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BUSH RILING LIBERTARIANS

I've got a story in today's American Prospect, about libertarians' growing frustration with the Bush administration:Alina Stefanescu is in the middle of a crisis. The Romanian-born, Alabama-raised 25-year-old has been a libertarian since the 10th grade. A hardcore one. An activist. An academic. A brainiac foot soldier in the broad conservative movement so committed to the cause, she used to wear an Ollie North T-shirt to class in her Tuscaloosa high school. So when there's been a choice between a Democrat and a Republican, Stefanescu has gone with the GOP just about every time.But all that seems to be changing. The Bush White House's heavy-handed approach to the war on terrorism, its spendthrift fiscal plan and its adventures overseas have soured Stefanescu on the GOP. And she's not the only one.Libertarians across the country are slowly beginning to question their Republican loyalties. And if they break with the GOP -- or even decide to sit out the 2004 election -- it could be as bad for George W. Bush as the alienation of the religious right was for his dad in 1992.

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