Campaigns/Elections

Ole' Sullum Will Not Rest Until Every Single (Well, the Single) Libertarian Is Driven From Congress

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In my in-box this morning I found an interesting contrast in reactions to my column rooting for a Republican defeat in congressional elections next week. Response No. 1 (from a Townhall reader):

Thanks for pointing out that the emperor has no clothes. Too often conservatives are just GOP cheerleaders, when they should be independent. (I am a libertarian-leaning conservative who belongs to neither party.)

Response No. 2:

Fellow libertarian movement members,

Did you all notice in the latest bash Republicans piece by Jacob Sullum he doesn't even mention anywhere libertarian Republican candidates for public office this year?

Record number of libertarian Republican candidates this year nationwide, and Sullum doesn't even take notice.

One can presume that Sullum is wanting good libertarian Republicans to go down to defeat, as well as the entire GOP.

Ron Paul? Guess ole' Sullum would like to see him defeated.

Butch Otter in Idaho? Ah golly gee, we don't need a libertarian Governor in the Potato State.

Sarah Palin? Well, same goes for Alaska. Better to have a statist like Tony Knowles than a genuine libertarian as Governor of the Nation's largest state.

Right there in Sullum's backyard of California, Tom McClintock, a longtime libertarian hero, could very well win the Lt. Governorship. But ole' Sullum could care less. He'd rather see McClintock be thrown out with the bath water. He's a Republican after all.

No less than Five (!!!!!), Libertarian Party members have secured the GOP line in Vermont for State House. Yup, you guessed it, according to pseudo-libertarian Sullum, "Let them go down to defeat. You stick your name on the Republican line, EVEN IF YOUR A LIBERTARIAN, you still should lose."

With friends like Sullum, who needs enemies?

And we wonder why our beloved libertarian movement never wins.

Since the second message seems to be an open letter meant for public consumption, I guess I can reveal that it came from Eric Dondero, "a US Navy Veteran, former Libertarian Party National Committeeman, fmr. Senior Aide to US Congressman Ron Paul R-TX, and Founder of the Republican Liberty Caucus." Dondero also is proprietor of the Mainstream Libertarians website, which recently got excited about the fact that Uncle Kracker has joined fellow white rapper Kid Rock as a known Republican. They (the Mainstream Libertarians, but maybe Uncle Kracker and Kid Rock too) are "Fiscally Conservative, Socially Tolerant & Pro-Defense!"

I was struck by the fact that the self-identified conservative was more willing to ditch the GOP than the self-identified libertarian, which is the opposite of what you might expect. In any case, I said nothing in my column about voting against libertarians; I simply said I was looking forward to Republicans' losing control of the House and/or Senate because 1) they deserve to and 2) a divided federal government may result in some restraint on spending and executive powers. Is it possible to achieve that switch without turning out any libertarians? Since libertarian members of Congress are rarer than white rappers, I'd say yes. Ron Paul's seat is not one of the tossups, and no one else springs to mind. If Paul were my congressman, I'd be happy to vote for him.

I said nothing at all about state races. Otter seems pretty good to me. Sarah Palin looks better than her Democratic opponent, and she's got to be better than the current governor, a rabid drug warrior intent on recriminalizing marijuana possession. Given her views on gay marriage and gambling, however, I think  calling her a "genuine libertarian" overstates the case a bit. But what would I, a pseudo-libertarian, know?

Finally, I did not realize that Tom McClintock was living in my backyard (although that could explain why our dog keeps jumping the fence). I'd love to see McClintock as lieutenant governor; I'd even vote for him if I lived in California.

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  1. Oh just admit it, Jacob. You’re a shill for the Democrats, you damn drug-promoting hippie.

  2. haha. I knew it was Dondero before I read that part. He says this on/about every single blog I read.

  3. I did not realize that Tom McClintock was living in my backyard (although that could explain why our dog keeps jumping the fence).

    LOL!! I think a politician living in the backyard would challenge even the most loyal of watchdogs!!

  4. Ack!!

    The old server used blank lines as end tags for code, but apparently not this one!

  5. I don’t understand.

  6. Let me try to help.

  7. Dondero is a retard. Check out this March 2005 piece on the incredible success of the Bush Doctrine.

  8. “Why does Jacob Sullum Hate America?”

    oh, i know that isnt really relevant here, but i feel like some version of that should be said on every thread anyway

    I think his “your California backyard” comment is to reinforce the idea that you’re not a *real* libertarian =- you’re one of those “hollywood values” types. A pretend conservatarian to his real-deal.

    Associating people with the West Coast – either literally or abstractly, is a gimmick i’ve seen in some recent GOP attack-ad rhetoric. I guess there’s an assumption in the heartland that “West Coast *types*” – regardless of stated political affiliation – are to some degree not to be trusted.

    Also probably implying that you’er “half a fag”, “ethically, kinda shaky”, etc. One of the America-hating traitors among us, subverting our culture, sapping and impurifying all of our precious bodily fluids.

    JG

  9. Sullum, you prick. Are you trying to ruin our chances in the Vermont State House? And what about the school board in Albequerqe? For God’s sake, who do you support for the Wichita Student Senate? Do you want libertarians to lose there, too?!?!?

  10. I fear that Jacob’s article will cause a Democratic majority in the Libertarian National Committee.

  11. Chris:

    I live in Albuquerque, and the likelyhood of a libertarian being elected to our schoolboard is only slightly lower than that of a freak accident at Kirtland AFB reducing this city to a smouldering radioactive crater.

    In other words, it could happen, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

  12. …the likelyhood of a libertarian being elected to our schoolboard is only slightly lower than that of a freak accident at Kirtland AFB reducing this city to a smouldering radioactive crater.

    Right, I read you: It’s a distinct possibility.

    I’m just messing around. As is clear from my last post, I can’t even properly spell “Albuquerque,” and I certainly don’t know anything about its schoolboard.

  13. I think I will sue “Mainstream Libertarians” for trademark violations…

    Hmmm…

    Chris: My dad is a Sandia Labs scientist. It is against protocol to refer to the fact that there might be a mountain full of nukes next to the state’s population center (tsk tsk). It is also against protocol to refer to the fact that those nukes have been relocated. A libertarian school board member would be an insignificant gnat battling the mother of all bureaucracies that is APS.

    I crave green chile… they don’t have it in the Northwest, and my stash is dwindling. The withdrawl is a bitch.

  14. Oops, it is Postmodern Sleaze that lives in Albuquerque… not Chris.

  15. “My dad is a Sandia Labs scientist. It is against protocol to refer to the fact that there might be a mountain full of nukes next to the state’s population center (tsk tsk). It is also against protocol to refer to the fact that those nukes have been relocated.”

    Good to know. I was just contemplating the other day the fact that my house is barely 2 miles from the largest stockpile of thermonuclear weapons on the planet. Living in such a close proximity to 2 gigatons of nuclear explosives is a bit… disconcerting.

    Though it’s even more disconcerting to speculate on the thought of where they’ve been relocated to. It also puts a kibosh on my plans to take over the base with a crack team of stormtroopers and hold the planet hostage… so much for that evil genius plan…

  16. And, with that statement, I’ve officially lost any chance of EVER holding elective office in my lifetime. So much for my political ambitions.

  17. Wait… why would a libertarian even run to be on the school board? I thought you guys were against government-run schools?

  18. MArk Borok,
    So they can be fifth columnists?

    Or maybe just to vote down the ID types.

  19. Wait, so i should check before I run off and vote a straight democrat ticket because all the “libertarians” at reason told me to?

    well that is just great!!

    I already sent in my ballot.

    Note: i did not vote for one democrat (and don’t plan on it for the next 20 years) in anything and i did not vote for one republican for federal office.

  20. And just when was there an Eric Dondero on the Lib. National Committee?

  21. Creech: That’s when he was “Eric Rittberg.” From fake libertarian to fake Italian — as the later Murray N. Rothbard put it, “Are we to be spared nothing?!”

  22. O.K., sort of like when Michael Emerling became Michael Cloud?

  23. Even Michael Cloud has more ethics and is more effective an activist that Dondero/Rittberg.

  24. Creech: Yes, although I have to agree with “anon” — Rittberg/”Dondero” is several notches below Emerling/”Cloud” in the hierarchy of Libertarian scamsters and con-artists.

  25. Jacob, you must vow to use your superpowers only to do good.

  26. As long as we’re on the subject of libertarian-leaning republican candidates, I’d like to encourage anyone in New York’s 21st congressional district to vote for Warren Redlich for house.

    Here is his website:
    http://www.wredlich.com/

    His blog indicates that he is clearly a fiscal conservative.

    Some other areas of interest:

    http://www.wredlich.com/stop-wasting-money/2006/07/huge-waste-of-money-war-on-drugs.html

    http://www.wredlich.com/stop-wasting-money/2006/09/our-interventionist-policy-and-its.html

    His position on the drug war is particularly encouraging given how rarely the status quo is openly challenged. Does anyone know if there are any drug policy reform groups in Albany I can talk to about some last minute campaigning?

    Also last congressional election he made a comment against the patriot act that I can’t seem to find a link to.

  27. Hate to break it to all the folks who think so but Sarah Palin is not a libertarian. I asked her the following questions via the web form on her site:

    Where do you stand on the issues of privacy in the home, drugs (including marijuana and methamphetemines), and reducing the tax burden on Alaskans by reducing the size of government?

    The response was classic political pandering, but I think it is obvious that she does not have a very libertarian philosophy:

    Sarah believes in running a more efficient and effective government; not a
    bigger government.
    She doesn’t agree with legislation that takes local matters out of the hands of
    local people.
    She knows that we need to prioritize law enforcement efforts knowing that the
    meth problem is a terrible problem in areas like the Valley, so we must focus on
    that issue (not condoning pot, but cracking down on meth if we HAD to make a
    choice in where our enforcement efforts would be utilized.)

    Note the lack of “smaller government” and the “if we HAD to make a choice” bit. Besides, if anybody was seriously going to vote for a libertarian candidate in Alaska, they would probably vote for this guy.

  28. Well, that looks like ass, doesn’t it?

    It should have read:
    “…she does not have a very libertarian philosophy:
    Sarah belives in running a more efficient…”

  29. “…if I lived in California.”

    So how are you enjoying your Texas backyard, Jacob?

  30. There’s Jeff Flake in Arizona, though the Democrats aren’t running a candidate against him so he’s effectively been re-elected already.

    He only has one opponent on the ballot. The best irony is the party affiliation of that opponent.

    Now of course you could throw Flake out of the libertarian treehouse for any number of reasons, but then I thought everyone had finally agreed that “purity above utility” libertariansim was a dead end.

  31. Just vote against the incumbent, alway, that is the ticket. Power corrupts because humans are, well, human. So the only antidote is to limit the damage; boot them out of office after a single term. Democrat, Republican, Libertartian, Greenie… It does not matter. One term only.

  32. Just vote against the incumbent, alway[s]

    It’s been my policy that if there is no libertarian I vote for the challenger in any race, as long as there is no actual reason why I should not. It is rare that I have found the challenger to be scummier than the incumbent.

  33. Raimondo accuses me of being a “fake Italian.”

    My Father – Neil Dondero of Coxsackie, NY is full blooded. One of those cases of adoptive parents – Rittbergs, and meeting biological parents in adulthood. Thus the name change.

    Plus, I’m fluent in Italian, and have visited every inch of Northern and Central Italy.

    Sorry Raimondo. Try slamming me on something else next time, and get your facts straight first.

    And btw, is “Raimondo” Italian? Sounds more Portuguese/Brazlian to me?

    Entou voce fala Portugues, sim?

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