Monday, December 15, 2008

can Libs and Neo-Cons get along?

There ought to be quite a bit of room between these two in terms of common ground. But at least among Neo-Con talking heads, there's considerable (and amazing) antipathy toward libertarians. And I'm not sure the cause of it-- whether it's practical/partisan (one angle on trying to preserve the GOP) or philosophical (lack of principle or differing principles).

You saw a good bit of it in their often-childish response to Ron Paul's candidacy within the Republican Party. And you see it in the dismissive treatment of talk-radio hosts toward those in the Libertarian party. If Libs are not welcome in the Republican Party-- and criticized it they're active outside of it-- what's left for them? And how close should/can they be to Neo-Cons?

Mike Kole blogged on this awhile back-- on the occasion of hearing Mike Huckabee discuss his new book on Sean Hannity's show. On the campaign trail, Huckabee showed himself to be an anti-federalist and a Statist in many ways-- going beyond even McCain and Bush, to include a variety of Nanny-State proposals. Now, with a new book out, he criticizes Libertarians as too principled (hmm...), labels them as "Faux-Cons" (properly; we're "classical liberals" if you need another label), and sees them as "the enemy" to the Republican Party (depends on what the GOP stands for).

Kole opens with a comment that is at least relevant to the Huckabees of the GOP:

I've long felt that Republicans don't really believe in liberty. They really believe in big government, just as Democrats do, merely using the power of government as an instrument of plunder or oppression for a different set of beneficiaries, or over a different set of acceptable minority victims. It was just interesting to hear it plainly spoken.

Chris Spangle builds on this and attributes the GOP's (potential) demise to its fascination with so-called "gay marriage". I wouldn't go that far (since the GOP's problems clearly inhere, in part, to Iraq in particular and Bush in general). But I agree with Spangle that this approach to politics is potentially a damaging strategy-- independent of its difficulties biblically within a coherent approach to politics overall.


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