Thomas Frank chastises "Beltway libertarians" in today's Wall Street Journal for "rationalizing" and "giving a pious shine" to corporate lobbying, corporate welfare, public-to-private wealth transfers in Washington, the influence of K Street, and how policymakers who push through federal handouts to favored industries are often later rewarded with high-paying jobs in said industries.
Frank's criticism of libertarians would be spot-on . . . if libertarians were actually defending this stuff. Maybe Frank can give us some specific examples of libertarians who have argued that any of the items listed above are part of the "free market." I don't know of many. In fact, I'm pretty sure most of us Beltway libertarians have been pretty critical of all that.
From the other side of the political spectrum (well, sort of—I have a hard time distinguishing neocons from liberals these days), neocon star wordsmith David Brooks tells the New Yorker's George Packer that "anti-government" philosophy similar to the one embraced by the Republicans during the 1994 Gingrich revolution is . . . fundamentally un-American.