Pro-Obama Libertarians Remember 2008

Jason Kuznicki

Jason Kuznicki is a research fellow at the Cato Institute and contributor of Cato Unbound. He's on twitter as JasonKuznicki. His interests include political theory and history.

Related Post Roulette

9 Responses

  1. I voted for Babar, a decision that was clinched for me when Obama made his position on civil liberties abundantly clear by voting in favor of telecom immunity and warrantless wiretapping despite his primary campaign rhetoric. I nonetheless viewed Obama as marginally preferable to McCain, figuring that McCain had the far superior health care plan, but Obama would at least not start any new wars, would actually complete the drawdown in Iraq, and would not expand the security state by as much as McCain. On the other issues – stimulus, TARP, etc., it’s tough to see McCain acting materially differently from Obama, despite his votes in opposition since then.

    In retrospect, most of those hopes for Obama appear to have been unwarranted and it’s difficult to see him as any better than McCain would have been on that front (although he’s certainly better than Palin would have been, which is a not-insignificant x-factor). However, Obama hasn’t invaded Iran (yet), so at least there’s that. Essentially, my belief is that Obama has turned out to be no better than McCain would have been, but no worse either….and my vote for Babar looks better every day.Report

  2. Jaybird says:

    Scalzi’s answer made me wonder why his answer was appearing in a Libertarian magazine.

    Well, we all know that Republicans are libertarians when they aren’t in power. Maybe there’s a school of democrats that have the same fashion sense.Report

  3. Dog's New Clothes says:

    Never underestimate the ability of dogwhistles to ensnare otherwise intelligent people. I love that Bailey actually admits that it’s just lip service. Of course it is, you fool. Lie to me and tell me you love me!Report

  4. Bubbaquimby says:

    Hardly any of those guys are libertarian. Look at these answers:

    ‘It was to end the subornation of the United States Civil Service. ”
    “Triple R&D and make schools teach science.”
    “Government policy has dramatically improved with the Obama administration”
    “Campaign finance reform.”
    “I don’t actually have a problem with the size of the stimulus—let’s spend big when the economy is tanking and cut bigger when it recovers—but it’s pretty clear that the infrastructure spending was too random to do good.
    “I actually think that the GM rescue worked.”Report

    • Jason Kuznicki in reply to Bubbaquimby says:


      While you won’t see me demanding more government funding for education, I do think Brin’s comments on the civil service were very important and right, at least in the abstract.

      Consider: When was the last time the Republicans ever abolished a regulatory agency? The Democrats are at least intermittently aware of the problem of regulatory capture. Once in a while they’ve done something to stop it.

      Now, this doesn’t make them better on the whole — I haven’t forgotten Obamacare — and if I had to give my own assessment, I could only say that Democrats were maybe very slightly better here. Both parties certainly have their corporate darlings.

      To imply that libertarianism entails indifference to how the civil service is run… that’s just preposterous. It gives the game away to the major parties and lets them keep dishing out the favors, when what we really need to do is own this issue ourselves. Regulatory capture is a huge problem. Wherever possible, deregulate.

      Granted, I wouldn’t care a fig for how the civil service was run if I believed that the libertarian revolution were at hand, and that we would not be putting up with it very much longer. But that’s clearly not the case, and in the meantime, we need to make sure that the regulatory state is fair and doing its job with some measure of propriety, rather than just handing out favors to corporations. Those favors are both unfair and work to cement the current political consensus in the United States, one that we should be working to undermine.Report

  5. misantroper says:

    Gotta love this from Brin:
    ” We were sanctimonious twits, back when we were hippies and anti-hippie rednecks. And now were are grouchy sanctimonious “culture warriors” in our sixties. Our kids will be well rid of us. ”


    Also, yes, Bruce Bartlett isn’t a libertarian. He’s a conservative economist. Those are often conflated and usually overlap, but aren’t the same.Report