Balko leans left

Radley Balko is joining the ACLU after being convinced that the greater threat to liberty comes from the right in the form of civil liberties violations rather than from the left in the form of economic regulation. After rightfully pointing out the expansion of government that has taken place under the Bush administration, Radley states that he is not simply choosing the 'lesser of two evils' in his slide leftward.

Although I sympathize with Radley's frustrations with the Party that continues to espouse the virtues of limited government while enacting the very opposite, my mind harkens back to the saying about the frying pan and the fire. Whenever you think that the left may be a more dependable advocate of civil liberties, think about Waco, Wen Ho Lee, race quotas, Ruby Ridge, Tipper Gore's censorship quest, hate crimes legislation, and Joe Leiberman's threats to Hollywood, among other things. And the ACLU is no steadfast institution of civil liberties defense. It stopped resembling anything close to that a long, long time ago.

Those of us who favor the ideas of the classical liberalism have few choices in today's largely bimodal political landscape. Irritations from one side sometimes makes the other side appear slightly more attractive. However, it is useful to remember that other than in the realm symbols and slogans, any meaningful distinction between the two no longer exists. We do not have to choose and champion one of the two camps.

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The ACLU's problem is in

The ACLU's problem is in essence that they have become so donor-driven in their agenda. Their caginess on Second Amendment issues (which they addresss very weakly on their website by stating that gun rights are not a matter of settled law, as though that ever made a difference to them in choosing their battles) is entirely a result of the fact that so many of their donors would simply jump ship if they were to team up with the NRA even once.

This reminds me of a post I

This reminds me of a post I came across a few months ago from one of the popular (yet insane and wholly devoid of substance) leftist blogs, which was commenting on the perenial subject of Democrat tacticians- how to woo libertarians to voting Democrat. The punchline was- "in the face of creeping Ashcroftianism, the choice to libertarians really is, 'Your money or your life'".

Hmm, so, as long as I report to my commune and listen to the block captain's daily production orders like a good thrall, the state will deign to let me get a hummer (or otherwise engage in non-missionary sex) and, as an added bonus, when the government railroads me in court for violating some economic regulation or another, it'll do it with the happy notion that habeas corpus is intact and will provide a speedy rigged trial before imprisoning me. Yippee!

Or, I could live in a corporate police state, where so long as I live Rightly (such as not getting any unauthorized hummers) and don't raise a fuss, I can go about my life without being disappeared.

Which is worse between the two? I say apples and oranges. Both are equally bad on a qualitative level. You're right in saying that just because one side does bad (now) that we must cleave to the other side; correctly so, you point out just what enemies to liberty our would-be 'saviors' truly are.

So I suppose the correct answer to he-who-will-not-be-named's sneering question to libertarians is old school: "Give me Liberty, or give me Death", and a pox on BOTH their houses.