From a comment over at this blagh here:
Seriously, I hear Libertarians talk all the time about how they’re socially liberal (so to speak), but it never seems to matter come vote time. In that way, I see no chance of a large “bloc” of Libertarians doing anything that moves the Republican party towards what they claims it the Libertarian agenda. If Libertarians truly had an intellectually consistent bone in their bodies, they’d have stopped voting Republican years ago.
Here’s the thing about libertarians and this US electoral cycle. I know I promised I was going to stop talking about politics (“stop talking about politics! more sad plane videos!”), but I can’t help myself here.
Libertarians are going to have to make a very painful choice here. Specifically, they’re going to have to decide whether or not they want to be rich, or whether they want to be free. If they want to be rich they can keep voting Republican and shut the fuck up about lost civil liberties. Or they can embrace the idea that maybe, just maybe the documents they claim to venerate, and the principles of limited government they claim to hold dear, are worth something — and that you can actually measure that amount in terms of real dollars. If you assume a Democratic Congress is going to cost you more money, and yet might give you some of those personal and social freedoms you hold so dear, you get to decide whether you’d rather have the extra cash or the extra freedom.
The choice is only painful if you’re an idiot. The idea that everything comes down to economics, or that happiness can be expressed solely in terms of money is as brainless when it comes from a libertarian as it does when it comes from a Marxist. I don’t have a lot of patience for people who stamp their feet and argue that, while the Republicans are bad, the Democrats must surely be worse — who the hell are you kidding with that kind of logic? Why, ’cause they’ll undo the tax cuts? Gimme a break. Freedom-fans who argue that the tax cut was more important than, I dunno, the war on drugs, warrantless wiretapping, extraordinary rendition, fucking habeas corpus… I’m sorry, you’re big on freedom why, precisely?
Jim Henley (who, along with Glenn Greenwald, should start a blahg called “For Good or For Awesome”), wrote way back when:
You don’t like it, my neo friends, and that’s to your credit, but in your small way you helped to bring it about. You did this by imagining that the likes of Robert Fisk were a bigger danger to you than John Poindexter. You did it by imagining that somehow the part you liked about the Bush administration – war on your target of choice – was separate and distinct from the part you didn’t like – HSD, IAO, the brute-force linkage of the War on Drugs to the War on Terror, USA-PATRIOT. You put more energy into refuting “idiotarian” claims that our liberties had already been taken away than into fighting the people who were, right out in front of god and everybody, working to take them away in earnest. You imagined that war and repression somehow don’t go together, even that war could function to inoculate against repression. You forgot or never saw a very important adage of Teresa Nielsen Hayden’s:
Just because you’re on their side doesn’t mean they’re on your side.
If you imagine yourselves as part of some coalition, ask yourself what you’re getting for your trouble. You lost HSD. You lost USA-PATRIOT. You get IAO. An independent 9/11 commission? Gone. A lot of you favor liberal rules on therapeutic cloning. Think you’ll get that from this Congress? Is there anything whatsoever that neolibertarians favor that the rest of the Republican coalition does not where you have gotten or expect to get your way? Any case where the Administration said “We’ve got to give the libertarians this?” Or where you can imagine them saying it? Remember, the war doesn’t count. The neocons want it and the Christian Coalition wants it. They matter. Ditto for the tax cut. I’m talking about something that neolibertarians hold dear that neocons and/or the Christian Right oppose, where the will of the neolibertarians prevails.
I’m here every day. You can get back to me.
A proposition: Neolibertarians are to the Republican Party what African-Americans are to the Democratic Party – taken for granted because they have nowhere else to go.
We really weren’t kidding, guys. War is the health of the state. It’s time to stop imagining that this government will give you a generation-long war and occupation of however many countries without piling up the internal security measures, time to stop pretending that you have a box over here marked Good! that contains Don and Condi and a box over here marked Bad! that contains Ashcroft and Ridge and Mineta and that you get to pick one and not the other.
That needs to be tattooed on peoples’ necks. I realize it’s a long block of text to tattoo. I’m OK with that. Anybody who doesn’t like they pain they’ll suffer in the experience can complain about the torture they, indirectly, helped to bring about.