Angry Conservatives and the Libertarian Party


Our own David Weigel was there, and so was the Washington Times's Robert Stacy McCain—the Libertarian Party's state chairs conference. Excerpts from McCain's report:

Former Rep. Bob Barr [of Georgia]….told a Saturday luncheon that many "real conservatives" have become disillusioned with Republicans.
"They are eager for a philosophical home," Mr. Barr said. "There are enough of them out there that a significant number can be weaned away" from the Republican Party.
…..[The meeting included] a Saturday presentation by longtime conservative organizer Richard Viguerie.
"Whenever conservatives are unhappy, bad things happen for the Republican Party," said Mr. Viguerie, author of "Conservatives Betrayed: How the Republican Party Hijacked the Conservative Cause."
Mr. Viguerie, whose pioneering direct-mail operations helped revolutionize political fundraising, emphasized the value of issue-oriented appeals in building a successful movement.
"You must give the voters a tune they can whistle," said Mr. Viguerie, who drew applause when he said of the 2008 Republican presidential candidates that Rep. Ron Paul of Texas "is the best of the lot."

Can the LP become a general retirement home for disgruntled conservative activists disgusted with Bushism? Well, either they will have to start becoming more comfortable with the personal liberties that tend to make right-wingers uncomfortable–as Barr has shown signs of doing with medical marijuana–or the LP will have to become more congenial to them–which, by definition, a huge influx of such disaffected conservatives will tend to make happen. A big wait-and-see on this one.