Breitbart to Bill Maher: You know you’re not a libertarian anymore, right?

posted at 11:47 am on September 25, 2010 by Allahpundit

The funniest thing about this? I’m not sure Maher does know. He knows he’s more socialist than libertarian when it comes to health care, but as a general proposition about how he self-identifies, he seems hesitant when Breitbart puts it to him. That’s a testament, I think, to how intellectually attractive the libertarian brand is, ironically almost in inverse proportion to how successful it is at the polls. Democrats bristle at the “socialist” label but tell any Republican pol or pundit except Mike Huckabee that he’s a “libertarian” — especially in the year of the tea party — and he’s likely to agree, albeit with qualifiers. And why not? The brand means free markets, property rights, civil liberties, and most importantly for Maher, permissiveness towards drug use and sexual behavior. The Constitution + fun = crazy delicious. And because libertarianism tends to operate in popular debate as a critique of mainstream conservatism (even though, of course, economically it’s a much sharper critique of liberalism), it’s a useful way of endorsing certain elements of the GOP agenda without endorsing the entire rotten GOP brand, essentially shorthand for saying, “I like capitalism but I’m too thoughtful to be a Republican.” None of which is meant to impugn committed libertarians like the Reason crew, just guys like Maher who dig the label and the slight charge of dissident chic that it carries so much that they’re reluctant to part with it, even after they’ve (d)evolved into center-left Democrats.

Incidentally, the best part here isn’t the Breitbart/Maher exchange, it’s Maher insisting that the reason ObamaCare is polling so badly is because — no joke — the Democrats haven’t talked about it enough yet. That’s the cover story of next month’s Reason magazine, isn’t it? “More ObamaCare speeches, please”? Click the image to watch.


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Where has European Socialism worked?
When?

Elizabetty on September 25, 2010 at 12:02 PM

Tirana, Albania, Oct 4th 1956, between 2:06 to 2:09 PM /s

Norwegian on September 25, 2010 at 12:40 PM

LMAO! You are waaaay funnier than dip-shit Maher.

Gang-of-One on September 25, 2010 at 1:13 PM

John the Libertarian on September 25, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Um, the country is now 50-50 on abortion, compared to the 90s. Hollywood has put out semi-pro life movies with Juno, Bella and Knocked Up. GenY is majority pro-life. And the most popular and electable GOP nominee now is Huck, who’s socially conservative and a fiscal moderate. You and Allah just won’t admit that the pro-life issue is a winning issue, but alas it is.

sharrukin on September 25, 2010 at 12:50 PM

I don’t know about you, but the many “libertarians” I find are middle class and up white guys, who want abortion, pot and not to get taxed, though Ron Paul is pro-life. These guys don’t know what libertarianism would involve. Really, Libertarianism is incompatible with a modern society; that’s why conservativism takes the best parts of libertarianism and make the philosophy electable.

TimTebowSavesAmerica on September 25, 2010 at 1:13 PM

Remember the movie It’s a Wonderful Life? Remember George Bailey walking down the main street of Bedford Falls and the nice people living and working there? Now, remember when he got his wish and was running down the street in Pottersville past all the dance halls and bars, seeing the cops raiding places, etc?

I like to think of myself as somewhat of a libertarian. However, I draw the line at legalized drugs, gambling, and prostitution. I think on one side of that line is Bedford Falls and on the other it’s Pottersville.

Kafir on September 25, 2010 at 1:15 PM

Maher, still looking for relevance in a world that’s passed him by. Personally, I’d like to strap him in a chair ……
GarandFan on September 25, 2010 at 12:48 PM

I think ‘Ol’ Sparky’ is still on standby.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on September 25, 2010 at 1:16 PM

The best part is at the very end of the clip where BM says “I’m not afraid to say it, European Socialism’s worked.” That just shows how stupid he is.

tai-pan on September 25, 2010 at 1:17 PM

Not sure about this one. I suppose the state has a right to make murder legal.

unseen on September 25, 2010 at 12:01 PM

Abortion has never ever been treated as murder one (premeditated with accomplices) and there is not much support for that position.

Here is where popular support lies: misdemeanor manslaughter and the woman goes free.

MSimon on September 25, 2010 at 1:18 PM

TimTebowSavesAmerica on September 25, 2010 at 1:13 PM

How so? I would argue that it’s increasingly the case that conservatism is no longer compatible with modern society. The only good thing about conservatism is libertarianism.
And libertarianism =! pro-abortion. A pro-life stance is perfectly consistent with libertarianism if one accepts that the unborn have rights.

Free Constitution on September 25, 2010 at 1:19 PM

sharrukin on September 25, 2010 at 12:50 PM

You are cherry-picking self-selecting liberaltarians. Many libertarians either voted Barr or Chuck Baldwin (Constitution Party) in the ’08 election.

Honestly its tiring to hear over and over that all libertarians are pot smoking, abortion on demand-wanting libertines who vote for democrats. It’s just not true. Amy Holmes in the clip above is a self-identified conservative libertarian, Rand Paul who leans libertarian (obviously) identifies as a Constitutional Conservative and on and on.

Firefly_76 on September 25, 2010 at 1:20 PM

I don’t know about you, but the many “libertarians” I find are middle class and up white guys, who want abortion, pot and not to get taxed, though Ron Paul is pro-life. These guys don’t know what libertarianism would involve. Really, Libertarianism is incompatible with a modern society; that’s why conservativism takes the best parts of libertarianism and make the philosophy electable.

TimTebowSavesAmerica on September 25, 2010 at 1:13 PM

I think most libertarians who are not just using it as a cover for liberalism-lite, are essentially small government conservatives. Pure libertarianism is in fact, as you say incompatible with modern society, or indeed any society. It is also incompatible with human nature as is evidenced when we see a total breakdown in societies like Somalia.

Libertarianism has so many types and flavors that it can be anything to anyone.

For example…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_socialism

sharrukin on September 25, 2010 at 1:22 PM

A Libertarian who wants government control of ones health from cradle to grave.

Error does not compute….404 logic not found.
Norman coordinate. Error Error must starilize.

tjexcite on September 25, 2010 at 1:22 PM

You can point to Greece as a model failure of European Socialism but you can also point to Iceland as a failure of unregulated free markets. While both arguments have some merit it is easy enough to point to some model which contradicts the sweeping generalizations getting thrown around. If you use economic growth as the benchmark of a successful system you can reach some pretty disturbing conclusions about what works best. It’s easy to find disasters for any model out there.

lexhamfox on September 25, 2010 at 1:23 PM

Firefly_76 on September 25, 2010 at 1:20 PM

Reason Magazine is held up as the libertarian magazine. How is showing them to be no different than Bill Maher, cherry picking? That is one of their own articles from their magazine. Most of them voted for Obama or John Kerry and their claims to being for limited government is a sham.

sharrukin on September 25, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Honestly its tiring to hear over and over that all libertarians are pot smoking, abortion on demand-wanting libertines who vote for democrats

Actually many of us vote for smaller government Republicans.

And are disappointed almost ever time.

Down with cultural socialism.

MSimon on September 25, 2010 at 1:27 PM

Maher (besides not being within 2200 light years of being funny)is an iconic example of what the contemporary “liberal” has devolved to:A toxic brew of statism and nihilism.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on September 25, 2010 at 1:28 PM

You can point to Greece as a model failure of European Socialism but you can also point to Iceland as a failure of unregulated free markets

There has never been a law or regulation that could prevent mass stupidity.

MSimon on September 25, 2010 at 1:29 PM

Down with cultural socialism.

Heh.

Free Constitution on September 25, 2010 at 1:30 PM

sharrukin on September 25, 2010 at 1:25 PM

In libertarian circles the guys at Reason are often called out as cosmolibertarians or liberaltarians. Many of them openly lean left; case in point your citing to Journolister Wiegel. I’m not saying they aren’t “libertarians” (although Wiegel clearly isn’t), but they are but one variety. If 1% of the population is libertarian – i.e., 3 million people, your list of 10-12 cosmolibs doesn’t seem to convincing.

Firefly_76 on September 25, 2010 at 1:30 PM

I like to think of myself as somewhat of a libertarian. However, I draw the line at legalized drugs, gambling, and prostitution. I think on one side of that line is Bedford Falls and on the other it’s Pottersville.

Kafir on September 25, 2010 at 1:15 PM

The sad thing is, Liberals, Socialists, Anarchists, and the like (including most Atheists) see Pottersville as their version of “heaven”.

stonemeister on September 25, 2010 at 1:31 PM

Maher is the same guy who claims he’ll never get an Emmy because he’s an atheist. But no one but Maher has ever said that Maher even deserves an Emmy. Basically he’s built a lovely alternative reality in his head where European socialism works, there is no conflict between a Libertarian and an advocate of the welfare state and he’s the best judge of whether he should have an Emmy.
Though, possibly, he’s just stupid.

snaggletoothie on September 25, 2010 at 1:33 PM

Free Constitution on September 25, 2010 at 1:19 PM

I think you and me would agree on most policy that could be enacted. As sharrukin said, if libertarianism is small government conservatism, that’s great and popular. We should hack 50% of the fed gov. But a modern society needs government. Consumer protection and finance are two critical areas where we actually need more government. It’s way too easy to pull of financial fraud and we should double the size of the SEC while cutting the staff salaries.

TimTebowSavesAmerica on September 25, 2010 at 1:35 PM

And the most popular and electable GOP nominee now is Huck, who’s socially conservative and a fiscal moderate.

I’d vote for Obama before Huck got my vote. Just as I voted Obama when he ran against Keyes. A lot of other Republicans felt the same way.

Obama/Keyes vs Kerry/Bush

I’m not interested in “compassionate” Conservatism. Which is just another excuse for theft.

MSimon on September 25, 2010 at 1:35 PM

The sad thing is, Liberals, Socialists, Anarchists, and the like (including most Atheists) see Pottersville as their version of “heaven”.

Conservatives have a better vision. They believe criminals should be in charge of vice so even children have access.

MSimon on September 25, 2010 at 1:37 PM

Firefly_76 on September 25, 2010 at 1:30 PM

Well they are the ones cited in the article and all to frequently mentioned as a libertarian source. As to libertarianism itself, I don’t find it to be that impressive. Where small government conservatism ends and libertarianism begins is where you start finding many of the problems with libertarianism.

Most people on the right believe in a smaller more restricted government. That isn’t the disagreement. No government as some libertarians demand is not workable. Human nature doesn’t allow it, just as socialism is unworkable due to human nature.

sharrukin on September 25, 2010 at 1:38 PM

It’s way too easy to pull of financial fraud and we should double the size of the SEC while cutting the staff salaries.

TimTebowSavesAmerica on September 25, 2010 at 1:35 PM

No. Sue for fraud. That’s what courts are for. Did SEC regulation prevent Enron, Madoff, etc. etc.? No. All “consumer protection” regulation tends to do is lull people into a false sense of security that someone else is monitoring people’s behavior while increasing needless red tape and bureaucracy for everyone.

Milton Friedman advocated getting rid of all federal agencies except Defense, State, Justice and a couple of other minor ones. Excellent videos on his positions on the role of government, libertarianism and the environment and consumer protection, here.

Firefly_76 on September 25, 2010 at 1:42 PM

Remember the movie It’s a Wonderful Life? Remember George Bailey walking down the main street of Bedford Falls and the nice people living and working there?

Yes, and then George Bailey became a real estate developer, creating the project called Bailey Acres, using the Bulding and Loan’s money to put his neighbors in debt.

Now, remember when he got his wish and was running down the street in Pottersville past all the dance halls and bars, seeing the cops raiding places, etc?

But the cops raided places in Pottersville–they didn’t just legalize everything.

Emperor Norton on September 25, 2010 at 1:44 PM

MSimon on September 25, 2010 at 1:35 PM

I don’t like Huck either. He’s a bigot and a fiscal liberal. But according to PPP, he’s the only guy beating Obama right now.

Firefly_76 on September 25, 2010 at 1:42 PM

We obviously disagree. My background is in finance and I can tell you if the SEC didn’t exist people would get ripped off left and right.

TimTebowSavesAmerica on September 25, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Conservatism as espoused here is just another version of: with government guns we can turn this country into utopia.

MSimon on September 25, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Most people on the right believe in a smaller more restricted government. That isn’t the disagreement. No government as some libertarians demand is not workable. Human nature doesn’t allow it, just as socialism is unworkable due to human nature.

sharrukin on September 25, 2010 at 1:38 PM

Most people on the right may believe in it, but have their politicians generally practiced it? No. Even Reagan expanded the size of the federal government and the deficit.

I think you may be confusing libertarians with anarchists. Libertarians do not believe in no government; just drastically less.

If you approached 80% of libertarians and ask them if they would vote for Goldwater’s corpse, they would overwhelmingly say yes.

Firefly_76 on September 25, 2010 at 1:47 PM

None of which is meant to impugn committed libertarians like the Reason crew

Thanks for the laugh AP.

mockmook on September 25, 2010 at 1:47 PM

You can point to Greece as a model failure of European Socialism but you can also point to Iceland as a failure of unregulated free markets

lexhamfox on September 25, 2010 at 1:23 PM

Iceland is a typical modern welfare state. Where do you get the idea that they are unregulated?

sharrukin on September 25, 2010 at 1:49 PM

Conservatism as espoused here is just another version of: with government guns we can turn this country into utopia.

MSimon on September 25, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Really? Do expand.

CWforFreedom on September 25, 2010 at 1:50 PM

From MSIMON’S blog-well we must assume it is MSimon’s:

Children Must Have Access
There is a discussion going on over at Hot Air about libertarianism vs conservatism. The movie It’s a Wonderful Life came up in the discussion.

One commenter said:

The sad thing is, Liberals, Socialists, Anarchists, and the like (including most Atheists) see Pottersville as their version of “heaven”.
No doubt conservatives have a better vision. They believe criminals should be in charge of vice so even children have access.

You play media matters well. Get a life and get a topic on your own.

CWforFreedom on September 25, 2010 at 1:53 PM

The brand means free markets, property rights, civil liberties, and most importantly for Maher, permissiveness towards drug use and sexual behavior.

There’s another important element of the libertarian movement… something about aggression but perhaps the “hawkish libertarians” forgot that… or it just doesn’t jive well with them.

MeatHeadinCA on September 25, 2010 at 1:53 PM

Iceland is a typical modern welfare state. Where do you get the idea that they are unregulated?

sharrukin on September 25, 2010 at 1:49 PM

They were brought down by an unregulated financial sector. Read up on Hot Air’s favorite Daniel Hannon’s lauding the Icelandic free market model miracle(before the crisis).

lexhamfox on September 25, 2010 at 1:54 PM

Most people on the right may believe in it, but have their politicians generally practiced it? No. Even Reagan expanded the size of the federal government and the deficit.

Agreed. Government tends to expand unless kept in check. That is something small government conservatives believe and are pissed about.

I think you may be confusing libertarians with anarchists. Libertarians do not believe in no government; just drastically less.

Libertarians seem to confuse them as well.

Murray Rothbard ring a bell?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcho-capitalism

If you approached 80% of libertarians and ask them if they would vote for Goldwater’s corpse, they would overwhelmingly say yes.

Firefly_76 on September 25, 2010 at 1:47 PM

So would most conservatives despite some disagreements with his positions. He is far better than Bush, Obama, etc.

What is libertarianism in your view?

How is it any different than small government conservatism?

sharrukin on September 25, 2010 at 1:54 PM

They were brought down by an unregulated financial sector. Read up on Hot Air’s favorite Daniel Hannon’s lauding the Icelandic free market model miracle(before the crisis).

lexhamfox on September 25, 2010 at 1:54 PM

That happened in Russia and the US as well. It isn’t much of a counter poise of Greek style socialism where the so-called unregulated market is also causing havoc.

sharrukin on September 25, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Conservatism as espoused here is just another version of: with government guns we can turn this country into utopia.

MSimon on September 25, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Many different varieties of ‘conservatism’ are espoused here. Which do you mean?

DarkCurrent on September 25, 2010 at 1:58 PM

We obviously disagree. My background is in finance and I can tell you if the SEC didn’t exist people would get ripped off left and right.

TimTebowSavesAmerica on September 25, 2010 at 1:46 PM

While I appreciate your experience, couldn’t you extend your argument to various other agencies, like the FDA? Some people still fall ill from food products, sometimes a new drug has adverse effects, etc. Why not expand the FDA and other similar agencies by 100%. Why not continue to tell people that they cannot buy milk or eggs from their farmer neighbor because daddy government wants to protect them?

Firefly_76 on September 25, 2010 at 1:58 PM

This is what I keep saying, Real Time is funnier than Comedy Central on their best night. The best part, you’re laughing at them and not with them.

Bill’s right, get out there Democrats and run on a European Socialist agenda, talk about it all the time. The voters will looooove it.

Hog Wild on September 25, 2010 at 2:08 PM

What is libertarianism in your view?

How is it any different than small government conservatism?

sharrukin on September 25, 2010 at 1:54 PM

Well, thanks for your kind replies sharrukin. My ideology evolves, as I suspect most peoples’ do. I consider myself somewhat of a minarchist I guess and accept an extremely limited government (defense, courts/enforcement of rule of law, etc.); economically I’m a classical liberal/laissez-faire. I also accept federalism generally speaking because it tends toward less intrusion (but this does not have to be the case – a state government could be very instrusive).

I’m not sure how you’re defining small government conservatism. Perhaps they’re very close/indistinguishable.

My main problem with conservatives has been the tendency to use government to enforce social mores, including the war on drugs. I don’t think that’s the proper role of government, although I acknowledge as the founders did that morality is critical to the functioning of a constitutional republic. I also dislike the overbearing national security tendency of some conservatives that invades personal liberties here at home (body scanners, gps devices put on people’s cars without their knowledge, etc.).

Bottom line; let’s kind a Goldwter for 2012 and we can all be happy :-)

Firefly_76 on September 25, 2010 at 2:11 PM

While I appreciate your experience, couldn’t you extend your argument to various other agencies, like the FDA? Some people still fall ill from food products, sometimes a new drug has adverse effects, etc. Why not expand the FDA and other similar agencies by 100%. Why not continue to tell people that they cannot buy milk or eggs from their farmer neighbor because daddy government wants to protect them?

You can definitely expand effectivity without expanding the size.

If it weren’t for grocery stores right now, we’d all be swapping tales from food problems. They are much better at getting word. The FDA is incredibly slow on the uptake.

And that simply can’t be about size. It’s got to be about no clear protocol.

AnninCA on September 25, 2010 at 2:11 PM

I love how the trained seals in the audience had to be told that what Andrew said wasn’t funny.

Jim R. on September 25, 2010 at 2:18 PM

On the bright side, Maher is reduced to asking Breitbart on as a guest.

*haha

AnninCA on September 25, 2010 at 2:18 PM

Firefly_76 on September 25, 2010 at 1:58 PM

Your general line of argument is absolutely correct: the fed gov doesn’t do a good job in consumer protection. The FDA doesn’t do their own tests. And we’re lucky that so many businesses are honest because they want to stay in business. But there are more than a few bad apples out there, and we need major reform of some agencies in order to make them effective.

TimTebowSavesAmerica on September 25, 2010 at 2:20 PM

On the bright side, Maher is reduced to asking Breitbart on as a guest.

*haha

AnninCA on September 25, 2010 at 2:18 PM

I think it expands his effectivity, don’t you?

DarkCurrent on September 25, 2010 at 2:21 PM

Nice try though.
CWforFreedom on September 25, 2010 at 12:05 PM
Libertarians believe in local control. We don’t think government is the boogey man, don’t be juvenile. We’re not anarchists. This country should have 50 separate experiments in democracy. If some wish to legislate morality, then let their citizens vote on it.
John the Libertarian on September 25, 2010 at 12:10 PM

Exactly. And the Commerce Clause was written to prevent 50 trade wars from breaking out, not the perversion it’s been subjected to over the last 70 years or so.

oddjob1138 on September 25, 2010 at 2:21 PM

Really, Bill? I thought the problem, as you identified it, was that Obama didn’t “drag them to it!”

So which is it? He didn’t explain it enough, or he didn’t disregard us soon enough.

Axeman on September 25, 2010 at 2:22 PM

I’m not sure how you’re defining small government conservatism. Perhaps they’re very close/indistinguishable.

I think in fact they are. One reason that conservatism intrudes into big government is that this is where the battles are fought. It is nice to say we shouldn’t have big government… but we do! Most American Presidents have more governmental power at their disposal than European kings did.

My main problem with conservatives has been the tendency to use government to enforce social mores, including the war on drugs.

One of the problems is that

I don’t think that’s the proper role of government, although I acknowledge as the founders did that morality is critical to the functioning of a constitutional republic.

This is a major point. A moral society doesn’t need government. If marriages remain intact we don’t need to provide cash for a woman and her three kids, or chase down missing dad’s and their checkbooks. The more society fragments the more government steps in to keep things running. There is a reason that socialists target churches, family, sexual morality and criminal law when attempting to subvert a nation.

I also dislike the overbearing national security tendency of some conservatives that invades personal liberties here at home (body scanners, gps devices put on people’s cars without their knowledge, etc.).

Firefly_76 on September 25, 2010 at 2:11 PM

Fully agree with this. George Orwell was a how-to for some people. Not sure I would call them conservatives though.

This scares the crap out of me…

http://www.adsavvy.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/watchful_eyes.jpg

sharrukin on September 25, 2010 at 2:29 PM

My main problem with conservatives has been the tendency to use government to enforce social mores, including the war on drugs.

One of the problems is that drugs do have an effect on society and is far from a victimless crime. We are not lone wolves and what we do and don’t do has an effect on others.

sharrukin on September 25, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Exactly. And the Commerce Clause was written to prevent 50 trade wars from breaking out, not the perversion it’s been subjected to over the last 70 years or so.

oddjob1138 on September 25, 2010 at 2:21 PM

But that is not libertarianism which was the point.

CWforFreedom on September 25, 2010 at 2:37 PM

We are not lone wolves and what we do and don’t do has an effect on others.

sharrukin on September 25, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Thanks Dad.

/

CWforFreedom on September 25, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Thanks Dad.

/

CWforFreedom on September 25, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Father knows best!!!

sharrukin on September 25, 2010 at 2:38 PM

This scares the crap out of me…

http://www.adsavvy.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/watchful_eyes.jpg

sharrukin on September 25, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Yep, that’s some Orwellian sh!it right there. Just as bad as their current policies of reporting children for ‘racist’ talk in the classroom and using infrared scanners outside homes to report on overuse of electricity. You couldn’t pay me to live in the UK. Although it looks more and moer like that’s coming here.

Wrt the war on drugs. At least the old-time prohibitionists used an actual constitutional amendment. And there is really no excuse for the disgraceful prohibition on medical marijuana. Raich (SCOTUS case) was also an unfortunate extension of the ICC and will likely be used to uphold Obamacare.

Firefly_76 on September 25, 2010 at 2:41 PM

And libertarianism =! pro-abortion. A pro-life stance is perfectly consistent with libertarianism if one accepts that the unborn have rights.

Free Constitution on September 25, 2010 at 1:19 PM

Agree. But if “Libertarians” had the larger party that they want, what’s your bet that a Libertarian corpus would be for the rights of the unborn?

I don’t believe they would, because although they don’t believe in the judgment of their fellow human beings in governance, they believe in the judgment of the individual to make even life or death decisions.

They tend to side with the atrocious and single-case reasoning of liberals to respond to clear case of paradox.

Axeman on September 25, 2010 at 2:46 PM

Firefly_76 on September 25, 2010 at 2:41 PM

I have a hard time getting excited about drugs. I mean some things are going to be banned no matter what unless we are fine with meth, crack, and heroin being sold at the corner store. I don’t like the government trying to manage people’s health and I think that is where to draw the line.

I could even see legalizing pot if it would end there, but it won’t. They would then move on to the next arbitrary drug that is banned, and so on.

sharrukin on September 25, 2010 at 2:46 PM

Huck, who’s socially conservative and a fiscal moderate.

TimTebowSavesAmerica on September 25, 2010 at 1:13 PM

You’re joking right? The candy tax man is fiscally moderate?

jdkchem on September 25, 2010 at 2:57 PM


The funniest thing about this? I’m not sure Maher does know.

Actually, AP, I think you’re right on that score, but that’s not the funniest part, although, there is a correlation. The funniest part is, he thinks European Socialism works. Breitbart missed a great opening there to ask “Like in Greece, for instance? Is European Socialism working there? How about Spain at 20% unemployment? Is European Socialism working there?”.

If Maher is fool enough to think European Socialism works, contrary to the evidence of the collapsing economies of Socialist European nations, then he indeed IS to stupid to realize he’s not a Libertarian any more.

SuperCool on September 25, 2010 at 3:17 PM

jdkchem on September 25, 2010 at 2:57 PM

When compared to Obama, yes.

TimTebowSavesAmerica on September 25, 2010 at 3:17 PM

Father knows best!!!

sharrukin on September 25, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Just not what I am looking for from government.

CWforFreedom on September 25, 2010 at 3:20 PM

When compared to Obama, yes.

TimTebowSavesAmerica on September 25, 2010 at 3:17 PM

If that is your metric than so is Jimmy Carter.

jdkchem on September 25, 2010 at 3:26 PM

Abortion has never ever been treated as murder one (premeditated with accomplices) and there is not much support for that position.

Here is where popular support lies: misdemeanor manslaughter and the woman goes free.

MSimon on September 25, 2010 at 1:18 PM

Until the end of the civil war beating/raping/killing a slave was never treated as such either. The fact that the unborn have never been “given” rights by the born doesn’t mean they don’t have them. Just like the fact that slave owners never gave rights to blacks didn’t mean the blacks did not have them.

unseen on September 25, 2010 at 3:30 PM

These posts always turn into a pissing match between libertarians and conservatives. Frankly, I don’t give a damn what you call yourself as long as you never vote for Democrats again. Start there, then we can make progress.

Extrafishy on September 25, 2010 at 3:30 PM

Just not what I am looking for from government.

CWforFreedom on September 25, 2010 at 3:20 PM

Government is just what we as a society choose to place into power. People form societies and we accept limitations on our conduct in return for the benefits we receive. I don’t go out and kill someone who upsets me and the police in turn enforce certain codes of conduct on others in return for that.

We don’t run though the streets naked smeared in green Jello. You could argue that such conduct doesn’t really harm anyone, but if you want to live in society those are the rules, arbitrary or otherwise.

Every society, from tribalism to the modern state, functions this way. If you want into the clubhouse you have to adhere to the club rules.

sharrukin on September 25, 2010 at 3:31 PM

The FDA doesn’t do their own tests.

TimTebowSavesAmerica on September 25, 2010 at 2:20 PM

You would be wrong. The FDA does not do their own “tests” on every product that is submitted for approval. The FDA does in fact do testing of some products, fish being one as well as some of the clinical trials for blood products. In fact a number of pharmaceuticals pay the FDA to perform some of the testing. This does not even include the site inspections and audits. Furthermore the body the recommends approval is not entirely FDA personnel. The board the makes those recommendations is made up of both government (FDA) and private industry. It is incredibly difficult to cheat the submission process. The cost of getting caught, and you will get caught, is far too high. The risk involved in just attempting to bring a drug to market is immense without adding fraud. Don’t even waste your time bringing up Vioxx as “proof” of cheating.

jdkchem on September 25, 2010 at 3:31 PM

What is the deal with missing comments?

jdkchem on September 25, 2010 at 3:32 PM

What is the deal with missing comments?

jdkchem on September 25, 2010 at 3:32 PM

Forbidden words usually.

sharrukin on September 25, 2010 at 3:38 PM

European socialism doesn’t work. Nor does any other kind.

Euro propped up by ultra secret group. See WSJ “On the Secret Committee to Save the Euro, a Dangerous Divide”.

That house of cards is about to fall. Venezuela falls tomorrow. Hey, invest in Cuba – it’s the best Capitalistic heaven-in-an-up-swing now! Viva Cuba libre!

Schadenfreude on September 25, 2010 at 4:13 PM

Viva señor Breitbart!

Schadenfreude on September 25, 2010 at 4:14 PM

Maher is morally and intellectually void, he is an ignorant cynic posing as a sophisticate.

The rubes who waste their time on his show are to be pitied.

NoDonkey on September 25, 2010 at 4:21 PM

The problem with many “libertarians” is that they are often more akin anarchists than anything sensible. There is a distinct libertarian lean toward not wanting the government to exist at all. Libertarians generally want everybody to leave them alone to do whatever they want regardless of consequences.

The problem is that the closer you get to the libertarian ideal, the more it falls apart in practice. As people get more freedom to do what they want without interference, the more society degrades into the “law of the jungle.” The strongmen emerge to force people to do what they want and the mythical freedom of anarchy becomes the most profound form of slavery instead.

The problem with libertarians is they are just not grounded in practical history. They have not learned that civilization and freedom actually depend on a certain amount of control over what people do in order to avoid coercion by force from strongmen. Perfect freedom simply does not exist until you are the last person left on earth.

Hawthorne on September 25, 2010 at 4:29 PM

European Socialism dug in it’s heals because the corpses across the pond got to live under the unbrella of the American military. When the turds at the NYT write about how wonderful Europe is and how horrible the USA is there is a total disconnect as to who is providing the safety. They are clueless that it is the bitter clingers they despise that keep them from the barbarians at the gate.

tessa on September 25, 2010 at 4:40 PM

How a leftie can call him/herself a true libertarian, liberal or progressive is mind-splitting. They are all neither.

Schadenfreude on September 25, 2010 at 4:40 PM

They are clueless that it is the bitter clingers they despise that keep them from the barbarians at the gate.

tessa on September 25, 2010 at 4:40 PM

Oh no. They know it and they love and hate it. It keeps them to experiment in Utopia, for a time, but it exposes them as impotent and as not being allowed at any table with adults at it.

Schadenfreude on September 25, 2010 at 4:42 PM

Schadenfreude on September 25, 2010 at 4:42 PM

Did you see that toad, Yaki, yesterday trying to disparage Coates testimony? That kind of liberal is the most disgusting of all, one that could never physically defend himself.

tessa on September 25, 2010 at 4:47 PM

Who cares what Andrew Breitbart says about anything?

bifidis on September 25, 2010 at 4:53 PM

Who cares what Andrew Breitbart says about anything?

bifidis on September 25, 2010 at 4:53 PM

Thanks for today’s smiles. Ants’ brains are indignant.

Schadenfreude on September 25, 2010 at 4:56 PM

If you approached 80% of libertarians and ask them if they would vote for Goldwater’s corpse, they would overwhelmingly say yes.

Firefly_76 on September 25, 2010 at 1:47 PM

So would most conservatives despite some disagreements with his positions

Social Conservatives never got behind Goldwater, they preferred LBJ. They never got behind Ford either, they preferred Jimmy Carter

firepilot on September 25, 2010 at 5:03 PM

Where has European Socialism worked?
When?
Elizabetty on September 25, 2010 at 12:02 PM

In Switzerland they had brotherly love – they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. So long Holly. …
The Third Man (1949)

Sorry couldn’t resist.

DSchoen on September 25, 2010 at 5:06 PM

Bill Maher is such a worm. He reminds me of some little snarky 12 year old kid.

JellyToast on September 25, 2010 at 5:07 PM

…Frankly, I don’t give a damn what you call yourself as long as you never vote for Democrats again. Start there, then we can make progress.

Extrafishy on September 25, 2010 at 3:30 PM

Here, here.

rrpjr on September 25, 2010 at 5:07 PM

Really, Libertarianism is incompatible with a modern society; that’s why conservativism takes the best parts of libertarianism and make the philosophy electable.

TimTebowSavesAmerica on September 25, 2010 at 1:13 PM

I think you’re confusing anarchists with Libertarians.

ButterflyDragon on September 25, 2010 at 5:17 PM

Social Conservatives never got behind Goldwater, they preferred LBJ. They never got behind Ford either, they preferred Jimmy Carter

firepilot on September 25, 2010 at 5:03 PM

Ford signed the Helsinki Accords, he also refused to meet Solzhenitsyn because it would upset the Russians. Nelson Rockefeller was his VP, the economy suffered, he functionally suspended aid to Israel… so by what definition would you call him a conservative?

I think you are mixing up those who are religious (like Nancy Pelosi) with those who are conservative.

sharrukin on September 25, 2010 at 5:21 PM

If you want into the clubhouse you have to adhere to the club rules.

sharrukin on September 25, 2010 at 3:31 PM

Those of us who don’t want anything to do with anyone’s club have to adhere to the rules, too.

VerbumSap on September 25, 2010 at 5:29 PM

Those of us who don’t want anything to do with anyone’s club have to adhere to the rules, too.

VerbumSap on September 25, 2010 at 5:29 PM

You can always go out into the desert and live on your own, or find an island somewhere. If you invite your sweetheart onto the island she/he however, will make the same demands on you that society does.

Your friends probably have similar rules… like if you punch me in the face I stop being your friend, and things like that.

Maybe its a conspiracy?

sharrukin on September 25, 2010 at 5:34 PM

It’s Saturday. School’s out. And Trolls appear on HA. What a coinky-dink.

kingsjester on September 25, 2010 at 5:53 PM

sharrukin on September 25, 2010 at 5:34 PM

So when you say, “if you want into the clubhouse”, what you really mean is, “if you exist”. (OK maybe there is that one guy in Brazil who is protected as the last member of an uncontacted tribe, but that’s an extreme case.)

When the US was founded, the ‘social contract’ could be argued, if just for the sake of argument, as a voluntary agreement because it was a big world and not everything was claimed. That’s not the case anymore. Now this is just a hypothetical construct that serves only to answer an abstract political question. Please note that I didn’t say people don’t or shouldn’t have to follow the rules, but that we’re not actually given that choice.

But no, my spouse doesn’t demand that I purchase health insurance, or pay a tribute, or submit to licensing or inspections before I can provide anything from my own hands for our use, etc.

VerbumSap on September 25, 2010 at 6:18 PM

So when you say, “if you want into the clubhouse”, what you really mean is, “if you exist”. (OK maybe there is that one guy in Brazil who is protected as the last member of an uncontacted tribe, but that’s an extreme case.)

Yeah, if you exist people makes demands on you. I raised my niece and she demanded food, a bed, and all sorts of other things. I have to obey the law… laws I had absolutely no part in making and no one has ever asked me if I agreed with them. They just assume I will obey them and bust my nuts if I don’t.

Please note that I didn’t say people don’t or shouldn’t have to follow the rules, but that we’re not actually given that choice.

When has it been any different? When you were born into a stone age tribe wandering the wilds of Europe the tribe demanded you collect berries with mom, and learn how to be a hunter and a warrior, and your wish not to hurt animals was completely ignored.

But no, my spouse doesn’t demand that I purchase health insurance, or pay a tribute, or submit to licensing or inspections before I can provide anything from my own hands for our use, etc.

VerbumSap on September 25, 2010 at 6:18 PM

She does make demands on you though. Take out the garbage and don’t sneak over to the girl next door.

Are there too many silly regulations? Yes, and they need to be reduced dramatically, but it is silly to say that society has no right to make demands on you.

The intrusiveness of government is the problem and they are stifling individual creativity and freedom. That doesn’t make government itself illegitimate, just the excessive demands they make.

sharrukin on September 25, 2010 at 6:30 PM

Maher’s audience is just a bunch of sheep, aren’t they? He tells a joke, they laugh. Breitbart calls him a socialist, they chuckle and wait for Maher’s response and then stop chuckling when they find out he doesn’t mind being called a socialist.

Baaaaaaah.

29Victor on September 25, 2010 at 7:00 PM

When has it been any different?

I’m always amazed how a single line, such as “Those of us who don’t want anything to do with anyone’s club have to adhere to the rules, too”, can be interpreted as containing so many other ideas that weren’t said or meant.

I want to clarify, sharrukin, that I took your argument as a justification for even arbitrary rules laid down by society as the price we have to pay to live as the social creatures we are (the remark about green Jell-o, for instance…the word “arbitrary” was used), not just those rules which call for reciprocal rights and duties and other necessary principles, such as respect for life and property (including the military power required). I am not prepared to accept that argument as a justification for what I consider tyranny, though. This is not a voluntary contract where if we don’t like the silly requirements we can walk away and make our own club. And this is one of many reasons I believe our constitutional rights are so important.

She does make demands on you though. Take out the garbage and don’t sneak over to the girl next door.

A) I usually take out the trash because I prefer to do this at the moment I see it needs to be done, and B) I suspect that would only bother him if I didn’t invite him to watch. My relationship with my spouse is very different from my relationship with society. I seek to minimize the latter as much as possible.

VerbumSap on September 25, 2010 at 7:07 PM

Gotta hand it to Maher, he knows how to say something stupid. Love his “Life should be off the table” line, yeah it should be off the table, unless its about abortion, then life doesn’t matter and we should kill all the babies, what a dope.

Rbastid on September 25, 2010 at 7:22 PM

I am not prepared to accept that argument as a justification for what I consider tyranny, though. This is not a voluntary contract where if we don’t like the silly requirements we can walk away and make our own club. And this is one of many reasons I believe our constitutional rights are so important.

Absolutely agree with this, but it doesn’t end there. You are correct that we (people) cannot walk away and this is why government should be limited to the minimum that it reasonably can be. This is also why social morality tends to displace government and when that morality breaks down, government steps in to negotiate a truce as it were.

Society has many rules that are largely arbitrary even if they do serve a purpose. You get arrested if you drive on the wrong side of the road, but go to England and you get arrested if you don’t. Nudists for example make the arbitrary argument regarding clothes and superficially they are right. I think such things serve a deeper purpose, but many of societies rules are simply the way things are done.

I suspect that would only bother him if I didn’t invite him to watch. My relationship with my spouse is very different from my relationship with society. I seek to minimize the latter as much as possible.

VerbumSap on September 25, 2010 at 7:07 PM

My apologies for the assumption of gender. I don’t think we disagree on a great deal.

sharrukin on September 25, 2010 at 7:29 PM

Respectable little murders pay
They get more respectable every day

J_Crater on September 25, 2010 at 8:07 PM

I like to think of myself as somewhat of a libertarian. However, I draw the line at legalized drugs, gambling, and prostitution. I think on one side of that line is Bedford Falls and on the other it’s Pottersville.
Kafir on September 25, 2010 at 1:15 PM

No, not really. The illegal drugs leads directly to the inner city drug marts. To quote an illegal drug researcher in Chicago from earlier this year: “It’s cheaper than a six-pack of beer and it’s easier to get. Drug dealers don’t ask for I.D.”

That’s why the street gangs today have Tech 9s, Mac 10s, and AK-47′s instead of switch blades and zip guns. Because they make lots of money. Because DRUGS ARE ILLEGAL and therefore very profitable. So no, keeping drugs illegal does not result in Bedford Falls except in fantasy land.

And in case you missed it, gambling is legal most places in the USA now.

SunSword on September 25, 2010 at 8:36 PM

It’s cheaper than a six-pack of beer and it’s easier to get. Drug dealers don’t ask for I.D.”

Because DRUGS ARE ILLEGAL and therefore very profitable.

SunSword on September 25, 2010 at 8:36 PM

You seem to be arguing with yourself.

If drugs are so cheap then how much cheaper will they have to be to make smuggling and dealing them pointless?

They smuggle DVD’s, CD’s, cigarettes, clothing, electronic goods, legal prescription drugs, and people. Why do you think criminals will suddenly start obeying the laws if drugs are legalized? Golly they legalized drugs so time to get a job at Walmart? Yeah, sure!

Did legalizing alcohol get rid of the Mafia?

Do we legalize them all? If not then what have we accomplished? Do we ban the sale to kids?

The profit margin for booze is around 70-75% and cocaine is around 95%. Not that much more.

sharrukin on September 25, 2010 at 8:50 PM

European socialism works because we pay the defense bill.

Lets drop out of all the treaties and we’ll just see how well socialism works.

Speakup on September 25, 2010 at 9:12 PM

The only time I’ve seen a more pathetic look on BM’s face is when Christopher Hitchens mocked him for his cheap, easy Bush jokes (and then flipped off his audience).

I heart Andrew Breitbart.

Grace_is_sufficient on September 25, 2010 at 9:48 PM

I know one — one — self-described libertarian who’s not a complete nutjob and a closet statist to boot. With that lone exception, they’re mostly a collection of 9/11 Troofers, anti-Semites, Roasted Paulnuts. And single-issue “libertarians.” That is, they cling to libertarianism on one of three issues: legalizing drugs, homosexual marriage, aggressive in-your-face atheists. Everything else, they are OK with the progressives’ radical agenda.

pdigaudio on September 25, 2010 at 10:04 PM

Where has European Socialism worked?
When?

Elizabetty on September 25, 2010 at 12:02 PM

Tirana, Albania, Oct 4th 1956, between 2:06 to 2:09 PM /s

Norwegian on September 25, 2010 at 12:40 PM

Wrong! It was AM—everybody was asleep, the perfect socialist society.

FloatingRock on September 25, 2010 at 10:23 PM

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