Badnarik, In an Upset

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Michael Badnarik, who entered the convention as a third-place underdog, emerged this afternoon from the Libertarian Party National Convention in Atlanta as the party's 2004 presidential candidate in a third-ballot victory over Gary Nolan and Aaron Russo.

A longer report on the convention, what happened there, and what it might mean for the LP this presidential cycle to follow later this week on Reason Online.

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  1. Am I seeing double here?

  2. Now I know who my protest vote will be.

    Who’s the running mate?

  3. Protest votes are *so* 2000…

  4. Hey, I’m in a flashback mood this weekend. A local radio station is doing an all-90’s weekend. Between songs they sample speeches by Clinton and rearrange quotes to make him say whatever they want. “Even presidents have private…sexual relations with that woman.” Or “I misled people” after which the DJ says “But we’re not! Call in to win a car!”

    So a totally-2000 protest vote is right up my alley!

  5. “Children take drugs because criminals actively sell them. Criminals sell drugs because they are astronomically profitable. Drugs are highly profitable only because they are illegal. The Libertarian solution is to decriminalize drugs, which will make drugs extremely cheap, which will remove the profit motivation for selling drugs, which will result in fewer children taking drugs.”–this guy’s website

    I like the overall direction, but can’t he come out and say that children take drugs because they want to experience the drugs’ effects? If he truly believes that drug use is the fault of the pushers, then the current policy is sound.

    Prohibition fails because the market exists outside of the law. It’s true with drugs, guns, and porn. The desire is met by the marketers, not the other way around.

  6. Badnarik isn’t as well spoken as Nolan, not as slick and greasy as Hollywood Russo. He’s just a guy trying to educate people about what their Constitution really says. He’s also a Free State Project member who was going to move to NH within 6 months if he didn’t win the nomination. A man of principle. I’m glad he won. Now lets see if we can get him some votes… eh?

  7. He hasn’t updated his website yet. Not a good sign.

  8. Nice noncommittal position on Iraq, there. Guaranteed to irritate both the people turned off to the party by Harry Browne after 9/11 as well as the people who were invigorated by him!

    1%, here we come!

  9. I just hope it’s the right one percent: the one that leads to divided government.

  10. Well-known Libertarian Steve Trinward has endorsed my campaign with an article entitled “Why I’m Still Backing Badnarik”.

    Well-known Libertarian? Now there’s an oxymoron for ya…

  11. Richard Campagna is the VP candidate. I’m sure Badnarik and his supporters, including his webmaster, are at the convention. It’s not like the LP got (or would take) $15 million to run their convention like the Republicrats.

  12. jon,

    I agree it sounds disengenuous to blame drug use on pushers, but before dismissing what “this guy” says on the matter entirely, bear in mind that he’s talking about drug use by minors, which might possibly be exacerbated by a system that makes drugs illegal for all. Were legalization not to include minors, as alcohol is currently treated, there’s at least the chance that legal drug vendors would have an incentive to stay legal by marketing and selling to legal age users only.

    That said, his wording reeks of spin. Especially his use of the word, “decriminalization,” which usually means reducing penalties for use to insignificant levels but maintaining the illegal status of the trade. I can’t say if he means it that way or if he just wants to use a less scary sounding word than “legalization.”

  13. This is so cute. I just want to go thpppttt on your bellies.

  14. From his website:

    “Given the opportunity, Michael would like to change one aspect of prison life to increase the safety of the people guarding them. Instead of allowing them to lift weights and exercise several hours per day (making them violent AND powerful), Michael would require them to remain in bed all day for the first month, and twelve hours per day after that. This lack of activity would allow their muscles to atrophy, making them helpless couch potatoes incapable of inflicting very much violence on each other, the guards, or unsuspecting citizens should they manage to escape. Michael also likes the idea of requiring them to submit one book report a week, encouraging them to strengthen their minds instead of their bodies. ”

    I’m really not sure what to say… I very much hope that this was either an error or a joke that will be taken off the site. I certainly agree with the vast majority of his positions, but it’s hard to take this seriously at all.

  15. Matthew — that is so god damn funny I hope it is true.

  16. Joe,

    What a coincidence! Just last night your mother had her lips on my body, only a little lower than my belly.

  17. Fascinating to watch the convention on C-SPAN today. I don’t know if it was inspiring or sad to see the blind candidate talking about “baby-killers.”

    And the “half-time show” about the “Reefer Refugees” — priceless. What heroes. /snark

    Reason & LP’ers, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it once more: LEGALIZING MARIJUANA (and other drugs) WILL NOT GET THE LP WHERE IT WANTS TO BE. I understand how it ties in with the overall Liberty message – but parading this issue as paramount to the Libertarian Party will forever doom the LP to 3rd-tier status.

  18. Fyodor mentions Badnarik’s “…use of the word, ‘decriminalization,’ which usually means reducing penalties for use to insignificant levels but maintaining the illegal status of the trade. I can’t say if he means it that way or if he just wants to use a less scary sounding word than ‘legalization.'”

    On today’s “Washington Journal” on C-SPAN, Badnarik clarified this point, saying that choices about what to eat, drink, or use as drugs (medicinally or recreationally) are for the citizens to decide themselves, individually, and should “not be under the purview of government.” From what I’ve heard him say, and what I’ve read of his positions in the past, I believe he distinguishes between “legalization,” which is generally the assertion of control by government, and “de-criminalization,” which he takes to mean the acknowledgement by government that an area is not within its purview.

    Fyodor is correct that “de-criminalization” has lately come to mean “government regulation” in the same way that “deregulation” has also come to mean “regulation,” and “free trade” has also come to mean “regulation.” On the other hand, these days, ANY WORD A POLITICIAN USES comes to mean “regulation,” doesn’t it? Here’s to Badnarik, for attempting to re-invest political words with their previous, proper meanings, however quixotic that quest might be.

  19. Over at antiwar.com, Justin Raimondo is saying that the LP has “committed suicide” by nominating Badnarik, someone whom JR has “never heard of.” On the other hand, JR is the fellow who exhorted Libertarians for years to give up on the third party strategy, and to join the GOP to effect change “from the inside.” He favored Pat Buchanan even then, but quit talking about “working from the inside” when Pat shifted to a strategy of trying to take over a third party. So I’m going to take his pronouncements of “party suicide” with the same grain of salt that I keep in reserve for his usual hyperbole.

    Most of the public would not have heard of Nolan or Russo, either (although some might have followed Nolan’s radio show and others might have enjoyed Russo’s “Trading Places” or other productions). I don’t think that nominating “an unknown” will prove to be that much of a liability. The important thing was to get past the misconception that the LP had a “perennial candidate,” as two-time nominee Harry Browne was often described in the press.

    I have mixed feelings about Badnarik as the nominee. Nolan had a good sense of how to deal with the media, and so did Russo. Russo also had street smarts, connections, and executive experience in a cut-throat business environment. Badnarik is a good communicator, and has an impressive intellect, but “impressive intellects” have gone down in flames, even under the Demo and GOP banners. Badnarik acknowledged on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” today that he wasn’t very politically savvy; while this could be an “aw-shucks” pose on his part, it could also be a liability if voters conclude it is true. At the convention, Nolan and Russo both pledged full support to Badnarik, so it is my hope that they can work with Badnarik as advisors, to back him up and help round him out in their areas of strength. In a newspaper article, a convention delegate was quoted as saying that, if the best qualities of Russo, Nolan, and Badnarik could somehow be combined into one person, the LP would have a dynamite candidate. Perhaps the three of them can work together to effect that combination throughout the rest of the election season. THEN we’d be talking about a real party and a real campaign, wouldn’t we?

  20. I was always under the impression that it really doesn’t matter who the LP candidate is, as long as he/she isn’t some completely misanthropic, vitriolic asshole. Of the main third parties of recent elections (green, reform, LP), the LP is far and away the one whose success (relatively speaking) is based most on ideas, not people. No one who isn’t already interested is probably even going to hear the LP candidate’s name anyway. If they have some inclination to vote for LP, it will be because they like some of the big-picture values of the LP or because they’re so disgusted with the reps and dems, not because the LP candidate appears to be strong, trustworthy, a snappy dresser, etc.

    I thought this was probably the predominant view among people who consider themselves (small l) liberterians. But it hasn’t really come up on this thread, and several people are discussing the relative merits of the candidates in some detail. I’m curious how many people here had a strong opinion on any of these candidates, think the choice of candidate is likely to have a significant effect on how many votes the LP gets, or even know who the candidates are. (For me, the answers are no, no, and no.)

  21. I met Mike at the CA Libertarian Convention. He lurked around our Free State Project booth for awhile so we got to know him. He’s a well-spoken and charasmatic guy. I’m glad he won.

    As far as which issues the LP should focus on, picking drug legalization as a lead issue will do more harm than good.

    The same rules that apply to branding in the corporate world apply here too. It’s too bad more Libertarians don’t see this.

  22. I’m curious about Reason’s upcoming analysis. I missed the nomination coverage on C-SPAN and wonder what the heck happened. My reading between the lines tells me that Nolan hated Russo so much that he would risk everything to prevent Russo from getting the nomination. Sour grapes indeed! The Harry Browne wing of the party clearly hated Russo and would do anything to stop him.

    I am truly saddened by this outcome.

  23. Badnarik’s statement on drug legalization being the key to reducing child use of drugs demonstrates an abysmal understanding of economics and human nature. “Children take drugs because criminals actively sell them”? No. Children take drugs for the same reason adults to, because they are enjoyable. Legalization will vastly increase drug use because the drugs will be more readily available, more potent, possibly cheaper, and without legal stigma. That is either acceptable or not, depending on your personal morals. The better argument is to say: The drug war is an ineffective or vastly overexpensive (in terms of money, liberty, and lives) means to the desired end.

    But then again, this guy could speak chinese out his sphincter and it wouldn’t much matter. The LP is essentially the ABBAE party (Anybody But Anybody Else).

  24. Judging from his web site, Badnarik has an appropriate reverence for our Constitution.

    If there is a Republicans for Badnarik group, I’ll join. I’m well aware that the Republicans, especially in congress, are far better for limited government than the Dems. as evidenced by voting records and I’ll work for the election of principled candidates, but the Bush administration does not deserve the votes of conservatives.

    If Bush was a Democrat, most conservatives would be outraged at his big government agenda. With him as the GOP candidate, it’s as if the New Republic left has control of both parties.

    The Republican Party hierarchy needs to know that if it puts up a big government standard bearer for president, many of the rank and file will abandon that candidate.

    If Bush is punished at the polls in this manner, those in the GOP who love individual liberty will be in a more influential position for subsequent elections.

  25. My hope for, and all I ask from, Michael Badnarik is that he does not embarrass the LP.

    I fear he might. One indication is the quote from his website about prisons. Another is his affiliation with folks who insist on pointless denials that the 16th Amendment was actually ratified (or that the U.S. tax code requires the withholding or payment of income tax). Yet another is his encouragement of the so-called Free State Project, based upon a theory which is a proven failure.

    Anyway, he’s the candidate, so I’ll vote for him.

  26. I only saw part of the convention, but I got the same impression that Winston did. After Nolan was eliminated from further ballots, he immeadiately endorsed Badnarik and then it was pretty much a done deal that Russo would lose. It seemed like a purity contest and the votes were more about the delegates feeling good about themselves than about nominating someone who could take the libertarian message to mainstream America.

  27. Russo has his “alternative medicine” hobbyhorse. Hey, I would legalize quackery, too, and Aaron thinks it saved his life, so who am I to argue with it, but when he got started on the importance of strengthening one’s immune system he sounded as loopy as any goldbug or stoner does when they get going on their id?es fixes. Nolan, a radio talk show host – remember the boomlet for Gene Burns some years ago? – had the patter down, but Badnarik sounded like someone speaking from the heart, not from a researched sheet of talking points.

    I am actually a bit sorry Russo couldn’t top the ticket. I thought he had the best chance for a media breakout, due to his contacts as a producer. Nolan’s radio-guy status was never big enough to make me believe he could get the general public’s attention. Badnarik seems to have impressed the convention delegates by his manner of speaking, and, I’m guessing, retail political skills. Those might have made him a good candidate for the biggest non-partisan office in his backyard, but I’m not sure it translates into anything on a national ballot.

    Hey, LP delegates, could you learn to pronounce a name other than “Smith” or “Jones”?! The way some of the members reporting their state’s votes on C-Span this morning mangled the eventual nominee’s name, you’d think that they’d never met anyone with non-wasp* heritage before. Are none of them football fans? (Chuck Bednarik, one vowel away, was a Hall of Famer for Penn and the Eagles. He was one of the guys who crumpled Frank Gifford so bad he had to take a year off.)

    The nominee will be on C-Span 9:15 a.m. EST on Monday.

    Kevin

    *Yeah I know Russo (French or Italian name?) is Jewish, and Nolan (Irish name) is part Lebanese. I would have gotten a kick out of a ticket with Prez/VP = Jew/Arab or vice versa!

  28. Winston Young says, “I’m curious about Reason’s upcoming analysis. I missed the nomination coverage on C-SPAN and wonder what the heck happened.”

    While we await Reason’s reporting and analysis, you can also see some actual video segments at http://www.c-span.org. The fellow on Washington Journal (Scully?) was saying that various excerpts were already available at their website.

    C-SPAN is an incredibly valuable resource, and all the moreso, ever since it established its video archives on the web. I think they still offer a debate between Nolan and Badnarik from last year, as well as Saturday’s debate between Nolan, Russo, and Badnarik, and soon, this morning’s call-in segment from Washington Journal. With luck, there will soon be a lot more Libertarian-oriented material at the C-SPAN website.

  29. what i don’t get is why nolan endorsed badnarik after he lost. why would he have any reason to hate russo? if anything russo was a much better anti-war candidate than badnarik. i really thought the lp had a chance of making an impact this year. but badnarik’s too vanilla, and will probably do worse than harry browne.

  30. Badnarik doesn’t even have a very good website. You have to have a pay pal account to donate money, and pay pal isn’t very user friendly. Also, he doesn’t have any campaign material that you can order off of his site.

  31. that’s because even he probably didn’t think he was going to win

  32. but when he got started on the importance of strengthening one’s immune system he sounded as loopy as any goldbug or stoner does when they get going on their id?es fixes.

    He name-checked those issues as well. Call it a loopy-libertarian hat trick.

  33. You guys must BUY a lot of drugs… the reason street dealers don’t make much is that THEY USE THE PRODUCT!!! More than likely they are simply selling 80-95% of the drugs, and keeping the residue for themselves. They pass the cash up the line. PLUS, the lifestyle tends to shorten earning years (what with death and imprisonment, plus the damage the drugs do). So the end result is one can deal drugs, on the street, or one can work at mcDonalds, and working at McDonalds nets, overall, more money. It’s cash, it doesn’t shorten your life, and you can do it for 20 years, and if you’re good move up and make more money.

    Drug dealing involves use, shootings, and jail, net result, and not a lot of upward mobility, poverty.

    And Badnarik’s drug “policy” is all spin, as written… lowering costs INCREASES usage not lowers it. As others have said, just say, “We don’t care if you do drugs. And our policyy will make it easier for many to do drugs.”

  34. He promises to blow up the United Nations Building if he gets elected. Another foam-at-the-mouth raver is my guess. Almost makes me wish for the return of Browne and his Washington Smoothies. Almost. Better self-promoting hucksters then moon-howling lunatics. Oh, well, we really can’t get taken any less seriously so what’s the harm? Be sure to contribute to his campaign with those 6-dollars-of-silver “Liberty Dollars” you can buy for 10 dollars. Hey, maybe he is a little like Browne– deja-vu all over again.

  35. Badnarik is wrong about why children buy drugs, and it shows somewhat of a blatant lack of knowledge about how markets work (which I think is a serious shortcoming for a libertarian candidate).

    People don’t buy anything purely because it is actively sold. Farm machinery is actively sold – that doesn’t mean I’m going to buy it just because it is there. Markets exist because of demand. The demand for drugs exists because people like the effects of drugs.

    Sarah

  36. Joe L.: No, he shouldn’t say that, because that isn’t his policy.

    If you asked Mr. Badnarik whether or not he cared if you do drugs, I’m certain he would say “Of course I care. I hope and pray you don’t use drugs. But I have no moral authority to tell you not to, or to prevent you from doing so through force. And neither does anyone else.”

    As for your statement lowering costs INCREASES usage not lowers it, costs for alcohol dropped dramatically after prohibition, and yet alcohol use did not skyrocket. Similarly, the street price of heroin has dropped dramatically since the 70s and yet heroin use, too, has not skyrocketed.

    This is because there’s more to drug consumption patterns than simple supply/demand curves. I for one don’t use drugs, and it’s not because I’m waiting for the price to come down.

    As for children and drug use: let’s keep in mind that the current system doesn’t work. Drugs are desparately illegal, yet we still have children using them. Drug prohibition simply means drug abuse goes untreated, drugs are impure, dosages are wildly uneven, genuine medical needs for prohibited drugs go unmet, and pushers in the streets have a very real impetus to try and get people hooked. All these statements apply just as easily to children as adults.

    Personally I think Badnarik’s position is correct, that drug use among children would likely drop after the repeal of drug prohibition. I certainly don’t think it would rise sharply, just as alcohol use in children didn’t rise sharply after the repeal of alcohol prohibition. I agree that the quote I’ve seen repeated in this thread is awkward and a drastic oversimplification; that doesn’t mean it’s wrong, only that the concept is counter-intuitive and hard to express.

  37. Badnarik’s Issues page says, “There are over 200 cities and nearly a dozen states that have passed resolutions declaring the Patriot Act ‘null and void’.” Is this true? Is there a list of states that have passed these supposed nullication resolutions?

  38. I’m not really about arguing the WoD it’s like abortion yer either fer it ‘r agi’n it and arguing makes little or no difference at this point. But i will stand by my statement that badnarik’s position is spin….

    All of which is very odd coming from a candidate that is unlikely to poll more than 1% and trolls for votes from the devotees AND who has adopted a number of other rather ludicrous positions, e.g., holding the ATF and IRS officials liable for the LEGALLY obligated acts, talking about repealing the Income Tax (which a President can’t do), repealing the Patriotic Act and haranguing Congress.

    Again the LP has chosen someone that will talk to the converted but leaves the masses cold. Of course that’s OK for many here, they’re the converted or “hate both” candidates, but it doesn’t do much for advancing the Party.

    Which, BTW, has not done well lo these past 12 years, the Reform and Green PArties have done MUCH better, Yes yes, I know LP been around since ’71, most successful third party, hundreds of local officials, but in terms of affecting National Politics, Greens and Reform have beat you guys hands down.

    You guys really need to recruit Jesse Ventura.

  39. The drawback of Jesse Ventura as a Libertarian candidate is that he is not a libertarian. If the objective was simply to get votes, the LP might as well recruit Ralph Nader. To remain the “Party of Principal”, it needs a candidate who will always articulate the libertarian message. Ventura has already demonstrated he would not do that: witness his attempts in 2000 to get the Reform Party to nominate Donald Trump for President. See also four years of no reduction in the size or scope of Minnesota government.

    Badnarik is imperfect, but so far not too bad. I liked Nolan better, but he had his faults too. Furthermore, the fact that Nolan and Russo both lost may mean that many in the LP are not deluded into thinking that it must endorse a celebrity candidate at all costs.

  40. Actually, the sale of drugs is not all that profitable, at least for your average street dealer (this according to several economists I’ve read and spoken to – please note the problems with measuring this underground economy). They make little more than they would than if they were working at McDonalds. Its the promise of some future pot of cash beyond the rainbow along with whatever other benefits the job might offer – drugs for home consumption for example, or gun play, etc. – that makes the job so appealing I would assume.

  41. I’ll be curious to see what kind of campaign Badnarik runs. On the issues I assume that Badnarik is suitably orthodox, and that he probably takes a few kooky stances. (He’s an LP candidate, what do you expect? πŸ™‚

    The question is how well Badnarik will do on the campaign trail. Will he collect his 0.5% and go home, or will he find a way to increase those numbers? Only time will tell.

    One important lesson to draw from Badnarik is that debate access matters! By all reports he was expected to finish in third place, but he apparently won based on his debate performance. (Some may point out that politicking by the various factions mattered on subsequent ballots, but he wouldn’t have made it to subsequent ballots if he hadn’t done well in the first round.) I have no illusions that Badnarik (or any other third party candidate) will get into the Presidential debates this year, but in some locales there are debates for US House and Senate, as well as state offices.

    Finally, it’s worth observing that what works well in a debate before an audience of LP delegates may not work so well in a debate before a more diverse audience.

  42. Personally I think the LP has a fundamental problem when it comes to affecting national politics. The LP is a party of individualists. Individualists do not make for an effective political organization. πŸ™‚

    The LP has some minor celebrity members. Trey “South Park” Stone and Penn & Teller are ardent; Bill Maher, and IIRC maybe George Clooney, less so. But none of ’em seem to throw their weight around much on behalf of the LP… I’ve always kinda wondered why. (Individualism, again?)

    Also, don’t mistake the Reform Party as having made waves because of its famous candidates. The single thing that put the Reform Party on the map was Perot’s money. Without his backing the Reform Party faded quickly into obscurity, and is no longer a factor in American politics.

    I’m with Peter K. What we need are more Libertarians, not more famous people. Though someone who was both would of course be very welcome. But I have no interest in the LP compromising its principles just to get its name up in lights–and I am proud to say the LP has no interest in that either.

    (p.s. to Peter K.: You meant to say the LP is the “Party Of Principle”. I don’t think the LP is the “Party Of Principal”.)

  43. Well, I think you’re wrong to an extent about Ventura and principles. Clinton did well because of HIM and his message…

    You guys are hung up on principles, and look what it gets you. 1% of the vote, do you guys want to be RIGHT or king?

    The two are not totally mutualy exclusive, but there is a trade off.

    And if the RP had chosen Trump they’d have done better than when they ran Buchanan, but that was because of his message as well as the messenger.

  44. I know someone who says she sold drugs for a while in high school. In one month, she made as much money as she will make in one year working at her close-to-minimum wage job.

    On topic, is it really worth it to go out and vote for the LP? Doesn’t it only encourage them? πŸ˜›

  45. Bill Maher and George Clooney are not libertarians. Bill Maher once called himself one, but he actually supports so many expansions of government that he backed Nader in 2000. George Clooney has been vocally in support of gun control.

    Entertainment celebrities (of any persuasion) often do not know what they’re talking about. This is true even when they self-label as libertarians. They are generally not political scientists, deep policy analysts, economists.

    Trey Parker may be — probably is — small-l libertarian, but he has publicly identified himself as Republican.

    More generally, Larry Hastings asks why more celebrities don’t throw their wight around for the LP. To whatever extent the LP has celebrities, it seems to me they must take note of what happens within the party to even minor celebrities like Harry Brown or Gary Nolan. A celebrity’s most valuable asset may be his reputation, and even a minority within a small party like the LP can and will trash it out of jealousy.

    By the way, Larry Hastings: Thanks for the spelling correction.

  46. Is Trey Stone really libertarian? I coulda sworn he was in Bowling for Columbine telling Moore the Columbine tragedy was due to lack of (government) planning, or some such…

  47. What the hell is wrong with the Libertarian Party? Is it too much to ask that they find a candidate who possesses at least a rudimentary understanding of politics, economics, and Constitutional law?

    I’ll be surprised if the LP even manages 1% this election. They aren’t even good for a protest vote; Ralph effin’ *Nader* is preferable to this jackass.

  48. It might be the 1% that swings the election.

    Of course, I think there’s a good chance it’ll be more than 1% this year. The Republican base isn’t exactly energized right now, and there is a significant fringe of old Republicans who feel they got burned with this guy. Some will probably stay home, and some will probably look for a protest candidate so they can vote against Bush without having to vote for Kerry. Badnarik may well be Bush’s Nader.

  49. Gary,

    Okay, economists are all well and good, but I really don’t think the average ivory-tower economist knows much about the drug dealing scene. It’s not that difficult to turn a pretty good profit selling most drugs. I’ve known people that supplemented income with a little dealing on the side, hardly a full-time investment, and did well. Putting a lot of time into would reap even larger amounts of money.

    As for Badnarik getting the nomination, I was really hoping it was going to be Nolan, but I’m still going to get a Badnarik for President bumper sticker and vote for him anyway.

  50. As far as which issues the LP should focus on, picking drug legalization as a lead issue will do more harm than good

    You don’t know the scope of the drug war. It is the most significant and valid impedment to liberty in this country, beyond any doubt. Drug prohibition is tyrannical, invasive, built on lies, etc., and I’ve personally concluded anyone who supports it is a traitor to freedom.

    I am happy to see most Libertarians, and many other non-Libertarian, average folks are beginning to see the drug war for what it is, as well.

    So, that said, chill. The LP has the right idea on drug legalization. It’s going to be a big issue again in no time, and who knows, maybe we’ll win this time around?! πŸ˜‰

  51. As for protest votes and all that, predictably, the Reform and Green Parties have completely fallen apart without their celebrity candidates, and are struggling to get ballot access in a lot of states. Neither got ballot access in Texas, one of the toughest states, while the LP did.

    I think that there won’t be too much options for protest votes this time around, and the LP could do fairly well. Think about the percentage that voted Green, Reform, and Libertarian last time. It was around 4%. If the LP gets most of that this time, that would be fantastic, and definitely enough to spoil all a bunch of states one way or the other.

  52. It’s not that difficult to turn a pretty good profit selling most drugs. I’ve known people that supplemented income with a little dealing on the side, hardly a full-time investment, and did well. Putting a lot of time into would reap even larger amounts of money.

    If you’re not selling drugs, you don’t know what’s up with it.

    As a general rule, if you come from a middle class family, and sell drugs, you can turn a profit. This is because it’s easier to get your product in YOUR hands, and then you can set the control, who you sell to, etc. For drug dealers that are poor to begin with, it’s not a cash cow kind of industry. It’s akin to a minimum wage job. You’re usually selling someone elses product and, consequently, just working for someone else, and their money.

    The myth of “quick cash” through drugs still exists, but as I said, it’s a myth.

    Morever, drugs don’t sell themselves. You have to be a competent salesman, too. You’ve gotta know who to sell to, where to sell, who not to sell to, where not to sell, how to cut and bag your product, etc. It’s a lot of work, and rarely worth it unless you’re the next Pablo Escobar.

  53. Now that we’ve had the obligatory “The LP must cease advocating drug legalization” post, where are the obligatory “The LP must cease advocating the repeal of gun control laws” post, the obligatory “The LP must cease advocating states’ rights” post, and the obligatory “The LP must cease advocating for an end to state-funded education” post? Jesus Christ, go join the Republicans if you want a party whose only pro-liberty plank is lower taxes.

  54. Another Libertarian for Life (L4L.org). Cool, now there’s 10 of us.

  55. David-

    I agree that the LP should be careful in its choice of issues. But if the LP always shies away from issues that offend conservative voters but never shies away from issues that offend left-leaning voters (not the same thing as leftists; I’m referring to people who hold their noses while voting for Democrats), the LP will basically be a more conservative version of the GOP. Which is a fine thing to be, but in that case there would be no real point in the LP existing…oh, wait a minute πŸ™‚

    Drug legalization has just enough support from just enough sources to be a legitimate issue.

    I have no illusions that the LP or any other third party will achieve any great breakthrough in our current system. (Google “Duverger’s Law” for more info on why.) But the LP can still have an impact by electing local officials, making selective and intelligent use of the spoiler effect (easier said than done, I admit), targeting scarce resources at select state legislative races, and deploying resources for or against key legislation and ballot measures.

    My “dream” LP candidate: Somebody who acts as a spoiler against some particularly noxious Democrat in a tight race. Somebody who lambasts the Democrat incumbent for taxing working families to dole out corporate welfare, for making it more difficult for battered women to buy guns, for rigging the tax system with a million special provisions that never help working families, for locking up minorities in record numbers via the drug war, for always siding with the government when the people’s privacy is at stake, and for supporting a social security system that transfers wealth from working minorities to comfortable white retirees. (The last one is due to relative life expectancies.)

    I have a hunch that such a candidate could do considerable damage to a Democrat, and that a lot of H&R posters would turn their noses up at a candidate who sounds like a left-wing populist. Hopefully I’m wrong on the second prediction.

  56. Oh god, it’s all gone terribly wrong. The LP appears most fucked. πŸ™

  57. I don’t think America is ready for a Slovak in the White House.

  58. I just noticed that Matthew beat me to posting this blurb from Badnarik’s site:

    “Given the opportunity, Michael would like to change one aspect of prison life to increase the safety of the people guarding them. Instead of allowing them to lift weights and exercise several hours per day (making them violent AND powerful), Michael would require them to remain in bed all day for the first month, and twelve hours per day after that. This lack of activity would allow their muscles to atrophy, making them helpless couch potatoes incapable of inflicting very much violence on each other, the guards, or unsuspecting citizens should they manage to escape. Michael also likes the idea of requiring them to submit one book report a week, encouraging them to strengthen their minds instead of their bodies.

    I’d like to echo Matthew’s sentiments. I really, really hope this is an act of cyber-vandalism. I’m going to be referring people I know to this site. Even if you really believe it Badnarik, please take this blurb off of you site.

  59. Aaron Russo’s page already has a small concession update. He’s really on top of it.

  60. Maybe the LP is considered “the party of ‘principal'” by people who think that’s all you can expect, unless and until the enterprise generates some “interest.” I’m just sayin’…

  61. You guys are hung up on principles, and look what it gets you. 1% of the vote, do you guys want to be RIGHT or king?

    What’s the point of being king if you’re not right?

    I mean, seriously, you hear this argument all the time. All that generally happens when you do whatever it takes to be in power is that you become corrupt and seek to keep the power, and never use it for what your principles were in the first place.

    Now, that’s not to say that compromise is a bad thing. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than getting nothing. But to get a significant number of voters in this country, I think that the LP would have to become almost identical to the Democrats or Republicans. What would be the point of being the Libertarian Party if all your positions are chosen based on not alienating your base and attracting as many swing voters as possible?

    I agree that the Libertarian Party will probably never get a major office under its belt, so to speak. But who cares? Power isn’t everything. As thoreau has said many times, there are a number of ways that the LP could effect changes in the platforms of the major parties. That would be an excellent way of leveraging the small amount of power the LP actually has.

    To sum up (again), the compromises that you seem to think necessary to get the LP into power seem to make it into a Republican Party clone, with some small changes to make it “libertarian.” Seriously, if the LP doesn’t at least talk about issues like drug legalization, even if they pull back on the rhetoric enough so that most people aren’t made extremely uncomfortable, what’s the point of having a Libertarian Party?

  62. Does anyone have any good ideas about how I can promote Badnarik? I already donated to him on the Amzazon.com prez race… http://www.amazon.com/gp/misc/flag.html/104-8789696-1312747?ref=gw_br_xs_cc

  63. there are a number of ways that the LP could effect changes in the platforms of the major parties. That would be an excellent way of leveraging the small amount of power the LP actually has.

    For that to happen, the LP would have to stop nominating nutcases as its Presidential candidates. Badnarik’s “ignore the Constitution, ignore the law, start issuing Presidential Edicts” platform isn’t going to steal votes from anybody except Larouche.

    The Libertarian Party has a long track record, continued with Badnarik’s nomination, of making basically good ideas sound insane — witness his “if you make drugs cheaper and safer, people will do less drugs!” argument, which manages to simultaneously violently conflict with basic economics, observed reality, and common fucking sense. What, pray tell, is wrong with “the drug war is ineffective and too damned expensive, let’s end it”?

    Then there’s his “I’ll require all of Congress to listen to a lecture and take an oath” plan. Don’t even get me started on that.

  64. As thoreau has said many times, there are a number of ways that the LP could effect changes in the platforms of the major parties. That would be an excellent way of leveraging the small amount of power the LP actually has.

    Thanks for the shout-out. I’ll reiterate 3 things that LP candidates could do, circumstances permitting (these suggestions aren’t necessarily applicable to Badnarik):

    1) In the midst of a close campaign, propose a few reforms (by no means the entire LP platform, just a few decent, solid steps in the right direction) and promise to endorse the first major party candidate who will sign off on that list. Or maybe endorse the first candidate who endorses, say, 4 of the 5 items on the list. Whatever. Point is, exercise some clout in the midst of a close campaign. If the LP candidate is drawing more votes than the margin between the candidates in most polls then this strategy could be useful. It’s also quite likely to get press attention.

    2) Pick an issue and promise that any legislator who votes the wrong way on important bills related to that issue will face an LP spoiler. A state LP chapter in the Pacific northwest (OR or WA, can’t recall which) has done this for GOP legislators voting in favor of tax increases. With creativity this strategy could be used in places where Democrats hold sway (privacy laws, corporate welfare, etc.). A bonus to doing this against the dominate party in a state (say, Democrats in CA or the GOP in TX) is that when a party enjoys dominance it can become fat and complacent. Threatening a dominant party’s grip on power would inject some competition into the process, which is a good thing from the perspective of a party that believes in competition and free markets.

    3) Do what they did to Bob Barr in 2002: Identify an issue and those people who are most egregious with respect to that issue. (In 2002 it was drugs, but it could easily be something else.) Run spoilers against those incumbents. Regardless of whom the replacements are, they’re guaranteed to be better than the politicians that they’re replacing. Yes, yes, I know, they’ll be inadequate by our standards, but they’ll still be better than the status quo, and the result will be to nudge public policy in a slightly better direction. Futile? Maybe, but no more futile than the strategy (preached by some) that we must support the GOP no matter what.

  65. btw, in response to Dan, I completely agree that many LP candidates would manage to bungle the strategies that I outline. I put these forward as suggestions that could be implemented by a suitable organization, not as predictions of what the LP will actually do.

  66. It looks like Badnarik’s website is down right now. Hopefully that means it’s going through an amazing phoenix-like rebirth process!

  67. The Libertarian Party has a long track record, continued with Badnarik’s nomination, of making basically good ideas sound insane —

    This is more true of the past than the present. There’s nothing particularly wrong with the current platform, except that it’s not marketed properly

    witness his “if you make drugs cheaper and safer, people will do less drugs!” argument, which manages to simultaneously violently conflict with basic economics, observed reality, and common fucking sense.

    Witness…. me correcting an egregious lack of understanding about the way drugs work (no offense to the poster, I’m just being a usual smart ass, cause I don’t know how to be anything else):

    If you make drugs safer and cheaper, it may not reduce demand directly, but there will be so many guaranteed positives, it may end up doing just that through various winding channels.

    First, let’s establish what Badnarik, or just the basic legalization framework, intend to do with drugs:

    -Make them safer.
    -Make them dirt cheap, yet still profitable (not hard).
    -Offer an opportunity for privately managed, (non-12 Step) rehabs and maintenence clinics to open.
    -If you believe drugs can be justifiably taxed, do so and direct funding towards appropriate outlets (whatever you believe those to be, I’m not much for taxing things).

    Now, let’s examine the Liverpool, England method of rehabilitation, because it tells us quite a bit.

    It tell us that free access to safe, pure drugs — even herion and freebase cocaine – saves more lives than anything here in the states (especially if it’s based off the 12 Step Cult, and or follows their dangerously broad addiction model). Why? For the same reason that free access to safe alcoholic beverages, with meassured and clearly stated amounts of alcohol, saves more lives than its prohibitionist alternative. It does not criminalize people, it provides cheaper dosage units, and just like with alcohol, just like with the Liverpool, England. It provides an opportunity for people to work the habit out of their system, utilizing as much time as necessary (even a whole life time), without any force, or prodding. It allows a person to do drugs, get their life on track, then get off drugs, or at least always have a clean source for them if they need them. It’s not like the market couldn’t be just as reliable, or even ethically motivated. It very well might of its own volition.

    It also tells us that following this course will effectively pull the rug out from under the blackmarket. Just ask any Liverpool smack dealer (if you happen to know one) what he thinks. I’m sure you’ll get an earful, providing he’s not at the clinic her/himself. πŸ˜‰

    I won’t go into how a Libertarian model of such a thing would be different, but I’m sure you can get some ideas going if you want to.

    Drug issues tie deeply into MANY, MANY, MANY different areas. Economic areas even possibly being the least of your worries, and if it were just about getting high, this would have all been over a long time ago, but it’s not.

    Putting it on any kind of back burner now would be a terrible and very serious error, especially since the issue is now clawing its way to the top of the pile for public debate. There is almost enough popular support, it just needs the proper medium to bring it out and begin enacting change. Whether the LP can do that or not, I don’t know, but I’ll be glad to help any way I can. Especially if they continue putting an issue that seriously effects me personally at the forefront of their platform.

    By the way, I’d really like to hear a Libertarian plan to hold government organizations — like the DEA — fully responsible for their numerous civil rights violations, unfair asset forfeitures, and the host of cases involving unnecessary pain and suffering or death. All behavior more becoming of a group of traitors than a federal agency, and all good reasons to axe the budget/existence of the whole area when we get a chance!

  68. Dan- I just re-read your reply, and if I misinterpreted what you said like some kind of moron, you have my full permission to label me as such.

    If I understand your position correctly now — having re-read it, like I thought I did before I started rambling in reply to it — you’re absolutely right. The first thing I noticed about Badnarik is that he’s not particularly smooth about these things. Adding his former rivals to his own team would be an awesome start, in terms of fixing these particular image problems.

    Oh well… Always love an opportunity to make my case for the issue, though.

  69. Dan decries “Badnarik’s ‘ignore the Constitution, ignore the law, start issuing Presidential Edicts'” approach. But of course, this isn’t Badnarik’s approach, at all, and Dan generates more heat than light to misrepresent the candidate so. Badnarik is making fidelity to the Constitution a cornerstone of his campaign, in fact. He talks about issuing Presidential edicts, but only those that he can legitimately, as President, issue, and usually to the purpose of ending abuses that were authorized by edicts of earlier Presidents. In other words, his edicts would, for the most part, undo extra-constitutional power grabs of previous Executives (e.g., abolish Executive offices and programs that the constitution does not explicitly authorize, end “emergency powers” decrees, etc.), or instruct the Executive branch not to enforce laws that are, in his view, unconstitutional (e.g., gun control laws). That’s how I read what he’s published on the topic of executive orders, so far.

    This last point is unsettling. I can certainly accept President Badnarik vetoing any legislation that he believes is unconstitutional. I wish Presidents would do that kind of thing more often. But suppose that congress overrode his veto? Would he refuse to enforce the law then? Would he, as President, have standing to sue to overturn a law on constitutional grounds? If he couldn’t sue, and refused to enforce existing laws on the books or laws that were enacted over his veto, could or should he be impeached?

    Badnarik has a particular understanding of the Constitution that he explains in his book, “It’s Good to Be King.” There are two questions in my mind at this point: 1) How accurate is his constitutional interpretation? and, 2) How far can he legitimately go, as President, to carry out the duties of the President, in keeping with that interpretation?

    Some of the more outrageous statements I have found on his website seem to be the offhand, blue-sky comments of someone who honestly didn’t believe he would get this far when he started out. Yet, to read his book and hear him speak, Badnarik seems intelligent and considerate, so I am expecting him to revamp much of the offhand material in the coming weeks, at least to explain the reasoning behind his positions, if not moderate them outright. Much of what the LP promotes (e.g., end the drug war, eliminate the Income Tax and IRS, “open” the borders) sounds outrageous at first blush, especially when reduced to sound bites, but actually holds water when examined in a little more detail. I am hoping that he will demonstrate the watertightness of his positions, or change or abandon the leaky ones.

  70. I was also generally surprised by the nomination this past weekend. I admit I don’t know every single platform detail about these three gentlemen, but I was leaning toward Mr. Nolan. The primary thing I knew about Mr. Badnarik is that the Second Amendment is his top “hot button”. I’m a supporter of the Second Amendment as well, but I had figured there were hotter buttons to tackle than eliminating waiting periods to purchase AK-47s.

    Anyway, I understand Badnarik won partly because of his intelligent and well-spoken debating style. I figured, hey, that’s cool.

    The third parties have always yearned to be part of a summer presidential debate. But reviewing quotes on Badnarik’s website, I wonder how he would respond to some of these rather kooky statements:

    “The day I enter the Oval Office, I will give notice to the United Nations. Member nations would have one week to evacuate their offices in the UN building in New York. They would have seven days to box up their computers, their paper work, and family photos. At noon on the eighth day, after ensuring that the building was empty, I would personally detonate the explosive charges that would reduce the building to rubble. The same type of rubble we had to clean up after September 11th.”

    First of all, to win the hearts and minds of those who are mildly interested in learning more about libertarianism and freedom, how would this help? Simply outlining his opposition to the UN would suffice without this sort of display. Secondly, how would blowing up a building in lower Manhattan fly with the locals, with memories still burning from 9-11-01? And lastly, who exactly would pay for this demolition and clean-up?

    In other quotes on his site, Badnarik pledges a full investigation and threatens to indict IRS workers for forcing Americans to fill out 1040 forms. Then there’s the pledge to strap prisoners in bed all day so their muscles become as weak as noodles.

    Even if we agree with any or all of this, these sorts of statements are potentially alienating those who are curious about liberty, free market, and individualism, and may continue to (unfairly) paint the Party as a band of loose cannons.

  71. Michael Badnarik certainly needs to become more retrospect now that he is speaking for the Libertarian Party and not just to some of its activists. I am a member, and I think a fairly typical one. The quotes about the U.N. Building, the U.N. itself, the I.R.S., and prisons, bother me.

    Especially because they actually appear to run counter to basic tenets of the Constitution and libertarianism, although I doubt he intended them literally.

    The U.S. president, with or without Congressional approval, cannot just blow up a building which it does not own.

    The U.S. must honor whatever contractual obligations it has with the U.N., if any there be.

    Government employees, I.R.S. or otherwise, cannot be made to bear the burden of proving what they did was lawful, for that would violate the Fifth Amendment’s due process clause, as judicial precedent has long held that due process includes criminal procedure in which the burden of proof rests on the accuser.

    Furthermore, the same government which employed them to do exactly what they do cannot enact a law (or a presidential edict) to covert that conduct, retroactively, to a crime. That is an ex post facto law, forbidden in the original Constitution even before the ratification of the Bill of Rights.

    The suggested treatment of criminals would probably violate the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment, and it is reckless for a Libertarian Party candidate to suggest it. Playing fast and loose with the Constitution is for the other parties and their candidates.

  72. As it appears we have the entire LP on this list, I nominate thoreau as our candidate for president, as he/she/it appears to have the requisite common sense to actually accomplish something other than a smug sense of effectless purity.

    The Party really needs to set its priorities, educate the electorate, and gradually pull the country in the right direction. Examine any State bureaucracy and you will notice it was not built overnight. (The Fed is a perfect example, the result of exhaustive efforts at all levels of society over decades.) Destruction of the bureaucracy will require the same patience and gradualism, starting with convincing a majority of Americans of the problems with the State.

  73. Dog,

    Your Momma’s teeth are so nasty, when she smiles, it looks like she’s got dice in her mouth.

    BTW, the LP nomination made the CNN news crawl.

  74. i caught some of the LP convention on c-span – one of the candidates was a blind man, who started off with a series of “if you are someone who thinks liberty is [situation], then i do not speak to you.”

    as soon as he got to “if you are someone who thinks liberty means the freedom for people to engage in deviancy” i turned the tv off.

    he was not speaking to me.

  75. thoreau,

    As you say, the rhetoric that works for the LP may be different from the rhetoric that works for a more diverse audience.

    By the same token, though, determining what rhetoric “works” for a general audience depends on whether a candidate is playing to win, or (per your “spoiler” strategy) attempting to peel disgruntled small-government conservatives off of Bush’s base.

  76. But reviewing quotes on Badnarik’s website, I wonder how he would respond to some of these rather kooky statements:

    His best strategy might be to say he was high when he made them. πŸ˜‰

  77. First of all, lets all wait a bit and give Badnarik a chance. Running for President on the LP ticket is basically a thankless task, and I for one will be giving him a chance to get up to speed (re. website).

    On broader matters, though I will almost certainly be voting for Badnarik, I’d like to point out what I see as the basic flaw in the LP’s current strategy.

    No other party is able to talk about an absolute ideal government the way the LP can. We can easily name our goals: non-coercive government, which means no drug laws, low taxes (or none). The disagreement is pretty much in small details on a plan that’s currently far removed from our current state of government. When we talk about this “ideal government” it is so alien to people, that almost everyone labels us kooks and ignores us, because Ideals do not fit into their world-view.

    So, I propose that rather than playing a totally different game than the other parties, by talking about an absolute, ideal goal, we should instead talk about DIRECTION! Pick out a few reforms that can practically be acheived in four years (which is far less than the whole party platform), such as balancing budget, ending the enrollment of new social security obligations (by continuing to tax new generations) (meet existing obligations from the general tax fund), even drug legalization would need to take course over a measure of time, to soften the blow to society.

    We (LP party members) handicap ourselves greatly by not advocating our positions as naturally extending from the current state of things, and instead advocating this pie in the sky view of government which is isolated from the present, even if we had total backing would could take 20 years to implement. Libertarians think in terms of principles, but if we are to successfully win over those who don’t, we must advocate DIRECTION, not end-goals.

    To draw people over to our side, we must start where they are, then lead them to where we want to be (in the Rhetorical sense).

  78. Regarding Trey Parker, I suggest you read this article on the LP’s own website:
    http://www.lp.org/lpnews/0105/parker.html

    You might also enjoy this article, “The Politics Of South Park”:
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig5/cust1.html
    Among other things, it states that it was the other South Park creator–Matt Stone–who appeared in Bowling For Columbine.

  79. Why does this remind one of a Bloom County strip? πŸ™‚

  80. I nominate thoreau as our candidate for president, as he/she/it appears to have the requisite common sense to actually accomplish something other than a smug sense of effectless purity.

    It’s an honor just to be nominated. I’d like to thank Mike, of course, as well as the H&R moderators for making all of this possible. And of course my wife, who has stood by me through this entire campaign, even though neither one of us knew I was a candidate πŸ™‚

    I’d also like to point out that I have a famous name. That’s guaranteed to help in an election.

  81. I’ve been a Libertarian since the Ed Clark campaign in 1980 and I was in Atlanta for my first national convention. Badnarik’s nomination was a shock, totally inexplicable. He seems to be a decent man and a good libertarian, but as a national candidate he has no viability, no credibility at all. He speaks well, he got 1.1 percent in a Texas state rep race… and that’s it? To pass on two candidates with actual accomplishments in their backgrounds (compared to the usual LP ticket, anyway) is simply bizarre. Russo has real-world success, managerial experience, knows how to pull crowds, has connections, is a self-made man and rich to boot. I was looking forward to a really exciting and productive Russo-Nolan ticket, but now we have a vacuum at the top and I fear the LP will implode and vanish. A golden opportunity simply wasted due to irrelevant and petty personal conflicts. I grieve for my party, I fear for my country and it just didn’t have to be this way. Sigh… what a downer.

  82. I’ve been a Libertarian since the Ed Clark campaign in 1980 and I was in Atlanta for my first national convention. Badnarik’s nomination was a shock, totally inexplicable. He seems to be a decent man and a good libertarian, but as a national candidate he has no viability, no credibility at all. He speaks well, he got 1.1 percent in a Texas state rep race… and that’s it? To pass on two candidates with actual accomplishments in their backgrounds (compared to the usual LP ticket, anyway) is simply bizarre. Russo has real-world success, managerial experience, knows how to pull crowds, has connections, is a self-made man and rich to boot. I was looking forward to a really exciting and productive Russo-Nolan ticket, but now we have a vacuum at the top and I fear the LP will implode and vanish. A golden opportunity simply wasted due to irrelevant and petty personal conflicts. I grieve for my party, I fear for my country and it just didn’t have to be this way. Sigh… what a downer.

  83. I’ve been a Libertarian since the Ed Clark campaign in 1980 and I was in Atlanta for my first national convention. Badnarik’s nomination was a shock, totally inexplicable. He seems to be a decent man and a good libertarian, but as a national candidate he has no viability, no credibility at all. He speaks well, he got 1.1 percent in a Texas state rep race… and that’s it? To pass on two candidates with actual accomplishments in their backgrounds (compared to the usual LP ticket, anyway) is simply bizarre. Russo has real-world success, managerial experience, knows how to pull crowds, has connections, is a self-made man and rich to boot. I was looking forward to a really exciting and productive Russo-Nolan ticket, but now we have a vacuum at the top and I fear the LP will implode and vanish. A golden opportunity simply wasted due to irrelevant and petty personal conflicts. I grieve for my party, I fear for my country and it just didn’t have to be this way. Sigh… what a downer.

  84. I’ve been a Libertarian since the Ed Clark campaign in 1980 and I was in Atlanta for my first national convention. Badnarik’s nomination was a shock, totally inexplicable. He seems to be a decent man and a good libertarian, but as a national candidate he has no viability, no credibility at all. He speaks well, he got 1.1 percent in a Texas state rep race… and that’s it? To pass on two candidates with actual accomplishments in their backgrounds (compared to the usual LP ticket, anyway) is simply bizarre. Russo has real-world success, managerial experience, knows how to pull crowds, has connections, is a self-made man and rich to boot. I was looking forward to a really exciting and productive Russo-Nolan ticket, but now we have a vacuum at the top and I fear the LP will implode and vanish. A golden opportunity simply wasted due to irrelevant and petty personal conflicts. I grieve for my party, I fear for my country and it just didn’t have to be this way. Sigh… what a downer.

  85. Badnarik is making fidelity to the Constitution a cornerstone of his campaign, in fact.

    Badnarik is making fidelity to his own personal interpretation of the Constitution a cornerstone of his campaign. He is also making “ignore Congress”, “ignore the courts”, “ignore signed treaties”, and “ignore precedent” cornerstones of his campaign. After reading his website, I’m left wondering why the term “dictatorship” wouldn’t be applicable to a Barnarik presidency.

    The founding fathers’ response to a President who announced plans to refuse to enforce laws passed by Congress and approved by the courts would be to form armies, march on the White House, and shoot the son of a bitch.

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