Liberal Bloggers for Barr

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In 2004, liberal bloggers griped about Republicans giving money to Ralph Nader. In 2006, it was Republicans aiding Green candidate Carl Romanelli in Pennsylvania's Senate race (during the months when it looked close, not like a Bob Casey blowout of Rick Santorum).

At least one Daily Kossack is getting revenge by funding Bob Barr.

I will ultimately be a max GE Contributor to Obama, once I attend the fundraisers, and I will give money to the DCCC and DSCC. However, that doesn't mean I can't afford a small amount of money given regularly to get Barr on TV and on the Ground where both he and I know he can do the best, Namely, Alaska and Georgia and other similar states… I think he'd do pretty good in Texas as well.

I suppose my donation would be modest, $25/month through October. This modest amount of money will be my defense play… and I think after having gone through Operation Chaos, and having the GOP Openly funding Nader in 2004, getting a chance to prop up a Bob Barr Kamikaze Mission is simply tempting.

It's still an open question whether Barr (who I'd still give only a 50 percent-and-rising chance of locking down the LP nomination) will take more support from McCain or Obama. But all signals are that Barr is aiming at the McCain vote. From his interview with Newsweek:

Does anybody getting into the race plan to ask the tough questions or plan to point out some of the areas where McCain is less conservative than he would like people to believe? … As a matter of fact, I suspect the votes I will get will come from folks who would be more inclined to sit out the election in the first place because there's not a real conservative in the race. The votes are not going to come from people that are committed to voting for McCain.

There's a strategy to Barr calling himself a "real conservative." Will it rankle the left-leaning Libertarian delegates who don't want him to get the nomination? Yes. But those delegates want to see McCain lose more than they want to see Obama lose. Barr is dog-whistling to them, saying he can make that happen.

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  1. “Real conservative” = “fake Libertarian”

  2. It’s funny, these dudes inspired Operation Chaos when they told fellow socialists in Michigan to crossover and vote for Romney in the primary.

    What goes around comes around.

  3. What goes around comes around.

    And again, and again…

    Personally, I hate strategic voting. A vote, if at all meaningful, is supposed to reflect one and one thing only: who you prefer to hold the office in question.

    Of course, there are voting systems that discourage strategic voting, but so long as there is a bipartisan lock on how thing work that ain’t gonna change…

  4. If Democrats are upset about Operation Chaos, Republicans should be doubly upset about McCain winning the nomination largely on the strength of Independent and Democrat crossover voters.

    At least the Dem candidate meddling Republicans were trying to foist on them isn’t actually going to get the nomination.

  5. Personally, I hate strategic voting.

    I think “tactical” voting is fine, the way it happens in countries with viable third parties. If I’m a Conservative voter in a district where the Tories get only 15 percent but the Liberal Democrats and Labour are tied at 40 percent, you know, I can vote Lib Dem.

    Strategic voting with the intention of ratfucking the other party I find kind of ugly.

  6. Elemenope –
    This isn’t strategic voting so much as it’s strategic fundraising.

  7. Strategic voting with the intention of ratfucking the other party I find kind of ugly.

    Your job must not be too aesthetically pleasant, because I assume you see 90% ugly.

  8. Will someone explain what a left leaning Libertarian is? If you believe in socialism aren’t you missing the point?

  9. …ratfucking the other party I find kind of ugly.

    only kind of ugly? see much attractive ratfucking lately?

  10. PC- in my mind, a left leaning libertarian is someone who believes that there are legitimate roles for government in a free society, whether you’re talking about some form of compulsory education, assistance for the poorest of the poor, protection of the environment, etc. There’s also geo-libertarianism, which as I understand it, makes the argument that improvements to land, not the land itself, forms the basis for private property, and that landowners should pay some form of rent or tax to society for the use of something that they themselves did not create.

    I’m sure there are probably a million other factions within left leaning libertarian circles, though. Personally, I don’t see left-libertarians as being any less libertarian than right leaning libertarians. I guess it just depends on your pet issues, though.

  11. Will someone explain what a left leaning Libertarian is? If you believe in socialism aren’t you missing the point?

    Oh holy non-existent Jesus, not again. Hopefully SIV won’t show up with his pit-fighting dogs and ruin the day, but let me give this a shot.

    First off, left does not equal socialist. There are plenty of “leftists” who use capitalism as the substructure of their economic beliefs rather than socialism.

    Probably the best way to divide “left-libertarians” from “right-libertarians” is two-fold: first, LLs tend to adhere to a consequentialist view of increasing freedom. As we have seen on the gay-marriage thread, some folks (like me) couldn’t give a damn whether it was courts or the voters that were pushing for expanded freedoms, so long as it happens. RLs tend to adhere strictly to some overarching principle (usually the Non-aggression principle), whereas LLs tend to be *slightly* more tolerant of the fact that sometimes force needs to be used to secure freedoms in a functioning modern society.

    The second major way they differ are what I like to call the “defaults”; i.e. when it is unclear which side of an issue better adheres to a freedom-loving position (paradigmatic example: Abortion), both LLs and RLs fall back upon default positions. LLs tend to favor liberally construed values, while RLs often fall back upon “traditional” or conservative values, to help decide these undecidable propositions.

    Honestly, I think the distance between them is far smaller than the distance between either of them and statists of any stripe.

  12. There’s a strategy to Barr calling himself a “real conservative.” Will it rankle the left-leaning Libertarian delegates who don’t want him to get the nomination?

    I’m a libertarian-leaning Libertarian, and it rankles the hell out of me.

  13. I am very much a left-leaning libertarian.

    There are some complex political philosophy issues, but I like LMNOP’s description as a really quick answer. I tend to end up default voting for democrat over republican when both are big government politicians for social issues.

    There are many ways we disagree with right libertarians.

    One example off the top of my head (besides the use of land as mentioned previously) is pollution. Some LL dislike it because they see it as affecting (at least) neighbors, if not a wide region, whereas some RL defend it.

  14. Honestly, I think the distance between them is far smaller than the distance between either of them and statists of any stripe.

    That’s undoubtedly true. We tend to get hung up on the small distinctions around here. Part of the reason this always comes up here are that a fair number of statists with slight libertarian leanings (either way) also frequent H&R.

  15. Part of the reason this always comes up here are that…

    God, I love subject-verb agreement.

  16. I suppose my donation would be modest, $25/month through October. This modest amount of money will be my defense play…

    Wouldn’t it be the other way around? You’re shoring up Obama’s Warchest in the long run in defense of a long and brutal campaign. Meanwhile you’re funding a small contingent on another front.

  17. A similar analogy is smoking in public.

    Reason loves smoking. My hometown started what grew into a huge ban on smoking in restaurants and the like in my state. I think restaurants should be allowed to have smoking if they want because no one has to eat in a particular restaurant – although I personally would prefer to have the option of a separate room with different air for when I am dining with other nonsmokers.

    On public land, however, or public transportation(whether or not I feel these should exist is irrelevant – they do) I am completely okay with smoking being banned because of the possible adverse affect on other people. Since it’s not private, it makes sense to intervene there, much like it makes sense for other laws protecting people (from say mugging, not that they are the same).

  18. There are huge aspects of political debate on which libertarianism is silent.

    Equal protection under the law, for example. The degree of threat that justifies military action. When a zygote becomes a person. Racial and gender equality.

    Unless you are completely without an opinion on these issues – and I’m talking about the issues themselves, not merely the “it’s not the government’s business” position – you are incorporating some other system of beliefs than just libertarianism.

    These other beliefs can be leftish, and they can be rightish. When looking at someone’s belief system as a whole, someone who adheres to libertarian ideas about government and economics, and who thinks that society is better off with women in the home, gays in the closet, and

  19. …and a military that launches airstrikes as soon as someone with a pea shooter waves it at us would be a “right-leaning libertarian.” One who believes that society is better off with gender equality in the public sphere, gay people living their lives openly, and a more restrained military stance would be a “left-leaning libertarian.”

  20. …and a military that launches airstrikes as soon as someone with a pea shooter waves it at us would be a “right-leaning libertarian.”

    If you’re talking about people that claim to be libertarian (such as Dondero), then sure. Most paleos or right libertarians, and LRC is the touchstone site for these groups, are strongly anti-war and pro-peace.

    The irony is that most supposed left-libertrians who sided with Obama or Hilary over Ron Paul supported candidates who were far more pro war than their right counterpart.

  21. J,

    I don’t think that you can really tie together laws banning smoking in public buildings with laws preventing mugging (especially considering the inconclusiveness about how damaging second-hand is) but I’d agree with your position that it’s okay for government to ban smoking in public buildings (but not privately-owned ones). Government has the ownership responsibility for the buildings they use, so I think that they should have the ability to dictate standards of behavior and conduct within those buildings while conducting business, within reason.

    I recognize that “within reason” is going to set off a lot of libertarians as it’s an arbitrary standard, but that’s something you’ll never be able to get rid of entirely so long as you have common property run by the government, especially when you have an issue where the “harm” standard to others is uncertain (like with secondhand smoke).

  22. There are huge aspects of political debate on which libertarianism is silent.

    Equal protection under the law, for example. The degree of threat that justifies military action. When a zygote becomes a person. Racial and gender equality.

    Unless you are completely without an opinion on these issues – and I’m talking about the issues themselves, not merely the “it’s not the government’s business” position – you are incorporating some other system of beliefs than just libertarianism.

    Uh right. Libertarianism, a political ideology based on individual liberty, that cedes to the state only those powers necessary to secure individual rights, has absolutely nothing to say about such esoteria as equal protection, national defense, and the allocation of rights and their resolution when they conflict.

    Oh wait, I mean those are core issues that libertarians obsess over.

  23. PC- in my mind, a left leaning libertarian is someone who believes that there are legitimate roles for government in a free society,

    That describes all libertarians. Libertarians are not anarchists, after all.

    whether you’re talking about some form of compulsory education, assistance for the poorest of the poor, protection of the environment, etc.

    The difficulty here is that these forms of government intervention are far more subject to slippery slopes, and don’t necessarily tie into the state as guarantor of individual freedom, but rather view the state as the best tool to achieve certain desired ends. Coming up with a principled description of those desired ends that include a limiting principle has so far proven impossible, hence the slippery slope problem, and the reason that I don’t think “left” libertarianism is a sustainable political philosophy.

    Also, what elemenope said.

  24. Exactly what i was saying the other day, and commentors jumped on me for being a “libertarian puritan”…

    my bad, you go ahead and vote for the “real conservative”, cause thats what the LIBERTARIAN party needs more of, real CONSERVATIVES.

    dumbasses

  25. One who believes that society is better off with gender equality in the public sphere, gay people living their lives openly, and a more restrained military stance would be a “left-leaning libertarian.”

    This is only true if you add the caveat that “of course, state coercion should not be used to enforce individual attitudes towards gender equality and gay people.”

  26. It definitely was not a good analogy, for many reasons. I like good analogies, I guess I wasn’t thinking.

  27. http://all-left.net/

    The Alliance of the Libertarian Left is a multi-tendency coalition of mutualists, agorists, voluntaryists,
    geolibertarians, left-Rothbardians, green libertarians, dialectical anarchists, radical minarchists,
    and others on the libertarian left, united by an opposition to statism and militarism, to cultural
    intolerance (including sexism, racism, and homophobia), and to the prevailing corporatist capitalism
    falsely called a free market; as well as by an emphasis on education, direct action, and building
    alternative institutions, rather than on electoral politics, as our chief strategy for achieving liberation.

  28. on the whole i’d say left libertarians are more radical than right libertarians like bob “true conservative” barr and walmart-big ag-big oil apologists at cato and reason who supported the iraq war.

  29. I fully support Democrats funding the Libertarian Party.

  30. So the National Review today has a statement from the editors condemning Bob Barr’s run for the White House at great length.

    They conclude their statement by asserting that Barr is a big joke who will have no impact on the outcome no matter what happens.

    Funny how the National Review is taking time and column space to denounce candidates who are jokes.

    A Barr candidacy costing McCain the White House would be the best event ever if only because it would wipe the smirk off the face of those bitch whores over at National Review.

  31. One who believes that society is better off with gender equality in the public sphere, gay people living their lives openly, and a more restrained military stance would be a “left-leaning libertarian.”

    I think all three of those things, but I am not a left-leaning libertarian.

    I think that the impact of where one puts the boundary between public and private really determines how one is going to line up on “gender and racial equity” issues, joe, and that boundary placement is a technical question that can’t do a lot to predict whether one is a left or right libertarian.

  32. All this assumes Barr is going to get the LP nomination in the first place. However it would be good for the LP to get Democratic Dollars this way.

    Outside of Barr, the LP is as much of a threat to the Democrats as it is to the Republicans, so outside of Barr this strategy probably won’t amount to much.

  33. The difference between the left and the right is their attitude towards private property (inlcuding wealth). The right likes property ownership, the left dislikes it. Communists and socialists hate private property and so they are left. Progressives and liberals are okay with property, but they don’t want concentrations of wealth. Fascists don’t have a problem with private property, as long as it’s used for the good of the state, so they get bumped to the right.

    Thus, a “left libertarian” is one who emphasizes personal liberties over economic liberties, while a “right libertarian” views economic liberties as being equally valid. The left says it’s okay to smoke pot, the assert that it’s okay to make a profit selling it as well.

  34. I personally know several relatively well know libertarians who are planning to go to Denver, who were not planning to go before. All are planning to campaign against Barr. Their feeling, and mine, is that Barr is not a libertarian. He is a conservative and he is as unacceptable as Mike Gravel is from the Left. I should add that the number of people impressed by the huckster Root has been dropping as well. Poor Wayne, money can’t buy everything especially when you start flinging mud.

    Root is almost hated by lots of libertarians and Barr is not far behind. Barr’s a drug warrior, an antigay bigot, a advocate of censorship, bad on free trade, an interventionist in foreign policy. This man is just a pissed off Republican not a libertarian. And it takes more to be a good libertarian candidate than being pissed off.

  35. Will someone explain what a left leaning Libertarian is? If you believe in socialism aren’t you missing the point?

    Someone who on the Nolan chart quiz (or something similar)

    is close to 100% on social issues, but a bit lower, say 60-80%, on economic issues.

    I’d be considered by most to be a right-lib because I invariably score 100% on economic issues and around 80% or so on social issues (though I got an anarcho-capitalist 100/100 on the Nolan quiz).

  36. A socialist is someone who scores pretty high on the social issues part of the Nolan quiz, and close to 0% on the economic issues.

  37. Where did “right libertarians” and “left libertarians” stand on the Badnarik-Nolan-Russo convention in 2004?

  38. All libertarians distrust institutional power. The problem is that a vacuum left by one institution is filled by another.

    One might see a “left-leaning libertarian” as distruting corporate power more, while a “right-leaning libertarian” distrusts government power more.

  39. Once again, Libertarians looking to screw themselves over with this ridiculous argument of who is a “true” Libertarian or who is left-leaning or right-leaning or who is “pure” enough to get the nomination. Who gives a shit.

    This year the Libertarian candidate will likely get more votes than any other LP candidate in any other year. If you agree on 95% of the issues, why are you willing to piss away these vote gains on the remaining 5%?

    As an individual who started in life as a “conservative” (whatever the hell that means anymore), then a Libertarian, then back to a “conservative”, now back to Libertarian I can understand Barr’s change in stance. Things sound good in theory but when you see them in action (like everything post-9/11) you decide to correct the error and change your stance. Even if Barr fails he will likely torpedo McCain and the “conservative”/libertarian wing will have more of a voice in the Republican Party.

    I for one could enver understand why Libertarians didn’t just infiltrate and take over the Republican party- due to Ron Paul’s efforts there are many of us who have transformed our local and county parties just because before RP they consisted of 4 old white dudes who passed resolutions once a month. Next thing you know a dozen RP libertarians come on board and have control.

  40. PC | May 19, 2008, 10:49am | #

    Will someone explain what a left leaning Libertarian is? If you believe in socialism aren’t you missing the point?

    Here are four issues that basically all libertarians would be in favor of:

    1. Ending drug prohibition
    2. Ending the war in Iraq
    3. Cutting taxes
    4. Cutting (non-military) government spending

    A pure “left libertarian” would concentrate on the first two issues. A pure “right libertarian” would concentrate on the last two.

    Plus, there are people who aren’t “pure” libertarians, on both the left and right.

  41. Bob Barr is not a Libertarian. Sorry.

    And attacking McCain from the right will only make him look more moderate in the eyes of moderate and swing voters. If Barr wants to take votes from McCain and be a spoiler then he should do it by primarily targeting anti-war Republicans. All attacks should be based on the Libertarian beliefs that line up with the left.

  42. Well here you go. Tomorrow May 20th. Give him your Liberal money. He would appreciate and use it.

    http://www.bobbarrmoneybomb.com/

  43. Hey, whatever happened to those retards who got arrested for prancing around at the Jefferson Memorial to celebrate libertarianism?

    Don’t they need your money more than Bob “Titty Boy” Barr?

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