The Frothyhead


Speaking of the collapse of the libertarian-conservative coalition, today brings a truly risible column by Jennifer Roback Morse at National Review Online. The argument: "fiscal conservatives and libertarians can vote for Rick Santorum with a clean conscience." The evidence: He totally aces Tony Perkins' litmus test for candidates. I'm quite serious.

Among the 13 issues they listed as important for 2005, not a single one required additional federal expenditure. The Family Research Council supported positions that would reduce taxpayer expenditures, including reducing taxpayer funding for abortions in military hospitals, for coercive U.N. abortion policies, and reducing funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. The Family Research Council favors making the repeal of the death tax permanent. The FRC supported legislation preventing enforcement of the Kelo private-property seizure decision, opposed extending federal hate crimes to additional protected classes, and supported parental notification for abortion. These policies are much more closely attuned to libertarian sensibilities than anything the Children's Defense Fund has offered, or is ever likely to offer.

They're more attuned to libertarian sensibilities than anything NAMBLA might offer, too, but enough about Ken Blackwell. This is a weak dodge; Santorum is uniquely unpopular among libertarians for positions that don't come up in surveys like this. He's an utter squish on the minimum wage, for starters, and he's probably the most vocal advocate for using taxpayer money to moralize Americans—to bribe couples into getting married, to promote abstinence from sex and drugs until death or marriage (respectively).

Morse brushes off Santorum's signature social conservative position—his opposition to gay rights—with even flashier film-flam. Ignore gay rights, libertarians, because "the gay-rights movement as it currently exists in the United States is not a libertarian movement". Good point; I think I saw a few "Re-Elect Gore" stickers at the NORML rally. Let's kick them off the libertarian roll call, too.

Roy Edroso at Alicublog digs a little further into this.