I’ll propose a toast to Milton Friedman on his hundredth birthday tonight shortly after 7pm at a Belfry Bar gathering of libertarians on 14th Street. But allow me to explain why, below.
•This blog’s “Month of Heroes” ends, perhaps fittingly, on what would have been libertarian economist Milton Friedman’s hundredth birthday – though of course I devoted much of the month to talking about heroes more along the lines of Spider-Man. If only the sapient tiger named Tawky Tawny were a Marvel character, perhaps he too could be explained as a product of biotech.
(NOTE: I have hereby fulfilled an earlier promise to blog about Tawky Tawny, which I misspelled last time – and you don’t want to know how long it took me to find an acceptable Tawky Tawny link for the paragraph above.)
•The villain Bane is a good deal darker than old Tawky Tawny, and though I didn’t like Dark Knight Rises, I actually sort of liked Bane, who was a bit like a cross between Lord Humongous and Patrick Stewart. And now we associate that film with such a dark event that at least Romney will likely be spared any more lame Bane/Bain jokes from the DNC.
•More disturbing than Romney’s lameness, by the way, is my realization that by libertarian standards, he may still be the best GOP presidential nominee since Ronald Reagan. Think about it: Bush twice, Dole, Bush II twice, McCain – that’s it. And suddenly, here we are, twenty-four years later, $16 trillion in debt, and with government even larger as a percentage of the economy. And the presumptive nominee denounced one of his primary challengers for wanting to get rid of Social Security and Medicare.
And still Romney gets likened to an anti-government “Ayn Rand” radical – with the bizarre side effect that Andrew Sullivan praises Obama as more “conservative” (h/t Gina Duclayan), as do some other “Obamacons,” surveyed by Michael Brendan Dougherty in the piece linked in Sullivan’s first sentence. They seem to be using an absurd (and dangerous and Orwellian) definition of “conservative” in which (for instance) defending existing government-run healthcare programs constitutes conservatism (how profoundly British to treat existing healthcare programs less than a century old as if they are ancient, inviolate traditions, even while they run down or go bankrupt!).
If Sullivan were merely indifferent between Obama and Romney, I might not be forced to declare him loony (I’m voting for Gary Johnson, after all, so I can understand being wary of Romney), but Sullivan’s praise of the “grace” and wisdom of Obama is painful, and is accompanied by the left-paranoiac assertion that milquetoast Romney will destroy entitlement programs. How can Sullivan, who (like me) favored Ron Paul mere months ago, suddenly imagine Romney to be so – well, so terrifyingly Paul-like?? Sullivan’s paradoxes aren’t worth working out.
•Economist Don Boudreaux laments that in the piece “How conservatives misread and misuse Milton Friedman” (Washington Post, July 28), Nicholas Wapshott leaps from the fact that Milton Friedman was no anarchist “to the conclusion that