Kevin Murphy claims that I “badgered” him into posting a review of Hugh Hewitt’s book. Well, if I did, then I’m glad I did. It’s an excellent review.
I agree with Kevin that Hugh’s taxonomy of the Republican party omits a faction Kevin calls the “Liberty wing.” Any classification will be an oversimplification, of course, but I have to admit I felt left out of the Republican party Hugh described in his book. Kevin’s Liberty wing captures my philosophy better than any faction described by Hugh.
Choice is more important than Party. If there’s not a “dime’s worth of difference” between parties on an issue you find critical and there is a third choice available, you are literally voting against your interests to vote for either major party.
I think this is obvious, and perhaps a bit of a strawman. The tougher question is: what to do when there is a dime’s worth of difference — but no more? Or when your party is better than the other on many of your issues — but weak on one single issue you believe is very important? In such cases, Hugh would advise you to suck it up and vote the lesser of two evils. And that is probably pretty good advice — in most cases.
The problem is recognizing when to reject that advice. Kevin points out examples where standing on principle serves our interests:
There will be candidates that suck, standing on issues that appeal to few. Demanding party unity here is damaging to the coalition. See Duke, David.
There will also be candidates who seem unappealing to the middle but make the rank-and-file swoon. . . . Let your base have their try, they might just win. See Reagan, Ronald.
In short, Hugh hasn’t sold me, and I remain a principled partisan with pragmatic tendencies: a free-market, pro-immigration, small government, pro-war, libertarian non-social conservative.
A very thoughtful take. Go tell him what you think.