9,579

I didn't like much about the primary wars, but one thing I did enjoy was the chance to get to know Bob Orr. He declined to post or comment publicly at BlueNC (he had his own busy blog), but we did exchange emails from time to time. He has always been gracious and thoughtful. Now that we're heading on toward the general, I'm hoping Bob and some of his colleagues across the aisle will drop by for discussion.

It's not likely Republicans will win a lot of converts among our hard core bloggers, but there are thousands of lurkers hanging out who lean in all sorts of directions. This could be a good place to test out new anti-government talking points, as we see here. Or maybe even pick up some media attention by boldly going where no Republican has ever gone before?

Comments

What a difference a year makes

The chart above is for weekly traffic two weeks before the primary. Here's the same chart from last May.


Of course, this year's traffic was driven by the primary ... it'll be interesting to see what happens in the general.

Never had the pleasure

of meeting Bob Orr, but I've enjoyed reading his blog.

I've also heard nothing but high praise about him from Democrat and Republican alike who do know him personally or have worked with him.

I hope Mr. Orr will take you up on your invitation to visit here (and that he'll take Linda up on her kind invitation to him to switch parties).

He won't switch

I asked him too.

I can't even hope????

I mean gee, James, just SQUISH a gal's dream flat!

Well, damn.

Wish I'd read your comment before this non-Republican spent a post, er, writing about himself.

D'oh!

--
relocating from Indianapolis, IN to RTP, NC soon; got any advice for me?

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

--
Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

Mother, should I trust the government?

James,

Maybe it's just 'cause I grew up Libertarian, but an anti-government attitude as a general philosophical baromemter (as opposed to a hard-core ideology) doesn't particularly bother me, nor, I believe, necessarily correlate with bad policy.

For me, authoritarianism is the key. When a government policy is authoritarian, it must and should be opposed. Where I personally differ with Libertarian Party types, and many (almost all?) conservatives, is in my refusal to turn a blind eye to authoritarianism when it manifests in non-governmental contexts*. Authoritarians are attracted to, and can be found, just about any hierarchical organization. There are corporate authoritarians, as we saw in the case of the Pullman Strike of 1894 which Clarence Darrow litigated; religious authoritarians, as in the brutality meted out to Irish girls in 1960s laundries operated by the Sisters of Mercy (see the film The Magdalene Sisters); and even, sadly enough, in the leadership of labor unions.

I don't care which style of social legitimacy the oppressor garbs himself in; anyone who stifles individual freedom and potential is a force to be opposed. (That I emphasize both freedom and potential is what I think places me on the political "Left"; I am not content, as the "Right" is, to let people rot in privation or poverty, in self-satisfied observance of their right to sicken, starve and die.)

* Of course we have seen how even the conservatives' hated State power turns out to be no big deal when their ideological brethren are running the apparatus of government.

--
relocating from Indianapolis, IN to RTP, NC soon; got any advice for me?

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

--
Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

I get your point

but the sound-bite side of anti-government posturing is toxic. It denies that there are legitimate roles for government and spawns a bias toward insufficient funding that inevitably leads to incompetence.

Isn't all government policy authoritarian? That's what Libs say ... they don't like to be forced to do anything, including clean up after themselves. The markets will take care of the clean up. Eventually.

Agreed.

I think I have yet to find an area of human discourse where sound-bite posturing isn't toxic... ;-)

And yeah, one of the things that made me lose patience with the Libertarian Party was the simplistic attitude which ascribed supernatural powers to The Market.

It's an especially galling thing to witness among self-described atheists—one's atheism doesn't cut much mustard with me if you reject an Abrahamic concept of God with some sort of immanent, omniscient, omnipotent force which corrects all economic problems. That's just a god with a perverse myopia.

Heaped on top of that you have the Libertarian/conservative mantra that "true laissez-faire capitalism has never been tried". Of course this is completely inconsistent with the proposition of the market as an all-correcting force applicable to any real-world, contemporary problem. The only consistent solution is to do what Murray Rothbard did and propose absolute anarcho-capitalism.

The real bitch of it for Libertarians and anarcho-capitalists is, when you do (on rare but historically documented occasions) completely rip the state away and leave people utterly to their own devices, they tend to spontaneously organize...communes!

In a deeply ironic reversal of the conclusion of Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged, it turns out that an anarcho-capitalist would have to impose capitalism on anarchists...by force!

Well, there goes your hallowed "non-initiation of force" principle, Libertarians. I guess the idea of playing the stock market into untold wealth is the real priority.

--
relocating from Indianapolis, IN to RTP, NC soon; got any advice for me?

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

--
Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

Delightful!

I haven't met a libertarian yet who has answered to my satisfaction: "Who is going to build the roads?"

It seems to stymie most of them. The more intelligent will come up with a lot of words that basically say it will take care of itself because of market demands. Uh huh. Who will build it? :)

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Happy to be sitting w/ the cool kids

congrats to BlueNC for the growing success and popularity... and for attracting some (R)s too. Maybe they will learn something.

I met Bob Orr at a forum in Forsyth Co. He was the only (R) to show up. He was thoughtful and very well received. Now I can say that there is a Republican candidate that I met and liked.

When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on. FDR

I'm an idealist without illusions. JFK

And therein lies his problem.

Maybe if we had posted a bunch of "Bob Orr stinks" diaries, he'd still be running for Governor. :-D

But he appeals across party lines, and apparently that's a no-no. Too bad.

He's a very smart man who cares a lot about NC. I'm sure he'll be around again.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Potpourri

Great thread! Four quick things:

1. The Libertarians, for what it's worth, are on the ballot. We deliver the boxes of validated signature forms to SBOE this week. So James' evil plan to have us draw off the votes of disaffected Republicans has come to fruition. Thanks to everyone on this site who helped us get signatures, regardless of your motives. Now that we are on the ballot, and *I* am on the ballot, I'd be happy to live blog sometime soon, or not so soon, as suits you. I'm not expecting votes from your readers, but I'd be very interested in ideas. Unfortunately, I'm the only candidate who is in favor of marriage rights for gay North Carolinians, who opposes capital punishment, and who favors access to community colleges for the undocumented. And (if I may), that tells you all you should need to know about the Democratic establishment in our fine state.

2. Bob Orr is a terrific man. Smart, principled, and pragmatic. The fact that he got smashed in the Repub primary tells you all you need to know about the Republican establishment in our fine state. No matter what party he joins, I'd vote for him, for any office.

3. Branden: Let's have lunch, soon! I am the chair of Poli Sci at Duke, and the Libertarian nominee for Governor. Happy to meet with anybody else who reads this, of course, but Branden is going to be an NC newbie, and I'd be interested to hear what he thinks.

4. Linda: A fine question, on the roads. The answer, I think, has two parts. First, WHO BUILDS THE ROADS NOW? Answer: for most of our state, no one. The DoT, the construction industry, and the Leg have formed a tight "Iron Triangle," the political science name for an unassailable structure of political power. It is opaque to outside observation, unresponsive to voter wishes, and operates only to maximize the wealth of a select few. Now, with that fact about the CURRENT system for background, let's take up your question: Under a Libertarian governor (me!), who would build the roads? ANSWER: The NC Department of Transportation, using competitively bid contracts, many of which would go to small and minority contractors, unlike the current closed system. The big difference under my administration would be that I would create a "Roads Commission", akin to a "Base Closing Commission", with no outside political influence, and composed of transportation experts from throughout the state. That way, roads would be built in rural areas, we would repair bridges that are falling down in poor counties, and we would stop focusing on just a few districts that happen to have influential NC Gen Ass delegations.

Now, you say that this is impossible. It probably is impossible, yes. BUT: it is impossible BECAUSE the Democratic elite in our state would block it, in favor of the already entrenched iron triangle. So, I answer your challenge this way: No Democrat has ever told me how they plan to get the roads built, except using a corrupt system driven by money and power that ignores the needs of real people. Wringing your hands and wishing it were different is not going to help. Bev Perdue is a product of the existing power elite, and depends on it for her funding.

"It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois D'Ivernois, 1795.

Michael C. Munger

Hi Mike!

Glad to see you back - and we'd love to have a live blog with you.

You are not the libertarian of whom I was speaking when I brought up the roads thing. I knew you'd have an answer for it! Most of them simply come up to the precinct tent at the polling place, and start talking about what's wrong with the US and what's wrong with everything and how pure libertarianism will fix it. I was able to get several of them to actually think about their statements by asking them how they were going to fix the roads and build new ones. It makes for either an interesting conversation, or a welcome end to a diatribe.

The big difference under my administration would be that I would create a "Roads Commission", akin to a "Base Closing Commission", with no outside political influence, and composed of transportation experts from throughout the state. That way, roads would be built in rural areas, we would repair bridges that are falling down in poor counties, and we would stop focusing on just a few districts that happen to have influential NC Gen Ass delegations.

I don't know if that would work or not. It's an interesting idea. Sounds like a lot of talking - but I guess that's generally what happens in Raleigh.

I'd like to see the rural roads getting better attention. The only time the highways in Moore County get attention is when there is something big going on, like say, the only big thing that goes on here - the US Open. US HWY 1 was upgraded, and the route of it actually changed to eliminate traffic through small down town areas. This has hurt several small businesses in the towns of Vass and Cameron.

From the Pilot:Since the work started late, the DOT offered Wooten a $1 million bonus to finish by June 10, in time for traffic to be on the roadway a few days ahead of the U.S. Open in Pinehurst. Ironically, most of the traffic coming to the Open from the Raleigh-Durham area will be diverted onto U.S. 15-501 just south of Sanford to reach one of the two satellite parking lots.

The deadline on the original contract, by the way, was June 10. So they were paid an extra million to get the job done on time. I have to be fair, I'm not sure and don't have time right now to find out why the work started late.

I'm glad you're on the ballot, Mike - that's a victory for anyone who believes in Democracy. Good luck in the general.

Get with James and set up that live blog - I'd be very interested in it.

EDIT: I'm not wringing my hands and worrying about who is going to build the roads. it's just my "poke the amateur libertarian" question. I have others, too.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Ballot access

As a Libertarian apostate, I'm happy to get in the ring with them on any number of issues, but one I'll go to the barricades with them for is the repeal of ballot access laws.

When California recalled Gray Davis, there were something like 50 candidates on the ballot to replace him. Amazingly, the much-maligned, presumptively-illiterate voters were able to locate Arnold Schwarzenegger's name on the list and put him in office with a substantial plurality. Cruz Bustamante put in a respectable second-place showing.

This experience, I think, exposes the canard about an excess of choices "confusing" the voters for the cynical, insulting manipulation that it is.

--
relocating from Indianapolis, IN to RTP, NC soon; got any advice for me?

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

--
Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

Good job at the trial

Good job at the trial last week, I did my testifing on Tuesday.

Need to update your pic though, people might not recognize you now.

For those that don't know and I heard it through the grapevine, not from Mike, he cut his hair and donated it to Locks of Love: http://www.locksoflove.org/

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy

Mike Munger on NC Roads

Mr. Munger,

I respectfully submit that your hyperbole about who builds the roads in North Carolina ("NO ONE") is poorly informed.

Try driving on the roads in Indiana some time...kiss your suspension and your nice round rims goodbye. While I have elsewhere expressed my anguish over poor signage in the RTP area, I can't fault the actual road quality.

Now, much of this is simply due to climatic factors. Roads in Indiana see many more freeze-thaw cycles. But still—you sound like you don't know how good you have it.

EDIT: I guess I should note that it sounds like I probably only drove on roads that had the attention of politicians with a fair amount of pull. I came down US 52 from Mount Airy to Winston-Salem, then into Durham on I-40, then around Wake, Orange, and southern Durham county.

--
relocating from Indianapolis, IN to RTP, NC soon; got any advice for me?

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

--
Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

ditto Florida

Excepting some sections of the interstate vital to Florida's tourism, the best roads in FL are comparable to the worst roads in NC.

- - - - -
McCain - The Third Bush Term

NC has good roads, but you have been on great roads.

Even the ones you mentioned are represented by fairly powerful reps/senators if my vague memory serves me right.

Still, PA has much worse roads than NC.

I would have to say that SC is as good/better - but I was in a high-end area when I lived there.

As for FL. I seem to remember really good roads in Miami. Also, the roads around St. Augustine and Gainesville were nice. Interstate was a problem up near Jacksonville.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

PennDOT

PennDOT was used as a case study in my MPA classes on how not to run a public entity. Cronyism and corruption run rampant through that agency.

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy

So a Guy applies for a job at PennDOT

During the interview the supervisor asks him if he has any disabilities. The guy hems and haws for a little while before confessing that he lost his testicles during Vietnam. At the end of the interview the supervisor tells him that he got the job and to show up the next day at 4:30.

When the guy gets home, he receives a phone call from the supervisor telling him not to show up until 5:30. The guy asks why the difference and the supervisor says, "There is no need for you to be there that early since we just spend the first hour scratching our balls."

I think one of the reasons PA has horrible roads

is horrible weather. When I first moved to Pittsburgh, we lived in a pothole.

No, seriously. We did.

Okay, not really. PA has awful roads, because of the freezing and unfreezing, expanding and contracting stuff that science guys know more about than I do. I also think that they use a different kind of concrete (or whatever) for the road surfaces - at least in Western PA. Perhaps it had to do with the kind of traffic that was going over them, or maybe it's just crappy concrete. The only place I lived in the PGH area that didn't have potholes the size of laundry baskets was a small township that had brick-paved streets. The bricks could move around in the freezing, and not crack. But they were a bear when it was icy.

What I'm saying is- maybe compare NC roads to NC roads.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

If the weather is the case

Then why are the roads in New York, Ohio, Maryland, much better than Pennsylvania's roads? I never bought the weather argument PennDOT tried to feed people.

Don't know.

I didn't find them that much different than the roads in NJ.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

ANYTHING....

I'm with Ralph Nader on this. If people vote for me, or for the Libs, it is more because of their dissatisfaction with the choices being offered than anything else.

If the Libs, and (I hope!) the Greens can pressure the state-sponsored parties to act responsibly, to legislate transparently, and work honestly to improve the state, then it will have been worth it.

And, as Branden mentioned, the California Gov race in 2003 is a very striking example of Duverger's Law. So, sure, we'll always have two "parties". But, WHICH TWO? And, why not expose them to outside competition, and new ideas? "Third" parties don't have to win to have a big effect.

I am happy to send my deposition as an expert witness in the Green/Lib ballot access suit, if you want more of the theory behind the effects of competition and lower limits for ballot access.

"It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois D'Ivernois, 1795.

Michael C. Munger

More on roads

Okay, so here's how Libertarians push my buttons. So many of them claim to be equally repelled by the Republican and Democratic parties, as two sides of a politically duopolistic coin, but when you get their motors running on a subject, somehow it's the Democrats who draw most of their fire.

it is impossible BECAUSE the Democratic elite in our state would block it, in favor of the already entrenched iron triangle.

No mention is made here of what the Republican elite would likely do, which is either 1) sell all the public roads to Macquarie Infrastructure Group; or 2) staff the Department of Transportation exclusively with former (and future) employees of Bechtel Corporation, who would find that their company is amazingly the best firm for every job, and pay top dollar out of the public coffers for "top quality" (cough).

Does this really differ in substance from the "Iron Triangle"?

It's awfully harsh to use Lenin's term for the Bolsheviks' foreign sympathizers, but I'll be damned if that isn't just what these sorts of omissions from Libertarians look like.

If it's a conscious thing, it's reprehensible.

If it's an unconscious thing, it's just sad. If that many Libertarians only retain a patellar reflex in the knee that responds to annoying taps from the Left, then I must regretfully diagnose neurological damage.

--
relocating from Indianapolis, IN to RTP, NC soon; got any advice for me?

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

--
Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

Welcome to NC, Brendan!

Oh, Brendan, you have SO much to learn!

In NC (as I have said many times), our Dems are Repubs, and our Repubs are Taliban!

So, "Republican elite" would be an oxymoron.

Just in practical terms, the Repubs have controlled the Leg for about 41 seconds since 1898.

But, more than that, the Repubs in NC seem to be concerned only with social issues (such as keeping gays from marrying), and economic issues (such as keeping undocumented aliens from having any rights whatsoever).

So, I didn't mention the Republican Elite, or the Duke Political Science profs who can dunk, or the Duplin County Pigs that Can Fly. Because none of those groups exist.

Look, I have just worked extensively with the Green Party and the ACLU (!!) on ballot access issues, as an earlier commenter notes. Ballot access is number one, and it is nonpartisan.

Seriously, I look forward to meeting you.

Mike

"It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois D'Ivernois, 1795.

Michael C. Munger

Ready to learn, and to teach one thing

Mr. Munger,

I'm inclined to take you up on your offer, but you gotta do one thing for me first...

Spell my name correctly!

It's Branden as in Nathaniel Branden. (A very few people will nod knowingly at this.)

--
relocating from Indianapolis, IN to RTP, NC soon; got any advice for me?

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

--
Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

Slowly replacing ignorance with knowledge

I'm afraid that, until I came to BlueNC, the only North Carolina politicians I could think of were Liddy Dole, Jesse Helms, and Fritz Hollings.

And oh, have I long hated Jesse and Fritz with a hatred that burns pure and brightly. So it has seemed to me that North Carolina was getting screwed from both ends.

(Why Fritz? In my chosen vocation, and most of my avocations, copyright laws are a Big Deal. Hollings was known as the "Senator from Disney", and—oh, I will ramble for days about the malevolent rent-seeking evil that is enabled by the Digital Millenium Copyright Act and the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act.

With a massive effort of will, I suspend this rant.)
--
relocating from Indianapolis, IN to RTP, NC soon; got any advice for me?

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

--
Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

D'oh! Too slowly!

Knew I should have looked at Wikipedia first!

Well, I've been needing to take myself down a peg, no?

Thanks for the correction.

--
relocating from Indianapolis, IN to RTP, NC soon; got any advice for me?

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

--
Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

Nice to know you're human.

NC is the bluest secret in the south. While we haven't voted for a Democrat for President for a while, and we have 2 Republican Senators, 7 of our 13 US Congressman are Democrats, Our Governor, Lt. Gov., most of the Council of State (like the Governor's cabinet), and a majority of our General Assembly are Democrats.

So Mike was correct in calling it the Democratic Elite. I don't like it, but he's right.

Want to know about someone really good from NC? Check out Terry Sanford. He's one of our good ones. :)

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Elites

I would never pretend to being anything other than Menschliches, Allzumenschliches, but I will try to dig a little bit out of this hole I've made for myself mis-remembering which Carolina Senator LeghornHollings represented.

I wasn't just pulling that stuff about the Macquarie Infrastructure Group out of my ass—Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, former Budget Director for George W. Bush, "sold" (leased—for 75 years) the Indiana Toll Road which through northern Indiana into Chicago to a private (foreign) consortium for a "massive" influx of money that would put the state on a "sound financial footing". We got the $4 billion dollars in 2006 and have already burned through it. (Well, what would you expect from a Bush budget director?) As part of the deal, Indiana is forbidden from increasing the capacity of highways near the Toll Road. This is of course to force traffic into the Toll Road and drive revenues up—none of which the state will see, because the terms of the lease called for a single up-front flat payment.

Needless to say, this was (and is) hailed as a brilliant stroke by the Republican elite in Indiana.

So, you could say I have some Republican-sensitive soreness on the subject of highway management.

--
relocating from Indianapolis, IN to RTP, NC soon; got any advice for me?

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

--
Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

Another thing to know about NC

Lots of us get pissed when people mix us up or lump us in with that lesser Carolina to our south.

I can't even count the number of times upon meeting someone from "up north" and telling them I am from NC they reply with "I love North Carolina. I've been to Myrtle Beach lots of times." Grrrrrrrrrr. :-)

No doubt.

That's why I'm so chagrinned.

Oh well, I guess if Fritzy couldn't remember what state he represented (kinda like Liddy Dole), why should anyone else?

--
relocating from Indianapolis, IN to RTP, NC soon; got any advice for me?

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

--
Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

"We have more in common"

OK. The subject line sounds like the opening sentence between the well-heeled villain and the underdog hero in a formulaic action film.

But when you think about it, there are just a handful of people who will discuss the nuts and bolts of varying political philosophies on either side. However, it's the result of the discussion that could color the policies of the future.

Bob Orr appeals to the thinkers, because he's able to engage thoughtfully in that manner. The downside is that he wasn't the master of the sound byte, and he's out of the running now.

I'm proud to have supported Bob and would have no problem doing it again. The only negative thing I got from someone on the Left was some grousing about his health care proposals and on the Right was his "electability". It was nice backing a candidate I didn't have to shuffle my feet over.

As for BlueNC, kudos on the traffic growth. Most folks on here have been fair while countering this Republican when I've made a comment. I appreciate it.

Cabarruscheapseats.com: Reasoned Discussion of Cabarrus County, NC News & Politics