Public Nuisance

Random commentary and senseless acts of blogging.

The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
-Ronald Reagan

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Saturday, November 23, 2002
 
NRO has some suggestions from Randy Barnett on how Republicans can appeal more to libertarians. The suggestions aren't bad, but it's safe to say that they will be ignored.

For instance, Barnett suggests that Republicans should try actually taking Federalism seriously. It's pretty safe to predict that the next two years will be long ones for those people who actually believe in state and local authority as a political rule instead of a convenient argument. Since rightists now control the federal government, they have no grounds for wanting to move either political or legal disputes from federal to state jurisdiction. So since it isn't expedient in current political circumstances, you can bet this 'fundamental principal' is going to be forgotten. Republicans have already shown eagerness to override local and state governments on everything from securities regulation to treatment of the Boy Scouts when it suited their purposes. Already there are plans to grab federal jursidiction over class actions, the better to kill them off.

As for privacy and the security of such basic rights as the right to be charged with an actual crime and be represented by an attorney, the Bush administration has already shown plainly where it stands. Just this week, they won the right to place wiretaps and bugs to build criminal cases without probable cause. 'Libertarians' who supported the Republicans have no grounds to complain when they see these rights undermined.

The problem with Barnett's whole presentation is that it's based on the belief that the GOP is, from a freedom standpoint, a basically good girl who may fall off the straight and narrow from time to time, but is pure at heart deep down. Regretably, there is no real basis other than wishful thinking for this assumption. When the Christian Coalition agenda reduces freedom, the GOP backs it. When corporate donors want government subsidies and a rigged market instead of a true free market, the GOP always has a sympathetic ear - for a price. Unfortunately, some folks just aren't able (or willing) to notice the difference between a lady with a past and a career whore.



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