Wednesday, January 30, 2008

DEBATE AT LOLITA BAR: What Do the Primary Results So Far Mean?

walls.jpgVS. derbyshire.jpg
Yesterday’s Florida results were big news, but one week from today, it will be Wednesday, Feb. 6, which means that “Super Duper Tuesday” — when nearly half the states vote — will be behind us. Come vent, query, and argue about what it all means and where both the Democrats and Republicans are headed, with:

JOHN DERBYSHIRE (right), who contributes regularly to National Review and wrote Prime Obsession

SETH COLTER WALLS (left), whose freelance work has appeared in Newsweek and on HuffingtonPost and MSNBC

Plus moderator Michel Evanchik and your host, Todd Seavey.

That’s 8pm Wed. Feb. 6 at Lolita Bar, 266 Broome St. (at Allen St.) on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, one block south and three west of the Delancey St. subway stop.

My own hopes for a libertarian-like Republican candidate have already cursed and doomed the candidacies of Ron Paul, Fred Thompson, and Rudy Giuliani, as readers of this blog know — now my destructive sights are turned upon Mitt Romney, perhaps assuring McCain’s nomination. Come find out on Feb. 6 who I cast my futile vote for in New York’s primary the day before — plus whether Derbyshire is still backing Ron Paul — and much, much more!

My thinking on the Romney thing, by the way, is that he’s the only viable, tactically-meaningful way at this point to cast some sort of (admittedly horribly ambiguous) “conservative” protest vote against the centrist-authoritarian McCain, though McCain has his good points and Romney substantial drawbacks, too.

Sad that it’s come to this — and take note, my perfectionist libertarian friends: some of you question the need to work in a coalition with conservatives, but think how minuscule our unaided libertarian power really is if (assuming for a moment that McCain becomes the nominee) even the conservative movement, vastly larger than the libertarian movement and more directly tied to the Republican Party, can’t get someone who’s clearly one of “theirs” into the nominee slot. We are like a flea on a dog whose barking, in turn, is barely listened to by the family inside the house — who are themselves socialists. In this environment, even an unreliable ally who occasionally stumbles in our direction for reasons we find abhorrent may be desperately needed.

We have about as much hope of convincing people to shrink the government as John Derbyshire does of getting his fellow National Review writers to join him in abandoning religious faith (something I’ll succeed in getting all readers of this blog to do during my February “Month Without God,” though, so stay tuned — and something I will see Christopher Hitchens attempt to get a rabbi to do in a debate tonight at the 92nd Street Y [UPDATE 2/7/08: At last night's debate, Derb said he is not an atheist]).

But join us next Wednesday (Feb. 6, 8pm) at Lolita and use the Q&A period and the long, hard drinking period afterwards to gain some insights about why your work for the Kucinich, Hunter, Thompson, Dodd, or other campaign didn’t pay off the way you’d hoped. Or if the whole campaign season is going exactly the way you wanted it to: I am happy for you.

However, if none of the parties with presidential candidates this year — Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green, Socialist, Constitution, or Prohibition — have yet satisfied you, remember that there’s always the one registered independent who has officially declared.

P.S. And in a reminder that things could always be worse — far, far, far worse — libertarian writer June Arunga is trying to get her family out of Kenya’s capital this week as it heads toward civil war, so anyone with job leads for her top-level Kenyan retirement/pension system-managing (and system-reforming) mom should let June know at JuneArunga[at], and I can only begin to imagine how much junk e-mail she’s probably going to get, but that, presumably, is the least of her worries right now.

(I own a DVD of June’s documentary tour of Africa’s socialist and authoritarian regimes — so antithetical to property rights and individual liberty that even in good times in a country like Kenya, the government may simply decide to take arbitrary amounts directly out of people’s bank accounts to fund new projects — and the thought of her family having to deal with even worse problems now is very depressing.)


Michael Bates said...

With a winner-take-all primary, the best any limited-government, pro-national-sovereignty voter can do is to vote for the candidate with the best chance of beating McCain in that state, in hopes of denying him a majority of delegates at the convention.

Todd Seavey said...

Yep. Particularly with Giuliani reportedly dropping out, the New York alternative to rubber-stamping McCain at this point, then, is: Romney.

Adam Cohen said...

Romney, Todd? You can’t be serious.

Paul has my vote. His willingness to profit from racist propaganda written by LR in a smattering of articles published over the course of decades is objectionable, surely, but his personal rhetoric and his voting record have earned him my vote. Moreover, he takes responsibility for and apologizes for any intolerant messages in his communications.

I don’t hear Romney apologizing for what he’d done with health care in MA. He’s actually proud of captaining a government invasion of health care. And McCain is a war monger and fiscal pragmatist.

Don’t let “pretty damn great” be a casualty of “perfection.”

Vote for Paul, Todd.