Tea Party

Should Small-l Libertarians Root for O'Donnell, Paladino, and Angle?

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The schmuck caucus

That's the question pondered by Tunku Varadarajan in this Daily Beast column. Excerpt:

My first instinct as a libertarian is, of course, for Republican victories everywhere, particularly for candidates running specifically on a small-government platform. The big-government Bush Republicans have already been punished; now it's time to get rid of the big-government Democrats—i.e., all of them. […]

But there is a delicate, almost aesthetic question that remains: Do we back candidates like Carl Paladino and Christine O'Donnell—people we wouldn't ask home to dinner, except in a Dinner for Schmucks sense? Put another way: Is our thirst for a resounding defeat for the statist Democrats so great that some of us would be prepared to swallow a mouthful of "Paladonnell" rotgut along with the premier cru of a GOP victory in the House, the Senate, and elsewhere?

Personally, I would love to see Paladino and O'Donnell lose, since they've distracted attention from the small-government message by adding in their own social conservatism and cultural weirdness. Republican primary voters need to be reminded to be more grownup, and practical. […]

Nevada's Sharron Angle raises similar issues: She, too, is an unconventional Republican candidate, easily typified as "extreme" by the media. There is no doubt that, objectively, some of her positions are, indeed, hard-line. But there are no libertarians, I would wager, who'd like to see her lose to Harry Reid. However distasteful she may be, the political and symbolic importance of defeating Reid is so great that its imperative trumps all distaste. Reid, to libertarian eyes, is the incarnation of our big-government malaise. If he survives, all our hearts will sink and the world will go dark.

My other libertarian wish this election is to see the mainstream media thoroughly miserable with the results. I've never been so appalled at the MSM as in reading their hysterically biased coverage of the Tea Party, and of libertarians like the Koch brothers. The MSM is so threatened by any challenge to its closed, statist mind-set that it is ever ready to demonize dissenters.

I for one will not believe for a second that "big-government Bush Republicans have already been punished" enough until the Washington GOP establishment begins to show any seriousness at all about restraining government. If anything, the rise of the unwashed Tea Party types indicates that Republicans have lost the ability and/or incentive to produce credible candidates who take spending cuts anywhere near as seriously as tax cuts. Until that happens, and until anyone with an R by his or her name shows any inclination to cut back on defense spending, war making, and the stockpiling of Executive Power, let alone getting the hell out of whole swaths of private peacable transactions between consenting humans, the most enthusiasm you'll get from me is seeing politicians and parties get fired, while their captive customers increasingly defect from their tired, predatory bullshit.

Link via Instapundit.