Ron Paul

Time for the Libertarian Party to Call it Quits?


Is it OK to be a Republican again? Also, what if you were never a Republican in the first place?

That's the question David Bernstein asks over at the Volokh Conspiracy.

With no less than three (!) likely or declared Republican presidential candidates who are broadly speaking in the libertarian camp–Mitch Daniels, Gary Johnson, and Ron Paul–libertarian political activists should pick their favorite of the three and work for his nomination, rather than waste their time on energy on pursuing ballot access for an inevitably marginal Libertarian Party candidate. Even if none of those three candidates gets the nominations (Daniels seems to have the best chance), libertarians seem to have their best opportunity to influence the Republican Party's direction since at least the Barry Goldwater campaign. Time for the Libertarian Party to fold shop?

I'm certainly no LPer, but my answer to this is a three-part "no." 1) I want more, not fewer, political groupings competing for my vote. 2) The presidency is just one of, what, more than a half-million elected offices in the United States? When we no longer have uncontested elections for Congress (a shockingly routine occurrence in Southern California, for example), let alone state and local offices, then maybe I'll be more open to the idea of contraction. Though probably not. And 3) while I'm seriously thrilled that there is so much libertarian flavoring in the current stew of GOP politics, it's going to take more than some scattered brave talk during the wilderness years to make me forget the explicitly anti-libertarian strategizing and governance of GOP scoundrels from 1997-2008. Unilateral disarmament at this time does not strike me as advisable.

That fella on the right sure looks familiar. Ironside, maybe?

Bernstein's right–this is the best opportunity for libertoid influence on the GOP since the Aqua Buddha knows when. But that's also in part due to the limited-government Tea Party movement, which has maintained much of its potency precisely by keeping at least some arm's length independence from the Republican Party. Ask Howard Dean's anti-war supporters how their assimilation into the Democratic Borg has worked out for them. And yes, this is a subject treated at some length in The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong with America, which is now available for pre-order on Kindle!

I suspect, though it's really only a guess, that the real gut-check for the LP right now isn't what to do in a Ron Paul/Gary Johnson/Mitch Daniels world, but how to react to/interract with the Tea Party itself. Will be very interested to read any thoughts on that in the comments.

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  1. ” 1) I want more, not fewer, political groupings competing for my vote.”

    Then Matt, you’ll just love the European parliamentary system and all the limited-government goodness it has provided.

    1. Random Dude, you’ll love the one-party communist states and the limited-government goodness they provided.

      1. No, I’m just saying the sophism of “more is better” has not proven to be true in the slightest for advocates of liberty.

        Democratic parliamentarianism has shown that people will vote themselves goodies that are unsustainable until the system eventually collapses.

        In many respects, Singapore and Hong-Kong have more limited government than here in the U.S. (not all for sure mind you), but yet iirc, Hong Kong doesn’t vote and Singapore has basically been single party. Rule of law based upon limited government is more important than “choice” when it comes to historical limited governments that have been successful.

        1. Singapore also executes people for growing marijauna.

          1. Singapore also has a highest marginal income tax rate of 20%.

            I gave my disclaimers.

            1. Hon Kong is flat 15%. I’m pretty sure that’s all they pay (but I’m no expert).

        2. Perhaps not, but it has given Europeans more precisely that which they desire. Americans desire different things, luckily.

          1. I’m not so sure of that. My impression is that there’s just as tight a “beltway”-style political orthodoxy amongst the parties in any givin European country: they’re all supposed to be in the tank for the EU which can do no wrong; they’re all supposed think multiculturalism is the bee’s knees; any nonsense will be treated with respect if it’s claimed to be “green” or “sustainable”; and so on.

            Look at Finland, where the recent election produced as the big winner party opposed to bailing out Portugal. The politicians in the other EU members, and all their “mainstream” media equivalents, are going apoplectic.

        3. “No, I’m just saying the sophism of “more is better” has not proven to be true in the slightest for advocates of liberty.”

          More is worse, in a sense; it just means more people competing for power , that they might foist their ideas upon us. If we had a government that limited itself solely to a few, enumerated powers, using the presidency as an example, maybe it wouldn’t matter who was “in charge.” That person would be nothing more than an administrator, and every once in a while (say, every four years or so), he’d hand the job over to someone new, and we’d read about it in a below-the-fold blurb a day or two later.

          Ideally, who’s in the White House should have no more impact on our lives than who’s president of our HOA. Ideally.

          1. “If we had a government that limited itself solely to a few, enumerated powers, using the presidency as an example, maybe it wouldn’t matter who was “in charge.” That person would be nothing more than an administrator, and every once in a while (say, every four years or so), he’d hand the job over to someone new, and we’d read about it in a below-the-fold blurb a day or two later.”

            Fat Crack Ho: if you haven’t, you should definitely read “The Law” by Frederick Bastiat. You will like it. It’s actually posted online in it’s entirety here…


      2. Why do you support comas?

    2. Thanks, I’d never heard of Europe. I have so much reading ahead of me!

      1. You’re welcome!

      2. You’ve heard of “feeding the trolls”, right, Matt?

      3. You’re practically French!

    3. Then Matt, you’ll just love the European parliamentary system and all the limited-government goodness it has provided.

      How will more political parties under our system equate to the European parliamentary system?

      1. Well, assuming you could ever have more than two viable parties at the national level, it would be basically the same except for how the president is selected. You would have to have some type of informal coalitions.

        You’d have a bunch of parties that have a bunch of “yes I want government to do this” policies, and the only way to get that legislation through is some government involvement in every policy. They always make the statist-leaning compromises until everything explodes. With a two party system, we have more effective deadlock.

        My snark on this point is not unwarranted. I should mention that all of the Nordic countries that this magazine holds up as nations who have implemented free-market reforms in the right direction are the least democratic in the Eurozone.

        1. Finland’s the only one of the Nordic countries in the Eurozone. (Unless you consider Estonia a Nordic country.)

          I don’t know that Finland is any less Democratic than, say, Belgium, which took about three or four tries at prosecuting the non-far-left Vlaams Bloc for being a heterodox party before they could finally find a judge that would agree with them.

          1. I should have said Europe. I noticed that after I posted and hoped no one would catch it 🙂 Eurozone is so fun to say though.

        2. Even when we vote for less of something we get more of it, Obama and MMJ, for instance.

  2. The Tea Party is not the least bit libertarian. It is as socially conservative and theocratic as the worst of the Republican Party has ever been. Some of them talk a decent game, but if you look at what they have been pushing for, it’s Godgunsandgays all the way down.

    1. {citation needed]

      1. He is right – the Tea Party is also decidedly pro-Medicare and entitlements (see the Weigel Slate poll where 70% of TP strongly favors entitlements).

        The TP was formed in Feb 2009 to protect their entitlements from Obama’s fictitious death panel – they had no issue with Bush doubling federal spending ($1.6T to $3.5T) while in office.

        1. “Godgunsandgays”

          I was responding to this, fuckface Jr.

          1. How many pro-choice, pro-stem cell research, pro-gay marriage Teabagggers are there?

            Out of the 40-60 in the House – ZERO.

            1. Libertarian purity doesn’t require you support any of that shit shriek.The second two are “none of the government’s business”.

              1. I would say the gay marriage thing is in the test unless you just punt that by saying the government shouldn’t be in the marriage business.

                1. Holy noodly one, did I just sort of agree with Shrike? I need a whiskey.

        2. The Tea Party started on December 16, 2007, when Ron Paul had his second big money bomb.

          1. Dude, that’s a different “Tea party.” The Tea Party as we know it now has little in common with Ron Paul and even less with libertarians, other than superficially being concerned with “the economy.”

          2. Dude, that’s a different “Tea party.” The Tea Party as we know it now has little in common with Ron Paul and even less with libertarians, other than superficially being concerned with “the economy.”

            1. Perfect last name there.

        3. shrike is wrong (again). The basic timeline of the Tea Party is Santenelli-Rant to TARP to Stimulus to Ron Paul Campaign veterans yelling at councilmen all across America. The Tea Party has fuck-all to do with entitlements.

          Nice try.

          1. TARP – October 2008.

            Santelli rant Feb 2009.

            You are wrong, pal.

            1. How much TARP money had been spent by Santelli’s Rant?

            2. HAMP was funded out of TARP.

        4. A bunch of ObamaCare opponents jumped on the bandwagon during the healthcare debate. But the Tea Party still originated from anger at the bailouts.

          It might have drifted from it’s original purpose though.

          1. Not just drifted.

            Every vaguely fiscally conservative politician out their scrambled madly to get to the front of the parade after they saw it start. Those that made it have been trying to convince the crowd that it supported them (the pol) from the get-go.

            In any case, the original message was never 200 proof libertarian, and its been watered down and mixed with other threads of (mostly Republican) populism.

            But it was good while it lasted.

            1. Ah, yes, the inevitable Libertarian Purity Test. “We don’t want any of you until we agree with all of you.” No wonder we can’t influence a political system worth a damn.
              There is a libertarian core to the Tea Party Movement, but the other layers include fiscal conservatives, non-progressive paleo-liberals, as well as the ever-present soccer moms and good ol’ boys. The ‘Tea Party’ is about as coherent as a herd of cats. That’s no change from the anti-TARP days either.
              No, it’s not 200 proof libertarianism, but it is a step in the right direction. They have changed the landscape and made it possible for us to get viable candidates into major elections. When was the last time you saw three plausible presidential hopefuls making libertarian noises?

              1. You may have missed my point I’m not a 200 proof libertarian.

                Now my local groups were as interested in [a] school prayer (fer) [b] abortion (agin’) as taxes right at the beginning.

                So fine, that’s my tough luck. I’ve been cheering the larger movement on, but every time I look back it’s a little less about freedom and a little more about Team Blue.

                And there is a reason for that: elements of Team Blue have been actively trying to co-opt the movement since just after it appeared.

                If your excited, then good. I’m likely to send Johnson some money. I lived in New Mexico when he was governor, and I liked him then.

                But I’ll send that money to libertarian candidates and not to a movement with, as you note, opaque motives and plans.

        5. A real-life death panel that rations on politically-manipulable units called QALYs. Hyperbole doesn’t change the fundamental truth of the debate on rationing.

        6. Your facts are wrong, but what’s new…

          In the polls in question, changes to social security and medicare enjoy distinctly more support among the TP than the general population (see…..ay-up.html for example) – cutting Medicare is somewhat easier sell to Tea Party affliates but, unsuprisingly, free money polls pretty well overall.

      2. Sure

        Here’s one conservative’s take on the relationship between the tea party and libertarianism.…..6319/posts

    2. There should be perfect agreement between any LP libertarian and all 2nd Amendment absolutist conservatives on gun issues. Don’t tell me (in addition to the “animal rights libertarians”) there are gun-grabbing ones too?

      1. That would be Bill Maher, right? I mean, he likes to call himself a libertarian, inexplicably.

        1. Bill Maher is a big government, authoritation, statist kind of libertarian.

          1. A season or two ago on his show, Maher said that back in the 90s, he used to call himself a libertarian, but he no longer does. The WoD is about all he’s good for as far as we go.

    3. I have to agree. I was impressed by the movement’s hyper-focus on fiscal issues when it first started in the fall of ’08 and spring of ’09, but it has since become movement for 00s-era Bush policies with only the slightest concern for the fiscal issues that spawned it.

      GO TEAM RED!

      1. cite?
        The Tea Party was born out of opposition to TARP and proposals to forgive the mortgages of deadbeats at taxpayer expense.They aren’t for that shit now.

        1. Yeah, a lot of folks put the Tea Party’s genesis of sorts to a rant by CNBC reporter Rick Santelli on the floor of the Chicago Merc…before Obama was even elected.

          1. That was after the election in response to proposed mortgage modification/forgiveness schemes (and TARP).

            1. Yeah, just checked that out, guess it was after Obama was elected. But either way, that’s where the fundamental sentiment of the Tea Party ‘started.’

              1. The Tea Party started with the Ron Paul “Tea Party Moneybomb” in 2007.

          2. Actually, Santelli’s rant was spurred by HAMP – an obscure Obama program that was part of his stimulus package.

            TeaTards don’t know shit about it – they just wanted to preempt cuts in their Medicare program.

            1. HAMP is a home mortage adjustment program. So SIV is dead on.

              1. I responded to The Zeitgeist, not SIV.

                I know what HAMP is, damn, I brought it up. Nevertheless, it was HAMP that pissed Santelli off.

            2. Not to mention the fact that I think that if you go with the TARP to HAMP timeframe, it kind of makes them look even more republican.

              TARP + bailouts – Some people are pissed, but mostly just bitch in the blogosphere. No real organized resistance (at least as compared to what comes later).

              D gets elected, proposes HAMP (to be funded out of TARP monies), everyone explodes with anger.

              Point being, why didn’t these groups organize themselves to oppose TARP and the bailouts when they happened, instead of waiting until a D was in office, and then rebelling (initially at least) over a very specific program he proposed to use those funds for?

              It’s a pointless thought exercise, but I’ve always imagined that if McCain was elected, and proposed the exact same programs as Obama, the whole thing wouldn’t have blown up. It would have remained as grumbling amongst the punditry and blogosphere, instead of blossoming into a full-blown movement. That’s just my opinion, and it’s worthless, but it influences how I view the TP in broad strokes (there are plenty of individual TPers who I’ve met who would be hardcore libertarians; I’m not trying to make a blanket statement about all of them).

              1. I’ve always imagined that if McCain was elected, and proposed the exact same programs as Obama, the whole thing wouldn’t have blown up

                Fully agree.

                1. The RINO hunt might’ve been even bigger.

              2. There was furious grassroots opposition to TARP. That’s why it failed the first vote in Congress.

              3. I agree with you that if McCain was elected, most of this wouldn’t have happened.

                The TARP thing was a shock to the system that was the genesis for the tea party. The grassroots got enough Republicans to defect from the first TARP vote and it failed. Democrats were the overwhelming passers of that bill and then there were defections on the Republican side on the second vote. However, that anger couldn’t be channeled anywhere because primaries had already occurred so there was no time to build any organizations. By the time the stimulus, HAMP, cap-and-trade, and further bailouts of GM came around, there was about 6 months of time for that initial seed of anger to grow.

                Also, most of the protesters were new to political organization as conservatives; I remember an article in the WSJ comparing protesting liberals to dogs and protesting conservatives to cats: “Things have gotten so bad, even the cats are barking.”

                Then Obamacare came around and it became organized political resistance.

      2. The “Tea Parties” are decentralized and not under the central control of anyone or anything. Their broad unifying issue is the debt (and to a lesser extent, scope of government). Depending on the Tea Party, some have maintained this commitment (the one in Tucson is pretty decent, as is apparently the one in Boehner’s district), and others have become a Republican gatekeeper org with mainstream conservative views (the Phoenix one, for instance).

    4. From what I’ve seen in Washington, convincing Tea Partiers that immigrants are not here to Tukk Their Jerbs will be a difficult task.

    5. Every tea party event I have seen has been chock full of banners and posters telling gubment to slash spending, stop the bailouts, repeal Obamacare, etc.

      Of course, True Libertarians know that tea partiers are only against government spending because they’re racists. They don’t want any government spending on non-whites. True Libertarians want to make sure you’re a libertarian for the *right* reasons.

  3. the explicitly anti-libertarian strategizing and governance of GOP scoundrels from 1997-2008.

    They stopped in 2008? I must have missed the memo.

    1. well they where kicked out of power in 2008

    2. Not for lack of trying, mind you.

  4. I think a Libertarian Party is a fantastic idea. But I never heard of this Gage Skidmore. And frankly, it sounds made up.

    1. Definitely sounds like a Randian villain name.

  5. Unilateral disarmament at this time does not strike me as advisable.

    Why the violent rhetoric???

  6. There is still considerable opposition to libertarian elements within the GOP. And the GOP platform and job performance is anything but libertarian.

    As for the Democrats, they love the state too much, even rhetorically, to ever be a libertarian option.

    1. Well, we gotta hate the gays, otherwise those hicks in Alabama won’t vote Republican!

      1. Dear Hicks in Alabama:

        Get your own party.

        Hugs and kisses,
        Mainstream Republicans

        1. There’s quite a large swath of libertarianism in the South, so don’t use too large a brush in your painting. Though it’s a fair cop, generally.

          1. Libertarians aren’t hicks–I hope.

            1. Libertarians can be anything they want to be. Except statists.

              1. Or President, unfortunately.

                1. It’s theoretically possible, anyway.

            2. We do go to teh occasional tractor pull.

    2. Both love the state. I would argue that the GOP’s love of state power is for worse ends and are much more intrusive into people’s private lives. They certainly don’t deserve any libertarian credit for using anti-state rhetoric. It’s all bullshit, of course. It’s all code for specific policies that, were they explained in honest language, would not appeal to anyone except those few who benefit from them.

      My argument is that, given that the choice is pretty much binary, why not go with the ones who are at least honest about their intentions? You aren’t going to get minarchy either way. Maybe the parties shouldn’t always be judged against libertarian standards if we’re having a real discussion about which is better for the country. With the premise that neither will give up its statism, why not look at the policies and their real-world consequences?

      1. Yes, let’s vote for suicide by pistol. It’s quicker.

      2. Ah yes – more wars and no serious discussion about the debt and deficit. That would be just fuckin’ peachy.

      3. Keep trying to think like a libertarian Tony.

      4. Re; Tony

        I call it adhering to my principles.

        1. What good is having principles if they are untethered to action? Having principles with no means of getting anything accomplished is just an exercise in vanity.

          1. The idea of collectivism is too rooted in you. You keep forgetting that many of us don’t feel responsible for the behavior or outcomes of our fellow human beings. I’m only responsible for what actions I take, as an individual. Even if my principals don’t get enacted, by living them myself, I’m accomplishing what I set out to do (which is to not personally endorse statism).

            1. I hate collectivism.

              But the LP is irrelevant because of its strident radicalism.

              For instance, I support a few regulations – yet I am told I am a “statist” for daring to go there.

              1. Don’t feel bad Shrike, I call everyone who isn’t an ancap a hypocritical statist. Doesn’t mean I think anarcho-capitalism will ever be achieved; just that I’d rather live according to my own code, and have peace with my own behavior, than to sacrifice that in order to chase votes or to seem “pragmatic”.

                1. Splitter!

              2. No shrike, you are called statist for your seeming love of Democrats.

                Now, I think that;’s unfair to you; you don’t love the Democrats so much as profess a hatred for Republicans.

                But, one can’t help but notice the throbbing homoeroticism in the purple prose you direct towards Republicans.

                Honestly, I think you would feel a lot better if you hooked up with a Log-Cabin Republican and satisfied your lusts rather than suppressing them like Ted Haggard.

              3. Shrike, are you back on your meds, because you actually sound somewhat reasonable today?

                1. BUSHPIGHITLERZKLDSFJK!!!11111

      5. I guess if you can’t beat em, join em. Is that the idea? The nazis were very up Front about what they wanted to do, with very Little Opposition. Guess if you were their with that Logic, you’d Be Goose-Stellung right along.

        1. I do not agree with the Nazi party’s policies.

          1. Both the National Socialists and the Marxists love the state. I would argue that the communist’s love of state power is for worse ends and are much more intrusive into people’s private lives. They certainly don’t deserve any liberal credit for using anti-state rhetoric. It’s all bullshit, of course. It’s all code for specific policies that, were they explained in honest language, would not appeal to anyone except those few who benefit from them.

            My argument is that, given that the choice is pretty much binary, why not go with the ones who are at least honest about their intentions, the Nazis and Adolf Hitler? You aren’t going to get liberalism either way. Maybe the parties shouldn’t always be judged against libertarian standards if we’re having a real discussion about which is better for the country. With the premise that neither will give up its statism, why not look at the policies and their real-world consequences?

        2. Someone managed to Godwin a thread about whether the LP should give up the ghost.

          THAT is no mean feat – I salute you ma’am or sir!!

  7. A Gwinnett County woman shot and killed a home invasion suspect Wednesday morning after the knife-wielding intruder attacked her in the shower, police said.…..42224.html

    1. Guns in the shower…not sure that entirely makes sense…

      1. The gun was in her bedroom. Reportedly a .22 rimfire for all you “a .38 is no better than a stick” self-defense cartridge-nazis.!

        1. Amen

          It’s better to hit someone with a .22 than to miss them with a .45

          1. Disagree. The shame I would feel from being reported in the press as having shot someone with a .22 would outweigh being robbed or killed, but having it included in the article that at least I was firing a hand-cannon when I fell.

            .50 or bust, bitches.

            1. That’s fucking stupid. No question .22 LR isn’t a great defensive round, but what you’re saying is just another variety of internet tuff gai-ism. At the end of the day, a successful DGU is a successful DGU. Score one for the good guys and move on.

              1. Oh for fucks sake, it was a joke.

    2. If you follow the news closely there are multiple justifiable shootings/homicides in N Ga/Metro-ATL every week. This one gets juicy news coverage because it was a (pale) woman in her 50s alone in her own home.

      1. Was the intruder black?

        Are only white women allowed self-defense? I don’t get your statement logic.

        1. There isn’t as much (if any) news coverage of most self-defense shootings ’round here shriek.They happen all the time.

        2. The point is that only white women getting attacked get big time coverage in the South. Or at least that makes sense.

          1. A guy shooting someone who tries to rob him at might at a coin-op self-service carwash is more “dog bites Man” while a naked white woman in her 50s shooting an armed intruder at home is more “man bites dog”.

            I don’t know for sure that she’s white. This is in Duluth so she could be of any ethnicity. represenative house on the street

            1. “This one gets juicy news coverage because it was a (pale) woman in her 50s alone in her own home.”

              I presume that’s meant to imply that she was white.

          2. I think that’s in America. I’ve seen the national news.

            1. I’ve got better things to do than watch the news, so I’ll concede the point.

              1. I’m hoping that years of therapy will repair the damage.

                Seriously, major events aside (like sports or 9/11), I can’t remember the last time I watched TV news.

        3. I was wondering if the intruder was wearing his mother’s clothes.

    3. My heart goes out to her. That’s got to be a traumatic experience, no matter how much the perp deserved it.


  8. Without the LP, I could have only voted “present” for the last 30 years.

    1. Now that right there is funny!

  9. With as much as i pay for this hit and run blog subscription of mine i’m disgusted you would plug Reason’s new book….

  10. The LP should have long ago become focused on developing local candidates, and only supported candidates for higher office who had previously demonstrated some capacity for getting elected.

    1. That makes sense. And even better, it’s not too late!

    2. Developing local candidates is absolutely right way to go for LP’s political evolution if it has any at all.

      And sucking it up for Bob Barr for what pitiful name-recognition he brought I found discrediting to the LP last time around. If that’s the best you’ve got, find another line of work.

      1. Holy shit! Don’t let Wayne Allen Root hear that.

        1. Wayne Allen Root got into Columbia on merit. Are you suggesting that only Columbia alums who were admitted for reasons other than merit make better presidential candidates?

    3. Aren’t most local races non-partisan?

      1. Congressional races aren’t Neither are mayoral candidacies, prosecutors, etc.

      2. Every race is partisan if you look at it philosophically.

      3. RACIST!!!

      4. Arguably all races at all levels should be non-partisan, but that idea didn’t even outlast the Washington administration. Nowadays most voters need party identification on the ballot to tell them whom to vote for.

        1. If it’s just branding, what do we need parties for, anyway? I mean, in any official, entrenched sense.

          1. I think parties tend to dominate representative politics because they provide an advantage in organization and aggregating resources. People like Washington don’t need parties – everyone knows them, everyone approves of them. Parties provided an advantage for more average guys, so they came to dominate. These days even big men who can finance themselves will tend to associate with a party in order to benefit from the branding aspect mentioned earlier.

            This is why (barring a major change in our political landscape) an acceptable Republican (even Democrat, though I think it much less likely today) candidate would be far more useful than just about any LP candidate. The two major teams have powerful brands with large followings; it may be much easier to co-opt one of them than to build a new brand from scratch.

            1. I wonder if a campaign to force the government to ban any official recognition of the parties and to make illegal laws favoring one or both would garner enough support? I have a feeling most people hate even their own party a little.

    4. That is what we are trying to do in Ohio; get more local candidates in office.

  11. Just how “libertarian” is Mitch Daniels?

    1. According to, not really. If he’s the best out there, then it’s not worth throwing our weight in with the Republicans.

    2. I was wondering that myself. “Slightly less than Michelle Bachmann” would be an acceptable answer.

      1. Somewhere between Bachmann and Palin.

        1. anywhere between Bachmann and Palin would be fine with me.

          1. ^^THIS

            1. I’d peg Daniels as somewhat more statist than Palin or Bachmann. He served in the Bush Admin. and is considered a “mainstream top tier” establishment type of guy.

              1. I’m really not even getting how he was mentioned in the same breath as GJ or RP. I mean, he isn’t calling for camps for teh gheyz, but other than that, seems pretty mainstream, right down to his drug warriorness.

    3. Not very libertarian at all. In other words the candidate that the Koch brothers will support. I don’t know if it’s pride or something worse but they just won’t give rothbord the credit he deserves. It was the radical, natural-law , anti-fed campaign that started the biggest liberty movement in my life time. Not the limp dicks like Mitch and Fred Thomas that they seem to always like.

      1. I agree with this.

        There was a great article back in ’07 or ’08 about Thompson (not Thomas) – comparing the buzz over his campaign to the craze over tulips in the 1600s.

        As for Daniels – fine, he’s not much of a liberterian, particularly on drug policy. But if it comes down to Obama or him in November 2012, he’s got my vote.

      2. I thought the Kochtopus was supposed to like Gary Johnson.

        1. I thought they supported Nick’s jacket?

        2. The Kochtopus’ running dog cosmotarian lackeys like Gary Johnson.

    4. Well, he’s on Limbaugh’s shit list presumably due to his stance on social issues. So that’s got to be a plus.

    5. Yeah, come on, Mitch Daniels!? I thought it was a joke when I first read it.

  12. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, a potential Republican presidential candidate respected for his fiscal prudence, credits his success in government to the business skills he learned as a pharmaceutical executive.
    The Eli Lilly *Viva Zyprexa” scam occurred 1996-2003 so Mitch Daniels was 4 years into the thick of it,reaped $27 million from Lilly stocks.

    Eli Lilly’s #1 cash cow Zyprexa drug sale $40 billion dollars so far,has a ten times greater risk of causing type 2 diabetes over the non-user of Zyprexa. So,here we have a conflict of interest that this same company also is a big profiteer of diabetes treatment.
    FIVE at FIVE
    The Zyprexa antipsychotic drug,whose side effects can include weight gain and diabetes, was sold for “children in foster care, people who have trouble sleeping, elderly in nursing homes.”
    Five at Five was the Zyprexa sales rep slogan, meaning 5mg dispensed at 5pm would keep patients quiet.
    It’s as addictive as tobacco,because withdrawal is accompanied by severe insomnia for 6 weeks.
    — Daniel Haszard Zyprexa Whistle-blower

    1. Was Zyprexa sold sold in vending machines at elementary schools? If not, then Mr. Daniels will not be receiving my vote.

  13. Libertarians eschewed their opportunity to influence the Tea Party early on, when many of them reacted against the cultural makeup of the group.

    That allowed it to become increasingly dominated by cultural and social conservatives, and drift away from it’s fiscal-centric origins.

    The stupiudity of this is that you have to realize that OF COURSE all opposition to Obama is going to try to jump on the tea party bandwagon. You can’t just jump off it because you don’t like some of the people jumping on. That just leaves you walking alone in the horse shit.

    Instead of turning up their nonses at the Tea Party, Libertarians ought to engage it in an educational mission. They are still substantially dominated by fiscal concerns, and are much more open to persuasion on other things, since they are willing to admit dissent on those subjects. One could actually turn some of these people into libertarians.

    1. Exactly right. I’ve “converted” many of them personally. I find that many are so pissed off (and hopped up on fear) that they are open to listening to anyone. So, that can either be some knowledgeable Of the concepts of natural law, Austrian economics and classical liberalism, or it can be Michelle Bachmann. Libertarian elitists scoff, call them names and ridicule them because somehow they are inferior in their philosophical development, while the Michelle Bachmann’s of the world get campaign donations and more power. Guess we showed them who’s smarter, eh?

      1. Well put, LPer. Interesting…

    2. 100% agreed.

    3. Well said. I agree.

  14. It’s better to hit someone with a .22 than to miss them with a .45

    And better still to hit them with a .45. Shoot the biggest caliber you are comfortable with, that’s my motto.

    1. Yes, obviously. It’s also a better to hit someone with a .44 magnum than a .45. That’s not the point. The point the other poster and I were making/responding to is this snobbish idea that people who shoot calibers that don’t begin with a 4 are inferior shooters or not prepared to defend themselves.

      This article adds to the growing list of examples that that sentiment is just not correct.

      1. Agree with RC, who should nevertheless know better than to open this can of worms.

        FWIW, I see the opposite silly argument made as well, that one is such a star sharpshooter under stress, that a .22 is all one needs.

        1. You think this is a can of worms? You haven’t seen a can of ass-whoopin’ worms opened until you’ve taken sides in the great thin v. thick crust pizza debate.

          1. No, there is something worse. To not take a side in that debate.

            “I know what you’re thinking. “Did he fire six shots or only five?” Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?”

            1. As I said up above, you’d have to live with the shame of being known as “that pussy who shot a guy with a .22”, instead of “that guy who got murdered gloriously blazing away with that badthefuckass .50”. Remember, what we do in life echoes in eternity ; P.

            2. I gotta know.

    2. In my hometown, a guy got shot in the face with a .22. If I recall correctly, he totally had to go to the dentist afterward.

      1. I guess he was no Bobby Kennedy!

  15. Since in 2008 the Libertarian Party nominated a Republican, I say, in the spirit of “fairness” the Republican Party should nominate a Republican.

    1. There are no good Republicans left now.

      Jack Kemp has died and William Weld was crushed by Jesse Helms to preserve John Birch purity.

      1. Whoops, I forgot Scott Brown.

        I love that guy (in a political way).

        1. Interesting. I did not picture you as a Scott Brown fan. What about him do you like.

          1. His dreamy eyes, that perfect hair, the way he leaves scrambled eggs for me on the table the next morning…

            1. That’s pretty funny. I can’t even defend a Republican without getting a raft of shit here.

              PIRS – I have contempt for SoCons. If we removed the aborto-freaks and Christo-fascists from the political process we could get something done.

              1. And what is it you would want to get done?

                1. Shrike wants to vote for a man who would get things done. Hm.

                  1. Top men, Warty.

                    TOP. Men.

                    Men who Get. Things. DONE.

                    You know who else “got things done”….

              2. It could be because this is a libertarian site, not a Republican site.

      2. Ron Paul?

        1. Rand Paul? Thaddeus McCotter? (I just like him cause he’s from MI and is on RedEye every so often…:)

          1. Jeff Flake?

    2. I believe this is this their plan…

  16. Mitch Daniels is a libertarian according to the looses meaning of the word. “Socially moderate conservative” is a more fitting term.

  17. Why not close shop on the LP, and start something new? For all the talk of the ossified two-party system, the LP is hardly a credible attempt to break through the mold — and if a vote for the LP is an attempt to get some positive press for libertarians, heh. More charisma and PR savvy could be found in rather’s cooch than is currently in the LP.

  18. We’re having a “get together” for the LP at the end of the month, with door prizes for whoever brings the most people not already affiliated.

    I thought I had it in the bag, until one of my good friends turned out to be a statist in disguise. He had always said he was libertarian, but I found out he hates criminals so much, that he stated point blank he would vote to raise everyone’s taxes in order to hire enough prison guards to keep all criminals in lock-down 24-7. When I pointed out that most people are in prison for drugs (he supports legalization), he said that that doesn’t excuse it; it’s good to work to change bad laws, but until the laws are changed, then that is the law, period, and it must be brutally enforced no matter what and at any cost. Regardless of the justice of the law, there is never any excuse to break it, and anyone who does so deserves maximum punishment since they knew what they were getting themselves into. We don’t talk about politics much anymore.

    1. Doesn’t seem like he was talking about politics to begin with. Sounds more like fellatio.

  19. Well, being one of the resident LP goobs on here I have some points to make:

    1. The LP does have a great deal of value in American politics compared to any other non-R or D party. They may be lower margin vote getters but they have the ability to set some of the debate.
    2. The LP has fundamental structural problems that prevent them from being effective. I would love for Brian to write a book on it. Ever since the late 70s the LP has been in an organizational and identity decline. Now, they would rather bicker over bullshit than get their ideas out. Also, the nature of its current structure attracts the “all talk no walk” crowd who, apparently without irony, want everything for free.
    3. The LP can get people elected and it has proven that in the past. It has also moved the fight of ballot access toward more freedom more than any other entity.
    4. The points about local elections is valid but is not the answer to fundamental LP issues. The local offices won are often outnumbered and then burnt out. The corruption at the local level is far superior to that at the federal level (in scope not scale).

    Understanding the problems facing the LP took me about six years. I don’t think they should “hang it up” for many reasons. I also don’t think that as long as the current structural issues exist that they will improve. I do see inklings of hope but am not optimistic.

    All in all the LP is a good and valuable political resource for liberty in America. They were teaching the TP what to expect (even though the TP didnt listen at the time) from the establishment. They continue to put alternatives in front of voters on ballots…this can’t be said for any R or D regardless of their political beliefs (since all the voter sees is R – Name or D – Name). They are providing a home for those who are disaffected and want to do something more productive than getting ignored in the major parties. And they are a proving and training ground for insurgent candidates and policy makers in the other two parties.

    To put it succinctly, they are needed.

    Let the LP hate begin.

    I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass, and I am all out of bubble gum

    1. The LP has some serious flaws as a practical political organization, but it has done some good, too. Ballot access is probably its most important achievement. It also gives me someone to vote for in the presidential elections.

      I think the LP needs structural changes and needs to focus more on education and on state and local elections. Also, fewer whacked-out candidates might help.

      1. I’m thinking of trying to run for city council next time on the LP ticket. But I’m kind of a whacked-out guy, so I’m working on reigning it in.

        1. “.50 or BUST!” would be a GREAT campaign slogan.

          Well, I think it would be…

          1. I think it would be too, which is why we don’t get elected ; ).

        2. Stop working! Don’t reign it in, Jim.

          We need more, not less, whacked-out guys to carry the day for liberty.

          1. Yeah I just realized how dumb I sound, to lecture Shrike about not selling out early in the thread, then to say I may try to mask myself somewhat in order to win a city council seat. I completely contradicted myself in the space of half an hour.

            The thing I should really work on is to stop vacillating re: selling out v. working to change the system. : (

      2. this is what i don’t understand. If the LP took all fo its limited resources and threw them behind some mayor race of state rep seat in New Hampshire or Montana or something, they might actually be able to start winning office. Putting up presidential candidates that get 1% every year and pissing away what little money they have hasnt done shit.

      3. Ballot access is probably its most important achievement.

        This can’t be repeated enough. Casting a vote for a third party can ease the ballot access in many places. If you can’t see anyone to vote for, vote for ballot access instead of a person.

        I think the LP needs structural changes and needs to focus more on education and on state and local elections.

        I’m old enough to remember when the Libertarian Party would brag that they were, indeed, the third largest party with scores of Libertarian Party members serving on city councils, county commissions and the like. It seems that now the LP is not much different than the Reform Party, a Presidential candidate and not much else.

        … Hobbit

    2. Piper’s Canadian, isn’t he? Thought I had the next LP candidate for president for a second.

  20. So in summary, Mitch Daniels might be a candidate, therefore it’s time to drop the LP.

    You have got to be fucking joking.

  21. Good discussion – enjoyed reading the comments. Thanks, errbody.

    Also, Matt, a nice, big +1 for the continued shameless promotion of your and The Jacket’s book. YES, goddamnit, I’ll buy a copy already.

    You had me at “this is the best opportunity for libertoid influence on the GOP since the Aqua Buddha knows when”

    1. Fuck that book. If you buy only ONE Reason editor-authored book get Brian Doherty’s excellent Radicals For Capitalism: A Disjointed Collection of Material On the History of the Libertarian Movement in 20th Century America Seroiusly, Doherty’s book is essential.

      1. False choice.

        Why not buy both?

        I am, after all, a rich Reasonoid, with plenty of money I stole from Tony’s and Minge’s friends (and Max’s mom). I’ll buy ALL the books by ALL the Reason writer/editor/dudes…then BURN them – while spraying CFC-filled old-skool cans I’ve kept for the last 20 years just for such an occasion – and then buy them AGAIN with MORE stolen Kochtopus money.

        Byotches – don’t fuck with the Kochtopus.

        *adjusts monocle and top hat*

  22. Not sure why I didn’t see this poll yesterday:

    IBOPE Zogby Poll: Cain Now Second to Christie As Top Choice Of GOP Primary Voters

    Ron Paul is third in that poll, and Mitt Romney is fourth. WTF?

  23. Actually, the libertarian movement is pretty much obsolete altogether. Most of their best ideas have already been co-opted by other, more realistic, political movements (note that Ron and Rand Paul generally refer to themselves as conservatives and constitutionalists these days), which means that the only ideas libertarians still have left to compete with are their *bad* ideas.

    And they do.
    And they do.
    And they do.

  24. Just for my own sanity, being libertarian to me means not thinking any emperor is the solution to my problems.

    …not even a libertarian emperor.

    And if voter participation is the lumber they’re using to build a gallows to hang me with? Then pardon me, but I’m not carrying any more lumber for anybody.

    1. Well, unless the libertarian emperor was me. I could live with that.

    2. A libertarian emperor would be cool, but you know that old absolute power corrupts absolutely thing.

      1. No, no, I can handle it.

  25. Is this article implying that there are Libertarian Party-types who *would not* throw a buck or two at Johnson or Paul because there’s an “R” after their names? It’s too much to get them to show up at the polls on primary day to cast a vote?

    Wow. No wonder we’re screwed.

    1. I think that if either of them wins the nomination, the LP should support their election. I can see how that could hurt, but it makes more sense than taking away some votes.

    2. I think libertarians are swing voters.

      We’re often dismissed because we don’t poll more than 2%, but the last couple of elections have been really close. 2% one way or the other in Florida, and Al Gore would have been president!

      I think Ron Paul is in a unique position in that he has a big chunk of the swing vote nailed down…

      But the other day, he’s out there in front of the Republican caucus talking about how if heroin were legalized tomorrow, not everybody would start shooting heroin… How you think that played the Republican faithful?

      Winning the nomination isn’t about winning the swing vote. It’s about winning the die hards who were cheering on Bush the Lesser just a few years ago.

      Let’s face it, all supporting Ron Paul at this point is really gonna do? Is broaden the support for whoever the Republican nominee ends up being.

      It’s a single member district system. Stop carrying their lumber for them, Buddy Roe!

      1. “Let’s face it, all supporting Ron Paul at this point is really gonna do? Is broaden the support for whoever the Republican nominee ends up being.”

        IF they nominate Ron Paul?

        Then maybe I’ll start paying attention. But I’ve seen the ol’ bait and switch too many times from them to get excited now.

  26. If Ron Paul gets the nomination, aside from pigs flying and Hell freezing over, maybe the John Birch Society will fold.

    1. No they’ll be the Dept of Education

      Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

      RON PAUL 2012

    2. Max|6.24.10 @ 3:29PM|#

      Go suck ron puals dick, morons. You peeple are fucking retarded. I`m done coming to this wingnut sight. this is my last post.

  27. Its the ideas in the parties that matter not the parties themselves… We need liberty loving people that can win the battle of ideas and get elected..

    The problem that i have with the LP is that they don’t win elections and therefore they don’t reduce the size of government.

  28. While it would behoove the LP strategically not to run a competitor to Ron Paul or Gary Johnson in the general election (and for that matter, to hint to the R establishment that they would not mount a challenge to those two as a little bit of electoral blackmail), the majority of potential GOP candidates are shit from the libertarian perspective. The LP would probably best be served by letting candidates from other parties run in their primaries, although I don’t even know how state law would deal with two parties supporting the same candidate. But at a minimum, if a major party general election candidate won the LP primary, they could refrain from mounting a challenge, though there would be some cost in terms of ballot access.

    The most important thing they can do is work on election reform to eliminate the “if you don’t vote for Stalin, you’re essentially voting for Hitler. Vote Stalin! Marginally better than Hitler, if you ignore statistics!” mentality. Ranking, Rating, Allotment, whatever. Our fucked-up democracy is a product of a fucked-up way of measuring the will of the people.

  29. LPs? Why those went out in the late 80s, replaced by CDs, which have been eclipsed by mp3s.

    Today, smarter ones stream their music in real-time to whatever listening device they want at the moment, all wirelessly.

    The problem with the Libertarian Party is the name. It’s too long and garbles before getting fully said.

    Change the name to the Freedom Party or something like that with a slogan and the have a voice over, e.g.,

    We’re the Freedom Party. We’re for You!? [based on libertarian principles]

    1. Seems most Freedom Parties are right-wing. At least you’d get the fascist Harry Turtledove vote.

  30. I like both chocolate and vanilla, but a chocolate Sunday is better than the sum of it’s parts. It just hits the spot while either by themselves just leaves me unsatisfied. I can fatten up on some Sunday.

  31. For more information on world Libertarians see Libertarian International Organization at

  32. Dick Boddie’s father referred to the LP as the “Liberation Party” when he gave a fiery speech endorsing his son’s bid for the LP nomination some years back. I often find myself referring to the LP as the “Liberation Party” in a black pastor’s voice as sort of a tribute to that, not unlike when hip folks say “The Interwebs” or “The Google.” I encourage everyone to do the same.

  33. >>>When we no longer have uncontested elections for Congress (a shockingly routine occurrence in Southern California, for example), let alone state and local offices, then maybe I’ll be more open to the idea of contraction.

  34. The LP is not and has never been relevant at the ballot box, but has been mighty relevant in providing infrastructure and philosophichal and practical political training for a couple of generations of libertarians, many of which ‘grew up’ (or down) applying their ideas and skills outside the party.

    The situation we find ourselves in today with Ron, Gary and Mitch is to a great extent due to the LP’s efforts over the years.

    Be sure there are more wildnerness years ahead. I don’t think it is time for the LP to close shop. As a major party which must — generally — please major special interest constituencies to be successful in elections, the GOP is never going to breed hardcore libertarians, it can only by influenced by them.

  35. IF the GOP nominates Romney, the Republican Party will fly apart catastrophically. That will be our opportunity to build an actual CONSERVATIVE Party in the U.S.

    While it won’t be pure Libertarian, it certainly could have a strong Libertarian strain to it. Certainly reduced government spending and involvement in our lives, freedom ? personal and economic, Federalism, and respect for the Constitution are all popular ideas with the Tea Party types and other disgruntled Republicans out there.

  36. As a veteran of attempts to reform the LP, I think the party is a net negative for liberty as constructed. Hardline, radical ideas (even though much of the LP’s philosophy is common sense) won’t win democratic elections, and the purity testing makes the party almost unapproachable.

    That said, trying to win via the GOP is a joke as well. The preferable result would be Ron Paul, Gary Johnson, et al breaking off and starting a new party targeting libertarians, independents, the fiscally responsible, small businesses, etc.

    Third parties fail for three main reasons: 1.) they spoil elections for the party closer to their philosophy, dissuading sympathetic voters from joining (the Green Party, the Constitution Party), 2.) they are too extreme or revolutionary to be accepted or understood (the LP) or 3.) they lack a clear philosophy, pandering to the lukewarm center or a single issue (see the Reform Party, the “Third Way”, etc.)

    The key is building a big tent taking equally from the best parts of Left and the Right, so the party doesn’t become a spoiler, but maintaining a principled and very different orientation from both, while keeping one hand on the center. A Gary Johnson type could do this.

    1. By the way, my preference is to take over the shell of the Reform Party to accomplish this. Name recognition being important and all…

  37. …Tea Party Movement… layers include fiscal conservatives, non-progressive paleo-liberals, as well as the ever-present soccer moms…. Nomic|5.11.11 @ 8:11PM

    I wonder why the ever-present soccer moms never show up in droves for the Guns-and-Dope Party (AKA LP). I’m so confused.

  38. Why should the largest 3rd party give up? LP candidates on the state and local levels can be serious contenders. I could see a reason to not run a presidential ticket, if that doesn’t give them ballot access problems, should a Ron Paul or Gary Johnson win the GOP nomination, but there is no reason for the party to go away at this time.

  39. According to Duverger’s Law, a third party like the LP will only be viable if we change voting systems from the current awful Plurality Voting to something reasonable, e.g. Approval Voting. Read William Poundstone’s “Gaming the Vote” for more info. I am a lifetime LP member, but I have to accept reality.

    In the meantime, the Free State Project shows the other effective strategy: migration. Even at this early stage in the FSP’s migration, some 5-10% of the New Hampshire legislature is now self-identifying libertarians, forming a quite influential block. They are mostly Republicans, but in the modern big-tent era that is as significant as saying that they are Red Sox fans. The best way to learn about NH and the FSP is to come to the annual Porcupine Freedom Festival, 20-26 June 2011. Every year it gets bigger, and this year we’re expecting over 1000 people.

  40. Mitch Daniels, Gary Johnson, and Ron Paul. I count two so far.

  41. I dislike the tea party about as much as I dislike the far left or the far right.

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