If Wishes Were Horses Then Libertarians Would Vote


From Fox, here's yet another story on whether libertarian-leaning swing voters will decide today's election. I'm not going to count my chickens before they're fried — and it's far from clear that all those voters are libertarians in even a loosely meaningful sense of the word — but if the result of all this chatter is to send the next wave of candidates chasing our support rather than the Nascar Stepmoms or the Security Soccerballs or whoever, I suppose it's all to the good.

I don't have strong opinions about the races in my own backyard, but I'm watching several other states with interest. On the Blue side of the ledger, I'm cheering for Jim Webb and Jon Tester, who are better than the average Democrat, over George Allen and Conrad Burns, who are worse than the average Republican. (Give Burns points for honesty: Back in 2000, as the NAB's congressional lackies lined up against a plan to legalize low-power radio, he offered the most straightforward argument against the new stations: "I've had all the diversity I can stand.") I'm also cheering for Bob Casey, Jr., who is not better than the average Democrat, over Rick Santorum, who symbolizes one of the worst sorts of Republican. And I'm cheering for Ned Lamont over Joe Lieberman, who used to symbolize one of the worst sorts of Democrat but now has split to form his own Connecticut For Lieberman party. Much as I despise Lieberman, there's a side of me that doesn't mind that he's likely to win, partly because I'm pleased whenever independents are elected and partly because I hope the newspapers will refer to him as Sen. Lieberman (CFL-Conn.).

On the Red side of the ledger, I'm hoping the handful of Republicans who have a genuine interest in limiting government power come out ahead. That mostly means Reps. Ron Paul and Jeff Flake, who are expected to be reelected easily today; if Butch Otter becomes the next governor of Idaho, that'll be fine with me too.

Outside the Red-Blue ledger altogether, there's Kinky Friedman. I doubt he'll be elected governor of Texas, but if he can poll a strong second I'll call it a moral victory.

Mostly I'm hoping for divided government. A Republican president with a Democratic Congress isn't as appealing a scenario as a Democratic president with a Republican Congress: Better to have Clinton and Gingrich at each other's throats than to see Bush Sr. and Tom Foley ratifying each other's worst ideas. But as our one-party government mows down our liberties and lurches toward a war with Iran, even a barely effective roadblock is better than nothing at all.