Epic: Ann Coulter and John Stossel duke it out

posted at 12:41 pm on February 22, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Outspoken firebrand conservative Ann Coulter versus outspoken firebrand libertarian John Stossel? …I love it. It’s like the two dueling voices of my innermost moral-political psyche having it out with verbal fisticuffs in an ideological boxing match.

My instincts tend to lean pretty libertarian on a lot of things (with a huge, resounding exception when it comes to foreign policy and security issues), and I agree with the Stossel camp that no way is it the federal government’s business to try to engineer society in any shape, manner, or form beyond enforcing contracts and common defense — but as Ann Coulter points out, however, our huge ever-burgeoning bureaucracy and welfare state mean that sometimes that simply and unfortunately is not the reality of the world in which we all live.

Anyhow, I’m going to let what I know are the many hardcore libertarians and staunch conservatives in the audience have fun with this one in the comments, but I think these are fantastic debates to have while we’re all talking anyway about all of the “soul searching” the Republican party needs to do, and the many areas in which conservatives and libertarians can mesh their ideas.

“We’re living in a country that is 70-percent socialist, the government takes 60 percent of your money. They are taking care of your health care, of your pensions. They’re telling you who you can hire, what the regulations will be. And you want to suck up to your little liberal friends and say, ‘Oh, but we want to legalize pot.’ You know, if you’re a little more manly you would tell them what your position on employment discrimination is. How about that? But it’s always ‘We want to legalize pot.’”

Stossel then asked: “Why can’t gays get married?” …

“This is another one where you’re just sucking up to liberals when there are big fights,” Coulter explained.

“No, we believe the individual should be left alone,” Stossel shot back. …

“First of all, for alleged individualists, you’re very mob-like,” Coulter snarked. “Second of all, it is my business because we are living in a welfare state … Right now, I have to pay for, it turns out, coming down the pike, your health care. I have to pay for your unemployment when you can’t hold a job. I have to pay for your food, for your housing. Yeah, it’s my business!”


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Coulter rocked it!

workingclass artist on February 22, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Coulter is a nitwit. Her argument against gay marriage is that she has to pay for it. Really?

She mentioned health care, unemployment, housing and food that she has to “pay for” for others. How is that relevant to gay marriage?

The problem is the sex of who’s getting married. The problem is the government allows benefits to married people that are not available to single people.

Make government marriage neutral.

ButterflyDragon on February 22, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Epic: Ann Coulter and John Stossel duke it out

I hear one of them took a blow to the Adams Apple.

ToddPA on February 22, 2013 at 12:47 PM

…with a huge, resounding exception when it comes to foreign policy and security issues…

There is a neocon within our midst.

Hostile Gospel on February 22, 2013 at 12:48 PM

This sounds like much fun and I haven’t even watched it yet!

thuja on February 22, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Coulter supported Romney. Conservative? Not in this lifetime.

“Why can’t gays get married?”

They can. To anyone of the opposite sex, just like everyone else. That’s the meaning of “equal treatment” under the law: “Just like everyone else.”

Wino on February 22, 2013 at 12:49 PM

We need MORE nanny state.

So Con’s

jsunrise on February 22, 2013 at 12:50 PM

There is a neocon within our midst.

Hostile Gospel on February 22, 2013 at 12:48 PM

There is a Paulian within ours.

kingsjester on February 22, 2013 at 12:50 PM

She’s great.

Rusty Allen on February 22, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Outspoken firebrand conservative Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter is NOT a Conservative, she is a Moderate i.e. RINO who makes a very comfortable living writing (Pandering to Conservatives) for a Conservative niche market.

SWalker on February 22, 2013 at 12:51 PM

I agree with the Stossel camp that no way is it the federal government’s business to try to engineer society in any shape, manner, or form …

Yet, that is exactly what support of gay marriage is.

Blake on February 22, 2013 at 12:52 PM

If the libertarians made any sense and had any real solutions Ron Paul would be President and not this know nothing commie re-distribution kook.

They think the borders should be wide open too.

They are 1% and srinking so who gives a rats ass, stay on the subject.

Democrats and RINO’s are f’n up the country.

Force the Republican Party to come back to the base.

It is that simple.

The libertarians can go fix say Afganistain and take over there, as every one there seems to be a any thing goes kind of person.

Hell head chopping is the final prove up of the deal.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on February 22, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Coulter is a typical repub hack, she supports Romney and Christy – only thing she wants conservatives to do is buy her books.

Panther on February 22, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Coulter is a nitwit. Her argument against gay marriage is that she has to pay for it. Really?

She mentioned health care, unemployment, housing and food that she has to “pay for” for others. How is that relevant to gay marriage?

The problem is the sex of who’s getting married. The problem is the government allows benefits to married people that are not available to single people.

Make government marriage neutral.

ButterflyDragon on February 22, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Ummm, watch it again. That was her response to legalizing drugs. Not gay marriage. Do try and pay attention before calling someone else a nitwit.

jawkneemusic on February 22, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Not willing to let Coulter hold the title conservative. She is not, she lost that.

astonerii on February 22, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Best line by Coulter:

For people who are supposed to be individualistic you are awful mob like, and it is my business because we are living in a welfare state.

BINGO! That is why I will never be a big L libertarian. They are living in a delusional world where Democratic power doesn’t exist. Libertine policies have consequences; consequences that LIBERALS will make us pay for.

melle1228 on February 22, 2013 at 12:56 PM

“Right now, I have to pay for, it turns out, coming down the pike, your health care. I have to pay for your unemployment when you can’t hold a job. I have to pay for your food, for your housing. Yeah, it’s my business!”

Be careful, Ann. That’s the same argument used in the UK to, for example, deny fat people medical care.

Do you really want to go there?

Drained Brain on February 22, 2013 at 12:56 PM

…with a huge, resounding exception when it comes to foreign policy and security issues…

There is a neocon within our midst.

Hostile Gospel on February 22, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Hallelujah!

thebrokenrattle on February 22, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Be careful, Ann. That’s the same argument used in the UK to, for example, deny fat people medical care.

Do you really want to go there?

Drained Brain on February 22, 2013 at 12:56 PM

If fat people in UK were able to get their own PRIVATE insurance, I am sure they wouldn’t be denied anything. They are being denied healthcare because the government is running their healthcare, capice?

melle1228 on February 22, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Coulter supports Christie, GOProud, Bill Maher, and was one of the first to board the Romney train to fail. Conservative? You joke.

Mr. Arrogant on February 22, 2013 at 12:58 PM

I’m with Katie. I might even go so far as “Libertarian with a Machiavellian foreign policy” – always consider the best interest of the USA first. When we succeed, other nations will tend to follow our lead – always with the caveat that it is our domestic commitment to individual freedom that justifies our actions as a nation.

peski on February 22, 2013 at 12:58 PM

So, Coulter was wrong to support Romney , total wrong, so then the 49% of America who voted for Romeny were wrong too?

So, Coulter thinks that Christy Cream Christy is the best deal for New Jersey, maybe for NJ, but she is wrong to support him national.

So, does she get to change her mind too like the rest of U.S. or is she denied that freedom?

APACHEWHOKNOWS on February 22, 2013 at 12:59 PM

We need MORE nanny state.

So Con’s

jsunrise on February 22, 2013 at 12:50 PM

And yet it is the libertarians who keep voting for Obama and the leftists. Half the nitwits at Reason Magazine openly stated as much.

sharrukin on February 22, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Not willing to let Coulter hold the title conservative. She is not, she lost that.

astonerii on February 22, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Don’t think it’s up to you. Someone can be conservative, but still hold a position or support someone or something you don’t.

changer1701 on February 22, 2013 at 1:02 PM


Not willing to let Coulter hold the title conservative. She is not, she lost that.

Didn’t Coulter support that Romney guy? How could she possibly be a conservative?

casuist on February 22, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Ummm, watch it again. That was her response to legalizing drugs. Not gay marriage. Do try and pay attention before calling someone else a nitwit.

jawkneemusic on February 22, 2013 at 12:55 PM

I didn’t watch anything, (I can’t get the video to play) I read the quoted portion of Erika’s post.

Erika is quoting things out of context?

ButterflyDragon on February 22, 2013 at 1:03 PM


Someone can be conservative, but still hold a position or support someone or something you don’t.

Even if the position results in a logical contradiction like supporting Willard “Let’s keep the good parts of ObamaCare–Hey, RomneyCare was a great idea” Romney? I don’t buy it.

casuist on February 22, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Don’t think it’s up to you. Someone can be conservative, but still hold a position or support someone or something you don’t.

changer1701 on February 22, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Thank you, I’m sick of people claiming to have the right to dole out memberships to a movement.

thebrokenrattle on February 22, 2013 at 1:05 PM

I didn’t watch anything, (I can’t get the video to play) I read the quoted portion of Erika’s post.

Erika is quoting things out of context?

ButterflyDragon on February 22, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Possibly. Or who ever wrote the transcript. Her response to the gay marriage question was basically that it government is already too involved in marriage to simply back off and declare itself neutral.

jawkneemusic on February 22, 2013 at 1:07 PM

This is a perfect example of what closed-minded twits libertarians are. They did nothing but ridicule her and accuse her of not answering. She did answer, but she could have done better.

Drug abusers don’t affect only themselves. They DO harm other people, particularly their families. That’s a ridiculous argument in favor of legalizing drugs. Idiots like Stossel who think that legalizing all drugs (ending the ‘drug war’) will solve all the problems haven’t thought through to the consequences of that. Coulter was dead-on. More drug use = more government dependency.

Gays CAN marry one another. They just can’t have it sanctioned by law, because it’s not marriage. They are the ones who are trying to exert control over the issue. It was very telling when the crowd groaned when Coulter said that liberals want to destroy the family. They don’t get it. They are in denial.

JannyMae on February 22, 2013 at 1:07 PM

We need MORE nanny state.

So Con’s

jsunrise on February 22, 2013 at 12:50 PM

I have to LMAO at this. Because one of the things discussed is gay marriage. YOu do realize that extending marriage(which in itself is big government) is even more nanny state big government and yet that is one of the libertarians most pressing issue.

Welcome to the clue nanny stater.

melle1228 on February 22, 2013 at 1:07 PM

I didn’t watch anything, (I can’t get the video to play) I read the quoted portion of Erika’s post.

Erika is quoting things out of context?

ButterflyDragon on February 22, 2013 at 1:03 PM

That explains your idiotic comment above. Thanks for the clarification.

JannyMae on February 22, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Thank you, I’m sick of people claiming to have the right to dole out memberships to a movement.

thebrokenrattle on February 22, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Me too.

jawkneemusic on February 22, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Didn’t watch the video yet but am already rooting for whomever’s arguing against a Libertarian. (As much as I like Stossel)

Cleombrotus on February 22, 2013 at 1:08 PM


And yet it is the libertarians who keep voting for Obama and the leftists. Half the nitwits at Reason Magazine openly stated as much.

The GOP gave Libertarians a choice between 2 statists, one a Democrat, the other with weird hair and ever changing positions, and both of whom with a record of reorganizing the health-care systems of the polities they mis-governed with disastrous results. What were we supposed to do? Reward the GOP for forwarding so disastrous a candidate?

casuist on February 22, 2013 at 1:09 PM

I’m not an Ann Coulter apologist. Lord knows she can defend herself. But the notion that she’s not conservative because she’s pragmatic is unreasonable. We lost ground in the TEA party movement because of the unwillingness to see reason. We aren’t going to win elections as long as we have to appease the middle and are unwilling to do so.

I’m a conservative. I’ve been a conservative for all my life. Love Coulter, Love Stossel, and a great melding of the two philosophies is what we need to get that middle to move in our direction.

Tennman on February 22, 2013 at 1:09 PM


YOu do realize that extending marriage(which in itself is big government) is even more nanny state big government and yet that is one of the libertarians most pressing issue.

Marriage is in itself big government? Seriously?

casuist on February 22, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Thank you, I’m sick of people claiming to have the right to dole out memberships to a movement.

thebrokenrattle on February 22, 2013 at 1:05 PM

I’m sorry did I forget to mail you your card?

melle1228 on February 22, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Why to college kids all seem think they are the smartest people on earth?

The Notorious G.O.P on February 22, 2013 at 1:11 PM

So, Coulter was wrong to support Romney , total wrong, so then the 49% of America who voted for Romeny were wrong too?

So, Coulter thinks that Christy Cream Christy is the best deal for New Jersey, maybe for NJ, but she is wrong to support him national.

So, does she get to change her mind too like the rest of U.S. or is she denied that freedom?

APACHEWHOKNOWS on February 22, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Just because a rational moderate is right half the time, doesn’t make them a conservative. And yes, there really is such a thing as a rational pragmatic moderate, Ed Morissey and Charles Krauthammer along with Ann Coulter are perfect examples of rational pragmatic moderates.

SWalker on February 22, 2013 at 1:11 PM

Why to college kids all seem think they are the smartest people on earth?

The Notorious G.O.P on February 22, 2013 at 1:11 PM

Only American college kids do.

Cleombrotus on February 22, 2013 at 1:12 PM


We lost ground in the TEA party movement because of the unwillingness to see reason.

What reason would that be, precisely?

casuist on February 22, 2013 at 1:12 PM

We need more similar debates, with NO media in btw.

Schadenfreude on February 22, 2013 at 1:13 PM

Why to college kids all seem think they are the smartest people on earth?

The Notorious G.O.P on February 22, 2013 at 1:11 PM

They’ve had all the humility sucked out of them by the American educational system and the popular culture.

Cleombrotus on February 22, 2013 at 1:13 PM

What were we supposed to do? Reward the GOP for forwarding so disastrous a candidate?

casuist on February 22, 2013 at 1:09 PM

I am not a Romney fan as I think more than a few could back me up on. That isn’t the same thing as voting for socialism. If you are trying to crash the system by voting for Obama then that makes some sense, but to vote for outright national socialism because you don’t like social conservatives is nuts.

sharrukin on February 22, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Why to college kids all seem think they are the smartest people on earth?

The Notorious G.O.P on February 22, 2013 at 1:11 PM

It’s part of the Marxist indoctrination process, make young people thing they are extra special and super intelligent. Then tell them what to think and they’ll do believe much anything they are told to believe.

SWalker on February 22, 2013 at 1:14 PM

I will reach across the aisle to my GOP friends and vote for a Republican in 2016…as long as we agree that Republican is Rand Paul.

Panther on February 22, 2013 at 1:14 PM

We need MORE nanny state.

So Con’s

jsunrise on February 22, 2013 at 12:50 PM

The classic libertarian myth, that social conservatives are big spenders also.

The truth is, it’s the social conservatives who are also the fiscal conservatives, while it’s the socially liberal “moderate” republicans who are first to cave in on the left’s spending plans.

Jim DeMint said, “You can’t be a fiscal conservative and not be a social conservative”, and he’s exactly right. And Coulter is exactly right when she points out that we’re already living in a socialist state, and the libertarians are simply sucking up to the left with the drugs/homosexual “marriage” and their other social issues.

Rebar on February 22, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Marriage is in itself big government? Seriously?

casuist on February 22, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Yes, state marriage is. It was instituted for the state’s benefits. Heterosexuasl will naturally legally pair bond through children. The state saw this as a way of keeping track of property and future taxpayers. It also saw this as a way of keeping father’s on the hook for their children – it took the onus off the state to support the children. And nuclear families created productive children i.e., productive taxpayers.

Then in this century, liberals decided that they could retain more power by breaking up the family and the state could become the daddy- hence the push to replace marriage with welfare as a means to control the family. Marriage exerted less control over the individual and was better for society but make no mistake at one time it was in the state’s interest and now it isn’t and that is why it is being decimated.

melle1228 on February 22, 2013 at 1:14 PM

I’m sorry did I forget to mail you your card?

melle1228 on February 22, 2013 at 1:10 PM

It came but it was all torn up!

thebrokenrattle on February 22, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Why to college kids all seem think they are the smartest people on earth?

The Notorious G.O.P on February 22, 2013 at 1:11 PM

Because we live in an age of narcissism.

jawkneemusic on February 22, 2013 at 1:15 PM

So, does she get to change her mind too like the rest of U.S. or is she denied that freedom?

APACHEWHOKNOWS on February 22, 2013 at 12:59 PM

As a spokesperson, no, she is not allowed to change her mind like the rest of us. When she changes her mind, we expect an explanation that satisfies us that she remains one of us, or if she went out on the range to be part of another group, when she changes her mind, we want assurances that she really is one of us again.

I can change my mind all I want, I do not have to explain it to anyone that is not part of my group. But if I do it, and my group notices and demands an explanation, if I want to remain part of the group, I explain how I came to my conclusion.

Ann just spouts left progressive trash and then gets to come on back as if nothing happened should not be possible.

astonerii on February 22, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Coulter supported Romney. Conservative? Not in this lifetime.

“Why can’t gays get married?”

They can. To anyone of the opposite sex, just like everyone else. That’s the meaning of “equal treatment” under the law: “Just like everyone else.”

Wino on February 22, 2013 at 12:49 PM

And when gays can marry people of the same sex, straight people will have the same right, too. Problem circumvented.

And I’m not ripping Coulter, but anyone who uses the “you’re not manly enough/man up/act like a man” card loses some credibility. Make your argument without silly gender stereotypes and man-shaming. We’re getting sick of it.

bmmg39 on February 22, 2013 at 1:16 PM

I am not a Romney fan as I think more than a few could back me up on. That isn’t the same thing as voting for socialism. If you are trying to crash the system by voting for Obama then that makes some sense, but to vote for outright national socialism because you don’t like social conservatives is nuts.

sharrukin on February 22, 2013 at 1:14 PM

BOOM!

jawkneemusic on February 22, 2013 at 1:16 PM

What reason would that be, precisely?

casuist on February 22, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Not *a* reason. Reason, as in the ability to think clearly; i.e. putting up candidates that were an anathema to the left and the middle. We had it right in the ’10 elections. We put up candidates who had a goal and stuck to it: Overturning the ACA and putting Pelosi out of business. In ’12, the tide turned because conservatives didn’t come to the polls. That’s reason. The unwillingness to vote for a candidate because he’s not in lock-step with your beliefs.

I voted for Romney. I had to. He was the only hope we had to beat Obama. All of those conservatives who stayed home? Thanks a lot, guys. Now we have Obama for another four glorious years. All because of the inability to see reason.

Would Willard have been the perfect choice? NO. And NO. But he would be tacking us back to the right, where maybe we have the ability to effect the kind of pendulum change we need.

Tennman on February 22, 2013 at 1:17 PM

Coulter is conservative. Heh. That’s funny, Erika.

CycloneCDB on February 22, 2013 at 1:17 PM

Why to college kids all seem think they are the smartest people on earth?

The Notorious G.O.P on February 22, 2013 at 1:11 PM

Because we live in an age of narcissism.

jawkneemusic on February 22, 2013 at 1:15 PM

And narcissism is the nectar the feed Marxism.

SWalker on February 22, 2013 at 1:18 PM

sharrukin on February 22, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Very well said.

kingsjester on February 22, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Even if the position results in a logical contradiction like supporting Willard “Let’s keep the good parts of ObamaCare–Hey, RomneyCare was a great idea” Romney? I don’t buy it.

casuist on February 22, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Don’t buy it? Don’t care. It’s not up to you to decide who is a conservative. Is Allen West not a conservative because of his vote for the Pigford amendment (even if he later said it was a “mistake”)?

changer1701 on February 22, 2013 at 1:18 PM

YOu do realize that extending marriage(which in itself is big government) is even more nanny state big government and yet that is one of the libertarians most pressing issue.

Marriage is in itself big government? Seriously?

casuist on February 22, 2013 at 1:10 PM

If you are asking the STATE to impose gay marriage on the nation then yes.

If you are asking for gays to be able to marry each other then have a ceremony and you’re married. No STATE involvement at all.
THAT ISN’T WHAT THEY WANT HOWEVER. They want it to be STATE sanctioned.

sharrukin on February 22, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Make your argument without silly gender stereotypes and man-shaming. We’re getting sick of it.

bmmg39 on February 22, 2013 at 1:16 PM

And show me one example where I did what you say. Oh! I didn’t. Please stop LYING and making COMPLETE FABRICATIONS to support your beliefs.

Congratulations! You’re the asshat of the day! Here’s your trophy.

Wino on February 22, 2013 at 1:20 PM

If you are asking for gays to be able to marry each other then have a ceremony and you’re married. No STATE involvement at all.
THAT ISN’T WHAT THEY WANT HOWEVER. They want it to be STATE sanctioned.

sharrukin on February 22, 2013 at 1:18 PM

That, and they won’t be satisfied until every church, regardless of denomination or doctrine, is forced to accept it.

CurtZHP on February 22, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Make government marriage neutral.

ButterflyDragon on February 22, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Not quite as nebulous as you made that sound, though I anticipate you meant couples who live together without being married. Single people like me shouldn’t get the breaks married couples have.

However, I agree that government and insurance companies should stay out of personal living situations. If a couple isn’t married but lives together, they shouldn’t have to be forcibly considered as single. There might need to be some legal changes made, where a person can designate, and later remove if needed, power of attorney, for example.

But doing that would require hetero couples to enjoy the same, which the SSM crowd doesn’t want; it would remove the ‘victim’ status of same-sex couples, and that’s not good enough for the Left.

Remember, please–this is about politics, not liberty and sensibility.

Liam on February 22, 2013 at 1:21 PM


Yes, state marriage is. It was instituted for the state’s benefits.

You’re conflating state government, federal policy, and civil contract law. Yes, marriage, or as I would prefer it civil unions, are contracts that settle claims with respect to property whether common or singly held. Yes, a powerful argument against marriage or civil unions is that this would enrich trial lawyers as they would get a cut of all the new unions with the potential to dissolve by way of litigation. But this is not ‘big government’ in the sense of a federal super-state or bloated state bureaucracy. Not in the least.

casuist on February 22, 2013 at 1:21 PM

The problem is the government allows benefits to married people that are not available to single people.

Make government marriage neutral.

ButterflyDragon on February 22, 2013 at 12:47 PM

So? You don’t have to usurp, condemn and eradicate the sanctity of marriage for want of a tweak to the tax code.

HotAirian on February 22, 2013 at 1:22 PM

That, and they won’t be satisfied until every church, regardless of denomination or doctrine, is forced to accept it.

CurtZHP on February 22, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Yup, that is the whole foundation of the Homosexual rights agenda.

SWalker on February 22, 2013 at 1:22 PM

That, and they won’t be satisfied until every church, regardless of denomination or doctrine, is forced to accept it.

CurtZHP on February 22, 2013 at 1:20 PM

That as well. It isn’t about government involvement at all. They want approval and will keep attacking until they get that regardless of the cost.

sharrukin on February 22, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Gays CAN marry one another. They just can’t have it sanctioned by law, because it’s not marriage. They are the ones who are trying to exert control over the issue. It was very telling when the crowd groaned when Coulter said that liberals want to destroy the family. They don’t get it. They are in denial.

JannyMae on February 22, 2013 at 1:07 PM

Not just denial…but these folks refuse to learn from history.

Fascism & Marxism were sold for public consumption as modern progressive policies using the same tactics and agitprop we are experiencing today.

They succeed by dismantling traditional structures that bind people together (namely family and church) and replace these with the state.

workingclass artist on February 22, 2013 at 1:22 PM

I like the argument, end the welfare state first, once the wealth transfers end, we can talk honestly about whether gays still want to get married when there is no benefit to it.

Also, I would like to have a flat national tax. Budget/# adults = tax. Right now it is just shy of $16,000 per adult. If you are a family, you pay $32,000 a year for the government.

I would like to see that cost broken down into where the money is going and have totally separate and non mingling funds for those budgets.

Then, we can talk about how enthusiastic gays are to get married.

Level the playing field.

If you do not pay your tax, then you get no federal vote.

The more people who choose not to pay taxes, the higher the taxes will be on those who do vote.

So the equation then becomes Budget/# voters.

Somehow, I imagine that those elected to office will finally have an incentive to cut the cost of government.

astonerii on February 22, 2013 at 1:23 PM

If only the government agreed to give anyone a free cool black leather jacket like Nick Gillespie wears, there would be way more libertarians. See what I did there!

can_con on February 22, 2013 at 1:23 PM

Hey Stossel,

Why can’t I marry my 12 year old daughter??????????

Why can’t I marry my dog????????????

Why can’t I marry my daughter, my dog, and 6 other people???

Eph on February 22, 2013 at 1:23 PM

I really wish this was the actual current conversation in this nation right now instead of how liberal is too liberal. It seems conservative vs. libertarian debates are nothing more than entertainment and wishful thinking. Oh, what could have been.

matthew26 on February 22, 2013 at 1:24 PM

If it weren’t for her Adams Apple she’d have no curves at all.

steel guy on February 22, 2013 at 1:25 PM

This: “If you are asking the STATE to impose gay marriage on the nation then yes.”

And this: “That, and they won’t be satisfied until every church, regardless of denomination or doctrine, is forced to accept it.”

First, civil law stipulates conditions for the marriage just as it stipulates conditions for all contracts. To emend the law is not really the same as the state imposing anything on anyone.

Second, this is why I draw a distinction between civil unions and ‘marriage’. I support civil unions, but I hesitate to call such unions ‘marriage’ as this opens up the possibility of litigating against communities of faith doctrinally disposed to refuse to join same-sex couples. THAT is a problem as it offends the principle of free association. Support civil unions. Gay marriage? Not so much. Not unless you draw up a bullet-proof exemption clause that allows communities of faith the right to refuse. Since that’s just about impossible I support civil unions and that’s as far as I go.

casuist on February 22, 2013 at 1:27 PM

…with a huge, resounding exception when it comes to foreign policy and security issues…

There is a Harkonnon amongst us.

Bulletchaser on February 22, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Coulter is a nitwit. Her argument against gay marriage is that she has to pay for it. Really?

She mentioned health care, unemployment, housing and food that she has to “pay for” for others. How is that relevant to gay marriage?

The problem is the sex of who’s getting married. The problem is the government allows benefits to married people that are not available to single people.

Make government marriage neutral.

ButterflyDragon on February 22, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Watch the video. The quoted section starts at an odd point and is thus misleading. Coulter was answering a question about the legalization of drugs when she made the point about “paying for it”.

If the nanny state is responsible for supporting you if you destroy yourself, then the nanny state has the right to prevent you from destroying yourself.

That’s just one more reason that the nanny state is fundamentally unworkable — it naturally leads to totalitarianism. And sure enough, communist states turn totalitarian with a wondrous consistency.

Pythagoras on February 22, 2013 at 1:28 PM

That was enlightening on a personal level. I had fancied myself a libertarian, but in watching the video, I COMPLETELY agreed with Coulter, and found the students and Stossel to be argumentative and academic in their viewpoints – detatched from the real world.

It is not the biggest issue, but I do not understand why these peopple have such a problem with marriage between a man and woman being something fundamentally different than any other kind of relationship. Biology, science, and God are on the side of man/woman marriage. Other relationships can be recognized and “supported”, but they simply are not and cannot be the same.

Anyone who disagrees with that has my deepest scorn and disrespect.

connertown on February 22, 2013 at 1:29 PM

“We’re living in a country that is 70-percent socialist, the government takes 60 percent of your money. They are taking care of your health care, of your pensions. They’re telling you who you can hire, what the regulations will be. And you want to suck up to your little liberal friends and say, ‘Oh, but we want to legalize pot.’ You know, if you’re a little more manly you would tell them what your position on employment discrimination is. How about that? But it’s always ‘We want to legalize pot.’”

Stossel then asked: “Why can’t gays get married?” …

Proving Coutler’s point.

Cleombrotus on February 22, 2013 at 1:30 PM

connertown on February 22, 2013 at 1:29 PM

And you,sir (or madam) have my deepest respect.

Cleombrotus on February 22, 2013 at 1:32 PM

First, civil law stipulates conditions for the marriage just as it stipulates conditions for all contracts. To emend the law is not really the same as the state imposing anything on anyone.

Yes it is. The state is imposing the conditions of marriage on the entire populace. Of course they are.

If the state imposes the law of Sharia marriage and allows nine-year old brides then that is the law imposed on everyone.

casuist on February 22, 2013 at 1:27 PM

The point is that libertarians sure do want the government to step in an awful lot for a group that claims they want the government out of everyones business.

Why not have a private ceremony and leave it to the individuals to sort out? Leave the icky social conservatives to suffer under the state controlled marriage contract.

sharrukin on February 22, 2013 at 1:34 PM


So? You don’t have to usurp, condemn and eradicate the sanctity of marriage for want of a tweak to the tax code.

Actually married people pay more in taxes.

‘Sanctity’ is not a concept consistent with the secular character of a civil society. OTOH People in married relationships should enjoy special legal privileges with respect especially to each other not because marriage is sacred, or sanctified, but because it probably THE primary institution of a civil society, and an institution on which every other institution depends.

casuist on February 22, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Welfare is social engineering
Affirmative action is social engineering
Hate crimes is social engineering
our entire public education system is social engineering
All catering to the lowest common denominator.

Bevan on February 22, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Other relationships can be recognized and “supported”, but they simply are not and cannot be the same.

Anyone who disagrees with that has my deepest scorn and disrespect.

connertown on February 22, 2013 at 1:29 PM

Can be, but when the state makes it so, they are forced to be.

Feel free to lay me down with scorn and disrespect. I have no need of either from you.

astonerii on February 22, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Coulter “jumped the shark” with her “love” for Romney, Christie…and oh yeah…Bill Maher. (Coming from someone who used to like her and bought two of her book)

Clink on February 22, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Man, I could have said all that. including the books! Bleg!

astonerii on February 22, 2013 at 1:38 PM


If the state imposes the law of Sharia marriage and allows nine-year old brides then that is the law imposed on everyone.

OK., so, you agree completely with your same-sex couple brothers and sisters who insist that you are imposing your values on them. Do you see how that works? We’re talking about the conditions that govern voluntary associations in contract law, which is civil law, which is different from, say, immigration policy, or reorganizing the health-care system, a major imposition foisted on us by Romney-Obama.

casuist on February 22, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Why can’t the question be, how do we wean people off trading freedom for a little temporary security?

Speakup on February 22, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Wino on February 22, 2013 at 12:49 PM

They can marry each other too, just not through the government. Nothing says “libertarian” like government endorsement of your personal relationships.

Darth Executor on February 22, 2013 at 1:42 PM

OK., so, you agree completely with your same-sex couple brothers and sisters who insist that you are imposing your values on them.

casuist on February 22, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Of course we are.

We also impose our values when we say that you cannot force a woman to have sex against her will, and when we say that taking cash that isn’t legally yours is a crime. Those are moral judgments that we impose on the entire nation.

Almost all law is codified morality.

sharrukin on February 22, 2013 at 1:44 PM


The point is that libertarians sure do want the government to step in an awful lot for a group that claims they want the government out of everyones business.

And your single example is gay marriage, which is a civil issue grounded in contract law. So how do you respond to your gay brothers and sisters who make the very same argument?–they argue that you’re using the coercive power of the state to impose your values on them. Your only point of disagreement is that you want to the coercive power of the state to support your values, not theirs, which is kind of odd, don’t you think?

casuist on February 22, 2013 at 1:44 PM

They can marry each other too, just not through the government. Nothing says “libertarian” like government endorsement of your personal relationships.

Darth Executor on February 22, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Actually, my view of libertarianism as practiced by those who self identify as such is that they not only want government endorsement of their choices, but government ENFORCEMENT to prevent them from being faced with consequences imposed by others on their choices.

astonerii on February 22, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Speakup on February 22, 2013 at 1:40 PM

It is worse than that. The people trade freedom for the appearance of personal peace (security) and affluence. What they really get is neither and the lost degree of freedom is gone, gone, gone.

chemman on February 22, 2013 at 1:44 PM

She’s great.

Rusty Allen on February 22, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Rusty…my question is…would you?

KOOLAID2 on February 22, 2013 at 1:45 PM


Of course we are.

Well, there you go. (No wonder conservatives have lost the debate.)

casuist on February 22, 2013 at 1:45 PM

…with a huge, resounding exception when it comes to foreign policy and security issues…

There is a Harkonnon amongst us.

Bulletchaser on February 22, 2013 at 1:28 PM

BWAHAHAHAHAHAH…. <—– wipes tear from eye… How many people will get that reference?

SWalker on February 22, 2013 at 1:48 PM

Love ‘em both.

Johnny 100 Pesos on February 22, 2013 at 1:48 PM

Why can’t the question be, how do we wean people off trading freedom for a little temporary security?

Speakup on February 22, 2013 at 1:40 PM

It shouldn’t be the question, because your absolutist stance is not a rational one, though it doesn’t stop many people from believing it. I mean we could do away with the police force for some additional freedom, but most of us aren’t going to do that. Freedom and security are both goods we value. We will always face a trade-off and sometimes we will decide on the side of security. And anyway, if there is no security, there is no freedom.

By the way, if the people quoting Benjamin Franklin had bothered to read the rest of Franklin’s idea they would have found that he was far practical and moderate to not be horrified by how it is being used today.

thuja on February 22, 2013 at 1:49 PM

Your only point of disagreement is that you want to the coercive power of the state to support your values, not theirs, which is kind of odd, don’t you think?

casuist on February 22, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Why do you think that is odd? I am not a libertarian and I don’t belief for one heartbeat that the government can be morally neutral. It has never been that way and never will.

Someone’s morality will be imposed and I would rather it be the one the founders believed in derived from Christianity. I don’t believe in God and have never been a Christian but I know what works, and kicking out the foundations of society is doing the work for the statists. Big government will out of necessity step in to impose order from the anarchy that libertarians would create.

sharrukin on February 22, 2013 at 1:50 PM

you are imposing your values on them.

casuist on February 22, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Well, there you go. (No wonder conservatives have lost the debate.)

casuist on February 22, 2013 at 1:45 PM

I am not a fan of rape so I choose to impose that morality on others. I don’t think it should be an optional choice.

sharrukin on February 22, 2013 at 1:51 PM

Love ‘em both.

Johnny 100 Pesos on February 22, 2013 at 1:48 PM

Me too. Even though I come here and argue the social liberal side of issues, Ann Coulter is my favorite politcal commentator bar none. She is right that the political situation that confronts us is a too huge government. I will support whoever the Republican candidate is in 2016–even it is someone like Rick Santorum. I would like the social cons to make the same commitment to support him or her. We need to take America back from the Left.

thuja on February 22, 2013 at 1:53 PM

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