Beware the “Libertarians”

 

johnson-weldIf there was ever a year for a frustrated conservatarian to consider voting for the Libertarian Party ticket, 2016 would seem to be a godsend: Trump and Clinton are … well, no need to rehash this … and the Libertarians have nominated not one but two former Republican governors. But as Ilya Shapiro writes on Cato at Liberty, the theory of the Johnson-Weld ticket and its reality diverge greatly, and not in a way that pays any compliments to the latter:

[In this recent] ReasonTV interview … Weld praises Justice Stephen Breyer and Judge Merrick Garland, who are the jurists most deferential to the government on everything, whether environmental regulation or civil liberties. Later in the same interview, he similarly compliments Republican senators like Mark Kirk and Susan Collins, who are among the least libertarian of the GOP caucus in terms of the size and scope of government and its imposition on the private sector and civil society.

What’s painful about this is that it’s not as if there weren’t other alternatives available to them. There’s no shortage of libertarian-friendly judges whom they might have cited, including Justice Clarence Thomas. And why on earth would this list include Collins and Kirk but not Reps. Justin Amash and Thomas Massie, or Senator Rand Paul?

It actually gets worse from there. As has been noted elsewhere, Johnson not only opposes RFRA legislation — which, I should note, I do as well — but also the conscience claims that such legislation intends to protect:

[In a Washington Examiner interview, Johnson] calls religious freedom “a black hole” and endorses a federal role in preventing “discrimination” in all its guises. More specifically, he’s okay with fining a wedding photographer for not working a gay wedding – a case from New Mexico where Cato and every libertarian I know supported the photographer – and forcing the Little Sisters of the Poor to pay for contraceptives (where again Cato and libertarians supported religious liberty).

It takes a lot of effort to be this wrong and — as Shapiro says — it puts Johnson almost uniquely off-the-reservation; the only comparable statement I can think of is Trump’s endorsement of Kelo.

When @salvatorepadula and I did our podcast last year, we lamented the way “socially liberal, fiscally conservative” has become the standard shorthand description of libertarianism — a lament Shapiro apparently shares — as if drug legalization, same-sex marriage, and balanced budgets were the key takeaways from reading Hayek, von Mises, and Friedman.

If Johnson and Weld want to earn votes from disaffected conservatives of a classically-liberal bent, they could hardly be doing a worse job of it. At least, so far, we’ve been spared further stripteases.

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  1. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Cato Rand:

    Bryan G. Stephens:

    Cato Rand:

    Sounds like somebody’s gonna bully somebody here. It’s just a question of who’s doing it to who? As a fan of property rights, my presumption tends to be that the guy who owns the property gets the benefit of the doubt, and the guy who’s trying to tell the guy who owns the property what he can do with it doesn’t.

    That presumption, by the way, isn’t irrebuttable in my mind. I’m not that inflexible a libertarian. But something more than “aw, come on!” is necessary to rebut it, and I will always put a thumb on the scale for the property owner.

    What one person does with his property can change the actual $ value of the property next to it. Does that trigger “aw, come on!”, or do you have room to acknowledge that as “harm”? If you cannot acknowledge that it would harm my way of life if the house next to me became a strip club we have no ground to talk on. If you can, then we can move forward.

    Whether or not we have “ground” to talk, your snide and self-satisfied presumptuousness has convinced me that the better course is to simply stop talking to you. So that’s what I’m going to do.

    I was not aware I was being snide. It was not my goal, it was to clarify where we were coming from. If two people have vastly different assumptions then you cannot really talk to each other just past one another. My experience on this subject has been that libertarians who talk to me on it, refuse to acknowledge a decrease in property values as “harm”.

    If someone cannot even see a loss of money as “harm”, when their only solution is to sell the devalued asset, and move, then I just do not have any ground to talk to them on.

    It might be a good post, asking if decreased property values is “harm”.

    • #91
  2. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    Bryan G. Stephens:

    Cato Rand:

    Bryan G. Stephens:

    Cato Rand:

    Sounds like somebody’s gonna bully somebody here. It’s just a question of who’s doing it to who? As a fan of property rights, my presumption tends to be that the guy who owns the property gets the benefit of the doubt, and the guy who’s trying to tell the guy who owns the property what he can do with it doesn’t.

    That presumption, by the way, isn’t irrebuttable in my mind. I’m not that inflexible a libertarian. But something more than “aw, come on!” is necessary to rebut it, and I will always put a thumb on the scale for the property owner.

    What one person does with his property can change the actual $ value of the property next to it. Does that trigger “aw, come on!”, or do you have room to acknowledge that as “harm”? If you cannot acknowledge that it would harm my way of life if the house next to me became a strip club we have no ground to talk on. If you can, then we can move forward.

    Whether or not we have “ground” to talk, your snide and self-satisfied presumptuousness has convinced me that the better course is to simply stop talking to you. So that’s what I’m going to do.

    I was not aware I was being snide. It was not my goal, it was to clarify where we were coming from. If two people have vastly different assumptions then you cannot really talk to each other just past one another. My experience on this subject has been that libertarians who talk to me on it, refuse to acknowledge a decrease in property values as “harm”.

    If someone cannot even see a loss of money as “harm”, when their only solution is to sell the devalued asset, and move, then I just do not have any ground to talk to them on.

    It might be a good post, asking if decreased property values is “harm”.

    Can you by force of law require your neighbor to mow his lawn or paint his house once a year to protect your property values? What if putting in a Strip Club raised the value of your land because commercial developers now want to develop the land for other purposes than housing? Are you then not harmed?

    • #92
  3. hcat Inactive
    hcat
    @hcat

    @tommeyer can you tell us why you oppose RFRA? It should be an interesting discussion. And RFRA came out of RLUIPA, which was about local land use and permits, not about gay rights or discrimination.

    • #93
  4. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Jamie Lockett:

    Bryan G. Stephens:

    Cato Rand:

    Bryan G. Stephens:

    Cato Rand:

    Sounds like somebody’s gonna bully somebody here. It’s just a question of who’s doing it to who? As a fan of property rights, my presumption tends to be that the guy who owns the property gets the benefit of the doubt, and the guy who’s trying to tell the guy who owns the property what he can do with it doesn’t.

    That presumption, by the way, isn’t irrebuttable in my mind. I’m not that inflexible a libertarian. But something more than “aw, come on!” is necessary to rebut it, and I will always put a thumb on the scale for the property owner.

    What one person does with his property can change the actual $ value of the property next to it. Does that trigger “aw, come on!”, or do you have room to acknowledge that as “harm”? If you cannot acknowledge that it would harm my way of life if the house next to me became a strip club we have no ground to talk on. If you can, then we can move forward.

    Whether or not we have “ground” to talk, your snide and self-satisfied presumptuousness has convinced me that the better course is to simply stop talking to you. So that’s what I’m going to do.

    I was not aware I was being snide. It was not my goal, it was to clarify where we were coming from. If two people have vastly different assumptions then you cannot really talk to each other just past one another. My experience on this subject has been that libertarians who talk to me on it, refuse to acknowledge a decrease in property values as “harm”.

    If someone cannot even see a loss of money as “harm”, when their only solution is to sell the devalued asset, and move, then I just do not have any ground to talk to them on.

    It might be a good post, asking if decreased property values is “harm”.

    Can you by force of law require your neighbor to mow his lawn or paint his house once a year to protect your property values?

    Yes. Laws can be passed to do that. In fact, in cities, this is pretty common. The easy answer for the person who does not want to paint their house or cut their lawn is to not live in the city.

    What if putting in a Strip Club raised the value of your land because commercial developers now want to develop the land for other purposes than housing? Are you then not harmed?

    That would depend on the circumstances. I personally don’t think harm is always about money. However, because libertarians talking about zoning struggle with a non-physical way to define harm, I have opted to talk in terms of  property value, as it has a monetary component. As such, most libertarians should be willing to call it harm, as theft is considered a type of harm.

    Where this all usually goes wrong, is when the libertarian tries to find universal rules that always work in every case and every time, throwing out any rule that might be misapplied in any circumstance. Thus, protecting my property value by having rules the prevent someone from growing corn in their front yard is authoritarian.

    Some libertarians try to say that homeowners groups are legit, since they are not “government”, but of course they are a form of government, even though it is a private group. If they are in force, then when you buy in, you agree to abide. If you don’t they will use government to force you to abide. So it is government rules about how you use your property.

    Therefore, I would say, there is no clean, bright line, but a muddled grey on where to draw the line, and that is what politics is about: where to draw lines on difficult subjects.

    How about you live in your zoning free city, and I live in my zoned one? You can live with the vast number of people who don’t like zoning, and I can live with my small minority of people who do. That is Federalism.

    • #94
  5. hcat Inactive
    hcat
    @hcat

    Cato Rand:

    Bryan G. Stephens:

    Schwaibold:

    Bryan G. Stephens:

    Jamie Lockett:

    I must respectfully disagree. Johnson’s aversion to religious liberty capitulates to the community at the expense of the individual. Focusing on the individual’s rights always works, unless we can’t even agree on what a right is.. doh!

    Well that is its own Thread. When I say community rights though, I don’t me the Federal Gov’ment. That is what Johnson is calling for, I think we can all agree that is a bridge too far.

    What DO you mean by “community rights?” That sounds like an oxymoron to me.

    Both the individual and the community have “rights.” But too often “the community” means  the wealthy and influential within the community, or the more articulate, or (locally) empty nesters with time on their hands to mind everyone’s business. Christianity, for example, is supposed to be concerned about the “marginalized.” But who can marginalize people except a community? I as an individual can exclude people, and do, but I alone can hardly marginalize anyone.

    • #95
  6. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    hcat:

    Cato Rand:

    Bryan G. Stephens:

    Schwaibold:

    Bryan G. Stephens:

    Jamie Lockett:

    I must respectfully disagree. Johnson’s aversion to religious liberty capitulates to the community at the expense of the individual. Focusing on the individual’s rights always works, unless we can’t even agree on what a right is.. doh!

    Well that is its own Thread. When I say community rights though, I don’t me the Federal Gov’ment. That is what Johnson is calling for, I think we can all agree that is a bridge too far.

    What DO you mean by “community rights?” That sounds like an oxymoron to me.

    Both the individual and the community have “rights.” But too often “the community” means the wealthy and influential within the community, or the more articulate, or (locally) empty nesters with time on their hands to mind everyone’s business. Christianity, for example, is supposed to be concerned about the “marginalized.” But who can marginalize people except a community? I as an ndividual can exclude people, and do, but I alone can hardly marginalize anyone.

    Working with said individuals, I’d say most of them marginalize themselves.

    • #96
  7. Tom Meyer Contributor
    Tom Meyer
    @tommeyer

    hcat:

    @tomdmeyer can you tell us why you oppose RFRA? It should be an interesting discussion. And RFRA came out of RLUIPA, which was about local land use and permits, not about gay rights or discrimination.

    Sure. :)

    For ideological reasons, I strongly dislike RFRAs because they presume — and endorse — a very weak right to free association. A Christian baker should not have to explain to a court that baking a wedding cake for a gay couple violates her conscience because the fact that she does not want to should be sufficient. The presumption should be on those who wish to compel services to prove that there is sufficient cause to over-ride the baker’s conscience.

    For practical reasons, I also oppose because they make it easier for bad laws to pass and stay on the books by exempting the most obvious injustices. Catholic nuns should not have to purchase Sandra Fluke’s contraceptives, but neither should you or I. If the Left truly believes such behavior should be compelled, then compel it of everyone. Laws should be generally applicable and the more we make carve-outs for this group or that class the worse our civil society will be.

    Longer version here.

    • #97
  8. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Tom Meyer:

    hcat:

    @tomdmeyer can you tell us why you oppose RFRA? It should be an interesting discussion. And RFRA came out of RLUIPA, which was about local land use and permits, not about gay rights or discrimination.

    Sure. ?

    For ideological reasons, I strongly dislike RFRAs because they presume — and endorse — a very weak right to free association. A Christian baker should not have to explain to a court that baking a wedding cake for a gay couple violates her conscience because the fact that she does not want to should be sufficient. The presumption should be on those who wish to compel services to prove that there is sufficient cause to over-ride the baker’s conscience.

    For practical reasons, I also oppose because they make it easier for bad laws to pass and stay on the books by exempting the most obvious injustices. Catholic nuns should not have to purchase Sandra Fluke’s contraceptives, but neither should you or I. If the Left truly believes such behavior should be compelled, then compel it of everyone. Laws should be generally applicable and the more we make carve-outs for this group or that class the worse our civil society will be.

    Longer version here.

    Tom, that was a lot better said than I could do it.

    • #98
  9. Tom Meyer Contributor
    Tom Meyer
    @tommeyer

    Bryan G. Stephens:If someone cannot even see a loss of money as “harm”, when their only solution is to sell the devalued asset, and move, then I just do not have any ground to talk to them on.

    Byran, I know we’ve gone around on this before but I think it’s worth noting that Bryan is correct that it does totally stink to have to stay on your guard against a small minority who wish to stomp on community norms and devalue one’s property. Buying out a strip club or moving is a royally painful thing to do.

    However, I’d point out that it also stinks to have to stay on your guard against a small plurality who wish to use public means to stomp on community norms and devalue one’s property. Organizing against some stupid town ordinance that needlessly restricts one’s property use (which also usually devalues it) is also a real hassle. Depending on the situation, buying out the strip club may actually be easier and less costly.

    • #99
  10. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Tom Meyer:

    Bryan G. Stephens:If someone cannot even see a loss of money as “harm”, when their only solution is to sell the devalued asset, and move, then I just do not have any ground to talk to them on.

    Byran, I know we’ve gone around on this before but I think it’s worth noting that Bryan is correct that it does totally stink to have to stay on your guard against a small minority who wish to stomp on community norms and devalue one’s property. Buying out a strip club or moving is a royally painful thing to do.

    However, I’d point out that it also stinks to have to stay on your guard against a small plurality who wish to use public means to stomp on community norms and devalue one’s property. Organizing against some stupid town ordinance that needlessly restricts one’s property use (which also usually devalues it) is also a real hassle. Depending on the situation, buying out the strip club may actually be easier and less costly.

    That also can be true.

    If the government causes my value to go down, they should give me other people’s money, in the form of tax dollars.

    If that was the case, they might think twice!

    On the other hand, the house I love could have a stadium built nearby, and my values soar as it is rezoned commerical, and I may a mint selling it, and I am still harmed in the since that I did not want to move in the first place.

    Never a good way with growth for everyone to be happy.

    • #100
  11. hcat Inactive
    hcat
    @hcat

    Pseudodionysius:

    True enough. If I trusted Trump more on this, I might vote for him. But I don’t. So it’s Gary or Hillary, for me. Ugh. Unless we could put Trump in and arrange for his sudden demise on January 21st. But that wouldn’t be very nice.

    • #101
  12. hcat Inactive
    hcat
    @hcat

    Joe P:Anyone check lately on how well Seasteading is doing?

    I’m sure the CC&Rs on any Seastead will be very strict.

    • #102
  13. hcat Inactive
    hcat
    @hcat

    I used to think there was a place for a socially conservative and fiscally liberal party. That’s where a lot of blacks and Latinos, and some whites, are. Unfortunately white nationalist “social conservatism” has now been proved to b more popular than the very different religious variety.

    • #103
  14. Joe P Member
    Joe P
    @JoeP

    hcat:

    Joe P:Anyone check lately on how well Seasteading is doing?

    I’m sure the CC&Rs on any Seastead will be very strict.

    If they’re burdensome, you could just float your platform away from those CC&Rs. Plus, it’s still probably less expensive than private space colonization, which would be the only other way to escape the coming post-Obama horror.

    • #104
  15. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Cato Rand:Tom and Jamie, you are engaging in the nirvana fallacy. You are comparing Johnson/Weld to some idealized view of a libertarian candidate. That is pointless. There are a lot of flavors of libertarians, just as with republicans and democrats, and no candidate can be expected to fully satisfy. Moreover, you are certainly not comparing Johnson/Weld to the real world alternatives that this year’s political process has puked up. Take a deep breath, come down from your ivory towers, and look at the options before you. I think when you do it will be clear enough that however imperfect you find them, you’d be overjoyed if Johnson/Weld were to pull an upset in 2016.

    It’s not engaging in a nirvana fallacy to see that a candidate is less appealing than other candidates. To be a useful conscience vote, Johnson needs, at a minimum, to be more libertarian than Clinton.

    He doesn’t have to be promising to cut spending massively, but he probably does have to avoid promising to increase it overall.

    He doesn’t have to be a genius about foreign policy, but he should probably be more informed than Trump.

    He doesn’t have to patriotic, but he should probably not have the strongest sneer of any candidate in talking about his country.

    He doesn’t have to be honest, but he should probably be able to say something about his substantive record which is not clearly false (to be fair, Weld does say things about Weld’s substantive record that are true; this one is just a Johnson flaw). Alternatively, being honest about his current positions would be nice.

    He doesn’t have to be radically in favor of freedom, but he probably does have to avoid wanting to leave us less free, laboring under gun control, discrimination mandates, environmental controls, and unconstitutional campaign finance regulations.

    It’s easy to find areas where one candidate or the other is as bad as J/W on an issue, but it’s genuinely challenging to find an area where a candidate is worse.

    Cato Rand:

    Marion Evans:Look, the bar has been set low:

    Are Johnson / Weld NOT terminally insane incompetent megalomaniacs? Yes. Check.

    Are Johnson / Weld NOT terminally corrupt pathological liars? Yes. Check.

    Looks like I will vote for them with two hands. Though maybe not in another time or place.

    This sums up my sentiments pretty well. Two guys who belong neither in prison nor the nuthouse. What more could you ask for?

    I could ask you to pay more attention to J/W. Do you think that Weld is legitimate in suggesting that if he were in the WH, Omar Mateen would have been prevented from murdering folks? Do you think that Johnson’s years of claiming eight balanced budgets were a product of his just having forgotten? Do you think his current claim that the 2003 New Mexico budget was a triumph for him comes about because Johnson doesn’t know that it was passed over his veto? When he says that he’s climbed high mountains, so balancing budgets will be easy, does that strike you as the claim of a sane man?

    Have you watched him claiming to have stopped taking pot? You’ve probably seen it several times. Have you seen him giving the same date twice for doing so? When someone is continually claiming to have gone cold turkey a couple of weeks ago, that’s a sign of their having a problem.

    • #105
  16. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Bryan G. Stephens:

    Tom Meyer:

    hcat:

    @tomdmeyer can you tell us why you oppose RFRA? It should be an interesting discussion. And RFRA came out of RLUIPA, which was about local land use and permits, not about gay rights or discrimination.

    Sure. ?

    For ideological reasons, I strongly dislike RFRAs because they presume — and endorse — a very weak right to free association. A Christian baker should not have to explain to a court that baking a wedding cake for a gay couple violates her conscience because the fact that she does not want to should be sufficient. The presumption should be on those who wish to compel services to prove that there is sufficient cause to over-ride the baker’s conscience.

    For practical reasons, I also oppose because they make it easier for bad laws to pass and stay on the books by exempting the most obvious injustices. Catholic nuns should not have to purchase Sandra Fluke’s contraceptives, but neither should you or I. If the Left truly believes such behavior should be compelled, then compel it of everyone. Laws should be generally applicable and the more we make carve-outs for this group or that class the worse our civil society will be.

    Longer version here.

    Tom, that was a lot better said than I could do it.

    I’d like to reiterate my disagreement. The RFRAs don’t assume, a priori, the pre-RFRA legal regime. They were empirical response to actual court cases in the real world. They did not endorse the pre-RFRA legal regime. They were an explicit refutation of it. I agree that it would be good if RFRAs were stronger than they currently are; I commend Pence for leaving his state with stronger religious liberty rights than were present when he took over. We should all support Alliance, Beckett, and other groups supporting religious liberty. That’s not an argument against increasing protections where we can.

    I forgot that the second paragraph existed, but I disagree with this, too. I know of no law that passed because of a RFRA existing, and I feel confident that the RFRA had no impact on the passage of Obamacare. If, without RFRAs, a law struggled to pass on the basis that if failed to protect religious liberty, the exceptions giving rise to concerns could always be written into the law, as they often are and often were before the passage of RFRAs.

    • #106
  17. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Far North Professor:

    Tom Meyer, Ed.: Weld praises Justice Stephen Breyer and Judge Merrick Garland, who are the jurists most deferential to the government on everything

    Tom Meyer: Just to be clear, the question encompassed both world wars, which is just a painfully awful way to ask a question. Unfortunately, Johnson’s answer was also painfully awful.

    On the first issue, Weld’s opinions on Supreme Court nominees are every bit as relevant as Mike Pence’s and Tim Kaine’s; i.e., I couldn’t care less.

    Have you listened to them talking about how they would be co-equals, with one staff, each taking issues as their particular focus? You know that Weld is a lawyer and interested in this stuff, while Johnson is not? Have you heard Johnson talking about how he’d pick judges? He used to essentially ask them riddles and hypotheticals about a future dystopia in which the Constitution was transformed beyond recognition. For state judges. It’s Weld’s views on judges that matter, not Johnson’s.

    With respect to the question on World Wars, I think he was just trying to get out of the question without saying something that would either alienate Libertarian voters or be held against him in the general election. Johnson is clearly not quick on his feet, and for someone like that it is whacky, off-the-wall questions that are the hardest to answer.

    It’s true that a lot of Johnson’s awful claims are craven pandering rather than genuinely tyrannous belief. That said, it is a problem for America that he so consistently panders. I don’t know if he wants to expand social security, or to have a massive new round of infrastructure building, or anything else he promises. In the end, though, it doesn’t really matter; that he promises big government policies after a record of having expanded government as a governor is enough to make him an opponent of small government, given that there isn’t going to be a period when his true self comes forward; he’s not going to be President.

    Weld, on the other hand, is clearly sincere, whether he’s endorsing Clinton, or promising massive new “emergency” spending to provide jobs and education to young African American men, or to fight ISIS using the techniques that he prosecuted the Mafia with in the 1980s (his innovations were the perp walk and an expanded use of RICO).

    Johnson is not an idiot, he knows that his only path to success is to pick off voters nearly equally from disaffected Sanders voters and NeverTrump conservatives. There’s no way to do that without a little smoke and mirrors. Weld is the farthest left guy the Libertarians could stomach, and he was put on the ticket to make it appear “safe” for young Bernie voters.

    You think Weld is a Bernie guy? Weld is as establishment as they come. He was Romney’s finance chair in ’08. Johnson said at the LP convention, and I believe him, that he gets more TV spots with Weld than he would with a more principled candidate, and that that was why he should be picked.

    Personally, by far my main issue is the National Debt, and Johnson is the only candidate who thinks it is even worth mentioning.

    This is simply not true. Trump mentions it all the time. Clinton mentions it more often than Johnson.

    How does Johnson suggest that we should pay off the debt? By assuming higher compliance with a 30% sales tax than exists with the current income tax system. He promises more spending as a response to just about any problem, but the FAIR Tax is the solution. When that was Mike Huckabee’s program, were you a Huckabee supporter on fiscal policy?

    • #107
  18. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Tom Meyer, Ed.:

    Marion Evans:Look, the bar has been set low:

    Are Johnson / Weld NOT terminally insane incompetent megalomaniacs? Yes. Check.

    Are Johnson / Weld NOT terminally corrupt pathological liars? Yes. Check.

    Looks like I will vote for them with two hands. Though maybe not in another time or place.

    Yes, but given that Johnson/Weld have no chance whatsoever to win, why give them the benefit of my protest vote?

    I’m disappointed that you would say “yes” to these claims. What is the promise that if he were Vice President, the FBI would not mess up individual interviews if not terminally insane megalomania? What is the claim that we’re allies of ISIS and attacking Assad if not terminally insane incompetence? Both claims, to me, seem more crazy than anything Trump has said, although I’d welcome counter-examples.

    Johnson passed endless subsidies aimed at small numbers of people, like the electronic card-reading manufacturer tax credit. He now backs Putin on essentially every issue where they interact, and to a far greater extent than Trump. His support at the LP, and most of his arguments, came far more explicitly from the funding and TV appearance possibilities than Clinton’s did. He hasn’t made as much money as Clinton has, but that’s a matter of competence and opportunity rather than of morals.

    In terms of honesty, as above, do you believe that Johnson could honestly believe that he was responsible for the budget that was passed over his veto? That he could honestly claim to have been heavily focused on reducing the incarceration rate during a period when it massively increased and he consistently vetoed bills to reduce it? Which of Johnson’s slogans do you believe to be honest?

    • #108
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