Thursday, May 18, 2006

Divided we...stand?

This article raises some fantastic points and questions, especially for the libertarian (or Libertarian, whichever you prefer) at heart. Excerpt:
Great articles all, and well worth the read. Still, the series reminds me of a humorous commercial currently running on television: In the ad, a group of bankers are hiking through the jungle, and one falls into quicksand. The group forms an "emergency" discussion committee to develop alternative responses to the crisis, while the guy sinks out sight.

My contribution and advice to worried libertarians:

Your patient is lying unconscious on the ground bleeding to death. Yes, the patient's leg was blown off by a Republican roadside bomb, and we are all angry at the Republicans and feel really bad about what happened. But this might not be the time to discuss where to build a hospital and how to equip a surgical suite to treat the patient. Right now, we really need to apply a tourniquet and stop the bleeding.

Fortunately, there is a tourniquet in easy reach, from William Niskanen, one of Cato's own. The tourniquet is the election of a divided government in the 2006 election. Apply it first, and once the bleeding is managed, we have an opportunity to help the patient with more advanced treatments.
The author recommends letting the GOP lose in 2006, and thus have a divided legislature and executive branch. I like his points, and I have a few of my own.

First of all, the Democrats suck. No disagreement there. However, as I've pointed out time and again here, the Republicans today give me very little reason to vote for them. Just as I criticize the Dems' strategy of "Vote for us, because we're not them", I criticize the same strategy in the GOP.

Secondly, what exactly would the Dems harm us with? They wouldn't get a damned thing passed into law, provided that (a) Bush can ever find his veto pen, and (b) he remembers that he's supposed to be a member of the "conservative" (snicker) ideology.

Would a Dem House impeach Bush? Possibly. Would the Senate remove him? No way.

Would Dems try to increase taxes? Sure. Would Bush veto the tax increases? Likely. Would a Dem House have the votes to override a veto? Nope.

Are Dems serious on national security? Nope. Would our security suffer? Hardly...they'd be petrified of getting tossed out on their asses if they were accurately portrayed as being anti-defense.

What about immigration? Hell, the GOP isn't doing any worse than the Dems would do! And considering Bush is pushing his "amnesty but not really" program, the Dems would just be giving him what he's already wanting (and what the Congress would give him) anyway.

House Speaker Pelosi? Yeah, it's pretty scary. However, so is House Speaker Hastert right now.

In short, I doubt that the Dems would get anything done. And as far as I'm concerned, based on what I'm seeing coming out of a "unified" government right now, I'd be pretty content with having nothing getting done.

I was excited in 2000, 2002, and 2004 when the GOP increased its size in D.C. Visions of scaling back the bloated bureaucratic beast and implementing fiscal conservatism danced in my noggin. Alas, it was all a dream. The GOP has taken its right-of-center base for granted and has instead tried to win over the soft mushy middle. They probably figure that the base will support them in lockstep, much like blacks and gays are taken for granted by the Democrats...after all, they won't vote for the other guy, right? True, but they may not vote...which, electorally speaking, is just as bad. Dems may not be able to beat the GOP, but the GOP can beat the GOP, and at this rate, seem poised to do so.

Food for thought.