...there doesn't seem to be much interest on the left in any kind of broad self-conscious "Liberaltarian Alliance"--but practical political coalitions don't actually spring from New Republic essays, any more than real-world friendships arise from a formal declaration of an intent to be friends.. They're a function of actually getting out there and doing the work, issue by issue, bill by bill, election by election. Given my own pattern of interests, I end up mostly working on issues where I agree with civil libertarians on the left. And pretty much without exception, they're happy to work with me on those issues, and for that limited purpose indifferent to whatever disagreements we might have over optimal levels of federal taxation and spending. None of the folks I've written for at the Prospect or the Nation have ever expressed the least reservation about running something with a Cato byline. If anything, I think left-leaning civil libertarians are happy to be able to point to us as evidence that opposition to torture or sweeping surveillance authority isn't some strictly partisan punch up between Democrats and Republicans. There are, to be sure, advantages to broader alliances, but one benefit to keeping both parties (and their associated movements) at arms-length is that I think (or would like to think) that it's hard to credibly argue I'm going to take a position or write an op-ed on one of my core issues with the primary motive of rooting for or against one team or another. Membership has its privileges, but so does a measure of distance.
Read the rest here.