George Will Disses the GOP Again

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It’s starting to become routine. The conservative of conservatives, George Will, continues to bash the GOP while bringing up the word “libertarian” in his latest articles. This time he suggested that the GOP deserves to lose control of the House of Representatives for a vote they took on April 5. From WaPo:

If in November Republicans lose control of the House of Representatives, April 5 should be remembered as the day they demonstrated that they earned defeat. Traducing the Constitution and disgracing conservatism, they used their power for their only remaining purpose — to cling to power. Their vote to restrict freedom of speech came just as the GOP’s conservative base is coming to the conclusion that House Republicans are not worth working for in October or venturing out to vote for in November.

The “problem” Republicans addressed is that in 2004 Democrats were more successful than Republicans in using so-called 527 organizations — advocacy groups named after the tax code provision governing them. In 2002 Congress passed the McCain-Feingold legislation banning large “soft money” contributions for parties — money for issue-advocacy and organizational activities, not for candidates. In 2004, to the surprise of no sensible person and most McCain-Feingold supporters, much of the money — especially huge contributions from rich liberals — was diverted to 527s. So on April 5, House Republicans, easily jettisoning what little remains of their ballast of belief in freedom and limited government, voted to severely limit the amounts that can be given to 527s.

David Dreier (R-Calif.) explained, sort of. He said he voted against McCain-Feingold because “dictating who could give how much to whom” violated the First Amendment, but now he favors dictating to 527 contributors because McCain-Feingold is not violating the First Amendment enough: It is not “working as it was intended.” That is, it is not sufficiently restricting the money financing political advocacy.

Candice Miller (R-Mich.) said that restricting 527s would combat “nauseating ugliness, negativity and hyperpartisanship.” Oh, so that is what the First Amendment means: Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech unless speech annoys politicians.

Like an awful lot of issues, libertarians fought McCain-Feingold long before it was cool.

Will finally understands what we’ve been arguing from the git-go: Republicans don’t practice what they preach. Likewise, America is starting to understand the same of both major parties. Economic conservatives who voted Republican are starting to regret their decision. Despite the fact that anti-war Democrats voted for a pro-war presidential candidate, the majority of Americans are starting to wake up and realize what libertarians have been saying all along is correct: There were no WMDs in Iraq, Republicans are less fiscally conservative than even Democrats, torture — and incarceration without an attorney or trial — is just plain wrong, America now relegates “free speech zones” to the same alleyway where people once performed back alley abortions and medical marijauna polls better than 95% (or more — I haven’t looked at recent data on this one) of the elected politicians who won’t vote for it.

I wrote
about state level Republican [“distortions of the truth” — the word I actually used was edited by my wife’s common sense] on a different website yesterday, where there was a pertinent quote from a former Alabama Republican official:

Another former state GOP chairman agrees. While he was arguing for people to support [the billion dollar GOP tax increase proposal], Winton Blount stated, “Someone who is a full-fledged Libertarian ought not to be involved in Republican Party politics. They ought to join the Libertarian Party.”

It’s not just out of the mouth of one horse, but many of them. If you oppose fiscal irresponsibility, then the Republicans don’t want you or your vote.

A long time ago, Ronald Reagan suggested to a close personal friend of mine that he shouldn’t join the GOP because the friend was, in fact, a libertarian.

George Will seems to be sticking his toe in the water again and again, but he hasn’t quite taken the plunge, yet. Let’s hope he ends up having the courage of his convictions — the same courage Bob Barr had in 2004.

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. Is anyone counting the cracks in the wall?
    This kind of news has a lot of whiplash to it,
    get ready for some fallout.

    I’m still working on a chart for the 2006 election,
    but if anyone has one already.

  2. What sort of chart? Depending on what you are looking for, there may be a lot out there already.

  3. As a side note, I appreciate the way George Will (or the WaPo copy editor) uses a double hyphen (with a space on each side) when he writes. It’s a lot easier and cleaner than the common word-word syntax I often see.

  4. A while ago George Will wrote a column in which he said the Libertarian Party would never be politically successful because it was too absolute and uncompromising, taking hardline positions on issues.

    I have spent hours trying to locate this column but have been unable to. I already manually searched but to no avail.

    I think the particular column I’m looking for was written during a presidential (or possibly general) election year. If anybody can locate this column, or any other references by George Will to the Libertarian Party, I would be most grateful.

    Stealth use of 527s mainly by four wealthy Democrats led to Democrats taking over both houses of the Colorado legislature in the 2004 elections. The architect of the plan was my own state representative, Alice Madden, Majority Leader, unopposed in the election (D-HD10, a heavily Democratic district).

    State Republicans have vowed to do better next time (2006).

  5. Republican have no ideas and no plan. Worse, they have no clue how to do any heavy lifting. All the time they were a minority they obviously weren’t paying attention to the business of government and public service.