A reader writes:
As someone who leans libertarian, I'm not surprised that Weigel is now being painted as a left-winger. This seems to be the knee-jerk movement response to libertarians. Dave, like Matt Welch, does an excellent job of pointing out how much of movement conservatism is base-authoritarianism and banana republic-style corporatism wrapped up in empty and increasingly meaningless limited-government boilerplate.
This is why Sean Hannity positively loathes Ron Paul. Libertarians often prove the most astute at pointing out how badly conservatism has betrayed its founding principles. When someone who supports liberty and limited government calls bullshit on your party, you can't win that argument so you resort to the "liberal" smear and that pretty much ends the argument.
Real conservatives invite debate. Phony ones shut it down.
For the current right, "liberal" simply means "the other side." Since their side is defined in almost suffocatingly orthodox terms, any critic of any aspect of today's Palinite conservatism is a "liberal." I can see why that is how Mark Steyn or Rush Limbaugh see things. I don't see why anyone else should adhere to their, er, binaryism.