Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Libertarians On Palin

(Fishers, IN)- Now, for the libertarian take on Sarah Palin. My own is that this was a cynical ploy by McCain, simply selecting due to identity politics. I don't care about identity. I care about policy. So, from that standpoint, it's unlikely to be a great pick, and that says something to me about McCain and his 'leadership' and executive methodology.

From Cato-At-Liberty:
Comparing her experience to Biden borders on ridiculous. Since when do libertarians find encouragement in government, much less someone who has spent 36 years in Washington funding programs like Amtrak and prosecuting the drug war? Link.

And, in another post:
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has a mixed record on taxes and spending. She’s clearly erred on a few fiscal decisions during her tenure as mayor of Wasilla and as governor. Palin seems to operate from a small government mindset, which makes her few heresies on economic issues puzzling.

Palin has come under fire for supporting the “Bridge to Nowhere” in Ketchikan before she was against it. Aides said the cost of the bridge soared from $223 million to almost $400 million, prompting her to consider alternatives. Link.

From Radley Balko:
By far the best thing Palin’s done thus far is get the usual suspects to don the others’ clothes. That is, the left’s screaming “affirmative action!” while the right’s screaming “sexism!” And both are doing it with a straight face. Makes it fun to be a libertarian.

Yes, Palin’s political resume is thin. That’s a plus in my book. “Experience” tends to mean “knows the ways of Washington,” which generally means more of the same old crap. If David Broder has praised you in one of his columns, you’re probably part of the problem. Frankly, I wish Obama had picked someone less “experienced” than Joe Biden, a guy that embodies everything loathesome about Washington. I also like that Palin’s not a career politician, and doesn’t genuflect before powerful interests. On the other hand, it doesn’t bode well that she has a history of also applying that same kick-ass-and-take-names style of governance to, for example, trying to ban books from the public library that she finds offensive.

From Reason's Matt Welch:
Sarah Palin is many interesting things, but she is decidedly not anyone who has done a single thing in her life indicating preparation to lead any kind of "transcendent" foreign policy challenge. In an election that will be fought over the issue of war, where McCain has noisily accused Barack Obama of putting politics before country on the issue of most import, it is McCain who is guilty of just that charge with the selection of perhaps the least-qualified candidate for vice-commander in chief in modern U.S. history. Choosing Palin makes for potentially great politics, but it makes a mockery of McCain's claim to be the national security adult in this race, especially considering that if he's elected, he'll be the oldest first-term president in American history.

Would John McCain, a genuine American hero, place his own political ambitions ahead of the good of the country? Indeed he has, at least according to an authority as knowledgeable on the subject as John McCain. In all five of his books he repeatedly warns us of precisely that tendency. "The worst decisions I have made, not just in politics but over the course of my entire life," he writes in Hard Call, "have been those I made to seek an advantage primarily or solely for myself."

There was initial excitement for some libertarians (not me), as Palin is a lifetime member of the NRA, but the more we learn, the more we find that she's a Republican, and not a Libertarian, for meaningful reasons. The commitment to smaller government only goes so far.


varangianguard said...

Matt Welch's comments cracked me up. A Libertarian who worries about "transcendent" foreign policy challenge(s)"?

Really. I'd be surprised if he knew what that was if it were biting him on the behind.

The selection of Governor Palin might be cynical, pandering, mistaken, brilliant or any combination thereof. But, had McCain picked some tired out white guy the whole campaign would be over already.

And, if the pressure to rescind her candidacy becomes real enough. The "Eagleton Effect" will kill whatever chance the Republican party had to come close in November.

But, it's their party and they can run it their own way.


I'm going to link this column on HFFT, Mike. Thanks for the perspective.

And yes, I thought the same things too when Palin talked of "smaller government". I want to know how they are going to make it smaller.

A good place for her to start slashing would be the Department of Education. Get rid of the whole crooked messed up thing. Let individual states educate our kids. I think we can handle the job.

Palin's candidacy for governor was endorsed by Alaskan libertarians, is that correct?

Mike Kole said...

Thanks for the linkage, Melyssa!

I don't know if the Alaska LP backed Palin. In some ways, it wouldn't surprise me. As I recall, they have backed major party candidates before when they weren't running one of their own.

Roberta X said...

Ah, but the AK LP did run one of their own for Gov, per Wikipedia's Sarah Palin article. Were we speaking of any party but the LP, I'd doubt the endorsement story. (What Will Rogers said about the Democrats -- "I don't belong to an orgaized political party" -- goes triple for the LP and I love 'em for it)

I like the way she's giving the Left conniption fits. That makes her nomination worth it to me for the entertainment value alone. And as a recognition by the GOP that they have strayed far off-course, it's not too bad.

Alas, the odious Senator McCain still heads their ticket. I keep coming back to that -- and the only argument his party has for me is "He's not Senator Obama." Neither is the neighbor's dog.

I'll be voting LP for all the other offices; for the show in the center ring, I'm still thinkin'. "Cold excement sammich" vs. "excrement sammich with extra bread and a world-class sauce" vs. "on the menu but you can't have any" is not an enticing array of options. Especially with the faint promise of urban impoliteness no matter which of the first two fumbles ahold of the brass ring. Aw, heck, there'd be riots if Mr. Barr won, too. American urban culture is fair that way.

I'm gonna vote but I'm hopin' to GTHO of Indianapolis before sundown on election day.