Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Milton Friedman wimps out

Still feisty, Mr. Friedman is disappointed with the Republicans' sharp rise in spending over the last four years, which he says has betrayed the GOP's principles of limited government. "I'm disgusted by it," he said. "For the first time in many years Republicans have control of Congress. But once in power, the spending limits were off, and it's disgraceful."

Like, duh.

That's from this interview with Milton Friedman in the Washington Times 12/12. Andrew Sullivan gushed "Thank God someone hasn't lost his principles," but how else do you describe burying his criticisms in a mountain of praise?

In a two page interview that occurred over the course of an hour, those two or three sentences were the only criticism of Bush policies (other than saying CAFTA is imperfect because it's not quite free market enough). Aside from this brief lip service to limited government (supposedly Friedman's bugaboo), it's a bizarrely roseate take on the economy and the legacy of Bush's policies. Policies that have ballooned the size of federal spending.

According to his own principles, Friedman should be one of the most vocal critics of Bush's bloated crony capitalism. It really raises the question of bad faith. I disagree with Friedman's laissez-faire economics, but intellectual consistency would demand that he judge Bush a far, far worse president than Clinton. He should be apoplectic about Bush's legacy, not mutter anodyne criticism as he's in the middle of giving him a blowjob.

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  • At 2:42 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    And this surprises you?

  • At 3:06 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    Heh I guess I just thought Friedman, as the founding father of free market fundamentalism (the starve-the-beast-er who once said "the government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem"), might remain more intellectually consistent.

    Though this is a man who also once said "I am a Republican with a capital R on grounds of expediency, not on principle."

  • At 3:11 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    Plenty of so-called conservatives have said similar things. As you say, it's hard to take them seriously when they're talking around a mouthful of presidential dick.

  • At 4:22 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    I guess I'm trying to foment a conservative insurrection from the incredibly influential seat of power that is Left Behinds.


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