Live from the Way Home from the LP Convention: We're Gonna Be Friends

|

On the way out of the Denver convention, defeated candidate and Massachusetts party chair George Phillies pulled me aside to express how worried he was about the Barr/Root ticket. "This is a train wreck," he said. "My delegation* is majority pagan. Nominating this man is the equivalent of nominating an Imperial Wizard of the KKK to lead a party of African Americans." Phillies raised the possibility of a Massachusetts LP convention that would nominate a new candidate at the top of the ticket, like author L. Neil Smith. And as I left, I heard a rumor that Arizona might do the same thing.

I think this would amount to local party suicide. The only thing all LPers agree on right now is that Barr, by dint of his fame and national media pull, could get more votes than any previous candidate. In most states, a certain vote total will get a party guaranteed ballot access. Nominating an unkown, especially when low-information voters will head to the polls expecting to see Barr, would drive down vote totals.

Still, the animosity toward Barr from some of the LP can't be overstated. Mass. Delegate Arthur Torrey had already told me that, as a presidential elector, he'd vote against Barr. If Barr had 269 electoral votes and Torrey held the balance, he'd "think really hard about it. I have to see my [gay] sister from time to time, you know."

UPDATE: Mike Kielsky of the Arizona LP writes in to correct me:

Some Arizona delegates asked if we really had to list Barr/Root while there remained doubt about the depth of their Libertarian positions. I brought this question to Bob Barr directly, and asked his help in convincing some in the delegation.

Kielsky, the party chairman, is empowered to file a presidential ticket with the Arizona Secretary of State. So this will be contentious—the AZ LP includes radical war horses like "rEVOLution" banner designer Ernie Hancock—but the state party's leadership wants to stick with Barr. Massachusetts is another story.

Also, something else happened on my way out of the convention. Radicals won three of five at-large slots on the Libertarian National Committee: Mary Ruwart, Ruwart campaign manager Lee Wrights, and Angela Keaton. It's an important victory for the radical wing, and an important concession by reformers/Barr backers.

* UPDATE II: George Phillies disputes the quote at the top of this post. He actually said that a majority of his state committee was neopagan, not his delegation. I conflated the two when I flipped open my laptop at the airport to write this up.

NEXT: Citizen Bob

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. That’s it, Barr needs to dump Root ASAP and pick a neo-pagan running mate. Not a paleo-pagan either, after the neos and paleos split over the human sacrifice issue.

  2. If Barr had 269 electoral votes and Torrey held the balance, he’d “think really hard about it. I have to see my [gay] sister from time to time, you know.”

    But I bet if Barr had 68 electoral votes, he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be …

  3. Phillies and those other losers need to knock it off. Way to go and destroy their own party like this. Incredible.

  4. If Barr had 269 electoral votes and Torrey held the balance, he’d “think really hard about it. I have to see my [gay] sister from time to time, you know.”

    I wonder if this guy is one of the geniuses who think Ron Paul was stellar on the gay marriage issue.

  5. Omigosh, omigosh, omigosh. Now we’ve gone and done it. We’ve pissed of the pagans. No hope for the party. No hope. Hide your eye of newt. The pagan libertarians are on the loose, and they don’t give a rat’s ass about property rights anymore.

  6. I don’t have much of an opinion either way on Barr, but you’d think he’d get some more libertarian cred as the point man for the only impeachment in modern history. I mean, if that isn’t reining in the executive, enforcing divided government, all that jazz, what is?

  7. Arthur Torrey’s stance is an awesome example of making the perfect the enemy of the good.

    I’m not a fan of DOMA, but is it really unconstitutional? Feels like we have a lot of libertarians who feel like “if we could just get the right guy in the Federal Government, he’d cram a freedom agenda down the throats of the state! And that would be awesome!”

  8. “Nominating this man is the equivalent of nominating an Imperial Wizard of the KKK to lead a party of African Americans.”

    You mean how a Exalted Cyclops[1] has been twice their senate majority leader and is currently 3rd in line to the presidency?

    People change.

    [1]wikipedia so granule of NaCl and all that.

  9. wow, thanks for that, Mr. Gogulski. I always love insightful writings like “Fuck the Troops”.

  10. I am a reluctant Barr supporter but the choice of that idiot P.T. Barnum wanna be, Wayne A. Root, is hard to stomach. I was going to put a Barr bumper sticker on my car and donate when he first got the nod but the WAR appointment put that to rest, for now at least.

    Barr needs to step up to the plate to bring unity to the party. He has made two big mistakes since yesterday that undercut In addition to appointing Root, he waffled on his pledge in Denver to oppose DOMA. He can still undo some the damage but he needs to move fast. A hard-hitting news release on DOMA or the WOD would be well timed.

  11. I voted for the wingnut Badnarik when the crazy libertarians nominated him. It’s nice to know that the favor won’t be returned.

  12. I don’t worry so much about Mass, because I know there are some level-headed people involved in the party up there. They nearly got the state income tax repealed a few years back, and that takes some serious coallition building skills.

    It wouldn’t be the first time AZ pulled a stunt like this, though. They did it in 2000 to Harry Browne. If HB wasn’t libertarian enough for these people, I don’t know why they even bother.

  13. First of all, Barr didn’t appoint Root. The LP convention delegates voted for Root on a contested ballot.

    Second of all, the “pagans” really have no grounds to be casting aspersions at Barr because he’s a Christian. The Christians are dumb, but how dumb do you have to be to be a pagan? Especially since most of them used to be Christians, and CHOSE to be pagans, so they don’t have the “my parents did this to me” excuse.

  14. Bunch of babies. Like I’ve been saying, the LP has gotten nowhere with the now pouting purists, and the day we nominate a pragmatic candidate, they all run away and cry.

    Let us have this one election to try something new, and if it doesn’t work or you don’t like it, then go run away or run the pragmatists out of the party. Until then, chill out and let those of us who don’t fear relevance have our opportunity.

    Ron Paul is on Cspan2 right now (7-8:30PM EST), FYI.

  15. wingnut,

    at this point, anyone has to be better than Badnarik…

  16. For a while, early in his career, Julius Caesar was in charge of the Vestal Virgins. He lived right next door.
    Many times I’ve advocated that Reasonoids content themselves with just being keepers of the flame. Instead there will always be about half of us who can’t resist moving beyond, like Julius and expanding empire.

    We will ever be bi-polar. It’s the madness of crowds.

    Peaceful anarchist
    Ruthless

  17. Gad. In a nation where pagans represent — what, 1% of the population? %5? — and your delegation is majority pagan…that’s a sign right there of just how freaking out there Libertarians are to most people. Wow.

  18. I voted for the wingnut Badnarik when the crazy libertarians nominated him. It’s nice to know that the favor won’t be returned.

    Cheers to that sentiment. Thanks, “purists”…those of us who aren’t overtly radical libertarians (at least, we are, we just don’t think everything needs to happen tomorrow) really want to thank you for the reciprocation /snark.

  19. Phillies, What ever happened to “The enemy is not in this room”?

    Did you really mean it, or was that just a lie for the cameras?

  20. The Christians are dumb, but how dumb do you have to be to be a pagan? Especially since most of them used to be Christians, and CHOSE to be pagans, so they don’t have the “my parents did this to me” excuse.

    BURN

    Pagans are even more ridiculous than Christians. It’s the stupidest, hippiest, goofiest crap of all. “We’re witches, but good witches!” A D&D religion would be better.

  21. Why should Phillies or anyone else support a nominee that has spent most of his career fighting against us and our causes? Why should we believe that his conversion to even the watered-down libertarianism he now espouses is genuine? Because he has “fame and national media pull?” Why the obsession over “guaranteed ballot access” and “vote totals,” if we are now pushing a candidate and an agenda that many of us find repugnant?

    Does anyone really believe GOP-lite is really going to connect with voters, especially after the Bush nightmare? And even if it does, how is this a victory, if it does not advance libertarianism?

    This all reminds me of the blind partisanship of many Americans – voting based on the D or R next to the name – which was the problem I thought we wanted to remedy.

    Call me a “purist”, but I fear the LP has sold its soul and possible long-term success for a shallow, short-term gain that is almost certainly going to backfire. Let’s hope after it fails, libertarians come back to their senses.

  22. Why should Phillies or anyone else support a nominee that has spent most of his career fighting against us and our causes?

    First of all, because Phillies basically implied that he would. “The enemy isn’t in this room”…did you watch the convention?

    Secondly, Barr didn’t fight against you or “us”…don’t be so freakin’ egotistical. The man was mistaken (we all have been)…he just was in Congress at the time.

    Call me a “purist”, but I fear the LP has sold its soul

    No. You’re not a purist. You’re a cultist. The Libertarian Party is a political party, em, not a church.

  23. Everyone here is venting off steam attacking disloyal pagans, but, like it or not, the reality is that there will be an embarrassing split unless Barr moves quickly to show he intends to a strong libertarian campaign. Again, he can probably head it off if he does something bold and non-conservative like issue a news release against DOMA, the WOD, or a possible war with Iran.

    All of this purple anti-radical prose is beside the point. A split is going to happen unless something is done and it will not look good in the media.

  24. if we are now pushing a candidate and an agenda that many of us find repugnant?

    Please name the issue that Barr is campaigning on that is “repugnant”.

    I don’t want to hear about some position he used to hold. I want to hear about a platform plank he’s running on now that is “repugnant”.

    He’s more of an immigration hawk than me and he’s less of a drug dove than me [but his drug position is light years better than Obama and McCain’s]. So what is it? I want to hear about the repugnant part.

  25. No. You’re not a purist. You’re a cultist. The Libertarian Party is a political party, em, not a church.

    There you go. The whiners aren’t interested in politics or a political nomination, but a chief philosopher or messiah. We’ve had a lot of good philosophers who weren’t good candidates, and wouldn’t be good candidates this round. There’s more to politics than philosophical purity, and while it would be great to have a candidate who is ‘pure’ and politically and media savvy, we haven’t seen them come in one package.

    We’ve tried the purity route, so lets try the other route. Stop whining and let us at least try it. I’m convinced that anyone who would jump ship doesn’t want political success, and is content at .5%. I’m not, and .5% does no good. Go join a think tank and leave the party to those of us who want political relevance.

  26. I believe Ayn Randian has been asking the same question of Barr bashers non-stop the last two or three days, Fluffy, and I have yet to see an answer given.

  27. Phillies, Ruwart, Smith, and their ilk are all pathetic, sore losers. The best thing for the party would be if they left and stayed left.

    Barr certainly wasn’t libertarian, but neither was Paul Christian. And if I recall, the purists didn’t want to give him a chance, either.

  28. I believe Ayn Randian has been asking the same question of Barr bashers non-stop the last two or three days, Fluffy, and I have yet to see an answer given.

    glad to see someone noticed! I didn’t have much to do this Memorial Day weekend, D-dubs 😀

    I’m not going to begrudge the “radical” people their due; I think remembering and reminding people what it means to be a libertarian is important to maintaining any useful definition of the label.

    HOWEVER, that being said, their maddening effort at destroying our candidate this year is such a betrayal that it sickens me. As I have iterated, I walked for Badnarik. I spent time (and am still acquaintances with) the Franklin County LP chair working for Badnarik. I did all this in college, when I could have been partying, getting laid and not caring in general. Now that there’s a candidate who seems willing to tailor the message to the populace at large, they want to shut him (and me) out? It’s outrageous.

  29. Oy….vey, it seems like the mainstream libertarians actually want an embarrassing party split during the middle of the campaign. Has anyone actually heard Root speak? The “purists” have reason to be worried. He will embarrass Barr regardless of what the purists do.

    All Barr has to do is make some gestures and take some risks to head this off and create some unity but some folks are positively salivating over the prospect of split. They also, apparently, want to also throw aside all the “purist” energy that sustained the Paul campaign.

    Again, I write this as someone who intends to vote for Barr.

  30. It wasn’t just “purist” energy that sustained the Paul campaign. And the way some people in the LP are treating Barr right now, I can’t help but wonder if they would have been unhappy with Paul as their nominee as well in 08.

  31. dodsworth, I think you’re overstating the energy of the radicals in the party. And (I am going to feel so ironic in saying this, but here goes) if said Libertarians can’t man up and find some party discipline, especially given the fact that every other choice in the election sucks…I don’t know what to do to help them.

  32. And so do you think Root was a good choice? The guy’s a boorish idiot who said he thinks the first Gulf War was a good idea because we needed to protect “our oil.” He will badly embarrass Barr. Mark my worlds.

    Again, I recognize that Barr might have had no choice but to support him as veep….but he hasn’t even thrown the “purists” a bone. In fact, he rubbed their faces in it by completely threwing aside his pledge in Denver to oppose DOMA.

    It is still not to late for Barr to make a gesture but the so-called purists who some legitimate grievances here. This is simply good politics.

  33. dodsworth, I would refer anyone who thinks VP Candidate Root is a “bad libertarian” to his stances. It’s really easy to find and pretty detailed (if not formatted well):

    Root’s positions on the issues.

    Now, if the guy’s right about 95% of libertarian issues, why are the purists making hay out of some Gulf War I quote?

  34. That really is the problem isn’t it? The majority of his delegation is “Neo-pagan”. That will sell well among mainstream voters.

    I’ve said before that Barr is far from perfect. He still needs to come out harder against the war on drugs and the war in Iraq. But he is far better than that child porn/Guy Fawkes nutter he was running against. And he is much better than McCain or Obama.

    By the way, I’m starting a 12th of July Money Bomb Campaign for Barr – please check it out http://barr08.falklands.org/

  35. What’s the worse quote? Root’s, or Ruwart’s on child pornography, which could have been easily used by the media to smear the LP?

  36. Y’all miss the point. Barr is an opportunist that goes contrarian as a means of political advancement. He saw what Ron Paul did and thinks he can do it better, all the while shafting those who got him there. If you can’t see that this man is a wolf’s in sheeps clothing y’all deserve your fate.

    He is responsible for diluting the Patriot Act in a way that resulted in its passage and hence is directly responsible for the police state we have. He is a War on Drugs advocate. He beat up the District of Columbia with the Barr Amendment. What’s going to happen when they ask him about guns, eminent domain, surveillance state, drugs? Or better yet — dissolving the IRS when he is the one now dependent on that revenue?

    And this is a Libertarian? Hardly. This is just another camouflaged criminal politician that cloaks himself in the tyranny of the majority creating problems where none exist. He votes contrarian on measures that can’t pass — giving him “credibility” — all the while toeing to the majority tide. Don’t trust him and don’t vote for him.

  37. “Y’all miss the point. Barr is an opportunist that goes contrarian as a means of political advancement. He saw what Ron Paul did and thinks he can do it better, all the while shafting those who got him there. If you can’t see that this man is a wolf’s in sheeps clothing y’all deserve your fate.”

    Except for the inconvenient fact that Barr left the Republican Party around 2004 or so and has been a member of the Libertarian Party since at least 2006. For those too dumb to understand: Barr joined the LP party before anyone dreamed of Ron Paul’s success this year.

  38. In the end, if Barr brings attention to libertarian ideas, we win.

    If the race comes down to someone who is 75% libertarian (Barr) and two big-government statists, I’ll certainly be proud to throw the level for Barr.

    In the media (reason) and the think-tank world (Cato) I appreciate purity of thought, but politics is a nasty business and I understand that small-goverment initiatives make make more progress with a right-libertarian than a purist.

  39. He is responsible for diluting the Patriot Act in a way that resulted in its passage

    Not even remotely true. we were getting the PATRIOT Act regardless. Barr made it better.

    He is a War on Drugs advocate.

    No, he isn’t. Do some research!

    He beat up the District of Columbia with the Barr Amendment.

    And worked against his own Amendment as a lobbyist for the Marijuana Policy Project.

    Look, dude, if you’re not going to bring anything even remotely true to the conversation, just go away. Your post was all true like, 10 years ago.

  40. This is disturbing and disgusting. For George Phillies to state that there are NO ENEMIES IN THIS ROOM in a gesture of “unity” and then turn around and threaten to derail what could be the best LP presidential campaign ever is absolutely deceitful on his part and can lead to a destroyed LP. Let me be the first to coin this phrase and let it be spread throughout LP-land:

    “Phillies lied, the LP died”

  41. You miss the point. People can change their minds!

  42. For those too dumb to understand: Barr joined the LP party before anyone dreamed of Ron Paul’s success this year.

    An excellent point that bears repeating.

    Barr was working with the ACLU in 2003 (or 04…I saw him at CPAC where he was NOT popular for that stance). He works with the MPP as a lobbyist against his own legislation.

  43. If anyone is wondering, Redpath won re-election as committee chair, Mike Jingozian won vice chair and Ruwart is on the LNC, so I guess those two aren’t running away from the party…yet.

  44. If anyone is wondering, Redpath won re-election as committee chair, Mike Jingozian won vice chair and Ruwart is on the LNC, so I guess those two aren’t running away from the party.

    This must be indicative of that takeover conspiracy I’ve read so much about.

  45. FDM: what is this supposed evidence that Bob Barr created a police state? Have you ever bothered to research this out?

    Get thee educated on the facts:

    http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=13262

  46. I think this quote from Tertullian seems relevant:

    “I blush not at an error which I have ceased to hold, because I am delighted at having ceased to hold it, because I recognise myself to be better and more modest. No one blushes at his own improvement.”

    Give Bob Barr a chance to prove that he is a true libertarian. What is the worse thing that could happen? We elect him and he turns out to be an authoritarian neo-con drug warrior? We already have that if McCain gets elected.

  47. a friend who was in Denver as a delegate tells me that the nominating speech for Ruwart (LNC race) was given by a Barr supporter from the Georgia delegation.

    This is what’s happening: Barr supporters are falling all over themselves to satisfy and sooth the purist faction, but many (not all) purists are doing everything in their power to prevent unity from happening.

    Kubby and Nolan broke bread with Barr and his supporters as a gesture of unity. Unfortunately, there are those who are attempting to undermine this unity. They should be ashamed!

  48. Give Bob Barr a chance to prove that he is a true libertarian.

    I’ve been saying this to my radical friends but Barr made it harder this morning when he flip flopped again on DOMA by defending it contradicting what he said only two days earlier in Denver. First, Root, then this, Barr needs to make a post-convention gesture if he wants to avoid a split, pure and simple

  49. “He is responsible for diluting the Patriot Act in a way that resulted in its passage and hence is directly responsible for the police state we have.”

    FDM is right. We were living in John Galt Libertopia with tweener pornography for sale until that dastardly Barr came outta nowhere and rammed that Patriot Act, which he 100% created out of his fertile imagination, down our throat. If it werent for Barr, I could be smokin’ my black tar heroin and shining up my private nuke, which that damned Patriot Act took away, thank you very much.

  50. Gene: Philles gave that line about unity BEFORE broke his pledge to oppose DOMA. Loyalty goes both ways here.

  51. Unfortunately, there are those who are attempting to undermine this unity.

    They want to undermine unity because, by God, if the nominee isn’t their preferred nominee, then they’re gonna take their ball and go home. LET THEM. Nobody will miss them. At all.

  52. You people don’t really follow politics do you?

    Barr was responsible the coalition that said we will pass the Patriot Act if you have sunset provisions. All those provisions have sunset from Patriot and been re-enabled in other legislation. So yes, rather than preventing Patriot from passing he enabled it. Now he claims to “regret” voting for it. So yes, he is responsible as is every other politician that voted for it. Only he carries more guilt than most because he was an enabler.

    I also strong suggest people that don’t think this guy is a War on Drugs advocate to look up the Barr Amendment passed on the District. Also Barr said:

    “Clearly, the court today has ignored the constitutional right and responsibility of Congress to pass laws protecting citizens from dangerous and addictive narcotics, and the right of Congress to exert legislative control over the District of Columbia as the nation’s capital.
    -Bob Barr, March 28 2002 ”

    Is this the same Bob Barr that was on the Task Force for Drug-Free America? Yes. Same man that voted us into Iraq? Yes.

    Give me a break people. As V for Vendetta said “I am not here for what you hoped to do. I am here for what you did.”

    He’s a statist playing a part. Wake up folks.

  53. So FDM, I suppose that, in your life, you’ve never changed your position on anything, hm? Always thought the same thing?

    People can change. Get over the stupidity.

  54. Might I also add that the last thing the LP should do is throw the purists a bone, such as the v.p. nod or any sort of indication/statement from the Barr campaign that the party is going to cowtow to the lunatic fringe so that we can hold onto their less than 100,000 votes (I am estimating here the amount of purists that would, in the end, truly not vote for Barr).

    I am not suggesting the LP should be rude to them, or tell them get the hell out of the party. But I would suggest that the Barr campaign totally and completely ignores them. Like any bratty kid, when they realize crying and moaning and yapping about the loss of the pagan vote will get them nowhere, almost all of them will come back in the house, tail tucked between their legs. You just cant give ’em an inch. Ask any child. They’ll take a mile.

  55. I always love insightful writings like “Fuck the Troops”.

    Well, it were written by Jessica Alba and Scarlett Johansen, it’s a cause I would support.

  56. Or Brad Pitt and Matt McConaughey, if that’s how you roll.

  57. FDM, I’m not even going to indulge your stupidity any farther. And you really are freakin’ stupid.

  58. That’s the LP I know and love!

  59. It just occurred to me that the purist wing had an opportunity at the VP slot (a la Mary Ruwart).

    She declined.

  60. I wonder if the Matthewians and the Lukers had these fights.

    (IIRC they did)

  61. So yes, he is responsible as is every other politician that voted for it.

    Well, strictly speaking he was just as responsible, until the sunset dates arrived. He was responsible for the existence of the Act through those dates and not responsible for it once it was re-authorized.

  62. It’s hard to take someone seriously when they quote V for Vendetta to make a political point.

    Haven’t we all been making fun of the Hillary supporters who refuse to vote for Obama and vice versa? This is the same thing, and the same immaturity and arrogance.

  63. I totally agree that Kubby was a better choice for VP than Root.

    However, I would recommend playing the cards dealt, not the cards wished for.

  64. Mike Jingozian won vice chair

    This is the perfect job for him. Seriously.

  65. Rumor is that George Phillies might seek the presidential nomination of the Boston Tea Party

    http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2008/05/rumor-george-phillies-alden-link-to-head-boston-tea-party-ticket/

    And people say we shouldn’t trust Barr? *LOL*

  66. I agree Anthony: we should simply ignore them. They are acting just like a child throwing a tantrum in the cereal isle at the grocery store. best to just ignore them, go on about our business and let them get over it. One can only hope that they will finally mature after this. I grew up and out of that phase…they can too.

  67. If he does receive the BTP “nomination,” who will get more votes: Phillies or Gene Amondson?

  68. Kinda OT but I just wanna say kudos to David Weigel for his LP convention reportage. I attended the convention for a couple days and I still got a lot from reading David’s reports and analyses. His political reporting is always strong but his LP convention coverage has been stellar.

  69. I’m a purist and was ready to split until reading some of the comments here.

    If you guys want LP unity, take these comments beyond reason.com

  70. I’m a purist and was ready to split until reading some of the comments here.

    If you guys want LP unity, take these comments beyond reason.com

    W00t! I hope you’re being serious.

    now where should we take them?

  71. FDM’s attitude is exactly why Dems are afraid to really do something about the war in Iraq — standing by and watching it with disapproval is much safer than dealing with the devil and trying to reduce the impact of the inevitable.

    It’s one of the problems I have with Dr Paul — he would rather sit back and be the only NO vote rather than try to work with other Congressmen to ameliorate the effects of inevitable big govt.

  72. Ayn_Randian,

    Maybe we can send DONDEROOOOOOOOOOOOO ahead of us to gain credibility by telling them about his life of party activism. He is on our side now.

  73. BTW, I think dodsworth is right about needing to keep the raditarians on board if at all possible — they may not be huge in numbers, but I’d imagine they’ve been the ones who’ve worked for ballot access all these years, so we don’t want them to decide to stay home, smoke the doobie, and sit on their hands.

    I think a lot of non-Libertarians would be interested in Barr, but they’re probably not going to be available for pounding the pavement in time for ballot access battles.

  74. If they had done the sensible thing and nominated Kubby as VP, I could probably hold my nose and vote for Barr no matter what happens in the campaign. But loading the ticket with two guys of questionable ideological loyalty puts the burden of proof on them. Barr is going to have to earn my vote. But I don’t really envision that happening since the entire rationale of his candidacy is to appeal to the social right who doesn’t trust McCain. It’s more than a little ironic that in the one year the GOP offers me a candidate who I could proudly vote for in the primary the LP couldn’t even muster a candidate half as worthy for the General Election.

  75. Maybe you guys were watching a different debate than I was, but I didn’t see Barr pledge to overturn the DOMA. I saw Barr pledge to overturn a specific provision of the DOMA. Which is fine, really, because there are parts of the DOMA which act as federalism provisions and thus can be defended on decentralist grounds, and other parts which aren’t so great. Sure it might have been a fine distinction for Barr to make, but let’s not go say he was saying something he wasn’t.

  76. Regarding pagans, I know quite a few of them from hanging around science fiction conventions and the like, and I have yet to meet a single one of them who convinced me that they’re serious about it. It seems to be mostly a “lets freak the mundanes” exercise, and after some twenty years or so, it’s pretty tedious. Not as tedious as some of the other groups who gravitate to SF cons, but tedious nevertheless.

    -jcr

  77. Let’s hope after it fails, libertarians come back to their senses.

    Yes, by all means, BACK TO BEDNARIK!!!

  78. It seems to me that what we have here is the old “Big Fish in a Small Pond” problem. The LP has been a small pond for years. The Purists love the small pond because they stand out as something bigger than they actually are. If the Barr campaign is successful in gathering a significant vote (in the millions), then the pond may become a big one and the Purists will shrink down to their real size.

    We should be rallying to this great opportunity to transform the LP from a minor party to a major player in the political life of our country. Bob Barr has provided us with this opportunity. It is unfortunate that the VP options were so limited. None of them really have VP stature like Barr has presidential stature. If Barr could have had the option of selecting his own running mate, the ticket would be even stronger.

  79. So this is the thread where we whine about the ideological purity of a ticket that has no chance in hell of winning the election.

    Voting for the LP is a protest vote either way, who the fuck cares.

  80. Barr is going to have to earn my vote.

    Or what? You’ll vote for Obama? McCain? Do you even think before bitching?

  81. Gee golly, when Barr gets the presidency we sure will look like a bunch of fools! He’ll ban gay marriage and institute another PATRIOT act and crack down on the drug war. I can’t believe we’ve been tricked like this! Better purge the ticket ASAP. PAGANS UNITE!

  82. It’s one of the problems I have with Dr Paul — he would rather sit back and be the only NO vote rather than try to work with other Congressmen to ameliorate the effects of inevitable big govt.

    This, confessedly, had been niggling at me for some time about Ron Paul. He didn’t really influence legislation to be liberty-enhancing or less-encroaching: he just said “no”…which doesn’t really do much for the nation in terms of liberty.

  83. Gee golly, when Barr gets the presidency we sure will look like a bunch of fools! He’ll ban gay marriage and institute another PATRIOT act and crack down on the drug war. I can’t believe we’ve been tricked like this! Better purge the ticket ASAP.

    IT’S A…

    oh wait, never mind.

  84. I can see why some Libertarians dislike Barr. Even so, they have less drastic options besides nominating a different presidential candidate. When Barr starts asking for funds and help, they can explain why they don’t want to contribute.

  85. To heck with all you guys. Thanks to the link Gene Trosper provided, I was able to find out all I needed to know about the Boston Tea Party. Are all of you aware that they had 21 people at a meeting yesteday night, representing “no fewer than” 11 states? Cause that’s what their website says. Suffice to say, I switched parties.

    PURITY ’08!!!!!!!

  86. When Barr starts asking for funds and help, they can explain why they don’t want to contribute.

    Maybe they can wing copies of Atlas Shrugged at him and talk about how he’s no better than Eddie Willers.

  87. *gasp* You mean the LP might have a candidate that has been elected to an office before? And with national recognition? Holy shit, I might actually have to engage in debate with people now that the nominee is well-known outside of my sci-fi conventions. This is unacceptable. If I can’t vote for the LP without a smug sense of self-righteousness then I am not voting for the LP!

  88. I don’t want to hear about some position he used to hold. I want to hear about a platform plank he’s running on now that is “repugnant”.

    30% national sales tax anyone?

  89. If I can’t vote for the LP without a smug sense of self-righteousness then I am not voting for the LP!

    Bingo, you are on fire!

  90. 30% national sales tax anyone?

    you find that repugnant as an alternative to the IRS?

  91. Sol: Maybe if the high rate of taxation wasn’t hidden then people would get angry and demand lower taxes? Maybe?

    OR

    Maybe we can keep it hidden and form a political party with ideals about abolishing taxes. Then immediately do our best to be completely irrelevant in the national debate while we smoke weed and talk economics in our ivory tower of ideological purity. Because those little people outside just wouldn’t understand whats so bad about taxes anyways!

  92. 30% national sales tax anyone?

    And where on his web site does he specifically call for a 30% national sales tax????

  93. I think there’s something (ideologically speaking) to a national sales tax being “libertarian”. If government’s job (part of it, at least) is to enforce contracts, then we should pay for that protection through each contract we execute.

  94. Or what? You’ll vote for Obama? McCain? Do you even think before bitching?

    This is too funny….

    You don’t have to vote for a president…. Write in ‘None of the Above’ on your ballot.

    I swear, you guys sound like a bunch of feminist Mormons discussing how to find a husband who respects you so that you can be liberated and get to heaven.

    The next Congress is going to be populated by socialists of one strip or another. They will be supported by a president who views his job as to be the daddy to the populace and judges who excel at rationalizing black into white.

    Whom you vote for is not going to make a whit of difference in this scenario. Any vote that is not cast for McCain or Obama will be a “protest” vote. It does not matter whether you cast your protest vote for Barr or for Mickey Mouse. At best, someone might point out for 30 seconds on election night that the Democrat won with less than 50% of the vote. Or, they may point out that the “protest” was larger than the difference between the R and the D candidates.

    Three months later, all of this will be forgotten, and President Obama will be proposing hi National Food Conservation program or some crap; the inexorable march of Fabian Socialism will continue…

    And if, and this is a big if, the Republicans or the Democrats decide that they want to snag the libertarian vote, they’ll do what the Republicans have been doing for my entire adult life – they’ll talk the talk and continue to expand the state and scream about the “lesser of two evils”.

    The electoral process is like Roulette. You can come up with all the schemes you want, play long enough, and your money will end up in the house’s coffers.

    Oh and AynRandian,

    You think the Congress would eliminate the income tax after insituting a sales tax? That the entity auditing transactions to ensure that the proper amount of sales tax is being charged will behave differently than the IRS?

    How charmingly naive! And we know that politicians rarely lie when they promise not to take advantage of opportunities to levy new taxes. 😉

  95. AR: I think its good because if people actually realize how much gets taken from them then they will (theoretically) want to do something about it.

    Dealing with the IRS is like we’re dating a chick with AIDS. Superficially, nothing looks wrong. We got no problems licking that pussy because it looks fine to us and maybe the test results were false and who cares shes good looking and its not like anything is overtly wrong with her.

    A national sales tax is like exchanging AIDS for a nasty case of genital warts. Suddenly that pussy you were licking doesn’t look so great. Even though things are just as incurable as they were before, its a hell of a lot nastier and you’re going to be looking for something different.

  96. well, tarran, after painting an exceptionally cynical and overwhelmingly negative picture, and insulting all of us who care as a special sideshow….what’s next? You want to tell us to grab our guns or what?

    You don’t have to vote for a president…. Write in ‘None of the Above’ on your ballot.

    Oh yeah, that’ll get the pundits chattering.

    tarran – I think you’re intelligent; but you have a serious blind spot, and it’s the idea that we either have Giant State or No State At All. Guess what, my anarchist friend? There will be a State. It’s not my choice, but there will be one. So you can either pretend to be so “above the fray” as to mock us all, or you can at least try to make a difference.

  97. A_R,

    But there’s no way to choose to forego the contract enforcement and not have to pay the sales tax. I always thought the best way to justify taxes was to say that they’re the “convenience fee” of making transactions using US dollars produced and kept stable by the government. Well, if the govt actually did that it would be a decent justification.

  98. But there’s no way to choose to forego the contract enforcement and not have to pay the sales tax.

    well…no…but there’s also no way to “opt out” of government provided military forces, who (in theory) are the ones who make those transactions practically possible.

  99. You are correct, Colin: Kubby and Nolan sought out the Barr campaign to make good with them. I have a LOT of respect for Steve Kubby and David Nolan for doing that. They showed class and maturity! It’s those throwing a childish fit who are hurting the party.

  100. Whom you vote for is not going to make a whit of difference in this scenario. Any vote that is not cast for McCain or Obama will be a “protest” vote. It does not matter whether you cast your protest vote for Barr or for Mickey Mouse. At best, someone might point out for 30 seconds on election night that the Democrat won with less than 50% of the vote. Or, they may point out that the “protest” was larger than the difference between the R and the D candidates.

    Three months later, all of this will be forgotten, and President Obama will be proposing hi National Food Conservation program or some crap; the inexorable march of Fabian Socialism will continue…

    O rly? People still haven’t gotten over Nader, and if he stood for something more than just himself, it probably would have gotten more attention.

  101. Bingo, with that analogy, you’ve just become my libertarian hero.

    Honestly, I don’t understand the people who think that Barr is a part of some vast right wing conspiracy to take over the LP. Like it or not, the LP has been nominating cranks who get half a percentage point. On the national scene, they’ve been irrelevant. So there is no incentive for a nefarious take over plot.

    The nomination of Barr creates the possibility that the LP could actually be relevant in the national election and spoil the election for McCain. So is Barr actually working for the Democrats through this plot takeover, or what?

  102. And where on his web site does he specifically call for a 30% national sales tax????

    It’s kind of complicated. On his issues page, he talks about abolishing the IRS and repealing the 16th amendment and then says that one way politically feasible way to make it happen is to institute the program advocated by the Fair Tax proponents.

    However, he does not call for it explicitly.

    The 30% figure comes from the Fair Tax program itself, or rather one way of analyzing it.

    Take a good priced at $1.00 right now. Under the Fair tax, the good would have a 30 cent tax slapped on it.

    The opponents of the fair tax thus argue that it is a 30% sales tax.

    The proponents point out that the tax you pay, 30 cents of the $1.30 is 23% of the total amount of money you handed over to the merchant. This, of course sounds better than 30% and is in accordance with the manner in which income tax is calculated and so they push it heavily.

    The opponents, of course, want to paint it in the worst possible light, and they are bolstered by the fact that they are computing the tax the way all sales taxes are currently calculated so they push it heavily.

    Me, the figure I use depends on whom I’m trying to irritate. 🙂

  103. tarran

    If you’re going to have a national sales tax, it doesn’t have to be 30%. The figure could be played around with. I’m not thrilled with the national sales tax idea myself, but I don’t think it should be dismissed out of hand because of the rate that’s being quoted by some proponents.

    If we cut the Fed back to something approaching constitutional limits, you wouldn’t need the rate to be nearly that high.

  104. Oh, and re: the different ways of computing the tax, the 23% way is dishonest. They’re implicitly using the 30% rate to calculate the amount you pay, then changing the terms to lower the number. So you have to use the 30% to get to the 23%, but you don’t have to use the 23% to get to the 30%.

  105. tarran – I think you’re intelligent; but you have a serious blind spot, and it’s the idea that we either have Giant State or No State At All. Guess what, my anarchist friend? There will be a State. It’s not my choice, but there will be one. So you can either pretend to be so “above the fray” as to mock us all, or you can at least try to make a difference.

    Uhmm, I think you misapprehend me.

    Couple of points:
    I recognize that all human societies in the past and present have had gangs that preyed on them. I also recognize that this will continue to be the case in the forseable future.

    I also recognize that people are hardwired to want to submit to a leader. I suspect its an instinct we inherited from our great ape forebears. This manifests itself in extreme cases in joining cults like this one. More generally, I believe that humans naturally want to align themselves beneath the protection of some alpha leader.

    Recognizing this need, some criminal gangs try to convince people that they provide the protection they instinctively crave. These groups, if successful and large enough are called governments and states.

    All governments carefully nurture a mythology that “proves” that people want them to rule. One way to establish this myth is by holding elections where the subject peoples are permitted to vote on who will be the official alpha or his lieutenants. The choices, of course, are severely constrained by the governments in question, but the illusion of control is there.

    So long as people don’t believe that they have the option to opt out – so long as they believe they must select a “leader” from the slate of officially approved candidates, they are under the control of the members of the government. It is this insight that has informed the Fabian socialists in their extremely successful campaign to reorder every society the practically can get their hands on. Until people start opting out, the trends of the 20th century of expanding states and reduced political and economic freedom will continue. That is, unless, some other natural limits are hit that cause the state to collapse.

    If you want to vote for Barr, go for it. You have my blessing. 🙂 But, you don’t like any of your choices, there’s no reason to hold your nose and vote for the least unnacceptable one or the least evil electbale one the way the Fabians are hoping you will.

    Any way, that’s my take on this tragicomedy. It’s worth whatever you paid for it.

  106. If you’re going to have a national sales tax, it doesn’t have to be 30%

    Oh, I know that. The 23%/30% figure is the one the Fair Tax people throw around; I believe it’s supposed to be revenue neutral or something.

    I am, of course opposed, to the scheme both on moral grounds and on practical grounds.

    My reasons why are explained here and here


  107. However, he does not call for it explicitly.

    Thank Fucking God, I’m not voting for one of those Damn “Fair-Taxers” and their %30 VAT.I don’t care if Barr wants to tease them a bit, hell of a lot of ’em out there and he can get time on Boortz to push the LP and his candidacy.

  108. Bingo, that’s some analogy lol.

    Jeez libetarians need to unite already.

    Pull together. Start displaying some tribal, group-think behaviour and stop being so individualistic. Who cares who the nominee is? The party platform is clear.

    Time to start promoting it.

  109. Gad. In a nation where pagans represent — what, 1% of the population? %5? — and your delegation is majority pagan…that’s a sign right there of just how freaking out there Libertarians are to most people. Wow.

    In olden times we called these people “lifestyle libertarians”. It’s a losing position, and one that has resulted in thirty years of 0.5% of the vote. It doesn’t matter if you are gay, because most gays aren’t libertarian! It doesn’t matter if you smoke pot, are a practicing pagan, or a “sex worker” in a polyamorous marriage of convenience, because most of your peers aren’t libertarian. Trying to be hipper-than-thou is stupid. You go to burning man and 99.5% of the participants are radical socialists who want to tax the capitalism out of you, with a jackboot if necessary. Ditto for the Code Pink wackos you hang out with.

    The only people who can get the LP any votes are mainstream Americans. Pissing them off with your antics isn’t winning you any votes.

  110. I’m a purist and was ready to split until reading some of the comments here.

    If you guys want LP unity, take these comments beyond reason.com

    W00t! I hope you’re being serious.

    now where should we take them?

    I am being serious, and it’s not easy! The DOMA is as horrible to me as socialized healthcare is to you. But the comments here have convinced me Barr is the best shot we have at expanding this party (I just want a left-leaning candidate next time.)

    Before even thinking about attracting republicans over to our side, the core libertarians need to be brought back first – they’re the people who have done all the grunt work for the past 30 years and we can’t lose them.

    Where should you take the funnier and convincing comments here? The same place Paul-fans took them, Youtube, meetup, messageboards, and so on. Don’t limit yourselves to reason.com

  111. The argument about a 30% or 23% “Fair Tax” won’t make any difference. The Fair Tax will NOT be implemented anytime soon. For the foreseeable future, discussion of a Fair Tax will be purely academic.

    Bob Barr is NOT going to win the election, so it’s not like he will implement it. For me, the purpose of even discussing a so-called Fair Tax in a campaign is to get voters thinking outside the box and open to alternatives to the IRS and the Income Tax. People have to feel safe about getting rid of our current tax scheme before they will begin to pressure Congress to do something radical to the tax code. The Fair Tax isn’t perfect, but it opens the discussion and opens previously closed minds.

    Just one more reason I am backing Bob Barr. He will make radical change sound palatable to the voting herd.

  112. I want an LP candidate who can reach out to the Fair Tax advocates.

    Barr has specifically rejected the pre-bate portion.

    And he has also rejected the “revenue neutral” version of the fair tax. (That is the 30% sales tax which is 23% of the now, much higher, total purchase price.) He, instead, insists that we need major cuts in spending. Only then, when spending has been cut, can we look to tax reform like a national sales tax, a flat tax, or maybe some other approach.

    In my opinion, for Barr to say that he supports the “Fair tax” is a bit of a stretch. However, his openness to replacing all federal taxes with a national sales tax that would collect significantly less revenue (and fund a much smaller federal governmnet) is close enough, I guess, to say nice things to the fair taxers.

    Well.. it is worth a try.

    As I see it, what “fair tax” advocates want is to get rid of the IRS and the income tax, and they aren’t willing to wait for 90% cuts in Federal spending to get to it. Of course, the “Fair tax” proposal says they can get to it with _no_ cuts in federal spending.

    Barr is offering a “compromise.” Yes, we can
    get rid of the income tax and the IRS with
    deep cuts in spending… but not the implausible 90%.

    My impression of Fair taxers isn’t that they
    are against cutting government spending 90%. It is rather that they see that as “pie-in-the-
    sky.”

    Anyway, I think that Barr may be able to reach some of them with his message.

  113. I just returned home from Denver and wanted to add my thoughts to this already long thread.

    I’m what might be called a radical and was not a Barr supporter for the nomination. I’m one of those who think that in a race we have NO shot at winning, we should run a big L libertarian. I was pleased that Barr didn’t just come in and grab the nomination and I supported Ruwart until the end. I thought what Root did was slimy but I expected something like that from him; he’s a salesman with a big ego. I also didn’t particularly like that Mr. Barr demanded the delegates choose Root as his VP nominee and I supported Kubby for VP as I thought it would balance the ticket and make everybody happy. All that said, Mr. Barr’s campaign staff did a fabulous job at convention and I was among the first to wish them warm congratulations.

    I think the most important job for all of us now is to put it behind us and get on with the business of politicking. The moderates have their shot now and while it was a hard and close race, the body has spoken in favor of Barr/Root. If they are a libertarian ticket come November, they will have my vote.

  114. I’m surprised that Libertarians still have the sense of smell. Because they are the first ones to cut off their nose to spite their face.

  115. I am just going to drink until November since I am crushed that the gay pagan vote will not come out in full force.

  116. With the thermonuclear meltdown of the Republican Party already in progress, the Libertarian Party has a chance (not a big chance, but a real one) to replace them as one of the two major parties in the American political system (where a two-party system is virtually guaranteed due to it’s design-but the identity of the two parties is not).

    But the LP is run by morons and clowns, more concerned with purity than with electoral success, so they will never have the latter.

  117. With the thermonuclear meltdown of the Republican Party already in progress,

    Not to mention the battering the Dems are taking in their current primary, to be compounded if they win the Presidency and either (a) don’t withdraw from Iraq almost immediately (alienating the left wing) or (b) do withdraw from Iraq prematurely and get tagged with responsibility for the ensuing chaos.

    This is probably a once in a century opportunity for fundamental political realignment, with nobody, nobody at all, in a position to take advantage of it.

  118. Adamness | May 26, 2008, 7:29pm | #

    Bunch of babies. Like I’ve been saying, the LP has gotten nowhere with the now pouting purists, and the day we nominate a pragmatic candidate, they all run away and cry.

    Let us have this one election to try something new, and if it doesn’t work or you don’t like it, then go run away or run the pragmatists out of the party. Until then, chill out and let those of us who don’t fear relevance have our opportunity.

    YES FUCK YES.

    Voted for Browne (twice)
    Voted for Badnarik
    Voting for Barr

    Big fucking deal. Roll with it, folks… maybe even have some fun with it.

    like Steve Kubby said… “F-U-N!”

  119. I’ll take a shot at Ayn Randian’s question. What specifically has Barr done in this campaign that I find repugnant?

    Nothing. It’s what he hasn’t done.

    He could be doing outreach from the Reform Caucus to the Libertarian Caucus. He could be addressing our concerns about his libertarianism. He hasn’t.

    He could be answering the tough questions. He isn’t.

    He was ducking us and ignoring us before he got the nomination when he was trying to coinvince the LP that he should be the candidate. Now he has even less reason to pay attention to those within the LP who have doubts about him.

    He refuses to address any concerns that his alleged constituency has. The reason that the Libertarian Caucus might put another name on some state ballots is because he panders entirely to the Reform Caucus. He refuses to pay any attention to anyone outside of the Reform Caucus.

    Now he’s the candidate for the entire party, and he won’t address a significant portion of the party.

    He hasn’t done anything. It’s what he hasn’t done.

  120. I am what you call one of the Purists. I call myself part of the Libertarian Caucus (as opposed to the Reform Caucus). The problem is I did want to like Barr.

    I really wanted to be able to like him.

    It was his refusal to address any of my concerns that soured me in my attempt to find anything to like about him.

    Then, after he ignores the Libertarian Caucus, he endorses WAR for VP, showing just how much of a damn he actually gives about the Libertarian Caucus. He doesn’t.

  121. What is the problem with a Barr-Root ticket? Just because Barr is anti-free-trade, anti-immigrant, anti-gay, anti-drug, associated with the racist CCC, and favored outlawing non-Judeo-Christian religious observances by military personnel doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be a good spokesman for liberty, does it?

    And Root’s support for unnecessary interventionist war and insistence that all social issues are matters of “states rights” certainly doesn’t disqualify him, does it?

    Frankly, with their excellent name recognition, who cares what they believe? Worrying about such details smacks to me of “purism.”

  122. Quote: “Why should Phillies or anyone else support a nominee that has spent most of his career fighting against us and our causes?”

    Well for the very obvious reason that this is as a clear a demonstration as possible that even the most hopelessly lost outsider can be lead to liberty. And we all know that know that no one can preach with the fervor and passion of a born-again. This ticket will not moderate the LP, it will radicalize Barr and Root — and all those formerly lost souls that they convert to liberty.

    Phillies reaction is precisely the reason it was impossible to support him in the first place. He’s not a grower, not a builder, not a uniter — and clearly not sincere when he claims he is.

  123. James Ostrowsi has an interesting scenario regarding the Bob Barr candidacy. It may be a bit optomistic, but if the threshold for winning the election is 32%, then even a 5% showing by Bob Barr will have some pretty large ramifications, especially if McCain loses: http://blog.jimostrowski.com/?p=1048

  124. All Bob Barr needs to do is talk the talk, same with Root. He is not going to win the presidency, but he is probably the best option right now, outside of Ron Paul, to expose the party message to the most people. If the purist ideas are the most attractive, the new LP members will buy in and we’ll finally have strong, viable national candidates.

    Bob Barr is like “My First Libertarian,” a gateway drug. Let the LP play their pawns and watch the party grow!

  125. Way up there in this thread it was said:

    “I don’t worry so much about Mass, because I know there are some level-headed people involved in the party up there. They nearly got the state income tax repealed a few years back, and that takes some serious coallition building skills.”

    WRONG! there are NOT some level-headed people involved in the party up here!

    Phillies drove all us level-headed people out in disgust years ago at his antics of character assassination and self-aggrandizement. The effort to repeal the state income tax is being conducted 100% outside of the LP. It is being organized by the people George drove out of the party – the doers.

    Phillies led a six-person delegation to Denver. We used to be what? 30 or 40 strong?

    He is running ZERO state rep candidates in MA this year. We used to run 20.

    He is a disaster!

  126. Weigel is lying.

    I most certainly did not mention the name of L Neil Smith, let alone suggest that he could possibly be a legitimate candidate for a Libertarian Party.

    To the best of my recollection I said that I had been presented by members of my state committee with a request for a special state convention, with no indication of what they might do. The request came from State Committee member Arthur Torrey, who is a pagan, and who is offended that Barr asserts that his religion is ‘bogus’.

    I said that a voting majority of my state committee is neopagan. My state delegation, to the best of my knowledge, is quite different.

    I invited Weigel to contact me, to be sure he had recollected correctly what he had heard. He did not attempt to do so.

    It is unfortunate that Weigel’s lies as seen above have done irreparable damage to my reputation.

    It is noteworthy that Weigel did not dwell on my speech, which appeared to have brought substantial numbers of delegates to their feet in cheers.

  127. Angela is “Radical” but very sensible and loyal to the LP. I wouldn’t count her in with the likes of Mary Ruwart and Ernie Hancock. Yes, she’s personally Radical, but not really a Radical Caucus gal, from what I’ve gathered. She’s best friends with the ultimate Moderate Liberarian Aaron Starr for example.

  128. George, will you please just Chill! Dammit man, we’ve got the very best Libertarian Party Presidential ticket in the history of the Party, and you have to make assertions like “some MA LPers can’t support Barr.”

    Got news for ya George: The amount of NeoPagans who may jump ship because of Barr will be drowned out 100 times over by the potential supporters, many of whom are ex-Ross Perot types, who will be attracted to the LP precisely because of Barr.

    And quite frankly, I’ll take moderate libertarians like ex-Perot supporters, over Radical Anarchists, any day of the week.

  129. Whom, “miche” believes that what Root did was “slimy.” Geez, a 3rd place finisher, cutting a deal with the 1st place finisher to be the VP, to help him secure the nomination is “slimy.” Never before done in politics. Gasp! The thought of cutting a deal in politics to advance oneself. Oh my Gosh. How can we ever stomach such a thing.

    Of course, if Kubby had done the same, then it wouldn’t have been viewed as “cutting a deal.” He’s one of the “good guys” Radical Caucus members you see. And we all know they can do no wrong.

  130. Eric, why do you care? You haven’t been in the LP in a long time, nor have you been a libertarian in a long time.

  131. I hope I’m not the only one who notices the irony in Eric Dondero telling someone else to “chill”

  132. And I actually agree with him on this too, which is pretty scary in itself.

  133. George,

    Glad to hear that you are living up to your concession speech’s words.

    I knew of Arthur Torry’s plans for an emergency convention, (he wasn’t exactly shy about telling anyone and everyone about them) which scared the crap out of me even before I had decided on how to vote.

    Reading this post in its original form had me worried that Torry’s plans were going forward.

  134. As the Pagan that believes the 1st Amendment applies to EVERYONE, not just the people Bob Barr likes?

    *I* was the person that mentioned L. Neil Smith as a possible, and ONLY *possible* substitute for Barr – At the time of the convention it appeared that we had the votes to call a convention to place a different candidate on the ballot, and when I asked LNS, he said he would be willing. I also STATED that while I favored LNS, I did NOT think that he was as popular with the rest of the LPMA State Committee.

    I should point out that in my 26 YEARS as an LP member, Barr is the FIRST Presidential candidate whom I am totally unable to support, even though my first choice didn’t always get the nod in previous cycles. It isn’t JUST the “Pagan thing” or the “Gay thing”, but goes all the way down the record – Barr has consistently VOTED in IMHO anti-freedom ways, and his alleged “conversions” have been weasel-worded half-assed steps at best. Add to this his apparently questionable personal ethics (or lack thereof) and I don’t find any way I can support the guy, or in the admittedly unlikely case that it would come up, cast an electoral vote for him. It would have been a struggle in some cases, but I could have at least somewhat supported ANY of the other candidates that were on the Denver ballot if they had been chosen. I thought George was the best compromise candidate, but could have worked with any of the others.

    I am still not liking the idea of placing Barr on the ballot in Mass., but have been convinced that there is not a viable means of preventing it, therefore will reluctantly sign to place him on the ballot in order to protect the Bob Underwood for US Senate campaign that is on the same petition. (while wondering how much Barr will donate to his Republican opponent, like he has supported other Republicans with Libertarian opponents while serving on the LNC) Mass. Law does not allow elector substitution, so if I attempt to withdraw I simply destroy the approximately 50% of the needed petitions to place Bob Underwood on the ballot that have already been collected.

    Since we won’t be attempting to replace Barr’s name on the ballot, there is debate about whether we have sufficient reason to attempt to call a Special State Convention to show our objection to Barr, and possibly discuss affiliation with some entity other than, or in addition to, LPUS. I still think we should, but for now we will simply be holding a gathering at George’s house (chosen for it’s central location in the state) to see how much call there is for it among the general membership.

    In the meantime, I’m encouraging my fellow Libertarians to ignore the Barr campaign, and work on other races, initiatives, etc. and try to build the party to compensate for the damage that I am firmly convinced that a Barr campaign will do.

    Incedentlally, my opposition to Barr is not 100% unalterable, I simply demand that he make concrete actions to demonstrate real intent to reverse the many freedom damaging acts that he has done in the past – all I’ve seen so far has been mealy mouthed posturing?

    FWIW, I spent this afternoon helping Carla Howell (who I helped bring into the LP) with petition sorting for the second part of her Repeal the MA Income Tax campaign.

    Arthur Torrey
    LPMA State Committee (speaking for myself only)
    Potential LP Presidential Elector
    Elected Libertarian (Town Meeting Rep, Billerica, MA)

  135. Arthur,

    Glad to hear that you’re focusing on positive steps forward for the causes you do have your hopes up for. That income tax repeal ballot measure is going to be a tough one with the big government advocates now paying attention to it. Glad to hear you’re pitching in on that.

    Hearing that you’ll be keeping an open mind as to Barr in the future is a welcome bonus.

    Your earlier statements scared the heck out me. That led me to make a few snarky remarks elsewhere directed to you that I’m sure were unhelpful, and have since removed them. I hope you accept my apologies for having put them up in the first place.

    As I’ve said in other comments related to looking back on this past convention, I never should have let fear take hold of me as much as I did. Fear leads to the Dark Side. 😉

  136. As perhaps the only potential elector who has clearly and distinctly stated that he could not cast an electoral vote for Barr in the admittedly unlikely event that I was called on to serve, I’m finding that a certain amount of heat has been falling upon me, while others are responding positively to my comments about Barr’s unsuitability for the LP Presidential nomination.

    This has caused me to get dragged into blog-land in an effort both to see what is being said, and in some cases in self defense.

    One of the things that I find frustrating is that while many people are expressing upset over Barr’s nomination, I’m not seeing any clear signs of coordinated efforts to oppose Barr, or do anything else about the situation. Rumours abound, but I haven’t seen or heard much about any definite plans to DO anything? I have to say that I’m less than thrilled by the somewhat muted response of my own Mass. State Committee, but it seems we are doing more than most. Right now it looks like Mass. will put Barr / Root on the ballot, only because doing so is the only way we can get our US Senate candidate on, but will do little beyond that to aid the Presidential campaign. Instead we will urge our members to support Bob Underwoods Senate campaign, the Income Tax Repeal and Marijuana Decrim ballot initiatives, and so forth.

    It seems that nearly half the delegates in Denver aren’t happy with the results, but how many are actively attempting to DO something other than just piss and moan about it? How many are working to get their State Party to do something, whether it is putting some other name (or Nobody) on the Presidential ballot? How many are urging a boycott of the Barr campaign? How many are protesting in some other way (if so what are you doing)?

    It seems to me that this is an issue that is larger than just Barr / Root – The LP as it currently stands has the potential for multi-state ballot access, something of great potential value to political failures from other parties that have delusions of greatness – arguably we had two efforts in Denver to hijack the party, one from the D’s and one from the R’s – unfortuneately the R’s got away with it. IMHO if we are going to get the LP we want back, it needs to be made painfully clear to those attempting to hijack the party will end up with nothing useful if they succeed – minimal ballot access, no support, etc.

    If you are like Mass. where we must put Barr on for other reasons than supporting him, what about passing state wide resolutions of non-support? AFAIK the LPUS bylaws may require a state to put the Pres. candidate on the ballot, but don’t have any provisions about a state refusing to endorse a candidate or even condemming him.

    If you are organizing or participating such an act of revolt in your state, or have definite knowledge of others working on such actions, I’d like to hear from you – My email is arthur(underscore)torrey(at)comcast(dot)net (make the substitutions in parens – I don’t want to feed the spambots?)

    I don’t want to hear complaints, I want to hear about ACTIONS – they speak louder than words!

    Arthur Torrey
    LPMA Operations Facilitator
    Potential LIBERTARIAN Presidential Elector
    Elected Libertarian Officeholder
    (speaking for myself only – for now?)

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.