The Great "Libertarian Democrat" Hope Calls it Quits


Bye Bye, Bill Richardson. (Or, as the Drudge Report cleverly put it for a few minutes, "Adios Amigo." … Get it??) Once again, Tim Cavanaugh's election predictions turn out wrong.

Richardson was far and away my most favored Blue-team candidate when this campaign first started, back there in the 1980s. A western, tax-cutting, gun-liking, bad-bolo-tie-wearing, pro-medical marijuana bon vivant seemed to hold promise in what was shaping up to be a grim Hillaryverse of left-jerking populism. But his libertarianism, as predicted by Dave Weigel, turned out to be skin deep, and for what very very little it's worth, I found him to be deeply disappointing in person, utterly failing to convince me of the very cut-and-run Iraq strategy I myself favor, warbling on about "fair trade," and showing about 1/200th of the intellectual spark of, say, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

A fun bit from Weigel's piece:

All this hype is a bit perplexing to Richardson's predecessor, former Republican Gov. Gary Johnson. A strong supporter of school choice and drug decriminalization, Johnson was, without much debate, America's most libertarian state executive.

"I don't think Bill Richardson has got much to offer libertarians," Johnson says. "He plays up the fact that he cuts taxes when, if you add up all the fees he's approved, there's been a net tax increase. It's an indictment of Cato and the Club for Growth that they'd consider him a tax cutter." How much of an indictment? "It makes me a little less impressed by the good grades Cato gave me."

Also, so as not to invoke Tim Cavanaugh in three separate posts on one day, his take on the Ron Paul newsletter flap is a must-read.