Daniel Drezner writes that I’ve made “good but not devastating points” against Brink Lindsey’s argument for a liberal-libertarian fusion:
Both Tabin and Yglesias assume that all libertarians are so dogmatic that they cannot compromise in the interest of pursuing larger gains. Most libertarians — including, I suspect, the overwhelming majority of the 28 million voting-age Americans that Boaz and Kirby identify as libertarian — will not automatically blanch at, say, anti-discrimination laws as a deal-breaker.
I didn’t mean to conflate intellectual libertarians with what Boaz and Kirby somewhat optimistically identify as “the libertarian vote,” and I don’t think Matt did either. Matt’s argument was that the rugged individualism of the interior west isn’t really libertarian per se, and that Democrats can tap into those votes not by becoming more libertarian but by emphasizing the same old positive liberty agenda that they believe in already. My argument was that the intellectual tensions between libertarians and liberals are even more problematic than those between libertarians and conservatives (particularly with a Democratic majority). I don’t deny that libertarians and liberals will occassionally find themselves allied on certain issues. But Lindsey quite explicitly called for “a real intellectual movement, with intellectual coherence… that, at the philosophical level, seeks some kind of reconciliation between Hayek and Rawls.” Lindsey suggests, I think correctly, that such intellectual reconcilliation is necessary for a liberal-libertarian fusion that endures beyond the occassional election or policy fight. I just don’t see such a reconcilliation happening.
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