Gee, you think?
But, contrary to the Economist, it’s not the Libertarian Party that’s going to emerge as a mover-and-shaker. It’s the small-l libertarians who usually pull a Republican lever, and a lot of them pulled Dem because they couldn’t stand KELO, McCain-Feingold, the Medicare bill, Bush’s blatantly partisan steel tariffs, Tom DeLay and the K Street Connection, and the Trent Lott/ Denny Hastert anti-transparency campaign to protect earmark spending and congressmen with unmarked bills in their freezers.
Social issues? Social conservatives lost with Santorum, but it was the President and his party officials who supported Link Chafee against a conservative with fairly solid support in the primaries. And conservative-leaning Dems won across the board.
Oh, sure, they’ll be called “conservatives” in either party… but social liberal, or social conservative, the Dems have figured out that there’s election blood in the water for credible fiscal conservatives to run. For the first time in my adult life, the Blue Dog Democrats may actually be turning into power-brokers as the late-80s-through-late-90s “Dem=liberal Rep=conservative/libertarian” party ideological identification breaks down.