pageok
pageok
pageok
Rudy Giuliani and the Authoritarianism Question:
I very much appreciate John McGinnis's libertarian case for Rudy Giuliani. At the same time, it seems to me that there's a significant objection to Giuliani from a libertarian perspective: Many consider him the most authoritarian of the Republican nominees and the least concerned with the Rule of Law. (To get a flavor of the critiques, consider this video exchange between Megan McArdle and Dan Drezner. For a particularly harsh critique from a left perspective — over the top, in my view, but worth mining for evidence amidst the rhetoric — see here). I'd be very interested in hearing responses to these concerns from libertarianish Giuliani supporters.
Mr. X (www):
Cue Eric Dondero in 3...2...1...
1.2.2008 1:40pm
James968 (mail):
I heard a few speeches were Guliani was "sounding" Libertarian (i.e Govt should get ouf the way of the economy, etc), but he doesn't seem to really believe it. Kinda like a good idea, but he hasn't looked at the nuts and bolts and what it means.
1.2.2008 1:53pm
SIG357:
It's tough to see how the man who took the Feds to court to defeat the line item veto and preserve NYC's pork can be regarded as a fiscal conservative, but maybe one of his fans will explain it.
1.2.2008 2:02pm
SIG357:
Also from a somewhat left-libertarian perspective is this article from Reason. And this one from the same source.

Well worth a read.
1.2.2008 2:06pm
Just Dropping By (mail):
Cue Eric Dondero in 3...2...1...

No, amazingly he somehow hasn't found this blog (at least not that I've ever seen).
1.2.2008 2:07pm
PersonFromPorlock:
IIRC, Ariana Huffington wrote in 1998 that "Rudy Guiliani has a plan for New York and while it's complicated, it can be summed up in one word: Singapore."
1.2.2008 2:13pm
Anderson (mail):
Along these lines, Matt Yglesias notes the American Conservative has featured Giuliani on the cover, in a most unflattering manner. The picture should not be missed.
1.2.2008 2:19pm
Crust (mail):
Anderson beat me too it. Here's the link to the latest issue of the The American Conservative, featuring anti-Giuliani pieces by Michael Desch, Tom Platak and Glenn Greenwald (somewhat surprisingly, Greenwald is an occasional contributor to AmCon, having written at least a half dozen pieces for the magazine).
1.2.2008 2:27pm
Giuliani Leaner (mail):
The libertarian case for Rudy is that the least libertarian element of the Republican Party are Southern Christian religious populists, the type that are going for Huckabee. If Giuliani wins the nomination, the veto power this group has had over nominations will be gone forever. Meanwhile, Giuliani could attract back to the party a libertarianish element that has left it--highly-educated technology and other workers who voted for Reagan, but haven't been able to stomach Bush II's overt appeals to religious backwardness.
1.2.2008 2:29pm
Giuliani Leaner (mail):
If Pat Buchanan's rag hates him, he can't be all bad.
1.2.2008 2:30pm
Crust (mail):
Giuliani Leaner, saying that there is another candidate (Huckabee) who is even less palatable to libertarians is damning with faint praise. After all, while it's arguably fair to rule out Paul and Thompson on the grounds that they are marginal candidates at this point, surely the same can't be said of Romney and McCain. So an argument for Giuliani should at least give some indication of why he would be better than either of them.
1.2.2008 2:37pm
hattio1:
Two words for why he's authoritarian. Abner Louima. He's the Haitian immigrant who was raped with the broken handle of (I think) a toilet plunger. He said the officer's who did were telling him they were going to go Guiliani on his ass.
Now, the officers may have made that up out of thin air, but I don't believe it. More than likely they took to extremes an unspoken directive to deal harshly with even the most minor crimes (The "broken windows" theory of criminal justice).
Should Guiliani be held responsible? Hell yeah. He was in charge of the executive and ultimately their boss. He defended them for a significant period of time until it became politically infeasible.
1.2.2008 2:37pm
Lawyer-Wearing-Yarmulka (www):
He said the officer's who did were telling him they were going to go Guiliani on his ass.

Considering that Louima later recanted that part of the story, your whole comment is pointless.
1.2.2008 2:59pm
A.S.:
somewhat surprisingly, Greenwald is an occasional contributor to AmCon

Not surprising at all. After all, Pat Buchanan's got a long history of hatred. So it's no wonder that people like Buchanan and Greenwald would have problems with Giuliani.
1.2.2008 3:00pm
SIG357:
After all, Pat Buchanan's got a long history of hatred. So it's no wonder that people like Buchanan and Greenwald would have problems with Giuliani.


Those sentences make no logical sense, unless you are trying to suggest that Giuliani is the antithesis of hate.
1.2.2008 3:07pm
SIG357:
"Two words for why he's authoritarian. Abner Louima."

Surely Patrick Dorismond would be a better two words?
1.2.2008 3:09pm
Anderson (mail):
He said the officer's who did were telling him they were going to go Guiliani on his ass.
Now, the officers may have made that up out of thin air, but I don't believe it.


Actually, I think Louima admitted that "it's Giuliani time" was made up.
1.2.2008 3:09pm
PLR:
Coming soon: "The libertarian case for Dennis Kucinich," or "Smoke 'em if you got 'em."
1.2.2008 3:15pm
SIG357:
"The libertarian case for Rudy is that the least libertarian element of the Republican Party are Southern Christian religious populists"

That is a very weak case, unless you are defining libertarianism as simply opposition to religion. The South is the most fiscally conservative part of the country, for instance.
1.2.2008 3:32pm
Anderson (mail):
I also have a theory that America will not elect a president whose name is widely misspelled.
1.2.2008 3:33pm
wekt:

Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.

-- Giuliani, 1994

From a New York Times article.
1.2.2008 3:37pm
Anderson (mail):
The South is the most fiscally conservative part of the country, for instance.

Including states like Mississippi, which receive a good bit more than $1 back for every $1 they pay in taxes. But some of that goes to the [stage whisper] b-l-a-c-k Mississippians. Hence the need for fiscal conservatism!
1.2.2008 3:38pm
Bart (mail):
wekt:

Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.

-- Giuliani, 1994

Giuliani is arguing that the rule of law provides more freedom than anarchy. Ask any New Yorker who walked through Central Park before and after Giuliani whether that argument is true.
1.2.2008 3:55pm
Duncan Frissell (mail):
New York City was not noticeably more authoritarian under Rudy than it is now under Bloomie. Tax increases and nanny-state smoking bans have been the order of the day. Bloomie has outlawed sitting on steps, possession of ashtrays, and imposed lots more finicky restrictions than Rudy.

NYC cops shot more people in the four years of David Dinkins than than in the eight years of Rudy.

Rudy also opposes government support of obscene art. Given the nature of the current art scene that's practically a a call for complete defunding of government art. Very libertarian position.

Rudy was bad on freedom of enterprise as a prosecutor but his negative impact was reduced by losses on appeal (he lost most of his big cases that were appealed).
1.2.2008 3:59pm
CJColucci:
Ask any New Yorker who walked through Central Park before and after Giuliani whether that argument is true.
I fit that description and I never had problems walking through Central Park before Giuliani, during Giuliani, or after Giuliani. Your results may differ. For those who like data rather than anecdotage, crime started dropping sharply in NYC two years before Giuliani became Mayor. While Giuliani was Mayor, crime dropped substantially nationwide and in many formerly crime-plagued cities where Giuliani was not Mayor. Since Giuliani stopped being Mayor, crime in NYC has continued to drop steadily. Homicides in 2007 were as low as they have been since we started keeping tolerably reliable statistics in 1963.
1.2.2008 4:05pm
wm13:
hattio1, Giuliani didn't defend the Abner Louima cops for a single day. You are simply lying. (He did defend other cops who were criticized by the Al Sharpton types; in each case, to the best of my recollection, he was vindicated as the cops were acquitted or exonerated.)

On the larger issue, if a bunch of phony libertarians like McArdle, Kerr and Drezner are against you, that to me is a highly persuasive libertarian case for Giuliani.
1.2.2008 4:07pm
A.:
If you refuse to vote for a member of a crazy cult (There's a man in Utah who converses with God? Really, Mitt? And the angel Moroni came to upstate New York in the 19th Century to deliver the new scriptures? Really really?), or a more established cult leader (Baptist minister? You're kidding, right?), or a fringe candidate (Thompson, Paul), whom should you support? Guiliani at least makes an effort to be fiscally conservative and socially liberal, so I'll hold my nose and pull the lever.
1.2.2008 4:07pm
Bart (mail):
The GOP is a conservative party which generally shares the same desire for free markets with the libertarians. However, conservatives also believe in using law to impose basic morality and in a muscular internationalist foreign policy, while libertarians do not believe in regulating morality through the law and are isolationists.

On a policy level, Giuliani is more libertarian than many in the GOP because he does not generally believe in regulating markets or minds. However, Giuliani is a hard ass on law enforcement and security in general. Furthermore, Rudy does have an authoritarian management style.

In comparison to the actual governing policy positions of Romney (government mandated health insurance &higher taxes), Huckabee (higher taxes and spending), and McCain (McCain Feingold, etc), you can make a reasonable argument that Rudy's actual governing policies (as opposed to his management style) are more libertarian that his main competitors.

Paul is the closest thing to a libertarian running for President, but I do not think the vast majority of the GOP likes his isolationism nor his blame America first view of foreign affairs with whoppers like Clinton's bombing of Iraq caused 9/11 or the liberation of Iraq caused the assassination of Bhutto.
1.2.2008 4:09pm
Anderson (mail):
Giuliani didn't defend the Abner Louima cops for a single day

It is however pleasant to recall Sean Hannity on the subject:

Fox News pundit Sean Hannity was one of Louima's biggest critics during the trial, charging that he had fabricated the rape — calling him "lying Louima" — and using interviews with people alleging Louima had past sexual relationships with men to bolster the claim that he had sustained his injuries during a "gay sex act." Hannity stopped using the "lying Louima" epithet after Volpe confessed to sodomizing Louima with the help of another officer.

Undoubtedly, Hannity also offered his heartfelt apologies to Louima, but somehow that didn't make it into the Wikipedia article.
1.2.2008 4:14pm
Crust (mail):
wm3: [I]f a bunch of phony libertarians like McArdle, Kerr and Drezner are against you, that to me is a highly persuasive libertarian case for Giuliani.

Well that's an equally persuasive case for, say, Kucinich or Gravel whom I'm guessing McArdle, Kerr and Drezner also dislike.
1.2.2008 4:19pm
CrazyTrain (mail):
Paul is the closest thing to a libertarian running for President, but I do not think the vast majority of the GOP likes his isolationism nor his blame America first view of foreign affairs with whoppers like Clinton's bombing of Iraq caused 9/11 or the liberation of Iraq caused the assassination of Bhutto.

Good to see you are interested in a substantive discussion. I am no fan of Paul at all, but to call his criticisms of US foreign policy (both in the Clinton and Bush administrations) a "blame America first view of foreign affairs" shows that you likely don't have much between the ears and/or that your primary news source is Instapundit, Hew Hughitt, Rush Limbaugh and the Corner.
1.2.2008 4:29pm
CrazyTrain (mail):
The GOP is a conservative party which generally shares the same desire for free markets with the libertarians.

Prescription drug entitlement. Look it up. When you weigh its costs, it is the most anti-free market legislation in recent memory. It is also the most significant piece of domestic spending legislation ever passed in the last 100 years by a Republican President and a fully Republican Congress.
1.2.2008 4:31pm
Bart (mail):
CrazyTrain (mail):

BD: Paul is the closest thing to a libertarian running for President, but I do not think the vast majority of the GOP likes his isolationism nor his blame America first view of foreign affairs with whoppers like Clinton's bombing of Iraq caused 9/11 or the liberation of Iraq caused the assassination of Bhutto.

Good to see you are interested in a substantive discussion. I am no fan of Paul at all, but to call his criticisms of US foreign policy (both in the Clinton and Bush administrations) a "blame America first view of foreign affairs" shows that you likely don't have much between the ears and/or that your primary news source is Instapundit, Hew Hughitt, Rush Limbaugh and the Corner.


I actually like nearly all of Paul's stands concerning domestic policy. However there is no other honest way of describing his claims concerning the causes of 9/11 and the assassination of Bhutto as anything except a "blame America first view of foreign affairs." Paul expressly and falsely blamed the United States for forcing al Qaeda to murder 3500 during 9/11 and Bhutto more recently.

This is the classic isolationist response to external threats - if we just leave them alone, they will leave us alone. Thus, isolationists reason that it must be our fault if an enemy attacks the United States.
1.2.2008 4:39pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):
The American "Conservative" cover is taken from a famouse Nazi propaganda poster. I would call it disgusting and shocking, not "should not be missed".

More evidence that the wacky right (Buchanan) and the wacky left (Greenwald) think alike. American politics is not a left to right line anymore, it is a circle.

There is nothing about Giuliani that is "authoritarian". It is a slur to mean he is/was a dictator. I would expect the liberals here to like the term but to even pose the question in this way speaks poorly of Professor Kerr.

It is not "authoritarian" to exercise lawful power agressively. By that standard, FDR, Teddy Roosevelt and Lincoln were "authoritarian".

As for "least concerned with the Rule of Law", what does that mean? Even the left wing article linked said that he obeyed the "Rule of Law" in that he used the law to advance his policies and obeyed court decisions that went against him.

Rudy is no more a danger to the Republic than Hillary Clinton. He is a strong willed man who pushes the limits of executive power but within the American tradition.
1.2.2008 4:44pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
"The libertarian case for Rudy is that the least libertarian element of the Republican Party are Southern Christian religious populists"

That is a very weak case, unless you are defining libertarianism as simply opposition to religion. The South is the most fiscally conservative part of the country, for instance.
Even to the extent that's true in the abstract, the problem is that Huckabee isn't. He's well to the left of many Democrats on many government issues. Cato rated him an F; Club for Growth thinks he's an abomination.

I basically think that if it weren't for the fact that anti-abortion people were run out of the Democratic party over the last two decades, Huckabee would still be a Democrat.
1.2.2008 4:46pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Er, by "still" I don't mean that he personally was ever a Democrat, but his policy positions were/are.
1.2.2008 4:46pm
Thoughtful (mail):
Two words for those who claim Guiliani has any sense of libertarianism about him: Michael Milken
1.2.2008 4:49pm
Bart (mail):
CrazyTrain (mail):

BD: The GOP is a conservative party which generally shares the same desire for free markets with the libertarians.

Prescription drug entitlement. Look it up. When you weigh its costs, it is the most anti-free market legislation in recent memory. It is also the most significant piece of domestic spending legislation ever passed in the last 100 years by a Republican President and a fully Republican Congress.


I used the term "generally" for a reason.

Apart from the tax rate reductions and the partial birth abortion ban, Mr. Bush arguably had the most liberal domestic policy of any GOP President since Richard Nixon completed the Great Society. You will note that the President overruled his party's conservatives and passed the new drug entitlement with an alliance with Dems and the liberal AARP. Indeed, Mr. Bush's profligacy is a major reason why he has Nixon-esque approval ratings. Indeed, Bush's approval ratings among GOP would be much lower if he was not a rock on the Iraq War.
1.2.2008 4:50pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
As for "least concerned with the Rule of Law", what does that mean? Even the left wing article linked said that he obeyed the "Rule of Law" in that he used the law to advance his policies and obeyed court decisions that went against him.
It does not show respect for the rule of law to flagrantly and repeatedly violate the constitution, and then "obey court decisions" that slap you down. Defending a candidate by saying that he "obeyed court decisions" is like defending him by saying he's never raped anybody. Of course he "obeyed court decisions." This isn't Little Rock in 1957; even the most extreme candidate on the left or right would not actively disobey a court decision. But it doesn't show respect for the law to go after people for exercising free speech -- and then obey a court decision when you lose.

And let's not forget Rudy's position on guns.
1.2.2008 4:51pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
On the larger issue, if a bunch of phony libertarians like McArdle, Kerr and Drezner are against you, that to me is a highly persuasive libertarian case for Giuliani.
Putting aside the bizarre, unfounded, and unsupported name calling, and the bad logic, Reason has also criticized Giuliani. Is Reason run by "phony libertarians" too?

What's a real libertarian?
1.2.2008 4:53pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
On the larger issue, if a bunch of phony libertarians like McArdle, Kerr and Drezner are against you, that to me is a highly persuasive libertarian case for Giuliani.


I don’t think calling Orin a “phony libertarian” is accurate and he (much like Eugene) is generally a pretty fair-minded fellow particularly when dealing with people he disagrees with.

As far as Megan, while she occasionally takes a libertarian stance on the issues, she’s just as likely to take a Nanny Statist attitude as well but she’s generally upfront about it.

Dan Drezner OTOH is a lot like Andrew Sullivan in his temperament, he holds himself out as a Republican (or libertarian) so he can bash them and then endorses a Democrat whom (if his previous posts are to be believed) is even further from his previously stated position on the issues.
1.2.2008 4:57pm
hattio1:
Didn't realize that Louima ever recanted the "go Guliani" remark.

Bob from Ohio;
Saying Rudy is "only" as authoritarian as Lincoln and the Roosevelts would kinda prove Professor Kerr's point in many minds, mine included as to FDR and Lincoln.
1.2.2008 4:58pm
wm13:
David O. Nieropont:

John McGinniss (my Exeter classmate) is a real (more properly, a sensible) libertarian: he doesn't, so far as I know, support spending $3 billion of government money on stem cell research as Mr. Drezner does, and he doesn't think that there is a legal right to have sex in public restrooms as Ms. McArdle does.
1.2.2008 5:00pm
wekt:


wekt:

Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.

-- Giuliani, 1994

Giuliani is arguing that the rule of law provides more freedom than anarchy.

Of course the rule of law provides more freedom than anarchy. But he's not merely arguing that we must respect the rights of others, perform our civic duties, and submit ourselves to gov't enforcement of the same. He's arguing for a nanny state premised on the notion that we citizens can't take care of ourselves and shouldn't question what the gov't does 'in the interest of security'. In the NYC subways, you're not allowed to carry a firearm for protection against criminals, and your suitcase or backpack is subject to random search even if they don't reasonably suspect you of wrongdoing. Goodbye, 2nd and 4th amendments!
1.2.2008 5:05pm
wm13:
wekt: Whereas in the London subway (metro), you have the sacred freedom to be blown up by terrorists! Which is what Giuliani is saying, and why I'd rather ride the New York subway.

Incidentally, I could be wrong, but my understanding is:

1. The policies providing for random searches of bags in the NYC subways were instituted by Bloomberg. You are deceptively attributing them to Giuliani.

2. There are no special rules about firearms on the New York subways. The same permit regimen that is applicable to the entire city applies in the subways.

3. The New York City permit laws long antedate Giuliani and were not altered under his administration.
1.2.2008 5:20pm
Anderson (mail):
and he doesn't think that there is a legal right to have sex in public restrooms as Ms. McArdle does

What is "libertarian" about locking people up for having sex in public restrooms?

Assume, for purposes of the question, that the sex in question occurs within a latched stall.

My question is a serious one, since if that really is "libertarian," then I clearly have no idea what the term means.
1.2.2008 5:37pm
Just Dropping By (mail):
There is nothing about Giuliani that is "authoritarian".

Google: Giuliani + ferrets.
1.2.2008 5:39pm
SIG357:
David Nieporent

Even to the extent that's true in the abstract, the problem is that Huckabee isn't.

But Huckabee is not under discussion. "Southern Christian religious populists" are. And there is precious little evidence that they are big government people, unless you want to define them as such.
1.2.2008 5:40pm
SIG357:
What is "libertarian" about locking people up for having sex in public restrooms?


The question implies an understanding of libertarianism which few people share. It also explains why many people feel uncomfortable indentifying with libertarians. Are we really sure we want to be the people who stand up for sex in public bathrooms? That right there goes a long way towards explaining why libertarianism will never be a mainstream political view.
1.2.2008 5:45pm
SIG357:
More Giuliani.


In 1994, Mr. Giuliani applauded President Bill Clinton for banning assault rifles and urged Congress to enact physical and written tests and stringent background checks for prospective handgun owners. He also saluted the Clinton health care plan as “doing some pretty good things” and boasted that New York offered “universal health care,” not least for illegal immigrants.



1.2.2008 5:49pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
John McGinniss (my Exeter classmate) is a real (more properly, a sensible) libertarian: he doesn't, so far as I know, support spending $3 billion of government money on stem cell research as Mr. Drezner does, and he doesn't think that there is a legal right to have sex in public restrooms as Ms. McArdle does.
1. You didn't even get close to spelling my name correctly, which doesn't augur well for your reliability generally.

2. When did Dan support that?

3. Surely you don't think banning sex is the more libertarian position. Do you mean the fact that she pointed out the idiocy of arresting Larry Craig for not having sex in public bathrooms?
1.2.2008 5:59pm
SIG357:
Of all the possible hills for libertarians to die on, the inalienable right of people to have sex in public bathrooms is far and away the silliest.

Priorities, people. If this is all that the libertarian movement has to worry about then it really serves no useful purpose.
1.2.2008 6:06pm
wm13:
David M. Nieporent:

1. You are so right. I apologize.

2. November 3, 2004. You could look it up.

3. Banning sex in public restrooms is the sensible policy. McArdle veers wildly between libertarian insanity (like supporting a legal right to have sex in public restrooms) and liberal nanny-statism, if it's a cause she feels strongly about.
1.2.2008 6:07pm
Anderson (mail):
Okay, but no one has answered the question: what is libertarian about locking someone up for having sex in a public bathroom stall?

I would be annoyed if the person next to me started swearing loudly into his cell phone, but it wouldn't occur to me to have the person arrested.

Also, the property owner could presumably forbid such conduct, and order violators to leave the premises, etc.

But is there anything positively libertarian about criminalizing bathroom-stall sex? If so, what?
1.2.2008 6:18pm
Anderson (mail):
(Suppose the person next to me *simulates* bathroom-stall sex -- moans orgasmically, whatever. Is there a libertarian argument for arresting that person? Is there any valid distinction b/t my experience of that person and my experience of a person actually having sex, since I can't see what's going on either way?)
1.2.2008 6:20pm
wm13:
There is something sensible about criminalizing bathroom-stall sex, because it makes it possible to use the airport restrooms when traveling with children.
1.2.2008 6:20pm
Anderson (mail):
because it makes it possible to use the airport restrooms when traveling with children.

So the guy cursing loudly into his cell phone, and the guy pretending to have sex, should both be arrested?

In order to make the restrooms safe for children?

"Nanny-state," indeed.
1.2.2008 6:22pm
Anderson (mail):
Btw, the airport problem could be solved by having private rules against such conduct, as in my example above.

I thought the issue was whether the act itself of having sex in the bathroom stall should be illegal, as in, punishable by law no matter what public restroom it's in, no matter whether the owner prohibits the conduct or not.
1.2.2008 6:23pm
wm13:
This is the problem I have: the people who claim to be libertarians always end up wanting to raise my taxes (for something good, no doubt, like stem cell research), while making my daily life unpleasant by exposing me to men having sex in public restrooms (I'm supposed to think it's okay as long as they latch the stall door), or feral ferrets, or whatever. The more they talk, the more I like Giuliani.
1.2.2008 6:26pm
SIG357:
So the guy cursing loudly into his cell phone, and the guy pretending to have sex, should both be arrested?

In order to make the restrooms safe for children?


I admit, I find this incomprehensible. Are you saying that the guy cursing loudly into his cell phone is a danger to children?
1.2.2008 6:31pm
SIG357:
wm13

You seem to be under the impression that Giuliani will not raise your taxes. I think that is a mistake.

There are quality of life people out there who are also in favor of smaller government. Or at least no larger government.
1.2.2008 6:34pm
SIG357:
what is libertarian about locking someone up for having sex in a public bathroom stall?


I don't think that libertarianism is some grand all-encompassing system that offers a firm answer to every possible question. It's pretty much silent on the question of whether or not we should lock somebody up for having sex in a public place.

But there is nothing in libertarianism which requires us to allow such activity, unless we are in thrall to Mill's idiotic "harm principle".

the airport problem could be solved by having private rules against such conduct

I'm 100% sure that the airport has such rules. Although most large airports are not private entities in any case, but some form of semi-state body.

But as a legal matter something can be "public" even if privately owned. Shops and restaurants, for instance.
1.2.2008 6:48pm
OrinKerr:
Bob From Ohio writes, in defense of Giuliani:
Rudy is no more a danger to the Republic than Hillary Clinton. He is a strong willed man who pushes the limits of executive power but within the American tradition.
Is that supposed to make me more comfortable or less?
1.2.2008 7:19pm
wekt:

wekt: Whereas in the London subway (metro), you have the sacred freedom to be blown up by terrorists! Which is what Giuliani is saying, and why I'd rather ride the New York subway.

Do you really think that random searches of a tiny proportion of subways riders will significantly improve security against terrorists? If the police have a reasonable suspicion that someone is malevolently carrying explosives, then of course they should search the guy. But random searches just give the illusion of security without any of its substance.


1. The policies providing for random searches of bags in the NYC subways were instituted by Bloomberg.

OK, but do you doubt that Guiliani agrees whole-heartedly with this policy? Just try to imagine Giuliani denouncing it as stepping on our Constitutional rights!


2. There are no special rules about firearms on the New York subways. The same permit regimen that is applicable to the entire city applies in the subways.

Perhaps there are no special rules (I'm not familiar with the exact subway regulations), but there are prominent signs in the subway reminding good citizens that guns are evil and illegal to carry there.


3. The New York City permit laws long antedate Giuliani and were not altered under his administration.

Yes, but he defended them. Even running for president, he still defended them, saying that NYC needs different gun control laws than rural areas.
1.2.2008 7:37pm
SIG357:
Instapundit.

When I was a kid I remember reading Henry Reed's Journey by Keith Robertson. Reed, who is about 14, journeys across America in search of fireworks, but finds that they're illegal almost everywhere. It was a great tale, but it's an even better illustration of creeping nanny-statism, over three decades ago. Now Rudy Giuliani is proving Henry even more of a prophet than I remembered. It seems that the New York state legislature has passed a bill in both houses that would legalize a few minor fireworks: sparklers, party-poppers, etc. -- stuff that Henry would have regarded as unbearably wimpish. But not too wimpish to arouse Rudy's ire: he's lobbying Gov. George Pataki to veto the bill.

1.2.2008 8:37pm
SIG357:
Giulaini and the role of government.

“You may know me by the reputation I’ve earned fighting for justice,” Giuliani thundered in a stump speech, “but my commitment to justice goes beyond the courtroom. My commitment goes to the social justice we all want for the less fortunate and for each other. A prosecutor cannot ease crushing poverty or end homelessness or treat drug addicts or help people with AIDS. But a mayor can. And a mayor must.”



Sounds a lot like Bush saying that when people are in need, government has got to act.
1.2.2008 8:42pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
But there is nothing in libertarianism which requires us to allow such activity, unless we are in thrall to Mill's idiotic "harm principle".
There is nothing in libertarianism which requires us to allow such activity except libertarianism?
1.2.2008 11:33pm
liberty (mail) (www):

Of course the rule of law provides more freedom than anarchy. But he's not merely arguing that we must respect the rights of others, perform our civic duties, and submit ourselves to gov't enforcement of the same.

- wekt

Did you read the whole article? The vast majority of that article is about cutting government and reducing the nanny state!

It is true that his record on guns is bad. It is also true that I don't know enough about the details of his administration to say whether he did make grabs for power. But when it comes to nanny-state, welfare state, size of government in terms of scope, offices, taxes and the like: he has the belief, rhetoric and record of a libertarian.
1.3.2008 9:45am
Anderson (mail):
My child's hearing gross profanities is presumably as harmful, or moreso, than his hearing two people going at it in a stall.

A prosecutor cannot ease crushing poverty or end homelessness or treat drug addicts or help people with AIDS. But a mayor can. And a mayor must.

And a mayor didn't.
1.3.2008 10:13am
sleepyhead (mail):
Anderson
Isn't it a question of should the constitution of the US protect sex in public or is it a matter for state and local laws?
1.3.2008 11:41am
SIG357:
"It is true that his record on guns is bad. It is also true that I don't know enough about the details of his administration to say whether he did make grabs for power. But when it comes to nanny-state, welfare state, size of government in terms of scope, offices, taxes and the like: he has the belief, rhetoric and record of a libertarian."


If you can say that then you really don't know enough about the detals of his administration. I've posted several links in this thread that should help you out. He has neither the belief, rhetoric, or record of a libertarian.
1.3.2008 12:18pm
SIG357:
There is nothing in libertarianism which requires us to allow such activity except libertarianism?


You think that the essence of libertarianism is Mill's silly harm principle? If so, we can abort this discussion right here.
1.3.2008 12:20pm
SIG357:
More Giuliani;

Cokie Roberts - "Would you vote in the Senate for McCain-Feingold?"

Giuliani - "Yeah, yes. I'm a big supporter of McCain-Feingold, I have been for a long time."
1.3.2008 12:23pm
Thales (mail) (www):
"But there is nothing in libertarianism which requires us to allow such activity, unless we are in thrall to Mill's idiotic "harm principle"."

The harm principle is idiotic because . . . it's a sensible and dignified way to treat adult human beings? It doesn't allow you to harass others with the force of law simply because they offend your sensibilities? I'm a bit confused. Note that you are labeling without explanation "idiotic" the core thesis of On Liberty, generally regarded as one of the classic statements of classical liberal thought and one which has powerful resonance in political theory and discourse..
1.3.2008 1:17pm
liberty (mail) (www):
SIG357:

He certainly has the rhetoric, and he certainly has the record. I can't read minds, but he seems to have the belief. Despite other reason articles, even at Reason he has fans - he is an "innovator in action".

My favorite quote of his:

"You might be shocked to find out that when I became mayor, the city owned a radio station, a television station, parking lots and a number of other endeavors that weren't within the sphere of the government's proper role. So I did what any good capitalist would do: I sold them off."
1.3.2008 1:26pm
liberty (mail) (www):
I can find other quotes, but one thing you might enjoy is the podcast of the NABE economic advisors debate, which can be found here (see the one titled NABE Podcast: Election 2008 Debate)
1.3.2008 1:39pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Mill's silly harm principle
Well, actually, I'm unaware of the Silly Harm Principle. Is that like the Ministry of Silly Walks? The harm principle -- adopted by the U.S.'s Libertarian Party as the non-initiation of force principle -- is the essence of libertarianism.
1.3.2008 1:46pm
SIG357:
The harm principle -- adopted by the U.S.'s Libertarian Party as the non-initiation of force principle -- is the essence of libertarianism.


That goes a way towards explaining the great power and influence of "the U.S.'s Libertarian Party". A curious formulation, btw. Are you Candadian or non-American?
1.3.2008 2:47pm
SIG357:
liberty

He certainly has the rhetoric, and he certainly has the record.

Well, I have quoted some of his rhetoric and record here, which you've managed to ignore.

So I did what any good capitalist would do: I sold them off."

A good capitalist is not the same thing as a good libertarian. Or even a bad libertarian. I'd expect any libertarian to be aware of that.



Here is some of his rhetoric.

“You may know me by the reputation I’ve earned fighting for justice,” Giuliani thundered in a stump speech, “but my commitment to justice goes beyond the courtroom. My commitment goes to the social justice we all want for the less fortunate and for each other. A prosecutor cannot ease crushing poverty or end homelessness or treat drug addicts or help people with AIDS. But a mayor can. And a mayor must.”




And his record.

In 1994, Mr. Giuliani applauded President Bill Clinton for banning assault rifles and urged Congress to enact physical and written tests and stringent background checks for prospective handgun owners. He also saluted the Clinton health care plan as “doing some pretty good things” and boasted that New York offered “universal health care,” not least for illegal immigrants.





It is passing strange that devout believers in the Sacred Harm Principle are also willing to support Rudy Giuliani. If he has a Harm Principle, it's "People should be harmed if they don't do what I say."
1.3.2008 2:58pm
SIG357:
even at Reason he has fans - he is an "innovator in action".

Wonderful. But is he any sort of libertarian, or even a small government conservative? No. He described himself a "Rockefeller Republican" and he backed that up by his actions, including taking the Feds to court to keep the pork flowing to New York.
1.3.2008 3:04pm
SIG357:
Note that you are labeling without explanation "idiotic" the core thesis of On Liberty, generally regarded as one of the classic statements of classical liberal thought

I'm not a liberal, so forgive me if I don't bow down before JS Mill.

He was concerned about a tyranny of the majority. Liberalism has solved that problem via a tyranny of the minority, which is even more hostile to freedom.
1.3.2008 3:10pm
liberty (mail) (www):
SIG357,

I conceded already his position on guns (as bad). Some of the rest of the quotes you have taken out of context - he can say that something has "done some good" without being in favor of it. He cut welfare rolls by a huge amount. And he believed (as many people do) that the line item veto is unconstitutional. That need not be about wanting to keep pork - he cut tons of porky projects and programs while in office by other means.

You have not convinced me of anything.

As to your comment that being a good capitalist doesn't make you libertarian- people use whatever words they want, capitalist is fine with me! Thatcher was a good capitalist too when she privatized 5 public firms a year for 10 years, shrinking a welfare state more than any other leader of a non-transition economy. It sounds to me like a true free market position, like Reagan, unafraid of the socialist rhetoric coming from the other side, willing to say "capitalist" recognizing that it isn't a bad word, understanding the difference.

I love that quote for use of that word. Can you imagine anyone saying that in the 1970s? Can you imagine many people even saying it now? Sadly, it still isn't popular to say "this is outside the scope of government's role, like a good capitalist, I'm gonna sell it to the highest bidder." And he did it too!

I love it! That is the stuff of libertarian wet dreams, if you ask me.
1.3.2008 3:15pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
That goes a way towards explaining the great power and influence of "the U.S.'s Libertarian Party". A curious formulation, btw. Are you Candadian or non-American?
No; it just came out more awkwardly on paper than in my head.

As for your first point, so what? Should libertarians adopt non-libertarian views just because it would be popular? If we wanted to do that, we wouldn't be libertarian in the first place. It's one thing to compromise on specific policies, but that's the core principle of libertarianism.
1.3.2008 3:15pm
liberty (mail) (www):
And again: you want to really know his rhetoric and his record, listen to that podcast that I linked (rather than just taking quotes out of context).
1.3.2008 3:18pm
PersonFromPorlock:
Giuliani Leaner:

If Pat Buchanan's rag hates him, he can't be all bad.


Well, Der Stürmer hated Stalin.

(Double Godwin points!)
1.3.2008 4:59pm
SIG357:
Should libertarians adopt non-libertarian views just because it would be popular?

I don't regard supporting sex in public as a libertarian position. I also don't regard the father of liberalism as saying much of intertest with respect to libertarianism. And I don't regard 19th century liberalism as being the same thing as libertarianism, as you seem to.

Not that any self-respecting 19th century liberal would have condoned sex in the public bathrooms.
1.3.2008 6:03pm
SIG357:
liberty


I conceded already his position on guns (as bad). Some of the rest of the quotes you have taken out of context

Then you should have no problem providing the missing context and exposing me as dishonest. Please, be my guest.

"He cut welfare rolls by a huge amount."

He opposed the 1996 welfare reform bill. Not a very libertarianish thing to do. And the drop in welfare rolls in NYC was mainly due to the booming economy, which he had almost nothing to do with.

"he believed (as many people do) that the line item veto is unconstitutional"

Come off it. If Giulaini has ever thought seriously about the Constitution than he's kept it very secret. He wanted his pork and his phony concern for the constitution was a handy hook to hang his arguments on. The same man has long insisted that abortion is a constitutional right.

His only consistent position on the constitution is that what is constitutional is whatever the SCOTUS says.


I love that quote for use of that word.

I don't know what you are referring to. I did not place quotation marks around any word.

capitalist is fine with me!

A capitalist is not a libertarian. Do you regard George Soros or Richard Mellon Scaife as being libertarians? What about Warren Buffet or Bill Gates? (I suspect the answer for at least one of them is 'yes', but that just shows what you know.)


See if you can identify the person speaking here, Mr Libertarian Capitalist.

"The two chief enemies of the free society or free enterprise are intellectuals on the one hand and businessmen on the other, for opposite reasons. Every intellectual believes in freedom for himself, but he’s
opposed to freedom for others.…He thinks…there ought to be a central planning board that will establish social priorities.…The businessmen are just the opposite—every businessman is in favor of freedom for everybody
else, but when it comes to himself that’s a different question. He’s always the special case. He ought to get special privileges from the government, a tariff, this, that, and the other thing…"


1.3.2008 6:20pm
SIG357:
It sounds to me like a true free market position, like Reagan, unafraid of the socialist rhetoric coming from the other side, willing to say "capitalist" recognizing that it isn't a bad word, understanding the difference.


Now if we could just get you to understand the difference between a "capitalist" such as John Corzine and a libertarian. Libertarians oppose concentrations of power, even in the hands of capitalists.
1.3.2008 6:25pm
SIG357:
I conceded already his position on guns (as bad).

And his position on the First Amendment?
1.3.2008 6:26pm
liberty (mail) (www):
SIG357,

1. "Then you should have no problem providing the missing context and exposing me as dishonest. Please, be my guest."

I gave you a podcast. I could not find a full transcript of that speech, but even the limited one you get from the NY times shows a much different picture than you attempt to portray.

2. "He opposed the 1996 welfare reform bill. Not a very libertarianish thing to do. And the drop in welfare rolls in NYC was mainly due to the booming economy, which he had almost nothing to do with."

I would be interested to see your full proof on that- his rhetoric has always been against welfare- for example in that full speech I provided (the Reason link) which explained how he was against welfare and changed it to a jobs program in NY. I don't know why you think it had nothing to do with him in NY considering his complete overhaul of the program in NY. Funny coincidence that it would change for the first time in 4 decades by accident right after his massive overhaul.

3. "The same man has long insisted that abortion is a constitutional right. "

Justices of the court have also argued that. It might just be that some people reasonably believe that.

4. I love that quote for use of that word.

"I don't know what you are referring to. I did not place quotation marks around any word. "

I was being serious. I love his quote for his use of that word: capitalist. As I explain below, that word was off limits for a long tim. His use shows understanding, courage and chutzpah. I like it.

5. "A capitalist is not a libertarian. Do you regard George Soros or Richard Mellon Scaife as being libertarians? What about Warren Buffet or Bill Gates? (I suspect the answer for at least one of them is 'yes', but that just shows what you know.)"

I am not pro-business. I am free market. And I forcefully recognize the difference and explain it to those who don't understand it. However, a well reasoned defense of "capitalism" from a free market perspective (not a statist, interventionist perspective) is something to be cherished. It didn't exist for decades- many decades - as the socialists won.

"See if you can identify the person speaking here, Mr Libertarian Capitalist. "

I agree that business can be just as much as enemy as intellectuals-- fascists as much as socialists -- but its "Ms. Libertarian Capitalist" to you.
1.3.2008 9:40pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
I don't regard supporting sex in public as a libertarian position.
Well, it's not exactly a libertarian priority. (Of course, in an ideal libertarian world there wouldn't be a "public.") In any case, you're really distorting what Megan was talking about, which was that what police did in the Larry Craig case -- where there was no "sex in public" -- was disgraceful.
I also don't regard the father of liberalism as saying much of intertest with respect to libertarianism. And I don't regard 19th century liberalism as being the same thing as libertarianism, as you seem to.
I can't help it if you're ignorant about the issues we're discussing. Classical liberalism is libertarianism. The only reason libertarians don't call ourselves liberals -- we sometimes do use the term "classical liberals" -- is because American Democrats stole the term.
1.3.2008 10:21pm