fact that a child can be hassled and shut down from operating a lemonade stand is an indication of how Government can get out of control without proper citizen input.

No matter how well our Government was designed, without proper and constant oversight by an educated citizenry this country is doomed.

For what ever reason the majority of the people I know that have thrown their hands in the air and given up on voting are constitutionalists. If this trend continues it will be a self fulfilling prophecy.

Tam said...


The bus went through the guardrail quite some time back, somewhere between the administrations of Lincoln and Roosevelt (not the gimpy Roosevelt, the somewhat less bad one,) and was over the cliff by the time we voted for that racist, fascist pointdexter from Princeton.

It's been an exercise in arm-flapping for amusement on the way down ever since.

steve l said...

yes Virgina there is still one way to tell the parties apart:

the party of Justice Thomas vs the party of Justice Ginsberg

Anonymous said...

Living overseas taught me that elephant poop is bigger than donkey poop.

Tam said...

steve l,

You meant the party of Justices Souter and Stevens, right?

steve l said...

and Alito and Roberts; no, they ain't perfect, but when calling a coin flip I want the coin to at least have the possibility of bearing the face I want.
can you cite a favorable dem example of recent vintage?

AuricTech said...

one party pays lip service to individual responsibility and free markets

FTFY, Ed. ;-)

That out of the way, there is one good thing about a party that pays lip service to individual responsibility and free markets: there's always at least a possibility that a candidate from that party actually means it.

Ed Rasimus said...

Dealing with a harsh crowd here. But I was speaking of the core ideology of the parties. Your rebuttal can't be disagreed with, but it relates to the deterioration of that ideology. Some is very valid, but some is media hype (aka "Patriotic Act" which doesn't quite tear up the Bill of Rights they way many folks think) and some is unrelated (aka "local politics" which is typically non-partisan and inevitably not ideological). The point is made though, that the electorate doesn't care or understand, the voter doesn't inform himself, and the incumbents have been corrupted. Abandon hope and live out your life in quiet dispair.

Tam said...


"Some is very valid, but some is media hype (aka "Patriotic Act" which doesn't quite tear up the Bill of Rights they way many folks think)"

I'm well aware of what it contains, and while it did happen on the GOP's watch, I'm not willing to pin the blame entirely on them. It's little more than a laundry list of DOJ proposals, some of them dating back to the Carter administration, that had been shot down or vetoed over the years.

That you and I differ on how wrong it is probably reflects our differing views of government and not our differing grasps of the (laughably-misnamed, by my way of thinking) law itself.

Drang said...

In related news, we here in Washington State have no presidential primaries. Courts shot down our open primary, in a lawsuit brought by the Party of Evil, because those nasssssty Rethuglicans, we hatessss them, my prrecioussss, were voting for loser Evil candidates. The Party of Stupid supported the suit, however, on the theory that is was possible that, someday, they might have a candidate in the Libtard districts who might have a chance, but the Evils might vote for the typical losers they get.

Last weekend was the Party of Stupid caucuses--cauci?--in this state, and they were overwhelmed by the turnout. Almost every meeting was an overflow crowd.

Which would be a good sign if the slate weren't still a shit sandwich, AND if the "straw polls" at the cauci were in any way binding on the delegates to the state convention.

Blackwing1 said...

I find it interesting that the RINO crowd which keeps exhorting us to vote for the candidate their machine vomits up uses the excuse that, "Well, at least he's better than that twit over there with the "D" after their name. We've got a whole bunch of people who will vote for any yellow-dog with an "R" after their name, so you'd better support them, too."

There appears to be a fair chunk of the electorate (a swing portion, in my opinion) that considers themselves to be libertarians. Others consider themselves "independents", or give themselves some other moniker. Yet others on the (fringes of) the Dem-wing and Rep-wing of the major party would actually vote for someone who could carry through on a promise to run a limited government, with enumerated powers.

So I attempt to point out that if the Rep-wingers were to actually nominate and run someone like this (Ron Paul comes about as close as possible, today), they'd still have an "R" after their name, and all of the Rep-wing yellow-dog voters would reflexively pull the level for him.

But in addition, they'd get an overwhelming majority vote, since they'd ALSO win the independents, libertarians, and others who simply see no difference between statist, Marxist/collectivist policies initiated by somebody with a "D" after their name, and the exact same statist, Fascist/collectivist policies initiated by somebody with an "R" after their name.

Ken O said...

We are living with the results of not heeding the advice of one of our founding fathers. "Progressive" types love to tell us that times have changed, we cannot be sure of the intent of the founders and other such bs. Washington was fairly explicit in his warning against political parties; I do not believe that his intention can be misinterpreted. We're pretty well bent over and violated by the entrenched, self serving establishment parties and those too ignorant to see the truth.

wolfwalker said...


This always sounds to my ears as "Well, our guys may be despicable turd-burglars, but at least they win elections!" and therefore makes absolutely no sense to me.

It makes sense to me ... but only if I adjust my thinking to the "winning is the only thing that matters!" mode so beloved by partisans of both parties. They're guilty of the Ends and Means Fallacy: they're so focused on the means (winning elections) that they've forgotten what you're supposed to do after you win an election, which is govern according to your principles.

When I'm thinking normally, and remember that winning elections is only a means to an end, that POV makes as little sense to me as it does to you.

Buzz said...

Here I was thinking Ed forgot the Democrats.
Silly me.

The biggest problem with government in this country is that elected officials think most of us WANT them to do something about everything.
Hell, I think it's a good place to tuck the maggots so the rest of us can get about the business of running America through free enterprise.
Unfortunately, they have the 3-lettered ΘΥΓ agencies to enforce their little student council decisions and the hits just keep piling on.

The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit said...

Small-l libertarian. Elected. Judge. Waaaay ahead of a freakin' dog catcher. Feel free to tell 'em to take you seriously now.

Brad K. said...


One problem I would like to see government fix -- I want to make it a federal felony to spend political contributions more than 100 miles away from the donor's home address.

That way California and Florida activists cannot threaten Iowans and people living in New Hampshire. Note -- it is just the out-of-state interference in local politics I decry, not any particular state or other demographic.

And I think I would end government regulation and support of candidates, too, outside of enforcing, vehemently, the 100 mile rule against activists, unions, corporations, non-profit organizations, and anyone else wanting to spend money to bother folks that aren't their neighbors.

Spud said...

Hell sakes !!

Wut they all said.

Nuff said...

Kristophr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristophr said...

Tam: I used to run the LP in Oregon for two years as chairman there.

The reason I joined the Republican party is because the LP literally can't elect anyone to serve as a dogcatcher.

They want to make the big decisions, but they don't want to get serious about getting elected. If writing screeds was the road to political power, they would be holding ALL of the posts right now.

At some point, if you want to get people elected, you have to commit to working the election process. You can't get Libertarians to even agree that elections themselves are a necessary evil.

I want to get pro-liberty candidates elected. My best chance of doing that is to work inside the GOP towards accomplishing that. Folks like me, and the TEA Party are here for the long haul to get that done. And no, clearing RINO deadwood ain't happening overnight, sorry.

AMB said...

My standard response for such partisan nonsense these days is invariably "Demunicipalize the Garbage Service" -

They're saying that once we're in a position to change everything entirely, then they'll take us seriously? We're living in such a fundamentally unlibertarian world that until people can understand that minor, fundamental actions like privatizing services are possible, we're not going to get anywhere at all.

Fiftycal said...

Obama wishes to thank you for your support.