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We wanted to really insult him, so we used his own Facebook pic and COMIC SANS. Muahahaha


Yr Wonkette had a very important visitor a week or so back: Robyn wrote a piece about a very odd candidate for US Senate from Arizona named Craig Brittain, who embraces some fringiest of the fringe political notions. Stuff like abolishing taxes (paying for government would be voluntary) and privatizing all services (police and fire, too), plus also abolishing taxes and abolishing taxes. The article also looked at Mr. Brittain's past exploits as a revenge-porn website entrepreneur who carried "ads" from a "lawyer" who offered to help take down nekkid pictures from the site, for the low low filing fee of $250 bucks -- oddly, that "lawyer's" website was registered/owned by by Craig Brittain. Oopsies.

Well, wouldn't you know it, the candidate himself, posting as "Brittain for US Senate" graced our comments section with a whole bunch of important political discourse of the sort not seen since Lincoln and Douglas debated Madison and Adams in Boston Square Garden. Truly, it was a fine example of how the internet has revolutionized democracy (we'll save crackpot posters some time: IT'S A REPUBLIC, NOT A DEMOCRACY!!1!).

He didn't bother discussing all that revenge porn stuff or the pseudolegal shenanigans surrounding his now-defunct websites, because that's the past, and "fake news" anyway, because he says it is. No, he wanted to focus on the truly important stuff: Robyn's offhand dismissal of his very important political philosophy, anarcho-capitalism, and why taxation is theft. It's a very long comment, so we'll link to the whole thing here and share some prime excerpts. For starters, Brittain was pretty bummed about the state of journamalism these days, because we wrote about him without contacting him:

I wasn't contacted before this was published for comment (I mean, no surprise, this is the era where the press doesn't ask for comments) so I came here to respond to some of the things posted here (not the fake news. I'll skip past all of that.)

Nice handwaving there, though we guess we understand why his revenge porning is not something he wants to go into. As for not contacting Mr Brittain, we're already going to have to digress from his first long comment and go straight to one of his follow-up remarks. When a Wonkette reader noted, "People don't have to ask you for permission to write about you," Brittain pointed out that actually, to be good journamalists, we really were:

The Society of Professional Journalists publishes a code of ethical conduct, which includes the ethical obligation to provide comment. While it's true that you don't have to be ethical, if you're unethical it overwrites any criticism you may level at others, from a journalistic perspective.

Damn, guess he's got us! Or he would, if we were claiming to be doing original reporting instead of commentary, which gets at a fairly important difference between the Failing New York Times and this little mommyblog/recipe hub/My Little Pony fanfic archive: We're a hell of a lot more fun. And if Craig Brittain is going to be a US Senator (improbable, even in an Arizona GOP primary), it might be useful for him to learn the difference between news and commentary. We don't report the news, we make fun of it. And while we make every effort to cite our sources and use them accurately -- Robyn linked to multiple sites documented Brittain's scammy revenge porn high jinks -- we're under no "ethical obligation" to contact anyone before mocking them. Besides, Ted Cruz never returns our calls when we ask for porn recommendations. Thank Crom for small mercies.

What really got Brittain exercised was our mischaracterization of anarcho-capitalist theorist Murray Rothbard's argument that there should be no legal obligation for parents to feed and care for their children. Maybe there's an ethical obligation, but it's dumb and tyrannical to codify that in law, because duh, personal freedom. Besides, unwanted children can always be sold off in a voluntary adoption market. No, no, no, we're dumb and tyrannical, as Brittain libertysplains:

Let's start with Rothbard proposing a baby market, which is commonly misinterpreted (and has been debunked before many times.) He's talking about a private adoption market, not a market for prostitution. He also points out that while the parent has the right to free will, if they choose to be abusive they can be punished for being abusive. (This is how the Constitution works, we punish AFTER guilt, not before.)

It's an argument for the government not watching over the shoulder of parents and punishing only in the case of direct harm, rather than the current system that attempts to preemptively decide the fitness of parents. Who does the preemptive label of 'unfit parent' hurt? Single parents and especially LGBT parents -- who don't fit the traditional model of parenting and thus are deemed unfit by the government, regularly, even though they're perfectly fit to be parents.

This is the only Rothbard argument that ever gets brought up because it's a lazy cut-and-paste talking point. If you cut-and-paste talking points for your articles (plagiarism) instead of making your own unique arguments, you should feel bad (but this is Wonkette, there are no ethics here).

Number of times we said anything about prostitution: Zero. Glad he refuted that thing we never said. Besides, Rothbard never said you you should be allowed to starve your children, he just said "the law, therefore, may not properly compel the parent to feed a child or to keep it alive." But you can certainly be punished if you DO kill your kids, see? That's just logic, so stop plagiarizing talking points! (No, Brittain apparently doesn't know what plagiarism is, either).

We'll skip his discussion of taxation in Switzerland and get straight to Brittain's not particularly accurate discussion of European healthcare and how he'd model American healthcare on what he thinks the European system is. Sadly, he gets it wrong from the first sentence:

Those who do not need health care can opt out, allowing those with the immediate need for care to be prioritized. This, again, is what Switzerland already does, successfully -- as do many other countries which have private supplemental healthcare under the European Model. I hear a lot of Democrats talk about the European Model, but then when I show them the guts of the model, they question it. It's really odd considering that I have a great understanding of the intricacies of the European Model (which is CAPITALIST, not SOCIALIST).

So, let's see how well he's described the Swiss healthcare system. How about that opting-out bit? Ooops, turns out that in real Switzerland, the purchase of health insurance is mandatory, and the basic policies are sold by nonprofit companies. You cannot opt out: you have to buy insurance within 3 months of arrival. The nonprofit basic insurers compete on price, but they're highly regulated and required to provide a set of essential healthcare benefits. Providers of healthcare are also regulated to limit costs of basic services.

Now, people who want coverage beyond the mandatory basics can indeed purchase supplemental insurance -- something Brittain mentions, but which he appears to confuse -- or deliberately conflate -- with the universal care the government mandates and, yes, pays for partly through taxation. Those voluntary supplemental plans are for-profit, and unlike the basic plans, can even reject applicants on the basis of preexisting conditions.

Brittain's also oversimplifying -- or just plain lying -- in suggesting that European healthcare systems have a single model, and that it's capitalist in nature. The Swiss system is definitely more capitalist than most in Europe, but it's far from a free market. Other systems, like Britain's, are mostly socialist, with the government providing the health insurance and the healthcare. Go read TR Reid's excellent The Healing Of America, if you want to actually have a great understanding of the intricacies of the European healthcare models, plural. Because Brittain is full of it.

He was also very unhappy that we didn't write a comprehensive campaign puff piece that explained why he's the bestest:

You clipped like twenty of my other positions out. You know, like the part where I end the Drug War, Constitutionally decriminalize marijuana, reform Criminal Justice, End the Federal Reserve, get us out of wars and away from Fentanyl.

As for the other Arizona candidates for Senate, he complained that Democrat Kyrsten Sinema is "basically a Republican" because she "votes with Trump over half of the time," a figure he may have cribbed from Five Thirty-Eight, which says she agreed with Trump 51.7 percent of the time. That includes stuff like voting for short-term budget resolutions, reauthorizing the FAA, supporting hurricane relief bills, and so on. On the really big stuff, like repealing the ACA and the Republican tax bills, Sinema is a no. So, yep, pretty much exactly like Trump.

In his replies to other commenters, Brittain managed not to rant, but he certainly was generous in his willingness to talk to mere mortals, like the person who said he had a terrible line of argument:

It's a great line of argument, if, like me, you are one of the greatest geniuses to walk this earth.

It's terrible for the indoctrinated supporters of government as a system -- all of whom have Stockholm Syndrome, you've been kidnapped by government -- wake up and rid yourself of apologism

Humble fellow, eh? But he had more ideas on the proper role of government, which is that it shouldn't do much beyond repelling foreign invaders:

Government is like an abusive husband, even though the wife knows he's a creep and he beats her, she won't leave. It's that sort of relationship -- where apologies are regularly made for government -- "without it we wouldn't have roads or technology, so we can justify robbing and beating the populace and endless wars and prisons, and anyone who dares point this out is a lunatic" -- if you're against husbands who beat their wives, you should also be against governments that beat and rob their own citizens

Or maybe government is a pretty flower that smells awful.

Brittain also explained how Jesus was actually an anarcho-capitalist himself:

Jesus was an anarchist who overturned the tables of tax collectors, moneychangers and central bankers in Matthew 21:12-13.

He was supportive of capitalism (render unto Caesar) but against regulation and invasion.

Jesus was an anarcho-capitalist.

For practicing free market capitalism (turning a few loaves of bread and fish into enough food to feed over 5,000 people) he was executed.

Somebody had to go and quote the whole "for I was hungry and you gave me food" bit, to which Brittain had a quick, simple answer (which we're sure he'd also toss out in reply to the bit where Jesus calls for his disciples to hold all their property in common, like commonists):

Right, that's voluntaryism/charity. Notice he doesn't say anything about establishing a government that carries out his will using the monopoly on violence within a given territory (Max Weber, Politics as a Vocation)?

Despite his complaint earlier about that plagiarism we didn't commit, he is also not particularly worried about copyright, because there's no such thing as intellectual property:

Intellectual property doesn't exist either, the supposed ownership of an idea is a form of censorship

Our favorite bit, though, was his reply to someone who pointed out that even if he does get elected to the Senate, his plan for reforming government and the economy along anarcho-capitalist lines isn't likely to make much headway. His reply was fascinating:

Wonker: How are you going to get it passed? You will be one of the most junior members of the Senate. You'll be lucky if you end up on any committees that impact anything you are claiming to campaign on.

Brittain: By publicly outing and shaming anyone who doesn't agree to my plans.

Trump showed us a methodology for putting people in line - if we do it one by one, we can get our agendas passed. Don't want to legalize marijuana? We'll see how you feel when I start firing off those tweets at you. My generation knows how to get results.

Nice! He will get his very own Internet Flying Monkey Brigade to harass us into agreemet. Persuasive! As someone else noted, at least he DOES have a proven track record in "outing and shaming" people.

And finally, in reply to someone who said they felt sorry for Brittain because he had to come spout off on a mommyblog because other media outlets don't pay any attention to him, our stable genius replied,

They're scared of me. For good reason -- the moment they have to talk about me the election is in the bag.

Genius. Sheer brilliance. He's definitely too smart for Washington-- get this man a base under a dormant volcano and a Persian cat.

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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