Civil Liberties

The L.P.: Enemy of the Good


As I noted in my post about Rand Paul and abortion, the Libertarian Party, objecting to his lack of ideological purity, is thinking about running a candidate against him in November. Like the L.P., I disagree with Paul's abortion position (although it isn't necessarily unlibertarian, depending on your view of fetal rights) and his support for a federal definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman. And like the L.P., I'd like to hear him express more skepticism about wars allegedly aimed at stopping terrorism. But a decision to oppose him, and thereby conceivably tip the election to his Democratic opponent, Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson Attorney General Jack Conway, seems crazy to me. Whether or not he truly has "the Libertarian ideology," he is far and away the most libertarian candidate in memory who has had a realistic shot of winning a seat in the U.S. Senate.

Does Paul really mean everything he says? Will he deliver on his promises? I don't know, but take a few minutes to consider his stated positions on "bailouts," "campaign finance reform," "health care," "inflation," "privacy & liberty," and "taxes and debt." He'd have my vote just for saying this:

The Founding Fathers warned of a Federal Government bent on usurping the power, rights, and privacy of its States and citizens. In the last nine years, the Federal Government has expanded the scope of its power at an alarming rate, while blatantly ignoring the Constitution.

Whether it's passing the 315 page Patriot Act without a single member of Congress ever reading the bill, proposing a National ID Card, establishing FISA courts and utilizing warrantless searches, or betraying the medical privacy of ordinary citizens, the Federal Government has overstepped its limited powers as stipulated in the Constitution.

Rand Paul seeks to reassert the rights and privileges of the 50 states and over 300 million Americans. The Federal Government must return to its constitutionally enumerated powers and restore our inalienable rights. Rand proposes that America can successfully protect itself against potential terrorists without sacrificing civil liberties. Rand rejects the premise that the Federal Government must be given a blank check in the name of national security.

America can prosper, preserve personal liberty, and repel national security threats without intruding into the personal lives of its citizens.

When was the last time a Republican or Democrat even sounded this good?

NEXT: "I know that a solicitor general is required to argue the legal positions of the administration that hired her — but to this extent?"

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 or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I say this with the most kindness possible.

    The LP seems to have a knack for shooting itself in its ideal foot and then shooting itself in its practical foot. We saw the latter with Bob.


      1. Your caps lock appears to be stuck. Might want to check that out.

        1. Okay, does Sullum really believe that having this moronic kook in the Senate will advance the libertarian cause just because a few things he says are consistent with libertarianism? What the fuck is the libertarian cause, by the way? I mean aside from paying Sullum’s salary?

          1. We try to bring some small amount of joy into the lives of internet trolls.

          2. What the fuck is the libertarian cause, by the way?

            You might start with the T-shirt ads on either side.

            … Hobbit

            1. I’m a fan.

          3. Again, there’s this weird idea flying around out there that libertarians all agree on everything.

            Personally? I think it comes from watching the two big parties define themselves in terms of whoever’s in the White House for so long…

            Since FDR, being a Republican or a Democrat has increasingly become more about being in favor of whatever the guy in the White House is doing. So when people who are used to seeing issues more or less only in that light, they can’t make heads or tails of people who aren’t just about that.

            Even if there were a Libertarian in the White House, libertarians wouldn’t define themselves in terms of what the guy in the White House was doing. …but you couldn’t be a good Republican and not support Bush the Lesser. You can’t be a good Democrat and not support Barak Obama.

            So get ready for it, Max. Being a libertarian isn’t about supporting any particular politician.

            …actually, I’ve often tried to explain to people that being a real libertarian may just be about not thinking any politician is the answer to your problems, but let’s stick with baby food for the moment…

            What Sullum thinks is probably a better gauge of whether Rand Paul is a real libertarian–if Sullum isn’t on Rand Paul’s bandwagon? That doesn’t mean Sullum isn’t a real libertarian–at all.

        2. Looking past the caplocks, is he right though? If the LP is going to bow out everytime there might…MIGHT be a libertarian running as a republican, then what’s the point of being in the LP at all. I think they’re doing the right thing. the horror of it tipping the balance is a little premature. “Libertarians” seem to have this problem with being considered too pure, I’m coming to believe the opposite that they’re willing to bend too willingly for those who flash the right words.


        You do realize, of course, there are perfectly solid libertarian arguments against both of your claims showing Rand’s off-the-true-libertarion-reservation, don’t you?

      3. If abortion rights were about womens’ control over their own bodies then men would not be forced to pay financial payments for said womens’ bodies. The assumption which requires these payments is that the child is the father’s child as well. Hence, his responsibility for support. If an individual causes an accident through their own negligence which killed a fetus, they can be charged with homicide for causing the death of that fetus. If they cannot kill that fetus without legal punishment, then neither can the mother. Serious legal inconsistency, don’t you think? I’ve heard the statement, ” I brought you into this world, and I’ll take you out”,but I don’t really think it is a legal defense for homicide. Unlike many conservatives my disagreement with abortion has nothing to do with religion or morality.

  2. You know I’m starting to think I should update my handle to Enough About Paul.

    1. Re: Enough About Palin,

      You know I’m starting to think I should update my handle to Enough About Paul.

      The door leading out is wide enough for you . . .

      1. “The door leading out is wide enough for you . . .”

        Now that’s the sign of a republican.

  3. Democratic opponent, Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson”

    Don’t you mean Jack Conway?

    1. At this point, it’s become either Paul or not Paul.

    2. They are clones. Look at them, I dare you to try and tell Conway from Grayson.

  4. Wow, that actually makes a lot of sense dude.


  5. Rand talks about himself in the third person?

    1. “Jimmy doesn’t like that!”

      1. But Bob Dole does!

        1. Hulk Smash!

    2. George likes spicy chicken!

    3. Ricky loves talking in the third person, and stealing bases… Bitches!

    4. Oprah don’t do stairs.

      1. Sweeeet potato!

  6. The GOP has been running against abortion for over 30 years and not overturned it. But let’s throw this guy under the ideological purity bus.

    1. Yeah. I mean look at Obama. It works out so well when we follow the advice of the libertarian purists. The country just gets better and better when we do it their way.

      It’s their way or the highway. It’s anarchy or bust.

      Some day in history, the whole 20th and 21st century libertarian movement will be recognized as just what it is today — an obscure movement, studied only by obscure specialists. And neither the movement nor the specialists will have had any real impact on anything.

      I don’t know if Rand Paul is going to self destruct like his father did his presidential run. But so far Rand Paul is a way better candidate than anything else that’s had a real chance since — at least since I can’t remember when.

      This is not the path to utter obscurity. The libertarian purists need to get busy, and now, before this shit gets completely out of hand.

  7. They hardly ever run candidates here in Florida. Maybe they could put the energy they would put in a run against Paul into running someone for Senate here against Rubio, Crist, and whatever dufus the Democrats have.

    1. Not being particularly excited about voting for any of the aforementioned, I had to check, and the LP is indeed running a candidate for US Senate from Florida, Alex Snitker. Evidently he’s the first LP candidate to run for that office, but yet he’s already recieved the coveted Wayne Allen Root endorsement.

      1. He actually sounds pretty good in the interview, except on the issue of immigration, where he’s more like a conservative. Some snippets:

        ABM: So you would be in favor of legalizing heroin, for example?

        SNITKER: Remember, I’m running for United States Senate. In that regard, I’m just pointing out that the federal government has no business ? and no authority ? to make or enforce laws regarding what people put into their bodies. I just want to give that authority to the individual states, where it belongs.

        AMB: But do you think you’ll take votes from Rubio, effectively splitting the vote?

        SNITKER: I get that question a lot. I have no interest in what our campaign does to Rubio, Crist or Meek. We’re in this to win. That’s our only objective. As far as I’m concerned, if I don’t win, it really doesn’t matter who does. All of them will continue to grow government and infringe on our rights. The choice is between three career politicians and me ? a regular guy who just wants to uphold the Constitution. In a four-way race, 26% can win it. And, with my message, I think that we’ll be pulling from the left, right and center.

        1. I actually like that last answer of his. The first one… well… taking the ‘states rights’ cop-out is a republican angle. The point of unalienable liberties is that no government – state or federal – should impose a government restriction on them… saying you just simply defer to states rights is trading one oppressor of liberty for another.

          1. It’s not a very libertarian answer, but it is a constitutionalist one. I’ll take it.

            1. Hear, hear….

            2. I just get bugged out by the ‘states rights’ folks who miss the point about government existing to protect rights, and that transcends Fed OR State. State’s right is too often code for ‘I want to impose my racist or religious or whatever infringements through my local governemnt with the Fed leaving me alone. There is a reason they used the phrase ‘unalienable’.

  8. Hear, hear, Jacob.

    As long a libertarians lunge hysterically at any opportunity to prove their purist fides by condemning candidates that don’t agree with them on every single issue down to the molecular level, they are doomed, and rightly so, to insignificance.

    1. This characteristic of libertarians never ceases to amaze me. To bask in purity is to soak in irrelevancy.

      1. Reason mananges to be impure and irrelevant. Donate Now!

    2. RC–I think an honest argument can be made that, as a libertarian, you should stick to whatever principles you hold dear and still go after the girls that look good at 10 PM and after only 2 beers, instead of settling for the girls who got that somthin’-somthin’ at 2 AM, after a 6-pack and 8 shots of Jager later.

      1. You have so many regrets, don’t you.

        1. You have no idea.

        2. Didn’t you hear him mention the wife and two kids earlier? Ba-da-bing.

          1. And zoltan with the Nut Punch From Hell(tm)!

            FINISH HIM!

            1. Honeybun? Is that you?

              You promised me that you wouldn’t come here!

      2. Even Libertarianism has shown, as a political movement, that it lacks equal distribution of it’s tenets in it’s adherents.

        For example, the insufferable Kerry Howley.

        1. Holey isn’t a libertarian she just used to work here. Like Weigel.

          1. Perhaps SIV. It certainly doesn’t help when her stupid rantings are held up as the Cosmotarian standard and her leftist rantings are given more weight than they deserve. And Weigel isn’t much better. Of the two, Weigel has given Libertarianism the more positive light in which to bask.

      3. Now that is an analogy I can wrap my tiny little brain around. Well done sir!

      4. As opposed to the libertarian way, which is rejecting even a girl who has it bad for you and looks amazing stone cold sober, because of some ridiculously insignificant physical flaw or character trait — she prefers PS3 to XBOX 360? YOU ARE DEAD TO ME. (As a PC snob, I probably have no room to mock consoletards, but it makes me happy.)

        1. PC snob agreement. However, they have pretty much stopped making games for computers (stopped in Best Buy lately?).

          Which sucks hard, because I like strategy games that don’t translate well to consoles – if they make them at all. Can you imagine Civilization IV / Galactic Civilization II on a console?

          1. They’re working on a part V.

            1. And speaking of Civilization on console, if it’s even remotely like Civilization: Revolution, I’m going to kill Sid Meier with a shovel.

            2. Aw, they’re getting rid of religion in it? Gyp!

              In Civ 4, I always race to monotheism as fast as I can – I just love the music that plays when a city converts to Judaism.

              1. Well, it sounds like they’re going to make it less significant, rather than remove it altogether.

                1. Starcraft II coming out soon,
                  nuff said

          2. If you want a strategy game you can play on your PC, you can always try Go. It’s got enough strategy to last you a lifetime. 🙂

            1. Bookmarked.

      5. But if you keep getting fronted by the girls that you like at 10 PM and you want to get laid, maybe you should lower your standards a little.

        1. This was a hard lesson to learn, but in the end, a good one.

    3. I’m not saying don’t vote for him (if you are from Kentucky and you vote); I’m just pointing out that he is partially a statist. Since I don’t vote, I have no dog in the fight and will make whatever observations I see.

      1. I envy the smug. How does it taste, umami proponent? And you do have a dog in this fight, as legislation effects even the passive objective critic.

        1. It tastes like…alligator. Which tastes pretty good.

          I have no dog in a fight over whether to vote for Rand Paul. If he gets in instead of the bigger statist, I will be mildly pleased.

          1. If Rand Paul was the biggest statist in the Senate, that would be a wonderful thing.

            1. No, nah, nu-uh, NOPE man no F***ING way.

              It’s anarchy or bust.

            2. Alas, BP (not to be confused with said evilll Gulf of Mexico polluters ;-)), Rand would be the very least statist – but we all knew that, eh?

          2. You do realize he’s trying to get elected in Kentucky, right? Some concessions must be made, and I’d rather they be on some culture war issue like gay marriage toward which the public attitude is loosening rapidly anyway, than on something like farm subsidies.

      2. Better a partial statist than a full statist.

        1. Is he 3/5 of a statist?

    4. @ RC Dean:

      My vote is like the money I use when I purchase goods and services. The difference is that my vote can go to the “purchase” of any quality of candidate while the dollars in my pocket pretty much restrict me to shopping at Wal-Mart.

      Why would I support a Wal-Mart bargain bin candidate if I can have the genuine Sears and Roebucks model?

      Do you buy goods, such as a car, and tolerate shitty performance from them? Do you go to the dealership with the intent of looking for the fourth or fifth best deal you can find? Of course not. You go looking for the best possible quality you can afford on your budget.

      If you’re not willing to compromise on the goods and services you buy with your money, why would you be willing to compromise on the quality and views of the politicians you vote for? You demand excellence everywhere but the realm of people who have power over you, and in that realm you’re willing to take pretty much anything under the guise of not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good?

      Hell no! I’m an honest consumer. I demand as close to perfection as I can lay my hands on! Screw compromise in terms of quality!

      1. Your analogy is deeply flawed. Due to the winner take all nature of elections, it is not similar to buying goods where you know with complete certainty that you will receive the good you are exchanging for your money.

        A better analogy would be betting on a horse race, since if don’t pick the winner you get nothing. You might like a particular horse, but would you put money on it even if it had no chance of winning (and let’s be honest with ourselves here the LP has never won a federal election). No, no rational person would throw their money away on a losing horse, especially if there is another horse that they kind of like, and has an actual chance of winning.

        Normally I’m willing to throw away my vote for principles by voting LP, because I am faced between two bad choices from the majors. Here we have a pretty good choice and a bad choice. Letting the perfect be the enemy of the good in this case is hurting the cause of liberty overall.

        1. It’s more like a horse race where, if you lose, you get nothing, and if you win, you don’t get most of what you were promised. And if you don’t play, you still have to pay.

        2. Sorry, but your analogy is flawed, also.

          In a broad sense your are 1/300,000,000th of the country, maybe 0.000000001% of the voting public? If you’re going to take the bother and the time to vote then vote for the principles that you hold regardless of their chances of winning. I think that it would give the people who keep track of such things a much better picture of the politics of the public.

          … Hobbit

      2. The problem is that you forget to include electability in your evaluation of “quality”. It’s like buying a car based on it’s looks, performance and reliability, but not factoring in comfort (and then finding out the seats are made of old picnic table benches).

  9. “Rand proposes that America can successfully protect itself against potential terrorists without sacrificing civil liberties.”

    Where is the proposal?

    1. It says that? Verbatim? Holy cow. I didn’t know America needed protection from potential terrorists.

    2. Re: Mick Kraut,

      Where is the proposal?

      It’s called “The Second Amendment”. You can find it here:

      1. The Old Mexican for the win!

        Good to see your posts – spot on as always, OM

      2. If they gits near mah chickens i’ll shoot ’em ded with mah varmit gun. yeeeeha!

      3. AWESOME!! A good test for any candidate and their allegiance to statism – a passionate belief in the rights of the 1A and the 2A as it applies to the citizenry must be a primary plank in order for me to trust them, and even then I would not halfway trust them in the halls of government. A wary eye must be cast at all in every branch of government…

  10. Whether or not he truly has “the Libertarian ideology,” he is far and away the most libertarian candidate in memory who has had a realistic shot of winning a seat in the U.S. Senate.

    This sentence alone makes puppies cry.

    1. Not just puppies.

      It makes Baby Jesus cry.

      1. The Baby Jesus does not cry.

  11. Perfect, once again, becomes the enemy of the good.

    1. I refuse to settle for the false choice offered in the “lesser of two evils” argument. The premise is wrong.

      Demand perfection or you’re never going to get it, nor even make strides towards the goal.

      1. See my comment below. But perfection is impossible. The LP has never run a candidate that was perfect either.

        See robc’s 2nd rule of libertarianism for why.

      2. The only way you’re going to get a candidate that agrees with you on everything is if you run for office yourself. Otherwise, you’re always going to be choosing between imperfect candidates.

      3. Demand perfection or you’re never going to get it, nor even make strides towards the goal.

        Demand perfection and you still will not get it.

    2. You’re never going to get perfection. Ever.

      Refuse to take even incremental steps toward perfection, and you won’t even make strides toward the goal.

      Take incremental steps toward perfection, and maybe you’ll make progress.

      1. I would LOVE to take incremental steps if I could be given *any* kind of assurance that I won’t be waking up in a alley an hour later with a headache and missing a kidney, every time I thought a Republican will be true to me *this* time.

  12. Gee, libertarians holding fast to their dogma to the point of idiocy/silliness. It’s not like people have been warning libertarians of that for years, and certainly not on this website.

    1. Give it up, dude.
      Grow some balls and find a handle you want to keep.
      If you can’t find a reason to disagree, then either leave, or join us. First posted 5/21/10

      1. Sage, I admire your tenacity and persistence in this endeavour

        **two thumbs up**

      2. What? WTF are you talking about?

        You know you guys are fucking retarded, right? Half the time your responses are nonsense like this.

        1. Okay, “Edwin”.

          1. This is the only name I’ve ever posted under. Jesus Christ, you guys even have conspiracy theories about internet commentors?

            Jesus Tap Dancing Christ!

            1. edwin, they’re on to you. computer blue 2911. meet me at the blk heli at the specified location, stat! i have the flouride. don’t forget the database.

    2. Well, you know, this is an example of the dishonesty directed at libertarians or maybe it is that some people just do not understand the concept of principle. It is not about dogma. Dogma is not the same as principle. Take the example of self ownership – the most basic libertarian principle. You either believe in it or you don’t. There is not an in between.

      It follows that if you believe in it you would have to believe that the state has no business telling you what you may ingest. You can not reasonable be called a libertarian if you support the drug war. You just can’t because you are not one. Now, I actually support Rand and I think his unwillingness to have ending the drug war be central to his campaign is just a concession to the reality of the hysteria over drugs and the investment in the drug war in this country.

      1. agreed, although, I think if you couched it in the right terms more people might pay attention.

        Link the drug war to the nanny state, and freedoms.

  13. “…Paul’s abortion position (although it isn’t necessarily unlibertarian, depending on your view of fetal rights)…”

    In fact, the LP’s own platform didn’t take a stand on abortion until just within the last couple of years, when they took most of the platform (I loved) out back and shot it.

    That plank used to acknowledge that there were valid libertarian arguments on both sides of the abortion issue…

    It’s amazing to me, the way the LP insists on demonstrating its own irrelevance…

    It’s not enough to be ignored by the masses–no, it has to lose to the most small “l” libertarian the state of Kentucky can muster?

    For what reason?!

    The LP is a protest vote–that’s all the LP ever was to me, that’s all it’s ever gonna be. Go make a protest campaign of yourself somewhere, there are vicious bastards everywhere!

    If the LP protests the libertarian candidate with the best chance to win–just for failing its purity test–then it really has become a parody of itself.

    1. If the LP protests the libertarian candidate with the best chance to win–just for failing its purity test–then it really has become a parody of itself.

      No, if that happens, it has become the GOP.

  14. Does Paul really mean everything he says?

    If he doesn’t, it’s the less libertarian stuff that’s suspect. He’s Rand Fucking Paul.

    He talks “Western Conservative,” like Reagan, Goldwater, Palin, etc., which is as close as you can find to non-statism in a politician. Take it or way the hell worse. If he’s the one vote that makes anything fail, net win.

    I know it’s not about that. But pretend. Once.

    1. ‘Western conservative’ is the best kind of conservative, by far…..

  15. All of this presupposes a fair election, something I’m no longer inclined to do.

  16. The last two LP presidential candidates were pro-life. And there were others, like Ron Paul.

  17. I normally vote LP. I can remember one time in the past 15 years where I had an LP choice that I didnt vote for.

    However, the KLP couldnt come up with a candidate to run against Bunning 6 years ago but they are going to run one against Paul? This will be #2. The Tx LP has gotten stupid about this at times and put someone up against Ron, but IIRC, they always pull out when they realize how much of a tard they are being.

    1. robc – actually the Texas LP never puts up a candidate against Ron Paul. There is a guy who lives in Paul’s district – a libertarian alumnus of YAF – who is an immigration lawyer, and he disagrees with Ron Paul on immigration.

      He always files for the seat, then the LP state convention declines to give him the nomination.

  18. The way I think about this:

    Usually you have a red and blue candidate that I rate something like a 20 and a 4 out of 100. Then the LP runs a guy who is about a 95, but has no chance of winning.

    Some fan of the 20 guy says I should vote for him because he is closer to what I want and I say “screw you” and vote for the 95.

    In this case, we have a 90* running against a 4. Now everyone’s line may be in a different place**, but I will take the 90 who can win over the 95 protest vote.

    **mine is probably about 75

    1. I really like your analogy.

      I hate the phrase don’t make the perfect the enemy of the “good.” Usually because it’s not really that “good,” just less crappy.

      Here we have a case though where it’s almost like “don’t let the perfect become the enemy of the very, very good.”

      Also, in regards to both his immigration position and abortion–there are definitely anarchocapitalists who are anti-illegal immigration based upon property rights arguments and the abortion issue is like 50/50 among people who (for whatever reason) cast votes for the LP. So it’s unfair to say that there aren’t “libertarians” who don’t hold these positions. I think Paul’s federal gay marriage one is probably the only real outlier.

      But, in any case, when was the last time we could have a Senator with such limited-government bonafides?

      1. Given that nearly every national candidate (from either party) disagrees with my position on gay marriage, I’m not really looking to the US Senate for leadership on this issue anyway. Another decade of family-friendly gay pride festivals, plus continuing generational shift, and the whole argument will become meaningless anyway.

  19. Reposted from a the end of the dead earlier thread:

    Abortion is the shiny thing statists of all stripes know they can use to distract from any meaningful debate about the proper scope of government in citizens’ lives. Please be smart enough to look away.

  20. Fuck the LP. After the Great Arizona Libertarian War here in the late 90’s, I quit them and haven’t looked back. I’m sure they would run somebody against Gary Johnson.
    In 2000 we gave the national LP the middle finger by putting L. Neil Smith on the ballot instead of that asswipe Harry Brown.
    I’m now going to change my voter affiliation to independent now, Fuck them and their ballot access.

    1. I’ve been saying for years we need to disband the LP and replace it with UKIP.

      I think it could be a winner.

      1. I say elect the best guy. Labels be damned

  21. The LP is so messed up, disorganized, and dysfunctional. If they are stupid enough to run against a libertarian republican for publicity all they are doing is ruining the chance to get a libertarian elected to the senate and making themselves more irrelevant. For the most part, they can’t get any good candidates anyways. I always vote libertarian, unless there is a libertarian republican running. The fact remains that most political seats, in most situations, are easier to win as a libertarian republican than as a libertarian.

    1. The LP targeted congressman Barr for defeat then nominated him for Prez.

      Never understood why the Georgia LP didnt go after, oh, say McKinney?

      1. Electoral defeat, or the credible threat thereof, is the only thing that gets politicians’ attention, and that they understand. I imagine that getting knocked out of Congress, in part because of LP activism, had to be traumatic for Barr. Looked at one way, perhaps he hit “rock bottom” then, and was willing to evaluate and even embrace a libertarian approach, especially as he saw those who remained in office abusing the power that he and others convinced the public to cede. The experience might have converted him. On the other hand, perhaps he merely sought revenge on the LP and so contrived to destroy it from the inside, feigning a change of heart and mind to get into the party’s good graces, sabotage it, and by doing so, get back into the good graces of the GOP.

        Who knows? But if the LP doesn’t retain the goal of growing big and powerful enough to deny victory to major-party politicians — whether through the spoiler effect or by actually electing Libertarians to office — they will have no political currency to trade at all, and so no reason at all for being.

        Realistically, is the Kentucky LP able to field a candidate that could deny the Senate to Paul? Are Paul’s poll margins that thin, or is the KY LP that popular? From what I’ve seen so far, if Paul runs against an LP opponent, that won’t hurt him much. If he wins and does great libertarian things, LPers can enjoy the windfall and live to fight another day. If he wins and DOESN’T do great libertarian things, LPers can say, “we told you so,” and try to find a dynamite candidate to run against him in six years, all the while running other candidates for other offices in the meantime. Only if the LP commands the margin of victory and a statist beats Paul will the LP have any reason for shame. How likely is that, really?

        1. This was about the most realistic assessment I’ve seen of what LP politics (yes, it is supposed to be a party and do politics) should be all about. Purists can join any number of libertarian organizations but they shouldn’t be in the LP unless they are willing to consider political strategy as a means of making incremental steps towards a free society.

          1. To bad Barr isn’t a libertain congressman now. I’d rather have him in the congress, then failing as a president candidate (even though I did vote for him)

    2. Congressman Barr was not a libertarian or anywhere near what could be described as “libertarian leaning” at that time. So they were totally justified in running a candidate against him back then.

  22. The LP candidate will get 0.7% of the vote just like they do every election, and have no effect on the out come like they do every year.

    Also there is the argument that by having a LP candidate on the Ballot his opponents can’t label him as a libertarian.

    1. Interesting point. Too lazy to Google, but maybe they’re running a candidate because if they get X number of votes, they will be on the ballot in the next election without having to do a petition drive.

  23. I votin for rand cuz i donts wants teh sell to no coloreds.

    1. You’re going to be disappointed, I think.

    2. Sen. Byrd? You can’t vote n Kentucky!

  24. Ya dumb move. Paul is more Libertarian than Barr. Barr switched not just parties, but ideologies. At least Paul has real Libertarian pedigree.

  25. I don’t know if this applies in Ky., but in some states a political party loses ballot status if they fail to run candidates for certain offices. But even if it does apply, come on now! Is it really more important to have an easier path to the ballot (or label on the ballot) for a few years for your candidates who never have a chance to be elected, than to actually elect a good candidate to the US Senate?!!

  26. I apologize if this point has already been made, but I wonder if this will actually help Rand Paul in the upcoming election. If the Democrats are trying to paint him as some sort of kook, the fact that the kooky party (in the Democrats’ eyes) say that he isn’t kooky enough may actually help him with the electorate. That’s not to say I agree with Rand Paul’s approach to, say, the abortion issue; I very much prefer his father’s federalist approach. But in the end it may actually help define him among the electorate more moderately than without the LP threatening to run a candidate against him.

    1. Good point. It’s possible that if the KY LP put in as radical an anarcho-libertarian as they could, it may just help Paul look more “moderate”. Public debate between libertarians may even help move more people to start questioning the statist pablum they’ve been getting fed for years.

      But more important, I think this country needs the two party duopoly broken even more than it needs a senator with libertarian leanings from a major party in the congress. So the best thing for the country may be in the LP continuing to assert its independence and running a candidate.

  27. L.P. certainly is selective with their demands for ideological purity. Bob Barr voted for the Patriot Act TWICE. He was also an activist for ridiculous anti-gay marriage legislation. And from meeting the guy, I can confirm that he is less a libertarian and more a smarmy prick with a shifty moustache. Clearly inferior to Rand, at any rate.

    Of course, Rand isn’t perfect. And his increasingly interventionist tone is alarming. But none of that seems to be the issue here. Methinks this L.P. crybaby routine has more to do with Paul-envy than concerns over ideological purity.

  28. We have successfully neutralized another limited government candidate. The empire should be pleased. All we had to do was use two controversial statements about issues that will never come up for vote in congress and that we would never ask democrat candidates their opinions about (same strategy we’ve been using on republicans for years). Hell, Libertarians are falling all over themselves to denounce the guy. (Laughs Manically).

    1. Yes. All that. And the prospect of continued ‘success’ of the ever-expanding government party is assured.

      At least they’re pretty sure it’s assured.

      If limited government candidates succeed, then there’s a chance (however small) of putting the brakes on an unsustainable situation.

      If they don’t succeed, then the government will eventually fail, because regardless of what I feel about RP, Welch is correct: We are out of money.

  29. The Kentucky LP should absolutely NOT play dead and let Rand Paul, a states rights federalist, take the Libertarian mantle. The state LP absolutely must run a real Libertarian in this race!

    Rand Paul is definitely *not* a Libertarian. It’s not Libertarian to say that the Feds can’t ban something but the states certainly can. Just because it’s a smaller unit of government still makes it state sanctioned oppression.

    Any LP office holder who is actively campaigning for or donating to a candidate of another party should be removed from his or her party office. It does not do the LP any good as a political party, to support other parties’ candidates – or to roll over and not run anyone at all.

    1. “The Kentucky LP should absolutely NOT play dead and let Rand Paul, a states rights federalist, take the Libertarian mantle.”

      The Libertarian mantle?!

      What is that like the Shroud of Turin?

      I hope he uses it for a snot rag.

    2. Then fuck the LP, because right now, I’ll settle for a constitutionalist.

      If you want to wait until the country completely falls apart so you can institute a utopian anarchist existence, that’s your business, but some of us would like to see the country recover some of its former sensibilities in regards to limited gov’t.

      Those of you who would prefer to see the country burn because the perfect was not achievable can feel free to stay home on election day.

      1. “Those of you who would prefer to see the country burn because the perfect was not achievable can feel free to stay home on election day.”

        Or better yet, why don’t they just become Objectivists?

        The religious right didn’t get their influence by refusing to compromise. …and wouldn’t it be great if libertarians had the same kind of influence the religious right has had?

        No, it wouldn’t be The Promised Land, but it wouldn’t be like the last 10 years wandering around in the wilderness talking to ourselves either.

      2. If you want to wait until the country completely falls apart so you can institute a utopian anarchist existence, that’s your business, but some of us would like to see the country recover some of its former sensibilities in regards to limited gov’t.


    3. Keep losing your relevancy LP and keep losing your registered voters.

  30. I’m sure Paul is shakin’ in his boots at the thought of having to go against the juggernaut that is the KY LP Party.

  31. As often as i hear the Libertarians aren’t republicans, which i don’t believe they are, but i believe most of the people here are, there shouldn’t be this fervent ground swell to protect, cuddle, and vote for a Republican candidate. Especially one who doesn’t extend liberty to actions and people he disagrees with or doesn’t approve of.

    1. As often as i hear the Libertarians aren’t republicans, which i don’t believe they are, but i believe most of the people here are


      1. Yeah i took a cheap pot shot, but i sure aint wrong.

        1. A lot of us here consider ourselves more on the Left than the Right.

  32. Ug. The Libertarians should be running candidates all the time. No more of this Republican bullshit.

    1. DING DING

      Right answer.

    2. DING DING

      Right answer.

    3. I agree with this. We always need to build the party. If sincere candidates don’t run at all levels in every election, we have little or nothing. This whole siren song to get LPers to vote for GOP gets repeated in every election cycle. If I had a dollar for every time someone told me that some jerkoff GOP guy or gal was “our generation’s best hope for liberty in our lifetime,” I’d have a pretty large pile of cash — instead of the large pile of BS that the campaign promises of those “savior” GOP candidates proved to be.

      I don’t think KY LP opposition or support will affect Paul much. On the other hand, Libertarian party ballot access may indeed require a certain level of party activity and candidacy during each election cycle. So let’s not trash the LP too much for doing what it needs to do to keep playing in a system that the Demos and GOP have thoroughly rigged in their own favor.

  33. Ladies and Gentlemen …. quite the gut check.
    It boils down to practicalities here. He’d be replacing Bunning, so little changes on abortion.
    Don’t think this one Senate seat changes the national dynamic much.
    Again, if the race was close i’d have a very hard time not pulling said lever for little Paul.

    It’s odd, daddy seemed more reasonable.
    Voted NO on restricting interstate transport of minors to get abortions. (Apr 2005)
    Voted NO on making it a crime to harm a fetus during another crime. (Feb 2004)
    Voted NO on forbidding human cloning for reproduction & medical research. (Feb 2003)
    Voted NO on federal crime to harm fetus while committing other crimes. (Apr 2001)
    Voted NO on barring transporting minors to get an abortion. (Jun 1999)
    Rated 0% by NARAL, indicating a pro-life voting record. (Dec 2003)
    Rated 56% by the NRLC, indicating a mixed record on abortion. (Dec 2006)

    I would help LP with access if needed.
    The Perfect need a home, but…..

    I still gotta wonder. Ron being a baby doc and all. How can he in his mind bestow rights on a ball of cells. 3rd trimester fetus i get and respect philosophically but still consider it a balance issue.

  34. I get the whole Perfect enemy of the good argument… there is enough common ground with Paul that he is legitimately a less-bad option worth not putting a target on. As someone else pointed out on here, they have not run a LP candidate in several cycles in that state. The enemy of my enemy can be my friend… in this case I think Rand has more in mutual ground than opposing ground and serious political candidate efforts should be made where those opposing liberty are the worst. It’s not like the LP is flush with cash to run candidates in every race of every state.

    Seriously, where is the WA libertarian candidate? You have a left leaning, but pro-gun state that’s also more favorable to business than our other west-coast counterparts… seems to me there should be some legitimate nich for a good LP candidate.

    1. No, they have run candidates somewhat during the last cycle. Bunning didnt have an LP opponent 6 years ago, but McConnell did whenever he last ran, 2 or 4 years ago. I cant remember the last time McConnell didnt have an LP opponent. I know this because Ive been voting LP in his races.

      1. Thanks for the info – I am too lazy to go look it up myself and took the other poster at their word (because trusting internet posters is so smart). I still think that it would be money and focus better spent where there are worse candidates. I am a part of the WA LP (which means I just get frequent solicitations for donations) and try to pay attention to what is going on and I am not aware of them running any Senate candidate in WA. I think there is enough backlash against Murray and R’s that I know are not overly excited about Rossi – considering the odd streaks in WA, it would seem to me someone could at least get a little attention (I have no delusions about a LP candidate winning a major election in this state)

  35. oh sweet mother. I died a little inside. Wayne Allen Root gets Reality TV Show

    The description of Root:
    “Root offers viewers an opportunity to see a high-profile national leader, who possesses the qualities of laser-sharp focus, the discipline of a monk, the passion of an evangelist, the energy of a Ferrari, and a mindset based around tenacity, relentlessness, and nonstop action. The closest role model we can identify for Root is fellow charismatic, bombastic, audacious, tenacious, New Yorker George Steinbrenner”

  36. Even if Rand Paul proves slightly less libertarian than Senator Jim DeMint(R-SC) he would make a good addition to the US Senate

  37. It would have to be pretty damn close election for the Libertarian vote to clinch it one way or the other.

    (Barr pulled less than 6,000 votes in Kentucky in 2008. If the LP picked another guy like Landham for the Senate, it would have really, really, really close.)

    1. And I was proudly one of those 6000.

  38. Yeah, I can’t get past the “legislated marriage for you but not you” position either. So he’s running in Kentucky–tolerant Kentucky!–, the least he could do is shut up about the issue. The second least he could do is support a position which leads to more freedom. The most he could do is the oft-stated “get the government out of marriage” position which is laudable but not gonna happen.

  39. I think it’s clear Rand is actually more Libertarian than he sounds or is currently advertising himself. He’s trying to play towards the mainstream, and is having issues censoring/moderating himself during interviews.

  40. The only thing positive I get from the LP’s message is that, and many if us have noticed, Paul and Libertarianism have been conflated by the media, main stream or otherwise. I also object to that. Libertarianism has been dragged through the mud because he is wrongly identified as libertarian. Hopefully they don’t run anyone as whoever it will be has no chance to do anything other than help Conway in to office giving the Senate another fucking democrat. Bad idea.

    1. Paul and Libertarianism have been conflated by the media

      No, Paul and libertarianism have been conflated, not Paul and Libertarianism. I think the former is reasonable, the latter would not be.

      Hair-splitting, but very, very, very important hair splitting.

  41. Perhaps Rand Paul and his dad are both essentially libertarians and being recognized as such, give credit to our movement. In California, our focus on gay, anti-war and abortion issues seem to have distracted us almost to the point of our party’s destruction. Fortunately, the movement involves much more than our political party.

  42. I hate the LP, but this is probably the smartest, most politically savvy thing they have done, even if they did it by accident.

    Think about it: It ain’t popular being a libertarian these days. Either because our kooky ideas are racist, prop up big government, or just because we keep peskily pointing out that Obama is a total tool.

    As it stands Conway can label Paul as a Libertarian and hang that albatross on his neck. Now Paul can point out that he is no libertarian.

    And the LP’s disendorsement is unlikely to sway any libertarians who were planning on voting for him, *anyway*.

  43. I agree that running an LP candidate in Paul’s race could actually help Paul, especially a candidate who focuses on issues where the LP position is to the “left” of Conway.

    1. But this is the kind of political gamesmanship that the LP has never learned and probably never will (at least partially to its credit).

  44. Mr. Sulum: what do you call someone who is libertarian on economics but not on social freedom? Answer: a conservative.

    It is no more “purity” to oppose Randal Paul, the conservative, than it is to oppose a Democrat who is bad on economic issues. Paul is bad where his father is bad?social freedom and worse than his father when it comes to foreign policy. He wants to keep indefinite detention at Gitmo going for instance and ran as a hawk on foreign policy. So, in fact, he only sounds libertarian on some economic issues. The man is just not a libertarian. It isnt that he is an impure libertarian any more than my cat is an impure dog.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.