[Ed. – Yeah, libertarians believe in limited government like Hillary believes in an America of opportunity and freedom. The truth about libertarianism in retail politics today is that it’s all about distancing yourself from social conservatives. Whereas social conservatives in fact want smaller government — government that doesn’t force them to pay for other people’s contraception, or put gay slogans on wedding cakes, or let the state teach their children that their own beliefs are bigoted and hateful. Sorry, retail libertarians. You’ve drunk the Koolaid. You’re not pro-freedom; you just think Christian morality, which no one is trying to force on you, is annoying. You’re perfectly happy to see government grow and grow and grow. That’s the Breyer and Garland way: uphold the anti-constitutional activism of the Warren Court, and put everything in the government’s purview.]
Breyer and Garland, writes Ilya Shapiro, are “the jurists most deferential to the government on everything, whether environmental regulation or civil liberties.” This comes 24 hours after Johnson himself reiterated in a separate interview that no, he doesn’t believe business owners have a right of religious conscience that should exempt them from laws requiring them to cater to gay weddings. Question: Is Hillary Clinton the only candidate running this year who’s actually a member of her own party?
You can, if you like, read this as a strategic play by Johnson and Weld. They’re trying to peel off anti-Trump conservative ideologues on the one hand and anti-Hillary Berniebros on the other. Johnson’s pandering to the first group by chattering about originalism, Weld’s pandering to the second by talking up Democratic justices. Ultimately that strategy breaks down, though, as each group of voters comes to suspect that the ticket would end up in the pocket of the other. But I don’t think that’s the actual strategy that’s at work here.