Everybody Loves Bob

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The reaction to reason's interview with Bob Barr keeps rolling in, and includes plenty of stuff like this:

[W]hen I read the paragraph saying Barr had joined the Libertarian Party I thought—somewhere Ron Crickenberger is smiling cause Barr must have at least partially come around on the drug war.  Ron represented a lot of LP members and activists in being vociferiously anti-drug war so Barr must know this and must have come around.  Aparently I'm wrong, according to reason magazine cub reporter David Weigel, who didn't press him enough on the issue IMHO, Barr is still a drug warrior.

If I can defend myself; after Barr declined to back off his stance on the drug war, I didn't press him because I didn't want to conduct an entire interview on that issue. Is it going to be a crucial issue in Barr's new role? It may be, as he says his goal is to recruit and train Libertarian candidates and produce better election results than they've ever had. In other words, he might recruit candidates with great campaign skills and resumes who, like him, fall short on one part of the LP quiz.

Had I really wanted to waste my time, I could have quizzed Barr in the style of the New York Times.

Is there actually a card that card-carrying Libertarians carry? "There actually is," Mr. Barr said in a brief phone interview. "It's a heavy plastic card, the size of a credit card, with the party logo on it."

Does he carry the card? "In my briefcase. And I always have my briefcase."

Is having a card at odds with Libertarianism? "I'm not required to carry the card."

Riveting.

NEXT: Mary Cheney Meets Mr. Spock

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  1. I’m waiting for all of the folks who say you’re too liberal to start complaining that you went easy on Bob Barr.

  2. The “interview” with Bob Barr in the NYTimes was in a section called “Fun”?

    Abandon all hope ye who enter the LP…

  3. I thought you did a good job. While the drug war is a giant waste, the passion aroused by this issue could easily lead to the Libertarian Party being known as the Drugs Party.

  4. The elevation of Bob Barr to LNC post, and the expectation that he will seek the LP nomination for President has accomplished one thing for sure.

    It’s put a nail in the coffin of all this drummed up hype by the liberal media these last few weeks, of a possible “Libertarian-Democrat” alliance in the works.

    You cannot find a single political individual in the United States more anti-Democrat Party than Mr. Impeach Clinton himself — Bob Barr. And the Libertarian Party has just tied themselves by the hip to him.

    Here’s an interesting fact. If Barr wins the nomination for President on the LP ticket that will mean that fully 8 out of 9 of all LP Presidential candidate came from the Republican Party.

    Added to the fact that the LP was founded by Colorado Young Republicans State Chairman David Nolan.

    The Barr development has thrown some major egg on the faces of some like Brink Lindsay, Andrew Sullivan, and even a few folks at our beloved Reason Magazine, who have floated this “Libertarian-Democrat” alliance since the election.

    Libertarian-Democrat Alliance meme: Hereby RIP!

    Eric – “Republicans for Bob Barr”

  5. In other words, he might recruit candidates with great campaign skills and resumes who, like him, fall short on one part of the LP quiz.

    That sentence deffintely downplays an ideal that Barr holds that is fundamentaly at odds with the basic premises of libertarianism.

    Its not just one part of the quiz, it’s a defining principal.

    When he says things like: And I chose to join the Libertarian Party because at this time in our nation’s history, it’s fundamentally essential to join a party, work with a party, that’s 100 percent committed to protecting liberty. But still holds to his WOD ideas, to me he is just plain hypocritical.

    His stance on Gay Marriage, isnt very promissing either.

    While your interview may not have been of the same caliber as the New York Times ‘card and briefcase’ piece, Im sorry to say it wasnt exactly riveting either.

  6. Well, if there was any doubt left in anyone’s mind that the LP is no longer the party of principle after the gutting of the platform this surely must have put it to it’s grave.

  7. I didn’t realise anyone still used the term ‘cub reporter’ – do you guys still gather for stogies and whiskeys at the press club too?

  8. Gimmee a break Val. The Drug issue is NOT the defining issue for Libertarians. Taxes are the defining issue, always have been, always will be. I’d say Property Rights are Number Two. Barr is right on those two important issues. He’s a Libertarian. Case closed!

    Third on the agenda would be Fighting the War on Islamo-Fascism. If someone is opposed to the War on Islamo-Fascism – defacto in favor of Islamo-Fascism and the crack down on civil liberties by the Islamo-Fascists, I’d say their libertrarian credentials are rather weak, to say the least.

    Less Taxes, Protect Property Rights, Fight Islamo-Fascism, is the credo of libertarianism, not necessarily fighting the War on Drugs.

    Stop with all the excluionism. It’s not like you Libertarian Party guys have celebrities and famous Congressman falling all over themselves to join your Party. When that day comes, maybe you can afford to diss those who don’t match up 100%. Until then, you gotta be a bit more tolerant of one or two policy differences.

    Eric “Republicans for Bob Barr for President”

  9. And all this time I was happy to have someone on the LNC with the political acumen to deflect a thorny question with an accurate, though inoffensive answer.

    Bob Barr’s a fine man and mature enough to move on from a defeat by the LP to working with the ACLU to working to grow the LP. There’s no sign that he’s going to let his personal beliefs interfere with recruiting candidates and growing the party.

    Can we call off the circular firing squads unless and until there’s some actual malfeasance on his part?

    Yours truly,
    Mr. X

    …settle down…

  10. …the passion aroused by this issue could easily lead to the Libertarian Party being known as the Drugs Party.

    When and where is this “Drugs Party”? And maybe we should call it something different, like maybe the “Holiday” party so the cops don’t get wise.

  11. val is exactly right. You don’t get a pass on this David. Barr’s drug warrior past puts him squarely at odds with fundamental libertarian doctrine on several fronts. Characterizing him as “fall(ing) short on one part of the LP quiz” is disingenuous to say the least. His “no big deal” blow off should have been your tip to derail the interview you planned and put his feet to the fire. He has a lot to answer for.

  12. It’s put a nail in the coffin of all this drummed up hype by the liberal media these last few weeks, of a possible “Libertarian-Democrat” alliance in the works.

    You cannot find a single political individual in the United States more anti-Democrat Party than Mr. Impeach Clinton himself — Bob Barr. And the Libertarian Party has just tied themselves by the hip to him.

    Umm, Eric, I know you have a wonderful skill for spinning every news item as the final triumph of your own personal brand of Republicanism, but you’re really off the end with this one.

    Barr left the Republican party. Barr is actively working with the Democrats on civil liberty issues. Barr has shown the maturity not to let past defeats or mindless partisanship slow him from working for liberty.

    There’s no sign that Bob Barr would shy from working with Democrats or recruiting libertarian candidates who have more in common with the Democrats than the Republicans.

    Believe it or not, when you trumpet every fart in a windstorm as a clarion call of “libertarian-Republican” victory, people will eventually stop believing anything you say.

    Yours truly,
    Mr. X

    …no offense meant…

  13. Because this is the new way, you people will have to realize that you can’t be free if you are not drug free. We all have the rite to live in a drug free society and it is up to the government to provide it, period, END OF DISCUSSION.

  14. Mr. X raises a good point. It’s not like Barr is running as a candidate for anything, so aside from the occasional interview, he’ll be operating in the background. His primary task is recruiting people and growing the party. He could be a socialist and still succeed at this task.

    Of course, this assumes he doesn’t let his personal beliefs influence the types of candidates and members he recruits. I think that’s what a lot of libertarians fear about Barr–that he’ll hijack the LP and make it into a Republican-lite party. As long as he doesn’t do this, he’s fine with me.

  15. The fact that Barr is willing to work with the LP is a good sign.

    The fact that the LP is willing to work with Barr is a big question mark.

    I’m skeptical but I’m not ready to jump to conclusions.

    And, yeah, the fact that he was skillful enough to deflect a question rather than launch into a debate over principles is a sign that the LP might become more professional with his help.

  16. The Drug issue is NOT the defining issue for Libertarians. Taxes are the defining issue, always have been, always will be. I’d say Property Rights are Number Two.

    In yesterday’s thread on Barr, somebody asked how a guy could count as libertarian if he believed in using government to imprison people who harmed nobody at all, but merely chose to use the wrong intoxicant. And I answered that he was one of those libertarians who believe that a low tax rate is the single most important human right, with all else being secondary.

    Behold!

  17. The Mary Jane doesn’t bother me, but I wouldn’t mind being Jane-free…

  18. By pressing Bob Barr on where he gets his funding from you would be able to see why Barr opposes decriminalization of marijuana more clearly.

    Learn from this mistake, Young Weigs, and let’s have a little more investigative journalist oomph outta you next time.

  19. Mr. X said (about Eric Dondero): “when you trumpet every fart in a windstorm as a clarion call of “libertarian-Republican” victory, people will eventually stop believing anything you say”

    I think the shark has already been jumped on that one. His pimping of every Republicrat who champions a minor tax cut as “libertarian” is pretty much his only trick these days.

    Eric once referred to Bush as “the most libertarian President possibly in the history of the United States.” Hell, just last week, he praised the PATRIOT Act…

  20. Even by your standards, Eric, that comment makes no sense. How does a decision by libertarians associated with the Libertarian Party destroy the fortunes of libertarians associated with the Democratic Party?

  21. It’s so adorable how Jane declares the discussion over, but it just keeps going!

  22. The Drug issue is NOT the defining issue for Libertarians. Taxes are the defining issue, always have been, always will be.

    Says you, numbnuts. I also have a hard time seeing how they’re not part of the same thing What other costly, harmful, wasteful, ineffective government program do we spend quite as many billions of dollars on, which does LESS than no good. The drug war is the nexus of nearly every issue related to liberty, and has provided the most insidious backdoor for the State to force its way into regulating nearly every aspect of our lives.

    *On top of that*, we pay out the ass for it.

    The way you put it, it makes it sound as though we should be OK with the drug war if only is cost a little less.

  23. Jane Says…

    you can’t be free if you are not drug free.

    What the hell are you talking about Jane?

    You mean alcohol, tobacco, caffeine… trans fats? Any chemical compound people consumer for recreational purposes?

  24. “It’s so adorable how Jane declares the discussion over, but it just keeps going!”

    Well, we do have the RITE to keep it going….

  25. Gimmee a break Val. The Drug issue is NOT the defining issue for Libertarians. Taxes are the defining issue, always have been, always will be. I’d say Property Rights are Number Two. Barr is right on those two important issues. He’s a Libertarian. Case closed!

    Third on the agenda would be Fighting the War on Islamo-Fascism. If someone is opposed to the War on Islamo-Fascism – defacto in favor of Islamo-Fascism and the crack down on civil liberties by the Islamo-Fascists, I’d say their libertrarian credentials are rather weak, to say the least.

    Less Taxes, Protect Property Rights, Fight Islamo-Fascism, is the credo of libertarianism, not necessarily fighting the War on Drugs.

    Stop with all the excluionism. It’s not like you Libertarian Party guys have celebrities and famous Congressman falling all over themselves to join your Party. When that day comes, maybe you can afford to diss those who don’t match up 100%. Until then, you gotta be a bit more tolerant of one or two policy differences.

    LOL, seriously man….fighting the war on Islamo-Fascism??? Are you being sarcastic?

    I’d say the Fundamental aspect of libertarianism is personal liberty, which everything else stems from; things like Private Property, lower taxes etc… And the drug war is one of our most blatant, longest running violations of those principals.

    Also notice I didnt say the defining aspect of the Liberatarian party but of liberatarianism, those are two different things.

    P.S. and i am not one of the ‘Libertarian Party guys’. And as a rule of thumb its actually the ‘famous’ congressman that probably dont belong in the Liberatarian party (they are usually famous for a reason), the more liberatarian types are more commonly alot less low-key

  26. You mean alcohol, tobacco, caffeine… trans fats?

    Of course not, thos are legal.

  27. “The Drug issue is NOT the defining issue for Libertarians. Taxes are the defining issue, always have been, always will be.”

    Wouldn’t that be nice if there was one issue to rule them all, so all of us little peons wouldn’t have to think bout the full scope of liberty?

    That being said, the war, and spending easily trumped taxes this year for the spot near the top; of which the Republicans have proven themselves to be the wrong assholes for the job.

  28. Jane said: “Of course not, thos are legal.”

    Yeah, alcohol isn’t equivalent to weed in terms of impact and potential for abuse. It’s aftermath is actually much worse when used in excess.

    But hey, we should pretend otherwise, cuz you know, like, alcohol is legal and stuff…

  29. Some people just say they are libertarians because they think it gives them the right to be against everybody else. It reminds me of the Seinfeld episode when the dentist switched to Judaism just so he could tell Jewish jokes.

    When it is all said and done, at its core, if you are against the decriminalization of marijuana, you are against fighting for the freedom of a man to make his own decisions. Mr. Barr needs to ask himself what he is fighting for. Again.

  30. Yeah, alcohol isn’t equivalent to weed in terms of impact and potential for abuse. It’s aftermath is actually much worse when used in excess.

    That can’t be true because then the laws would be the other ay around.

    It is immoral to use drug, that is whay they are illegal.

  31. Jane, why do you let the government determine for you which substances are alright and which you “have the right” to be free from?

  32. Jane, why do you let the government determine for you which substances are alright and which you “have the right” to be free from?

    Because that is their rite and in fact their responsibility. The government has a responsibility to make anything that isn’t good for us illegal to protect us. They are the experts, who are we to disagree?

  33. I’m with Thoreau… maybe the big “L” kids can learn something from a guy who can dodge a question.

  34. War against Islamo-Fascism? More like the War to make Islamo-Fascism’s grip even tighter on the Middle East with bumbling missteps. Sorry but the party’s official stance is actually against that, despite your creative attempt to paint it otherwise. Go back to Mommy Dubya’s skirt.

  35. Why do you guys argue with Jane? Jane/Juanita/various other incarnations are all just parodies.

    So let’s laugh and have a good time.

  36. Jane babbled on about: “That can’t be true because then the laws would be the other ay around.”

    In that one sentence, you have just revealed your incredible ignorance on this subject. Learn something about substance abuse before advocating for statist interference in the lives of your neighbors.

    Jane babbled on about: “It is immoral to use drug, that is whay they are illegal.”

    Since when is the government’s job to define morality? Since when is it your right to use government force to make other submit to your brand of morality?

  37. Oh, and as far as what Jose Ortega y Gasset said, dodging a question can be a valuable skill. If you’re a libertarian trying to make a point about some moderate stance that a lot of people in your locale agree with, what do you do if somebody who knows you’re a libertarian decides to trip you up with a question that will show some of your more controversial stances?

    Those who want to keep the faith will answer the question honestly and immediately allow the discussion to be sidetracked.

    Those who know how to dodge can keep control of the situation.

  38. Jane babbled on about: “They are the experts, who are we to disagree?”

    I can’t imagine ever being drunk enough to believe that kind of insanity…

  39. Once again, the collective wisdom of the libertarian masses has shown:

    a) Their ability to find the point of disagreement and harp on it has not waned.

    b) Their ability to tell the difference between debate and satire/trolling has not developed.

    There’s a research grant in here somewhere for the person who identifies the gene that leads to this combination of abilities and handicaps.

  40. Jane, you ignorant slut…

  41. Since when is the government’s job to define morality? Since when is it your right to use government force to make other submit to your brand of morality?

    So should murder and theft be legal? Isn’t the goverment defining morality?

    Thou shalt not kill…Thou shalt not steel…

    Those is in Judayo/Christanity and are illegal.

    Likemwise illegal drug are illegal.

  42. Welcome Mr. Barr to the party and give him some time and slack. I became a Libertarian 15 years, mostly in response to Bush I’s war in the middle-east. I accepted the party’s positions one-by-one and the last one that I accepted was the oppposition to the war on drugs.

  43. Jane’s kidding guys. I think. I hope. Isn’t she?

  44. Mr. X said: “b) Their ability to tell the difference between debate and satire/trolling has not developed.”

    Are you referring to those of us who responded to “Jane”?

    I gotta tell you, I’ve debated enough people who fervently believe what “she” has posted here today. Unless you happen to know who “she” is and can speak to the contrary…

  45. James-

    The terse, deadpan delivery is the giveaway. No passion, and no specific elaboration or references to personal experience (e.g. “I knew a person who…”). Just rote recitation of the same few points every time.

    And in threads on other topics “Jane” or “Juanita” has come up with even more absurd statements delivered in the same manner.

  46. Rose said: “Jane’s kidding guys. I think. I hope. Isn’t she?”

    I want to believe that and I hope you’re right. Unfortunately, I’ve met enough people like “her” to take those postings as sincere.

  47. Thoreau, I’ll have to read the other threads then. I’ve not visited Hit & Run in a long time.

  48. Let’s assume arguendo that Jane is sincere.

    The sheer idiocy of her position combined with her egregious misspelling makes a response unnecessary. It’s an argument against itself.

    Let it work in peace.

  49. Mr. X, You mean that I shouldn’t use a 50 cal to respond to a pellet gun attack?

    Where’s the fun in that?

  50. Something tells me Jane is messing with us and saying things that she knows we’ll disagree with just to provoke comments. Take this comment:

    They are the experts, who are we to disagree?

    How could someone who truly believes that have stumbled upon a libertarian website and become actively involved in the comments? Why would they do that?

  51. I cannot speak for anyone else, but the War on Drugs is the primary reason I consider myself a libertarian.

    Sure, I would like to pay lower taxes. But I consider the War on Drugs to be the most egregious case of government overreach, denial of individual responsibility, and active oppression of citizens.

  52. Just to be clear, you can welcome Bob Barr into the party with open arms and hold the War on Drugs as the most important issue for libertarians ever.

    One member on a board of directors who has not shown signs of bucking the platform on the issue he personally disagrees with does not put the LP “in its grave,” as one overwrought commenter suggested.

    Perspective. Try it.

  53. I am “big tent” and tend to think it’s silly to expect all Libertarians to be in 100% agreement. However,
    It does bother me that immediately after joining a Leadership role that he’s going to be participating in a debate representing the “NO. Throw them in jail” side of a “Should Dying People be Allowed to Smoke?” debate. From now on ( considering the recent media) when he makes appearances, he is going to be Bob Barr the Libertarian. Maybe ( though I disagree) the LP doesn’t need to play an active role in being Pro-marijuana, but it sure as hell shouldn’t be taking the opposite stance.

  54. Perhaps dodging a question can be a valuable skill, but turning a question into a vehicle to teach your philosophy is even more valuable.

    Barr could have said:

    “David, I would never condone the use of any drugs. For a number of reasons I feel the use of drugs are the wrong choice to make. Yet, David, at some point I understand that those decisions aren’t up to me, they are best left up to the individual. Besides, David, the way I read the Constitution, the prohibition of drugs isn’t possible on the federal level unless we amend. To conclude, I am extremely concerned about my fellow citizens taking drugs, I’m just more concerned with the freedom of my fellow citizen to do so if he/she wishes.”

    Why didn’t Barr say something similar to the above? I suspect he doesn’t believe it.

  55. I wish, Thoreau, that I could believe that Libertarians might someday learn some political pragmatism. Those of us who have actually dealt in the political realm understand that those who are “right” have far less influence than those who are “elected.” The LP, on the other, seem to operate as if libertarian public policy is some sort of ancient sun god. Anyone willing to open their eyes can see its utter brilliance and absolute truth.

    You don’t get elected by answering every question fully and honestly… nor do you get invited back to dinner parties.

  56. Does Murray Rothbard’s ghost get to decide who is in the LP or does the LP’s membership?
    Heck, von Mises supported the draft- has Murray’s distinguished successor, Lew Rockwell,
    given up von Mises? Mr. Barr will face the same scrutiny any other LP leader and/or candidate has followed and will…for better or worse…have to abide by the decision of
    the membership that nominates him, places him on the LNC, or whatever.

  57. i think jane is clearly joking to bait you guys. noone who thought like that would spend this much time on here. eric, unfortunately i believe is serious.

  58. t.j., I think Jane may be a crackhead…

  59. Political pragmatism has its pitfalls, too. While it is necessary to keep the media from dictating the dialogue, being too scared to deal with ‘controversial’ issues ot the point of paralysis can end up completely undermining what are supposed to be your principles. Look at the Dems. Recent polls have shown that as much as 80% of America agrees with allowing gays to serve openly in the military (that includes 2/3rds majority in even the seniors demographic), and yet they’re STILL too scared to do anything about it in this upcoming session because of its supposed ‘controversy.’

  60. I think Jane may be a crackhead…

    Or an ignorant slut.

  61. Recent polls have shown that as much as 80% of America agrees with allowing gays to serve openly in the military

    They’re right. I watch the Bravo Network and I think gays would be very helpful in serving drinks and snacks to our armed forces, and their enthusiasm for decorating will come in handy when Baghdad finally gets its makeover.

  62. Oh you got me there, Larry the Cable Guy.

  63. Gimmee a break Val. The Drug issue is NOT the defining issue for Libertarians. Taxes are the defining issue, always have been, always will be. I’d say Property Rights are Number Two. Barr is right on those two important issues. He’s a Libertarian. Case closed!

    Third on the agenda would be Fighting the War on Islamo-Fascism. If someone is opposed to the War on Islamo-Fascism – defacto in favor of Islamo-Fascism and the crack down on civil liberties by the Islamo-Fascists, I’d say their libertrarian credentials are rather weak, to say the least.

    I have to call foul as I haven’t since Jersey McJones. The “Islamo-Fascism” spelling is such a broad wink at the audience that someone’s risking eye damage.

    Who’s actually making these posts, and is s/he libertarian or in the Team Blue fan club?

  64. If Wiegal is a cub reporter ala Jimmy Olsen, who at Reason is Superman hiding behind a mild manner disguise?

  65. Eric Dondero | December 19, 2006, 9:39am | #
    The Drug issue is NOT the defining issue for Libertarians. Taxes are the defining issue, always have been, always will be.
    =====================
    The Libertarian Party was founded, in large part, because of the War in Vietnam and its draft, and also in large part because of the wage and price controls, and floating of the dollar, that the GOP regime of the day decided to put into place. Taxes are important, but hardly the defining issue.

    Self-ownership is the defining issue, with taxes and the drug war just being facets of that. You don’t have to want to get high, or even control your pain, to support the idea that nobody should be telling adult citizens what they can eat, drink, smoke, breathe or otherwise ingest. Or how they can use or dispose of their bodies. If the government owns you and your body, they can force you to work, send you to war, make you eat and drink and breathe what they say, and harvest your organs — perhaps while you are still alive — without your permission. A lot of that has already happened: evidence that the government actually DOES own you, or that it is wildly overstepping its proper bounds?

    The Medical mj patient once asked Barr on TV, “Bob, why don’t you want me to have my medicine?”

    Eric, why do you want to have more say over people’s lives than they themselves do? Because that is what you seem to be advocating, by focusing our attention on the more narrow issue of taxation.

  66. I have to call foul as I haven’t since Jersey McJones. The “Islamo-Fascism” spelling is such a broad wink at the audience that someone’s risking eye damage.

    Who’s actually making these posts, and is s/he libertarian or in the Team Blue fan club?

    Uh, no, he’s actually serious. http://www.harrybrowne.org/articles/Dondero%20-%20Bush%20was%20right,%2005-03-03.htm. And he’s certainly not a member of the Team Blue fan club — more like a member of the BushBot flock. The “Go Red Team” chip apparently wasn’t beta tested for bugs and such, hence the unbelievably ridiculous and out-of-touch comments about the war, etc.

    Jane, on the other hand…

  67. It does bother me that immediately after joining a Leadership role that he’s going to be participating in a debate representing the “NO. Throw them in jail” side of a “Should Dying People be Allowed to Smoke?” debate. From now on ( considering the recent media) when he makes appearances, he is going to be Bob Barr the Libertarian.

    That’s just one more problem with having your own political party. People then tend to define the ism by the ideas of persons in the party. One more reason not just to get out of LP yourself, but to try to get everyone else out of it too.

  68. Nothing Bob Barr believes or doesn’t believe bothers me as much as the fact that we’ve been discussing libertarian principles for all this time and no-one’s mentioned the right to keep and bear arms.

    My friends and I would find it convenient if the drug war ended, but our right to defend ourselves is a lot more important, and all of the major party candidates for president right now are charmin-soft on gun rights. Better to pay attention now than to wait until it’s too late.

  69. Uh, no, he’s actually serious. http://www.harrybrowne.org/articles/Dondero%20-%20Bush%20was%20right,%2005-03-03.htm.

    Or just a long-running parody.

  70. Hey, Matt I want to be able to defend myself AND be free to do as I please so long as I harm no one else.

    I’m not willing to trade one liberty for another, nor do I rank the ownership of firearms above and beyond all else. I demand all my liberties and I don’t see anything “convenient” about any of them.

  71. Eric the .5b said: “Or just a long-running parody.”

    A very bad parody…

  72. Or just a long-running parody.

    Would that it were. I could say the same thing about our commander in chief: I’m waiting for the punchline, but I don’t think it’s coming.

  73. i think a lot of liberals and conservatives have libertarian qualities sometimes. a lot of young liberal college student types are against the war on drugs but they vote for nader or the democrats. being against the war on drugs doesn’t always mean your libertarian or leaning that way. though it can, of course. i think most people have a position that the libertarian postion or 3 or 4. they just have these others that make them not libertarian and that’s why libertarians are so isolated.

  74. matt | December 19, 2006, 1:03pm | #

    My friends and I would find it convenient if the drug war ended, but our right to defend ourselves is a lot more important, and all of the major party candidates for president right now are charmin-soft on gun rights. Better to pay attention now than to wait until it’s too late.

    ======================================

    So, if Bob Barr is still for the War on Drugs, will he at least stand up for our right to spray the jackboots with 50-caliber full-auto firepower when they kick down our doors?

    I mean, in the end, what does resisting an oppressive government really mean, anyway?

  75. being against the war on drugs doesn’t always mean your libertarian or leaning that way.

    Definitely not. Not being heavily against the war on drugs flatly means you aren’t a libertarian, though. I’d go so far as to say that when you stumble over yourself to find things to put ahead of ending the drug war, including a straight-faced reference to fighting “Islamo-Fascism”, you aren’t a libertarian.

  76. There’s a research grant in here somewhere for the person who identifies the gene that leads to this combination of abilities and handicaps.

    It’s not a gene. It’s having grown up as a geek, I think. Witness the endless debates fans have over obscure points of TV shows or movies; having been at a panel discussion with Star Wars authors over what the hell was up with Episodes I-III, and having seen some of the obscure points of canon that some members of the audience were able to come up with off the top of their heads, the ability of libertarians to argue endlessly over whether a flat tax or a consumption tax is better becomes clearer.

    There’s a heavy dose of geek in the libertarian mold; I think it comes from having been something of an outcast growing up, so we come to value individuality more. Add in the healthy dose of libertarianism you get from classic sci fi (not so much anymore, although Firefly had it), and you have a perfect breeding ground for adult libertarians in middle school geeks. It can lead to problems with the Libertarian Party, since many geek social problems get carried over into adulthood (see here
    for a non-exhaustive list). Overall, though, I personally would rather have the geeks, problems and all; if we could just learn to listen to people with more social graces than us, we’d be much better off, though.

    As to Bob Barr’s libertarian credentials on the War on Drugs: I disagree with him. Isn’t it possible, though, that he’s done the calculations differently than we have? The center of many of our oppositions to the War on Drugs isn’t so much a desire to toke up at every opportunity (although there’s certainly a good bit of that going on, too) as a recognition that the costs of the drug war outweigh the benefits. To Bob Barr, the opposite is true. Maybe it’s irrational; I’m sure that none of us here have any positions that are irrational, certainly. God forbid we cut him any slack on this issue.

    One of the hallmarks of the Enlightenment, I think, is that it became more possible to realize that other people, in possession of the same facts as we are about an issue, can come to the opposite conclusion, and still be reasonable people. If Bob Barr helps the Libertarian Party to gain some national relevance, and maybe the libertarian position starts to gain some traction in mainstream politics, then we can argue with him about the War on Drugs. In the meantime, the number of positions we agree with him on, and the number of skills that we lack that he can help with, vastly outweigh the one issue that we disagree with him on. He’s as aware of this issue as we are, and likely considers our advocacy of legalization as dangerous as we consider his advocacy of prohibition. Yet he still will work with us, because the other issues are so important to him. Can’t we follow his example?

  77. Yet he still will work with us, because the other issues are so important to him. Can’t we follow his example?

    Nope.

    . Isn’t it possible, though, that he’s done the calculations differently than we have? …as a recognition that the costs of the drug war outweigh the benefits.

    If that was the central argument in the liberatarian stance against the drug war, then maybe. However the purely liberatarian stance is that neither you, nor Barr, nor anyone else for that matter should have the moral or legal right to tell me what I do and dont put in MY body.

    There no ‘different’ calculations involved. It’s a very pure philosophical position; it’s my body and I’ll do with it as I please, your opinions and morar conundrums be damned.

  78. ehm that’s *moral conundrums”

  79. There’s a heavy dose of geek in the libertarian mold; I think it comes from having been something of an outcast growing up, so we come to value individuality more.

    Yeah, I know, holding a position with any firmness or considering it important is awfully geeky. Whatever, granted.

    Dude, let me put this to you – we’ve yet to have anyone here cop to being a member of the LP. The LP is electorally insignificant and offers no political power that could be used to reduce or fight statism, and Barr isn’t going to bring in vast legions of people to change that. In what sense is Barr offering to “work with” us?

    I say he isn’t, that instead Barr’s repeating an old pattern – washed-out social conservative who talks a good line about taxing and spending decides he has a better chance being a big fish in the small LP pond. Usually, the guys doing this are nobodies going for state and local offices, and they’re about as “libertarian” as Joe is. Barr is just the scaled-up version.

    If the LP were full of smarter people, they wouldn’t be wetting themselves like over-excited puppies at Barr signing up. As for me, a small-L type, I don’t want guys like Barr publicly associated with libertarianism.

  80. Dude, let me put this to you – we’ve yet to have anyone here cop to being a member of the LP.

    I’m a member of the LP.

    If the LP were full of smarter people, they wouldn’t be wetting themselves like over-excited puppies at Barr signing up. As for me, a small-L type, I don’t want guys like Barr publicly associated with libertarianism.

    I’m glad you have an opinion about whether Barr should be a member of the LNC and thus associated with libertarianism. However, the “small-L” libertarian ability to disclaim any Libertarian Party positions comes at the cost of having your opinions on Libertarian Party governance ignored.

  81. Mr. X said: “Their ability to tell the difference between debate and satire/trolling has not developed.”

    Of course, this painted a pretty broad collectivist brush on those who chose to engage “Jane.” Assuming that one cannot tell the difference between debate and trolling because they got suckered into debating a troll on one thread, on one website, on a very big internet is a bit overkill.

    At best.

    Given that I’ve actually debated conservatives I’ve known for years online (not random trolls) who’ve made similar child-like arguments, used poor grammar, couldn’t spell to save their life, etc., doesn’t mean I don’t know the difference between satire and debate. It means I got fooled this time.

    Have you developed the ability to tell the difference between being fooled vs. not understanding the concept of satire?

    And what did responding hurt? Is is it really so bad that some nameless, faceless, fence-sitter who never posts, but reads everything may have been swayed further toward the light and further away from the darkness by one of our remarks to this troll?

    Have you never been fooled? Why the self-righteous arrogance?

  82. “Dude, let me put this to you – we’ve yet to have anyone here cop to being a member of the LP.”

    I’m a member of the LP.

    My condolences.

    “If the LP were full of smarter people, they wouldn’t be wetting themselves like over-excited puppies at Barr signing up. As for me, a small-L type, I don’t want guys like Barr publicly associated with libertarianism.”

    I’m glad you have an opinion about whether Barr should be a member of the LNC and thus associated with libertarianism. However, the “small-L” libertarian ability to disclaim any Libertarian Party positions comes at the cost of having your opinions on Libertarian Party governance ignored.

    Oh, I absolutely hope so. Nothing personal, but I think the best-case scenario is Barr being so controversial within the party that it destroys the LP, removing a major millstone from around the necks of libertarians.

  83. “fall short on one part of the LP quiz.”

    Other than that, Mrs Lincoln, how was the play?

  84. If that was the central argument in the liberatarian stance against the drug war, then maybe. However the purely liberatarian stance is that neither you, nor Barr, nor anyone else for that matter should have the moral or legal right to tell me what I do and dont put in MY body.

    All right, let me attack it from a slightly different position. If drugs are as harmful as are claimed in government propaganda, not to the user but to those around them and to society at large, then the War on Drugs is necessary. I’m a minarchist, not an anarcho-capitalist, so I think that I do have the right to tell you what you do or don’t put in your body, if it affects others. The central tenet of libertarianism is akin to “An it harm none, do as thou wilt.” I can’t necessarily speak for Barr, but if he differs on whether drug use harms others, then he must oppose legalizing drugs. Now, whether the present drug war is the best way to go about that end, even if it were true, is an open question, but if I honestly thought that drug use harmed others, I would perforce be for prohibition, if not for the War on Drugs.

    As an aside, I think the cost/benefit ratio is a better argument to make to most people than the principled argument. Sure, it may not be “pure” from an absolutist standpoint, but it gets people thinking about drug legalization. And just try convincing people that drugs aren’t harmful, given the propaganda that we’re subjected to day in and day out. Mostly people I’ve talked to assume that, if I assert that drugs aren’t as harmful as claimed, either to individuals or society, then I must be a drug user myself, and the only reason I favor legalization is because I wanna get high all the time. The cost/benefit argument avoids a lot of the baggage that comes with the purist position, and if we can get drugs legalized, then I’ll happily argue with people about the morality behind drug use.

    Yeah, I know, holding a position with any firmness or considering it important is awfully geeky.

    No, but arguing your position with the lack of tact and understanding that many libertarians display certainly is. I’m a geek, and proud to be one. Doesn’t mean that I don’t see our shortcomings, and I think that a lot of libertarianism’s bad press comes from those shortcomings.

    I say he isn’t, that instead Barr’s repeating an old pattern – washed-out social conservative who talks a good line about taxing and spending decides he has a better chance being a big fish in the small LP pond. Usually, the guys doing this are nobodies going for state and local offices, and they’re about as “libertarian” as Joe is. Barr is just the scaled-up version.

    Very probably. If he wants to use us, then I say we use him. Learn how to make the sorts of deals and compromises necessary to get elected. As it stands, the LP is moving in the right direction. If Bob Barr can help the LP become more relevant, even if it becomes less libertarian, then I’ll be happy so long as the LP is still more libertarian than the Republicans or Democrats. And if his political career benefits in some way, then I won’t mind; it’s a win-win situation. I’ll keep on advocating liberty the best I can, whether it requires supporting a Democrat, a Republican, or a Libertarian.

  85. Eric the .5b | December 19, 2006, 5:49pm | #

    “Dude, let me put this to you – we’ve yet to have anyone here cop to being a member of the LP.”

    ||I’m a member of the LP.||

    My condolences.
    ===============================

    Half-bee was waiting for that chance. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t with him, apparently.

    Well, the more the merrier: I’m another member. I was a dues-paying member for many years in the 80s and 90s. At one point, toward the end of the 1990s, I was told by a Natcom officer that I was up for an honorary life membership, but I never got whatever special card they handed out for that status (which Mr. Barr apparently bought for himself). So I don’t know if I was ever officially named a life member or not. I quit paying dues at that point, though I have been a registered LP voter the whole time. They did send me a regular membership card as late as 2004 (sporting my longtime member number, #110483). I don’t know whether the LP considers my membership as still active, but I do.

    It’s time for LP members to quit apologizing. Show your Libertarian Pride and the courage of your Libertarian Principles! We are on the right and moral side of so many arguments. It is profoundly, heartbreakingly wrong for us to defer and apologize to people who would wipe their shoes (or other things) with the Bill of Rights, or who would — even worse! — impotently, sniggeringly stand by and watch, allowing other people flush the BoR down the toilet. Either category is beneath contempt and such people do not deserve the courtesy we show them. We demonstrate some formidible “social graces” by being so courteous, by the way, for all the good it DOESN’T do us.

    As far as people with “social graces” go, Barr is a former congressman probably because his social graces couldn’t overcome the reprehensibility of his policies, and probably because someone else was perceived as having a better set of such graces. So I wouldn’t get my hopes up concerning what we can get from this fellow, or what he might teach us. He already got into the NYT, in a “slumming, Bob?” piece that spells his name right while slighting US in the same breath, so I suspect that he may stand to gain more from this arrangement than we do. We’ll see.

    Barr can yet prove all of my worst suspicions wrong, but time’s-a-wastin’ and he had better get working on it.

  86. grylliade | December 19, 2006, 7:45pm | #

    I’m a minarchist, not an anarcho-capitalist, so I think that I do have the right to tell you what you do or don’t put in your body, if it affects others.
    ===================================

    OK. In that case, step away from the garlic clove, and don’t think I won’t use my government issued sidearm to enforce the law, buster.

  87. grylliade said: “…I do have the right to tell you what you do or don’t put in your body, if it affects others.”

    Define “affects others.”

  88. Grylliade:

    If someone thinks some victimless activity is dangerous, requiring the intrusion and brutality of the drug war to prevent, that probably is his or her honest belief. Similarly, if one thinks that fascism is the best and most moral political system, or that non-Christian religions are evil and must be banned, those can be honest beliefs.

    They’re still not libertarian beliefs, whether you judge them from principle or cost/benefit. People who support the worst activities of government are not libertarians.

    There’s value to reaching out to people one disagrees with on some issues. There’s value in alliance with people of other political outlooks. There isn’t value in trying to paint some opportunistic yutz as “one of us” in desperate hopes of getting attention.

  89. Half-bee was waiting for that chance. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t with him, apparently.

    No, I’m honestly surprised that LPers wandered by.

    It’s time for LP members to quit apologizing…

    No, it’s time for LP members to stop playing martyrs, stop pretending they own or define libertarianism, and stop making fools of us all. Maybe some years after the end of the national LP as it exists, libertarians might start gaining some influence in politics.

  90. If Bob Barr can help the LP become more relevant, even if it becomes less libertarian, then I’ll be happy so long as the LP is still more libertarian than the Republicans or Democrats.

    I think that’s far too low a standard, and I voted hugely Democratic last time.

    Maybe we can revive the “what else can we call ourselves?” debate in time for folks like me to figure out what we want to call ourselves if the LP stays intact and becomes another Constitution Party.

  91. Why has the Barr defection put a nail in the coffin of the “Libertarian-Democrat Alliance” crowd?

    Simple. It just points out in blaring tones, how the Libertarian Party and the Republican Party, like it or not, are tied at the hip.

    Yet another ex-Republican Congressman joins the Libertarian Party. This, after first Sam Steiger of Arizona in the early 1980s, and then Ron Paul in the late 1980s. And Paul McCloskey endorsing RP for President as a Libertarian in 1988.

    So, where’s the ex-Democrat Congressman joining the LP? Where’s the ex-Democrat backing LP candidates?

    Come to think of it, where’s the ex-Libertarian Party members defecting to the Democrats to win elections?

    Just two weeks ago, a prominent perrenial candidate for the Libertarian Party of Florida switched to Republican. He told the local paper, after 5 or 6 tries he was tired of losing, and wanted to win a County Commission seat as a Republican.

    Three months ago, the LP’s top elected official in the Nation, a County Exec in Georgia switched to Republican.

    How come we never see prominent Libertarian Party members switching to the Democrats?

    The Barr event shows glaringly, that the Libertarian Party and the Republican Party are essentially partners.

    The LP acts like a farm team for the GOP, and an outlet for occasional frustration by limited government GOPers. Kind of like the New York Conservative Party.

  92. Eric the Dondero said: “It just points out in blaring tones, how the Libertarian Party and the Republican Party, like it or not, are tied at the hip.”

    At least to the Big Government Conservative apologists…

  93. There have been some LP candidates who are also Democrats. In New Hampshire and Vermont there is electoral fusion, meaning you can run on two party lines, and some LP candidates have run and even been elected to the legislature as Democrat/LP candidates.

    A poll once concluded that roughly half the LP membership came from a major pary, with Republicans leading Democrats, but only by a 3/2 ratio.

    To say that the LP has no political clout after it has helped the Democrats to take over the Senate (depending on the post election health of a Democratic Senator) is not correct. Just listen to Michael Medved bitch after almost every election as to how the LP is a bunch of losers, but somehow those same losers kept Republicans from winning office…and we helped defeat Bob Barr, as well!

    Bob Barr was the point man in accusing the BATF and FBI of murder at Waco, he has consistently stood up against law enforcement overreaching except in the drug war…

    I am uncomfortable, but willing to give him a chance…

  94. Eric the .5b | December 20, 2006, 4:14am | #
    Half-bee was waiting for that chance. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t with him, apparently.

    No, I’m honestly surprised that LPers wandered by.
    ==========================
    I’ve been around this blog at least as long as you have, and maybe longer, just speaking for one LP member. If you’re “honestly surprised,” you may think that “the world changed on 9/11,” too. But the simple expedient of looking around and paying attention to surroundings now and then would have dispelled both notions rather quickly.

  95. Eric Dondero | December 20, 2006, 9:32am | #
    Why has the Barr defection put a nail in the coffin of the “Libertarian-Democrat Alliance” crowd?

    Simple. It just points out in blaring tones, how the Libertarian Party and the Republican Party, like it or not, are tied at the hip.

    =============

    No. This is the same old nonsense we used to get from GOP and neocon opinion drovers, e.g., Jonah Goldberg, about how “libertarianism is really a form of conservatism.” You are creating your own reality and an explanation to support it, just like GWB. Libertarianism is “the real thing,” and various parties borrow from it at election time, as rhetorical seasoning to improve the flavor of the shit-on-a-shingle proposals and candidates they usually serve up.

    And since when is the “Libertarian Democrat” discussion over? I still see and hear talk about it. But if anything put a cap on it, I think it was simply the election itself. My view was that the whole libertarian democrat thing was an election-time ploy to help galvanize libertarian-leaning voters into a swing bloc for democrats. I predicted that a Demo win would quash most talk of Democratic Libertarians, because the libertarian voters would no longer be useful, and the Democrat party had no intentions of keeping libertarian promises made or implied.

    Eric Dondero | December 20, 2006, 9:32am | #

    Just two weeks ago, a prominent perrenial candidate for the Libertarian Party of Florida switched to Republican. He told the local paper, after 5 or 6 tries he was tired of losing, and wanted to win a County Commission seat as a Republican.

    ==========================================

    This is exactly the story the GOP loves to publicize, and fits neatly in their play book of dirty tricks against (and marginalization of) the LP. Elsewhere in the post, you mention the guy in Georgia who, AFTER WINNING as a Libertarian, switched to the GOP. So which is it: switch to the GOP because you can’t win without them, or switch to the GOP because you CAN win without them? It seems to me that other reasoning and pressures are in play, having little to do with how “natural” a home the GOP wants us to believe their party is for libertarians.

    I am concerned, however, about an exodus of GOP refugees to the LP. The two big parties have shown, over and over again, that their primary goal is to gain power, and that ideology, rhetoric, campaign promises, etc., are only easily discarded means to that larger end. The committed efforts of thousands of LP volunteers over decades gained some measure of local electoral success, and an appreciable amount of ballot access across the land. But ours is still a small party, easily hijacked by a large enough crowd (e.g., Stern supporters in NY). It is not beyond belief to think that, for instance, GOP refugees would flood the LP, remake it as “GOP lite,” and use our hard-won ballot access to lessen the burden they must carry to get back into the powermongering game again. Make no mistake: that burden is substantial, and there is no doubt in my mind that GOP refugees would judge an “image remake” of the LP to be the lesser, far preferrable challenge in comparison with having to develop all of the LP’s ballot access from scratch. That ballot access was bought and paid for by the contributions and effort of thousands of people who believed in REAL LIBERTY. It would be a heartbreaking shame if it would now go to benefit the power-hunger of those who are all too happy to give up essential liberty for imagined safety.

  96. Half-bee was waiting for that chance. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t with him, apparently.

    No, I’m honestly surprised that LPers wandered by.

    I’ve been around this blog at least as long as you have, and maybe longer, just speaking for one LP member. If you’re “honestly surprised,” you may think that “the world changed on 9/11,” too.

    Oh, do get over yourself. You’re not that frequent a poster and you’ve hardly trumpeted your LP membership or even mentioned it much at all. Nor is the LP very popular in these threads. You’re the closest to a frequent poster here who has copped to current LP membership.

    But the simple expedient of looking around and paying attention to surroundings now and then would have dispelled both notions rather quickly.

    And the simple expedient of paying attention to the context of the post of mine you first quoted would have made you realize I was hardly lying in wait for whiny LP members.

  97. Eric Dondero:

    Thank you. Due in part to your “arguments”, I’m now looking at the “liberltarian” thing in a whole new light – a rather more favorable one.

  98. Eric the .5b | December 20, 2006, 12:39pm | #
    ||Half-bee was waiting for that chance. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t with him, apparently.||

    No, I’m honestly surprised that LPers wandered by.

    ||I’ve been around this blog at least as long as you have, and maybe longer, just speaking for one LP member. If you’re “honestly surprised,” you may think that “the world changed on 9/11,” too.||

    Oh, do get over yourself.

    ======================

    Facts is facts, pal. It’s not whether I am “over myself” or not; it’s whether I can offer myself as a counterexample to your assertions. I can, and I did.

    Eric the .5b | December 20, 2006, 12:39pm | #
    You’re not that frequent a poster

    =================================

    Sez who? Just because I don’t spend my day peppering HnR with two-line zingers, and just because the Reason people shower more acknowledgement and favor on others doesn’t mean I haven’t been here regularly. I do have a day job, y’know. I have to assume that some of the most frequent posters here do not.

    Eric the .5b | December 20, 2006, 12:39pm | #
    and you’ve hardly trumpeted your LP membership or even mentioned it much at all. Nor is the LP very popular in these threads. You’re the closest to a frequent poster here who has copped to current LP membership.
    ============================================

    Oh come on. I have long taken heat from Jose Ortega y Gassett and others for my defense of the LP, precisely because I call BS on all the silly, whiny LP bashing that goes on around here, and has since day 1. If I didn’t run around and shove my membership card in everyyone’s face, it is still hard to imagine that my “revelation” of membership is a surprise to anyone, even those who weren’t paying all that much attention. Basically, the question of whether contributors here were LP members or not was never posed directly, as you did. The first time it was, I was not at all embarrassed to answer in the affirmative, and I encourage other LP members to do similarly.

    Again, I merely suggest that you wake up and open your eyes. There are LP members here, always have been and, I hope, always will be. It’s rude to keep dissing us in an allegedly “libertarian” forum; the restraint and courtesy that LP members have shown their detractors here indicates they have a higher level of “social graces” than some critics would like to think. The dissing was rude before you thought “they” were in the audience. It’s still rude. Similarly, the world was a dangerous place before 9/11, and it kept being dangerous afterward. You’re still as likely to die from a terrorist attack as being hit by a comet. The only difference is between your ears: what you perceive or fail to perceive.

    Although I have met my share of socially challenged, politically inept libertarians, I think it denies reality to assert that the LP failure to “storm the castle” comes from their own critical flaws, as much as from the fact that the castle walls are high and thick, and the moat is deep and wide — deliberately built so by the two entrenched, power-seeking incumbent parties. The system is designed to put third parties and independents at a severe disadvantage. But any system can be beaten, with the proper amounts of patience, effort, and ingenuity. The question for self-described libertarian critics of the LP is, do you really WANT to beat or change the system? If yes, but you can’t see your way clear to linking arms with the LP to do it, then feel free to do what you can on your own, or even within the confines of the Democrat or Republican parties. Good luck with that. But the LP is an existing instrument, with organization and ballot access nationwide. I would rather see that apparatus used by people who truly want to achieve liberty in our lifetimes, than hijacked by liberty’s faint-hearted, fair-weather “supporters.” So if liberty is what you truly want, get over YOURSELF and pitch in with the LP before pretenders beat you to it.

  99. Believe me, Merrit, if I’d caught one of your rants before, I’d recognize it.

  100. I think it denies reality to assert that the LP failure to “storm the castle” comes from their own critical flaws, as much as from the fact that the castle walls are high and thick, and the moat is deep and wide — deliberately built so by the two entrenched, power-seeking incumbent parties. The system is designed to put third parties and independents at a severe disadvantage. But any system can be beaten, with the proper amounts of patience, effort, and ingenuity.

    You’ve had 35 years. I was involved for decades too, and after much deliberation concluded it was folly.

    There has never been a political party in the USA that simmered in insignificance for decades and eventually took off. Some had slow builds, but all much faster than LP. The Prohibition Party took decades to see its big idea implemented nationally, but it had considerable local electoral and policy success, much more than LP, within a few years of its founding in 1867. It’s not likely ever to see it again. If LP had a chance, it would’ve seized it by now.

  101. Eric the .5b | December 20, 2006, 3:18pm | #
    Believe me, Merrit, if I’d caught one of your rants before, I’d recognize it.
    =============================

    Again, half-bee, open your eyes. They’ve been there for years, right here on HnR.

  102. Robert | December 20, 2006, 5:37pm | #

    You’ve had 35 years. I was involved for decades too, and after much deliberation concluded it was folly.

    ======================================

    Isn’t it strange, that the drug warriors have also had 35 years to pursue their folly, are today no closer to achieving their alleged goal, yet continue to siphon away our resources and liberties? And even stranger, that they are actually taken seriously by a great many people in this country, even honored? While the LP, standing for what is allegedly the highest value in this country — liberty — has been mockingly derided since day 1, even by those who would seem likeliest to be its friends, yet trudges on after the same 35 years.

    If only the scorn heaped on the LP could be heaped instead on Drug War, we’d have the end of Prohibition II in no time at all, and not nearly so much need for a group such as the LP.

    I respectfully suggest that your scorn is misplaced, and plays into the divide-to-conquer M.O. that dominant (dominating!) politicians usse so well.

    Again, whatever you may think of the LP’s history, or its past or present “leadership,” the party remains an instrument that can still be used to further libertarian goals. If you think that instrument is being wielded inefficiently or inexperty, jump in and make a difference. If you tried that in the past, and burned yourself out, you can be forgiven for not wanting to try again, but it is just mean to criticize those who are still in the fight.

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