In a stunning upset, Tea Party activist and Sarah Palin-endorsee Joe Miller appears to have upset incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) in Tuesday’s Republican primary election. Though there are still around ten thousand absentee ballots yet to be counted, analysts agree it is unlikely Murkowski will be able to close her 1,668 vote deficit.
However, in a move reminiscent of Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Gov. Charlie Crist (I-FL), Murkowski now appears to be considering a third-party run on the Libertarian Party ballot in the general election. Indeed, such a move could already be in the works; RedState’s Erick Erickson tweeted last night that “Lisa Murkowski has already gone to the Alaska Libertarian Party promising money in exchange for their spot on the general election ballot.”
Murkowski could only run on the Libertarian line if the current nominee, David Haase, were to step aside. In the meantime, the question remains: Will the Libertarian Party sell out its principles in order to win a seat in the United States Senate?
Here is a sample of issues highlighting the stark differences between Murkowski’s beliefs and the Libertarian Party platform:
Gay Marriage: Libertarians argue for repealing “any state or federal laws denying same-sex partners rights enjoyed by others,” and they “oppose any new laws or Constitutional amendments defining terms for personal, private relationships.” Sen. Murkowski voted for the Federal Marriage Amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage.
Drugs: Libertarians argue we should repeal “all laws establishing criminal or civil penalties for the use of drugs” and “stop prosecuting accused non-violent drug offenders, and pardon those previously convicted.” Sen. Murkowski voted to reauthorize the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Corporations: Libertarians believe we ought to repeal “all anti-trust laws.” In addition, all “federal agencies whose primary function is to make or guarantee corporate loans must be abolished or privatized.” Sen. Murkowski voted for TARP and the Foreclosure Prevention Act that saved Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Foreign Policy: Libertarians believe that we “should return to the historic libertarian tradition of avoiding entangling alliances” and abstain “totally from foreign quarrels and imperialist adventures.” Sen. Murkowski voted for the US-India nuclear treaty and voted against on redeploying non-essential American troops out of Iraq.
The Libertarian Party, which also opposes police checkpoints for drunk drivers, has never held a seat in Congress, much less the Senate. Without a doubt, this Alaska race is the best chance they’ve ever had to win a Senate seat. Will the prospect of a sitting Libertarian senator be enough for the party to abandon the principles it stands for?