Libertarian Party-Crasher

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Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik wasn't invited to tonight's presidential debates in St. Louis; now he's saying he'll get himself onstage or go to jail trying. Which is to say, he'll go to jail trying.

NEXT: Yet More Third-Party Debate Action

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  1. I thought he was gonna be occupied debating that communist, Bill Moyers.
    … so the Moyers thing is pre-recorded, huh?

  2. I try not to be one of those people who’s always piling on the LP.

    Nonetheless, this just seems like a really bad idea.

  3. I don’t know whether the old adage about there being no such thing as bad publicity applies in this instance, but I support Badnarik in this. We shouldn’t settle for being ignored.

  4. After thoreau comes out against civil disobedience, I don’t know what to expect next. Maybe a suicide bomber named Gandhi?

    😉

  5. Ken: Heh!

    I have no trouble piling up on the LP. The less press they get, the better off promoters of limited government will be.

    Nothing says ‘kook’ like a guy getting arrested while screaming about the immorality of taxes and destroying the government as we know it. Some day, those guys will realize that you can’t start there if you ever plan on ending up there.

  6. Regardless of whether Badnarik should be included in the debates or not, this approach will only damage his and the LP’s reputation in the eyes of most voters. If the LP could friggin’ stay off the fringe and focus on rolling back government, promoting civil liberties, and dramatically reducing taxes, they might win something. The LP isn’t considered whacked out because of its libertarian politics (the bulk of which are probably shared by a majority of Americans) so much as for its, well, whacked out behavior. Nothing wins voters over here so well as common sense–one liners and stunts just alienate people (which is one reason the main parties leave such a bad taste in most mouths).

  7. Maybe this is what it’ll take to get himself on the news. He’s polling better numbers than Nader and is on more ballots, but from reading the main-stream press you’d never know he existed.

  8. I’m guessing the secret service isn’t going to just tap him on the shoulder and meekly request that he leave.

    Breaking & entering and running fruity-bat on stage in front of a national audience doesn’t poll well in the “acting presidential” category, I’m sure.

  9. I think it will play into the long term plan for LP recognition. Think of it this way:

    – Badnarik has no chance of winning the 2004 elections.
    – The best the guy can hope for is to give the LP as much publicity as possible.
    – Getting arrested at a primetime televised event will generate quite a bit of publicity.
    – Giving the LP more publicity in the long run.

    Are there any legal ramifications in this scenario where he would need to be arrested in order to take the issue of non-partisanship not being bi-partisan and tax exempt to court?

  10. Ken-

    I don’t have a philosophical objection to civil disobedience if done non-violently and in an effort to bring attention to injustice.

    I even sympathize with Badnarik’s point about the debates and the gov’t’s (indirect or direct, depending on how you look at it) role.

    I just think that civil disobedience should be done intelligently. I take my screen name from a guy who protested a war. Badnarik wants to be let into a debate. However right Badnarik is, the magnitude of the wrong isn’t comparable, so the sympathy factor won’t be strong. And the kook factor (at least in the eyes of the public factor) will be tremendous.

    I respect civil disobedience, but I respect it even more when it’s done intelligently.

  11. Pro Liberate,

    Badnarik can’t damage the, “reputation of the LP in the eyes of most voters” because in the eyes of most voters the Libertarian Party doesn’t even exist. Even amongst the few who’ve heard of us, most of them have no idea what we believe.

    People have been decrying Badnarik as an embarrassment to the party since the night he was nominated, and, quite frankly, I don’t get it.

    Kerry throws war medals over a fence and no one gives a damn.

  12. Alan Keyes tried the same thing, and his kookometer readings shot off the charts. If you accept that the only purpose the LP actually has is to be a forum for cranks (and the data supports no other conclusion) I’d say it’s a good move by Badnarik. No wonder he’s the LP’s top guy.

    What did he do to win the nomination, anyway? Eat a live chicken on stage?

  13. TNR has an article on the placidity of American 3P candidates that is so sarcastically funny it could have run in Vice.

    http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=express&s=salam100804

  14. Occasionally, I wonder why I quit having anything to do with the LP. They are usually courteous enough to remind me.

    Perhaps they should change their name to the raving moonbat party, and leave the rest of us small-l libertarians to mourn our lost cause.

  15. When I read this I actually thought about watching the debates, but then all you guys had to go and ruin it by pointing out what a terrible idea it is for the cause of liberty 🙁 Well, to hell with it, the part of me that always secretly gets excited a hurricane is going to hit florida because it’s so friggin’ cool when they do(yes it’s terrible, i’m guilty, but i know i’m not the only one) will secretly be hoping Badnarik somehow gets in and makes a total ass of himself, the party, the cause, and maybe even the two douchebags on stage. Because that would be so friggin’ cool.

  16. I’m a big fan thoreau; I was just kiddin’.

  17. Eating a live chicken is preferable to what the two kooks that will be on stage stand for.

  18. Occasionally, I wonder why I quit having anything to do with the LP. They are usually courteous enough to remind me.

    Perhaps they should change their name to the raving moonbat party, and leave the rest of us small-l libertarians to mourn our lost cause.

  19. I for one the MB is a fine spokesman for the part and the principle (see what I did there). If I had known about this sooner, I’d have drove down and asked to be the first in the paddy wagon.

    I don’t think it will reflect badly on the LP because I don’t think it will get any attention. The media will ignore us as always. Maybe a presidential candidate on the ballot in 48 states can get arrested, but he can’t get as much ink as say Kevin Federline.

  20. Am likely voting for Badnarik, as I’m pretty sure I can’t swallow quite enough bile to dimple the chad for Bush and there’s no way I’d do anything to a chad for Kerry. This, I think, would make me less likely to vote for him. But that’s just an initial reaction, I’ll have to think through why that’s my immediate reaction.
    -K

  21. “Occasionally, I wonder why I quit having anything to do with the LP. They are usually courteous enough to remind me.”

    Yeah. I actually joined the LP a few years back. Imagine my surprise when I got their newsletter in the mail. Like the articles weren’t crazy enough, they had to have ads for UFO books and Free Energy systems. Before that I thought libertarian = Reason. I promptly quit the party.

  22. Oddly enough, I see nothing of the sort in my latest issue of LP News. Funny.

  23. Are UFO books and free energy systems really that much worse than glossy photos of Bush’s face, and solicitations from gun nuts and faith healers?

  24. Well, according to the most recent audioblog post at Badnarik.org, they have over 500 protestors and a full police escort in tow right up to the lines.

    This is going to be a very interesting night.

  25. Badnarik can’t damage the, “reputation of the LP in the eyes of most voters” because in the eyes of most voters the Libertarian Party doesn’t even exist.

    So this will be their first introduction.

    So from now on, when someone mentions the Libertarian Party to someone, they’ll think: “Oh yeah, that’s that party that that crazy guy who tried to storm the stage at the debates belonged to. Didn’t CNN say he wanted to blow up the United Nations or something?”

    So the term “Libertarian” will be cemented in people’s minds as meaning “extremist right-wing fruitcake”.

    Are UFO books and free energy systems really that much worse than glossy photos of Bush’s face

    George Bush actually exists.

  26. I don’t know about you guys but I’m with him all the way. He’s showing how the 1-party system silences other voices at the point of a gun (hopefully not literally). He’s totally earned my respect.

    I’m just pissed none of the major newswires have picked this up yet.Or maybe they have and want MB to surprise audiences so it seems spontaneous and him like more of a kook.

  27. This is why I support the Hatch amendment. When I have to hold my nose to make a “principled” vote, there obviously aren’t enough qualified natural born citizens.

  28. My statement was in response to the suggestion that if Badnarik were to get himself arrested, it would harm an image that already exists in the minds of “most” voters. The statement was perfectly logical in context.

    Yes, George Bush’s face really exists. Is that supposed to make receiving a big glossy of it in the mail less ridiculous than an ad for UFO books or free energy systems? I’d rather get an ad for either one of those things than receive a big glossy of Bush’s scary face any day.

    …and that goes for solicitations from gun nuts and faith healers too.

  29. What are you all worried about? Badnarik isn’t going to act like a kook. He won’t make it past the police. The TV fake news (all of them) won’t
    cover the event impartially. Likely they will ignore it and/or blur it out entirely. O’Reilly will possibly harp on his false ideas of what Libertarians are, and that will be it. Badnarik is a good guy. I’d trust my life to him. I can’t say the same about GW or Kerry.

  30. Go to Drudge, post a news tip about Badnarik`s plans and it will be covered by most MBs.

  31. Flash!! Libertarian shits in R&D messkit. Stay tuned.

  32. All, I’ve been with the LP the last 4 years; and, yes, I agree that it pulls in a few “fringe” people. BUT SO DO THE OTHER PARTIES! Aren’t there plenty of stinky, no-shaven, hippie Democrats and plently of Faldwell, bible-thumping Republicans?

    I believe that the essence of being American is being a libertarian – or one who believes in true liberty. Instead of complaining about the few entrenched pony-tail having Trekies in the LP – let’s take the party over and make it the mainstream party that represents true American beliefs of freedom in BOTH civil and economic areas! Look and see how the LP has changed so much in the last few years. We small-l libertarians are slowly but surely taking the party over and moving it into the mainstream – just look at this year alone with MB!

    My sister and I live near a campus, and we have worked hard to recruit 100’s of people over to libertarianism. Why, because it makes sense! Also, younger American’s are much more libertarian than their parents. They like the freedom in social areas that the LP offers, while also being educated enough to know that big goverment can only hurt your country’s prosperity. I really believe that these young Americans will join the LP over the years and make us stronger and stronger. Now the only question is will it be too late before the government goes bankrupt?

  33. All, I’ve been with the LP the last 4 years; and, yes, I agree that it pulls in a few “fringe” people. BUT SO DO THE OTHER PARTIES! Aren’t there plenty of stinky, no-shaven, hippie Democrats and plently of Faldwell, bible-thumping Republicans?

    I believe that the essence of being American is being a libertarian – or one who believes in true liberty. Instead of complaining about the few entrenched pony-tail having Trekies in the LP – let’s take the party over and make it the mainstream party that represents true American beliefs of freedom in BOTH civil and economic areas! Look and see how the LP has changed so much in the last few years. We small-l libertarians are slowly but surely taking the party over and moving it into the mainstream – just look at this year alone with MB!

    My sister and I live near a campus, and we have worked hard to recruit 100’s of people over to libertarianism. Why, because it makes sense! Also, younger American’s are much more libertarian than their parents. They like the freedom in social areas that the LP offers, while also being educated enough to know that big goverment can only hurt your country’s prosperity. I really believe that these young Americans will join the LP over the years and make us stronger and stronger. Now the only question is will it be too late before the government goes bankrupt?

  34. Reading above comments:
    Nervous nellies rubbing shoulders with nutcases.
    Thus ever the cauldron of social change, thence progress.

  35. If there was ever a Pres. election where the libertarian voice is needed, it’s this one. And there is, no doubt, even a case to be made that the exclusion of Badnarik is unjust. But, it doesn’t seem that civil disobedience is warranted and what’s more; it might well be counter productive for the cause of libertarianism: “Lets us be heard by you tonight on how our ideas will liberate you or we’ll force you to listen to us.”… It just doesn’t work. Will someone whose opinion Michael Badnarik respects please call him and tell him, in the name of liberty, to think of something else.

  36. “My sister and I live near a campus, and we have worked hard to recruit 100’s of people over to libertarianism.”

    Kudos to you and your sister, Jason P.! And thank you.

  37. “Flash!! Libertarian shits in R&D messkit. Stay tuned.”

    Hydroman, speaking of fouling messkits, how about “Spread out! One heat tab would get you all”?

    That fuckin’ Green Zone in Baghdad is a green light. Or a “kick me” sign.
    Look out for the bombing in Lebanon all over again.

  38. He should have to wear a Scottish kilt and a placard saying Israel is the fulfilment of Biblical prophecy like that guy at the Olympics. Then he’ll get LOTS of publicity and a nice cell.

  39. FLASH!!!
    500 half eaten raw chickens attacked the Presidental debate headquarters.This reporter has it from reliable sources that they were from the left wing of the Raving Moonbat Party. More developing-stay tuned–

  40. Dey Ja Voo
    Does a hobby horse have a hickory dick? Then what about a rubber chicken?

  41. “My sister and I live near a campus, and we have worked hard to recruit 100’s of people over to libertarianism.”

    Kudos to you and your sister, Jason P.! And thank you.

    Rick Barton,
    Do you think Jason P. has already given a bunch of “kudos” to his sister.

    Kudos. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

  42. “Dey Ja Voo
    Does a hobby horse have a hickory dick? Then what about a rubber chicken?

    Comment by: inquiringminds at October 8, 2004 08:15 PM”

    Tell me why the sky’s so blue. Tell me why the ivy twines.

    So you’re point is?

    Aren’t Friday nights special?

  43. B double E double R un———beer run.
    The show starts in 30 minutes

  44. I don’t think he’ll be able to get himself arrested, short of doing something insane. I suspect the Secret Service will just escort him off the property and tell him to get lost.

  45. It is true that libertarian ideas do not get a fair shake in the media. However, the reason libertarian party is not a mainstream paty is that it’s IDEAS, taken in whole, are just too far outside of the mainstream. It is not just a matter of a few kooks.

    The LP’s ideological purity is seem, correctly imo, as unrealistic and utopian. However that does not mean that the libertarian party does not have valuable ideas to contribute to the increasingly empty “debates”. And perhaps this rather than widescale recruitment should be the goal. It is certainly more achievable.

    Now, it is true that the twiddledum and twiddeldee parties have even more absurd ideas than the most hard-core libertarian and yet these ideas seem to hold a great deal of sway over a great many people (mostly the neo-conned republican party these days) but I tend to attribute this to the slow corruption of entrenched power more than anything else.

  46. Alright 30 seconds in. Where the fuck is Badnarik?

    Anyone watching Fox any time earlier today? Hearing the tone of the voiceover, it wasn’t until I looked over and saw “Presedential Debate Tonight at Nine” on the screen that I realized they were NOT pitching we’re-the-biggest-lying-assholes-in-the-world reality show. C’mon Fox, you got the cable news network, show me the Yankees lose.

  47. mtc
    He`s reloading and drying his powder.

    js
    the Libertarian Party “IDEAS” are Constitutional maybe the “mainstream” ideas need to change.

  48. He and Cobb were just arrested.

  49. Michael Badnarik arrested
    Filed under: News From the Trail

    8:38PM CST

    The first report from St. Louis is in – and presidential candidates Michael Badnarik (Libertarian) and David Cobb (Green Party) were just arrested. Badnarik was carrying an Order to Show Cause, which he intended to serve the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). Earlier today, Libertarians attempted to serve these same papers at the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the CPD – but were stopped from approaching the CPD office by security guards.

    Fred Collins reported to me from the ground that Badnarik and Cobb are reported to be in great physical condition and great spirit.

    As soon as more details are avialable, they will be posted here immediately.

  50. FREE BADNARIK!

  51. js,
    Beam your scurvy ass from Planet Blypton down here to Planet Oith.

  52. FREE BADNARIK!

  53. Yes, George Bush’s face really exists. Is that supposed to make receiving a big glossy of it in the mail less ridiculous than an ad for UFO books or free energy systems?

    Yes, that makes it a lot less ridiculous.

    A Republican magazine that sends out a picture of George Bush is saying “You’re a Republican, so we think you probably like George Bush”.

    A Libertarian magazine that sends out ads for UFOs and “free energy” is saying “You’re a Libertarian, so we think you probably believe in visitors from outer space and are completely ignorant of the basic laws of physics”.

  54. THIS JUST IN: SPEED FREAKS [HEART] BADNARIK
    CARTOON PLAN HATCHED TO FREE HIM BY FILLING UP THE JAILS THEMSELVES; SOME THREATEN TO CLEAN KITCH (AGAIN)

    GONNA BURGLE IT UP WITH THE LP

  55. I don’t see his arrest as a publicity stunt any more than I see the LP’s lawsuit in Arizona as a publicity stunt. With the CPD issuing an arbitrary 15% support rate to be included in the debates despite seeing Libertarian & Greens on the ballots in more states than Nader (last figures I saw were 48, 38, and 27, rspectively), something has to be done. While the arrest doesn’t open a challenge to the law or the violation of it (Arizona is taking care of that), it may turn a few heads and get Badnarik & Cobb on the Bush & Kerry radar. If it gets C-SPAN to say something, all the better.

    To those who dislike the “stunt”, I would ask a question: Exactly what would you do to get the Libertarian message out to the general public; and to protest the use of public money in private debates? If you have better ideas, perhaps you’d like to volunteer them to the Banarik team or the LP rather than criticizing their efforts.

    My challenge to everyone is to ask yourself what have YOU done to support the cause….and what will you do today?

  56. I don’t see his arrest as a publicity stunt any more than I see the LP’s lawsuit in Arizona as a publicity stunt. With the CPD issuing an arbitrary 15% support rate to be included in the debates despite seeing Libertarian & Greens on the ballots in more states than Nader (last figures I saw were 48, 38, and 27, rspectively), something has to be done. While the arrest doesn’t open a challenge to the law or the violation of it (Arizona is taking care of that), it may turn a few heads and get Badnarik & Cobb on the Bush & Kerry radar. If it gets C-SPAN to say something, all the better.

    To those who dislike the “stunt”, I would ask a question: Exactly what would you do to get the Libertarian message out to the general public; and to protest the use of public money in private debates? If you have better ideas, perhaps you’d like to volunteer them to the Banarik team or the LP rather than criticizing their efforts.

    My challenge to everyone is to ask yourself what have YOU done to support the cause….and what will you do today?

  57. Why do so many people have a problem with civil disobedience for a just cause? Would they rather Rosa Parks had gone to the back of the bus, etc. – that we should obey unjust laws because…they’re laws? (As if lawmakers are always right.) What good does it do to run a Presidential campaign without getting noticed? And what better way to get noticed than to challenge the unfairness of the Commission for Presidential Debates, which is funded by taxpayers for being non-partisan, while actually excluding any challengers to the two parties?

    Isn’t obvious, from the polls if nothing else, that a good half of Americans, if not more, want candidates like Nader and Badnarik included in the debates? And won’t a good portion of those people recognize that Badnarik’s challenge to the Commission on Taxpayer-Funded Republican/Democrat Infomercials (er….CPD) is anything but fringe/kooky?

    Gandhi wrote: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

    Isn’t being laughed at better than being ignored? And if the LP could really wield significant political influence – at least in the Presidential race – by following the rules of the corrupt electoral/political system in this country, what’s taken so long? The LP isn’t a fringe party, except insofar as they are rarely mentioned in the mainstream media. If they were, voters would realize that they really DO have a choice beyond the two mascots. The “two” parties can only succeed as long as the media continues to willfully ignore their many challengers – Libertarian, Green, Independent, etc. – and they know it.

    I don’t have a TV, so I don’t know what happened on Friday, but I think the LP and other third parties need to keep thinking outside the box, and in my opinion, Badnarik’s idea is a good start. Maybe not perfect, but without ideas and actions like these, we’re wasting our efforts and we’re going to keep being led downhill into a brick wall by the Republic Inc.’s and the Demagogues.

  58. BTW, to anyone who thinks UFOs and free energy systems don’t “actually exist”, and presuming you are influenced by “reason” and not mere “belief”, you owe yourself a look at The Disclosure Project. While a lot of UFO and free energy information out there is baloney, the existence of a few (or many) kooks in a field doesn’t negate the validity of the whole field, with its diverse views and considerable evidence.

    The Disclosure Project has released a DVD and book, along with some online materials, compiling interviews with well over 100 current and former government/military/intelligence officials who tell about their experience in one or more departments or secret programs dealing with UFOs or having dealt with a particular encounter and its subsequent cover-up. Many are old and retired, and therefore more concerned about spreading the truth than about the possibility of losing their job, reputation, or life as a result of their whistle-blowing. Together, the dozens of interviews corroborate each other in many important ways, and a tentative picture of many pieces of the UFO etc. jigsaw puzzle is created.

    The claim that all UFOs are figments of people’s imagination or that there have been absolutely no extraterrestrial encounters is all but negated by the implausibility of such a huge, concerted, and pointless campaign of large-scale coordinated fabrication and hoax (not to say every UFO claim is accurate), and the claim that free-energy systems violate the laws of physics and are therefore impossible 1) is negated by multiple US Patents on free energy devices (see e.g. Tom Bearden’s site) where the Patent office has been convinced of a device’s effectiveness, and 2) ignores the fact that many “laws of physics” (such as the Second Law of Thermodynamics) are not laws but theories which have been disproven by multiple, repeatable and verifiable experiments where the COP (coefficient of performance) has been shown to be greater than 1.

    So of course there is plenty of disinformation about UFOs and free energy, and for all I know, the ads in the Libertarian magazine might be for hoaxes or disinformational books, but it is wise not to throw out the baby with the bathwater and assume that, because some of the information is demonstrably false, it is all a bunch of hogwash – an assumption which is itself demonstrably false, as a bit of careful research will show.

  59. Sadly, just because something is patented doesn’t mean it actually works. Tom Bearden has been debunked repeatedly over the years by James Randi. Head over to http://www.randi.org and do a search on “Bearden” for details.

    The James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) offers a million dollar prize to “anyone who can show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event”. As a perpetual motion machine, Bearden’s device would qualify for the prize if it worked. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. Too bad, so sad.

    There’s no good evidence of UFOs either. JREF will be happy to debunk any UFO claims you send their way.

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