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Thursday, September 18, 2008

McCain upsides

I've long been critical of Matt Welch for making what I've considered a one-sided case against McCain. Now he's offering "potential upsides" for libertarians in a McCain presidency. Welch deserves credit for looking at the other side of an argument, an uncommon practice in punditry.

I think, however, that the case is yet stronger than Welch's 7 points-with-caveats would suggest. For one thing, McCain and Bush have not "believed the same thing" about entitlements; McCain, unlike the Libertarian presidential candidate, voted against Bush's Medicare expansion into drug coverage.

Moreover, McCain has been an opponent (if not with perfect rhetorical consistency) of agricultural and ethanol subsidies, has taken a generally secular tone on matters of government and religion, favors competition in education, plausibly will put limited-government types on the Supreme Court, and has a healthy suspicion of international bureaucracy. Plus, as I've noted elsewhere, McCain's rhetoric has an underreported individualist streak.

Still, I think Welch makes a lot of good points in his post.

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