Over at Cato Unbound today there is an article by Daily Kos’ (sorry, no link from me) Markos Moulitsas making The Case for the Libertarian Democrat.
I’m far from convinced.
Yes, the Republicans have proven incapable of living up to their libertarian rhetoric. And, there’s a case to be made that libertarianism would be helped by shifting the congressional majority to the Democrats because then we’d have some gridlock to slow down the damage.
But, does anybody with a brain buy the idea that there’s a real phenomenon in the Democratic Party that libertarians can identify with and support?
Libertarianism is about individual autonomy and property rights. The Democratic Party is still hostile to these things.
Yes, they oppose some of the unlibertarian projects of the Republicans (like anti-gay and anti-flag-burning amendments to the constitution), but it’s not because they have libertarian values. It’s just that they have a different unlibertarian agenda. They want to soak the rich, kill Wal*Mart, regulate economic activity, prohibit risky behavior, seize guns, socialize everything, etc.
Do we hear Democrats talking about reducing (non-military) spending, reducing the tax burden on everyone, allowing the free market to operate in areas where government programs and regulations are manifestly failing?
If Moulitsas wants to garner votes from libertarians, I think he would have been better off if he’d appealed to the tactical value of splitting the power between the branches. I suspect that trying to sell this load will backfire, and only serve to remind libertarians of what a bunch of lying weasels many Democrats are, and what vile instincts they appeal to.