A Reason Article Sandwich

David Weigel brings us another chapter in the debate over who is more libertarian between Republican and Democrat candidates. He lays out an opening slice of bread with these first two paragraphs at Reason:

“Could you give me some reasons why libertarians might want to vote for you?”

I could tell my question startled Connecticut Democrat Ned Lamont, who’s running against Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.), the war hawk and culture nanny par excellence. We were standing in Lamont’s room at the Washington Hilton, the site of the Campaign for America’s Future 2006 Take Back America conference. (Someone missed an opportunity for synergy by not booking the American Values suite.) As long as I was a hurdle for the candidate to jump before he could meet some people with checkbooks, I figured I could rope him into the “Libertarian Democrats” debate.

He closed by laying this slice of bread on top of the sandwich:

This isn’t a simple election. Some of the Clinton party’s candidates, like Virginia’s James Webb, actually deserve the “Libertarian Democrat” moniker. In Connecticut, where a Democrat’s going to win anyway, the pro-privacy, anti-war, pork-bashing Lamont would clearly make a better senator than Joe Lieberman. In the short term, libertarians could be satisfied””even more so than liberals””with a Democratic Congress that rolled back anti-privacy laws and acquainted Bush with his veto pen. But the Democrats are the Democrats. Even when they’re railing against NSA wiretapping, they’re wishing they could be passing higher taxes and entitlement payouts.

It might be in libertarians’ best interest to ally with Democrats for this election. If they do, they could see short-term progress that would never come out of the invasion-happy GOP majority. Inevitably, they’ll find out something they have in common with liberals. They’ll be let down.

You’ll have to read the article to find the meat and cheese (or peanut butter and jelly, if you prefer) of this complicated political sandwich.

Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

  1. “Some of the Clinton party’s candidates, like Virginia’s James Webb, actually deserve the “Libertarian Democrat” moniker.”

    Is this a joke? If it is, it isn’t very funny. At least George Allen pretends to be a Jeffersonian.

  2. Reason magazine has for years been visibly hostile to the Libertarian Party–I ended my subscription after a full page attack cartoon–and readers might take Weigel with a bag of salt.

    Republican claims to have lowered taxes are substantially a lie. They replaced the income tax with the grandchild tax, also known as the national debt.

    With the income tax, when you buy a bridge, you pay the contractor once. With the grandchild tax, when you buy a bridge, you pay the contractor once, and you pay the bankers and Federal debtholders again and again and again every few decades, forever. Republicans bet Americans are too dumb to understand this.

    The Republicans also surface tax lies about the laugher curve-named because it is laughed at by real economists-claiming that lower tax rates mean higher tax revenue–a claim rejected by recent data. (On top of this, George Bush expands Federal spending faster than any Democratic President in the last half-century).


  3. Reason magazine may be hostile to the LP, but so are a lot of libertarians. They certainly arent anymore friendly towards the Dems or Repubs ( if Reason itself could be categorized generally at all). If anything, a lot people associated with Reason DO vote LP or don’t vote at all. Sure some made the huge mistake of voting Bush because they thought Gore/Kerry were so much worse.

    I think just like any other libertarians ( small l or L)they are looking for a real way to be involved and have an effect in politics. Many still view the LP as a lunatic fringe ( hell, the LP really needs to appeal to NON-libertarians to accomplish anything, but a lot of “libertarians” don’t even take it seriously or go out of the way to say ‘Oh, I’m a SMALL ‘l’ libertarian..Dn’t confuse me with the LP crackpots.” Ss there must be a Reason.)

    I actually find Reason enjoyable because it is not a Libertarian Party publication.

  4. Republicans like the Laffer curve because it allows them to spend more, but have an excuse. They like to do a bunch of talk about cutting superficial taxes, but it’s the spending that really matters. And Republicans like more spending, especially when they can console themselves that they are always above equilibrium on the Laffer curve. But that’s the thing about the Laffer curve – there is no way to know that you are above equilibrium.

  5. I’ve been a life long LP person and run for office 4 times and held party positions. But if I were voting this year it would be Democratic. So many LP members are now trying to sound like more extreme Republicans and backpeddling on social freedom that I would not automatically vote LP like I used to do. Normally I would want the GOP to win over the Dems but Bush cured me of that. And until LP candidates discover issues beyong their obsession with just guns and taxes then don’t have my support. BTW: I support those positions but folks there is an entire world out there. Get your head out of your.. and notice.

  6. Whether either candidate is or is not libertarian is not particularly important. What is important is their integrity, honesty, and moral attitude. We all know that Joe Lieberman cannot be trusted because he votes almost completely what is politically correct. Ned Lamont, although lesser known, appears not to be trusted, either. In a recent advertisement extolling his candidacy Lamont berates Lieberman for all the wrong things he has done, then resolves his own corrupt political position that if Lieberman is chosen, he (Lamont) would back him 100%. What an idiotic statement! First you say that the candidate is truly unfit for the office, but then you say you will back him! Maybe all politicians are idiots!