Sanders attacks Koch’s anti-tax Libertarian 1980 campaign, himself ran radically anti-tax Liberty Union 1976 campaign

via the official Facebook page of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

The document quoted is the 1980 Libertarian Party Platform, not anything personal to David Koch or particular to his candidacy for Vice President that year.  To the chagrin of some in the party, the Clark/Koch ’80 campaign actually did not openly advocating the abolition of all taxes, instead calling for substantial tax decreases. Clark’s use of the phrase “low-tax liberal” to describe himself, as well as generally downplaying or rejecting more radical libertarian planks, was one of the causes of the split that lead the Koch brothers (along with campaign manager Ed Crane) to leave the Libertarian Party shortly thereafter. Aside from funding the campaign, David did not actively campaign himself in 1980. 

It’s noteworthy that Bernie Sanders would choose to bring up the radical anti-tax policies of minor parties from that era. The Liberty Union Party, which Bernie Sanders was a frequent candidate and leader of from 1971 until 1977, called for the abolition of taxation on all but the rich. One of the slogans of Bernie’s 1976 campaign for Governor of Vermont was “Vote Tax Relief.” Like David Koch and the LP, Sanders eventually parted ways with the Liberty Union Party, denouncing its ineffectiveness and internal ideological divisions.

bernie-sanders-vote-tax-relief

70 thoughts on “Sanders attacks Koch’s anti-tax Libertarian 1980 campaign, himself ran radically anti-tax Liberty Union 1976 campaign

  1. Green_w_o_Adjectives

    Bernie would gain huge traction if he called for a repeal of payroll taxes to be replaced by additional taxes on the 1% or simply in cut-backs to military spending and/or corporate welfare. But to be fair I don’t see ANY candidate calling for the abolition of payroll taxes, even though everybody knows these taxes, like the rent, are too damn high.

  2. Bondurant

    Sanders is old hat controlled opposition. His supporters will be swooning over Hillary once he drops out.

    No one should be taxed at a higher rate. Abolish all taxes on income.

  3. paulie

    GwoA,

    I’m with you regarding payroll taxes. I think they are even worse than the income tax.

    Actually, there are some candidates that are calling for repealing them. If I understand correctly the “fair” tax people would repeal them. Unfortunately, there are other things about the “fair” tax that I think make it even worse than the taxes we have now. Also, I may be wrong on this one, but I think Randal Paul’s tax proposal would eliminate the payroll tax. I would have to double check.

    I would also agree with your prescription to cut military and corporate welfare spending. If I was choosing where to start cutting, those would be great places to start – although we would likely differ on cutting everything else eventually as well (or maybe not – I think you may have said something about being anarcho-syndicalist?)….

    As for raising taxes on the 1%, that wouldn’t work as well, because some of them would move to other countries, or move their businesses or assets to other countries, and others would hire fewer workers or cut back hours or raises, benefits, bonuses, etc. However, I do think we need to start with cutting their corporate welfare perks, stop shielding them from upstart business competition through red tape, and stop exempting them from prosecution for white collar crime.

  4. Robert Capozzi

    My lean is that Hillary will not be the nominee. Way too damaged, way too many skeletons.

  5. Green_w_o_Adjectives

    “As for raising taxes on the 1%, that wouldn’t work as well, because some of them would move to other countries, or move their businesses or assets to other countries, and others would hire fewer workers or cut back hours or raises, benefits, bonuses, etc. However, I do think we need to start with cutting their corporate welfare perks, stop shielding them from upstart business competition through red tape, and stop exempting them from prosecution for white collar crime.”

    As you know I’m no longer a believer in capitalism these days, so I do tend to agree that raising taxes on the 1%, financial transaction taxes, increasing corporate taxes etc are basically Utopian dreams and that it’s already been shown they won’t work in the long run. That said, I’m sure you’ve heard the truism, often repeated by financial professionals, that the actual tax rate (after deductibles, etc) is about 15% even for the rich. The poor probably pay about that or a little more in payroll taxes, and hopefully get some of that back in their tax refund.

    So apparently the authorities seem to actually force the rich to pay up appoximately 15% of their annual income in taxes….If they’re capable of doing that, why is it impossible that the rich could be forced to pay more? Like cutting corporate welfare and prosecuting financial crime, this seems to be a question of leverage and willpower. The corporate elites have it, and Americans citizens don’t.

    The point about moving abroad is of course true, but we should keep in mind, when evaluating our policies, that we do precisely this disservice to nations like Germany and Sweden who offer elite educational services and then often lose these graduates to the United States. This only plays into the hands of the elite banksters and the tendency for their capital to accumulate to the point where they own and control everything and we have no way of resisting them.

  6. Thomas L. Knapp

    I’d put Clinton’s chances of getting the Democratic nomination at about 1 in 20 and falling. If she doesn’t drop out and no one else substantial drops in, Sanders may be the nominee by default.

    When (if?) Biden jumps in, Clinton’s chances take a quick drop to 1 in 50, then continue falling.

    The only real question about Clinton’s candidacy is how long she plans to hang in there and keep dragging her party’s chances down with her own.

    As for Sanders, he’s just another politician. Half the positions attributed to him by supporters are directly contradicted by his actual voting record.

  7. Robert Capozzi

    pf, that’s a LOT tougher to call. Both the R and Ds are in disarray, as I see it. Trump has completely disrupted the R field, to the point that anything’s possible. The D bench is light. Biden, Gore and Kerry are all over the hill. Sanders is completely unelectable AND over the hill. Webb lacks charisma, and O’Malley does a decent imitation of charisma, albeit a plastic one. And his record is weak.

    All are long shots, but I’d say O’Malley or Warren. Biden is the longest shot, although SOMEHOW or other, he might be their “safest” choice. I could even imagine this wacky scenario: Michelle Obama.

    We are entering the silliest of seasons.

  8. Jed Ziggler

    I keep hearing that Trump and Sanders are unelectable. If they both win their parties’ nominations, does that mean Gary Johnson has a shot after all?

  9. paulie

    I keep hearing that Trump and Sanders are unelectable. If they both win their parties’ nominations, does that mean Gary Johnson has a shot after all?

    I think it’s more likely they would not be able to get those parties’ nominations. I think Trump may have a legitimate shot as an independent. Johnson may have a shot with a multi-billionaire running mate.

  10. paulie

    Both the R and Ds are in disarray, as I see it. Trump has completely disrupted the R field, to the point that anything’s possible.

    Agreed except for the last part. Lots of things ARE possible, but as a practical matter, not quite anything. I think Bush probably still has their inside track, though.

    Biden, Gore and Kerry are all over the hill. Sanders is completely unelectable AND over the hill. Webb lacks charisma, and O’Malley does a decent imitation of charisma, albeit a plastic one. And his record is weak.

    All are long shots, but I’d say O’Malley or Warren. Biden is the longest shot, although SOMEHOW or other, he might be their “safest” choice. I could even imagine this wacky scenario: Michelle Obama.

    Yep.

  11. Robert Capozzi

    jz, it seems highly unlikely that that would happen: Trump v Sanders. But if it did, no, IMO, GJ’s fringy-ness is even more unelectable. I don’t see widespread challenging of the cult of the omnipotent state, manifesting as a vote for the L, GJ or otherwise. Odds are high that GJ will again get +/- 1%,

  12. Robert Capozzi

    p: I think Bush probably still has their inside track, though.

    me: Yes. Likely.

  13. Jed Ziggler

    Personally I’m going with history. Republicans traditionally pick the reliable establishment candidate, Democrats pick is a little more extreme. It’s Bush v. Sanders in 2016, and Sanders wins. It is impossible for the GOP to win this election no matter who either party picks.

  14. paulie

    I’d put Clinton’s chances of getting the Democratic nomination at about 1 in 20 and falling.

    I’m open to the possibility she may not be the nominee – I thought she was a lock in 2008, and I was wrong. But I still think her chances are much better than that. Scandal ridden? So was Bill, before Term One, and he got in anyway.

    If she doesn’t drop out and no one else substantial drops in, Sanders may be the nominee by default.

    Only if the Democrats are super-suicidal, and I don’t think they are.

    The only real question about Clinton’s candidacy is how long she plans to hang in there and keep dragging her party’s chances down with her own.

    I think she values herself far above her party, her country, or anything else for that matter. She struck me as incredibly self-centered 30 years ago and I doubt that has changed.

    As for Sanders, he’s just another politician. Half the positions attributed to him by supporters are directly contradicted by his actual voting record.

    Yep!

  15. paulie

    Personally I’m going with history. Republicans traditionally pick the reliable establishment candidate, Democrats pick is a little more extreme.

    First part is correct. Second, not so much. Democrats picks may be more unexpected, but not really likely to be more extreme. McGovern, sure, but then the Republicans had Goldwater. Usually, Demorats are just as apt to go to the middle.

    It’s Bush v. Sanders in 2016, and Sanders wins.

    I’ll take that action. Anyone want to bet real money that Sanders will be our next president? I will bet against it. If Bush and Sanders are the nominees, either Bush wins in a landslide or Trump beats the shit out of both of them as an independent.

    It is impossible for the GOP to win this election no matter who either party picks.

    Disagreed. When was the last time a Democrat succeeded another Democrat who had not died in office as potus? I can’t think of a single example in the 20th or 21st centuries. Right now my guess is the Republicans are more likely to win than the Democrats are.

  16. Jed Ziggler

    When you look at the electoral map I don’t seehow it’s possible. The Democrats just have too many big “safe” states. Not to count votes before they’re cast, but I juat don’t think it’s possible for the GOP to win.

  17. paulie

    As you know I’m no longer a believer in capitalism these days, so I do tend to agree that raising taxes on the 1%, financial transaction taxes, increasing corporate taxes etc are basically Utopian dreams and that it’s already been shown they won’t work in the long run. That said, I’m sure you’ve heard the truism, often repeated by financial professionals, that the actual tax rate (after deductibles, etc) is about 15% even for the rich. The poor probably pay about that or a little more in payroll taxes, and hopefully get some of that back in their tax refund.

    I think the really rich pay even less – but there I’m talking more the 0.01% than the 1%.

    So apparently the authorities seem to actually force the rich to pay up appoximately 15% of their annual income in taxes….If they’re capable of doing that, why is it impossible that the rich could be forced to pay more?

    It depends on which rich. The super-rich seem capable of finding or creating custom loopholes. The slightly rich have to get by with minimizing, not eliminating, their tax bite.

    Like cutting corporate welfare and prosecuting financial crime, this seems to be a question of leverage and willpower. The corporate elites have it, and Americans citizens don’t.

    That’s part of it, but there are also the reasons I gave earlier, which you quoted:

    “As for raising taxes on the 1%, that wouldn’t work as well, because some of them would move to other countries, or move their businesses or assets to other countries, and others would hire fewer workers or cut back hours or raises, benefits, bonuses, etc. However, I do think we need to start with cutting their corporate welfare perks, stop shielding them from upstart business competition through red tape, and stop exempting them from prosecution for white collar crime.”

    GwoA continues,

    The point about moving abroad is of course true, but we should keep in mind, when evaluating our policies, that we do precisely this disservice to nations like Germany and Sweden who offer elite educational services and then often lose these graduates to the United States. This only plays into the hands of the elite banksters and the tendency for their capital to accumulate to the point where they own and control everything and we have no way of resisting them.

    So what’s your solution to this? I hope it doesn’t involve limiting migration.

  18. paulie

    When you look at the electoral map I don’t seehow it’s possible. The Democrats just have too many big “safe” states.

    The assumptions about which states are safe are based on past results. Those results can be changed by the dynamics of the race, real world conditions (economic, foreign policy, etc), campaign spending, major independent(s) in the race (throwing it to the House, maybe?), who the nominees are (for example, if one of them is Sanders, or if it’s Clinton and her scandals blow up much bigger during the general election campaign, etc), and so on.

  19. Jed Ziggler

    True, but I hear so many voters, some of whom are most certainly NOT liberals, who don’t even consider voting Repub because of their radical social agenda. I think the GOP has royally fucked themselves, and while I won’t take your bet on Sanders winning, I do feel 100% safe putting money down that our next president is a Democrat. Not much though I don’t have much.

  20. paulie

    GJ’s fringy-ness is even more unelectable.

    isidewith.com had GJ as the next president with several million people (granted, self-selected sample) based solely on issues. We’re not as fringe as you may think.

    There is a major campaign funding gap however, and the debate exclusions.

  21. paulie

    True, but I hear so many voters, some of whom are most certainly NOT liberals, who don’t even consider voting Repub because of their radical social agenda. I think the GOP has royally fucked themselves, and while I won’t take your bet on Sanders winning, I do feel 100% safe putting money down that our next president is a Democrat. Not much though I don’t have much.

    I could stand to part with 5 bucks. I’m less sure the Democrats will lose than that Sanders won’t be president, but I’m willing to bet a small amount on the first one for sport. The second? Someone step up, I want to bet big on that one 🙂

  22. Jill Pyeatt

    I’m glad to see others who aren’t convinced Hillary will be our next President, since It seems that many people just assume she’ll be the next White House occupant. I don’t think it will be her scandals though. I predict it will be her health that kicks her out of the running, whether it’s the true situation or not.

  23. paulie

    I don’t think she will be the next president either. I do still think she is more likely than not to be the next D-nom.

    If Trump throws it to the House and the House goes to Bush even though Bush is not the plurality winner of the popular vote, expect a constitutional amendment or even convention, I think. That would be the second Bush brother elected without a popular vote plurality.

  24. Mark Axinn

    >I think she values herself far above her party, her country, or anything else for that matter. She struck me as incredibly self-centered 30 years ago and I doubt that has changed.

    Spot-on analysis Paulie. With the Clintons, it’s all about them (and money of course).

    Personally, I don’t see Sanders winning even one primary, and certainly not getting the nomination. So that leaves Uncle Joe as the last hope against the Hill and Bill Machine.

    I agree with comments above that Trump has really fucked with the Republican s.o.p. Here’s hoping he can keep it up.

  25. paulie

    I agree with comments above that Trump has really fucked with the Republican s.o.p. Here’s hoping he can keep it up.

    An ill wind blows…

  26. Andy Craig

    Even aside from the Electoral College, there’s an underlying demographic reality: Republicans can get ~60% of traditional white voters (as both Reagan and Romney did), they’re not going to win without ~40%+ of the Hispanic vote.

    Maybe Jeb Bush could do that (his brother was the last one to), but it’s hard to imagine coming out of the most vitriolic pandemic of immigrant-bashing we’ve seen yet in a GOP primary, that whoever the GOP nominates will pull that off even if they’re an immigration moderate. Particularly since it is widely rumored that Hillary (who I still think will be the Dem nom.) plans to select a Hispanic running mate (most likely Julian Castro).

    That’s assuming an effective two-party race of course, which I also think is also still the most likely scenario.

  27. paulie

    That’s assuming an effective two-party race of course, which I also think is also still the most likely scenario.

    Supposing the Republicans are in as dire straits as you think, it probably won’t be. Too easy to throw a billionaire in there to just get it to the House if that’s the case.

  28. Andy Craig

    That’s hardly a sure strategy. Perot didn’t get any electoral votes, much less enough to deny a plurality, and his support did have some relatively strong regional concentration in smaller states (Mountain West + Upper New England). Both times the Dixiecrats tried it, they managed to snag Southern states but didn’t affect the result or throw it to the House.

    Who would they put up that could actually do well enough to win a big chunk of states, while the GOP still gets enough states to together deny the Dems 270EVs? The thing is by the time the GOP campaign has collapsed to the point where a third party is winning states, the Dem is going to be so far ahead it’s unlikely they won’t win a commanding EC majority. I can see a third-party winning some states, I can see the two-party race being very close in the EC, but it’s hard to see both happening, or at least the chances of it aren’t enough to bet a whole strategy on. Nor is there any likely contender running a billionaire-funded campaign from the left, I think Stein is going to be the most they have to worry about there.

  29. paulie

    That’s hardly a sure strategy. Perot didn’t get any electoral votes, much less enough to deny a plurality, and his support did have some relatively strong regional concentration in smaller states (Mountain West + Upper New England). Both times the Dixiecrats tried it, they managed to snag Southern states but didn’t affect the result or throw it to the House.

    Maybe this time the independent will be stronger, like Perot could have been if he hadn’t pulled the drop in and out and back in thing.

    Who would they put up that could actually do well enough to win a big chunk of states, while the GOP still gets enough states to together deny the Dems 270EVs?

    Well, for example, Trump.

    Or the latest rumor I heard, Mark Cuban as the LP candidate.

    I’m sure there are lots of other possibilities.

    Bloomberg, perhaps?

    More than one?

    The thing is by the time the GOP campaign has collapsed to the point where a third party is winning states, the Dem is going to be so far ahead it’s unlikely they won’t win a commanding EC majority.

    I wouldn’t presume most of the independent/alt party votes would be won away from Republicans, as opposed to from Democrats. And in any case, een if it’s from Republicans, so long as no one has an EC majority the House does get its say.

    Nor is there any likely contender running a billionaire-funded campaign from the left, I think Stein is going to be the most they have to worry about there.

    Agreed. Center seems more likely.

    Even aside from the Electoral College, there’s an underlying demographic reality: Republicans can get ~60% of traditional white voters (as both Reagan and Romney did), they’re not going to win without ~40%+ of the Hispanic vote.

    I’ve seen this analysis before, and even passed it on. What it may not take into account, though, are all the non-voters. Maybe Trump will inspire a lot of racist whites who haven’t been voting to come off the sidelines? Just to take one possible example.

  30. Steve M

    “That said, I’m sure you’ve heard the truism, often repeated by financial professionals, that the actual tax rate (after deductibles, etc) is about 15% even for the rich.”

    That might be true for some portion of the rich…. but most of the rich are rich because they are working some sort of high paying job. They are Medical Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers whom own buisnesses. These the majority of the “rich” run up against the alternative minimum tax rate which puts you at 28%. After that you can’t write off mortgage payements, state income tax, property tax.. etc

    If you live in california your tax burden is more like 42% at least on the top end of your income.

    Hello Washington State.

  31. Andy Craig Post author

    “Maybe Trump will inspire a lot of racist whites who haven’t been voting to come off the sidelines? Just to take one possible example.”

    In greater numbers than the same voters turned out against Obama?

  32. Bondurant

    Trump’s future will be interesting to watch. A few states have the sore loser law. I believe the Secretary of State of Ohio has already stated could not be on their ballot if he goes rogue once competing in an actual primary.

    Clinton is becoming a liability but considering Bill remains popular she could be Teflon. I am flabbergasted that folks are now courting Joe Biden. He’s gaffe prone and creepy as hell. If the Democrats turn to Biden they are DOA.

    This election might turn out to be more interesting than I thought. I am hoping alternative parties to the Big Two see a record number of votes.

  33. Thomas L. Knapp

    “I am flabbergasted that folks are now courting Joe Biden. He’s gaffe prone and creepy as hell. If the Democrats turn to Biden they are DOA.”

    Well, it’s true that Biden would not be a great candidate.

    But so far, the Republicans don’t seem to be paying any significant attention to any candidate for THEIR nomination who could beat, say, Charles Manson in a head-to-head.

    The major party choices always come down to “really bad” versus “even worse,” but that seems especially pronounced to me in this cycle.

  34. paulie

    In greater numbers than the same voters turned out against Obama?

    Hope can inspire people that hatred alone can’t.

    Besides, some Klans endorsed Obama. They figured he’d bring the race war on sooner.

  35. paulie

    It’ll be interesting to see what, if any, charges are filed against Sanders’ wife.

    First I’ve heard… off to google….

    The major party choices always come down to “really bad” versus “even worse,” but that seems especially pronounced to me in this cycle.

    Yes. Which also means “could[n’t] beat, say, Charles Manson in a head-to-head” doesn’t necessarily disqualify any of them as potential oval office occupiers.

  36. Steve M

    I will openly support any presidential candidate that changes their name to “God Awful”.

  37. William Saturn

    This is the first I’ve heard of Mark Cuban potentially seeking the LP nomination. If so, that would be a major upgrade from Gary Johnson.

    “It takes a billionaire…” says Ralph Nader.

    Last I heard, Mark Cuban was interested in being Trump’s running mate if he ran as an Independent. A billionaire-billionaire ticket would be intriguing.

    I’ve heard speculation that Bloomberg was maybe interested in the Democratic Party nomination.

    Could you imagine a Trump (R) – Bloomberg (D) – Cuban (L) election?

  38. Robert Capozzi

    ws: Could you imagine a Trump (R) – Bloomberg (D) – Cuban (L) election?

    me: Yes. And even odder outcomes.

    But this reminds me…I’d like to amend my answer for likely D nominees…add Mayor Mike to the mix.

  39. paulie

    Last I heard, Mark Cuban was interested in being Trump’s running mate if he ran as an Independent.

    That’s probably more likely. My source, as well as his source, are both not exactly reliable. I did say it was a rumor.

  40. Mark Axinn

    >That might be true for some portion of the rich…. but most of the rich are rich because they are working some sort of high paying job. They are Medical Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers whom own buisnesses. These the majority of the “rich” run up against the alternative minimum tax rate which puts you at 28%. After that you can’t write off mortgage payements, state income tax, property tax.. etc
    >If you live in california your tax burden is more like 42% at least on the top end of your income.

    I live in New York. I pay NYS, NYC and Federal income tax, both sides of social security and medicare tax (self-employment tax alone is approx. 12% on first 110K, then approx. 3% on anything beyond that), alternative minimum tax, FUTA, NYC MTA tax, unincorporated business tax (I am a partner in a law firm) and others I cannot even remember.

    I work 50-60 hours per week for last 30-plus years and easily pay at least 40% of my gross income in taxes.

    I don’t know what planet G W/O A lives on, but if it’s in a high tax state like NY or CA, he needs to stop drinking leftie kool-aid and believing what the media tells him about affulent people.

    You know how every rich person I know got that way: Education and hard work.

  41. paulie

    Mark,

    Different levels of “rich” being discussed here. See

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2015/06/04/as-the-rich-become-super-rich-they-pay-lower-taxes-for-real/

    You may be rich compared to, say, me, but you are not rich in terms of what’s discussed in that article – at least not from what you have earned over the years as a working attorney. If you have family money or exceptionally prescient investments you might be rich that way, and it’s none of my business, but as far as I know you aren’t.

  42. Robert Capozzi

    pf: isidewith.com had GJ as the next president with several million people (granted, self-selected sample) based solely on issues. We’re not as fringe as you may think.

    me: Well, yes! If it’s broken down by the major issues of the day, I’ve long contended that large percentages of Americans are liberty-oriented…smaller government socially, economically, and militarily (kind of). Many congressional districts are winnable with such an approach, irrespective of party.

    Partisan Ls — even GJ — though take that general positioning to quite an extreme, making them unelectable. It’s abundantly predictable, given the penchant for holding high the banner and challenging the cult of the omnipotent state.

  43. Mark Axinn

    >If you have family money or exceptionally prescient investments you might be rich that way, and it’s none of my business, but as far as I know you aren’t.

    You are correct. I have some money in the bank, perhaps less in last two weeks, which is the result of hard work at a demandng job for 30 years. Many people work very hard and don’t ever make much money, but have other rewards doing good work. (Nurses come to mind.)

    As long as we are on my finances, I can give you some excellent advice on investments: If I buy it, sell! The first time I ever bought Johnson & Johnson stock was in the early 90’s just before the Tylenol scare. I must have that magic touch. 🙂

  44. Robert

    CORRECTION: Talk about poor research (if that) and the pot calling the kettle black!

    Whoever posted this doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The LP Platform at the time was not the candidate platform but for the activists. LP candidates developed their own 3-4 point programs. Koch had nothing to do with the platform development.

    Koch’s program called for a larger middle class exemption, homeschooling, and diminishing military intervention. Sanders actually had a more radical tax elimination program than Koch at the time similar to the LP Platform…

  45. Green_w_o_Adjectives

    Paulie says

    “So what’s your solution to this? I hope it doesn’t involve limiting migration.”

    There are no easy solutions. There are only tough solutions–solutions requiring effort and sacrifice. International solidarity. Sincere international dialogue about the power of this elite financial class. Real analysis of these problems from the perspective of ordinary people (rather than the parasitic elitist perspective offered by major media). A live international anti-war movement.

    In a phrase, actual grassroots democracy intended hold governments and corporations accountable.

    Unfortunately global capital has outflanked these potential solutions many times over which leaves us in the sorry situation we are in.

  46. paulie

    Well, yes! If it’s broken down by the major issues of the day, I’ve long contended that large percentages of Americans are liberty-oriented…smaller government socially, economically, and militarily (kind of). Many congressional districts are winnable with such an approach, irrespective of party.

    Partisan Ls — even GJ — though take that general positioning to quite an extreme, making them unelectable. It’s abundantly predictable, given the penchant for holding high the banner and challenging the cult of the omnipotent state.

    I’ve never seen GJ be all that extreme, much less “holding high the banner and challenging the cult of the omnipotent state,” at least in any explicit way.

    isidewith is a lot more comprehensive than the WSPQ (try it yourself, or try it again if it’s been a while). It’s pretty accurate too – GJ told me he sided with himself about 95% when he took it 🙂

    From their quiz I did not get the impression that isidewith presents GJ’s views as being more moderate than they actually are.

  47. Robert Capozzi

    pf: I’ve never seen GJ be all that extreme,

    me: I’d say his budget plan is just past edgy just into the fringe zone. The implication of the math would be highly disruptive, IMO. I do believe we disagree on this.

  48. paulie

    I think if he had the money and debate access of the establishent parties and their candidates he could well be competitive and might even win. Of course, I don’t expect those conditions to even closely be met.

  49. Robert Capozzi

    pf, yes, I agree. With the money would come time and advisors who could bring out the best in GJ, while offering the country a path toward liberty that is at once plausible, equitable, and compelling. Phoning in half-baked budget plans and (possibly cynical, pandering to a certain base) FAIR Tax plans don’t qualify for the big leagues.

    Positioning, tone, and authenticity are all vitally important in the game of politics, IMO. The ’12 effort involved some positive steps forward, but in other ways it had an amateur, crank feel to it. Not Invictus cranky, but with some of that flavor.

    GJ still needs a lot of TV coaching. He’s prone to careen into the weeds, to misframe answers, to execute awkward pauses. Given how wacky ’16 is shaping up, I could imagine he could really be the sane candidate this time. He might still be an impact player, even without enough resources.

  50. Jill Pyeatt

    Good question. I keep trying to spread the news about why Michelle Obama disbarred herself, but no one seems to care. I think her lack of ethics is much more serious than where the heck her husband was born.

  51. paulie

    GJ still needs a lot of TV coaching. He’s prone to careen into the weeds, to misframe answers, to execute awkward pauses. Given how wacky ’16 is shaping up, I could imagine he could really be the sane candidate this time. He might still be an impact player, even without enough resources.

    Agreed.

  52. Chuck Moulton

    Jill Pyeatt wrote:

    Good question. I keep trying to spread the news about why Michelle Obama disbarred herself, but no one seems to care. I think her lack of ethics is much more serious than where the heck her husband was born.

    She didn’t disbar herself. She changed her status to inactive — probably to avoid the larger annual fee and continuing legal education (CLE) requirements of active status.

    As an attorney, this makes complete sense to me. Each year I consider whether I should switch to inactive. Right now I am inactive in New Jersey, active in Pennsylvania and California.

    http://www.factcheck.org/2012/06/the-obamas-law-licenses/

  53. Robert Capozzi

    pf, thank you for the link. Why is this Bloomberg angle feeling more and more real?

  54. Mark Axinn

    >I’m sure I am not the only one who can use a search engine here.

    Yeah, but it’s so much easier for the rest of us when you do all the work. 🙂 🙂

  55. Mark Axinn

    >She didn’t disbar herself. She changed her status to inactive — probably to avoid the larger annual fee and continuing legal education (CLE) requirements of active status.

    When I was admitted (not committed) in 1982, there was no CLE requirement or attorney registration fee in New York. Then, the fee was forced down our throats: $25 every two years to reimburse clients of the .00001% of dishonest lawyers who steal from their escrow accounts. Well soon that became $50, of which $25 still went to reimburse defrauded clients and $25 went to overhead.

    The last time I renewed my license it was $375 plus $25 for a court ID card, and I expect an increase next year when I have to do it again. Probably still sending $25 to the client embezzlement fund, and the rest for government overhead. 🙁

    As far as CLE, Michelle Obama is far too important to spend 12 hours a year taking classes, especially the 2 credits in ethics.

  56. Andy Craig Post author

    When neither obviously has any intent of ever practicing law again, why would they bother to keep their license active? Though the idea of either of them delivering oral arguments in front of a jury post-White House is amusing, it’s not very realistic.

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