Reason: Democrats Are Champions of the Free Market

Conservatives try to hide the fact that labels have changed and the major differences between liberals and conservatives are no longer over economics as in the past, but over liberty versus authoritarianism and acceptance of science and reality versus faith. Conservatives claim Democrats are far greater supporters of big government than is now true, and ignore their own anti-capitalist views. The policies of government collusion between business and government supported by Republicans destroy their claims to be supporters of the free market.

Reason has even found an example where they describe Democrats as champions of the free market–not something I’d expect to see there. In discussing immigration policy, Jacob Sullum writes, “In the debate over the immigration bill, left-liberal Democrats are emerging as champions of the free market.”


Rudy Giuliani’s Socialized Medicine

Rudy Giuliani might talk about freedom, and attack “socialized medicine,” but Reason has shown once again that Rudy’s no libertarian:

MURPHY: You talked about abortion rights and how you trust people to make their own choices. Do you support the choice of cancer patients to use medical marijuana?
RUDY: No, I don’t think a cancer patient should use marijuana. There are other options.

Coming after a lot of flights of “the government can’t tell you what to do!” rhetoric, it was pretty abrupt.

The real “socialized medicine” is not coming from Democrats who would preserve our system of private medical practices, but from Republicans who impose their views on us and interfere with decisions which should be left between the doctor and the patient.

Regarding Fox News: Let’s Rumble

Roger Ailes  was quoted as again complaining about the Democrats who decided against providing the appearance to credibility to Fox News at the Eric Breindel awards for opinion writing. “The candidates that can’t face Fox, can’t face Al Qaeda,” said Mr. Ailes. “And that’s what’s coming.”

It is fitting that this story appears in connection to an award for opinion writing, as opinion, and not news, is what Fox News is all about. It’s not that the Democrats can’t face Fox, but that they don’t believe an organization which has used previous coverage of Democrats to distort their message should be allowed to cover their debate as news.

In phrasing this as Democrats facing Fox we see the real story. Fox doesn’t want to honestly host a Democratic debate, but wants another forum to attack Democrats and distort what they say. We also see how far conservatives will use hysteria about terrorism to promote their cause.

If Fox were to put aside the claims of being fair and balanced, then a debate involving Democrats and Fox could be possible. If Fox would admit that their function is not to report news but to promote a conservative agenda, including partisan support for Republicans over Democrats, then there is an avenue for a debate. However, such a debate would have to be the Democrats versus Fox News. That’s a debate I’d love to see, but it makes absolutely no sense to allow Fox to cover a debate between Democrats.

The Republican Debate: Out of Touch Extremists Who Make Barry Goldwater Look Liberal

Last night’s Republican debate was again disappointing, as it points out the fact that we no longer have a viable two party system. The Republicans remain too far out of touch with reality to be able to govern effectively, as we’ve seen both under George Bush and the entire time the Republicans controlled Congress. As comes up during my review of the debate, we can see how far the Republicans have moved to the right when Barry Goldwater’s views are more welcome by the Democrats than current Republican candidates.

The first question of substance dealt with whether going into Iraq was a mistake:

Governor Romney, I wanted to start by asking you a question on which every American has formed an opinion. We’ve lost 3,400 troops; civilian casualties are even higher, and the Iraqi government does not appear ready to provide for the security of its own country. Knowing everything you know right now, was it a mistake for us to invade Iraq?

Romney: “Well, the question is kind of a non sequitur, if you will, and what I mean by that — or a null set. And that is that if you’re saying let’s turn back the clock, and Saddam Hussein had opened up his country to IAEA inspectors, and they’d come in and they’d found that there were no weapons of mass destruction, had Saddam Hussein, therefore, not violated United Nations resolutions, we wouldn’t be in the conflict we’re in.”

I’m not sure if Romney is weaker on math, for his misuse of “null set” or on recent history. He forgets that at the time the war began Saddam had already let the inspectors back in. Perhaps he is afraid to answer because of the way an answer to a similar question posed to another candidate from Massachusetts was distorted in the subsequent coverage. While Romney avoided answering, Giuliani at least did give a response:

MR. GIULIANI: Absolutely the right thing to do. It’s unthinkable that you would leave Saddam Hussein in charge of Iraq and be able to fight the war on terror. And the problem is that we see Iraq in a vacuum. Iraq should not be seen in a vacuum. Iraq is part of the overall terrorist war against the United States.

Giuliani continues to give the Bush line on the war, falsely connecting Saddam and terrorism as I’ve previously noted. At least Ron Paul gave a more realistic answer on Iraq, but I wonder who it was at the Republican debate applauding his answer:

MR. BLITZER: Congressman Ron Paul, how much longer should the United States stay in Iraq?

MR. PAUL: The sooner we come home, the better. If they declare there’s no progress in September, we should come home. It was a mistake to go, so it’s a mistake to stay. If we made the wrong diagnosis, we should change the treatment. So we’re not making progress there and we should come home. The weapons weren’t there, and we went in under U.N. resolutions. And our national security was not threatened.

We’re more threatened now by staying. (Applause.)

Giuliani’s best moment came when discussing abortion. He both got in a good one liner, and made some sense as to allowing women to make their own choices:

Mayor Giuliani, there was some news here today. A Catholic bishop in Rhode Island said some words about your position on abortion, suggesting that it was similar to Pontius Pilate’s personal opposition to Jesus Christ’s crucifixion but allowing it to happen anyway.

How does that make you feel when you hear words like that from a Catholic bishop?

MR. GIULIANI: Well, you know — well, a Catholic bishop — (off mike) —

MR. BLITZER: That’s the lightning that’s having an affect on —

MR. GIULIANI: (Laughs.) Yeah, I know.

MR. BLITZER: — our system. (Laughter, applause.)

(Cross talk.)

MR. GIULIANI: Look, for someone who went to parochial schools all his life, this is a very frightening thing that’s happening right now. (Laughter.)

But the reality is, I respect, you know, the opinion of Catholic — (off mike) — religious leaders of all kinds. Religion is very important to me, it’s a very important part of my life. But ultimately, as a — (off mike) — I’ve been in public life most of my life and taken oaths of office to enforce the law, I’ve got to make the decisions that I think are the right ones in a country like ours.

And my view on abortion is that it’s wrong, but that ultimately government should not be enforcing that decision on a woman. That’s — that is my view that I — I consult my religion, I consult my reading of the Constitution, I consult my views of what I think are important in a pluralistic society, and the reality that we have to respect the fact that there are people that are equally as religious, equally as moral that make a different decision about this. And should government put them in jail?