Co-opting the Freedom Movement

Smell that? It’s the distinct odor of bovine excrement steaming from Matt Kibbe’s cow pie: “Future Of GOP Is In Its ‘Big-Tent Libertarian’ Base”

Hear that? It’s the plaintive wail of the President of “Freedomworks”, a 501(c)3, trolling for your tax-deductible donations to replenish credibility and operating capitol in the wake of getting Dick’d by Armey to the tune of their $8M “divorce”.

After a fashion, Freedomworks works but it’s damned expensive. On the other hand, there’s a lotta money in working Freedom – so to speak.

On the surface, the piece looks analytical, reasonable, with a positive lilt, opining about the GOP’s bright future prospects under the newly christened “Big Tent Libertarian” Tent, formerly the “Big Republican (Libertarians Are All Lobotomized Wackos”) Tent.” Since the piece was written for Investors Business Daily, that may be understandable. However, my experience with IBD editorial personnel would suggest they lean fairly libertarian already.

Regardless, a closer examination doesn’t pass the smell test.

As the saying goes: “If you can’t dazzle them with logic, baffle them with bullshit” and nothing gets the job done better than several paragraphs loaded with percentages, polling data, pie charts and similar soporific sophistry.

“Big Tent Libertarian”

The “Big Tent Libertarian” language is the tip-off. The GOP in general and Mainstream Republicans in particular have had little regard or respect for libertarians, seen mainly as competitors for hearts, minds and votes; not so much dollars since Libertarians don’t even support their own candidates. Up until the Age of The O, the GOP Leadership Machine (of which Armey was once a big cog) played Back Bench Bombers when not in a majority and Democrat Lite when they were. Obama’s radical plunge to the Left of Left helped expose the uber-wimpyness and even some complicity of the Boehner-led [sic] House majority. Despite all the patently ignored on-line petitions, emails, snail mails, phone calls, town hall meetings, FaceBook “Likes” and Million Sentient Being Marches, principled stands for Freedom and Liberty were sacrificed to the O-God of Hope in getting Valentines from ABCCBSNBCCNNFOX News anchors.

The GOP’s long history of congenital spinelessness finally made it to Stark Contrast when a recent avalanche of polls and pie charts showed super-strong support for GOP push-back against Obamacare, “Continuing Resolutions” and the general squandering of lives, money, opportunity and political advantage in favor of Statism, Gangster-style. But the Push wasn’t even a Nudge. Speaker John “Hic!” Boehner met with Obama, golfed with Obama, dined with Obama and ultimately caved to Obama. Mitch McConnell apparently doesn’t play golf but that didn’t stop him from failing to go beyond a few snarky mumbles about Reid the Repulsive.

But just as Putin played Obama as Garry Kasparov played me (checkmate in 1 move), the D’s played the R’s openly, brazenly, wantonly. The Republican response: “Thank you, sir, may I have another?”

Not only has Frustration reached the boiling point among the GUC (Great Unwashed Constituency), Leadership failings have been big enough for the most politically apathetic to see, even with both eyes slammed shut. But that’s not the really bad news.

While the Boehner-Mitchell House/Senate Tag Team was putting on an Academy Award-losing performance for Opposition Leadership, pissed-off Republicans and Conservatives were getting an earful of the Ron Paul vision that logically, reasonably, historically, academically and irrefutably preached the gospel of Freedom, Liberty, Constitutionality and Economic Sanity in words so plain even folks in Toledo could understand. (Actually most there didn’t understand at all — but that’s because their Union steward told them not to).

The Boehner-Mitchell GOP Establishment Machine took note of the movement, yet they comprehended it not. But they damn sure knew what it meant to their gang of gut-challenged sociopaths who, despite holding the proverbial “purse strings” as House majority, couldn’t unify – under sober leadership – and enforce measurable fiscal responsibility. Despite the 2010 “Big Sweep”, Integrity has a damn short shelf-life among the unprincipled standard issue Republicans — but Statism endures ad nauseam.

But hey now! We needn’t be casting aspersions inside this new Big Libertarian Tent Base…tent. No more of this “”mind your place and get in line” crap, Right? Right!

“The ethos of the “big-tent libertarian” is simple: Don’t hurt others. Don’t take their stuff. Apply the same laws to yourself that you impose on the rest of us.” Right? Right!

“According to the poll, 68% of Republican voters believe that “individuals should be free to do as they like as long as they don’t hurt others….” Right? Right!

“This big-tent libertarian constituency isn’t a small camp of eccentrics who discuss the merits and pitfalls of Objectivism while wearing Von Mises T-shirts.” Right? Rig…Oh my…

Well….so…will Tact, Diplomacy, Tolerance and all the “eccentric Objectivists with Von Mises T-shirts” take your discussions and follow the Big Brawny Men out the back door in a “Non-Aggression” sorta way? Groovy. Thanks ever so…

Think there may be some Big Tent Libertarian issues here? Or have GOP Big Shots narrowed their prejudices down to inconvenient Objectivists and pesky Austrian School economists?

Small and big “L” libertarians need to know Republicans and “Conservatives” must and will attempt to co-op the libertarian mantel. They need to re-brand the disorganized GOP so why not swipe “libertarian” since polls show voters getting comfortable with its essential message. Of course, they don’t actually become libertarians or assimilate the principles. That would mean adherence to the Constitution, Natural Law, Bill of Rights, Liberty, free markets, economic sanity, human dignity, eschewing aggression, imperialism and flipping the bird to the Military-Media Complex. Big “L” Libertarians need to recall Bob Barr and Wayne Allen Root as two of the most recent opportunists who couldn’t make the leap to hyper-Freedom (see Star Wars, 1977) but thought running for President as a Libertarian would be just…swell. Today, Bob Barr lists 3 different political affilations; Wayne Allen Root claims just two while holding out hope for another run for something as a Republican: “He is a fiscal conservative in the mode of Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater.” Maybe running for LP VP under Barr traumatized Freedom right out of him. At least that would be understandable.

Beware the pretty sounding, publicly appealing clichés, charts, graphs, and polls that play that old political Siren Song of Opportunity and Compromise.

Anything meaningful would be just too…too….”eccentric”. Reminding statist zealots of these hard, cold facts is like speaking in tongues to the deaf.

Political Theatre

LRC Blog

LRC Podcasts