Live from the LP Convention: The C-SPAN Debate Thread

I may only half-heartedly liveblog this debate, as I'll be focusing the other half on a more analytical piece for tomorrow morning. Also, I'll be on C-SPAN moments after the debate (around 11 p.m. ET) with my spin.

The stakes are pretty high for Bob Barr, whose chances depend on convincing a skeptical mass of delegates that he has "come to Jesus" on issues like gay marriage, the PATROT Act, Iraq, and immigration. If he's elusive or unforthcoming, I don't think he'll get another chance to win those delegates. The stakes are somewhat lower for Wayne Allyn Root, who's more favorably viewed by these delegates than Barr at the moment. Mary Ruwart and Steve Kubby pretty much have to show up and act natural. They'll got numerous opportunites to lace into the "Republican takeover" candidates, if they so choose.

Watch the debate live here.

7:08: Blogger's row internet access is mighty pokey, but I can say that Jim Pinkerton's introductions revealed a smattering of booes for Barr, Mike Gravel, and Ruwart. The loudness of the booes descended in that order.

7:12: Barr gives a jokey introduction, noting that a magazine called him (stage pause) "uncharismatic."

7:13: Gravel warns that electing one of the big two parties will deliver "more of the same." Preaching to the choir, here. "We are ruled lock stock and barrel by Wall Street and by the military-industrial complex." The Libertarian Party offers "freedom, freedom, freedom!"

UPDATE: Many apologies for not liveblogging the rest. Blogger's row was more of an academic term than a descriptive term for the area I was situated.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    Bob Barr didn't vote for the "PATROT Act". I know that for a fact.

  • ||

    Am I the only person that finds the "Republican takeover" candidates to be better for the party (and far less scary) than the Left-Libertarian candidates?

  • ||

    Rob,

    No. But then again, a lot of capital-L Libertarians find electoral relevance to be scary, so I'm not the one to ask.

  • ||

    Well...at least I'm not alone. Thanks, Chris.

  • ||

    Am I the only person that finds the "Republican takeover" candidates to be better for the party (and far less scary) than the Left-Libertarian candidates?

    I think it's better to have a party of both. I have no problem having Bob Barrs and Mary Ruwarts in the same party.

  • ||

    But Mike Gravel is really pushing it...

  • ||

    Am I the only person that finds the "Republican takeover" candidates to be better for the party (and far less scary) than the Left-Libertarian candidates?

    No.

  • Kolohe||

    Am I the only person that finds the "Republican takeover" candidates to be better for the party (and far less scary) than the Left-Libertarian candidates?

    D'accord.

    However, I still say Pinkerton is a worse Vichy collaborator in the drug war than even Barr.

    (Early Godwin!)

  • John||

    Mike, talking about income disparity isn't exactly the way to win over a crowd that thinks you're a socialist.

  • leTerrassier||

    Every libertarian candidate needs a pun if they want to win, so-
    Lets get on the Ruwart-a-Whirl!

  • Kolohe||

    I've never heard Phillies speak before. He sounds like 'The Impressive Clergyman' on Meth.

    "LIBERTY! LIBERTY IS WHAT BRINGS US TOGETHER, TODAY!"

  • ||

    I've never heard Phillies speak before. He sounds like 'The Impressive Clergyman' on Meth.

    Me neither. I thought he sounded like that character on SNL who couldn't modulate his voice.

  • Kolohe||

    Unfortunately, Mr Jinhozian, in this TV age, excessive squinting pretty much disqualifies you from office.

  • John||

    George Phillies sounds like the Will Ferrell character from Weekend Update who could only speak in a loud monotonic voice because of a disorder. And Mary Ruwart's playing the gender card....

  • Kolohe||

    Kubby is good with his turn of the phrase

  • ||

    And Mary Ruwart's playing the gender card....

    Kubby's playing the cancer card...

  • Kolohe||

    Adamness & John -
    yes better simile.

    And Root makes Phillies seem like Teller.

  • ||

    Root makes me want to stab kittens in the face.

  • John||

    Root had to mention that he went to Columbia didn't he? He really is like Andy Bernard.

  • SIV||

    Kubby was hilarious. Please don't nominate him.

  • Fluffy||

    Next up, Root sings ABBA's "Take a Chance on Me" a capella.

  • Kolohe||

    I was under the impression that most of the early presidents 'home schooled' their kids - it was pretty standard for the primary education of the upper class of the time.

  • Kolohe||

    Next up, Root sings ABBA's "Take a Chance on Me" a capella.

    And Ruwart follows with 'All you need is Love'

  • Colin||

    I thought Kubby had the best opening.

  • ||

    Gravel sounded like he found some "Introduction to Libertarianism" pamphlet blowing down the street in Denver this morning, half-glanced at it, and is going to try to bullshit the rest.

  • ||

    Phillies makes me burst out laughing everytime he talks.

    Just imagine him making the state of the union...

  • Kolohe||

    I've said this before:

    The military industrial complex wants *the threat* of war.

    War itself is a lot messier and not necessarily good for business

    And I hate to break this to you Mr Phillies, but China is in fact building ups its military. But they've learned from the Soviet example to not make it so it bankrupts.

  • Kolohe||

    I am not familiar with Root's historical example.

    TJ founded the Dept of the Navy. And procuring gunboats is definitely a congressional enumerated power.

  • ||

    Jingozian,
    Here's some advice. Dont debate with your hair looking like John C jackson at 4am.

  • ||

    Geez, Ruwart could fart and this audience would clap. This isn't a good sign.

  • SIV||

    Is Kubby paying road taxes on that cooking oil?

  • ||

    I agree! Get government out of the polar bears!

  • SIV||

    We could get more oil out of whales than the PBs.
    Kubby's Benz would run on it too.

  • Colin||

    Gravel could give the same exact answers at a Green Party debate.

  • Ali||

    The military industrial complex wants *the threat* of war.

    Definitely true.

  • Ali||

    Is Root Dondero?

  • ||

    ARM THE CHICKENS!

    I love Kubby.

    Isn't China's govt a bigger polluter than the US govt, though?

  • SDL||

    Root slapping Gore. He's got my vote.

  • John||

    "That we hold so dear" Mike, you've been a Libertarian for five minutes!

  • effay||

    Having not heard any of the candidates other than Barr, Gravel and Root speak before, I'm most impressed with Ruwart and Kubby (although Kubby's pothead rep is too unpalatable to nominate him).

  • ||

    Phillies: "I'm not going to bash people because they're conservative or liberal..."

    Uh, wasn't this guy hammering Ron Paul for being in the "Republican War Party" and being pro-life and against gay marriage a few months ago?

  • Ali||

    I heard only a couple of Ruwart's answers. Sounds good to me.

  • John||

    Root: Let Blackwater go nuts!

  • ||

    Privatize the WOT? What does that even mean? Mercenaries? No thanks, Mr. Used Car Salesman.

  • ||

    So, did Bob Barr ever renounce the drug war?

    -jcr

  • effay||

    There's a reason this country is NOT a democracy Mike.

  • ||

    jcr,

    He's a lobbyist for the Marijuana Policy Project, so I'd say yes. I'm sure it will come up later.

  • Ali||

    Phillies is hiring an army of government employees to put another army of government employees into prison.

  • ||

    OPEN YOUR EYES JINGOZIAN! PLEASE!

  • ||

    Did Lonewacko submit that question about immigration?

  • Kolohe||

    I find it amusing that the issue (immigration) where the LP is the closest to the predominate Republican/Democratic consensus, is the one issue where there is an actual difference of opinion and a debate with nuance and subtlety tradeoffs and benefits.

  • ||

    You can also travel from Seattle to Key West without showing your license, and that's a significantly longer distance than Spain to the Baltic.

  • ||

    What's all this talk about the EU's wonderful immigration policy? Sure, you can travel between EU countries freely, but you can't just walk into the EU from a non-EU country.

  • reader||

    http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=13262

    This article explains Barr's role in the USA PATRIOT Act negotiations at the time.

  • ||

    Mary Ruwart doesn't seem to realize that Border Patrol and INS were totally separate agencies in 2001. There's no way that the people who were supposed to be hunting down Atta for having an expired visa were "busy stopping peaceful Mexicans at the border".

  • Kolohe||

    What's all this talk about the EU's wonderful immigration policy? Sure, you can travel between EU countries freely, but you can't just walk into the EU from a non-EU country.

    When I was in Pattaya Beach last year, practically every bar had a flyer for 'get an Irish Passport for your girlfriend.' So, I'm guessing its even more complex, in that each country does non-EU entry differently, but once in, you can go where you want.

  • Kolohe||

    A libertarian question about the drug war is like the republican question on 'anti-terror' ("I will double Guantanamo! I will follow bin ladin to the gates of hell!") and the democratic one on health care.

  • John||

    Pinkerton is wasting time asking question they all agree with. He to ask about Ruwart's support of legalizing kiddie porn and Barr and Gravel support of the FairTax.

  • Kolohe||

    That AIDS factoid is interesting, I wonder if it's accurate?

  • ||

    Loved Kubby's answer on the drug war question.

    -jcr

  • ||

    John,

    I think it was important for Barr to answer the drug question. What I don't like about this format is that everyone answers every question, which really limits the number of questions that can be asked. We really don't need to confirm that Kubby is against the war on drugs.

  • effay||

    Oh great Gravel, hating on Papists is just great for people running for elections.

  • Kolohe||

    You see, the judicial thing is a bit of a red herring. If you are actual successful in implementing a liberty agenda with the legislative and executive, you need a lot less counterbalance in the judiciary.

  • Colin||

    Did Gravel really compare judges to papists? I must've misheard.

  • SIV||

    At least Ruwart acknowledged the greater property rights issue of drug prohibition.
    The Netherlands isn't exactly a libertarian model of freedom.

  • ||

    That AIDS factoid is interesting, I wonder if it's accurate?

    I'm not sure where Ruwart got that. I would think it would be nearly impossible to get reliable numbers on either deaths caused directly by illegal drug use or AIDS deaths caused by needle sharing.

  • effay||

    This is probably the only debate I've ever seen where all the candidates kept within their alloted time without prodding and didn't talk over others.

  • Kolohe||

    I was wondering if someone would hate on Marbury vs Madison

  • Mike Gravel||

    Cleanse the ring-kissing mackerel-snappers WITH FIRE!

  • John||

    It's MARbury vs. Madison, Kubby! Get your basic Constitutional case straight before you tell me you should be appointing Justices to the Supreme Court.

  • effay||

    "...cold dead fingers." Really?

  • Kolohe||

    effay, that is a damn fine irony. the 'anarchists' are more orderly with more people than the 'authoritarians'

  • ||

    Was Kubby molested by a SCOTUS justice as a child or something?

  • Colin||

    I'd like to vote for the moderator.

  • ||

    Gravel showed up to the wrong Denver convention.

  • effay||

    Oh God no! Did Gravel just spout off the talking points of Positive Liberty? Oh Mike, say it ain't so!

  • ||

    I'm assuming Kubby's problem arises from the SCOTUS decision Raich v Gonzales...but I don't see how rejecting Marbury v Madison helps that cause, since then Congress' decision to regulate in-state marijuana would be final.

  • effay||

    Kolohe:

    Explain. I don't understand what you mean. What's the irony?

  • Kolohe||

    Mr. Phillies, that cost transfer thing seems kinda unlibertarian. Specifically, that an org can't pool costs.

    I use credit cards for free thanks to those who pay late fees.

  • Kolohe||

    effay, I'm agreeing with you.

    7 libertarians are able to follow the rules, but smaller groups of Democrats or Republicans cannot. And yet the latter will lead, because the former are painted as people who will destroy law and order.

  • John||

    Judicial review, at least for the first 150 years, was actually good for liberty as it provided a check to a legislature and en executive concerned with getting reelected than preserving liberty.

  • ||

    I'm all for deregulation -- but none of them have stated any specific regulations they want to get rid of. Also, I think it's irresponsible to say that the health care cost problem could be entirely solved by "deregulation"

  • ||

    Frickin tags.

    Modern health care, with all its advanced technology, is going to remain expensive no matter what, however much routine care costs go down.

  • SDL||

    Jingo flirting with Phillies?

  • Kolohe||

    "repeal that provision of law"

    Am I reading too much into this, or is that distinct from "I will repeal DOMA"?

  • ||

    Am I reading too much into this, or is that distinct from "I will repeal DOMA"?

    I don't think you'll get much better from him. I'd like to hear specifics on what provisions he'd repeal and what he'd keep.

  • SDL||

    A question about gay marriage and Barr says his ass is killing him. Is this scripted?

  • effay||

    Jingo having a bad hair day.

  • Kolohe||

    Ruwart, are you joking?

  • SIV||

    Modern health care, with all its advanced technology, is going to remain expensive no matter what, however much routine care costs go down.

    I'd bet "routine care" is the bulk of the cost.

  • ||

    Ruwart plays the gender card again!

  • effay||

    Great one SDL.

  • John||

    Ruwart's staking her campaign on disgrunted Hillary supporters. I don't think those women will be nuts about a candidate that wants government in health care.

  • John||

    *less government

  • Kolohe||

    Ruwart, learn from Kuby. He knows how to tell a joke.

  • leTerrassier||

    If Barr or Root get the nomination I'm going Anarchist, and when the revolution comes you will destroyed.

  • ||

    Kubby and Barr are the only two guys up there who don't badly need to take a public speaking course.

  • ||

    I'm not sure if Kubby thinks they're jokes when he tells them...

  • Colin||

    SDL wins best line of the night!

  • Kolohe||

    Ruwart and Kubby pretty much have to show up and act natural.

    It looks like they both did. This is a successful strategy for Kubby but not Ruwart.

  • ||

    Barr gives an unnamed shout out to Weigel!!!

  • effay||

    "Who can walk the talk?" Who can re-use phrases?

  • effay||

    Brian24:

    Wha? I agree that Kubby is well spoken, but Root? He's just yelling up there.

  • ||

    Phillies reached out to Ron Paul supporters, after all his rants against him? He's got some balls if he did that.

  • Kolohe||

    red meat lightning round

  • ||

    effay,

    I said Barr, not Root.

  • effay||

    Oops.

  • ||

    The pocket?

  • ||

    Phillies: "We're all great speakers!"

    Wrong.

  • SIV||

    I'm for Barr

    WAR is my distant second choice.

    I'd vote for Ruwart before McCain or Obama.

    Not voting is a strong fourth, and the dark horse favorite.

  • effay||

    Well, you've got to agree that no one up there is a worse speaker than Bill Richardson.

  • ||

    Is that a skeleton in Phillies' pocket or is he happy to see us?

  • Kolohe||

    Root for DJ!

  • effay||

    HOW MANY OF YOU...

    MY EAR HURTS!!!

  • effay||

    We need a street fighter? I'm for Kimbo Slice.

  • John||

    How many "my heroes" does WAR have?

  • ||

    Root will be an ineffective salesman of political ideas precisely because he comes off as a salesman.

  • John||

    Too bad I'm going to be on the road for most of tomorrow because the floor fight will be far more entertaining than tonight's snoozer of a debate.

  • ||

    It's Weigel Time!!!!!

  • Kolohe||

    A little Kubby-Barr alliance at the end.

    Interesting.

  • ||

    Oooooh, a tender moment between Kubby and Barr!

  • Colin||

    That was by far the most entertaining debate I've season this season. Bravo!

    I think Barr won. I liked Kubby, but he kinda lost it on that SCOTUS question.

  • ||

    Steve Kubby said some good things to Barr 'off camera.' Good to hear.

  • Kolohe||

    tonight's snoozer of a debate.

    The fact that they all 1) stayed within their alloted time 2) Did not shout (over each other, that is) I thought made it superior to the majority of the season.

  • John||

    Oh no! They can get David!

  • Aleanto||

    yo, weigel, pick up your phone

  • ||

    Kolohe,

    I don't know that that was an alliance so much as a "don't hold what happens tomorrow against me" moment. Sort of like in Survivor when one of the contestants puts her arms around the guy she just voted off the island at the end.

  • Colin||

    Weigel's gonna be on cspan . . . maybe.

  • ||

    As a longtime democrat and former self-described liberal, I always disliked Barr, and the issues on which people doubt him are my pet issues. However, after that performance I have to say he should be the nominee. He sounds measured and sober when he talks, he will be taken seriously by the media, and he's close enough on most of the issues that it won't make much difference. I think the fact that he's had a "come to Jesus" experience will even help him with the media because they won't see him as a lifelong "true believer."

    My one worry is that a lot of potential liberal potential converts will be turned off simply because it's Barr. But I think ultimately there are "nuttiness" concerns with the other guys that would cost us more.

  • Kolohe||

    The main weakness is that there were few questions where one could draw out an actual difference in the candidates.

  • John||

    Way to make Ruwart supporters look normal, V for Vendetta guy!

  • Kolohe||

    I don't know that that was an alliance so much as a "don't hold what happens tomorrow against me" moment.

    Except, as Weigel is saying right now, Kubby and Barr are the difference makers tomorrow.

  • Kolohe||

    One as a front runner, one as a kingmaker

  • Kolohe||

    The debate for LP chair looks like it *could* be held in that Los Angeles efficiency.

  • november||

    what a bunch of kooks. ron paul!

  • ||

    I thought Barr and Kubby were the best, although Barr had a lot of explaining to do re: Patriot/Drugs etc. I had never seen Kubby before. Aside from the SCt answer, I thought he was the best, most genuine candidate. He would have my vote if I were a delegate.

  • Kolohe||

    My guess is that all Pinkerton has is these people's names, doesn't no them from three random people off the street, and so punted the introductions.

  • ||

    Gravel sounded like he found some "Introduction to Libertarianism" pamphlet blowing down the street in Denver this morning, half-glanced at it, and is going to try to bullshit the rest.

    We have a thread-winner!

    Anybody on that stage but Gravel gets my vote if they get nominated.

  • Jilly||

    tuna fish?

  • Colin||

    So what would make the best ticket?

    I'm thinking Barr/Kubby.

  • ||

    I'm sorry if everybody has moved on this barn-burner of a debate for the LP chairmanship...but I was a little suprised that Ayn Rand was not invoked more frequently during the philosophy question.

    After Barr led off by mentioning Rand, I thought many, if not all, would at least mention her. In the end, I beleive only Barr and Ruwart did.

    In another suprise, Mike Gravel didn't name Karl Marx as his favorite philospher...I'm only kidding Gravel supporters (both of you).

  • John||

    Based on debate performance:
    1) Ruwart
    2) Barr
    3) Kubby
    4) Gravel
    5) Jingozian
    6) Phillies
    7) Root

  • ||

    I vote for Root as used car salesman of the year.

  • ||

    My one worry is that a lot of potential liberal potential converts will be turned off simply because it's Barr.

    A lot of Republicans are pissed off at the last 7 years, or hate McCain, and are ready to cast LP protest votes and maybe become long-term libertarians. The Democrats have fewer poachable voters, mainly bigots and hardcore feminists.

    This election cycle the Republican party has more disaffected voters to poach.

  • ||

    I dunno, Ruwart talked like she drank a quart of Robitussin (the meth-ready kind) before the debate. Sentence, pause for three seconds, sentence, pause, sentence, pause, bleh.

  • Nut Flush||

    I was impressed by Kubby, he was very articulate I was disappointed with Ruwart. Why does someone with her Libertarian credentials have to play the gender card? I expected more from Root. Barr will be fine. Most Libertarians love Ron Paul now, but were probably nervous that they were selling out when the nominated him in 1988. Perhaps Barr will be as loved by Libertarians in 20 years. Who knows?

  • ||

    Based on everything, including debate performance, electability, and remarks made elsewhere:

    1) Barr
    2) (tie) Ruwart/Root
    4) (tie) Kubby /Jingozian /Phillies
    100) (tie) Gravel / Obama / McCain
    1,000,000) Clinton

  • ||

    Also, it struck me as not being very fair that Barr had to answer questions about his weak points on drugs, gay marriage, and the Patriot Act, but Ruwart didn't have to answer questions about some of her outrageous statements about kiddie porn and the WTC collapse.

  • sjenks||

    Ruwart impressed me a lot. Very articulate, knows and believes in libertarianism. The only really kooky moment was her if we had more guns 9/11 wouldn't of happened argument. I would be comfortable with her as the candidate.

    I had cognitive dissonance whenever Gravel said "we libertarians" but... but... you're not a libertarian my mind keeps saying. Maybe Barr's run is just a cynical attempt to exploit the party but at least he bothers to fake it, he gets it (the philosophy) in a way Gravel doesn't. Who were the people cheering him? That said, he did have the best answer on the immigration question

    I thought Root was the biggest loser, just awful. Shouty sound bites, no charisma. I wanted him off my TV. All Barr's liabilities (ideology wise) with none of his assets.

    Phillies made a great case fro why he should be campaign manager, not president.

    I'd like to see a bit more me culpa from Barr, DOMA wasn't just misapplied it was a mistake from the start "I'm sorry" would be of been nice. I do think he is the best chance to have an impact in 2008. A Barr nomination would be OK especially if the VP was someone with more movement credibility

  • Hayekian Dreamer||

    I thought Barr did very well, but we'll see what happens, I'm not sure about Ruwart, I don't think she has a good approach.

    I will say with the national party chairman debate Ed Hancock is a very angry, passionate man. I think he means well but he's out there. Ruth Bennett seems sincere and I like her. However, I don't see Redpath having done anything to lose reelection, he seems very solid and motivated.

  • ||

    If anyone is curious, I heard William Redpath say the LP was launching a redesigned website, and I found the beta site at beta.lp.org. Naturally, it follows the Ron Paul look.

  • ||

    One man's articulate is another man's over-polished, I guess. I was (and remain) a Barr supporter, so I'm biased, but I found Ruwart's stop-and-go manner of speaking just as annoying as Root's shouting.

  • ||

    The only really kooky moment was her if we had more guns 9/11 wouldn't of happened argument.

    I wonder if that was a play for the Ron Paul people -- I remember trying to reach into my TV screen to cover up his mouth when Dr Paul was giving a similar answer during one of the Republican debates.

  • ||

    I found Ruwart's stop-and-go manner of speaking just as annoying as Root's shouting.

    When you start a sentence, you should already know how you're going to finish it. She sounds like she's still deciding in the middle. Which doesn't do anything to answer whether her policy positions are correct, but does mean that she will not be a great person to present libertarians' views to the public (which is really what this campaign is about).

  • Nut Flush||

    I didn't know much about Phillies and liked his tone and energy at the beginning of the debate. My enthusiasm diminished as the debate went on.
    My rankings for debate performance:
    1) Kubby (The stand out performance of the evening)
    2) Barr (You sir, are no Ron Paul)
    3) Gravel (Too bad he isn't a libertarian)
    4) Phillies (imagine being a student in his class, ouch)
    5) Ruwart (Perhaps she had an off night, I have heard such nice things about her.)
    6) Root (Has energy, but clownish)
    7) Jingozian (Didn't really add much to the mix)

  • ||

    Barr -- if you're trying to maximize vote totals, you need a right-lib this year to pick off all those pissed-off Republicans, and Barr, while not as ideologically pure as others, has a shot at 5% levels.

    Ruwart -- polished, best shot at picking off the smaller number of disaffected left-leaners and disgruntled "I just want a female president" HRC voters, but hurt by her Troofer support and kiddie porn stuff

    Root -- needs some Quaaludes to tone down his personality, but a distant second right-lib for picking off disgruntled Republicans -- probably pick off about Rs as many as Ruwart can pick off Ds

    Phillies / Kubby / Jingozian -- if you want someone ideologically pure who will run up the usual 0.5% of the electorate, all good choices

    Gravel -- if you want a statist Democrat who is just starting to learn to spout some libertarian-sounding stuff on social issues, then he's your guy, but why not go for Obama instead if you want left-statism without Gravel's insincerity?

  • ||

    Debate winners, in this order:

    Barr
    Kubby
    Gravel

    Most surprising debate performance: Gravel

    Most disappointing: Ruwart

    Most annoying: Tie between Root & Phillies. Root due to his grating used car salesman act and Phillies due to his annoying voice and weird stage presence.

    Easily forgotten: Jingozian.

  • Mike Laursen||

    If anyone is curious, I heard William Redpath say the LP was launching a redesigned website, and I found the beta site at beta.lp.org. Naturally, it follows the Ron Paul look.

    Ah, man. Please tell me they are going to replace that awful logo with the Statue of Liberty's face blacked out like she's some dark-souled comic book character that prowls the alleys of Gotham at night.

  • ||

    Ah, man. Please tell me they are going to replace that awful logo with the Statue of Liberty's face blacked out like she's some dark-souled comic book character that prowls the alleys of Gotham at night.

    They should just use the torch as their logo and update the typography. And use a better yellow than that sad mustard color.

  • Eric Dondero||

    If Ruwart beats Root or Barr, the Republican Party and John McCain will have a great many disenchanted Libertarian voters to poach.

    Mainstream libertarians simply cannot support Ruwart. McCain's a squish. But he's a Veteran War Hero, and at least somewhat decent voting scores on conservative indexes (82 on ACU0.

    Libertarians for McCain...

  • Eric Dondero||

    Ironically, the McCain Campaign has gotta be rooting for Mary Ruwart to win this thing tomorrow.

    Last candidate they'd like to see win the LP nomination is Barr.

    So, in a wierd way, if the LP votes for Ruwart there, they'll be rewarding their nemesis John McCain.

  • Dodsworth||

    Hey Dondero: Each and every candidate on the stage (even Root!) endorsed bringing home all the troops. Nobody in Congress takes that kind of radical foreign policy position except your former employer Ron Paul. It looks like all the Mainstream Libertarians, who are mostly a figment of your own shifting imagination, can fit in any phone booth Why not just support McCain and reject the "appeasers" like Root and Barr who are now to the left of Obama on foreign policy?

  • Brandybuck||

    Sorry Dondero, but you threw your support to Root. That means he's going to lose.

  • Aleanto||

    Reluctantly, I have to agree with DONDEROOOOO on this one, at least to some extent. Ruwart is a nice lady and all, but she has no significant political experience aside from being an LP activist, and her forehead-slapping comments on child porn and 9/11 would make it very easy for the media to consign her to the kook bin. The last thing the party needs is to nominate another Badnarik who has no outreach ability and won't convince anybody who isn't already a radical libertarian to vote for them.

    Barr has the political credentials, and his conversion is a lot more convincing than someone like Gravel considering he's been doing lobbying work for various libertarian causes in the two years between him joining the party and deciding to run for President. He might not be a purist, but neither was Ron Paul.

    Unfortunately I don't think Barr will get the nomination. He's not going to win it on the first ballot, and the only candidate whose delegates I see going to Barr in the subsequent rounds is Root. After the first ballot my guess is that the radical types will unite behind a single candidate (Ruwart, or possibly Kubby considering his superior debate performance) who will vacuum up the delegates from all the LP insiders (Phillies, Ruwart, Kubby) as well as the left-leaning Gravel delegates, who'd probably prefer a purist like Ruwart/Kubby to Barr.

  • John Schultz||

    Dondero, Libertarians for McCain? I read my children more believable bedtime stories. McCain-Feingold, McCain's former opposition on the Bush tax cuts, and now his support for global warming shows he is no Libertarian.

  • ||

    For those of you keeping score at home:

    Giuliani
    Thompson
    Romney
    Root
    Barr

    McCain

    I don't think he can change again, but I wouldn't be surprised if McCain's behind in the exit polls on election day Dondero'd come up with some reason to support Obama.

  • ||

    Eric Dondero:

    Libertarians for McCain...

    Virgins for prophylactics.

    Libertarians and fiscal conservatives can't support McCain cuz he wants to continue the war at least five more years and...

    He wants to continue to have the government prohibit the extraction of oil in Anwar and off shore.

    He supports "Cap in trade" laws to address what he claims is the reality and severity of anthropogenic warming.

  • ||

    Mainstream libertarians simply cannot support Ruwart.



    Good thing for her there's only one of you, then.

  • grim beeper||

    I will vote for the candidate that displays the "It's our ranch, it's our home" video on their website . . .
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tICf7MaXyKs

  • Franklin Harris||

    Ruwart impressed me a lot. Very articulate, knows and believes in libertarianism. The only really kooky moment was her if we had more guns 9/11 wouldn't of happened argument.



    Which is a doubly kooky 9/11 response, because she seems to think it was an inside job.

  • ||

    Eric,

    When are you going to stop this farce of pretending to be a libertarian? If you want to support McCain, have fun, and we'll all have fun watching you huff and puff in outrage as Obama buries him.

    -jcr

  • ||

    I was favorably impressed by Ruwart right until the moment she suggested that her sex is a qualification. Sorry, that kind of sexist bullshit doesn't fly with me.

    -jcr

  • ||

    I was surprised that no one could or would say anything about the tragedy of the commons. Gravel came pretty close.

    Anyway, Ruwart responded that "In a libertarian society".... Strike one..

    Then, in the same answer... "in a libertarian society, with all roads being private...."

    In answering a question about critetrion for Supreme Court Justices, Ruwart said, "we libertarians beleive..." and then went on to talk about how opposition to the initiation of force.

    I strongly oppose a Presidential candidate who intends to talk about what libertarians believe and how it will be in a libertarian society.

    I want a candidate who will explain what they want to do in office. Given the slim chances of winning, it might sound better to say waht needs to be done in office.

    I knew that Ruwart likes to write about what libertarians believe and about how it will be in libertopia, but I wasn't sure that she uses that approach on the campaign trail.

    Of that she would bring up privatizing all roads.

  • ||

    Phillies is not a "purist" libertarian.

    He strongly supports libertarian positions that overlap with left/liberal positions--gay
    marriage, abortion rights, protection of the rights of the criminally accused (including
    foreigners accused of terrorism.) He is
    strongly against the drug war.

    However, he doesn't take a hardcore libertarian
    stance on the economy. As someone who is more
    confortable with Milton Friedman than Murray Rothbard, I generally count this as a good thing. But, Phillies has some very idiosyncratic positions.

    He claims that cutting taxes is bad for economy. (I assume that only meant "now,") Intead he is promoting cutting spending, balancing the budget, and paying down debt. Not a bad thing, but _no_ tax cuts at all?

    He also supports fair trade. Tariffs on good so that our manufactures can fairly compete with foreigners subject to less regulation.

    And he also goes into various peculiar ideas that appear to be unique with him. Not necessarily anti-libertarian... just unusual.

    In the debate, he spoke of long term contracts for energy purchase. I am not sure if the "we" who were purchasing energy was the federal government for its own use or else all of us who are going to get a long term contract negotiated for us by the Federal government. It wasn't clear in the debate.

    I think it is the physicist's disease. They know it all.

    Anyway, Phillies is no purist, but I think he has substantial appeal to "single-issue" libertarians whose primary concern is something on the liberal side of the "culture" wars.

    Oh.. and by the way... Phillies is the anti-Ron Paul.

  • Chris||

    Is video of this available online anywhere?

  • Eric Dondero||

    John Randolph, when are you going to stop this farce of pretending to be a "libertarian"? Some of us have been hardcore libertarian activists for over 25 years. In fact, some of us are petitioning for LP ballot access out in the field at this very moment, getting kicked off of post offices, having the local cops called on us, fighting Democrat blockers who don't want any competition on the ballot, getting kicked off of Wal-Marts.

    I don't see you around anywheres?

  • Eric Dondero||

    There are already a good number of Libertarians supporting McCain. Here's a List:

    1. Ryan Christiano
    2. Patrick Jubert Conlon
    3. Don Murphy (Fmr. MD House Delegate & Chairman of Republicans for Drug Legalization)
    4. Jim Fryar
    5. Jason Bonham
    6. Bryan Donnelly

    They have yet to formally organize the group. But I understand from them, that's soon in the works.

    Actually, in late 2006, at the Republican Liberty Caucus National Convention held in Orlando, in an informal straw poll at the banquest with over 80 participating, and Stephen Moore of the WSJ moderating, McCain placed 5th among 12 or so candidates.

  • Eric Dondero||

    Correction to Chris Potter's List:

    1. Giuliani supporter
    2. Giuliani, Thompson or Romney supporter
    3. Root or Barr supporter (right now, and have been for a few months now)
    4. McCain supporter only if he chooses Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his VP, (or someone similar)

  • Eric Dondero||

    Hey Dodsworth, I endorse bringing home the Troops (at least from Iraq, Afghanistan still seems kind of shaky). We've won in Iraq, not once but twice.

    The very latest news... Al Qaeda is virtually dead in Iraq. See HotAir.com this morning, reports from Michael Yon, and others media.

    We should leave a training force there to assist the Iraqis. But it's time to start bringing the bulk of our Troops home.

  • ||

    getting kicked off of Wal-Marts.

    I had no idea you were an action star. You're all right, Dondero.

  • ||

    "He wants to continue to have the government prohibit the extraction of oil in Anwar and off shore."

    Rick, or anyone, is ANWAR government owned land? If it is government owned, and they refuse to let drilling, how is that wrong? If I owned land I could refuse to let someone drill on it, even if allowing that drilling might be good for the country. If the government is seen as owning that land "in trust" for the citizens of the US (because as I think most here would agree the "government" is supposed be "us, the citizens" and shouldn't own anything as an entity for its "own" purposes), then it strikes me that it need not open the land for development (in one sense a trust should try to make reasonable use of the thing held in trust in favor of the person in whose name the trust exists, but in this case, especially where a lot of the trustees seem to prefer this, it could mean keeping the land "pure" rather than raising money from it).

    Of course, if it is not government owned but is instead privately owned land that the government has just declared off limits to development, then that is wrong. Hell, even I think that!

  • ||

    Gravel's problem is the one every left leaning person has when encountering the thing called "libertarianism." One finds quickly that there is an odd (for us) idea of liberty being touted, one that, for us, seems to pusposely not threaten existing power differentials at some arbitrary point in time.

    Throughout history groups and inviduals used government, force and fraud to gain economic advantages over their fellows. Since in a voluntary exchange system a person who has more and better stuff to exchange to start out with is at a strong bargaining advantage, any system that simply blesses any and only voluntary exchanges will protect the bargaining differentials that exist at the time, much of which were created via government force and fraud.

    It's almost as if you had a group of people stranded on an island. A couple of people use organized force and fraud to claim all the land that has coconut trees on it and give everyone else land with no such trees. They force the latter to work for the former collecting the coconuts and in return given them some of the coconut milk. Suddenly, after some grumbling by the pickers in which THEY start to contemplate using force to take some of the coconut trees, the owners say "you are right. Liberty is important. This place is now delcared Libertopia. From now on, we cannot make you pick our coconuts using force and fraud. Only voluntary exchanges count. It's wrong for me to make you pick my coconuts and EQUALLY wrong for you to think about taking my coconuts for the good of everyone on the island. Oh, and did I mention that I'm willing to hire you to collect my coconuts? I'll pay you in coconut milk. I guess you are right that there is no other way for you to make a living, but hey, as we libertarians are fond of saying "life is tough."* Fair deal, eh? And welcome to Libertopia"

    * One of the most heard lines on H&R, or in conversation with many libertarians.

  • robc||

    MNG,

    In the 3 generations, the coconut owners will be having Paris Hilton style offspring and the poor coconut pickers will have children inventing boats and automatic coconut picking devices and artificial coconut milk made from sand.

    Mises covers your problem. He points out that for most of history property traded hands via force. But, free people just have to draw a line and say "no more". Yeah, it means the Cherokee get screwed. But before we are going to give Georgia back to them, wouldnt we have to consider the tribes they took it from?

  • Brandon||

    MNG:

    Libertarianism doesn't dictate that one can go from all situations directly and immediately into a libertarian society flawlessly. Certainly not contrived hypothetical ones.

    Because in the United States we haven't had the kind of despotic tyranny that would give one class all the coconuts, we can pretty easily move into a libertarian society: there's a pretty incredibly high degree of social mobility and economic prosperity, and that will only increase with increased economic freedom.

    But even when you look at places like China, where, despite it's myriad flaws, no one holds a monopoly on all of the food or land resources, you could switch pretty painlessly. Sure, a select few would have a leg up, but this wouldn't last more than a generation or two.

    Your problem with economic freedom seems to be that you expect it to equalize things instantly. It won't. I understand you're uncertainty regarding this-fear is the leading cause of oppression.

    But holding onto a system that's proven to cause suffering and enduring poverty because you're "unsure" is just silly.

  • robc||

    Or, to put it another way:

    Life isnt fair. Deal.

  • Guy Montag||

    But even when you look at places like China, where, despite it's myriad flaws, no one holds a monopoly on all of the food or land resources, you could switch pretty painlessly. Sure, a select few would have a leg up, but this wouldn't last more than a generation or two.

    That would be a great leap forward, but that name was already used, so we need a different one.

  • Guy Montag||

    Typical nonsense:
    I guess you are right that there is no other way for you to make a living, but hey, as we libertarians are fond of saying "life is tough."* Fair deal, eh? And welcome to Libertopia"

    You mean no other way to make a living on *your* island. See ya, I am going to the island down the way. As long as you don't pull an East Germany you can't stop me or the rest of us.

  • Eric Garris||

    Some candidates shared delegate tokens to increase participation in the debate.

    Bob Barr gave enough tokens to Mike Gravel to get him into the debate. Mary Ruwart gave her extras to Steve Kubby. Jim Burns (who didn't get enough to participate) gave his tokens to Christine Smith, who qualified for the nomination speech Sunday by getting 30 tokens.

  • Eric Dondero||

    Garris, didn't you just post the exact same paragraph over at ThirdPartyWatch.com? Are you just blog-jumping, copying and pasting the same thoughts on different blogs for your own personal angrandizement?

  • Hayekian Dreamer||

    Dondero - Amazing how you support bringing the bulk of the troops home 6 months before an election. Just astonishing how that happens, isn't it?

  • ||

    Hayekian Dreamer

    I'll let you criticize Dondero when you too get the courage to combat henchmen on top of Wal-Mart Superstores.

  • ||

    And do your own stunts.

  • ||

    "In the 3 generations, the coconut owners will be having Paris Hilton style offspring and the poor coconut pickers will have children inventing boats and automatic coconut picking devices and artificial coconut milk made from sand." Yea, and we all know Paris Hilton is literally starving. Of course, if they want to eat, since they do not own the coconuts, the latter group will have to market their coconut picking devices on the former groups terms. And of course if there were anything like the kind of schooling that may make one more likely to invent such things, it would be the owners who could afford to get it more. And of course, the capital that would be crucial to develop such things would be in the hands of the owners. Try again robc.

    "But, free people just have to draw a line and say "no more". Yeah, it means the Cherokee get screwed." I submit this attitude among libertarians is why groups that have been traditionally oppressed through fraud and force, like blacks and women, are not very well represented at LP events or membership(I've been to some). Hey, we realize government force and fraud screwed you and your ancestors for a long time, but we have to draw the line somewhere. Sorry you ended up on a bad part of that line, but, you know, liberty and all...Which leads me to my favorite common libertarian appeal to justice:

    "Life isnt fair. Deal." Well of course. That's often the libertarian idea of "justice."

    "See ya, I am going to the island down the way. As long as you don't pull an East Germany you can't stop me or the rest of us." This is a very common, and lame response from libertarians. Lame because it amounts to: "we used organized fraud and force to oppress you and create conditions that put you at a bargaining disadvantage, but if you don't like it you can leave, so everything is OK." Heck, it's WORSE than that: such a nonsense idea also would include: "hey, we are CURRENTLY using force and fraud to oppress you, but you can always leave, so everything is OK."

  • ||

    MNG: I must have missed where force and fraud come into the equation (at least from the libertarian sector).

  • Brandon||

    Art-P.O.G.: Haven't you read Naomi Klein?

    Duh. All people everywhere want a socialist utopia, and in order for libertarians, neocons, neolibs, and everyone else in that clearly homogeneous group has to resort to catastrophes and police states in order to burden us with their so-called freedom. Or something.

  • Eric Dondero||

    Art-Poah, thanks for the compliments, but I can't be too hard on Wal-Mart. Some of them, do let us petition. It's a crap shoot. And it depends on what time of the day you're out there, and on your personal appearance.

    Shssh! I did get some sigs last night for the LP at a Wal-Mart, undisclosed location.

  • Eric Dondero||

    The Surge has worked fantastically. I don't think we could have called for Troop withdrawl 10 months ago, or even 6 months ago.

    Again, I urge all of you to go to HotAir.com this morning to see the article on Michael Yon and his reporting on Iraq. We've defeated Al Qaeda. They are nearing the end. The media is not reporting it, but the War in Iraq has been a fabulous success.

    Time to bring the Troops home? Yeah, sure. But a very careful and measure withdrawl, one which won't hurt the investment we've already made in the country.

    And one in which the Iraqi Troops know we stand fully behind them.

  • Guy Montag||

    MNG,

    Yes, typical response for a Socialist Authoritarian.

    Have a nice weekend.

  • ||

    MNG,

    If "couple of people" owned ALL the capital in the country, your example might hold water. That's not the case, though -- owners of capital must compete for the best laborers, and the rest of society also has the opportunity to market products and services to these capital owners to keep them ahead of the other guys.

  • ||

    Dondero,

    You're appropriating the use of private property for your own purposes without the owner's consent? Isn't that just a tad unlibertarian?

  • ||

    We've defeated Al Qaeda. They are nearing the end. The media is not reporting it, but the War in Iraq has been a fabulous success.

    Uh, the military doesn't seem to agree that aQ is all but finished:

    US military downplays remarks on al-Qaida's demise

  • ||

    Art-Actually, robc answered your question, and using no body less in the libertarian pantheon than Mises.

    "Mises covers your problem. He points out that for most of history property traded hands via force."

    Guy-Ah Guy, noone is more of a straight up authoritarian than you.

    Chris Potter-A small group of people still start off with immense advantages (in bargaining power, access to capital, access to education) and for many of them that advantage was built, maybe by their ancestors, using organized force and fraud. Check out the point Mises flatly admitted from robc, above. Now, why should those people be allowed to retain these massive advantages ill gotten?

  • ||

    Now, why should those people be allowed to retain these massive advantages ill gotten?

    Because trying to undo every wrong done in the past is more harmful than just letting it be and moving forward. How far back do we go? Do you and I have to move back to the country where our ancestors came from, so that the Native Americans our ancestors took that land from can have it back?

  • Guy Montag||

    Guy-Ah Guy, noone is more of a straight up authoritarian than you.

    You really need to be working at TNR or The Nation, with your funny definitions of authoritarian, freedom and free markets.

  • Guy Montag||

    CP,

    How can you give something back to people who never claimed ownership? Just sayin' and on your side :)

  • ||

    Guy,

    I think fighting against white settlers would constitute a claim of ownership.

  • Guy Montag||

    I think fighting against white settlers would constitute a claim of ownership.

    Um, not that constitutes wanting to scrap with anybody passing through, the Indians did lots of that no matter what the intentions were of any outsider, regardless of race or origin, was doing.

  • ||

    Hey Dodsworth, I endorse bringing home the Troops



    Then how come your only criteria for a candidate is statement that they'll stay in Iraq? How come you hate all candidates who want to bring troops home?

    p.s. I would stay and chat with such a nice libertarian activist like you, but I have to leave to go walk precincts for the June California election...

  • robc||

    Since my quotes from experts seem to be flying around, I will give another:

    "Do you have a flag?" - Eddie Izzard

    American Indians never claimed ownership because they didnt have a flag.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement