Libertarianism's Big Tent?


The Observer (UK) has an amusing story about how one of George Bush?s most potent new opponents may well be, ahem, dandy-boy Vanity Fair Editor Graydon Carter, who has apparently been ganging up on poor Dubya in his impossible-to-find letters from the editor, and is finishing up work on a new book entitled What Have We Lost? A Carter quote:

It is different from the other books out there. I am not a liberal ideologue; I am very much a libertarian. I never got invited to the Clinton White House.

Italics mine. Is he confused about what the word means, have libertarian values become more mainstream, or both? Before answering that, consider New York Times Ombudsman Daniel Okrent?s disarmingly open debut column:

By upbringing and habit, I'm a registered Democrat, but notably to the right of my fellow Democrats on Manhattan's Upper West Side. When you turn to the paper's designated opinion pages tomorrow, draw a line from The Times's editorials on the left side to William Safire's column over on the right: you could place me just about at the halfway point. But on some issues I veer from the noncommittal middle. I'm an absolutist on free trade and free speech, and a supporter of gay rights and abortion rights

Okrent?s self-description, for what it?s worth, sounds just about like that of the typical mainstream journalist, at least in my narrow experience.