The One-Wing Ticket

I'm not a member of the Libertarian Party, so I don't often opine about its internal affairs -- if I wanted to influence the party's policies, I'd rejoin it. (I was a member for a year in college, nearly two decades ago.) But I have to say I think it just made a mistake.

The mistake wasn't nominating Bob Barr for president. I've had a soft spot for Barr ever since I first saw him on C-Span in the mid-'90s, asking the right questions during the House's Waco investigation. I have disagreed with him on issues ranging from trade with Cuba to the rights of neopagans in the military; most notably, I think he was dead wrong about the drug war, the one area where his general bias in favor of due process and decentralization seemed to go out the window entirely. But he seemed far more interested in liberty than most of his colleagues, and after he left office that interest grew stronger; when I interviewed him for reason in 2003, three years before he joined the LP, he seemed to be on the verge of becoming a full-fledged libertarian. Since then he has revised his stated views on drug laws, the Defense of Marriage Act, and other important areas. I still have my disagreements with him, but I don't expect to have trouble casting a ballot for him in the fall. And if he pulls enough votes from the candidate of perpetual war to elect the man who, for all his flaws, at least promises to pull out of Iraq, then so much the better.

But given the number of party activists who are wary of the former congressman, and given Barr's deficiencies on several issues, it would have made sense to round off the ticket with a more hardcore libertarian. The ideal choice was Steve Kubby, a medical marijuana activist whose signature issue could have balanced Barr's past support for the drug war. Instead the delegates opted for another member of the party's conservative wing. Worse yet, the conservative they picked was Wayne Allyn Root, a man with the deportment of a Ronco pitchman with a squirrel in his pants.

It might not matter in the long run. No one pays much attention to the fellow at the bottom of the ticket. But it's a tone-deaf, disappointing decision.

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  • ||

    If Barr doesn't endorse Root for VP, Barr might not have gotten the nomination. As it was, a quarter of Root's delegates went to Ruwart even with Root urging them to vote Barr.

  • ||

    Also, I'm pretty certain that Ruwart would have made zero effort to balance the ticket either...can you see her endorsing Barr or Root for VP?

  • Jesse Walker||

    If Barr doesn't endorse Root for VP, Barr might not have gotten the nomination.

    That explains Barr's endorsement of Root. It doesn't excuse the delegates' decision to follow his lead.

  • ||

    I'm disappointed that Ruwart didn't run for VP -- Barr / Ruwart would have poached disaffected people from both major parties. But I guess it's hard to put aside animosities when someone only agrees with you on 90% of stuff. ;)

  • Ali||

    I'm not a member of the Libertarian Party, so I don't often opine about its internal affairs -- if I wanted to influence the party's policies, I'd rejoin it.

    A mark of sanity.

  • Nigel Watt||

    I was cheering for Barr/Kubby once it became apparent Barr was strong. Goddamn, Root would be ok for an eccentric mayor of Las Vegas or something, but Vice President? As somebody said on the earlier thread, the Barr people will have to keep a tranquilizer gun aimed at him at all times.

  • ||

    As somebody said on the earlier thread, the Barr people will have to keep a tranquilizer gun aimed at him at all times.

    Or wholeheartedly embrace the medical marijuana thing and keep Root medicated on brownies to take the edge off.

    Don't they have treatment for bipolar disorders in Nevada? Or whatever you call it when someone is constantly up.

    Ah, well, Barr / Root beats not voting because the "choice" is McBama.

  • Nut Flush||

    The best speaker in Wayne Root's family isn't even Wayne. His daughter was far more articulate in her nominating speech for her father. He does have some good talking points and with the right coaching could be solid. Of course it wont help his chances in 2012 if he spends the next few months talking about how it will be his turn in 4 year.

  • Jorgen||

    Yeah, I'm really disappointed in Ruwart. I'm no fan of Bob Barr either, but I really don't think he's an evil hijacker, just someone who's moved very libertarian since leaving office, but still has a few caveats that break the deal for me. Putting Ruwart on there would have made clear that the Libertarian party isn't a right wing party or a left wing party.

  • SIV||

    I can't see how Ruwart would appeal to anyone on the left who actually listens to her.Hell, she passes my "single issue" test and we agree totally on machine gun and heroin property rights.
    There is a vacuum on the right in the coming election and Barr can fill it.As much as you cosmos hate to admit it the libertarian streak is much wider and deeper on the far right. Barr is the candidate to mine it. Even before his "conversion" he was the leading congressional advocate of civil liberties.

    Root does offer balance, he isn't a politician.
    He is a classic American figure, a self-made self promoter, huckster and showman. a professional tout is exactly what a longshot, dark horse needs.

    Jesse Walker demonstrates that even "Obamatarians" are gettable with this pairing.

  • Raider Duck||

    Root will be just fine for the radio Talk Show crowd. After listening. To Mary Ruwart. Start and Stop. Whenever she spoke. At last night's debate. I'm surprised anyone would pick her over Root for VP, which is going to basically be a "get out and talk to the media" spot.

  • ||

    On the other hand, Root will be a good cheerleader for Barr and the libertarians. I personally find him irritating and having the demeanor of a used car salesman, but maybe he'll be able to use that to libertarians' advantage.

    I think this is one of those decisions that's bad for the short term, but good for the long term (If 160 days counts as long term). Kubby or Ruwart as VP would show unity and diversity, but would they really be able to have an overall impact? I don't think so, so while people may be upset at the one-wingedness of the ticket, the political and media savviness of each might make up for it.

  • Orange Line Special||

    Anywho, here's how Bobarr the elephant could at least show rather than losing to LeonardPeltier. This is going to be funny, just not as funny as it could have been.

  • ||

    Jesse Walker wrote: "It might not matter in the long run. No one pays much attention to the fellow at the bottom of the ticket."

    Exactly. I can't even remember off the top of my head who Badnarik's VP nominee was and I campaigned for them!

  • J Golden Rockwell||

    Depends on your objective. Do you want to actually attract voters? The only way to do that is find someone who can't be painted as a fruitcake by the legacy media.

    We're not going to win the Presidential election this year. If we want to win it in the future, we need to look more sane than the Republicrats. Make THEM look like nutcases. Right now, most people think that the Dope War is a good thing -- but they are learning. They need more time.

    By offering a candidate who enjoys a good reputation among Republicans, we FORCE them to think about why he changed parties.

  • ||

    To me this ticket is tailored for people who don't think McCain is conservative enough but found Ron Paul too libertarian, and though I guess that might secure a few extra votes this election cycle, it isn't really what I thought the Libertarian Party was all about. It's especially depressing because as Jesse notes, the unity pick for VP was so obvious and sensible. And beyond healing the ideological divide, Kubby brought a human interest aspect to the race the media probably would have found interesting enough to cover- the guy who almost got killed by the drug warriors running with the repentant former warrior.

  • Jorgen||

    I just really would have liked someone supportive of immigration on the ticket; I'm worried that these guys will campaign on immigration and alienate immigrants, who should be a constituency, in the long term. You want exposure, but you want exposure that is going to give people the right idea about where you stand on everything.

  • Bobolink||

    the repentant former warrior



    Repentant? Show one example of anything like repentance for ruining so many lives with the drug war that got an unconditional and almost psychopathic level of support from Barr.

    It's more like a grudging acceptance that he has to be agreeable on medical marjuana to get the nomination.

  • ||

    a man with the deportment of a Ronco pitchman with a squirrel in his pants.

    That's full of win Jesse. What's more, I think you nailed it on every point.

  • Trevor||

    This ticket is more suited to the Constitution Party.

    If libertarians must lean left or right, I'd prefer they lean left - since all the conservative among us joined the GOP.

  • ||

    @Jesse Walker

    The ideal choice was Steve Kubby, a medical marijuana activist whose signature issue could have balanced Barr's past support for the drug war.

    Ideologically, you might have a point, but considering Kubby's health is so poor he barely made it to the convention, is he really a viable candidate for anything?

    Campaigning for president is strenuous job, even for a minor party candidate. Likable though he might be, I doubt Kubby is in a position to be pulling his share of the weight.

  • SIV||

    As a Georgian, I have clear memory of Barr in Congress. He was, by their standards, a radical civil libertarian-- except when it came to the drug war.Drug issues are the Achilles heel of "mainstream" right wing acceptance of libertarianism. They just don't get it as a property rights principle.Barr/Root can shed the "dopertarian" image while still showing that it isn't the business of the State.

  • ||

    Jack, it was Richard Campagna. I remembered that much, but I don't remember voting for him and Badnarik. As a rather silly protest, I voted in 2004 shitfaced drunk.

  • ||

    As much as you cosmos hate to admit it the libertarian streak is much wider and deeper on the far right. Barr is the candidate to mine it. Even before his "conversion" he was the leading congressional advocate of civil liberties.

    Even though I consider myself "cosmotarian", I have never failed to admit this, and I think that your commentary on this subject is spot on. The disaffection of the Right with McCain, combined with the fact that, yes boys and girls, the right has more libertarian sympathies than the left, makes this a no-brainer.

    Can I tell you, as a side note, how much it irritates me that the purists are talking about walking? I went out and walked for Badnarik in 2004, even though I think he's a loony-tune, because he's a libertarian and I am a libertarian.

    It's time to unite around Barr.

  • Chris in NJ||

    I not only voted for Badnarik in 2004, but I sent him money even *after* I knew he was one of those "I don't need a driver's license" nut jobs. That's how much I despise our fearless decider-in-chief.

    I think what we're seeing is the whiniest of the radical wing of the party doing what they do best - whining.

    I think what support we lose from them will be picked up tenfold by the Rothbardians and Miseans over at LRC.com that supported Ron Paul and now say "Hey, look, they didn't nominate a crazy this time. That'll do!"

  • Kolohe||

    As much as you cosmos hate to admit it the libertarian streak is much wider and deeper on the far right.

    FWIW, I think it's the 'cosmo' wing which has embraced Barr and put him over the top. But I mark the paleo/cosmo faultline along the 'country/city' and moreover, 'purist/accommodationist' split than any left/right thing.

  • Kolohe||

    Specifically, Root to me exemplifies 'cosmotarian'

  • ||

    It's time to unite around Barr.

    AR, how dare you?

    We all know that it's ideological purity that makes the Democrats go. Every blue collar D agrees that the protectionist fences should be raised until the manufacturing jobs come back to the hard-working union folk of America. Except for possibly the D's who think that they'd rather protect the environment from factories... but never mind them.

    And we all know that the Republicans agree on everything. I mean, you don't just field 6 ideologically identical candidates for president by accident...

    No, we must have Libertopia NOW. Any sort of compromise or incrementalism would be a pox on our success. After all, it took us 230 years to build a government this overreaching. Clearly we should dismantle it in a day!

    And when we find people disaffected by the two major parties, we should always mock and taunt them for the views that they DO NOT share with us rather than build a consensus for those that we do.

    Fucking amateur.

  • ||

    I think what support we lose from them will be picked up tenfold by the Rothbardians and Miseans over at LRC.com that supported Ron Paul

    You'd think that, would you? But nothing is good enough for the LRC crowd. Top blog post over at LRC? "Hurray for Christine Smith".

    These people never seem to have the self-discipline to stop being a joke.

  • ||

    on those issues that we do.

    Now who's the amateur?

  • Darren||

    Remember that Libertarians may see this as a "one-wing" ticket, but most voters see any Libertarian ticket as radical by default. This is by far the most attractive ticket the LP could present to the electorate. Barr has a chance to go toe-to-toe on the major issues with McCain and Obama - the economy, Iraq, health care - and make the case for smaller govt and more liberty on each. Kubby and Ruwart's radical reputations would have put the ticket on the defensive and made it easy for others to define their media image. Root has no such baggage - his style may grate on some people, but his energy is exactly what a minor party ticket needs to get attention and win support.

  • SIV||

    Kolohe,

    I see your point yet I chuckle at the thought of pre-libertarian Barr's appeal to cosmopolitans.

  • Rotter||

    These people never seem to have the self-discipline to stop being a joke



    The real joke is whoring your party out to Barr and his ilk to Naderize McCain - so in 8 years the LP can be a powerhouse like the Greens are today.

  • ||

    But I mark the paleo/cosmo faultline along the 'country/city' and moreover, 'purist/accommodationist' split than any left/right thing.

    I disagree - the split is more fundamental than that. Cosmotarians have apparently made their peace with big government. Libertarians are merely anti-state, the cosmotarians are anti-nation as well. In fact, they'll downright stand on their chairs and cheer whenever the state does something to promote deconstructing the nation, even against the wishes of it's inhabitants.

    Cosmotarians may hate the state - but they hate the sovereign nation even worse.

  • ||

    Now who's the amateur?

    Hey, at least I didn't betray the Dominion. Long live the Founders.

    The real joke is whoring your party out to Barr and his ilk to Naderize McCain - so in 8 years the LP can be a powerhouse like the Greens are today.

    oh yes, because prior to this, the LP was such a force for change and prominent visibility to the electorate.

    I don't know if you missed it, but despite the failures of the Green Party, every goddamned product on the shelves is marked "green" and we have the Republican nominee talking about cap and trade. I don't think that's an accident.

  • D.A. Ridgely||

    Worse yet, the conservative they picked was Wayne Allyn Root, a man with the deportment of a Ronco pitchman with a squirrel in his pants.

    So close!

    Worse yet, the conservative they picked was Wayne Allyn Root, a man with the deportment of a Ronco pitchman squirrel with a squirrel Ronco pitchman in his pants.

    Much better!

  • ||

    D.A. Ridgely, FWIW, I think that your analysis of this nomination is dead wrong. I don't see Barr as a political opportunist, and I definitely don't see this as anything but a "good thing" in terms of wiping away the "Nerd Party" stigma from the LP.

  • Jim Henley||

    DA Ridgely, F. T. W!

  • ||

    These people never seem to have the self-discipline to stop being a joke.



    I agree. I like mises.org and the work the LvMI does. But LRC is nothing but an echo chamber for angry paleos. I am saying this as a paleo. Anthony Gregory seems to be the only one with manners.

  • John Rhoads||

    As much as you cosmos hate to admit it the libertarian streak is much wider and deeper on the far right

    I actually disagree with this. In my experience, people on the left are far more open to libertarianism than those on the right...the party clearly was formed by disenchanted republicans, but democratic voters, especially young democratic voters, pretty much already agree with us on most civil liberty issues...it is then just a matter of teaching them economics. I think you will find more Democratic voters that want to end the drug war than you will Republican voters that want to abolish the IRS. I think the perception that libertarians are hardcore republicans has hurt the possibility for growth, as "hardcore republican" implies an opposition to gay marriage and a lack of concern to civil liberties to most people on the left that would otherwise agree with virtually every libertarian social position. Keep in mind that much of Ron Paul's support came from the left.

    It seems to me, that the libertarian movement needs to specifically target the under 30 demographic. As people get older, they tend to get less open to new ideas about the proper role of government. Given that we need to change a lot of minds to accomplish anything, it seems to me that the best long term strategy for the movement is to focus on getting young converts...which means focusing more on social issues and less on economic ones. Your average college kid is a lot more open to the idea of legalizing pot than he is to eliminating the department of education.

    That being said, I think Barr probably will get more media exposure than any of the other candidates would have, which is a good thing, and I am actually among those that believe that Barr is sincere in his conversion. I also think that in this particular political climate, it will be easier to get votes from republicans than from democrats. I just think it is just important from a long term perspective that we focus at least as much attention on the left as we do the right. I have personally found people on the left to be far more open to libertarianism than those on the right. My experience might be unusual, but somehow I doubt it.

  • |||

    Barr supporters are children, and McCain supporters are the adults.

  • ||

    For those anti-Barrites, you know there's going to be another election after this one, right? Let those of us who want to attempt relevance have our shot, and if it doesn't work, we can all wallow in obscurity until the world blows up.

  • Jennifer||

    By offering a candidate who enjoys a good reputation among Republicans, we FORCE them to think about why he changed parties.

    This much is true. Maybe this isn't a bad ticket after all. Libertarians don't win elections, but if libertarian ideas can become part of the mainstream, similar to the way the old radical Progressive ideas of a century ago are mainstream today, that's just as good.

    And as Ayn Randian pointed out, even the Greens have had better luck selling their ideas to the mainstream than have libertarians.

  • ||

    It looks like everyone defines the cosmo/paleo thing differently. I'm enough of a semantic relativist to believe that a word means what people think it means, but when I coined the term back in December I was referring to the divide between libertarians who think drug use, prostitution, etc are moral and should be legal, vs libertarians who think those things are immoral but should be legal anyway.

  • libertarianism is Gay Marriage||

    as "hardcore republican" implies an opposition to gay marriage .....

    Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage
    Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage
    Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage
    Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage
    Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage
    Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage
    Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage
    Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage
    Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage
    Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage
    Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage
    Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage
    Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage

    There is no more important libertarian issue than state sanctioned Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage

  • Trevor||

    Could there be a worse time in history to align with conservatives?

    If libertarians wanted to stay afloat with the intellectual shift in this country, they picked the wrong side to compromise with.

    The LP will now be seen as a home for anti-women, psuedo-racist Republican extremists. This is a label that will stick with the word "libertarian" for quite some time.

  • |||

    I guess the LP now stands for (1) state-sanctioned gay marriage and (2 spoiling the election for McCain.

  • ||

    No one pays attention to the LP VP -- Jo Jorgensen and Art Bell got about 5 media hits between them and one was a hot women and the other a mayor of a shit suburb in LA - you'd think they'd get a little more attention than that -- its like the LP VP's fate is to get no attention and that will be Roots fate most likely. I'm a liberal cosmo yoga practicing SF resident and I'm rejoining the LP and voting Barr -- god bless Ron Crickenberger!

  • D.A. Ridgely||

    Ayn Randian:

    I'm not a Barr hater, I'm a Barr disbeliever. I look at the guy's entire track record and, even given all the good stuff that Mr. Walker can say about him, I remain skeptical (well, cynical, actually) and unconvinced. I hope I'm wrong. Really.

    As for the Libertarian Party, itself, I continue to believe that, on balance, it does more harm than good. Then again, I'm not a member, either, so strictly speaking it's none of my business. (Oddly enough, however, I find it remarkably easy to offer up opinions on all sorts of things that are none of my business. Go figure.)

  • Raider Duck||

    spur -- Art OLIVIER was Browne's running mate. Art BELL is that late-night talk show host who regularly gets kidnapped by little green aliens or whatever.

  • effay||

    Kinda hard to force Barr to run with Kubby after he pretty much asks for Root though.

  • effay||

    The thing that annoys me about the whole VP deal was that Root ran around after giving his endorsement speech basically crowning himself prince after four years. I wouldn't be surprised if the party went back to a more moderate candidate if Barr-Root doesn't pan out well enough. Root just didn't seem like a very nice guy whenever C-SPAN caught him offstage.

  • Nash||

    I completely agree with Jesse here. Nominating Barr was the right choice and the VP vote was the wrong choice. Kubby was the perfect candidate for VP and the LP blew it.

    Yeah I know Root's logic is he's the heir apparent and that's he's the right choice for VP because of that but frankly I'm hoping the options improve in 4 years as opposed to having more of the same.

  • ||

    John Rhoads | May 26, 2008, 12:13am | #

    Thank you for taking the time to type in exactly what I think!

    ...it is then just a matter of teaching them economics.

    Yes. Just.

  • ||

    The LP will now be seen as a home for anti-women, psuedo-racist Republican extremists. This is a label that will stick with the word "libertarian" for quite some time.

    Yeah, to that whole 2% who are aware of the word's existence. Double bonus: to a lot of lefties and moderates, your laughable definition of Barr is how most of them thought of libertarianism for years.

    Big deal.

  • ||

    but when I coined the term back in December I was referring to the divide between libertarians who think drug use, prostitution, etc are moral and should be legal, vs libertarians who think those things are immoral but should be legal anyway.



    Yes, that's the gist of it. But the etymology comes from Virginia Postrel's inane definition of a libertarian: a "tolerant cosmopolitan."

  • Trevor ||

    to a lot of lefties and moderates, your laughable definition of Barr is how most of them thought of libertarianism for years.

    And who do we have to thank for that? Rothbard, Rockwell, and the anti-intellectual Paleo movement.

    They look at Ron Paul and think it was his social conservativism that attracted internet millions - not his message of freedom, nor his anti-war stance.

    Barr will not be an internet sensation like Paul.
    If he attempts a money-bomb, it won't come near any of Paul's records.
    And there's no way he'll be included in a national debate, nor will he finish with 5%.

  • ||

    Barr will not be an internet sensation like Paul.
    If he attempts a money-bomb, it won't come near any of Paul's records.
    And there's no way he'll be included in a national debate, nor will he finish with 5%.


    So he's going to tarnish the "libertarian brand" while simultaneously being so unpopular no one votes for him?

    Generally, in order to destroy a "brand", you have to be associated with it to a majority of the interested target audience. Your narrative makes no sense whatsoever.

  • Trevor||

    Touché, maybe it's not such a big deal after all.

  • ||

    democratic voters, especially young democratic voters, pretty much already agree with us on most civil liberty issues...it is then just a matter of teaching them economics

    Then it is just a matter of teaching civil liberties to fiscally conservative Republicans ...

    Then it is just a matter of getting Democrats to embrace free markets and totally privatized health care ...

    Then it is just a matter of making call girls virgins again ...


    You ask so little.

  • Nash||

    "democratic voters, especially young democratic voters, pretty much already agree with us on most civil liberty issues...it is then just a matter of teaching them economics"

    I'm not so sure. They are so absorbed with the concept of "greater good" they will justify any infringement on liberty for the "betterment of society" every chance they get.

    Please see seatbelt laws, public smoking bans, UN peacekeeping ad infinitum.

  • ||

    After talking to some of the Ruwart folks at the convention, I thought she's make the Ideal VP candidate for Bob Barr. But she didn't wanna run for VP. And I'm still ready to join Republicans for Barr.

  • ||

    As a rather silly protest, I voted in 2004 shitfaced drunk.

    Yes, I remember voting for Badnarik in '04 as well. I was 21 years old and it was the first presidential election I'd voted in. Considering the options that year, I'd say voting intoxicated was probably the best avenue.

    P.S. as I get older I start to understand why a sizeable portion of the US population doesn't vote at all.

  • bill||

    It's not like they are going to get more than 2 or 3% of the vote anyway. I just wish the party would nominate someone whose only plank would be the immediate implementation of radical Capitalism. All the other stuff are just the symptoms. Socialism is the disease.

  • Pat||

    Bob Barr is a covert operation by the Republican Party to kill the Libertarian Party.

    As an Independent for the past dozen years I would have been very tempted to vote for Kubby. But there is no way that I could ever bring myself to vote for the pure right-wing extremist evil that is Bob Barr.

    I'll look to the Greens for alternatives in this election cycle.

  • jtuf||

    Root homeschools his children. That means sacrificing a huge amount of time and lost income. I'm inclined to respect someone who rejects government schools.

  • ||

    Steve Kubby seems great on paper. But, for whatever reason, he's not that intelligent/articulate.

    Barr/Stanhope would've been good

  • Rimfax||

    Depends on your objective. Do you want to actually attract voters? The only way to do that is find someone who can't be painted as a fruitcake by the legacy media.



    Yeah, that's the problem. Libertarian candidates don't wear enough suits and talk like church deacons enough.

    [/sarcasm]

  • Rimfax||

    My point above is not that Libertarian candidates haven't espoused views considered wacky by the popular media, it's that none of them have looked or spoke colorfully in the least. In fact, the libertarian who's gotten the most positive press has gotten it in the face of one of the wackiest (in the popular view) planks ever: abolishing the Federal Reserve.

    What I'm saying is that this Pascal's wager of dressing and acting to woo the paleos while hoping to attract the little "l" cosmos is an inherently losing game. It is possible to maintain "straight" cred and "freak" cred at the same time. Kubby was about as close as it came to that on the stage and even he looked more like Jerry Orbach's cop from Law & Order than a guy who could identify with the functional stoners.

  • Guy Montag||

    Jessee,


    (I was a member for a year in college, nearly two decades ago.)



    Huh? You have retained your youth well young man! I would have guessed no more than a decade.

  • Say what||

    From the very first post in this thread:

    If Barr doesn't endorse Root for VP, Barr might not have gotten the nomination.

    "If Barr doesn't"? Huh? Didn't he already endorse Root?

  • Eric Dondero||

    There's a lot of Root supporters in the GOP that would have had a hard time supporting Barr, if Ruwart or Kubby was the VP nominee. Many are suspicious of Barr being too closely associated with leftwing Libertarians especially on foreign policy.

    Root was a brillant choice. Root is Pro-Defense, and that puts a lot of libertarian-leaning Republicans at ease.

    This is the Dream Ticket. It's simply the best LP ticket in the history of the Party.

  • Eric Dondero||

    With Ross Perot's guy Russ Vearny managing this campaign, I could easily see a 15 to 20 million vote margin for Barr/Root.

    Add Wayne Root's enthusiasm, superior speaking ability, and legions of internet gaming and sports enthusiast supporters, and you could have the Libertarian ticket even competitive with McCain and Obama this year.

    This is super exciting folks.

  • Eric Dondero||

    Has the Libertarian Party ever in its history reached out to the sports enthusiast vote?

    Never.

    For the first time with Wayne Root as VP we have a great shot at that.

    Barr/Root 2008: The Libertarian Dream Ticket!!

  • DW||

    "Steve Kubby seems great on paper. But, for whatever reason, he's not that intelligent/articulate."

    What? After watching the debate Saturday, it seemed pretty clear that outside of Barr, Kubby was the only other candidate up on stage who could articulate his views clearly and effectively.

  • Elim Garak||

    Damar / Kira '08: the unity ticket for a new Cardassia!

  • Fluffy||

    The LP will now be seen as a home for anti-women, psuedo-racist Republican extremists.

    Come on, basically you are saying that anyone who is pro-life is unwelcome in the LP. That's just asinine, man.

    Isn't the fact that Dondero's criticism of Barr is that he is associated with left-libertarianism enough of a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for you folks?

    By the way, Dondero, I know you don't answer me any more, but maybe you could tell someone else in the thread if the LP is automatically on the ballot in Vermont, or if they need to collect petitions, and if so who to contact about collecting petitions. The state party website doesn't make this clear.

  • M. Simon||

    Perpetual war?

    America has been at war with the jihadis since 1785.

    There was a time when Libertarians knew history.

  • M. Simon||

    BTW it makes no difference whether we have a peace candidate or a war candidate. As long as the jihadis want war there will be war.

  • M. Simon||

    Jefferson to Adams in a July 11, 1786, letter: "I acknolege I very early thought it would be best to effect a peace thro' the medium of war."

    Just a little history for the peacemonger wing of the Libertarian Party.

  • ||

    Wayne Allen Root has over 9000 snow-white teeth.

  • ||

    "Just a little history for the peacemonger wing of the Libertarian Party."

    Jefferson was also a supporter of the French Revolution. Just because Jefferson said it doesn't mean it is right.

  • Quibble||

    I doubt that Barr would have been asking any of the "right questions" about Waco if Koresh had been selling a little weed on the side. The Waco seige was exactly what Barr prescribed for druggies.

  • Say what||

    Wayne Allen Root has over 9000 snow-white teeth.

    Huh? What does this mean?

    "9000 snow-white teeth"? Is anyone around here capable of coherently expressing themselves?

  • Dodsworth||

    ,America has been at war with the jihadis since 1785

    The Barbary Pirates were not Jihadists, they were in it for the money.

  • Matt Moore||

    Say what - It's a joke, silly. Have you ever seen Root smile? He's like the bastard child of a used-car salesman and a strip-mall dentist.

  • Say what||

    What does "9000" have to do with anything? I know the sort of smile you're describing, but since when did it have anything to do with the volume of teeth? I understand mocking the "snow-white" aspect of the smile; it's the hyperbolic reference to the number of teeth that doesn't have any resonance. Human beings generally have the same number of teeth, regardless of how cheesy their smiles look.

  • ||

    If the LP wants to appeal to something broader it has to focus on an issue that it is not currently co-opted on by the big two. The big "right wing" issues, gun rights and anti-tax stances, are simply co-opted by the GOP. Any activist for those two issues could feel mostly comfortable working within the GOP. The anti-surveillance state or anti-war folks could mostly feel welcome among the liberal wing of the Dem party. It seems to me the one big issue the LP has is their opposition to the war on drugs. Currently this issue does not have a strong hold on either party. It's this issue that the LP should push, and push and push, if it wants to get people who are not already on board...

  • Brandon||

    Say what:

    Are you fucking kidding me?

  • DW||

    "It seems to me the one big issue the LP has is their opposition to the war on drugs."

    This is the kind of thinking that will ruin the LP. Of all the problems and issues facing us today, and with the way both major parties are selling out on all those issues, some here still prefer to focus on people's ability to take drugs, including hard ones, illegally. Come on. I can understanding making the legalization of medical marijuana a major issue (since it's a winning issue) but your right or my right to smoke crack pales in comparison with the intrusion on our civil liberties, the Bill of Rights, our foreign policy, our national debt, our out of control spending, etc.

  • ||

    Say what,

    Your nerd rage meter, for example. It's over 9000.

  • Dodsworth||

    but your right or my right to smoke crack pales in comparison with the intrusion on our civil liberties, the Bill of Rights, our foreign policy, our national debt, our out of control spending, etc

    The U.S. has more prisoners per capita than any other country, including a percentage of black youth. The WOD put many of them there and one of the results is to further shred poor neighborhoods. The failed WOD is also driving much of our foreign policy in a perverse way in Latin America.

  • Jennifer||

    I can understanding making the legalization of medical marijuana a major issue (since it's a winning issue) but your right or my right to smoke crack pales in comparison with the intrusion on our civil liberties, the Bill of Rights, our foreign policy, our national debt, our out of control spending, etc.

    You see no connection between the war on drugs and the other concerns you have listed? As Radley Balko's frequent posts here show, even if you never touch illicit drugs you can still have your life destroyed by an out-of-control SWAT team inspired by a lying informant with a grudge.

    I've outgrown my former fondness for illicit intoxicants, so I'm not at all worried that cops will break into my place and find something illegal. I AM worried that cops will break into my place because some two-digit-IQ secretary typed the wrong address on a search warrant, and then I'll be shot dead for the "crime" of standing up and saying "Whafuck?" after I'm awakened by a flashbang grenade in the middle of the night.

    Bill of Rights important? Yes indeed, and too bad the WOD trumps amendments four and five.

    Foreign policy matters? Indeed it does, and what a pity it's distorted by policies like "Let's dump defoliant on third world farmers and then act all surprised when they get mad at us."

    Out of control spending? The WOD is worse than the worst welfare-queen story you've ever heard. How much tax money spent on DEA jobs or imprisoning nonviolent people? How much money lost because people who otherwise would've had good jobs and paid income taxes are incapable of being hired anywhere because they have the words "drug arrest" on their records?

    Once upon a time, you could've said about the drug issue "Eh, I don't do drugs so I don't care." That time has long passed.

  • ||

    This talk about the "super exciting" Libertarian Party "dream ticket" is hogwash. Hardly anybody really gives a shit.

    The LP has made itself impotent and irrelevant through decades of ego-driven infighting. How many golden opportunities have been lost because the LP was fucking INVISIBLE when it mattered?

    It doesn't matter who the LP nominates, and it probably never will.

  • ||

    I don't think the LP should focus on single issue voters.

    Those voters who only care about the war....

    Those voters who only care about taxes and spending...

    The LP should focus on those voters who care about the war and taxes. (Against both.)

    I agree with some of Jennifer's points about why the WOD _is_ important. However, using a political campaign to convince voters that an issue is important is nearly impossible.

    Almost as bad as changing their positions on an issue.

    What you need to do is find issues where substantial numbers of voters have libertarian positions. And, of course, what is special about libertarians is that we can appeal to the 15% to 20% of voters who don't like the
    combination of positions on the issues provided by the Republicans and Democrats.

    Forget Paul's netbots. Polling of those who voted for him (an order of magnitude greater than the activists) shows that they were fiscially conservative and anti-war.

    The even larger number of voters who said they liked him were much the same.

    I am not sure, but I think Barr is going for that slice of the vote.

    Apparently, Obama is supporting medical marijuana. Well, if you are a single issue voter on drugs, I guess he is your man.

    The number of people who are in favor of complete legalization is very small. How many of them are single issue voters?

  • ||

    Barr is no libertarian. He's an opportunist. I think he's drooling over the money that came into Ron Paul's campaign. He runs a PAC that supports "conservative" Republicans and an occasional Democrat. Seventy-eight percent of the money raised by the PAC went to fundraising, $710,000 to "office expenses" including keeping one son on the payroll, another as a consultant, and paying travel expenses for wife #3. His half-hearted repentance for the Defense of Marriage Act and his history as a drug warrior is too little and too late. (He once debated Neal Boortz, another imperialist who calls himself a Libertarian, about the Drug War - and won.) Maybe he should use his PAC money to pay compensation to the victims of his former actions. How many lives has this man ruined?

    Anyone in the general population who is aware of the LP thinks it's a wacky subset of the right wing. Barr will promote this image.

    For years, there have been libertarians who wanted to infiltrate the Republican Party. Well, congratulations, LP, you have let the conservatives take over the LIbertarian Party. You invited Richard Viguerie to speechify then nominated drug warrior Barr as your standard bearer.

    Unbelievable.

  • SIV||


    Apparently, Obama is supporting medical marijuana.


    No he isn't.

  • ||

    Bob Barr=Sen. Palpatine?

  • ||

    DeBosco - you don't know the man, so for you to stand up and baselessly smear him, without even the vaguest hint of fact to back up your assertion, is a monstrous tactic. I'd appeal to your sense of shame and common decency if I thought you had any.

    I'm not going to miss purist SOBs like you at all. The constant cry about Barr "too little, too late!" is so much like a fucking cult it drives me banana-pancakes. you want the man to basically spend the rest of his life in sackcloth and ashes, and maybe nail himself to a cross for amusement once in a while. You're unforgiving, relentless religionistas in the Church of Libertarian.

  • Pottsy||

    Unbelievable

    No kidding... libertarians, even if they've only been able to poll at 1 or 2 percent, in the past have at least been able to claim some sort of moral high ground with their opposition to the drug war, and encroachments upon civil liberties. The LP just threw that out the window. Now all they can claim to be is a spoiler for a candidate with less than a snowball's chance to begin with. Way to go, douchebags.

  • ||

    in the past have at least been able to claim some sort of moral high ground with their opposition to the drug war, and encroachments upon civil liberties.

    And how have they lost it, again? Oh, that's right, you're reading Barr's mind and pronouncing his "soul as stained".

    More religion: "Barr isn't one of us! He hasn't converted yet! He needs to do more penance!"

  • ||

    "Apparently, Obama is supporting medical marijuana.

    No he isn't."

    SIV would hate for you to think the Dems in general and Barak in particular than his beloved GOP on this issue. It really keeps him up at night.

    BUT, see for yourself:
    http://granitestaters.com/candidates/index.html

    See a much more specific analysis of each Party candidate:
    McCain:
    http://granitestaters.com/candidates/john_mccain.html

    And Obama:
    http://granitestaters.com/candidates/barack_obama.html

  • ||

    To quote Jacob Sullum, Reason's resident drug policy expert:

    "It seems to me that Obama now has unequivocally promised to back off and allow states to make their own policy decisions about the medical use of marijuana within their own borders. He also seems to be saying the federal government should consider rescheduling marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act so that doctors can legally prescribe it. Even if that second part never materializes, on this issue Obama is much better than John McCain, who (as the Times notes) has repeatedly flip-flopped between federalism and drug-war dogmatism, with the latter at this point winning out."

    Hey, SIV, did you catch this part:ON THIS ISSUE OBAMA IS MUCH BETTER THAN JOHN MCCAIN

    ;)

  • ||

    Bob Barr is better than both of them on the issue.

  • ||

    More or less my thoughts exactly.

    I still have trouble stomaching the idea of Root as the VP candidate. Kubby could have had it if he'd reached out to Barr- I have little doubt Barr would have preferred him over Root. Don't let the ideological stuff fool you- Barr wasn't thinking about that. He was thinking about who'd make a good running mate. And the fact that he probably despises Root personally, as does almost everyone else. He's like a more energetic Mitt Romney.

  • DW||

    "No kidding... libertarians, even if they've only been able to poll at 1 or 2 percent ..."

    Try 0.5 percent.

    "...have at least been able to claim some sort of moral high ground with their opposition to the drug war, and encroachments upon civil liberties. The LP just threw that out the window."

    No it hasn't. Even if you concede the drug war -- where Barr is saying all the right things now -- you have to admit that Barr has been a strong defender of our civil liberties in the past five or six years.

  • ||

    For the Barr-haters: what have YOU done lately that can be considered verification of your libertarian bona fides? Probably not a goddamned thing.

  • Robert||

    I think you will find more Democratic voters that want to end the drug war than you will Republican voters that want to abolish the IRS.


    That estimation is way, way off unless by ending the drug war you mean getting users into some combination of outpatient & residential "treatment". The current trend re cigaret smoking & marketing shows there couldn't be much sentiment among Democrats for loosening the legal marketing or use of non-therapeutic "drugs", while there is considerable GOP support for eliminating IRS, especially when you consider that's nearly always proposed in the form of tax substitution.

  • ||

    Ayn_Randian | May 26, 2008, 12:49pm | #
    For the Barr-haters: what have YOU done lately that can be considered verification of your libertarian bona fides? Probably not a goddamned thing.


    Thank you, AR.

    There are people who DO and people who sit on the sidelines and hurl criticisms. I like to think that most in the LP are not sideline sitters, but there are quite a few who believe that the notion of activism within the LP is attending conventions and debating bylaws and platform planks...along with the occasional Tax day protest. These actions, of course, will bring about FIOT (Freedom In Our Lifetime).**sarcasm**

    I want to go as far as possible in regards to ending the drug war, eliminating the IRS and all that. Where i differ from my fellow radicals is a perception of *reality* and a willingness to recapture any shred of liberty instead of taking the "all or nothing" approach. That tends to get me labeled as a "non purist", which is as far off base as one can get. I oppose the "winning at any cost" wing of the LP as well. They are TOO ready to compromise principles. I happen to think that one can be radical (pure), but still deal with political reality.

    So, what have I personally done? I organized numerous opposition campaigns to school bond measures...and BEAT THEM each and every time! Instead of complaining, I saved taxpayers MILLIONS of dollars. I even helped organize a SUCCESSFUL campaign to eliminate a property tax assessment which drained our local park district dry of funds and forced them to dissolve the district! How many Libertarians can claim that? Not many.

    The radicals can do this if they like, but they choose not to, which is too bad, as it would make them a stronger and more effective force for liberty.

  • ||

    Many are suspicious of Barr being too closely associated with leftwing Libertarians especially on foreign policy.



    Eric, either you have not concept of the difference between left and right, or the Federales hit your head too many times down in the Mexican prison. Or both.

    The differences between the political left and right have absolutely nothing to do with foreign policy. They have everything to do attitudes towards equality. It's the old dichotomy between liberte and egalite. The left wants equality of outcomes, social justice, wealth redistribution and overall fairness. The right is in favor of private property, wealth creation and meritocracy.

    A "left libertarian" is merely one who emphasizes civil liberties over economic liberties. To the average progressive, even the most left-leaning, granola-crunching, multi-pierced libertarian is still on the far right of the spectrum. The only way you can guarantee equality and social justice is through coercion, and libertarians reject that.

    p.s. There are some true left anarchists who use the "libertarian" label, but they are extremely rare within the libertarian movement, as they hate associating with evil propertarians.

  • ||

    And I forgot one thing: How many can claim they placed their own freedom on the line for the cause of liberty? In 1991, I fought for a simple permit to hold a marijuana legalization gathering at a city park in Lake Elsinore, California. Our purpose was to gather signatures for the HEMP Initiative and have a couple of speakers. They threatened me with six months in jail and a hefty fine if I dared exercise my First Amendment rights.

    I stared them down, did not give an inch...and I won!

  • ||

    Another afterthought:

    I am NOT a "Barr hater". I supported him and I continue to do so. Is he a perfect candidate? No, but then again, I don't think any candidate is perfect.

  • ||

    And I forgot one thing: How many can claim they placed their own freedom on the line for the cause of liberty?



    Well, my freedom wasn't exactly on the line. But a letter to the editor supporting drug legalization did get me fired.

  • ||

    I think a good headline would be "Libertarians vote against libertarianism."

  • ||

    The left wants equality of outcomes, social justice, wealth redistribution and overall fairness. The right is in favor of private property, wealth creation and meritocracy.

    Which is why, of course, trying to deny that conservative thought (not Republican! folks!) and conservative thinkers are not natural libertarian allies is ludicrous. Barr represents the intellectual wing of conservo-libertarianism...he's taking principled stands in the face of his former party and former friends. He could have just packed up his toys and gone to work for the DEA or some Republican think tank. he didn't...that tells me more than some "libertarian" who proves his commitment to liberty by yammering on his blog.

  • ||

    But a letter to the editor supporting drug legalization did get me fired.

    Wowsers. What the hell was wrong with your chain of command, er, bosses?

  • Jennifer||

    I suppose I've taken a couple of punches for the ol' libertarian cause, but I can't discuss them here. It's not that I have a modest or self-effacing nature holding me back; it's that my halo is so heavy and big, my delicate little flower of a self can't lift it high enough to show it to y'all.

  • ||

    An impressive construction of paradoxes, Jennifer. :)

  • ||

    Or at least contradictions.

  • ffggg||

    Obama Speaks to Veterens in Puerto Rico
    Want to know the difference between Clinton and Obama supporters
    And Find out What has been bothering me

    This and more on…

    http://sensico.wordpress.com/

  • ||

    I see that Radley mentioned that the Guy Fawkes dude was Ruwart's press secretary. Is that true?

  • ||

    "He could have just packed up his toys and gone to work for the DEA or some Republican think tank. he didn't...that tells me more than some "libertarian" who proves his commitment to liberty by yammering on his blog."
    I'm not a libertarian, but A-R seems dead right to me here. Barr was a successful politician and could have done anything with his time and skills. I think he's demonstrated a committment to the LP.

    "Which is why, of course, trying to deny that conservative thought (not Republican! folks!) and conservative thinkers are not natural libertarian allies is ludicrous."
    I think you are wrong there A-R. Conservatives are all about order and authority (read Burke or Kirk or De Maistre). Property and wealth are OK with them because it tends to foster authority and order. But these things probably have limited inherent value to conservatives. You'll find more in common with modern libertarianism in the writings of Burke's foe Tom Paine.

  • ||

    MNG - the intellectual tradition of non-interventionism/free-trade/anti-protectionism squares solely (in America) with the pre-New Deal left, which morphed into the Old Right.

    Perhaps overall conservatism isn't more libertarian, but the genesis for much of libertarianism is the Founding Fathers' political beliefs, which were conservative. Also, 20th-century conservatism (up until neocons and "compassionate conservatives") mopped the floor in the "liberty" debate with the New Deal liberals.

  • ||

    We lost John

    As long as the jihadis want war there will be war.

    Problem. The only branch of the military really good at this asymmetric warfare crap is Special Operations. This despite the fact that the U.S. combined arms doctrine kicks ass. Suggestions?


  • ||

    I think you are wrong there A-R. Conservatives are all about order and authority (read Burke or Kirk or De Maistre). Property and wealth are OK with them because it tends to foster authority and order. But these things probably have limited inherent value to conservatives.

    I think there's a pretty good argument to be made that liberty, at least in any useful sense of the word, is not merely an absence of laws, but a product of authority and order.

    There was plenty of liberty in New Orleans post Katrina. Not that much of anyone was enjoying it, except maybe the looters....

  • ||

    A-R
    I think that American conservative often does have a different slant to it than European conservatism, but I think that is because the American Founding was so inherently "liberal" for its day. It was a resounding denouncing of aristrocracy, established church and militarism, which had been cornerstones of European conservatism.

    Conservatism reveres what has "come before." In Europe that meant hereditary aristocracy, suppression of religious dissent, and patriotic militarism. In American it meant religious pluralism, free commerce, and local militias. To the extent that US "conservatism" extols these things they are ironically extolling historically "liberal" ideas!

  • zoltan||

    Pig Mannix:

    Perhaps the best difference between the "authoritarian" conservatives MNG is referring to and libertarians is that the former will value authority and order over liberty when it comes down to the wire. Meaning they'll try to use those laws of authority and order which produce liberty and distort them as far as they can in order to limit liberties if it so suits them.

  • ||

    @zoltan

    Meaning they'll try to use those laws of authority and order which produce liberty and distort them as far as they can in order to limit liberties if it so suits them.

    Therein lies the distinction: not between authority and lack of authority, but between legitimate authority and illegitimate authority.

  • ||

    Once again, MNG demonstrates the perils of trying to cram all of Western political thought for the last 500 years into a single left-right spectrum.

  • ||

    Conservatism reveres what has "come before."

    Sophistry.

    Liberals revere their movement's past successes (New Deal, Roe v Wade) as well, and if you don't think liberal politicians care about authority and order you've never been at a liberal zoning board hearing.

  • ||

    I know I said this in the nomination thread yesterday, but as someone who was once a hardcore conservative who changed his views, I really don't get the skepticism.

    I'd rather see someone who questioned their own views, saw they were wrong, and changed them, versus someone who was raised on a certain viewpoint, has always followed that viewpoint, and has never questioned it.

  • ||

    Liberals revere their movement's past successes ...

    Yes, but there the reverence is not intrinsically based on the "past" part, as could be argued is the case with conservatism.

    Conservatism exalts the value of tradition because it believes tradition, in and of itself, has value. Liberalism occasionally happens to exalt things that happen to have tradition. It's a big difference.

  • highnumber||

    Cosmotarians may hate the state - but they hate the sovereign nation even worse.

    "Hate" is a strong word. Would you please say that we find that no nation-states have any legitimate authority?

    And can you call us "individualists" rather than "cosmotarians"? (I'm not speaking for anyone else here.)

  • ||

    Why do Reason writers continually misstate Barr's view on drugs by implying that he has had some radical change. He hasn't. He moved only on medicinal marijuana. On other drugs he said he just wants drug laws enforced by the states because they would be more efficient in the war on drugs. He is a drug warrior still.

  • John Schultz||

    Happy Jack, if Radley said that, I believe he was incorrect. Mary brought her campaign staff on stage after Barr won the nomination and I'm 99% sure the person she introduced as writing her press releases was not the unfortunately-located "Guy Fawkes Dude".

  • ||

    I am glad the 'reform' libertarians elected Barr/Root for the Libertarian Party. This has a real chance of expanding the Party's base, which desperately needs expanding, if we want to change American Politics. Barr and Root have the capability of getting OUR parties voice out to Main Stream Americans who really haven't heard our positions and look at us as Anarchists. I am NOT AN ANARCHIST, and I don't think the majority of the PARTY is. I am a real liberal/Roosevelt Republican! I will argue Roosevelt was too much of a Big Government Republican to make him a Libertarian. I believe there is a real need for government, I just argue about what it is good at. Education, roads, police, courts, and National Defense are ALL I agree with!

  • ||

    I don't want to be one of those sad individuals who constantly tries to draw attention to his own point, but I must reiterate this. Let me say that first off I don't support the war in Iraq (although it is my duty to fight it).
    My point, to "the hawks" is this. This war seems to grow increasingly asymmetric, and the only branch of the military that are experts at fighting this sort of conflict are Special Operations. So, the only branches that can possibly effect change are Special Operations and maybe MI and Civil Affairs. The rank-and-file of the Army just tries to do their jobs the best they can, but it's frustrating to be deployed repeatedly and yet still be left with, pretty much, the status quo. I doubt the Iraqi infrastructure will be autonomous and efficient in the foreseeable future. So, the point and question is: how do the Armed Forces keep from getting overly frustrated, fatigued and demoralized.

    Full disclosure: I think this is one of the most important issues on the libertarian agenda, along with drug decriminalization/legalization.

  • ||

    Whoops, should have been a question mark after "demoralized".

    But anyway, the arguments at the extremes of the pro-war and anti-war crowd are pretty disgusting to me, but I find that the *majority* of the libertarians on this site are reasonable when it comes to this subject, so I feel fairly comfortable asking this question here.

  • ||

    Oops, should have been an "s" after "crowd". But I should clarify that I don't necessarily find the arguments of either extreme disgusting, but rather some of the statements associated with them.

    P.S.: Brandybuck, please give us details if you're comfortable. About the firing.

  • ||

    My point, to "the hawks" is this. This war seems to grow increasingly asymmetric, and the only branch of the military that are experts at fighting this sort of conflict are Special Operations.

    Not so. The conflict in Iraq has gone through several stages, beginning with a straight-up fight between armies, through a paramilitary/criminal ancien regime resistance, and so forth to the present Iranian-backed destablization campaign. The regular army folks have reacted, evolved, responded, and prevailed every time.

    The rank-and-file of the Army just tries to do their jobs the best they can, but it's frustrating to be deployed repeatedly and yet still be left with, pretty much, the status quo.

    What they have now is nothing like the status quo of one, two, and three years ago. Army re-enlistment rates continue to be high, army recruitment goals are being met and exceeded. The groundpounders are doing well, making progress, and they know it.

    I doubt the Iraqi infrastructure will be autonomous and efficient in the foreseeable future.

    Oh, I dunno. They are increasingly so over the past several months. Not ready to take the training wheels off yet, but definitely allowed out of the driveway.

  • ||

    I'll be over there soon enough myself to get some idea of how things are.

    army recruitment goals are being met and exceeded

    No doubt. I've seen those figures. HRC has something of a good idea of what realistic recruitment and retention goals are when they set them. That being said, I don't necessarily envy the average Army recruiter right now.

  • ||

    I don't think adding the name of Root detracts from this ticket, which any of the ideological candidates may have. But none of them, with the exception of Sen. Gravel, had the credentials to impress the public as being actually qualified. If there is truly something scandalous that emerges from Root's past, he can be dumped. And he did prove himself a very forceful campaigner and cheerleader, which is not Barr's strong suit.

    Of course, after the Minneapolis Convention, we may wonder and hope that Ron Paul might consent to be added to the ticket, which I hope Mr. Root would step aside to allow. Nothing could be a stronger alternative to the two party structure this fall than a choice of Barr and Paul on the ballot. It should exceed the results managed by George Wallace and Ross Perot; perhaps even reach the level of Teddy Roosevelt in 1912, and leave the McCain/Bush Republicans in the dust.

  • Thomas L. Knapp||

    "Ideologically, you might have a point, but considering Kubby's health is so poor he barely made it to the convention, is he really a viable candidate for anything?"

    Kubby may be the healthiest individual I've ever met.

    Kubby's cancer affects the adrenal glands, causing them to massively overproduce.

    Kubby smokes an ounce of marijuana a day -- yes, you read that right -- to reduce that adrenaline production so his heart doesn't consplode. An OUNCE A DAY, folks ... and he's the most energetic guy I know. He's 60 and he looks and acts a hardbody health-club 40. In recent years he's broken vertical-mile ski records in two or three areas.

  • Jonathan Goff||

    This is somewhat disappointing. I'm definitely more on the conservative side of the libertarian party spectrum, but I think a Barr/Kubby ticket would've been much better balanced. Not to mention, Root just comes off like a scummy used car salesman. Oh well, at least Barr has a chance of making an impact, and at least I don't have to do a write-in this year. It isn't every election year that you get a candidate you can vote for without having to don a biohazard suit with redundant nose plugs.

    ~Jon

  • ||

    Is the first lesson Reason writers must learn how to write a piece about any LP or libertarian Republican candidate that seems to be favorable but somehow leaves a sour after taste?

  • ||

    Jesse Walker | May 25, 2008
    That explains Barr's endorsement of Root. It doesn't excuse the delegates' decision to follow his lead.

    How DARE they! Don't they realize that a vote
    once cast, BELONGS to the person for whom they
    voted!

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