Live from the LP Convention: U-N-I-T-Y

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The LP convention drama didn't end after Bob Barr deep-sixed Mary Ruwart. Steve Kubby made a bid for vice president with the support of Mary Ruwart and Mike Gravel. "It's great for the media, isn't it?" Kubby told me. "A drug warrior and a P.O.W. on the same ticket?" Vintage 2000 "Kubby for VP" buttons started materializing on the floor.

Kubby-Root was a close-run thing, closer than Barr-Ruwart. A few radical candidates had been running for VP for days, and after Root failed to get a majority they endorsed Kubby. Dan Williams, another one of the VP candidates (he'd dropped out of the prez race when Barr entered it), was the only also-ran to endorse Root, in part because of an agreement that he could represent Barr-Root and give lectures against the drug war. Root won on the second ballot by only 30 votes.

"We're watching the Libertarian Party go down the drain!" said comedian and Kubby backer Doug Stanhope, double-fisting Miller Lites. "Glug, glug, glug!"

Outside, more drama: Kubby wanted to speak to angry radicals, and some of them were beseeching him to lead a walkout, or to return to the convention hall and denounce the new ticket. Tom Knapp, the work horse of Kubby's convention effort, told him to speak for unity. So he did, and asked for a show of hands of how many radicals would stick with the LP and build it up. "Almost all of those hands went up," Kubby said. "This party is not breaking apart. This is not 1983."

NEXT: The Indignity of Ice Cream Cones

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  1. Thanks, LP, for making us have to decide who’s the lesser of three evils this November.

  2. At least one person in the bottom picture knows where the camera is…and that 1970s era font on the Outright Libertarians banner is pretty eye-catching.

  3. Kubby-Root was a close-run thing, closer than Barr-Ruwart … Root won on the second ballot by only 30 votes.

    Right, winning it on the second ballot is WAY closer than a nail-biter going to the sixth ballot, with the margin of victory coming from the winning candidate’s home state.

    WTF?

  4. What the fuck are people thinking with Wayne Allen Root? If he were any more obnoxious, he’d probably be one of my relatives.

  5. At least one person in the bottom picture knows where the camera is.

    My guess is there were a few cameras, but she digging the Weigster.

  6. My guess is she knew I critically analyze Reason’s various blatherings and she appreciates what I do, and she knew that I’d ask who she is.

  7. lowacko,

    She looks like sum JB to me.You wanna hit that legally you shoulda backed Ruwart

  8. I think it was a mistake. Barr isn’t even a libertarian, and voted pretty socially conservative (and even sometimes economically liberal) when in congress (see the RLC’s Liberty Index, for example). I think Root is so great. He is so friendly and likable and comes off as moderate, which is what the LP needs.
    Anyway, I always thought Libertarians put too much emphasis on their presidential candidates, when they don’t have even one person (besides for Ron Paul, who doesn’t count because he’s officially GOP) in congress. I think the LP shouldn’t try to spread itself thin, but identify 3-4 strong candidates in very Independent/Libertarian areas, such as NH or Montana, and try to get them elected to the House. After some time and respect-garnering there, THEN we should worry more about the presidential election.

  9. Anyway, I always thought Libertarians put too much emphasis on their presidential candidates, when they don’t have even one person (besides for Ron Paul, who doesn’t count because he’s officially GOP) in congress. I think the LP shouldn’t try to spread itself thin, but identify 3-4 strong candidates in very Independent/Libertarian areas, such as NH or Montana, and try to get them elected to the House. After some time and respect-garnering there, THEN we should worry more about the presidential election.

    I completely agree. Do you remember when Jim Gray ran for Senate? I could imagine him making it to the house somewhere if he had gone for that, especially since you need less money and media exposure when you can actually meet most of your voters.

  10. Ditto. Where are the congressional candidates? When I moved to this town ten years ago , I got a phone call the first week from the county chair asking me to run of congress. WTF?!?! These guys didn’t know me from Adam, and they wanted me to run for office? They had no idea who I was. “We just need someone to fill the slot…”.

    Currently Brian Holtz is running in my district, but his radical reformism is annoying. His first few posters were funny, but they got old fast. I have no idea if he is serious about the race. I want to see him do as much campaigning for himself and the local party as he has done for Barr/Viguerie.

    Fortunately we have a great candidate for city council, who can probably win. The party needs a thousand more like him across this country, or the LP is doomed to another thirty years of irrelevancy.

  11. My guess is she knew I critically analyze Reason’s various blatherings and she appreciates what I do, and she knew that I’d ask who she is.

    ?Gustan las latinas el loco solo? ?Que ir?nico!

  12. A more Babel Fish friendly, though less poetic version of Cristobal’s comment above:

    ?El loco solitario gustan las latinas? ?Que ir?nia!

  13. Brandybuck,

    Fortunately we have a great candidate for city council, who can probably win.

    What city and what candidate?

  14. I think the LP focuses on the Presidential election because of our “Cult of the Presidency” in the U.S. Namely, that is the only election people pay attention to. If your goal is to get attention and not to win elections, that is probably the smart way to go. Considering how fractured the LP (and libertarians in general!) are, it might not be the bad way to go.

  15. Lets see: If the LP is unlikely to ever win a presidential election, at least this century, what is it for? To attract people to libertarianism, rather than the standard Republican/democratic positions? If so, then isn’t if better to have people who are libertarians to represent libertarianism, and not opportunist politicians who only just joined the party as they decided to run, and aren’t even libertarians?

    Yes! Lets have Republicans and Democrats represent libertarianism!

  16. Bob Barr makes Newt Gingrich look like a charismatic rock star. Are there any libertarians without the personality of a nasty proctologist out there?

  17. If so, then isn’t if better to have people who are libertarians to represent libertarianism, and not opportunist politicians who only just joined the party as they decided to run, and aren’t even libertarians?

    Prove the following:

    1. your implication that Barr isn’t a libertarian
    2. your assertion that Barr’s an opportunist.

    As far as I am concerned, that’s nothing but rank innuendo and smear jobbery. that makes you of the lowest order.

  18. Ok, so I am a reform Libertarian, so shoot me. I prefer moderate Libertarian. I AM NOT AN ANARCHIST, which seems to be what purist/radical libertarians demand of all candidates and members. I remind them that that I worked for Clark and Brown knocking on doors and they haven’t done that at all. Real Libertarians work to get our candidates elected by working the streets, not saying who is a REAL LIBERTARIAN! Those are people who don’t want to bring REAL LIBERTY to America!

  19. I prefer moderate Libertarian. I AM NOT AN ANARCHIST,

    Right. I think your views are more in line with the majority of libertarians. There are many things about gov’t intrusion that bother me, but I’ll straight up say that getting my income taxed to pay for roads and fire departments doesn’t bother me. I’m a definite little “l” libertarian.
    I think Ayn_Randian (it might have been someone else) said, “there will be a state”. But the difficulties of politics, even within a party, is where you draw the line. I mean, as far as “how much gov’t intrusion is OK?” I guess I’ve given some indications of where my line is at, but the dialogue is important, because I may be uninformed on certain distinctions and principles. I think the dialogue in the LP *should* be healthy and civil, to be productive. I can talk quite reasonably to the vast majority of people on this site. Even Edward, last time I saw him on here.

  20. “Ok, so I am a reform Libertarian, so shoot me. I prefer moderate Libertarian. I AM NOT AN ANARCHIST, which seems to be what purist/radical libertarians demand of all candidates and members.”
    I do not demand anything from anyone. Demanding [like any other form of force] does not work! gkl

    “I remind them that that I worked for Clark and Brown knocking on doors and they haven’t done that at all.”
    Excuse me? I walked precinct for Barry Goldwater and every LP candidate since 1972. gkl

    “Real Libertarians work to get our candidates elected by working the streets, not saying who is a REAL LIBERTARIAN!”

    Last I heard we each have freedom to support a candidate based on our own opinion or judgement not fall in line with what you think best. gkl

    “Those are people who don’t want to bring REAL LIBERTY to America!”
    Insulting each other is not the solution. gkl

  21. A note on LP candidate recruitment. When a county or state runs lots of LP candidates, three things happen: 1) The candidates get better on average. (A lot of reasonable people will run once they perceive that they will be part of medium to large pack of candidates.) Also with lots of candidates, the LP can use the “None of the Above” option more aggressively to keep the wierdos and non-libertarians off the ballot. 2) Vote totals go up dramatically. Many voters see a long list of candidates as an indication that the LP is taking itself more seriously. 3) Some of the candidates will decide to run more active campaigns and “get the bug” for politics. Some of them turn into your future LP leaders. Don’t believe it? I have personally recruited candidates that later turned into State Officers, full time paid LP staffers, Libertarian National Committee members and even a fellow who became the LP presidential nominee.

    The easiest way to recruit candidates is to cold call people from your list of national or state members and ask them if they ever considered running for office. This is a simple question that requires no pressure. Typically the caller does not promise the callee a ballot spot until and unless they show up at least once for a meeting of the minds and to learn about the impositions that candidates (even fairly inactive candidates) must undergo.

    The candidate recruitment process is quick and easy and, in my opinion, provides more bang for the buck in terms of long term political success than any other single action that can be taken by an LP state or county official.

  22. The girl in the photo is my wife. And she is 25 years old. The photo was being taken by other people at the same time. I would appreciate if people would stop making statements about “if you want to hit that” in reference to my wife. Thank you.

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