To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Never Ending Liberaltarian Debate

I've been a busy guy this past week as you may have noticed from the lack of posting. [btw, this offers a fine opportunity to plug our feed. I highly recommend -- and think many of you have already -- subscribing to it to avoid weeks like this] I have however; found the time to casually follow the most recent rehash of the Liberaltarian debate. This you might remember, was the idea (largely championed by some Cato folks, esp Brink Lindsey) that the libertarians were an electoral force to be reckoned with. A substantial swing vote that could and should be courted by the left forming an electoral coalition built upon the mutual fondness of Washington cocktail parties, gay marriage and argyle sweaters. Most on the right mocked the idea, legitimately pointing out that if libertarians were wary of the cold shoulders while in the GOP big tent, just wait to see what an unlubricated dick up the ass felt like from the Democrats.

You're more than welcome to check out the recent round for yourself (if you haven't already) by reading Jonah Goldberg's initial post that set Will Wilkinson off because Jonah said Will must be "vexed" by the $900 billion stimulus package. Memo to self: Don't ever accuse a libertarian of being annoyed at a $900 billion dollar spending package. Goldberg then answered back, some others joined in offering their thoughts.

Personally I never got it. I understand that a Will Wilkinson type likes to think about big things, minus the practicality of said big things, and that's all well and good, but when it comes to a political alliance practicality matters very much. On the surface, it seems that the Liberaltarian idea glosses over a lot of important on-the-ground type stuff in favor of the sexier, political theory shit. I'm sure it makes for great conversation at Washington cocktail parties (and really, who doesn't like saying Rawlsian over and over again. I know that's always gotten me laid....), but if you actually care about affecting political change...well then you might want to worry about the logistics of the whole affair.

All this being said; it might not matter. A lot of cosmopolitan libertarians voted for Obama for various reasons, none of them making much sense to me, but nonetheless they voted for the lefty on the ballot. I guess that’s the big joke --- all the political theory bullshit might not much matter, because the work is already done. Cosmopolitan libertarians are just much more socially comfortable with contemporary liberals as opposed to conservatives.

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