Ross Douthat is skeptical:
What could happen, instead, is a bigger-tent liberalism — somewhat chastened, perhaps, by some big-government failures in the Obama era — that makes libertarian intellectuals feel welcome, engages them in conversations about smarter regulations and more efficient tax policy, and generally woos them away from their culturally-dissonant alliance with people who attend megachurches and Sarah Palin rallies.
I agree wholeheartedly that there is little or no room for libertarian tolerance of faux libertarians who maintain a “culturally-dissonant alliance with people who attend megachurches and Sarah Palin rallies.”
Where I disagree is the myopic, either-or suggestion that the only alternative for libertarians is instead to enter a equally dissonant alliance with people who think that Social Security is a success, that conscripting health care professionals is a “right,” that government-employee labor unions are not oxymoronic, that we haven’t known for 159 years that government cannot “create jobs,” or that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac represent the “failures of laissez faire.”
A Faustian sell-your-soul deal with the lesser of two devils is rarely better than no deal at all.
Sometimes it’s better just to sit above it all and settle for the privilege of saying future told-you-so’s.
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