Meta-Blog

SEARCH QandO

Email:
Jon Henke
Bruce "McQ" McQuain
Dale Franks
Bryan Pick
Billy Hollis
Lance Paddock
MichaelW

BLOGROLL QandO

 
 
Recent Posts
The Ayers Resurrection Tour
Special Friends Get Special Breaks
One Hour
The Hope and Change Express - stalled in the slow lane
Michael Steele New RNC Chairman
Things that make you go "hmmmm"...
Oh yeah, that "rule of law" thing ...
Putting Dollar Signs in Front Of The AGW Hoax
Moving toward a 60 vote majority?
Do As I Say ....
 
 
QandO Newsroom

Newsroom Home Page

US News

US National News
Politics
Business
Science
Technology
Health
Entertainment
Sports
Opinion/Editorial

International News

Top World New
Iraq News
Mideast Conflict

Blogging

Blogpulse Daily Highlights
Daypop Top 40 Links

Regional

Regional News

Publications

News Publications

 
The West Wing of the Republican Party
Posted by: Jon Henke on Thursday, March 23, 2006

John Cole enunciates the current difficulty for proponents of limited government...
The right wing of the Republican party has sold the libertarian/centrist wing of the party a bill of goods, and the modern ‘conservatives’ are clearly nothing more than statists who, rather than redistributing wealth like their brethern on the left, instead have decided that the state must have excessive rights in order to ‘protect’ us all from whatever the imagined fear du jour might be. Meanwhile, no one is left protecting us from the religionists and the the state itself.

Nannies to the left of us, moralists to the right, here we are....stuck.

Unfortunately, today's political paradigm doesn't leave fiscal conservatives and libertarians with a lot of good options. And while libertarians have traditionally sided with Republicans because Republicans are at least theoretically (if not in actual practice) sympathetic to the libertarian interest in limited government, states rights and economic liberty — and the Democrats seem to be running the field in the opposite direction — we come across a problem when Republicans have such pervasive control of government. I've called it Henke's Law...
Minority Parties are always a little bit libertarian, if only to restrict the power of the majority party; majority Parties are always anti-libertarian, if only because, hey cool, power!
Cole writes that his "20 year affair with the Republican party is coming to an end" and that he will not be "voting for any Republican in 2006 at any level, and I will be hard pressed to vote for this party in 2008". I'm quite sympathetic to this viewpoint, if only because gridlock has been the best limitation in the past.

But while the Republican expansion of government has been a major story, I think their expansion of hubris has been equally damaging. The lack of an effective, empowered opposition party has allowed Republicans to operate without, in many cases, even the fear of oversight.

Libertarians are libertarian precisely because we are skeptical of government — how much more ought we be skeptical of such a concentration of power to one party? It doesn't ultimately matter whether Republicans or Democrats hold the concentrated power — the public choice problems and power incentives are the same.

So we have an entrenched Republican Majority and, because people tend to convert political affiliation into team loyalty, many of those who were formerly from the Conservative, libertarian or Religious wings of the Republican party have now simply become partisan loyalists dedicated to the defense of power — what we might call the West Wing of the Republican Party.
 
TrackBacks
Return to Main Blog Page
 
 

Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
I stopped reading Cole long ago, way before his site was nothing more than a Kos talking point (OOH! Look! A "conservative" who hates Bush as much as us!). Anyway, I’m glad he’s decided to paint the entire Republican party with a single brush. Makes his arguments even easier to dismiss.

Look, I’m not thrilled with the Repubs myself. That’s why there’s now an "Ind" on my voter card rather than "Rep". But I get emails on what each of my representatives vote on and how they voted. My congressman, Adam Putnam, is a Republican and I agree with around 75% of his votes, which in the political world isn’t shabby. His office responds to my letters and I’ve often informed him when I disagree with his stances on subjects and get a decent reply. So at least his office is listening. So, I’m not ready to say ’screw all Republicans’ because some of them suck. I know a few that seem ok. Hell, I’m not even in disagreement with Bill Nelson half the time> I mean, yeah, the man makes some boneheaded comments, but his voting record is different than the soundbites.

The point I’m trying to make is that wholesale statements like that only reinforce a two party system. The Democrats love the Coles of the world because they provide them with no incentive to change. If you’re sick of politicians’ sh*t, name names instead of whole groups. Post your emails to their offices and their responses. Help educate others. Use that sunlight to disenfect and scatter the roaches, but don’t go burn down the entire house.
 
Written By: Robb Allen (Sharp as a Marble)
URL: http://sharpmarbles.stufftoread.com
Exactly. Vote on the basis of the individual candidate and perhaps a libertarian bloc can act as a "base" that needs to be placated...with the benefit that unlike certain voting blocs, we would be open to swings...

Sort of like in Germany with the FDP who used to act as a key coalition partner.

Just as the religious right can demand certain lip service to their goals, the libertarian/fiscal types should create a simple platform (no more than 3 objectives) on which they could demand fealty from the pols.

Sort of like Glenn Reynolds Porkbusters...which is non-partisan by the way.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Nannies to the left of us, moralists to the right, here we are....stuck.
Hackish, at best. As this very site has repeatedly pointed out, Bush and his pals are as "nanny-state" as the left, only they are even less willing to pay for it. But in addition, they are the moralists too, assisted suicide, medical marijuana, gay marriage, sodomy, etc. Every personal issue, from how we medicate to how we die to how we have sex, they want government in charge.

So when do libertarian inclined types wake up and figure out that the GOP threatens them more than Dems ever could?

Probably never.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Anyway, I’m glad he’s decided to paint the entire Republican party with a single brush. Makes his arguments even easier to dismiss.
The GOP may consist of many different interests and values, but it acts in a unitary manner. Their actual political production and direction is the problem Cole is citing.
The point I’m trying to make is that wholesale statements like that only reinforce a two party system. The Democrats love the Coles of the world because they provide them with no incentive to change.
And the entrenched Republicans love the rest of the Party, because it gives them no incentive to change. Withdrawing one’s support can be a very effective tool for changing a party — or at least chastening them.
Just as the religious right can demand certain lip service to their goals, the libertarian/fiscal types should create a simple platform (no more than 3 objectives) on which they could demand fealty from the pols.
I’d very much like to see exactly that. To do so, libertarians need to be organized into a cohesive and visible "interest group". I’ve an idea for how that can be done, but I lack the technical software and web skills to do it.
So when do libertarian inclined types wake up and figure out that the GOP threatens them more than Dems ever could?
When we stop living in a society in which the Democratic Party’s vision is "winning". You’ve pointed out that we live in a Democratic Society. Well, libertarians have recognized and reacted to that. If the Republicans were winning the larger battle, we libertarians would probably be Democrats.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
But in addition, they are the moralists too, assisted suicide, medical marijuana, gay marriage, sodomy
While this is correct, it fails to take into account the number of people affected. Programs pushed, supported, and enacted by Democrats affect enormous numbers of people. While the issues you list are opposed to individual rights and should be resisted, they are not "more" threatening than what the Dems support. Additionally, aren’t the Republicans losing most of those issues?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
But in addition, they are the moralists too, assisted suicide, medical marijuana, gay marriage, sodomy, etc. Every personal issue, from how we medicate to how we die to how we have sex, they want government in charge.


Sounds rather straw-manish to me...

I like the original...

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right...

Anyone 100% happy with either "Party" wouldn’t be here and interested in honest debate.
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
This is one of you beste posts, Jon.
 
Written By: cindy bravo
URL: http://
Well, Jon, this is one libertarian who will *NEVER* vote for a national Democrat as long as the national party is the party of slavery. I will vote for the occasional local Dem who isn’t socialist unless the local Rep is less socialist. I will vote for the Libertarian who supports the war. I will vote against the Libertarian who opposes the war since this war began in 1971 (if not in 1967 and the war must be fought and won by us).
 
Written By: Charles D. Quarles
URL: http://spaces.msn.com/members/cdquarles/

 
Add Your Comment
  NOTICE: While we don't wish to censor your thoughts, we do blacklist certain terms of profanity or obscenity. This is not to muzzle you, but to ensure that the blog remains work-safe for our readers. If you wish to use profanity, simply insert asterisks (*) where the vowels usually go. Your meaning will still be clear, but our readers will be able to view the blog without worrying that content monitoring will get them in trouble when reading it.
Comments for this entry are closed.
Name:
Email:
URL:
HTML Tools:
Bold Italic Blockquote Hyperlink
Comment:
   
 
Vicious Capitalism

Divider

Buy Dale's Book!
Slackernomics by Dale Franks

Divider

Divider