Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Libertarian Right Republican Disenchantment

This from an Instapundit reader, I think he has it exactly right. We are ALL heavily influenced by the MSM--sometimes just in attempts to think differently from them if you are an iconoclast like me, but one has to realize that "I disagree with everything that X says" is a VERY profound form of inflence. I certainly try to avoid that as well, but I'd be an even bigger fool than I already am if I thought I typically succeeded. I've long thought that essentially what happened to Bush / Republican party is that the far right of the party got ticked about what "actual governing" was like rather than "criticizing the opposition". Was there a lot to criticize about the last 8 years? Absolutely, it is SUPPOSED to be conservatives that realize that there is ALWAYS going to be PLENTY to criticize about government!! The question is a bit like a root canal or procto --- the idea that a "good one" is going to be "everything you hoped for" is a bit unreasonable!!! HOWEVER, what we tend to forget is that a bad one can be really bad ... eg 30's, 65-82 kind of deal.
If the libertarians are disgusted with the GOP and conservatives are disgusted with the GOP (see e.g. Mark Tapscott and others who have floated the idea of a new party), is there a theory which would explain both trends? Yes. I think you can blame the MSM. Seriously.

GOP politicians are still politicians and they learn early not to fight with those who buy ink by the barrel. Conservatives who expect that the GOP is going to step in front of the MSM-driven train to defend principle are destined for a letdown. Few are going to commit political suicide and those who do aren't around next term to do it again. Conservatives don't need a new party. They need a new news media.

I think the libertarian discontent with the GOP is also driven by the MSM. Let's face it, libertarians who voted for Reagan are not leaving the GOP over gay marriage. Can anyone summarize all the legislation and regulation that the GOP has enacted which has alienated libertarians? There's nothing much there. What there has been is a constant drumbeat from the MSM and Hollywood to demonize conservatives. The standard cultural portrayal is a cartoon. But over time, it seeps into the subconscious and becomes perceived fact. I really think the disenchantment is due more to the cartoon than reality.

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