It looks as though the GOP is turning libertarian, says Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com. The tea parties it championed last week take their cue from libertarian movement shindigs, and participation was high in libertarian-leaning states like New Hampshire. The GOP’s alternative budget was a like-minded proposal, "dramatically slashing taxes while promising to balance budgets—an achievement that would only be possible if the size of the government were cut enormously."
Other signs include:
- Eighty percent of Republicans think Big Government is a bigger threat to the country than Big Business, according to a Gallup survey.
- Republicans are backing off gay marriage, barely protesting the Iowa ruling.
- Conservative pundits—like self-proclaimed libertarian Glenn Beck—have embraced marijuana legalization.
Add it up, and "Ron Paulesque libertarianism" seems more appealing than the party’s other potential new directions: "Sarah Palinesque cultural populism," "Mike Huckabeesque big-government conservatism," and "Olympia Snowesque moderation/ good-governmentism."