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Excellent post. Too bad no one is going to read it. :-)

I don't normally post on political boards, but ...

You wrote, At least... that's my take on it. Personally, I think the non-nut-case portions of libertarianism would be hugely popular in the US if someone would package them into a new party. And of course, that party would instantly become the #1 target of the Democrats, who would SaraPalin-ize it to death, and of the Republicans, who would be ineffective in doing anything about it (at least compared to the Democrats).

I don't think Republicans are as inept as you seem to think. In my experience they are excellent at co-opting the fiscally responsible, smaller government message from the Libertarian platform (as well as adopting a few things like anti gun control positions pushed by the NRA). That's certainly what they did back in the '90s. They don't actually live up to those promises - they're responsible for as much pork as the Dems - but they certainly do like to co-opt the Libertarian message.

- Joel
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