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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

 
That "libertarian moment"

by digby


I wrote a piece yesterday about the exciting new coalition between the libertarians and the liberals coming out of Ferguson. I'm skeptical about this turning into a beautiful friendship, as you might imagine. But that doesn't mean it isn't useful. The difference is in recognizing the difference between legislative and voting coalitions:

[D]espite [Gun Owners of America's Larry] Pratt’s odious views, it is still useful to have him in a legislative coalition on the issue of police militarization. It’s impossible to cobble together enough votes for this sort of congressional initiative without a bipartisan coalition. (Even then, it’s usually impossible.) And just because the GOA's reasoning is repulsive doesn’t mean Johnson’s bill isn’t reasonable legislation on its own terms. In any case, the demilitarization of police is completely meaningless to the pursuit of Pratt's goals since they are based on fantasy. But the ACLU’s concerns will be addressed.

The fact is that defending civil liberties almost always requires strange bedfellows for the simple reason that it rests on the principle that they must protect everyone, even people who say and do things you do not like. Especially people who say and do things you do not like. It does not mean there is a meaningful alliance on goals or a meeting of the minds beyond the basic rules of the road, which require us to respect each other’s freedom. There is no hope for an ideological alignment that “breaks the two party system ” and liberals will not be singing the same tune as Larry Pratt and his gun-toting extremists any time soon.

When it comes to civil liberties it’s often the case that civil libertarians of the left will find themselves holding hands with the far right (as well as their noses) to ensure that the Bill of Rights is kept safe for both of them. And then they’ll go back to fighting each other with everything they have. It’s not a perfect system but it’s all we’ve got.

And here's Roy Edroso on the "libertarian moment" in the wake of Ferguson. He uses Jonah Goldberg's momentary genuflect to libertarian principles to illustrate the ephemeral nature of the phenomenon:

Mostly it's a fist-shaking fart-cloud about stupid liberals and black people who are always rioting for reasons he can't understand. It might have been written after an Abner Louima demonstration, that how old-school this joint is -- Goldberg even namechecks the Nation of Islam, and the column is illustrated with a photo of Al Sharpton! But you don't get to be a top Professor of Liberal Fasciology by ignoring what the new breed is up to, and in his summation Goldberg makes room for the trope du jour:
Nearly everything about this story is ugly: the gleeful ideological and bureaucratic point-scoring, the spectacle of a militarized police force and bunkered police leadership, the self-congratulatory advocacy journalism, the Molotov cocktails and despondent victims of looting, the feeding frenzy of Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and countless lesser activist remoras, and — perhaps most of all — the constant soul-corrupting rationalizations of lawlessness that come with seeing the right “context.” (Context! Is there nothing it can’t do?)

See? He got the militarized police in there, nestled among the usual bullshit, so you New Age types can enjoy your racism and authoritarianism with a clear conscience.

He forgot to use the term "race hustler" though, so he loses at least a couple of points ...

I might also mention this piece from Cliff Schecter on the shocking disappearance of the NRA in a situation that you would think they'd be all over, screaming about jack-booted thugs and 2nd Amendment remedies and the like. He reminds us of a recent speech by Wayne LaPierre that may shed light on why that might be:

We don't trust government, because government itself has proven unworthy of our trust. We trust ourselves and we trust what we know in our hearts to be right. We trust our freedom. In this uncertain world, surrounded by lies and corruption everywhere you look, there is no greater freedom than the right to survive and protect our families with all the rifles, shotguns, and handguns we want. We know in the world that surrounds us there are terrorists and there are home invaders, drug cartels, carjackers, knockout gamers, and rapers, and haters, and campus killers, airport killers, shopping mall killers and killers who scheme to destroy our country with massive storms of violence against our power grids or vicious waves of chemicals or disease that could collapse our society that sustains us all.

(Boo!)

I think it's fairly clear there that while they may not care for the government thugs it's because they haven't cracked down hard enough on the "you-know-whos" not that they've been too rough. This is the reality which requires God-fearing Real Americans to arm themselves. In fact, they see themselves as cops themselves, only savvy and smart and unencumbered by all this due process bs. Like George Zimmerman.

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