Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Republican Liberty Caucus Cockeyed


You've GOT to be kidding me, RLC:

James Talent was unanimously endorsed by the RLC National Board in March of 2006 as a leading advocate of individual rights, limited government, and private enterprise. Rep. Talent received top libertarian ratings of 82.5% in our 'Liberty Index' for 2005 and a lifetime 75.2% rating.

We believe Rep. Talent will be a strong defender of liberty in the US Senate and urge our members to contribute to and support this campaign.

James is a member of the RLC Advisory Board.
-- RLC Endorsed Candidate Info


It had never occurred to me to look up Jim Talent's RLC "Liberty Index" rating before. Of course, it hadn't occurred to me to look up Pol Pot's or Francisco Franco's, either. I only did so because I came across a headline on one of Eric Dondero's non-mainstream, non-libertarian web sites -- "RLC SCORES MAJOR VICTORIES IN GOP PRIMARY RACES" -- and wanted to make absolutely sure that the listing of Talent's name under it was another Dondero calumny before letting the RLC know they needed to issue a disclaimer/denunciation.

But ... but ... he was telling the truth.

WTF, RLC?

I live in Missouri. I've followed Jim Talent's career. I managed his Libertarian opponent's 2002 campaign. There's simply no earthly logic under which the term "libertarian" can reasonably be stretched to encompass Jim Talent's positions, actions or career.

Not no way, not no how, not even close.

If you want to go into details, we can. Offhand, he's never met a piece of victim disarmament legislation he didn't like; he opposes private property and free speech if American flags are involved; he's consistently anti-family if the families involved don't meet his religious litmus tests; he wants everyone except congresscritters to pee in cups; he supported quashing the vote of DC's citizens to legalize medical marijuana; he's a welfare statist who supported the biggest American entitlement expansion since LBJ; and he voted twice to re-authorize the anti-American "Patriot" Act. And I'm just getting started. You don't want to go there. But if you think you do, we can (and I'm even willing to leave out abortion, on which libertarians can and do disagree; and the war on Iraq, on which many libertarians persist in grave error).

Heck, guys, I can accomodate, or at least take in good stride, a reasonable skew to your "Liberty Index." You're Republicans. You have an interest in portraying Republican congresscritters as "more libertarian" than Democratic congresscritters, even though the facts don't really support such a portrayal. But this goes way beyond skew. Jim Talent makes Hillary Clinton look like Ayn friggin' Rand. We're talking about complete organizational dissociation from reality here.

And speaking of dissociation from reality, Talent's primary victory wouldn't make a good RLC talking point even if he was worthy of libertarian support. He's an incumbent US Senator. Only four of those have lost their primaries in the last 26 years. If anything, he (and his backers) should be embarrassed that he polled less than 90% against a raft of completely unknown opponents.

C'mon, RLC ... you should know by now that if Eric Dondero quotes you straight, you're screwing up big-time.

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