Libertarian fire department lets house burn because owner didn’t pay $75; rightbloggers applaud free market, suffering

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People often say that the Republican Party has become much more conservative

than it used to be. But they don’t talk much about how conservatism

itself has become more… hmm, how to put this politely — let’s say, detached from traditional American beliefs and standards of behavior.

We’re not talking about their claim to want to shrink government. That

is very mainstream, and popular with voters (though once in office,

conservatives usually don’t do much actual government-shrinking).

No, we’re talking about their new tendency to promote ideas from the

furthest fringes of their movement — ideas that, were they proposed by a

guest at your dinner table, might cause you to doubt his sanity, or

perhaps ask him to leave your home.

Take, for example, their recent defense of a fire company that refused

to save a man’s burning house because he had not payed the firefighters a


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