Moralists, Neocons, and Crony Capitalists

Sebastian Mallaby gives the brutal truth about the modern day Republican Party in today's Washington Post.

Consider politicians' appetite for bigger government -- an appetite that has always existed, even in the Republican Party of the 1980s and 1990s. As John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge argue in their smart new book, "The Right Nation," for every Cato Institute libertarian, the GOP harbors a moralist who wants government to regulate your private life; for every anti-tax crusader, there is a neocon who believes that government should strive to instill such virtues as patriotism, educational discipline and marital fidelity. And that's before you start counting the foreign policy hawks, who want more military spending, or the endless crony capitalists, who want government to hand out favors to their business buddies.

It's too bad that so many libertarians are going to join in common cause with these clowns this November.

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and the alternatives are .

and the alternatives are . . . .?

voting with the Democrats, who are even more statist? At least some Republicans talk the talk and leave at least the possibility of libertarian reform.

vote LP? It's great for protest and message-sending, but is it that smart given the chance it will result in the election of a hyperstatist? (During the Clinton years it was a safe vote given Clinton's relative restraint.)

True, Bush is well within the Statist camp, but at least he is holding the line on taxes. You won't even get that far with Kerry.

Holding the line on taxes?

Holding the line on taxes? I should be thankful that Bush won't raise my taxes? His tax cuts were paltry and the tax code is still a mess. To hold him up as someone who is anti-tax gives him a little too much credit.

voting with the Democrats,

voting with the Democrats, who are even more statist? At least some Republicans talk the talk and leave at least the possibility of libertarian reform.

Kerry in the White House would be much preferable. At least then Republicans would go back to pretending they are for small govt. Give them someone to hate.

The most dangerous thing to happen would be Bush being re-elected.

I think Kerry is a Jackass,

I think Kerry is a Jackass, but I have to agree with Jonathan. The modern republican party (now like the Democrats) runs on statism and tribal hate. When there is no one from the other tribe to hate, the statism comes in. And the tribal hate applies to the other tribe's statism, too.

Just like the Democrats who "discovered" an opposition to PATRIOT act civil rights restrictions only when they were out of the exec, so too will the Republicans rediscover their opposition to state spending when a jackass is president.

My worst fear, though, is that Republican support in the *congress* collapses, and the Jackass party gets exec & congress at once. In that case, its Orwell's "Different Pigs in the Farmhouse", with Kerry declaring that while all Americans are equal, some are more equal than others...

Actually, I'm pretty sick of

Actually, I'm pretty sick of hearing most Repubs (Ron Paul excepted) "talk the talk" about free markets; I think it might actually be better for the cause of liberty if they'd just shut up. When good principles are espoused by people who are obviously mendacious, thieving hypocrites, the principles are discredited by association in the public mind.

A single vote won't result

A single vote won't result in the election of anyone. Which is of course the great paradox of voting, but the point is that voting LP, if that's what your conscience dictates, is costless (relative to voting R or D, it still costs something to vote at all).

Personally though, I don't know if I can stomach voting for Badnarik OR Bush... (Kerry? Never. In. A. Million. Years.)

I'm with Noah on this one;

I'm with Noah on this one; voting only encourages the bastards.

I think I may actually vote

I think I may actually vote this time. Last time
I was in the Philippines at the time, and both of
the candidates were making a trained monkey look
like a good write-in possibility, so I didn't do
anything. However, I do think that at least writing
in somebody good (someone with no chance of winning
is even better) allows me some bonus points when
talking about the current political mess compared
to not voting at all. At least with most of the
crowd I hang out with (which are mostly conservative
sorts).

~Jon

More disconcerting is the

More disconcerting is the idea that voters want big government and that they blame weak regulatory agencies for corruption problems (when the problem is tha agencies themselves). The public simply isn't clamouring for free-market anything and never really has. It's going to take a sea change in opinion to get anywhere.

- Josh

Mallaby's argument is

Mallaby's argument is actually too timid. The Republicans were a big government party when they were founded in the 1850s, and they led the charge for many of the worst "Progressive" reforms such as the antitrust laws and the tarriff. And let's not forget that it was Lincoln's Civil War that directly led to the development of the modern State. (For the life of me, I still can't fathom how a president can be considered among the "greatest" when 600,000 of his citizens died under his watch because of a war.)

I don't vote, but since

I don't vote, but since there's a Rep congress, I'd like to see a Dem executive. Maximum gridlock is our best-case scenario.