The Revolution Spins toward More Regulation

Crews Chapter in The Republican Revolution 10 Years Later

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Most people assumed that Republican politicians replacing Democrats on Capitol Hill in 1995 would lead to small-government, anti-regulation policies. That assumption turned out to be wrong. Libertarians have long observed that both Democrats and Republicans seek power; they just seek power over different sorts of activities. Stereotypically, Republicans want government to regulate personal behavior (the “bedroom”), while Democrats want to regulate economic activities (the “boardroom”). But during the past decade, this difference between the parties has blurred. Republicans signed on to increased financial regulation in the wake of the Enron scandal, and Democrats have favored increased regulations on free speech, including campaign finance restrictions and controls on the nation’s media firms.