LiveBlogging AFF Denver

2008-03-26

Right now I'm at the Denver installment of AFF on the Road (a.k.a. "How the West Was Lost"), co-hosted by America's Future Foundation and Face the State. As a result of meeting folks here, I've already added a few more feeds to Planet Colorado, including Free Colorado, Ari Armstrong, The Buzz, and Opinion Times.

Moderated by Brad Jones, the speakers are:

Jim Pfaff emphasizes that traditional, Christian evangelicals and less-traditional libertarians can and should work together.

Jon Caldara points out that the old definition of the right has been diluted, for several reasons. First, too many evangelicals have accepted government funding (think faith-based initiatives). Second, too many businesspeople have also started to feed at the government trough via targeted tax-breaks and the like. Conservatives have lost their way and they need to find their way back to the tradition of Goldwater and Reagan, not Nelson Rockefeller and George W. Bush.

Gene Healy strikes a contrary note against Republican partisanship and for divided government, pointing out that Bill Clinton passed an historic free trade agreement and an historic welfare reform law, whereas George W. Bush embarked upon an unprecedented nation-building exercise and expanded non-military spending faster than any president since LBJ. Until we change people's thinking about the role of government (i.e., as the savior of the people), working through any particular party is misguided, and divided government is the best we can hope for.

Ryan Sager provides some historical perspective on the alliance between evangelicals and libertarians (a.k.a. "fusionism"). He points out that the fusionist approach works under divided government, but not when the Republican party has control over the Presidency and the Congress. During the Bush years, the Republican Party has destroyed the brand (it's all about big government, not limiting state power or issues that are important to either evangelicals or libertarians).

The question period is fun but it's hard to summarize. Supposedly a podcast will be forthcoming via iVoices.


Peter Saint-Andre > Journal