Re-3: A Republican Crack-up?

I guess I’ve always lumped the country-club folks with the managerialists. Whatever the case, I’d be inclined to include libertarians in your breakdown of the factions.
And regarding those libertarians, let’s just say I’m not quite as optimistic that the abstract principle that you’ve noted will serve as sufficient glue. My general sense is that the great bulk of libertarians take their position on government not primarily on the basis of a theory that compartmentalizes the sources of power in a society, but because they believe that removing morality from government will mean that they will never have to pay attention to others’ declarations about morality.
More broadly applicable than my impression, however, is that libertarians don’t see the secular philosophy as “you must honor a contract because the state says so.” The state is not the source of the coercive power. Rather, they see, as you admit, that one “of the few proper roles for government that most libertarians agree upon is enforcement of contractual arrangements freely entered,” and they would say that a person must honor those contracts because the state will enforce an explicit penalty (e.g., fines or jail time). No external morality is necessary for such a system except the narrow morality of immediate self-interest.

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19 years ago

I think it is false to suggest thought that the principal fault line is along libertarian/conservative lines in the Schiavo case. I know Todd Gaziano from the Heritage Foundation fairly well and after years of preaching the limits of federal reach into these affairs he was not ready to reverse course for a situation that garnered conservative empathy and raised a moral dilemma.
He offers to conservatives the shoe on the other foot example if speaker Barney Frank were to deliver to President Hilary Clinton a bill offering standing or guardian status to Teri Schiavo’s nearest gay relative as the most compassionate choice. The question is not how would conservatives decide the issue but whether intervention from the federal level into this local decision is proper.
No question there is a constitutional nexus but the normal vindication of federal civil rights is handled often in state courts and where there is doubt as to the merits of the decision meted out by the state court the rules for access to federal reveiw already exist.
In some ways although this is an extreme microcosm this evokes the same debate as the 1964 civil rights act that I think Barry Goldwater and others properly saw as unconstitutional.

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