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I NEVER QUITE understood libertarian enthusiasm for Barack Obama. Yes, his early and forceful opposition to the Iraq war made anti-interventionists swoon, but candidate Obama was, if anything, more belligerent than John McCain toward Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Sudan. The drug war? The former pot smoker has said he'd call off the Drug Enforcement Administration's raids on legal medical marijuana facilities, but that's about it. (Recall, too, that he'll have as vice president the very senator who created the odious position of "drug czar.") Executive power? He's been strangely silent about rolling back the excesses of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, and he voted in 2008 to expand federal snooping into the affairs of innocent Americans. Property rights ? Free speech? Capitalism? Guns? Surely you jest. (For a look at what Washington libertarians expect out of the new administration, see David Weigel's "Beat the New Boss," page 18.) Only one pro-Obama--as opposed to anti-Republican--argument ever really resonated with me, and that was the notion that, unlike McCain and most Republican presidential nominees of recent vintage, Obama did a relatively credible job of making sure his budget figures "added up" There was, I repeatedly read and heard from economic number crunchers such as The Atlantic's Megan McArdle, a genuinely impressive attempt to translate the hot air of campaign promises into the cold reality of a plausible balance sheet. "What I've done throughout this campaign is to propose a net spending cut," Obama said in his final pre-election debate with McCain. "I have been a strong proponent of pay as you go. Every dollar [in spending] that I've proposed, I've proposed an additional cut so that it matches"