Lawrence O’Donnell doesn’t rate among my favorite MSNBC personalities – he’s kind of sanctimonious and a scold, and doesn’t really “fit” super-well with the “Poly-Sci Debate Club Running The Asylum” vibe the network has been building for itself ever since Rachel Maddow replaced Olberman as the star attraction. Not as bad as Sharpton, though. (And now you know what Bob’s editing-background-noise is.)

But, credit where it’s due, O’Donnell’s Thursday night piece-by-piece dismantling of Internet obsession Ron Paul’s bogus “libertarian” credentials was delightfully necessary:


Aaaaaaand there’s an “American Bob” I no longer need to write. Good show.

Of course, since it’s coming from MSNBC – clearly a tool of the Illuminati/Trilateral-Commission/Bilderberg/Bohemian-Grove/Zionist/Reptilian Globalist-Conspiracy if ever there was one! – Paul’s followers will merely pack on another layer of foil and disregard it out of hand. Well said, though.

38 thoughts on “Takedown

  1. Jake says:

    Oh fuck shit ass balls where do I begin.

    As already noted Bob is being a woefully blind hypocrite here.

    Now on the video:

    1. If you believe that government should prevent murder, and you believe that human person hood begins at conception, then it would be perfectly logical to police abortion. Now you might not agree that person hood begins at conception Bob, and that's fine, but from his perspective it makes sense.

    2. Paul wasn't saying we should ban contraception or fornication (for lack of a better word). At least as I see it, libertarianism is a philosophy of GOVERNMENT, not LIFESTYLE. You can be a libertarian and still live a conservative lifestyle, or a liberal lifestyle, cause you know, DERP, it's about choice!

    Now their are legitimate bones to pick with Paul that might make him a fake libertarian, like his support of earmarks. That's right mother fuckers, he supports PORK! He even puts it on bills that he disagrees with so that if it passes his constituency gets something out of it, even though most pork is a blatant violation of the general welfare clause.


  2. Anonymous says:


    Being a libertarian is all about choice, you are right. But Ron Paul isn't about choice, he is about states' rights. He doesn't want the federal government to hold the power, he believes it belongs in the hands of the states. He thinks the states should be able to limit your freedoms (AKA choices) with as many Jim Crow laws or abortion banning laws as they want, without the federal government coming in and telling them which rights are inalienable and which ones aren't.

    These contraceptive/abortion laws are just one example of the types of choices that Ron Paul wants to open up for the states to be able to take away, which definitely goes against the libertarian ideal.


  3. Anonymous says:










  4. biomechanical923 says:

    [editing to fix HTML]

    “1. If you believe that government should prevent murder..”
    But that's unconstitutional. The Constitution makes no laws regarding murder between citizens. Laws about murder are in the hands of the individual states. Considering that he's a pretty strong Constructionist, Ron Paul should know that.
    Most progressives are secretly hoping that the weakest candidate gets chosen, so that Obama is a shoe-in. Personally I'd prefer having Ron Paul as the main contender. He's most likely to lose, because even conservatives hate him, and even if he does win by some fluke, I think it's better to have him over the other candidates.
    If it was your only option, would you prefer seeing the white house occupied by
    1. A guy who thinks the solution to our financial crisis is by firing union workers and putting poor kids straight to work.
    2. A religious zealot who wants to rewind America to the 1950's leave-it-to-beaver fantasy.
    3. A religious zealot who wants to BAN ALL PORNOGRAPHY
    4. A guy who thinks that abortion is immoral, but also understands that it's not his job as a president to do a goddamn thing about it.
    (Bonus points if you can tell me who I'm referring to by their descriptions, you're keeping with the news more than most people of our generation)


  5. Jake says:

    I guess in that sense you're right. I actually was going to post about his support of the shitty Kelo decision, which gives state governments the right to use eminent domain to take your house away if a private BUSINESS needs the area, It's like he thinks the 14th amendment is made up.

    It's sad when you're seen as the libertarian defender of the Constitution…


    Though the clip didn't show his POLICY opinion on contraception, just his personal morality, which he is entitled to.


  6. Jake says:

    As far as I know, Paul also believes it should be left to state governments weather to outlaw Abortion. That would require outlawing Row v. Wade which is why even in that context it was still relevant.

    Now on to the descriptions:

    1. Newt
    2. Romney
    3. Rick Santorum, aka Rick Shit n' lobe, aka Rick “HERESY!!”.
    4. Obama

    On who I would vote for, I supported Paul near the Iowa caucus, sense that's my state (MY GOD THE LAST TWO MONTHS BEFORE WERE HELL!!), but my views on monetary policy are always changing, and…
    yeah basically their all fucking nuts in their own fucking way. At this point I'm seriously considering writing in Kamina from Gurren Lagann, all he asks from you is to believe in the Kamina who believes in you. And to kick logic to the curb and do the IMPOSSIBLE!!! WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK HE IS!!!! Sorry, got carried away.

    Also if I could comment on the Shit n' lobe devil controversy, I don't know much about it, but from what I do know, it's not crazy to believe in the existence of Satan, what's crazy is that he's implying that he's the only mofo around who stop him, have fun with that.


  7. Andrew says:

    You know, Bob, when comparring O'Donnell to the rest of the MSNBC line up, he's really only worse than Maddow and Morning Joe(which is my favorite thing on television, btw).

    The rest of the channel is so openly and proudly pursuing the Democratic (or in the case of Ed Schults the Socialist) agenda that they cease to really be news shows. Matthews, Ed, and Sharpton all do this to the point that I just turn the TV off during their hours.

    It's really only 'poli-sci nerds running the show' durning Maddow's hour, UP on the weekends, and Morning Joe.

    Oh, and also something about defending or hating ron paul. I guess.


  8. James Thomas says:

    Ahem, ahem ahem…

    *droning voice* Oh wow, I have never seen such a blistering burn of a takedown… Ron Paul might as well just throw his candidacy out of the nearest window under a passing car…
    The man's political career has obviously been totally ruined, and you know what? the f**ker obviously deserves it…
    *switches off drone-a-thon 9000*

    Lets be honest, there were some huge, unsubstantiated 'logical' leaps in that little clip.
    P.S, no I don't support Ron Paul, I'm british, I have only the vaguest notion who he is, in fact, the only two I've even heard of is Ron Paul and that prick Santorum (Oh yeah, HIM I've heard of)


  9. Mads says:

    Yes. He thinks contraception is immoral.

    What of it? He clearly thinks doing heroin is a bane on society, but he thinks government should butt the fuck out of that too.

    It's not that difficult to grasp that he has a personal stance on many of these things, and he has a stance on what the laws governing the things should be.

    Being a libertarian means you think people should be allowed to do whatever they want to do – but they don't have to like it.

    A pertinent example: Show me the person who will watch 2 girls one cup, not be disgusted, and believe that what he watched was a well adjusted thing and not depraved! But then ask that person if it should be illegal.

    It's a clear distinction!


  10. Anonymous says:

    Okay, seriously, stop it with the Illuminati bullshit. Are there some batshit crazy people out there that believe it? Sure. Are some of them Ron Paul supporters? Well, whenever you get more than 10,000 of any people some of them are bound to be nuts, it's just statistics. But I support Ron Paul. Yes the pill comment he made is disheartening and is complete bullshit, but we shouldn't ignore the other three tenants of anti-war, pro-recreational drugs, pro-spending cuts (including the military). So compared to the man who will say anything to get the vote Romney, the personally detestable Gingrich, and the spawn of everything I hate about the Republican party Santorum, Paul's my guy. So as far as the Illuminati stuff, you're not being funny, you're just promoting a stupid misconception.


  11. Ryan says:

    Ever since I saw Ron Paul say that we should do away with all government regulation because businesses would regulate themselves if they were left to their own devices I have understood that, whatever he says he believes, Ron Paul is simply a crazy person who is unfit to be President of a chess club.

    But Jake, you're totally right about the logical consistency of being a pro-life libertarian.


  12. Sylocat says:

    @Mads: What of it? He clearly thinks doing heroin is a bane on society, but he thinks government should butt the fuck out of that too.

    Correction: He thinks the FEDERAL government should butt out of that. He's fine with the states outlawing it, just like he's fine with the states passing as many Jim Crow laws as they like.

    Ron Paul is one of those “special” kinds of Libertarians, the type who wants a weak Federal government at all costs, but would be fine with fifty totalitarian States.

    It's no surprise he gets used as the rallying flag of Teabaggers, when the Tea Party was from minute one a gigantic astroturfing project by the Koch brothers.

    Ron Paul is another paid shill of the Kochs and their ilk just like every other hard-right politician… and so is their other false messianic shill, Glenn Greenwald.


  13. MovieBob says:


    Well, he's OLD as hell, too – that's a component you can't really ignore. Hence the “State's Rights” nonsense.

    State's-Rights absolutism only makes sense if you're old enough to remember (or naive enough to romanticize) a pre-Global era when economic/cultural autonomy of individuals states was still somewhat practical.


  14. Jake says:

    While I'm a libertarian who places liberty ahead of State's rights (most academic libertarians are like this too), I still think State's rights (to an extent) still plays a prominent role in our federalist system, otherwise it would cease to be federalist, “50 laboratories of democracy” is a phrase that comes to mind.

    If the federal government is doing something that isn't violating people's rights, but also isn't promoting the general welfare (i.e. a piece of legislation that benefits a few Americans at the expense of others, instead of ALL Americans), then it should be left to the States.

    I think a better term than States' rights would be, “States' powers” sense States don't have rights proper, but powers instead.


  15. biomechanical923 says:

    @James Thomas
    If the Arizona debate is any indication, I would expect Santorum to lose the next few primaries by a landslide, with his numbers down near where Paul's are now.

    He made a complete ass of himself, grasped at straws when the other guys called him on his bullshit policies, and got loudly boo-ed several times.

    I'm not trying to armchair criticize him by saying “haha he got boo-ed, it's over!” but it's getting pretty clear that he's losing popularity fast.


  16. Jake says:

    They weren't policies, O'Donnell got personal morality mixed up with politics when it comes to libertarianism. Other than that he was probably referring to yiffing. 😉


  17. Jake says:

    Yeah that joke came off very fucked up in retrospect. But seriously, I think O'Donnell was either afraid to mention sex at all when he could have just mentioned that (what he thinks “true” libertarians) engage in “anything goes” sexual ethics.


  18. Wendy says:

    Ron Paul is like a lot of Libertarians: One half a good Republican, offset by the other half being a lousy Liberal. Much like Moviebob, in many ways.

    Moviebob is the Ron Paul of the reviewing world

    Anyway, even as a conservative myself, I find Ron Paul to be an absolute lunatic. The only people crazier than him are the people obsessed with him. Don't look for ME to want him in office.


  19. TheAlmightyNarf says:

    Ok, I'm generally very “single issue” when it comes to how I actually go out and vote… I'm want to see 1st amendment liberties protected at all costs if not outright expanded beyond their current interpretations. You can say whatever you like about all of Ron Paul's other stances (and it'd probably be true), but he has pretty much consistently come out on the right side on this.

    No, I don't consider myself a Ron Paul “supporter” by any measure. I pretty much consistently mocked the guy and his followers 4 years ago. But, when I'm seeing constant attacks from both the right and the left against freedom of expression, I've gotta vote for the candidate I know is going to try and stop it. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats are giving me any better options here.


  20. Nathan says:

    I guess I oughta chime in here, too. I'm a libertarian. In as much as their ideals meet my own better than any other “party” does. I guess I could be called a “Bobjectivist”, as Moviebob put it.

    I watched the video, expecting some rage inducing revelation. But, all I saw was Mr. O'Donnell, who's show I enjoyed when I could get MSNBC, taking the man's personal beliefs and applying them to his policies. That's not a defense of Dr. Paul, merely an observation.

    Mr. O'Donnell is entitled to his opinion and while the video has possibly got me to think of some things in a new light, I don't think it's the scathing, career-ending takedown it oughta be. Perhaps you should write that American Bob skit, after all, Bob.

    Honestly, though. I think we, as Libertarians, flock to Dr. Paul because of notoriety. We know, as much as we would like to believe otherwise, that Gary Johnson is a better Libertarian, he won't get near the Oval Office to save his life. While Dr. Paul isn't a Libertarian, I think it comes down to that old case of “Lesser of two evils”. Paul is just the candidate on the biggest stage who shares the slimmest of our ideals, so that's who we're going to vote for. Again, not a defense. Just an observation.


  21. biomechanical923 says:

    I like Libertarians because they piss everybody off.
    They piss off conservatives because they believe you should have the freedom to marry or fuck anyone (or anything) you want.
    They piss off liberals because they believe you should have the freedom to own as many guns as you want, and they don't like paying taxes.
    I think if your stances on freedom can manage to offend both of the corrupt parties in Washington, then you're on pretty good footing.


  22. JB DeVries says:

    @biomechanical923: Dude, that's exactly the problem. I have enough minarchist tendencies to drive people like Bob crazy when we're shooting the shit, but when things get serious I'll go ahead an offer a fairly robust defense of nationalized health care because sometimes ideology has to meet policy. Like, in the real world.

    “Pissing off” the actual powers that be isn't a policy position, it's a game. It's a game I don't mind engaging in, but only when there are no consequences. But this is a presidential election and the options are what they are. And by the way, they are dire.

    We have a sitting democrat who has managed the impossible: having a worse record on civil liberties that George W. Bush. His incoherent foreign policy is icing on that cake. We have a series of republicans racing to the right, including at least one more or less genuine lunatic who really does appear to believe that women should be restricted by the federal government from governing their own bodies.

    And our great hope is Ron Paul? The same Ron Paul with such a tenuous grasp on economic policy that he wants to base currency value on precious metals? The same Ron Paul whose foreign policy is “let's not have a foreign policy”? The same Ron Paul who actually believes that federal courts are what is wrong with the country instead of one of the few things that is still alright?



  23. JB DeVries says:

    Basically this: defending libertarians for the virtue of pissing in the eye of both parties doesn't describe a positive virtue. If you were just trying to be funny, that's fine, but I've seen and heard way too many intellectually challenged libertarian-leaning people advance the whole “everyone hates us, and since everyone is wrong, we must be right!” as an affirmative argument. Note that serious minarchists don't do this — but find me one of those who is actually in politics.


  24. Jake says:

    That I disagree with. The fact that he's bought into (though understandably) the “vaccines cause autism crap” wouldn't make me want to vote for him.


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