Friedersdorf wants to give libertarians a fair shake:

If returning to the gold standard is unthinkable, is it not just as extreme that President Obama claims an unchecked power to assassinate, without due process, any American living abroad whom he designates as an enemy combatant? Or that Joe Lieberman wants to strip Americans of their citizenship not when they are convicted of terrorist activities, but upon their being accused and designated as enemy combatants? In domestic politics, policy experts scoff at ethanol subsidies, the home-mortgage-interest tax deduction, and rent control, but the mainstream politicians who advocate those policies are treated as perfectly serious people....

As the most egregious excesses of the war on terror so clearly demonstrate, libertarian ideology doesn’t always lead its adherents to lunacy, and being “in the mainstream” isn’t always a self-evidently desirable characteristic, nor has it ever been in the long history of American politics.

Frum is much less forgiving. I find marginalizing a set of views because they are not "mainstream" as opposed to "being wrong" is, well, classically lazy journalism and classically cheap politics. Conor is right. The insanity we take for granted every day - the Afghanistan war, for example - is a lot crazier than the gold standard.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to