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11/24/12

Question of the Week: Why Do You Hate Republicans?”

If I was a regular reader of this blog (and I guess I am since I have to re-read this drivel multiple times while writing it), I would wonder, "why the hell am I stopping here since this guy so regularly republishes and otherwise swipes all of the stuff Dan Mitchell posts on his blog?" "Why don't I just go to Mitchell's blog myself?"

It's an excellent question. The answer is, you could probably save a couple of clicks and go right there. After all, that's what I do. And no, I don't have a man-crush on Dan. It's just that he writes better than I do and is a PHD economist. (Oh yeah, it's also that he is one of the very few who allows me to republish his work.)

Having said that, you are here now, so here comes a post of his that really hit home. I have felt that some of my friends wanted to ask me the same question as his readers are asking him all the time. Lots of them still think this site is about politics.

Actually, politics is only a byproduct of the message I feel compelled to try to spread. In my case that compulsion is more of a mental disorder than a realistic calling. But I digress.

Question of the Week: “Dan, Why Do You Hate Republicans?”

By Dan Mitchell

I get several emails per week asking my view on various topics and many of the questions raise very interesting issues.

So I’ve decided to start a new feature. Every weekend, I will endeavor to answer one question.
My first chore is to explain why I hate Republicans, and as you can see here and here, there’s certainly ample reason to think I hold GOPers in low esteem.

The actual question, though, is:
You seem to be more critical of Republicans than Democrats and you went out of your way to attack Romney. Doesn’t that play into the hands of Obama?
The answer is yes and no. I don’t mean to sound like a politician, but I view my job as providing nonpartisan analysis on public policy issues. That means I criticize the statist schemes of the folks in Washington, regardless of whether the politicians have a “D” or an “R” at the end of their names. To be fair, I’m probably a bit harder on Republicans, but only because they’re the ones who often pretend that they are on my side.

And sometimes they are on my side. My two favorite presidents are Reagan and Coolidge, and I have great admiration for those few politicians – such as Ron Paul – who almost always do the right thing.

But I also have discovered that bad Republicans usually do more damage than Democrats. Nixon was one of the most statist presidents of my lifetime, and Bush 41 and Bush 43 were almost as bad.

And even the politicians I’m willing to praise, including Ron Paul, sometimes do the wrong thing. And as much as I praise Reagan, he had some huge mistakes, such as the catastrophic health insurance program.

My simple rule of thumb is I will support a politicians who, in my estimation, will be a net plus for liberty. So notwithstanding my reputation for being a libertarian ideologue, I have a very practical approach to politics.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that it’s rather disappointing that so few Republicans satisfy that simple test.

But now let’s return to the question. Doesn’t that view play into the hands of Obama?

 As I said, yes and no. I want to maximize liberty (or minimize statism) in the long run. So if I have a choice between a big-government Republican and big-government Democrat, I sometimes think we’re better off if the Democrat prevails.

Jimmy Carter, for instance, probably wasn’t that much worse than Gerald Ford. And he paved the way for Reagan. And Bill Clinton, in retrospect, was a much better choice than Bush 41. And he paved the way for the GOP landslide in 1994.

So the question before us today is whether Barack Obama is paving the way for a good Republican…or whether he’s a Lyndon Johnson paving the way for a Richard Nixon.


Editors note..Dan blogs at International Liberty. You should visit there often.

1 comment:

conservativesonfire said...

"So the question before us today is whether Barack Obama is paving the way for a good Republican…or whether he’s a Lyndon Johnson paving the way for a Richard Nixon."

Ooch! It hurts, but it is a legitimate worry.