Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Many people want the government to protect the consumer. A much more urgent problem is to protect the consumer from the government.”     Milton Friedman

April 21, 2009

Worth requoting

by Stephen Gordon

Are Republicans going Galt?

Maybe you see a pattern there and maybe you don’t. But of the roughly four different pathways the Republicans could take in the post-Obama universe — toward Ron Paulesque libertarianism, toward Sarah Palinesque cultural populism, toward Mike Huckabeesque big-government conservatism, or toward Olympia Snowesque moderation/ good-governmentism — the libertarian side would seem to have had the best go of things in the First 100 Days.

My initial response is that Republicans tend to be better supporters of small government when they aren’t clutching the keys to power.  They are also a lot friendlier to libertarians when they don’t have long lines of lobbyists paying for their lunches.  But let them resume power again and watch what happens…

This said, I find Nate Silver’s observation to be a good description of what’s happening in the GOP right now.

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  1. Good post. Problem is they got it bass ackwards.


    And Ron Paul populism, with occasional libertarianism thrown in on economic issues.

    At least they got Huckabee right on the money. Though, the Huck does play a mean bass guitar, so he must have a tiny libertarian streak buried in there somewheres.

    Comment by Eric Dondero — April 21, 2009 @ 7:06 pm
  2. I heard Huckabee just had Willie Nelson on his show (I’ve never watched it). Maybe they toked a bit before the jam session.

    But I think they got it right about Ron Paul and Sarah Palin.

    Comment by Stephen Gordon — April 21, 2009 @ 7:09 pm
  3. Spot on about Ron Paul and Palin. Of course it takes a complete nincompoop to conflate Paul with populism and Palin with libertarianism… oh, wait…

    Comment by Hampden — April 21, 2009 @ 8:01 pm
  4. Eric,

    Give up the ghost already. Palin isn’t a libertarian, she’s a social conservative.

    And a bit of twit.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — April 22, 2009 @ 5:30 am
  5. [...] Stephen Gordon and Nate Silver, there seems to be some speculation out there that the Republican Party is moving [...]

    Pingback by Below The Beltway » Blog Archive » Is The Republican Party Becoming More Libertarian ? — April 22, 2009 @ 6:52 am
  6. Did you read the comment thread after Silver’s commentary. My guess is, that is about half if not more of the country really feels about the “tea baggers.”

    “My initial response is that Republicans tend to be better supporters of small government when they aren’t clutching the keys to power. They are also a lot friendlier to libertarians when they don’t have long lines of lobbyists paying for their lunches. But let them resume power again and watch what happens…”

    Okay. And so, pray tell – what exactly, is your proposed solution? Really – inquiring minds want to know.

    Do you see the political landscape actually changing from its current TWO party system, anytime between now and 2010 or 2012?

    So you do your throw your hat into the ring with?

    Do you really think you smaller government, lower taxes, fiscal responsibilty Libertarians, can build a global alliance and bring together under one big Libertarian Kumbaya Tent – those ignorant unedumacatged, gun-totin, Jeebus luvin Palin (a/k/a “the Twit”) fans who a lot of you like to sneer and look down your noses at – who are pro-life, pro-gun, anti-legalization of gay marriage, anti-open borders (and who are NOT going to change their views on those issues)…..with their elite well educated betters from the coastal state urban areas who are JUST as firmly pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, amnesty for “undocumented workers,” universal health care for all (including the undocumented workers), etc., – perhaps less smelly and more likable, but yet badly misguided (in your view) in terms of their statist philosophy on the role of government…..all under the one common and shared philosophy of reducing the size, reach, power, and breadth of the Beast in DC?

    Really? Again, do you read the comments on left and right blog sites, the letters to the editors of papers, etc., and read what they think about each other? I think this nation has not been this polarized into separate camps who literally LOATHE each other since the Civil War. Just my opinion.

    And so….this is either all just an exercise in intellectual chin-stroking – intelligent guys on sites like this, compose well written tomes on economic/monetary theory….or – you really want to change the political landscape of this country and alter the direction we are heading.

    Which is it? If it is about action, then do you not have to make a choice as to who you are going to try to sway, and bring into your tent? And accept as allies into the common cause, warts and all, regardless of their social conservatism or whatever it is that is ideologically “impure?”

    Comment by southernjames — April 22, 2009 @ 7:03 am
  7. Typo – that should be “who” do you throw your hat….

    Comment by southernjames — April 22, 2009 @ 7:05 am

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