Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Chapter Where Republicans Remind Me Why I Voted Libertarian for 30 Years

Despite personal inconvenience and minor hardship, I supported shutting down the government to achieve the goal of lifting the individual mandate of the ACA for one year, to grant a level playing field to the ordinary citizens of this country.  They should be granted the same compassion that the President has shown for his big business cronies.  Of course, the Republican party caved early on that fight and then decided to drag out the fight over the debt limit and federal funding over other issues in an incoherent strategy that resulted in their public humiliation.  Here are some goals worthy shutting down the government over:
  • The aforementioned relief for ordinary citizens' mandate under the ACA.
  • Changing the rules for calculation cost of living increases for Social Security and Medicare to slow their long term growth and make it more fair to young taxpayers.
  • Further cuts to federal spending beyond the current "sequester."
A feckless, undisciplined strategery-challenged GOP would have had to pick one, and only one, goal and defended it to the brink and over the cliff if necessary.  Further, it would have had to thought out the strategy months in advance so that it could pass appropriations bills for stuff it wanted to fund early in the cycle and use HHS funding or some other appropriation vehicle to extract the necessary compromise.  

In fact, Republicans were only dragged into the fight reluctantly and only because they felt pressured by the tea party caucus.  The leadership's heart was never in the fight, they fought only to save face, and lost even that.  It was like playing prevent defense when you are already behind in the score, trying to stop the other team from running up the score when you had already lost the game.  It was pathetic and the outcome predictable despite some moments of optimism.  

The other reason that we lost is that the tea party wing does not represent a majority of the voters in the country (the linked Gallup poll quizzes conservative, liberal, moderate, but is a decent proxy).  The response of all liberty movement groups should be to continue to educate and persuade and point to the inevitable consequences of current policy.

The article that explains my GOP reluctance is here, also known as The Chapter Where I Was a Teenage Libertarian.  


  1. I'm not sure that I care any more. Politics is pretty much irrelevant when most of the voting public is essentially illiterate. The question is: what do you do as an individual to thrive in such a world?