Thoughts from a Libertarian Democrat

|

Yes, they do exist. Terry Michael, head of the Washington Center for Politics & Journalism, has started a blog called Thoughts from a Libertarian Democrat. His first post is an analysis of Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's coming bid for the presidency. After dismissing Beltway dismissals of Romney's chances, he notes:

Romney, I believe, is making a big mistake with too much pandering to the social cultural conservatives in his party. He'd be much better advised to run a general election campaign from the outset, talking to the center, and relying on his electability in a blue state and his Mormon conservative credentials to attract pragmatic Republicans to his bid for the nomination.

Whole thing here.

NEXT: Bill Kristol Smokes Crack and Writes a Column

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Speak of the devil…

  2. Romney, I believe, is making a big mistake with too much pandering to the social cultural conservatives in his party.

    I’m not so sure. If both John McCain and Rudy Giuliani run, would there there be room in the Republican field for another social moderate?

  3. Every time this type of article comes out anywhere, including in Reason, the thesis always seems to be “if the politician wants to be successful, the politician should pander to people who are more like me.” Mysterious coincidence, that.

  4. From a comment i made less then 2 hours ago.

    “there is a libertarian wing of the democrat party???

    where and who?”

    damn you Gillespie!

    I will now send you 30$…even without the black t-shirts.

  5. I agree with him that foreign policy experience means nada and that the fact that he’s a governor play in his favor; but I have a feeling that if he wants *any* support from the social conservatives, he’s going to have to pander. Too many years of “trust me, I’m one of you” from W., while being disappointed. They are going to want hard promises from a candidate, in writing, preferably tatooed on his/her forehead. Of course, it would remain to be seen if the Social Conservatives could completely control the nomination…

  6. If they’re going to need that then they’re going to be a bunch of sad kids come election day. All the easy stuff in their platform is already done, leaving the unpopular, difficult stuff like abortion or turning back the tide on homosexuality. That’s the sort of stuff no serious candidate is going to touch. Somebody tries to push too hard that way, they’ll look far too unelectable to be taken seriously. Consider the junior Senator from Pennsylvania if you require an example.

  7. I’m hoping that Russ Feingold runs for and wins the Democratic nomination for President.

  8. I’m hoping that Russ Feingold runs for and wins the Democratic nomination for President.

  9. Just to let you know, Herrick and His Balls are all Libertarian Democrats. The shaft once voted for Nader as he likes to vote for candidates that look like himself.

  10. II define a “Libertarian leaning Democrat”, as a Democrat with the foreign policy and civil liberties positions of Russ Finegold and the fiscal positions of the Blue Dog Democrats.

    Are there any such elected Democrats extant?

  11. …Make that: “I define…”

  12. My vote is for Herrick as the funniest damn commenter ever.

  13. Funny strange or funny ha ha?

  14. Mitt Romney has a snowball’s chance in hell of getting the Republican nomination.

  15. “Libertarian Democrat”??

    Who knew that such things existed?

  16. Are there any such elected Democrats extant?

    No, but argurably there’s fewer than a half-dozen elected Republicans who can make a reasonable claim to being the Republican analog to what you laid out for Democrats. Despite this, we let Republicans take our name in vain all the time. Maybe easing off Dems wouldn’t be so bad, at least until the current crisis is over. Nothing wrong with playing hard to get.

  17. relying on his electability in a blue state and his Mormon conservative credentials

    As a Mormon you may be surprised how we think of him. I belong to several Mormon forums and half like him, the other half hates him. His support, in my view of members who talk and do not vote the Mormon line, is shakey.

    He will carry Utah and the Mormon belt because of his religion, but the mindless support you think he will get is not there.

  18. “…civil liberties positions of Russ Finegold”

    You mean like his pro-censorship position? Yeah, screw that damned peice of paper anyhow.

  19. I kind of knew such things existed…but I think the problem is that the Democratic Party leadership is about a billion light-years away from them, opinion-wise.

  20. Sounds like Herrick gave Nader the shaft!

    Thank you, I’m here all week. Don’t forget to tip your waitress!

  21. Why would anyone vote for Romney when they can have George Allen? Goofy looking, yes. but all I needed was to see him argue against tying hiway funds to state seatbelt mandates. And he’s staking himself out as the Technolgy Candidate! I expect a Reason endorsement anytime now.

  22. Re: Mythological status of the Libertarian Democrat.
    [David Attenborough Voice] Finding themselves so utterly out of power, some Democrats are beginning to spew libertarian rhetoric out of desperation. Thus the Libertarian Democrat is less of a myth than the Libertarian Republican which has been extinct, save a handful of infertile specimens, since 1996. What is curious, is how many continue to speak of the Libertarian Republican as though it yet thrived and might be encountered outside the laboratory.

    Forensic science has now revealed is that the Libertarian traits once found in Republicans, were not genetic markings, but merely affectations applied for display proposes when attempting to woo power. Once successfully mated with power, the Libertarian rhetoric having served its purpose, has been discarded.

    Returning our attention to the appearance of a seemingly novel breed, the Libertarian Democrat, we may reasonably conclude that this too is not a true breed. More likely, the Democrats have picked up the discarded Libertarian decoration which served their rivals when the situation was reversed. In the event that the Democrats can woo power back away from the Republicans we can expect that they will be equally eager to rid themselves of the uncomfortable and restricting Libertarian cloth.

    Never the less, there is a small but thriving population of pure Libertarians which makes their home deep in the foliage of the Lunatic Fringe. It is not uncommon for members of this tribe to leave the safety of the Fringe and seek out mates from amongst the sheeple. Thus, genuine half-breed Libertarian-Democrats, and Libertarian-Republicans do exist and are regularly replenished. However, they are continually swallowed up by faux-Libertarians and therefore unable to establish themselves as a true and viable breed within the species poloticius.

      1. Ha ha, we shall pollute the pristine chronology of past threads with nested comments!

  23. Warren, that was fucking brilliant.

    You drinking yet today?

  24. Waitaminnit. I thought we Mormons were part of the “social cultural conservative base” of the Republican party. So now we’re moderates?

  25. thoreau,
    Drinking? No need, just basking in the glory of the solstice.

  26. Warren:

    You mean like his pro-censorship position?

    If he has em, I condem em, of course. What are they?

  27. Warren,

    I thought that you were perhaps referring to something else. And you’re right of course. McCain-Feingold is an obnoxious infringmet of civil liberties.

  28. Except for Ron Paul I think it’s clear that no one in the House or Senate has a consistent libertarian record. And even Ron Paul’s record shows a conservative tilt to his libertarianism. The two major parties have the benefit of having members that range from the most extremist versions of their ideologies to members that are very close to dead center. Someone like Russ Feingold might not be perfect, but I’d argue that he votes as a libertarian would at least 50% of the time, if not 75%.

  29. I wouldn’t call myself a libertarian Democrat, more like a libertarian who usually votes Democrat. On economic issues, there’s not much difference these days. On issues where there’s a sharp difference between parties — abortion, sexual freedom, civil liberties, the Geneva Conventions — the Democrats are much better.

  30. Okay, I’m a libertarian Democrat, so they do exist. I spent about four years (until earlier this year) on the Iowa public utilities commission (the Iowa Utilities Board) championing deregulation of telephone companies, and I used to work for the ACLU because I am a strong civil libertarian, and was quoted in a REASON cover story back in 1990 about how the ACLU was losing its focus, working on liberal issues instead of civil libertarian ones. From the chats I had with Susan Kennedy, former Calif. utilities commissioner and now Gov. S’s chief of staff, I’d put her in the camp of libertarian Dems, too (though I don’t know if she’d classify herself as that).

    Mark Lambert

  31. Libertarian Democrats do in fact exist, and a growing number of them are discovering the libertarian caucus within the Democratic Party, the Democratic Freedom Caucus. Check it out at http://www.democraticfreedomcaucus.org and the blog at freedomdemocrats.org.

    -Dave

  32. Libertarian Democrats do in fact exist, and a growing number of them are discovering the libertarian caucus within the Democratic Party, the Democratic Freedom Caucus. Check it out at http://www.democraticfreedomcaucus.org and the blog at freedomdemocrats.org.

    -Dave

  33. Dave-
    I looked at those orgs. I would certainly agree that they are libertarian. Actually the type of libertarian that I would be.
    Question though- could you really agree with that platform and still be a democrat?
    Those platforms seem really far away from the democrats.

  34. Dave-
    I looked at those orgs. I would certainly agree that they are libertarian. Actually the type of libertarian that I would be.
    Question though- could you really agree with that platform and still be a democrat?
    Those platforms seem really far away from the democrats.

  35. LoganFerree:

    Someone like Russ Feingold might not be perfect, but I’d argue that he votes as a libertarian would at least 50% of the time, if not 75%.

    What?? No way! He’s a very big spender:

    http://www.ntu.org/main/components/ratescongress/details_all_years.php3?senate_id=135

  36. Russ Feingold’s not even close to being a libertarian, but here are lists of the most frugal members of the House and Senate-a different approach than the big spender Bush and most of the Dems in congress. BTW, I think that they’re all Republicans. The NTU is so non-partisan that they don’t even note affiliation. Does anyone see any Dem names in these lists of folks who earn an “A” for voting for less government spending?

    http://www.ntu.org/main/page.php?PageID=75

    http://www.ntu.org/main/page.php?PageID=76

  37. Miller Georgia-is a democrat -one only

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.