How should libertarians feel now?
I feel a pull toward pessimism, but it seems that, depending on how you slice it, a libertarian can feel optimistic or pessimistic about a second Bush term. So here are two reasons for each: Reasons for pessimism: 1. Bush was not punished for bad behavior. He spent like mad and championed huge new programs. Reps may see this as evidence that as long as they pepper their communications with some anti-big government sound bites they can expand government all they want. 2. Divided government seems to restrain government, especially when the president is an R and Congress is run by Ds. Reasons for optimism: 1. Bush's team will likely be less bad than Kerry's team. As Bob Poole notes, what we elect isn't so much one person, but a consulting team. That's important for all those federal regulatory bodies that now employ about a quarter million people. 2. We're likely to get more tax cuts, although, if recent history is a good indicator, Congress will be too squeamish to cut anything. For more, see this article by Matt Welch.