Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Libertarian Democrats: Bruce Reed Replies (or Retorts)

In continuing the minor kaffufle regarding Markos Moulitsas' ideas on the Libertarian Democrat, I was moved to read Bruce Reed's "reaction essay", "Governing Well is the Best Revenge". I'm pretty disappointed with what I read, and frankly, I found Markos Moulitsas highly flawed essay at least somewhat thoughtful and redeeming of at least several good points. But after getting just a short way in to Reed's piece, I kept wondering if I had been redirected to the DNC webpage, and were reading a 'Clinton in '08' campaign flyer.

Bruce Reed almost immediately confirms rumors of a government draft with this line:

These beliefs lead us to take stands that many libertarians will not agree with. For example, I believe that every American owes our country a debt of service. I believe that government is bound to fail any time it values responsibilities less than rights.
Well, how very George Orwell of him. Another word for what Mr. Reed suggests is “conscription”. Hey Bruce, try lying next time, you'd have a better shot of swinging my vote Democratic. Anyway, read the whole thing here. However, Nick Gillespie gives the old-school smackdown to the Libertarian Democrat and Bruce Reed here.

Gillespie points out that a Libertarian/Democrat date always starts on a good note, but ends on a very bad one... for the Libertarian:

It's true that there was a bracing moment during the first 15 minutes or so of Howard Dean's presidential run where he looked to be the candidate of "gays and guns," a fiscal conservative, a social liberal, and, perhaps most daringly, a forthright opponent of the Iraq war. In short, he might have been mistaken for some sort of libertarian. Yet he almost immediately started talking about "reregulating" whole swaths of the economy, even the media which had given his candidacy such a boost. And what are we to make of Ned Lamont, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in Connecticut, who is one of Moulitsas's pet projects and arguably his greatest success as a Donkey Party political operative? As Reason's David Weigel has written, Lamont has at least two stances that are attractive to most libertarians: He thought the intervention by congressional Republicans into the Terri Schiavo case was objectionable and he's openly opposed to the Iraq War. Beyond that, though, is a litany of proposals that hardly sing to the "Free Minds and Free Markets" crowd: universal health care, increased federal spending on schools, and rolling back tax cuts "on the richest 1 percent."

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