Third Parties

Gravel Goes Back to the Top of the Slide

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At this point I'm more interested in Mike Gravel's evolution into Max Headroom than his campaign for the presidency. Nonetheless, I recommend Newsweek's interview with the anti-IRS Democrat turned pro-universal-healthcare Libertarian, especially this enjoyably frank exchange:

Q: It sounds like you've been interested in leaving the Democratic Party for some time. Why didn't you make the move sooner?

A: It wouldn't have made any sense for me to enter the race as a Libertarian. [As a Democratic candidate], I got into the debates and got a fair amount of visibility up until General Electric [which owns NBC] along with the Democratic Party leadership, said they would get me out of the debates….

Q: So you didn't consider running as a Libertarian from the get-go?

A: I would have preferred to run as an independent or Libertarian or Green Party, but I knew that none of those candidates would have gotten any traction. So I used my position as a legitimate Democratic candidate to get my name out there.

I do like the idea of a Barr/Gravel left-right unity ticket to restore civil liberties and get out of Iraq. Or, alternately, a series of Sesame Street remakes starring Gravel as Ernie and Barr as Bert.

NEXT: Rogue Traders of the World, Unite!

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  1. I will vote for Barr if he is the LP nominee. I wont if Gravel is on his ticket.

  2. Same here…anyone who’s for socialized medicine is not a libertarian, regardless of what he calls himself.

    Divergent viewpoints are important to any movement, but there’s a point at which accepting divergent viewpoint becomes merely abandoning standards for political convenience. Putting Gravel on the ticket would be just such an instance.

  3. Mike Gravel for Censor!

  4. “I would have preferred to run as an independent or Libertarian or Green Party, but I knew that none of those candidates would have gotten any traction. So I used my position as a legitimate Democratic candidate to get my name out there.”

    I find this incredibly insulting. The man is openly admitting that the ideals and philosophies of whichever party he joins are not at issue. Libertarians should be laughing at this guy’s bid. Why would we even consider him? If there’s one thing i thought i knew about libertarians, it’s that they are steadfast in their beliefs. And now we’re considering nominating someone who does not even pretend to hold those beliefs? why?

  5. Its amazing how a fringe party with support in the low single-digits and a cohesive theme becomes a goat rodeo whenever they meet up.

    I did my stint in the LP and left when the Christ-Nuts came in and insisted personal/civil liberties were no real priority.

    If Gravel and Barr could somehow manage to get together I would consider that a very positive sign. It won’t happen though – ideology is too important when you poll 3% tops.

  6. “I do like the idea of a Barr/Gravel left-right unity ticket to restore civil liberties and get out of Iraq. Or, alternately, a series of Sesame Street remakes starring Gravel as Ernie and Barr as Bert.”

    Personally I’d prefer Barr to be cast as Oscar and Gravel to be cast as Big Bird for the Sesame Street remake.

  7. The man is openly admitting that the ideals and philosophies of whichever party he joins are not at issue.

    I actually find this concept nice. Who cares about the party? I vote for a candidate not for a party.

  8. Gravelution!

    Mike Gravel for Censor!

    He strikes me as more of a tribune, really.

  9. Divergent viewpoints are important to any movement, but there’s a point at which accepting divergent viewpoint becomes merely abandoning standards for political convenience.

    This is a really, really tricky area. At the risk of getting everyone drunk, I’d like to open this can of worms. The two extremes are – 1) having a tent so big it includes lots of people who really should have no claim on the tag “libertarian”. 2) Enforcing ideological purity so zealously Leonard Peikoff would be proud. The first leads to Dondero-type thought, that Giuliani is an acceptable candidate. The second leads to a lot of pissed off potential allies and .01% of the vote.

    So what are the key libertarian beliefs? Are there beliefs that someone can hold that instantly disqualify them from the title? Obviously, all of us who consider ourselves libertarian have our own pet positions we hold in higher regard than others, and we each use our own internal weighting system to determine how important they are.

    Could someone be considered a libertarian if they believe it’s acceptable to continue the War on Drugs? Iraq? Torturing suspects? From the comments above (and previous Gravel threads), it’s clear that Gravel’s economic positions make him a non-starter for many people here.

  10. ChicagoTom, I agree, from a voter standpoint. But as a member of a party that is still in the nomination process, I’d like to nominate a candidate who shares the ideals of the party. The fact that he’s being taken seriously pisses me off.

  11. I just don’t want the word ‘libertarian’ to loose it’s meaning the way ‘conservative’ has lost it’s meaning. Look at what so called conservatives do today; they pass legislation that is in no way conservative, and they get away with it because the meaning of the word has become so broad.
    The LP is a steward of the word Libertarian.

  12. I do like the idea of a Barr/Gravel left-right unity ticket to restore civil liberties and get out of Iraq.

    I’d vote for that. I’d vote for Gravel/Barr. I’d probably even hold my nose and vote for Root.

  13. No way does the LP put Gravel on the ticket. I can’t recall anyone ever being excommunicated. But there’s just no way he gets an LP endorsement of any kind.

  14. …there’s just no way he gets an LP endorsement of any kind.

    I wouldn’t be so sure. His nut-job, media-pwns-you comments above are sure to draw from the 9/11-inside-job wing of the rEVOLution.

  15. No way does the LP put Gravel on the ticket. I can’t recall anyone ever being excommunicated. But there’s just no way he gets an LP endorsement of any kind.

    You’re probably right, and they’d probably renominate Badnarik first since he passes the “purity test”.

    Question is… will Gravel stick around after losing the nomination, or run crying to the Green Party?

  16. “pro-universal-healthcare Libertarian”

    One of the greatest oxymorons ever writtern.

  17. BakedPenguin,
    We’ve been struggling with that for thirty years. We’re still struggling. The LP seems pretty committed to staying true to the vision. A couple of years ago there was a successful movement to rewrite the Party platform to make it more acceptable to the general population and purge it of the more moonbat features. The membership was not happy with the final product and a backlash was mounting. I lost track of the Party day to day around then.

  18. I wonder if members of the Green party hate libertarians as much as I dislike them. Do they hear Gravel say he’d run as either Green or Libertarian and get insulted the way i do? I Imagine them blogging about it and saying they’d never nominate anyone who would consider running with the LP.
    ‘Those crazy Libertarians don’t support our enviro-protectionist legislation!, If Gravel likes them he’s not for us’.

  19. His nut-job, media-pwns-you comments above are sure to draw from the 9/11-inside-job wing of the rEVOLution.

    The r3VOLution drew together a number of interests including Libertarians (like myself) as well as Truthers. But I think you’ll find the intersection of those two sets to have very low cardinality.

  20. Warren, They are still working on the platform. I get surveys about the wording of the platform at least every week.

  21. The LP is a steward of the word Libertarian.

    And just look at the bang up job they’ve done. I’m always a little shocked when I mention the L-word, and someone doesn’t automatically think “conspiracy theorist who’d rather waste time arguing about a national ID card than actually doing anything productive to shrink the size of government.”

    I’m not a fan of Gravel at all, but I think libertarians (big L and small) would do well if they thought of elections in terms of their context a little more as opposed to being so belligerent about their principles. Politics IS compromise, and it’s more than a little hardheaded and myopic to avoid voting for someone in 2008 based solely on their healthcare position when they’re on the right side of the issue of the trillion dollar hemorrhage we’ve got going on overseas, and possibly the civil liberties issues that go along with that.

  22. The r3VOLution drew together a number of interests including Libertarians (like myself) as well as Truthers. But I think you’ll find the intersection of those two sets to have very low cardinality.

    Hence my referring to the Truthers as a “wing.”

  23. Not to mention that there’s no way the LP is winning the presidency. What difference does it make whether or not we vote for Gravel, even if he were on the LP ticket?

    What we need is to focus our efforts on Senators. We simply don’t have the resources to compete on a nationwide scale like this.

  24. Pottsy,
    My problem is not lending my support as a libertarian to someone like Gravel, which i would consider if it meant progress on issues that are a priority for me.
    My problem lies in calling Gravel a Libertarian. Or allowing him to call himself one. Just because he shares a goal with libertarianism, doesn’t mean he is one.

  25. *Politics IS compromise, and it’s more than a little hardheaded and myopic to avoid voting for someone in 2008 based solely on their healthcare position when they’re on the right side of the issue of the trillion dollar hemorrhage we’ve got going on overseas, and possibly the civil liberties issues that go along with that.*

    Exactly!

    My ideal ticket would be Ron Paul/Oprah Winfrey.

    To hell with purity – I want mindshare.

  26. Maybe you can call him an AdHocTarian.

  27. My problem lies in calling Gravel a Libertarian. Or allowing him to call himself one. Just because he shares a goal with libertarianism, doesn’t mean he is one.

    So do you have a problem calling McCain a “Republican”? Bill Clinton a “Democrat”? Joe Lieberman an “Independent”?

    My ideal ticket would be Ron Paul/Oprah Winfrey.

    Sold!

  28. I find it odd how Libertarians get bent out of shape when somenone tries to join the party who isn’t a Rothbardian purist, but then the same Libertarians go out & vote for George W. Bush because they don’t want to throw their vote away. The sad truth is libertarianism is dead & has been ever since libertarians sold out to get on the Ronald Reagan bandwagon.

  29. Reinmoose,

    Shouldnt electing Senators be the responsibility of the state LPs?

  30. I just don’t want the word ‘libertarian’ to lose it’s meaning the way ‘conservative’ has lost it’s meaning.

    Goldberg wrote a blog post today on liberaltarianism. Rather than supporting The Purge, he asks again that libertarians and conservatives to go to counseling.

    “You’ve changed!”
    “No, you’ve changed!”

    Notes on Libertarian Paternalism

    Purging the GOP of its neocon whores should be top priority in healing that damaged union, and a McCain loss would be a good first step. Barr could be the man to make that happen, but not with Gravel on the ticket. There’s no way disillusioned conservatives would throw Barr-Gravel their votes.

    Seems to me, by bringing Gravel into the fold, the LP is asking for the same kind of trouble the neocons caused the GOP.

  31. then the same Libertarians go out & vote for George W. Bush because they don’t want to throw their vote away.

    I dont think those are the same Libertarians. Those of use complaining about Gravel threw our vote away on Badnarik.

  32. Not to mention that there’s no way the LP is winning the presidency. What difference does it make whether or not we vote for Gravel, even if he were on the LP ticket?

    I’m so fucking pissed at people who aren’t members of the Party, who would never be associated with the Party, telling the Party what it should be doing.

    It would make a huge fucking difference to Libertarians. The Libertarian Party, alone in US politics, stands for a small government constituted to secure personal liberty, property rights, and individual freedom. Gravel has over and over again taken positions that are irreconcilable to those aims. If the LP was to embrace Gravel it would cause a schism. All of us who believe in it’s stated objectives would be forced by our conscience to leave.

  33. svf,
    Republican, democrat, independent, these words don’t have a cohesive, fixed meaning. They may have once, but their ideals don’t even slightly resemble what they did 20, 30, 40, etc, years ago. I see the word ‘libertarian’ as being inherently intransigent.

    Travis,
    the libertarians you are referring to are not the ones who voted for Bush.

  34. The sad truth is libertarianism is dead & has been ever since libertarians sold out to get on the Ronald Reagan bandwagon.

    I think you’ve got it exactly wrong Travis. I think libertarians who rode the Ronald Reagan bandwagon are finding the GOP increasingly unpalatable. I think the movement is gaining strength.

  35. What Warren said.
    Why should we feel guilty for being purists? Is that supposed to be a bad thing. Look what happens to all the other parties when they start accepting conflicting ideals. They have all become a clusterfuck of oppressive, contradictory, wasteful policies.

  36. Reinmoose,

    Shouldnt electing Senators be the responsibility of the state LPs?

    Yes and no. It may take national resources to make any headway as far as a senator for one state is concerned. Putting all of our resources together so that we may succeed in one place is better than spreading them out so that we don’t succeed anywhere.

  37. “I dont think those are the same Libertarians. Those of use complaining about Gravel threw our vote away on Badnarik.”

    You & I might throw our votes away on Badnarik, but most so called libertarians I know don’t vote libertarian they vote republican & that’s why republicans have no use for us. They know no matter what they do libertarians will vote for the republican party anyway. In 1980 the LP candidate got close to 1 Million votes only 8 years after the party was founded. The national press was calling the LP the party of the future that’s why Reagan & republicans started pandering to libertarians because they were scaried of a party of capitailists that actually believed in capitalism. Now republicans have nothing to fear from libertarians so why keep us around.

  38. Goldberg wrote a blog post today on liberaltarianism. Rather than supporting The Purge, he asks again that libertarians and conservatives to go to counseling.

    Goldberg is a despicable son of a bitch. He’s the abusive alcoholic spouse showing up with flowers talking about how he’s so sorry about the last time when he knocked our teeth out with the gin bottle and then broke ever dish in the house throwing them at us. And how if we just take him back he’ll never do it again. At least until he gets drunk again and “Oh is it after noon? Just a minute sweetheart I’ve got to run out for a bit. I’ll be back by supper. Promise.”

  39. Travis, I don’t know how true that is, but it certainly is sad.
    If i could give some advice to libertarians it would be, DON’T VOTE REPUBLICAN! Please, Please people. Vote your principles. Vote for your candidate even if you KNOW he isn’t going to win. Throwing your vote away on principles, ‘protest voting’ is the most honorable way to vote. Stop voting for who you think is going to win. It’s just silly and it’s anti-democratic.

  40. Why should we feel guilty for being purists?

    because, like it or not, “purist” = “extremist” = less than 1% of the vote.

    I can’t tell you how many people I’ve talked to over the years who are sympathetic to the Libertarian Party position on a number of issues, but because they go “too far” on some thing or other it’s a deal-breaker.

    It’s the same old argument of: are we a debating society or a political party who wants to get people elected.

    I mean, if Oprah declared herself a “liberarian” and ran for the presidential nomination we’d probably argue that she’s not “libertarian enough”.

    A sad, downward spiral of irrelevance. And no, Barr and/or Gravel are not likely to improve matters much under the current circumstances. I wouldn’t be surprised if good ol’ Mary Ruwart ends up getting the nomination at this point, frankly. Great.

    — svf, LP member since 1998, LP delegate 2000, voted for Browne mark I, Browne mark II, Badnarik, Ron Paul in GOP primary.

  41. Goldberg just like a year ago wrote a articule ridiculing libertarians as being crazy.

  42. Travis,

    You are about 6 years out of date. Some studies have shown that small-l libertarians stopped voting republican (in great numbers) in the last few elections. Its why the GOP couldnt hold the house and led to Bush’s strugges in 2004.

    Even that doesnt change what I was saying. The libertarians who voted for Bush dont give a damn about Gravel joining or not joining the LP. The people who care about that didnt vote for Bush anyway.

  43. SVF,
    I sincerely believe those who think libertarianism goes to far simply have a limited understanding of the issues. If you are sympathetic to most of the ideas but still think libertarians are extremists, you simply need to have some things explained to you.
    The country thinks freedom is extreme. I disagree and I reject their definition of extremism. We’d do better to bide our time while adhering to real principles and build our numbers by indoctrinating the republican and democratic refugees as they flee their fucked up parties.

  44. The rank and file GOPer despised Ron Paul.

    How any LPer could support the GOP after they expanded your tax liability $5 trillion is beyond me. (the amount of Treasury’s sold to finance the increase in government).

    The neocons and theocons are just icing on the cake. Bush is the anti-Libertarian. And yes, I support Obama because of this goddamned war – RP was my first choice.

  45. Should we demand or expect that Libertarian candidates be 100% libertarian? After all, Democratic candidates aren’t necessarily 100% liberal and Republican candidates aren’t necessarily 100% conservative. We could look at it as Democratic candidates being basically liberal, Republican candidates as being basically conservative, and Libertarian candidates as being basically libertarian.

  46. “I don’t know how true that is, but it certainly is sad.”

    You don’t have to take my word for it, there were a number of very favorable reports done on the Libertarian Party in that election year by the MSM. You can even view alot of them through the Libertarian Party website.

    About Reagan that’s just my personal opinion & I might be wrong. Reagan was a very good politician & to win elections you have to tap into political trends & libertarianism was growing political movement at that time. Reagan always said alot of very libertarian-esqe comments, but if you look at his actual policies & voting record he wasn’t libertarian at all.

  47. Bookworm,
    once again, republicans, conservatives, and democrats have no central ideology or defining principles, so your comparison doesn’t make sense. Libertarian is the only political philosophy with intransigent principles.
    I’m not asking for 100%. 90% would do. 20%, not so much.

  48. “You are about 6 years out of date.”

    I hope you’re right about that, but I’m not so sure. How many articles do you read in Reason or Liberty Magazine that tell about Libertarian Candidates? I can’t think of any, there always about is Obama a liberterian Democrat or Fred Thompson is pro-free market. The implication you take from these libertarian publications is that libertarians should support them. If we can’t even count on the libertarian press to advance true libertarians how are we ever going to win?

  49. We’d do better to bide our time while adhering to real principles and build our numbers by indoctrinating the republican and democratic refugees as they flee their fucked up parties.

    How long do you suggest — another 30+ years? We have a rare opportunity in 2008 to capitalize on the “Ron Paul” thing but might just let it fizzle out in favor of squabbles about who is “libertarian” enough to be in the LP (despite the fact that the LP was going to hand Ron Paul the nomination on a silver platter if he wanted it, even though he’s far from 100% pure Libertarian either…)

  50. To say that you were considering running as a Green or LP candidate is a just one small step away from saying you couldn’t decide between running for the Socialist Worker’s Party ticket or the Constitution Party ticket.

  51. The implication

  52. Ok, I’m not arguing in favor of a Gravel LP presidential nomination, but really — there should be no argument that he “isn’t libertarian enough” to join the LP.

    War in Iraq: check
    No Draft: check
    Environment: nope
    Eliminate IRS/Fair Tax: 50%
    Healthcare: nope
    Abortion: n/a (LP can’t decide either)
    Immigration: close enough
    anti-NAFTA: check
    Social Security: not really
    Education: nope
    War on Drugs: check
    Civil Liberties: check
    Gun rights: check
    Death Penalty: check
    Internet regulation: check
    Corporate welfare: check
    Social programs: not really

    So… what have we got here, like a 70%-ish libertarian? do we let him in our little club?

  53. The implication you take from these libertarian publications is that libertarians should support them the press is dumb.

    Fixed.

  54. even though he’s far from 100% pure Libertarian either

    There is your answer. Most in the LP are willing to go as far as Ron Paul. Thats how far away from 100% is acceptable.

  55. svf,

    So… what have we got here, like a 70%-ish libertarian? do we let him in our little club?

    He is close enough to join. He is a long way from running for office. Heck, I will let a 20%er vote for our candidates. 🙂 Gravel can vote for the LP nominee as often as he wants, I fully support that.

  56. Politics is all about timing sometimes a political movement has alot of time to build, sometimes very little time. It’s near impossible to know how much time a movement has until it’s too late. Until Ron Paul came along I thought it might be too late. Libertarians need to do a better job of convincing the American public that we are not a party of republicans that like to smoke pot. Right now that’s all I hear from non-libertarians.

  57. He is a long way from running for office.

    So is Dave “contract insurance” Hollist, but he runs for the LP presidential nomination every year too.

    The delegation/membership will weed them out and decide whether or not Gravel or anyone else should be the LP standard-bearer.

  58. … make that “every four years” (but he’d run every year if he could…)

  59. There’s no need for a strict definition. A “libertarian” is someone who wants significantly smaller government. But you also need to understand English. Smaller government doesn’t mean decreasing the rate of government growth. It means *reducing* the size of government.

  60. Svf,
    I am very close to agreeing with you. but as far as gravel goes, it’s more about the big principles than about his stance on individual issues. Tell me what Gravel would do for property rights, economic freedom, monetary policy, etc.
    You may be right about purism vs. electability though. I’m rethinking my position on that.

  61. “So… what have we got here, like a 70%-ish libertarian? do we let him in our little club?”

    More importantly he’s more libertarian that any other R or D candidate that ran this year not named Ron Paul.

    So he’s the 2nd most libertarian guy in the field oh noes. Beggars can’t be choosers just run with the name recog and vote for Barr and enjoy the publicity.

    Jesse Ventura will probably want to run as an L candidate too and I’m sure we’ll all hate on the guy because he’s not “pure” give me a break.

  62. I don’t think that ‘green’ candidates and libertarians are mutually exclusive. Probably the Green Party not in our general spectrum.

    But there are a few people up here in NW Indiana who I would consider to be ‘green’ but want to do it with air and water and property rights rather than your traditional top-down bureaucracy. They’re part of the r3VOLution up here and we’re glad to have them.

    In fact one of them is even a republican candidate for 1st congressional district.

    http://colemanforcongress.net/

  63. “A “libertarian” is someone who wants significantly smaller government.”

    Conservatives also claim to be for that.

  64. “”A “libertarian” is someone who wants significantly smaller government.”

    Conservatives also claim to be for that.”

    But they don’t vote that way. Bush’s platform in 2000 wasn’t perfect but if he actually governed like he said he was going to (privatize social security, humble foreign policy, smaller government) I’d be pleased with most of his presidency.

    Instead we got a big government fascist (yes I’ll use that word here).

  65. Libetarians are okay with Bob Barr because he’s former republican & will forgive his past unlibertarian transgressions. Gravel is a former Democrat & it seems most libertarians are not okay with that.

  66. Have you every had a conversation with a green party activist? I have, and they are far from libertarian. everything is about petitioning the government to outlaw this or regulate that.
    I am a lifelong libertarian raised by libertarians. I consider myself ‘green’. just not politically. Libertarians can be green, we’d just rather not do it through violence and force.

  67. I would rather Barr run on the Libertarian ticket than Gravel because Barr would draw conservative Republicans away from McCain and hopefully cause him to lose. Gravel would be more likely to draw votes away from Obama. If Hillary were to somehow land the Democratic nomination, I would just as soon Gravel be the Libertarian nominee to take votes away from her.

  68. I’m not asking for 100%. 90% would do. 20%, not so much.

    Exactly so. What would be the point of winning elections if we had to become just like the people we’re running against? Better to hold that 2% and be ready for when the wind changes.

    Libertarians stand for something. And that something is as incompatible with conservative sanctimony as it is with liberal social engineering. Gravel is not 70%. He’s not even 50%. He might say some things we like to hear, but he mostly fights for things we find abhorrent. Most importantly he doesn’t share our value of personal freedom and property rights. The reason this is important is because when you decide each issue according to your own personal caprice, there’s no guiding principal for future decisions. He might be opposed to the war in Iraq but we can have absolutely no confidence he’ll oppose a preemptive war with Sri Lanka.

  69. Pinette,

    I think most Libertarians do care about the enviroment. Are problem is that the average person considers capitalists to be pro-pollution. That’s completely understandable considering how libertarians cosy up to the republican party which appoligizes for big buisness pollution. Libertarians need to make the enviroment a key issue & hammer away at it the same way we do the IRS.

  70. It seems to me like we’re arguing about whether to get off the bus in Orlando or Tampa, but we’re in Ontario and headed toward Juneau. I wouldn’t mind working with people who think we should get out in Atlanta or Louisville to at least get the bus headed in the right direction, so long as we’re open-eyed about what we’re doing and why.

    (By the way, in this analogy, Gravel wants to set the bus on fire and then drive it into San Francisco Bay).

  71. I’ll write-in Gravel if he changes his name to Brian O’Blivion

  72. Jesse Ventura will probably want to run as an L candidate too and I’m sure we’ll all hate on the guy because he’s not “pure” give me a break.

    If Ventura had left office after his first term, I’d have said “close enough”. But his second term instituted as much state meddling in peoples personal affairs as he undid in his first term. So yeah, Ventura

  73. Gravel is a former Democrat & it seems most libertarians are not okay with that.

    In my 10 years of on-and-off LP “activism” I’ve met far more former Democrat (or Democrat-leaning) LP members than former GOPpers.

    Maybe it’s an anomaly, but I would wager the LP is comprised of maybe 40%ish left-leaning libertine-ians versus 60%-ish right-leaning paleo-tarians…

  74. Son Of A Bitch! Half my comment disappeared

  75. svf,
    Where do you live?

  76. Warren…

    well, I speak mostly from my LP experience when living in Anchorage, AK and mostly Colorado, Boulder/Denver area, but also just hanging out with LP delegates at the hotel bar and so forth at the 2000 convention…

    I also happened to usually vote Dem in my misguided youth so maybe it’s just a “birds of a feather” thing …

  77. alternately, a series of Sesame Street remakes starring Gravel as Ernie and Barr as Bert

    I think Statler & Waldorf from The Muppet Show would be a better fit, and funnier.

  78. I could vote for Barr because he’s 90% libertarian. Even though I think prohibition is THE libertarian issue. And even though I hold Barr personally responsible for the egregious excesses of the WODs. And even thought I don’t think he has done enough to denounce his past conduct. Barr has moderated his stand on the WOD and more importantly has moved it to his back burner. Barr has a long record of federalist rhetoric. Since joining the LP Barr has made personal freedom the guiding principal of his activism.

  79. “Maybe it’s an anomaly, but I would wager the LP is comprised of maybe 40%ish left-leaning libertine-ians versus 60%-ish right-leaning paleo-tarians…”

    I think the paleo’s outnumber the libertine’s right now because the GOP is so far gone from the limited government trip these days where the left dems are still theoretically respectable on war and civil rights, although they appear destined to full sprint into republicrat as McCain moves to left and Hillary goes right.

    In the end it will be the Libertarians vs. the Republicrats. That’s my dream anyway. Wouldn’t that be nice.

  80. Travis,

    I’d have less of a problem with Barr being the nominee than Gravel at this point since Barr has shifted in a libertarian direction over the last several years. Barr circa 1998 had some libertarian tendencies but would have had no business being the LP nominee. Gravel strikes me as being in a similar situation at the present.

  81. I can accept Barr as a libertarian because prohibition WAS the main issue until 9/11. Anyone who fails to understand this fails to understand that the Ron Paul Revolution was a reaction to a government that finally went too far against civil liberties.

    Ron Paul 1988: campaigns against War on Drugs, denounces Gulf War I — nobody cares

    Ron Paul 2008: campaigns against Patriot Act, denounces Gulf War II — he gets an audience.

    The privacy/civil liberties issues that Barr works with are much more the source of outrage for the general public than the WoD.

  82. MattXIV,

    Exactly right. Travis has some partisan 2-party issues he wont give up, even though they’ve already been shot down. If Gravel wants to spend the next 8 years moving away from his current positions and working within the LP, he can consider running in 2016.

  83. Warren and Travis, I know Goldberg’s a disingenuous asshat and that piece got my hackles up too. My guess is, he’s finally starting to realize there will be no wins for the GOP w/out the libertarian faction; not that any concrete concessions will be made by the current neocon establishment to woo them back into the fold.

    The libertarian faction of the GOP is not the abused wife, IMO, but rather the clandestine Thurs. afternoon fuck who’s being used, emotionally abused, and strung along by empty promises. They just figured we’d stick around, or come back to them, because there’s nothing better out there. Seems they’re beginning to learn otherwise.

    I will take great pleasure in denying McCain my vote come Nov. If Paul’s not on the ballot, I’ll vote (L) – hopefully that’ll be Barr sans Gravel. If McCain and the (D) are running too close, I’ll vote for the (D) socialist (damn it!). McCain must be denied.

    The rank and file GOPer despised Ron Paul.

    I was just at Congress.org bitching (spinning wheels) about taxpayers having to bail out irresponsible borrowers and lenders, and was redirected to email the presidential candidates. Paul isn’t listed. Apparently, it’s a bipartisan, institutional hatred.

  84. Travis: Immediate Withdrawal.

    He really is the best we could hope for in this election because he has “conservative credentials” and unlike Ron Paul has some traction with hardcore GOP conservatives because of the Clinton impeachment. He’s also a much more accomplished speaker although that probably won’t do him any good since he’ll get shut out of the debates. He could steal a lot of that vote out of disgust with McCain. He’ll lock up the Paleo vote and if Matt Welch doesn’t bash him over old newletters he never wrote he could get the Cosmo’s as well.

    He’s not 100% perfect on everything but it would be really nice to have someone to vote for again this election cycle. Getting 5% in the general is feasible. If he could manage to get into the debates somehow then 10-15% is not out of the question.

  85. And I just posted in the wrong thread. I have too many browser tabs open.

  86. Mike Gravel has received .08% of the popular vote in the Democratic primaries. Michael Badnarik received .32% of the popular vote in 2004. Mike Gravel needs the Libertarian Party far more than they need him.

  87. Ron Paul 1988: campaigns against War on Drugs, denounces Gulf War I — nobody cares

    Really. Didn’t iraq invade kuwait in 1990 with the invasion being in 1991. Ron Paul is prophetic. Does he know who will win the world series in 2010?

  88. I see a lot of comments about Gravel’s health care ideas. People seem to be forgetting the core issue for Gravel – NI4D.

    Gravel would have all of us vote on what kind of health care program we wanted.

  89. I am a Gravel supporter, and I think he is one guy who could pass as a candidate for the greens or libertarians. He really is a good mix of ideas, and this why I like him. People keep mentioning his “universal health-care” stance, but Gravel’s plan is all about vouchers. He does want the government to help fund healthcare, but he still wants providers to compete for peoples vouchers. Similarly Gravel is for School vouchers. These are two of his “non libertarian” areas (education and health care) yet he is more libertarian on these issues then many of the current politicians in congress. That goes for taxation as well, where he is for abolishing the income tax and creating a sales tax (the so called fair tax). And on many other issues, such as government involvement in foreign wars, drugs, prostitution he is definitely libertarian. He also does not call for the extreme regulation on corporations that the greens do. Watching Gravel speak, he seems to be the most honest politician out there.

    There was a recent interview, where Gravel said, ” Listen, I was in elective office for 16 years. I ended the draft. I stopped the nuclear testing in the north Pacific. I released the Pentagon Papers. Tell me about all the good I did when we now went back into Iraq and we’re still killing people…I want to give the Libertarians a tool that then will help them bring about what Libertarian is really all about. And that is for the people to be free. And how do you become free, is as Cicero said, you participate in power. If you can’t participate in power, you cannot be free”.

  90. Gravel has stated for over a year now that his main purpose for winning the White House is to get the National Initiative (NI4D) enacted. It seems to me the NI4D is very Libertarian, in that it gives normal citizens the power to rise up and fix what is wrong with their government. According to studies, most Americans share Libertarian views, and tend to vote for smaller government and more personal liberty.

    True, other people are running on a fantasy platform of pure Libertarianism. But Mike Gravel is running on a pragmatic platform of how to get there. We do want to get there, and not just theorize about it, right?

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