I detect a distinct air of despondency in the ranks of the libertarian camp in ever seeing any point in voting for, or co-opting with, right-of-centre parties such as the Conservatives in Britain (see David Carr’s remarks) or the Republican Party in the U.S. (see Jim Henley in similar vein).
I see no reason for being surprised. Even if you support Bush on the war, as I do, albeit while detesting the Patriot act and the Dept. of Homeland Security, what is there to like? The vast increase in the budget deficit is a real worry – and I say that as a supply sider, not as a ‘deficit hawk’ – we have had the steel tariffs, the Farm bill, etc. Okay, the first tax cut was better than nothing, but not as good as a cut to marginal tax rates across the board. Oh, Dubya did at least stiff the Kyoto Treaty. But while he is probably a tad better than the likely alternatives, his GOP makes an unlikely suitor for libertarians.
As for the Tories, I despair utterly of them being in a fit state for any outreach to us. With the sole and erratic exception of shadow Home Secretary Oliver Letwin, there is not a single top-ranking Tory MP I come across who seems to have a thorough grasp of the extent to which our civil as well as economic liberties have been crushed.
Which leaves us with the usual cul-de-sac of a possible new party. And I cannot see how that is going to work.