Now, libertarian columnist Andrew Sullivan has announced he is supporting John Kerry in the 2004 election, joining other prominent libertarian academics who have decided Bush doesn't hold their values anymore.
And that's not all. Clay Risen writes in The New Republic (subscription only) that the normally stalwart CATO institute also may turn to Kerry.
[V]arious strands of criticism--on spending, civil liberties, the war--have come together to convince many Cato staffers that the best vote this fall might be for Kerry. For one thing, there is a growing belief at the Institute that the Republicans--not just Bush, but the congressional leadership as well--have sold out traditional small-government conservatives, spending lavishly to woo cultural conservatives and big business; Cato op-eds note that, during Bush's first three years, nondefense discretionary spending has increased 20.8 percent. Since last summer, scholars have chafed against the administration's fiscal profligacy in op-eds with titles like "overspending is not fiscal responsibility," "the bush betrayal," and "what fiscal discipline?" In contrast, New Democrats may not always talk the small-government talk, but Cato staffers note that, under Clinton, the Democrats reined in government spending and deregulated a broad swath of industries. "Perhaps we are being unfair to former President Clinton," wrote Cato fellow Veronique de Rugy for National Review Online in 2003, pointing out that Clinton reduced nondefense discretionary spending. At the same time, there is a more philosophical, and more cynical, pro-Kerry argument that has gained credence within the Institute--namely that the best way to limit government spending is to divide the parties' control between the executive and the legislative branches. And, given the GOP's advantage in Congress, the best way to affect such a division is to pull the lever for Kerry. In April, Bandow outlined this view in a widely syndicated column (originally published in Fortune), arguing that "the biggest impetus for higher spending is partisan uniformity, not partisan identity." Therefore, he urged his conservative readers, "Vote Democratic."
The official fracturing of the GOP coalitions has begun. Are the Rockefeller's next?