Bushjimwatsongetty

Radley Balko makes the libertarian case for Obama as the lesser of two evils. It's a must-read for any center-right libertarian-inclined voter:

The Republican Party has exiled its Goldwater-Reagan wing and given up all pretense of any allegiance to limited government. In the last eight years, the GOP has given us a monstrous new federal bureaucracy in the Department of Homeland Security. In the prescription drug benefit, it's given us the largest new federal entitlement since the Johnson administration. Federal spendingeven on items not related to war or national securityhas soared. And we now get to watch as the party that's supposed to be "free market" nationalizes huge chunks of the economy's financial sector...

While I'm not thrilled at the prospect of an Obama administration (especially with a friendly Congress), the Republicans still need to get their clocks cleaned in two weeks, for a couple of reasons. First, they had their shot at holding power, and they failed.

They've failed in staying true to their principles of limited government and free markets. They've failed in preventing elected leaders of their party from becoming corrupted by the trappings of power, and they've failed to hold those leaders accountable after the fact. Congressional Republicans failed to rein in the Bush administration's naked bid to vastly expand the power of the presidency (a failure they're going to come to regret should Obama take office in January). They failed to apply due scrutiny and skepticism to the administration's claims before undertaking Congress' most solemn tasksending the nation to war. I could go on.

As for the Bush administration, the only consistent principle we've seen from the White House over the last eight years is that of elevating the American president (and, I guess, the vice president) to that of an elected dictator. That isn't hyperbole. This administration believes that on any issue that can remotely be tied to foreign policy or national security (and on quite a few other issues as well), the president has boundless, limitless, unchecked power to do anything he wants. They believe that on these matters, neither Congress nor the courts can restrain him.

That's the second reason the GOP needs to lose. American voters need to send a clear, convincing repudiation of these dangerous ideas.

(Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty.)

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