Romney surrogates reach out to Libertarians with hilarious results

Ersatz theme blogs are common Romney trick, e.g. Evangelicals for Mitt, which purports to be precisely that, only it really isn’t about Evangelicals (its coverage reflects few if any truly Evangelical concerns), and it really isn’t for Mitt, at least not in the sense of being well-argued or persuasive. Rather: it is for those already committed to Romney. Mostly it serves as a means to flatter the Romneys while using the term “Evangelical” a lot.

Now there is Our Independent Libertarian Spirit, the most non-Libertarian “Libertarian” web log you will ever encounter. (By way of contrast, here is what seems to be a genuine libertarian voice: Liz Mair’s blog.) Consider the post: “Miracle working” and “libertarian”: two expressions of open-mindedness! What is most hysterically funny about the post is how the author strains to discover an example of Romney’s Libertarian virtues or beliefs.

Here, in summary, are “Christian Prophet’s” arguments:

  • Libertarians call Romney a statist. But Democrats who worship the state hate Romney. Hence, by implication, Romney is no statist! (This charming non-sequitor is a common Mittwit rejoinder. See: “Mitt’s stances on issues are nuanced”; applied Mittwit logic.)
  • The reader is then invited to ask, “Why are dictatorial Democrats so afraid of Mitt Romney?”–this leading question, a question that assumes in advance that Democrats do indeed fear Romney, is an instance of anthypophora where the writer asks, then immediately answers, her own question. Her answer: “Governor Romney is willing to consider libertarian possibilities.” Note the hedging language. Not “seek” or “implement” libertarian “solutions”; rather: ponder in his heart libertarian “possibilities.” What does that mean!?
  • The writer continues:

… Romney is neither a Marxist-agenda-driven “progressive liberal” or a closed-minded big-government conservative. His historical modus operandi, which he used to restore to health many bed-ridden companies as well as the terminally ill 2002 Winter Olympics, is to gather into a room all sorts of experts from all kinds of fields and “lock them up,” so to speak, until they reach a unanimous consensus as to what is the best possible solution given the circumstances … usually a solution nobody thought of as a possibility before they entered the room, a result of Romney’s insistence on open-mindedness.

Hmmm … wisdom dictates that libertarian solutions are the best possible solutions, true or false?

Inevitably, the solution which emerges from Romney’s demand for finding the one right answer is either:
1) An outright libertarian-leaning solution, or
2) A solution with strong components of voluntarism and individual responsibility, as opposed to heavy-handed state involvement …

  • Commentary: Libertarians tend to favour the rule of law. Or: solutions that respect local procedures for adjudicating among rival claims (i.e. institutions). Locking “experts” in a room until they achieve “consensus”- is hardly a libertarian solution. It is not even a democratic solution. It is, by definition, coercion! Hayek argues against precisely this sort of procedure in his The Fatal Conceit; The Errors of Socialism–expert knowledge does not impress libertarians; free people allowed to act freely impresses libertarians. Note that the best anyone can hope for from a Romney solution is a libertarian-leaning solution or a solution “with strong components of voluntarism and individual responsibility,” whatever that could possibly mean.
  • The writer then examines a particular example of Romney’s problem solving skills with respect to the health insurance program passed in Massachusetts and concludes of the results: “Not really a true libertarian solution? No, but so much better than the plan that would otherwise have passed into law.” So: by the writer’s own admission, Romney’s procedures do not result in libertarian solutions. But, apparently, they are the best that we can hope for.
  • The writer then departs her argument altogether: “The libertarian preparation device, A Course in Miracles, speaks of open-mindedness … ” What are we to conclude from this? That to reject Romney on libertarian grounds is to be closed minded? (Apparently the writer has never heard of the “Party of Principle.”) Then why does the writer need to forward any arguments at all? Why not just say: be open minded; consider Romney. And a Course in Miracles!?–How does that follow? Why am I being asked to undertake a “libertarian preparation device” when the argument is addressed to, you know, libertarians!? And: just what is a “libertarian preparation device”?!

You would think with all of Romney’s “vast personal fortune” that he would be able to afford a genuine Libertarian to shill for him, or someone at least somewhat familiar with the idiom, or someone who understands the most basic premises of the discourse.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.


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