Regular readers (and watchers of John Stossel's eponymous Fox Business show) may remember that back in February, Ann Coulter said "Libertarians are pussies." The occasion was a Stossel taping at the International Students for Liberty conference.
"Libertarians and pot!" says an exasperated Coulter. "This is why people think libertarians are pussies. We're living in a country that is 70 percent socialist. The government is taking 60 percent of your money. They're taking care of your health care, of your pensions, they're telling you who you can hire, what the regulations are gonna be…and you want to suck to your little liberal friends and say, 'Oh, we want to legalize pot. You know, if you were a little more manly, you'd tell the liberals what your position on employment discrimination is."
Well, if being a pussy isn't bad enough, Coulter is now accusing libertarians of suffering from groupthink. Here she is on the March 18 episode of the Dennis Prager radio show (as transcribed by The Daily Caller):
"I hate groupthink. And the libertarians have it every bit as much as the college liberals I speak to. I give a lot of college speeches and it was the same thing, you know where you all have to cheer together and you all have to boo the same stuff. And I guess when you're young and insecure feeling like you're part of a group is important to you. If I was ever like that, it would be gun-to-the-mouth time. But OK, I understand the psychology of it."
Coulter counsels college-age libertarians to
to put down their pro-pot signs and read some Richard Epstein — probably the leading libertarian in the country," she continued. "Also Richard Posner, they're both at the University of Chicago, and Gary Lawson, a law professor up at [Boston University]. These are smart intellectual libertarians. There's an awful lot of we need to be privatizing now. I am more libertarian than these whipper-snappers calling themselves libertarians. You know, how about privatizing the New York City subway system, the bus system?"
As it happens, Richard Epstein is hanging his hat at NYU and the Hoover Institution mostly these days (he's emeritus from Chicago) and Richard Posner is nobody's first-order idea of a libertarian. But Coulter's right that there's plenty of things that can and should be privatized. And she's wrong to imply that somehow a commitment to getting the government out of providing services better provided by the private sector means you can't also call for ending drug prohibition.
I recommend checking out my debate with Coulter, whose company I always enjoy, from last year's Independence Institute Founder's dinner.