Markos Calls Us Out


Libertarian Democrat* Markos Moulitsas asks where just-plain-libertarians—like the editors and readers of this magazine—are on FISA.

Here we are engaged in a huge civil liberties issue, and progressives are being forced to fight this thing alone. It's easy to talk about "liberty". It's much more impressive to actually do something about it.

Reason has been on the FISA beat for a while, but Moulitsas is right: the hated Orange Line Mafia is not doing near enough to pressure Congress on this. The Ron Paul campaign has captured much of the libertarian imagination and the controversies about his newsletters have alienated various sides of the libertarian thinksophere. We need to get over ourselves. The arguments over who wrote what in 1989 or 1990 are less important than whether the Senate retroactively legalizes and forgives international surveillance.

Last week I posted, via a link, the numbers of the senators to pressure on FISA. Here are the numbers of possible Democratic swing votes, as well as the numbers of Republicans who've shown spine on these issues. I'm not telling anyone what to say, but there's been plenty of interest about this in the comments.

  • Tom Carper (202) 224-2441
  • Larry Craig (202) 224-2841
  • Daniel Inouye (202) 224-3934
  • Tim Johnson (202) 224-5842
  • Barbara Mikulski (202) 224-4654
  • Bill Nelson (FL) (202) 224-5274
  • Ben Nelson (NE) (202) 224-6551
  • Mark Pryor (202) 224-2353
  • Ken Salazar (202) 224-5852
  • John Sununu (202) 224-2841

*I've clarified this to stress that Moulitsas, himself, self-identifies as a libertarian Democrat.