URLs du Jour

2006-12-21

  • Interesting contoversy generated by Brink Lindsey's New Republic provocative article exploring the possiblity of libertarians shifting their political allegiances to liberals. Lots of smart people are saying interesting things about it, but as a Pun Salad value-added, the above link takes you to the "Whole Article" at the Cato site, rather than the "Here's the First Couple Paragraphs And To See More Subscribe to The New Republic Article" everyone else is linking to.

  • Patrick Hynes is one of the aforementioned smart people, and he deems the notion "nonsense." His attitude toward libertarians dissassociating their alliances with conservatives is perhaps best paraphrased in the Sanford-Townsend Band lyric: "Don't let the screen door hit you on your way out."

    I'm dubious of Lindsey's thesis for the more fundamental reason: generally speaking, it's hard to find a modern day conservative/libertarian schism that can't be matched with an even worse liberal/libertarian schism.

  • On a semi-related point, Bruce Bartlett also gets in some (big-L) Libertarian-bashing, triggered by news that ex-congressperson Bob Barr has dumped the GOP and gone Lib. Bruce doesn't mince words:
    My conclusion is that for libertarian ideas to advance, the Libertarian Party must go completely out of business. It must cease to exist, period. No more candidates, no more wasted votes and no more disillusioned libertarian activists.
    I used to belong to the LP before I decided it would be more productive to just burn up twenty dollar bills every so often.

  • Betsy Newmark excerpts and comments on Bradley Smith's LATimes op ed on the FEC's recent action fining Moveon.org and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, for unapproved political speech. Smith was a believer in the First Amendment while he was on the FEC, and he's irate:
    … these groups aren't being punished for making errors in their filing papers. They're being punished for criticizing politicians. Now, it's natural that politicians don't like that and might pressure the FEC to shut their critics up — the FEC reportedly acted in part because of pressure from Congress and a lawsuit brought by Reps. Christopher Shays and Martin T. Meehan — but why should ordinary citizens feel offended by criticism of public officials? Shouldn't we be more upset by efforts to silence criticism of public officials?
    And Betsy points out that the FEC's behavior is essentially lawless:
    Congress hasn't done anything to adjust the tax code provisions that allow the creation of 527s, but the FEC doesn't seem to need any stinkin' law on the books.
    Problem for the "liberaltarian alliance": today's liberals are largely in favor of regulating political speech; I don't think you can call yourself a "libertarian" without finding that odious.

  • Speaking of outrageous double standards (we were, weren't we?), Jay Nordlinger points one out today at NRO, discussing recent revelations about Clintonista Sandy Berger swiping classified documents from the archives:
    Call me a right-wing paranoid — it's been done before!—but I think that, if Sandy Berger were a conservative Republican, the story of his criminality would be a really, really big deal.
    This is, of course, not paranoia, but the simple sad truth. The disparity in media coverage (in both volume and tone) between Berger and (say) the whole Plame/Wilson brouhaha could not be wider; the only explicable reason for it is simple Big-media bias.

    Betsy Newmark makes similar points:

    Shouldn't the media have been more interested in knowing why he took such a risk in stealing classified documents? What was in those documents? Why did this story go nowhere at the time and we're just finding out these new details because the Associated Press filed a FOIA request? Why didn't all the media outlets want to know that information? after all, these were documents that he was reviewing in order to talk to the 9/11 Commission about security measures taken in the time before 9/11. No one really seems to have cared that there was something that Berger wanted to steal and destroy regarding that period.
    Media-driven outrage is extremely and obviously selective.

  • I really liked the Back to the Future trilogy. But Wikipedia has an article from someone who really, really liked the Back to the Future trilogy. (Via BBSpot.)


Last Modified 2006-12-21 5:53 PM EST