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Libertarianish Law Professors on Why They Support Their Presidential Candidates:

My coblogger Ilya Somin had an excellent idea — invite libertarianish law/history/economics/public policy professors we know and trust to tell us (and you) why they support the Presidential candidate they've chosen to support. Today, we'll post several responses from these professors, unedited by us (except insofar as our choices of whom to invite necessarily involved a form of editing).

We limited this to "libertarianish" because we wanted feedback that would be helpful to fellow pro-limited-government folks; the adjective is designed to cover a fairly big tent, but still focus on those who are generally not far from our views. We limited this to professors in law/history/etc. because we wanted someone who is more likely to have thought through the matter the way we're professionally inclined to, and to explain the matter the way we would. And we limited this to professors at least one of us knows and trusts because we are more confident we'll get candid and thoughtful feedback from them. We also deliberately sought feedback from people outside our little Conspiracy. These are all rough proxies, we realize, but our sense is that they are generally useful ones.

As a result, we're happy to say that we have short essays in hand from law professor John McGinnis, supporting Giuliani; from history professor David Beito, supporting Paul; law professor Brad Smith, supporting Romney; and from law professor Rick Garnett, supporting Thompson. We realize the choices of supporter for each candidate are idiosyncratic, and others may well have chosen other people. But we had to make some choices, and these reflect people whom we knew, who we thought would fit the criteria we mentioned, and who could respond on rather short notice.

We tried contacting someone we know who supports McCain, but didn't hear back from him, nor did we hear back from the campaign when we e-mailed them to ask whether they could recommend someone (though we'd then have to figure out whether that someone matches our criteria). We don't know anyone who fits our criteria who supports Huckabee, and we didn't hear back from the campaign when we e-mailed them to ask whether they could recommend someone. Our judgment was that Duncan Hunter and Alan Keyes were too marginal (nor did we know anyone who fits our criteria who supports them). And we didn't know of anyone who fits our criteria who supports the leading Democratic candidates.

Nonetheless, if we do discover some such people, whether they support McCain, Huckabee, Hunter, Keyes, or the Democratic candidates, we'd be glad to have them post similar essays. If you, for instance, are one such person, please do get in touch with me about this (though please keep in mind the criteria we've set forth). I feel no obligation to give equal time to everyone; our criteria are designedly focused in a way that we think would be helpful to people of a particular political stripe. Nonetheless, I would like to be as inclusive as possible given those criteria.

We also tried to gather the material in time for the Iowa caucus — naturally, not because we think we could affect it, but because we expect that post-caucus media coverage will be dominated by horse-race stories (even more so than the pre-caucus coverage), and we wanted to get things out when the climate of conversation is a little more substantive. Nonetheless, we're sure that post-caucus posts would be helpful for our readers as well.

In any case, that's a pretty long metholodogical introduction. The actual posts are coming forthwith.

Cornellian (mail):
My coblogger Ilya Somin had an excellent idea — invite libertarianish law/history/economics/public policy professors we know and trust to tell us (and you) why they support the Presidential candidate they've chosen to support. . .

We don't know anyone who fits our criteria who supports Huckabee


I'm shocked!
1.2.2008 12:51pm
AF:
We limited this to professors in law/history/etc. because we wanted someone who is more likely to have thought through the matter the way we're professionally inclined to, and to explain the matter the way we would. . . . And we didn't know of anyone who fits our criteria who supports the leading Democratic candidates.

Though he is not a professor, Andrew Sullivan is a libertarianish public intellectual with a Ph.D in political theory who supports Obama and could probably why in more or less the idiom of this blog.
1.2.2008 1:05pm
Kazinski:
I notice that none of the professors you've selected support any of the democrats. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

AF,
A Ph.D does not a public intellectual make. Andrew Sullivan, whether you disagree with him or agree with him is hardly a model for reasoned discourse. He tends to hyperventilate. Besides he has his own forum.
1.2.2008 3:24pm
Mark Field (mail):

And we didn't know of anyone who fits our criteria who supports the leading Democratic candidates.


This strikes me as a telling comment. You're sitting in the middle of academia, a notoriously liberal environment. Yet you can't come up with a single "liberaltarian" to make a case for the Dems?! Is this a sign of the extent to which "libertarians" have sold their souls to the Republican party?
1.2.2008 3:26pm
Aultimer:
Great idea. Kudos for execution.

Jeers for the kind of creepy talking-point propgandist tone of the responses (aside from McGiniss on Rudy), though.

And no, I don't support Rudy.

(also, I second the motion for Sullivan on Obama - on qualifications, he merits a blogroll entry).
1.2.2008 3:38pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Is this a sign of the extent to which "libertarians" have sold their souls to the Republican party?
No; it's a sign of the extent to which liberaltarians are mythical beasts more rare than the unicorn. When people like Brink Lindsey were floating the idea of liberaltarianism (ugh) a few years ago, he couldn't even get lip service from any Democrats in favor of the notion.

Bill Richardson is probably the most libertarian of the Democratic candidates, but he's not exactly going to be writing too many articles for Reason.

Republicans pay lip service to libertarianism and then disappoint (though not surprise) when they get elected. Democrats won't even do that; while they're libertarian on a few issues -- hey, Barney Frank has actually spoken out against Congressional criminalization of gambling solely on libertarian grounds -- they're ideologically committed to big government in nearly every instance.
1.2.2008 5:17pm
JorgXMcKie (mail):
"We don't know anyone who fits our criteria who supports Huckabee," . . .

Hey! Much of my family is Evangelical Baptist (small church, hardrock Baptists they're called where I come from) and none of them even come close to supporting Huckabee. They, like your guests, are currently supporting (to what extent they've thought about it at all) a variety of candidates -- McCain, Thompson, Romney, even Giuliani (really), and one for Richardson (although he says that will probably change, and he can't/won't support any other Democrat).

Polled about 25 of them over the Christmas holidays. They're not exactly libertarians, they're more "Leave Me The Heck Alone Baptists." (Hillbilly roots.) I guess if the Amish can be considered Christian Anarchists (they don't believe in any law but God's), then my family (and most of their fellow parishoners in various churches) should be considered perhaps Christian Libertarians. They'd prefer no govt 'interference' in religious situations and darned little govt (especially taxes) the rest of the time.

They tend to appreciate small, local govt that is responsive to local needs and mores. They're very suspicious of distant and/or large govt that claims to be 'doing good' for everybody.
1.2.2008 6:04pm
MarkField (mail):

Republicans pay lip service to libertarianism and then disappoint (though not surprise) when they get elected. Democrats won't even do that; while they're libertarian on a few issues -- hey, Barney Frank has actually spoken out against Congressional criminalization of gambling solely on libertarian grounds -- they're ideologically committed to big government in nearly every instance.


So libertarians are willing to let the Republicans play Lucy with the football for 40 more years instead of recognizing that perhaps -- just perhaps -- there might be other issues of libertarian concern (government surveillance, immigration, torture, for example) on which they might find common ground with the Dems? Doesn't speak well for common sense among the libertarians.
1.2.2008 8:04pm
Ted10 (mail):
Romney a libertarian? Wow, maybe you should check out the answers to the questions asked of each candidate from the Boston Globe regarding executive power. They're listed in an article dated 12/22/07. It sounds like he'd rather be King than President
1.2.2008 8:41pm
hattio1:
Mark Field says;

You're sitting in the middle of academia, a notoriously liberal environment. Yet you can't come up with a single "liberaltarian" to make a case for the Dems?! Is this a sign of the extent to which "libertarians" have sold their souls to the Republican party?

No, it's actually a sign of the extent to which the "notoriously liberal environment" of academia is a myth. But, I won't deny that the libertarian movement has largely sold their soul to the Democrats.
1.2.2008 8:55pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
So libertarians are willing to let the Republicans play Lucy with the football for 40 more years instead of recognizing that perhaps -- just perhaps -- there might be other issues of libertarian concern (government surveillance, immigration, torture, for example) on which they might find common ground with the Dems?
So instead we should ally with the party that grew the government bigger and bigger, thus empowering it to engage in these behaviors?

And it's not as if Democrats oppose surveillance; they just want to make the government jump through a couple of hoops first.

As for torture or immigration, we can get those with the right Republicans -- whereas we can't get Democrats to oppose the welfare/nanny state at all. They're not even embarrassed about it, the way Republicans are about torture.
1.2.2008 9:26pm
MarkField (mail):

So instead we should ally with the party that grew the government bigger and bigger, thus empowering it to engage in these behaviors?


I've gotta hand it to you David -- it takes real cojones to make this argument after 8 years of Bush (and 8 before that of Clinton).


And it's not as if Democrats oppose surveillance; they just want to make the government jump through a couple of hoops first.


Hoops? Well, yes, that's what, say, warrants are. You know, those hoops the government has to jump through next time they search your house. C'mon, are you serious? Nobody opposes searches per se; the only opposition there has ever been is to the abuse of executive power which manifests itself by searching without safeguards. Why don't you try allying yourself with those who might actually impose the safeguards instead of with those who oppose them.


As for torture or immigration, we can get those with the right Republicans


Apparently you haven't been following the Republican debates. Torture is the new tax cuts -- can't have too much. The candidates are only embarrassed that they can't do it personally. As for immigration, the only "right" Republican I've seen on this issue is actually in the White House right now. Want him to run again?
1.2.2008 11:02pm
James Lindgren (mail):
I'm leaning toward Obama in the Democratic primary, but that perhaps has more to do with having voted for him many times before (I am in his former district in the IL legislature). Obama is a disaster on the War (and he lacks business experience), but I think he is a decent fellow and I like his intelligence.

Whether I'll support Obama in the general election remains to be seen. It depends on whether he adopts a more sophisticated view on the War--and it depends on whom the Republicans nominate. If it's Huckabee, I suspect I'll be voting Democratic (like the rest of the country that doesn't resemble rural Iowa).

Jim Lindgren
1.3.2008 4:41am
sashal (mail):
One would think that after 8 years of the GOP disaster...
nah....
Eugene, sometimes stubbornness is not the best feature...
1.3.2008 8:43am
David M. Nieporent (www):
Hoops? Well, yes, that's what, say, warrants are. You know, those hoops the government has to jump through next time they search your house. C'mon, are you serious? Nobody opposes searches per se; the only opposition there has ever been is to the abuse of executive power which manifests itself by searching without safeguards. Why don't you try allying yourself with those who might actually impose the safeguards instead of with those who oppose them.
I happen to think the difference between no social security and social security is a lot bigger than the difference between the government listening in to all my calls to Pakistan with a warrant and listening in to all my calls to Pakistan without a warrant. Sue me.
1.3.2008 10:59am
Libertarian1 (mail):
So libertarians are willing to let the Republicans play Lucy with the football for 40 more years instead of recognizing that perhaps -- just perhaps -- there might be other issues of libertarian concern (government surveillance, immigration, torture, for example) on which they might find common ground with the Dems? Doesn't speak well for common sense among the libertarians.



Unfortunately when you cast a ballot in an election you cannot pick the qualities you wish to have in your choice. It is all or none.

If my realistic choice is

(a) a party that monitors foreign phone calls and will bend civil liberties to protect against terrorists (none of which has actually effected you or anyone you or I know) or

(b) a party that if able to achieve their stated goals will bankrupt the country over health expenditures, welfare and social security. Takes joy in taxing the productive so as to eliminate merit differences. Goes all out to institute affirmative action despite negative court rulings. Wants to take away my right to possess a hand gun. Pledges to eliminate a secret ballot in union elections. See nothing wrong in "taking" private property (Biden). The list goes on and on. It really is a simple choice.
1.3.2008 11:35am
Mark Field (mail):
And the last two posts demonstrate yet another reason why libertarians can't be taken seriously. You're a bunch of LINOs; Republicans in fact who just want to carp a little from the sidelines because it makes you feel morally superior. Here's a clue: try fixing the problems you might actually be able to solve instead of waiting for the Millenium to come.
1.3.2008 12:08pm
Libertarian1 (mail):
And the last two posts demonstrate yet another reason why libertarians can't be taken seriously. You're a bunch of LINOs; Republicans in fact who just want to carp a little from the sidelines because it makes you feel morally superior. Here's a clue: try fixing the problems you might actually be able to solve instead of waiting for the Millenium to come.



Mark, I think I approach problems from a different perspective than you. In medicine you treat the most serious/crucial first and if problems arise later, then you fix them. If you truly believe the civil liberty abridgments our country faces are anywhere near the severity of the economic problems of Medicare and Social Security or long term terrorism then there won't be a US Triennium in our future.
1.3.2008 12:32pm
Mark Field (mail):

Mark, I think I approach problems from a different perspective than you. In medicine you treat the most serious/crucial first and if problems arise later, then you fix them. If you truly believe the civil liberty abridgments our country faces are anywhere near the severity of the economic problems of Medicare and Social Security or long term terrorism then there won't be a US Triennium in our future.


In medicine that makes sense. I don't think of medicine as a good analogy, though. Most of the time, the political "patient" isn't about to die. Most of the time, the problem is how to make progress from a given point. In that sense, politics is more like science. In science, you solve the problems you can and wait patiently until that progress gives to the tools to solve the harder ones which remain. That's the approach which, IMO, works much better in the long run.
1.3.2008 1:35pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
In medicine that makes sense. I don't think of medicine as a good analogy, though. Most of the time, the political "patient" isn't about to die. Most of the time, the problem is how to make progress from a given point. In that sense, politics is more like science. In science, you solve the problems you can and wait patiently until that progress gives to the tools to solve the harder ones which remain. That's the approach which, IMO, works much better in the long run.
The problems that can easily be solved will be, regardless of who gets elected. Individual candidates take different views, but as parties, the two sides aren't very far apart on those issues.

But if a Democrat gets elected president, with an almost guaranteed Democratic Congress, we're going to get the government nationalizing 15% of the economy, and experience tells us we'll never be able to undo that -- unless the patient dies.
1.3.2008 1:52pm
dkmeller (mail):
I'm a little surprised that there are NO libertarianish supporters of Hillary, Obama or Edwards!

After all, after the Patriot Act, the sundry 9-11 coverups, the useless, deceptive, and vile wars created by the Bush-Cheney neocon gang, the kidnappings and torture undertaken in secret by an unaccountable and criminal CIA, the accelerated "war-on-drugs" here in the United Soviet States of America, depriving hundreds of thousands of their freedom (being defended so assiduously in Iraq) where profits from the sale of illegal heroin forms a substantial fraction of Post-Taliban Afghanistan's revenue, the unconstitutional funding of bands of corporate mercenary terrorists such as Blackwater by President Bush, the mere nationalization of Health insurance and child care by President Hillary is pretty small potatos, isn't it?

I could go on, but I think that I have made my point.

At any rate, I believe that "Those who would give up essential liberty for the sake of a little temporary safety deserve neither"

Ben Franklin was on to something there, wasn't he?

PEACE AND FREEDOM!!
David K. Meller
1.3.2008 2:17pm
Mark Field (mail):

The problems that can easily be solved will be, regardless of who gets elected.


Nonsense. Solving problems politically requires struggle, it requires patience, it requires courage. The sad fact is, lots of people are more than willing to use issues like torture and surveillance to beat their opponents over the head as "soft on terrorism". All libertarians are doing is giving political support to the party which adopts such (anti-libertarian) tactics. And they're giving that support despite the overwhelming evidence that the Republican party is NOT going to adopt libertarian solutions on the issues you claim to care most about.


But if a Democrat gets elected president, with an almost guaranteed Democratic Congress, we're going to get the government nationalizing 15% of the economy


Oh c'mon, David, you know this is hogwash. The Dem plans don't involve "nationalizing" health care in any meaningful sense of that word. Their proposals are not remotely close to such things as nationalizing a factory or utility.
1.3.2008 3:42pm
John Herbison (mail):
I am impressed, though not favorably, with the lack of discussion by the various professors of social issues and civil liberties concerns commonly associated with libertarians. Where is the concern or discussion about domestic electronic surveillance? Use of torture and other abuses of detainees? Restrictions upon habeas corpus review? Decriminalization of recreational drugs/abuses of the "War on Drugs"? End of life issues? (Remember Teri Schiavo?) "Free Speech Zones"? Campaign finance/issue advocacy? Abortion rights/restrictions upon birth control? Stem cell research? Gun control? Governmental restrictions on whom one may marry or engage in sex with? Criminal prosecution of political opponents? Government funding of religious activity?

Republican presidential candidates have long been in thrall to so-called "values voters", even though, as the bumper sticker succinctly put it, the Moral Majority was neither. So long as no Republican can be nominated without pandering to (former) followers dupes of Ted Haggard, Ralph Reed and their ilk, no Republican government will even remotely resemble libertarianism.
1.3.2008 5:18pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Oh c'mon, David, you know this is hogwash. The Dem plans don't involve "nationalizing" health care in any meaningful sense of that word. Their proposals are not remotely close to such things as nationalizing a factory or utility.
I disagree. That's exactly what their plans involve. Sure, they'll do it in transitional stages, but the end result will be the government controlling all or virtually all health care spending in the U.S., which is, effectively, nationalizing the industry.

You worry about whether the government is listening to your calls to Pakistan without a secret warrant; I'll worry about whether the government is deciding what sort of health care I'm allowed to get (not to mention what food I'm allowed to eat, and whether I'm allowed to smoke or drink, because we all know that WrongEat causes us to incur health care costs, and we can't be allowed to do that.)

There are different health care plans out there, but there's not one Democratic candidate out there who disagrees with the basic premise that health care is a 'right,' let alone that more government is the best way to secure that right. That doesn't mean all Republicans are great on the issue, but at least they don't begin from such a wrongheaded and anti-libertarian starting point.

Democrats offer nothing meaningful to libertarians. You can keep trying to tell libertarians otherwise, but for some reason it always seems like you're arguing out of your own interest, to garner support for your preferred candidates, rather than addressing the things libertarians actually believe. I look at Barack Obama's issues page on his campaign website; I look at John Edwards'; I look at Hillary Clinton's. If I squint really hard, I might be able to find buried in the very fine print one or two vaguely-libertarian head fakes, but nothing resembling libertarian proposals. If one side won't even pretend to promise me anything, why would I ever support it?
1.3.2008 6:22pm
MarkField (mail):

If one side won't even pretend to promise me anything, why would I ever support it?


Well, in the last 50 years one side struck down state laws discriminating against two classes of people (blacks and women), and favors moving in the right direction regarding a third (gays). It appointed Supreme Court justices who dramatically expanded the scope of freedom of speech and religion. It supports safeguards against government surveillance and opposes torture. It has a position on immigration much closer to the libertarian one than can be found anywhere in the Republican party. It opposes foreign adventurism that has wasted -- and by "wasted" I mean literally wasted -- a trillion dollars of your tax dollars.

The other party has given you empty promises. Lucy and the football. Why should they ever make you an actual promise when you're so gullible as to take their phony ones?
1.3.2008 6:46pm
MarkField (mail):
Just wanted to add, lest silence be deemed assent, that your description of the "end result" of the Dem health care plans amounts to paranoia, not analysis.

I'm not asking you to support any of the Dem candidates. I'm asking you to stop making the country worse by supporting (rather than grudgingly accepting) their opponents. If you want to stand for principle, stand for it. Stop enabling those who have nothing but private contempt for libertarians as useful idiots.
1.3.2008 8:48pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Well, in the last 50 years one side struck down state laws discriminating against two classes of people (blacks and women), and favors moving in the right direction regarding a third (gays).
Well, I think you're confused about which "side" actually did that. (Also, one generally speaks about courts, not politicians, "striking down" laws, but which "side" do you think appointed the judges that did this?) In any case, don't you mean favors moving in the wrong direction regarding gays? Remember, libertarians oppose government discrimination, but we also oppose private anti-discrimination laws.
It appointed Supreme Court justices who dramatically expanded the scope of freedom of speech and religion.
I think that would be a radical interpretation of the text. (You do know Eisenhower was a Republican, right?) In any case, if I'm worried about threats to free speech now, I'd be worried about them coming from the Democratic side, in the form of campaign finance regulation (John McCain notwithstanding), the deprecation of commercial speech to third class status, and "harassment" law.
It supports safeguards against government surveillance and opposes torture. It has a position on immigration much closer to the libertarian one than can be found anywhere in the Republican party.
I think you have an odd view on the Republican and libertarian (and Democratic) positions on immigration. (Yes, Tom Tancredo's view is anti-libertarian; Tom Tancredo couldn't even make it to Iowa.)
It opposes foreign adventurism that has wasted -- and by "wasted" I mean literally wasted -- a trillion dollars of your tax dollars.
Hey, if Democrats were proposing to give that trillion dollars back to me (or even just my share of it) I'd be looking for a pen to sign up. But it's not really a selling point to me that Democrats would rather spend that money to run my life than to go on a middle eastern safari. (To paraphrase George Bush, we have to spend it over there so they don't spend it over here.)

You forgot a few other minor issues:

* Free trade (The other Clinton was pretty good; this one, not so much.)
* Socialized medicine
* Racial preferences
* the Second Amendment
* School vouchers
* Federalism
* Property rights
* Privatization of social security
* Tort reform
* Deregulation of... well, of anything (did you see the abominable energy bill a Democratic congress just passed?)

I'm not happy with Republican views on all of these, but Democrats are worse on every one. Even if your characterization were accurate, I'll take empty promises over refusing to make the promises at all. Why do you think Ron Paul is at home in the GOP, despite his differences with many Republicans on many issues?
1.3.2008 8:55pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Just wanted to add, lest silence be deemed assent, that your description of the "end result" of the Dem health care plans amounts to paranoia, not analysis.
And the fact that you think this is why you simply don't have the first clue about libertarians or libertarian principles.

I'm not asking you to support any of the Dem candidates. I'm asking you to stop making the country worse by supporting (rather than grudgingly accepting) their opponents. If you want to stand for principle, stand for it. Stop enabling those who have nothing but private contempt for libertarians as useful idiots.
Libertarian Party members make the best the enemy of the good; libertarians do not. For the most part, Democrats, not Republicans, are the ones who make the country worse from a libertarian perspective. So pardon me if I don't take your blatantly cynical advice seriously. Republicans are not always good, but at least there is a small government wing of the GOP, and in virtually every way in which they're not good, Democrats are worse. If a decent Republican nominee -- i.e., not someone like Mike Huckabee -- is named, there's no reason to sit it out to help Democrats win.
1.3.2008 9:04pm
Lee2 (mail):
If you're looking for a law professor who supports John McCain, why not try a UCLA Law grad who is now a professor at GMU, and also former Chairman of the FTC: Professor Tim Muris? He's one of McCain's economic policy advisors. I don't know if he's a libertarian, but he certainly has many for colleagues at GMU.

Other professors supporting McCain as economic policy advisors include:

Steve Davis, CRA International And University Of Chicago Graduate School Of Business

John Diamond, Edward A. and Hermena Hancock Kelly Fellow in Tax Policy, Baker Institute Of Public Policy, Rice University

Anne Krueger, Professor At The Johns Hopkins School Of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) &Former First Deputy Managing Director, IMF

Michael Moore, Professor Of Economics And International Affairs, George Washington University

Kenneth Rogoff, Professor Of Public Policy, Harvard University

Harvey Rosen, Professor Of Economics And Business Policy, Princeton University

Dr. John Taylor, Professor Of Economics At Stanford, Senior Fellow

I have no information about the liberatianishness of any of these scholars. Apologies; it's simply not anything I personally pay much attention to.
1.3.2008 10:17pm
Libertarian1 (mail):

Well, in the last 50 years one side struck down state laws discriminating against two classes of people (blacks and women), and favors moving in the right direction regarding a third (gays).



Mark

David in his 8:55 post summarized my views on what Libertarians want. You truly do not understand libertarian philosophy. I am a Libertarian. I want my freedom to do what I want with my life and I want you to have the freedom to do what you want with your life. I want to be able to discriminate for or against anyone I please. I want you to have that right. If you don't want to hire me because of my race, creed, color, gender, sexual preference or for any other reason that is your right. So I oppose the laws (above) you so proudly hail.

You do not have to agree with me but at least if you are going to debate try and sincerely understand what I am advocating. BTW, how do you rationalize affirmative action in the proud deeds mentioned above. AA flies in the face of striking down discriminatory laws.
1.3.2008 10:48pm
A n o n:
What? Randy Barnett is not willing to plug for one of the Dems?
1.4.2008 1:29am
James Lindgren (mail):
There were some strange comments made on Republicans and race in this thread.

The Democratic Party was the party of slavery, the party of Jim Crow, and the party providing most of the opposition to Civil Rights in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. As I recall, a higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats in Congress voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

As Akhil Amar has pointed out, Ike's federal judge appoinrments in rhe South were much stronger than Kennedy's. For political reasons, Kennedy allowed Jim Crow Southern Democrats to pick most of his Southern judges.

Poll data throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s repeatedly showed white Democrats to be more traditionally racist than white Republicans. Republicans, being better educated, tended to be less racist.

There has been a trend for racists to move from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party, but it is only in the last decade that Republicans have begun to catch up to Democrats in the proportion of racists identifying with their party.

And remember the policy difference between Kerry and Bush on gay marriage. Bush favored a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, while Kerry favored state referenda against gay marriage. There is a difference on the issue of gay marriage, but not much of one. Both parties remain much too hostile to gay rights.
1.4.2008 3:14am