Palin, Bachmann, and the Political Game

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Shortly after Sarah Palin was declared the vice presidential nominee by John McCain, many libertarians hailed her as simply one of the greatest human beings on the face of the planet. The fact that she once said something nice about Ron Paul caused the more naive members of the freedom movement to swoon, and (apparently) the fact that she was campaigning for John McCain—one of the worst big-government warmongers in modern history (for 60 hours each week)—seemed to not matter at all.

Now I’ll admit that I even said a nice thing or two about Palin because, let’s face it, she’s certainly not like the usual Washington political drone. However, her commitment to the GOP party line was never truly in doubt, and her support for John McCain was really all we needed to know. If there was ever a good litmus test for someone’s status as a supporter of small government, peace, and liberty, one’s support for John McCain is quite a good one.

Now Bachmann is the new Palin. Michelle Bachmann, a warmonger drug warrior from Minnesota who supports warrantless wiretapping and who supported the “surge” in Iraq and refuses to oppose the endless and immoral war in Afghanistan, is being hailed as a libertarian hero by faux libertarian/conservative types who are apparently suckered in every time someone says anything nice about Ron Paul.

In a recent comment, I noted that Bachmann, who thinks it’s fine to drop bombs on Afghani toddlers, didn’t seem so bad when she was speaking well of Ron Paul’s Audit the Fed bill. I also noted in the comment that Bachmann had taken a page from the Dick Cheney playbook and labeled her opponents “Anti-American”—which is the epithet of choice for hysterical neo-cons like David Frum and Cheney, for whom “patriotism” is always the last refuge.

The response from some was shock and dismay that I would ever criticize such a magnificent libertarian as Bachmann because, well, she has on one or two occasions done a libertarian thing (when she’s not persecuting drug users or advocating for mass murder in Iraq and Afghanistan, of course). Well, Karen De Coster has already soundly dealt with this topic, so I don’t need to go through it again, and Karen’s blog also carried a relevant comment from a reader:

I happen to be in Michelle’s congressional district, so I’ve seen her antics over the years.

I do applaud many of her actions recently—but in my opinion, she is a chameleon that needs to be watched closely.

I ‘joined’ the Republican Party during the last election cycle simply to support Dr. Paul, and I had to sit thru a few speeches by Michelle. At our senate district convention last year, she spewed fear mongering to the max in order to justify and support unconstitutional spying and wire tapping. At our congressional district convention a few weeks later, she simply avoided the subject in order to ‘walk the line’ that all politicians do. On foreign policy, the woman is an imperialist war monger.

Recently, she voted ‘yes’ to the U.S. resolution in support of Israel’s oppression over Palestine.

Even more recently she voted ‘yes’ to the U.S. resolution to support ‘human rights’ in Iran.

She’s also a totalitarian with regard to the ‘war on drugs’. Her history also shows that she’s opposed to voluntary unions between same-sex individuals.

A libertarian she IS NOT.

In spite of all that, I was informed that Bachmann is untouchable because, well, she invited Ron Paul to speak at an event. I suspect that the story behind that one is most likely told most truthfully by The First Post blog:

In an apparently desperate effort to attract a good crowd, it was Bachmann who had persuaded Paul to make the journey. In the event—as any freshman student of American politics could have predicted—Bachmann, a keen advocate of regime change in Iraq and of the campaign in Afghanistan, was forced to sit on her hands while Paul waxed lyrical on the need to end all military operations and keep government out of people’s lifestyles, whether at home or abroad.

Ron Paul can bring in the crowds, and Bachmann, a savvy politician, knows what to do. And she has certainly been successful since some have fallen for her ploy hook, line, and sinker. Paul commended Bachmann on her (few) good deeds and was a gracious guest of Bachmann.  He used the forum to deliver his message of peace and freedom in spite of the fact that the warmongering nationalist Bachmann was sitting mere feet away. Bachmann sat quietly by because she wants to capitalize on Paul’s popularity.

So, Paul knows what he’s doing, but the gullible within the freedom movement fall all over themselves making friends with any politician who isn’t 100% vile. These are usually political activist types who are always thinking in terms of alliances and strategies and elections and compromises.

But no thanks, I have no desire to play that game, and I have better things to do than pathetically try to convince myself that secret libertarians are hiding in every corner of the US Capitol.

When politicians support Ron Paul or his bills, or if they engage in any other truly libertarian action such as slashing defense spending, opposing wars, or cutting taxes, they should be lauded for those actions specifically, and we should continue to criticize them for their unlibertarian actions, which are usually numerous. They shouldn’t be declared swell folks simply for voting the right way on a bill one time or saying something nice about Ron Paul or mentioning Ludwig Von Mises. Are we that desperate to believe that people in government aren’t really that bad?Because if we are, we’re all going to end up extremely disappointed.

10:57 pm on September 30, 2009