Bill Weld: ‘Now is the Time to Demand Term Limits for Members of Congress’

Bill Weld at The Jack News:

Given the performance of Congress so far this year – and the past several years, for that matter – now is a good time to talk about term limits for the U.S. House and Senate.

Let’s face it: From the annual failure to approve a real budget to the recent healthcare legislation debacle, it has never been more clear that Congress is dysfunctional. For the most part, it is incapable of fulfilling even the most basic responsibilities.

When they return to Washington in a couple of weeks after their district and state “work periods”, the House and Senate will have only days to resolve fundamental issues of the debt ceiling and how much the government will spend in the coming year. Those are time crunches of their own making and dysfunction, and in the private sector, would be job-ending irresponsibility.

Something has to change. Electing a handful more R’s or D’s on the edges every two years isn’t going to fix it, when even in a “change” election, more than 90 percent of Congress will end up being the same career politicians who are the issue.

Full article

61 thoughts on “Bill Weld: ‘Now is the Time to Demand Term Limits for Members of Congress’

  1. Troll

    This is terrible! If Weld becomes the nominee, Andy Jacobs will leave the LP. How will we even get on the ballot at all then?

  2. Ad Hoc

    It appears that Ron Nielson and Bill Weld must have settled their differences. During the campaign it was reported that they did not get along. However, just this week Bill Weld became an honorary board member of Ron Nielson’s OAI, and his columns now appear at Ron Nielson’s The Jack News.

  3. Anthony Dlugos

    Would Andy gather signatures for an LP prez ticket with Weld on top? What a dilemma! Gathering sigs for the CFR!

  4. Tony From Long Island

    Troll:

    This is terrible! If Weld becomes the nominee, Andy Jacobs will leave the LP. How will we even get on the ballot at all then?

    If that’s true, I’m all in for Weld!

  5. Tony From Long Island

    I Like Bill Weld, but we already have term limits. They are called elections.

  6. Anthony Dlugos

    yea, I don’t get into a frothy lather about term limits either, but there is one big advantage about mentioning them (and it may be the one GovWeld is thinking about): it gets customers (voters) nodding their head in agreement. Then you hit them with the TruCoat you were trying to sell them in the first place.

  7. John

    “we already have term limits. They are called elections.”

    Kind of, sort of. Incumbents enjoy huge advantages that make it far from a level playing field for anyone running against them, whether in a primary or a general election. Term limits would be an equalizer of sorts. For example, we already have term limits – and not just elections – for president.

  8. Anastasia Beaverhausen

    All term limits do is shuffle the deck. Career politicians just hop from job to job to job.

  9. Tony From Long Island

    John you have a very valid point, but term limits deny the people the person of their choice. If the people want to keep electing the same idiots to represent them, it’s their prerogative.

  10. Tony From Long Island

    Anastasia:

    All term limits do is shuffle the deck. Career politicians just hop from job to job to job.

    Very True. The first time I got really upset at a politician I was 16. At the end of the Memorial Day parade I marched in with the HS marching band, I had to sit through a speech by our State Assemblyman – Thomas Barraga. Parts of his speech included anti-abortion language – On Memorial Day!! Almost 30 years later I remember it well.

    After he was term-limited for that position, he became the county legislator for my district. This year he is finally term-limited out of that too. Good Riddance!

    However, I still don’t support term limits. People are entitled to vote for the same idiots over and over if they choose to.

  11. robert capozzi

    dL: Term limits would achieve nothing but a shift of power to the permanent congressional staff…

    me: Perhaps things have changed on the Hill from the days when I had more familiarity with how things worked up there, but back in the day Hill staff jobs were more stepping-stone jobs. Staffers came and went more frequently than MCs. Committee staff jobs might have lower turnover.

    Do you have information/insight that those jobs are more like slots in the permanent bureaucracy?

    It makes sense to me intuitively that if there were term limits, MCs would tend to vote less for the support offered by special interests and more for the general interest as they perceived it. Even if there is now a “permanent Hill staff class,” the MCs would be under no obligation to subscribe to staff recommendations.

    Term limits would likely not lead the government in a lessarchist direction, but I do still sense that it would be an improvement over the corrupted, morearchist-biased current configuration.

    I am open-minded, however.

  12. John

    “John you have a very valid point, but term limits deny the people the person of their choice. If the people want to keep electing the same idiots to represent them, it’s their prerogative.”

    That’s a nice theory but reality is a little different. People tend to vote for the candidate with better name recognition and a bigger advertising budget. Incumbents tend to have more name recognition and an easier time raising money than challengers. Furthermore incumbents have avenues where they can in effect “advertise” at no cost to themselves such as their constituent mail. Thus, the odds are stacked against any challenger. The longer they stay in there the more entrenched they become. Sure, it’s possible to beat an incumbent, and it does sometimes happen – but relatively rarely.

  13. Andy

    Studies show that the longer people are in a positions of power, the more likely they are to become arrogant, and corrupt, and more detached from the “regular people” whom they are supposed to represent and serve.

    Incumbents have a big advantage in being elected due to name recognition, and the fact that special interest already curry favor with them due to the position of power they hold.

    Even in LP officer elections, I have noticed that a lot of the voting is based on name recognition and/or cronyism, and that most LP delegates know little or nothing about a lot of the people running, including some of the people for whom the delegates cast their votes.

    I don’t think term limits would solve all of our problems, but they would be a step in the right direction.

  14. Paul Grad

    Term limits violate your Property Right in your vote. They also violate the democratic majority rule election
    principle. If you ever did manage to elect a popular Libertarian to high office who was doing a great job, term limits would be the Fascists easy way of getting rid of him. If 80% of the people in a election district want a certain candidate, why should their property right in their vote be aggressed against? Term limits are an example of Tyranny insinuating itself on pragmatic grounds into the body politic. They appeal to the simplistic mind.

  15. John

    You’re acting as if it’s a level playing field between incumbents and challengers. Do you really believe that? Come on. Are you outraged by the 22nd Amendment? Involved with efforts to repeal it?

    Sure, if a popular Libertarian was elected they would get term limited out. He or she could then run for a different office, and help others get elected, etc. It was never meant to be a lifelong career. Balance that against the fact that it’s a lot less likely for any libertarian to get elected to anything when there’s no open seat, that is, when incumbents seek another term. It then becomes rather unlikely that anyone else, much less a libertarian, will get that office.

  16. Paul Grad

    The core libertarian point is the violation of your Property Right in your vote. If you think its OK to aggress against that Inalienable Property Right in the Citizen’s Vote, your not a Libertarian IMO. Pseudo-libertarians always bring up pragmatic arguments as to why Libertarian Property Rights Principles can be assaulted with impunity, and this is a perfect example.

  17. John

    There are all sorts of restrictions on who can run for various offices. That’s not a restriction of your right to vote, it’s a restriction of who can run. Presidents can’t run for a third term; do you find that to be outrageous? Are you doing something about it?

    Someone under the age of 25 can’t be sworn in as a Representative, someone under the age of 30 can’t be sworn in as a US Senator, and someone under the age of 35 can’t be sworn in as President. Do you find it to be an aggression against my right to vote for someone too young to be sworn in?

    The same applies to anyone who is not born in the US (or of US parents abroad) and wants to run for President. Do you think it is an aggression against your right to vote if anyone not meeting such criteria is kept off the ballot?

  18. Paul Grad

    Yes, those are Statist aggressions against my Property Right in My Vote. However,

    1) In the case of non- and Naturalized Citizens, the correct libertarian procedure would be first to non-violently politically agitate for a change in the law if you believed non and Naturals should be able to run for office.
    2) I hypocritically agree with the limitation of two terms on the Prez, because of his enormous power equal to one whole branch of government. He is the only one with his finger on the nuke trigger, and such power should be curtailed after two terms, given normal human senescense. Jefferson and Lord Acton well warned us about the dangers of absolute power. The Prez is the sole office that should have a term limit, but it still is an assault of my Property Right in My Vote in Libertarian Theory. I just wouldn’t protest it.
    3) The age limitations again seem arbitary and anti-Libertarian to me but, as in the case of Naturalized Citizens, I should first non-violently change the law instead of either armed assault against the apparatus of the State because of this injustice (which is also not proportional action in relation to the seriousness of the assault against my Rights), or emigration to protest this injustice. I see no reason why a child or adolescent political genius should not be elected if the people wanted him.
    Finally, let’s remember that Ron Paul served 8 terms in the House. Term limits would have shut him up after two terms, and there is no way he could have got elected again to some other high office like Senate or Governor. His 8 terms had a profound effect on American politics, introducing and popularizing Libertarianism to many Americans. Your beloved Term Limits are the Fascist’s way of quashing any Libertarian who might get some traction, like Ron Paul, and you’ve bought their arguments.

  19. Andy

    “Paul Grad
    August 26, 2017 at 11:03
    The core libertarian point is the violation of your Property Right in your vote. If you think its OK to aggress against that Inalienable Property Right in the Citizen’s Vote, your not a Libertarian IMO. Pseudo-libertarians always bring up pragmatic arguments as to why Libertarian Property Rights Principles can be assaulted with impunity, and this is a perfect example.”

    Oh this is complete crap. Coercive government has no right to exist. Politicians have no right to rule anyone. Putting restrictions on how long a ruler can be in office while coercive government exists is not a rights violation, and asserting otherwise is absurd.

    If you think that terms limits are a rights violation, how about age restrictions, or residency restrictions, or citizenship restrictions?

    The US Constitution is supposed to have established a government where power was broken up, and where government was to be kept small.

  20. Andy

    “Paul Grad
    August 26, 2017 at 12:42
    Yes, those are Statist aggressions against my Property Right in My Vote. However,”

    This is not a pure democracy, and pure democracy is not desirable.

  21. paulie

    I hypocritically agree with the limitation of two terms on the Prez, because of his enormous power equal to one whole branch of government.

    Duly noted. So you admit that at least in some cases term limits are a check on the abuse of power and potentially a way to keep government power in check. So why is this less applicable to the legislative branch when 90% plus get re-elected easily each time and many stay in for decades accumulating more power the whole time?

  22. Paul Grad

    In response to Paulie:
    The President has absolute power, especially now that Obama has established that he or any President can assassinate any citizen without due process, and recall Obama’s call for indefinite detention in solitary without trial. No Senator, Congressman, or Mayor has comparable power. Likewise he has his finger on the nuclear trigger. Since absolute power corrupts absolutely, the presidential term limit is appropriate, but still violates the Vote Right principle.
    Since no other official in the US has anything near that absolute power, the Voting Right aggression should not be tolerated for any office in the US below President. Term limits are so clearly a violation of ones property right in ones vote, I wonder how anyone who calls themselves a Libertarian can not see that.

  23. Ad Hoc

    With what? I am unclear what position you are taking on term limits, Cody, or even if you are talking about that at all.

  24. Tony From Long Island

    Paul Grad

    The President has absolute power, especially now that Obama has established that he or any President can assassinate any citizen without due process

    Really? It was President Obama who established that? Are you going to tell me he was born in Kenya too? Give me a break!

  25. Tony From Long Island

    Paul Grad:

    If you ever did manage to elect a popular Libertarian to high office who was doing a great job, term limits would be the Fascists easy way of getting rid of him.

    Can you clear up for me who the “fascists” are?

  26. Ad Hoc

    “Really? It was President Obama who established that? ”

    Unfortunately, yes. See:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/18/opinion/the-drone-that-killed-my-grandson.html?mcubz=0

    “Are you going to tell me he was born in Kenya too?”

    Can’t speak for Mr. Grad, but as for me, no, I won’t. He was born in Hawaii and is a natural born US citizen who spent part of his childhood in another country, just like Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki. Luckily for Mr. Obama, he did not have a parent who was accused without trial of being a terrorist and executed by drone without due process, or he may have also been executed by drone for the unproven sins of his father just like Abdulrahman was – had he been born a few decades later.

    “Give me a break!”

    When you deserve a break you will get one, and when you don’t you won’t.

  27. Ad Hoc

    “Can you clear up for me who the “fascists” are?”

    My sense is that the way “fascists” was used there it meant something like the “deep state.” At least that was the way I understood it.

  28. Tony From Long Island

    Ad hoc

    My sense is that the way “fascists” was used there it meant something like the “deep state.” At least that was the way I understood it.

    Then his opinion can be ignored. Inforwars is waiting to give him more clickbait . . .

    Ad Hoc

    “Really? It was President Obama who established that? ”

    Unfortunately, yes.

    American presidents have been tacitly sanctioning such behavior for decades. I’m not defending it. I’m only saying it wasn’t the invention of President Barack Obama

  29. Paul Grad

    To Tony from Long Island:

    Fascists to me would be those who fit Mussolini’s definition. Corporatists, who believe in a grand alliance between the State, the big corporations, and the big unions, as we have here in America. I’d say anyone who is for big government intrusion into the most private details of ones’ life would also be a Fascist. In America, I’d say that the entire Democratic and Republican Parties, perhaps with exception of Rand Paul, are Fascists. Also groups like the Burke faction in the Libertarian Party, who supported Trump. Also anyone who’d use Mussolini’s emblems on their website, and sound a super-nationalist theme. And I’d say Nazis and Mussolinis Fascists are also. Also the “deep state” intelligence community in the sense of an Orwellian “Fascism”, like what just happened in the last week with Trump.

  30. paulie

    Also the “deep state” intelligence community in the sense of an Orwellian “Fascism”, like what just happened in the last week with Trump.

    What do you mean? What part of what happened last week with Trump? Where he praised fascists in Charlottesville as having “a lot of good people,” told fascist-style big lies equating the violence of “both sides,” pardoned a fascist sheriff in Arizona, held another Nuremburg-style rally in Arizona, or what?

  31. Tony From Long Island

    Paul Grad: The world must be a scary place being surrounded by so many fascists!! Might I suggest De-Caf? Are you sure you aren’t Andy?

  32. Paul Grad

    To Paulie:

    I’m referring to the Afghan speech, where it seemed Trump was like a wooden marionette, repeating what the military chiefs and the intelligence community told him to say. Also his taking on people like McMaster, who has been firing those who supported the positions Trump took in the campaign, and replacing them with Obama administration holdovers. Trump buckled, and now you have the Fascist Democrat-Republican-NSA-CIA-military-industrial alliance back in control again. Trump “choked”, as he likes to put it.

  33. paulie

    I always believed and predicted that any antiwar noises Drumpf made were BS. I said so all along; check the archives, it’s in there. To be fair I have been well aware of him ever since we both lived in NYC in the 80s and have always greatly disliked him, and I did see him in person from time to time back then…I would not say I really knew him but I knew people who did. Let’s just say that the worst things you can say about anyone don’t go far enough with this guy. He is scum, believe me. And a huuuuuge liar. Tremendous. Any good campaign promises he made were always hooey, and the bad ones are all 100% serious.

  34. Andy

    “paulie
    August 28, 2017 at 20:23
    I always believed and predicted that any antiwar noises Drumpf made were BS. I said so all along; check the archives, it’s in there.”

    I pointed out before the election that Donald Trump had zero background of ever having been any kind of libertarian or constitutionalist. He never donated money to any campaigns or causes that could have been considered to be libertarian and/or constitutionalist. He never endorsed Ron Paul.

  35. Paul Grad

    I would have to agree with paulie;s opinion of The Prez. I recall a documentary I saw made in the 90s about Trump’s housing abuses, and some of the things he did and said (like the Polish demolition workers pulling out the asbestos with bare hands and no masks). I put his chances of really changing the Presidency at about 30%, with a 70% chance he’d revert to some kind of Bush/main line Republican pablum. Apparently he’s now chosen the second possibility. At least we didn’t get The Hag and her nuclear war with the Ruskies.

    Three million Americans produced a Jefferson, Madison, Tom Paine, Sam Adams, and the whole gang. 310 million Americans can now only produce crap like Clinton, Obama, Trump, Ryan, McConnell, Pelosi. Isn’t this a disproof of Darwin’s theory of evolution? Johnson-Weld was not a scintillating ticket. (For a mainstream politician, I like Weld and think he’d make a very drab but fairly good President. The LP might do much worse than nominating him in 2020. His calmness and moderation would appeal to many Americans, and his experience as a liberal Republican gives him credibility with the public).

  36. Starchild

    Hey Bill, how about term limits for Libertarian presidential and vice-presidential nominees?

    Harry Browne was a solidly libertarian presidential candidate, but I thought it was a mistake for the party to nominate him a second time around back in 2000. It was a bad precedent, and now we’ve repeated it with Gary Johnson.

    I’d like to see the party embrace turnover in its leadership and avoid tying our wagon too closely to any single person, by adopting the standard, “One and you’re done!”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Off-topic P.S. – When posting comments on IPR, I’ll often link to different web pages when filling out the Name/Email/Website form. Sometimes they will bear some relation to my comment, or the article or thread on which I’m commenting, sometimes not. So if you have nothing better to do after reading one of my comments, click on my name and see what you get out of the box of chocolates. 🙂

  37. Starchild

    Oh, and I’m with Bill Weld and the others here who’ve agreed with him on term limits for members of Congress. I would even add senior congressional aides and top executive branch officials as well.

    The very top people in the latter category are political appointees who usually get rotated out with new administrations within 8 years if not sooner, but I’m talking about the layer or two right underneath them.

    Such individuals, I think, are likely to form the dangerous nucleus of what is sometimes called the “deep state” or “permanent government”.

    On a side note, 10 years is way too long for somebody to hold the job of FBI director, which was the bright side of president Trump firing James Comey, even though I think his motives for doing so were self-serving and wrong.

  38. dL

    Off-topic P.S. – When posting comments on IPR, I’ll often link to different web pages when filling out the Name/Email/Website form. Sometimes they will bear some relation to my comment, or the article or thread on which I’m commenting, sometimes not. So if you have nothing better to do after reading one of my comments, click on my name and see what you get out of the box of chocolates. ?

    Ok, I’ll play. Anarchism and radical decentralization are not necessarily the same thing. Neither implies the other. Example: The internet. The internet doesn’t require the state to function but unless you want to return to how computer networks functioned 40 + years ago, the internet requires global coordination, standardization, and uniformity up and down the tcp/ip stack. Radical decentralization can be very, very inefficient. Anarchism simply means no rulers(or ruling class). Has nothing necessarily to do w/ the local jurisdictional scope. Every time I read “radical decentralization” as Mises, I immediately think of kin, tribe and the Amish. Primitive market economies.

  39. Andy

    Starchild, I disagree with you on the 2nd Harry Browne run. Harry Browne was an excellent communicator, both as a speaker and a writer, of the libertarian message, and there was nobody else who ran for the nomination who ran as good of a campaign as he did. Nobody else had a campaign book (Harry’s 2000 campaign book, The Great Libertarian Offer, which was a follow up to his 1996 campaign book, Why Government Doesn’t Work, was excellent, as was his 1996 campaign book). Nobody else did as many speaking engagements, or as many talk radio and TV shows, as he did. Nobody else wrote as many articles as he did while during the campaign. Nobody else had a campaign that was as well organized as his was. Nobody else brought as many new people into the LP as he did.

    Harry Browne did all of this while running on a radical libertarian platform. This was not some kind of watered down Gary Johnson campaign. Harry Browne was also a much better public speaker and writer than Johnson, and he came off much better than Johnson did in interviews and debates.

    Some may say that Gary Johnson got more votes, but it should be pointed out that Johnson ran under far easier circumstances than Browne (for just one example, Browne had to compete against the more well known Ross Perot and Ralph Nader in 1996, and Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan in 2000, while Johnson never had to contend with any better known or better funded minor party or independent candidates). One area where I think Browne really outperformed Johnson was in getting new people to adopt a hardcore libertarian philosophy. I consider this to be of greater value than just getting votes for the sake of getting votes. Browne also never made an ass of himself, and the party for having nominated him, in public, like Johnson did.

  40. Anthony Dlugos

    ‘It was a bad precedent, and now we’ve repeated it with Gary Johnson. I’d like to see the party embrace turnover in its leadership and avoid tying our wagon too closely to any single person, by adopting the standard, “One and you’re done!”’

    That’s entirely too restrictive. That would theoretically eliminate the possibility of a Libertarian president re-running for our nomination.

    This leaves aside the very real question about how someone could consider Governor Johnson’s second run a mistake, given the level of attention J-W got, and the dismal decision we would have had facing us in Orlando if we told the most qualified candidate to take a hike in favor of the option of 4 people who’d never held office before.

    The real irony regarding a lot of these proposals for rules for our presidential nomination is that they are just post-hoc attempts to circumvent the obvious preference within the party for qualified candidates.

    I’m not for any rule-based limitations for the nomination, although in a marketing/p.r. sense…from the point of view of the general public…three times in a row appears to be once too many.

  41. robert capozzi

    “One and you’re done” has an anti-libertarian feel to me. It assumes that the conventioneers must be constrained by the “philosopher kings” who institute such a rule.

    Of course, it’s my contention that the LP’s prospects has had a millstone since its founding by the 89 20-somethings + Hospers. Those youthful philosopher kings and a few queens constrained the LP in severe and dysfunctional ways.

  42. Andy

    The attention that Johnson/Weld got was a negative for the party. We’d have been better off with paper candidates in 2016 than with Johnso/Weld getting any publicity.

  43. paulie

    I put his chances of really changing the Presidency at about 30%, with a 70% chance he’d revert to some kind of Bush/main line Republican pablum.

    Oh, but I think he is definitely changing the presidency. It has never before been an open way to enrich yourself and your family immensely while in office, to the detriment of the country. It’s never been a post from which to do the bidding of a hostile foreign power. It has never been the reality show hot mess snakepit that it is now, a public spectacle more so than an administration in traditional terms. Our president has never been nearly so much like a third world caudillo, whipping up the passion of the lynch mob, destabilizing any non-subservient media, going over their heads to his volk like populist dictators all over the world have done. It has never been the power center of lawless authoritarian law enforcement that it has become with Drumpf openly encouraging audiences of police to rough up suspects and by pardoning Arpaio.

    The presidency has certainly changed for the worse as Drumpf publicly urged a foreign power to expose his opponent, threatened to arrest her like what happens to losers in elections in places like Venezuela, had his top staff take a meeting with hostile foreign agents to get opposition research… then fired or threatened anyone investigating that or his family finances, promises to pardon anyone involved in his corruption up to and including himself, nakedly obstructs justice at every step of the way..

    I do believe he is just getting started there. Will he shut down the government to fund his border wall? I think he very well might. Will he create an official propaganda TV network for domestic consumption? Again it seems likely. Will he unleash killer drones wholesale domestically? “Fire” congress and the courts? Create a “deportation force” (not so humanely), say under Arpaio? Start wars to deflect attention from problems at home? Make himself a de facto dictator by pardoning anyone in his regime or any cop on the street who breaks the law? Turn a twitter war into a global nuclear war due to his psychotic temperament? I think all those and more are quite plausible.

    Apparently he’s now chosen the second possibility. At least we didn’t get The Hag and her nuclear war with the Ruskies.

    Nuclear war with China got a lot more likely. Global war with the entire Muslim world and all of Latin America got more likely. But I think even war with Russia became more likely. Drumpf’s insane bowing and scraping to Putin may cause Putin to go too far and make war impossible to avoid. Or, perhaps at some point Drumpf will get sick and tired of being blackmailed by Putin and no longer fooled by dishonest praise and decide to overthrow his master. Should those two egos ever come to clash, nuclear war seems highly likely. Perhaps Drumpf will never betray Putin, but will go down as he is impeached and removed from office. If the hearings for that expose the full extent to which he has colluded with Putin’s regime, it may well be the next US regime that will be on a war course with Russia far more than Hillary Clinton ever was or would have been.

  44. paulie

    Starchild, I disagree with you on the 2nd Harry Browne run.

    Thinking back on the 2000 convention, Hornberger seemed to me to not even care about campaign nuts and bolts at all on the theory that being a good speaker and debater is all our campaign needs. He “pulled a Perot” – dropped out and then dropped back in at the last minute. Gorman had the opposite weakness. Browne was a better choice, both from my perspective then and now. He wasn’t perfect and the 2000 election was a tough nut to crack. Nader and Buchanan got way more media attention, and the closeness of the race between Bush and Gore at the end made it tough for all of them to get oxygen. Browne did well under those circumstances, almost beating the much better known and much more well funded Buchanan.

    Johnson was a tougher decision – I decided to vote for him at the last minute at the 2012 convention but did not vote for his VP choice either time, and he lost me by the 2016 convention. I never thought he was as bad as Barr-Root, but by the second time I could not support him for the nomination, could certainly not support his VP choice and couldn’t make myself do anything except paid ballot access work in the post-nomination campaign, like 2008 and unlike 2012.

  45. Tony From Long Island

    Paulie, you and I are in lock step on Drumph. Every post you make on the man is gold. On Johnson/Weld , not so much 🙂

  46. paulie

    I worked actively on Johnson’s general election campaign in 2012 and with his organization for several years after that and traveled with him a few times. However, he did not demonstrate that he picked up any ideas from me as he told me he did as he went right back to saying the same things as previously and the replies to financial accusations from his campaign also were promised but never came in nearly the detail that was discussed. He lost me a lot more during the 2016 pre-nomination campaign, starting with the ill-advised Burqa comments, continuing with a number of lackluster debate performances and culminating in the Weld for VOP choice. The general election campaign last year was also uninspiring.

  47. paulie

    Paulie, you and I are in lock step on Drumph. Every post you make on the man is gold.

    You really have to feel sympathy for the people of Texas right now. First, Harvey, and now Donald is making landfall there….a one-two punch of a natural disaster and an unnatural one.

  48. Paul Grad

    Paulie-
    You say:
    It has never before been an open way to enrich yourself and your family immensely while in office, to the detriment of the country.

    What about Mrs. Clinton and her pay for play deals with Russia and other documented instances while she was Sec of State where she’d make a ruling favorable to some ruling clique in a foreign country, and soon after Bill would be paid a fortune for a few speeches? What about Cheney’s Halliburton stock going from less than 10 to over 30 with all those wars? What about the millions they get for book deals once they get out of office which they know they’ll get if they win the Presidency?

    No, this isn’t the first time.

  49. paulie

    Neither of them have been president, although Hillary was Bill’s unofficial “copresident” and Cheney was Duhbya’s power behind the porcelain throne. More importantly, neither were on the scale of Drumpf’s open kleptocracy. I’m in no way suggesting that corruption is a new thing, but scale matters.

  50. paulie

    What about the millions they get for book deals once they get out of office which they know they’ll get if they win the Presidency?

    Well, that’s certainly a potential concern, but compare this why the self-reinforcing continuous opportunities for anyone seeking pardons, presidential support in passing legislation, military aid around the world, etc., doing business with the president’s family companies on an ongoing basis, staying at his hotels, hosting events there, joining and playing at his golf clubs, and on and on.

  51. Andy

    I never fell for Gary Johnson’s bullshit. I was a Johnson skeptic from day one, and I turned out to be right.

    I also never fell for Bob Barr or Wayne Root.

  52. Anthony Dlugos

    lol.

    The definition of irony: Andy calling out for bullshit a person with a documented record of success in life.

    Andy, I’m sure the self-made millionaire and governor is just beside himself for having been unmasked by you.

  53. Starchild

    dL writes, (August 29, 2017 at 06:27), “Anarchism and radical decentralization are not necessarily the same thing. Neither implies the other. Example: The internet. The internet doesn’t require the state to function but unless you want to return to how computer networks functioned 40 + years ago, the internet requires global coordination, standardization, and uniformity up and down the tcp/ip stack. Radical decentralization can be very, very inefficient. Anarchism simply means no rulers(or ruling class). Has nothing necessarily to do w/ the local jurisdictional scope. Every time I read “radical decentralization” as Mises, I immediately think of kin, tribe and the Amish. Primitive market economies.”

    Although it’s not an absolute correlation, I believe there is a correlation. Centralization or concentration of power is inherently dangerous, whether the institution or individual in which power is concentrated calls itself/himself/herself a government or not.

    Obviously there is a tension there, because under libertarianism, individuals and voluntary institutions of course have the right to acquire wealth, power, and influence. But systems can in some cases be threatened by the very phenomena they allow or enable.

    Certainly libertarianism (and anarchy, which I believe is the purest form of libertarianism) are not necessarily the most efficient systems, unless perhaps one looks at the big picture and considers avoiding statism as a boon to overall societal efficiency. But the State can definitely be more efficient at getting specific big projects done in the short term which likely would not happen otherwise, such as building the Great Wall of China.

    I don’t believe the Internet is such a project however, and suspect it would have been developed sooner in a freer society. Coordination, standardization and uniformity can and often do occur without the State (e.g. the use of standard technology formats in various industries).

    In labeling centralization as dangerous, I (and I would hope Ryan McMaken writing at https://mises.org/blog/anarchism-and-radical-decentralization-are-same-thing, the link I used for my URL in the post to which dL was responding) mean centralization of power (ability to exert control over others). Atoms and molecules coming together and working in harmony in the form of human beings, or to form planet Earth for that matter, can be seen as forms of centralization, but of course I don’t see those types of centralization, or even people coming together voluntarily in cities, as problematic.

    Ultimately it may be about choice (whether centralization inhibits choice or expands it). As McMaken puts it, “The defining characteristic of anarchism and radical decentralization [and libertarianism!] is choice.” When coming together facilitates conscious agents (e.g. humans) to the degree they are conscious or aware, having more choices, rather than fewer, it is probably a net gain for freedom, not a net loss.

  54. Starchild

    In response to Andy (August 29, 2017 at 07:18) and Paulie (August 29, 2017 at 09:30), I was not arguing against Harry Browne’s 2000 candidacy per se. I supported Jacob Hornberger at the time, but am not sure in retrospect that he would have been a better choice.

    Rather I was arguing against the practice of the Libertarian Party nominating the same presidential/VP candidates repeatedly. While such a custom or party rule might not always guarantee a better outcome in each individual case, my thesis is that by avoiding a source of potential concentration of power within the party and the dangers that sort of thing entails, it would likely be beneficial on the whole.

    Unlike Anthony Dlugos (August 29, 2017 at 08:06), I see eliminating the theoretical possibility of a Libertarian president getting the party’s nomination in a reelection bid as a reasonable price to pay. Such a person could always seek reelection as an independent, and even rejoin the LP as a member later. If the party were standing on principle, rather than seeking to oppose a president’s reelection, there would be no cause for that individual to hold a grudge. Nobody begrudges Alcoholics Anonymous members banning people from drinking at their meetings, even people they really, really like and wish to honor.

    I do consider Gary Johnson’s second run a mistake in its own right, independent of the fact that he’d just run in 2012. I tend to see not having held office before as a positive, not a negative, qualification, and would welcome a Penn Jillette, say, as a Libertarian presidential nominee. While it’s possible that Johnson/Weld got more attention than any of their other rival candidates would have, that’s by no means guaranteed. We don’t know what kind of campaigns they would have run. If Johnson hadn’t tried to run again, we also don’t know who else might have entered the race, who did not do so in the reality of his candidacy.

    I appreciate that Robert Capozzi (August 29, 2017 at 09:07) sees three runs for president as the Libertarian nominee being one too many, even if he sees the downside only in PR/marketing terms and not for the reasons I think matter most. But Robert worries that any rule against multiple runs would leave Libertarian delegates “constrained by the ‘philosopher kings’ who institute such a rule” – which is kind of strange, since they themselves would be the ones making the rule, but also ignores the real-world power that incumbency holds, in terms of creating a de facto constraint (and I think a candidate running again for a position s/he has already held, such as LP presidential nominee, does tend to benefit from the same essential phenomena which advantages incumbent politicians over non-incumbents).

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