Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Spinning at The Volokh Conspiracy?

Stuart Benjamin, writing at The Volokh Conspiracy, endorses Kerry: "The bottom line, in my view, is that people who believe in the old Republican credo of limited government had better vote for John Kerry." The problem is that he cites Doug Bandow, whose "conservative" credentials I've discussed here and here, and some Cato Institute papers about spending patterns under various administrations, which I've debunked here and here. The bottom line: Benjamin's argument rests on weak foundations.

Maimon Schwarzschild at The Right Coast sees through Benjamin:
...Stuart Benjamin, over at the Volokh conspiracy, posts that he is "disenchanted" by the Bush administration, and urges believers in "limited government" to vote for Kerry. Stuart's post implies throughout that he is a small-government conservative disappointed, no, shocked at Bush profligacy.

As someone who knows and loves Stuart -- he is one of those people that, if you know him, you are fond of him -- I never, ever, for a moment doubted that he would support the Democratic nominee. Stuart is well within the academic political orthodoxy when the chips are anywhere near down. He would no more endorse Bush than most of his academic colleagues would. Stuart is very smart and a very good writer, and very good company too, and he was no doubt recruited to the Volokh Conspiracy in large part for those reasons, but he also provides leftish balance at an otherwise mostly rightward-leaning blog. The idea that Stuart is a typical Republican who, after sleepless nights and agonising reappraisal, has decided that supporting Kerry is the conservative thing do -- and, therefore, that patriotic and reflective conservatives should join him and do likewise: well, how shall I put this? there is a spin element here....