Sebastian Mallaby in the Washington Post:

Republicans are good at reinvention. They have appealed to voters' dark side (Nixon's Southern strategy) as well as to their sunny side (Reagan's "Morning in America"). They have skipped from anti-government populism (Newt Gingrich and the leave-us-alone coalition) to big-government machine politics (the alliance with corporate lobbyists known as the K Street Project). Through all these transformations, the GOP has sustained its big-tent coalition. The question in the wake of its election thumpin' is whether the tent will split.

You can see this possibility in "Liberaltarians," an essay in the New Republic by Brink Lindsey, the director of research at the libertarian Cato Institute. Lindsey is not merely joining the large crowd of disenchanted conservatives who believe that the Republican Party has betrayed its principles -- spraying money at farmers, building bridges to nowhere and presiding over the fastest ramp-up in federal spending since Lyndon Johnson. Rather, Lindsey is taking a step further, arguing that libertarians should ditch the Republican Party in favor of the Democrats.
Mr. Mallaby points out that on many of the 'Culture War' questions that dominate politics, Libertarians are much more like Democrats than they are Republicans. Many issues Libertarians and Republicans agreed on in the past (various tax issues and some welfare issues) have been 'solved' and as the Republican Party becomes more beholden to its Southern electoral stronghold, the GOP moves away from Libertarians.
Christian conservatives now press for affirmative state action on behalf of traditional values: amendments to the constitution to bar gay marriage, government efforts to teach abstinence, federal payments to faith-based groups. All these policies appall libertarians.
Not good news for the Republicans. As the lable 'Conservative' become more charged, the number of self-identifying 'Libertarians' grows - especially in the North East and West. Is there really a movement towards an era of Liberaltarian politics? I'm not sure.

In reality, I don't really have any firm position on any of this. I just really like the term "Liberaltarian." Maybe I'll post something on the subject when I've thought it out a bit more. More likely, I'll just forget. Sue me, it's Monday.

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