Friday, February 29, 2008

(Small-"l") libertarians and the GOP ticket


I am not a "libertarian Republican." I'm a "libertarian Libertarian," and proud of it. In my opinion, the Republican Party has little to offer for libertarians, and has a nasty habit of grabbing back in power what little it does offer when campaigning.

So, I've been skeptical of the whole "libertarian Republican" take on this year's GOP presidential nomination race, especially to the extent that activists like Eric Dondero, as opposed to the Republican Liberty Caucus (which he founded, but which doesn't seem to want much to do with him any more), are laying down the line.

Brief Dondero recap: First, Rudy Giuliani was the "libertarian Republican" candidate in the race ... and he was inevitable. As Giuliani rapidly descended into irrelevance, Mitt Romney became the "best bet for libertarian Republicans."

On the RLC side, it was pretty much all about Ron Paul until it became clear that wasn't going to happen.

PhotobucketAnd John McCain? Nobody but nobody in "libertarian Republican" territory was touching him, even though he was one of two candidates (along with Paul) to have ever been rated "Libertarian" by the RLC, and even though in at least one year the RLC had rated him the "most Libertarian" US Senator. "Libertarian Republicans" didn't seem to want anything to do with him on the presidential level.

Now it seems that "libertarian Republicans," like their co-partisans on the social conservative side, are looking for things to like about John McCain (who, by the way, I predicted would be the GOP nominee last summer when his campaign was at its nadir and most people were wondering when he would throw in the towel). In particular, the "libertarian Republicans" are focusing on the VP slot and pushing Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska, as the pick.

PhotobucketPalin would be a great running mate for McCain for a number of reasons. He's old, she's young. He's a grizzled Vietnam vet and POW, she's an attractive lady. He's a moderate to conservative (don't argue -- he has a lifetime ACU rating of 83 and the socialcons who are wailing and gnashing their teeth over him at the moment will have traced his bloodline all the way back to Jesus Christ himself by October), she's at least something resembling a "libertarian Republican." He's a long-time DC insider whose experience is legislative, she's governor of a small western state whose experience is executive.

There's not enough bumbo in the world to get me to pull the lever for the Republican presidential ticket, but "libertarian Republicans" need something to justify their their allegiance, and Palin on the ticket as VP fits the bill. Even those of us who won't support the GOP ticket might benefit if McCain wins: He is 72, and could conceivably die in office. Better Sarah Palin a heartbeat away from the Oval Office than many of the alternatives.

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