Election 2012

Libertarian 'Spoiler' Alert! Seven Democratic Victories in Which the LP Candidate Received More Than the Margin of Defeat

On Friday, Garrett Quinn pointed out two congressional races in which a Libertarian Party candidate received considerably more votes than the margin separating a winning Democrat from a losing Republican: Massachusetts' 6th District (48.3%-47.3%-4.5%** for Rep. John Tierney over Richard Tisei and Daniel Fishman), and Utah's 4th District (49.3%-48.1%-2.6%** for Rep. Jim Matheson over Mia Love and Jim Vein).

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I think it's too bad that Richard Tisei lost

On Friday, Garrett Quinn pointed out two congressional races in which a Libertarian Party candidate received considerably more votes than the margin separating a winning Democrat from a losing Republican: Massachusetts' 6th District (48.3%-47.3%-4.5%** for Rep. John Tierney over Richard Tisei and Daniel Fishman), and Utah's 4th District (49.3%-48.1%-2.6%** for Rep. Jim Matheson over Mia Love and Jim Vein).

Last Wednesday, Brian Doherty also flagged Montana's race for U.S. Senate, where incumbent Sen. John Tester defeated the Ron Paul-endorsed Denny Rehberg 48.7% to 44.8%, while LP nominee Dan Cox received 6.5% of the vote. All three losing Republicans had significantly more libertarian credibility than maybe 90% of elected GOPers on the national level.

So are there any other "spoiler" accusations out there? At least four, probably more:

* Arizona's 1st Congressional District, where Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick beat Republican Jonathan Paton 48.4% to 45.7%, with Libertarian Kim Allen receiving 5.9% of the vote.

* Arizona's 9th Congressional District, where Democrat Kyrsten Sinema beat Republican Vernon Parker 48.2% to 45.4%, with Libertarian Powell Gammill garnering 6.4%.

* New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District, where Democrat Carol Shea-Porter beat incumbent Rep. Frank Guinta 49.7% to 46.0%, while Libertarian Brendan Kelly netted 4.3%. Editorialized the Andover Eagle-Tribune: "Perhaps Libertarians need to consider if their futile candidacies, which serve only to elect Democrats, are really in their long-term interests."

* Colorado's State Senate District 19, where incumbent Sen. Evie Hudak squeaked past Republican Lang Sias 46.9%-46.4%, while the LP's Lloyd Sweeney pulled down 6.5%. Commented former state GOP chair Dick Wadhams: " I think you have to go on the assumption that the majority of Libertarian votes would go to a Republican candidate if the Libertarian candidate was not on the ballot."

Any other national, state, or local LP "spoiler" accusations out there? List them in the comments, and I'll keep adding to this post.

** Those numbers were reversed for the first 15 hours this post was up. Apologies for the error.

NEXT: Bankrupt City Asks Voters How It Should Spend Money

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  1. Don’t forget how the Republicans lost because they nominated an ultra-libertarian for President.

    /sarcasm

    1. And don’t forget they did all open accounts in the Karl Rove Savings and Loan as well.

      When asked later why they did it, they responded that the offer of a free presidency was something they just couldn’t refuse.

  2. Mia Love got foiled? That’s it — fuck the LP.

    1. Why? What was so great about Mia Love?

      1. Her name.

        And her positions aren’t bad either:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M….._positions

        1. She might consider joining a party where she could get some votes.

          1. Like the Republican Party? 😛

            1. 😛 back atcha.

        2. I regret her loss much more than I despise Barry’s victory.

          Added bonus: She’s HOT!

            1. Sorry; F’s who voted for Obozo ’cause he’s dreamy’ get no more respect than your post.

    2. I like the LP being a spoiler when both candidates suck ass. Even if the the R is 0.05% better. But they really shouldn’t run candidates against “good” republicans. Gotta be the carrot and the stick.

  3. Libertarian candidates were the spoilers, eh? John’s worst nightmares… are reality!!!

    Margin Walker.

  4. “Libertarian ‘Spoiler’ Alert! Seven Democratic Victories in Which the LP Candidate Received More Than the Margin of Defeat”

    Maybe it’s because those who vote L couldn’t see a difference between the D and R candidates.
    Now the Repubs *could* do something about that, but I’m not gonna hold my breath.

    1. In some races, that’s definitely the case. In some of the races mentioned, that’s not the case at all.

      If libertarians vote LP not just when the R nominated is terrible (as in lots of cases, and including Romney), but also when the “losing Republicans had significantly more libertarian credibility than maybe 90% of elected GOPers on the national level” according to guys like Welch and Doherty, that implies that the Republicans really *can’t* do something about it. It makes it look like L voters are pretty random and vote LP regardless of nominee, and that it doesn’t matter if the Republicans try to chase libertarians out of the tent or not.

      I think that in practice it’s explained by the LP vote being high in districts that are libertarian-leaning, and thus nominated more libertarian-leaning Rs (and some Ds) anyway.

      1. that implies that the Republicans really *can’t* do something about it

        Bullshit, they can do something about. 90% of GOP isnt that high a standard. Be “the next Ron Paul”. Or even more libertarian than that.

        If 10% of republicans in congress are more libertarian than you, you arent very libertarian.

        1. OTOH, if all Republicans were at the 90% percentile of Republicans for libertarian issues, then the DOJ raids on medical pot would be defunded, among other issues.

        2. You’re the parent who complains of the A student that s/he isn’t getting A+, and drives hir to become a JD (juvenile delinquent, not juris doctor).

        3. What about the time the LP ran a candidate for Congress against Ron Paul? OK, just once AFAIK, but it’s an example of how ridiculous the LP can get about this.

      2. John Thacker| 11.12.12 @ 6:58PM |#
        “In some races, that’s definitely the case. In some of the races mentioned, that’s not the case at all.”

        Maybe they should join a party without such a fucking ridiculous platform.
        (with credit to Coeus, below)

      3. I think that in practice it’s explained by the LP vote being high in districts that are libertarian-leaning, and thus nominated more libertarian-leaning Rs (and some Ds) anyway.

        That is brilliant analysis … exactly correct.

      4. I think that in practice it’s explained by the LP vote being high in districts that are libertarian-leaning, and thus nominated more libertarian-leaning Rs (and some Ds) anyway.

        That’s exactly what I was going to write, except I would’ve written “parts of the country” rather than “districts” — although “districts” is true as well. This is the unfortunate problem I’ve observed for some time: The Libertarian Party is almost always going to be strongest in the places where it’s the least needed and the most destructive.

        I wrote “almost” because of the paradoxic cases such as Manhattan, where the LP traditionally did best in votes of all the NYC boros, because the LP does particularly well among elites that don’t have substantial numbers anyway.

        Libertarians need leaders to abolish the LP, rather than to sustain it, because as long as that choice is on the ballot, too many libertarian voters are too independent-minded to listen to the counsel of other leaders to vote for the attainable 2nd best rather than the unattainable best.

    2. Another explanation is that libertarian voters respond to national trends, rather than who is nominated in their own district.

      However, I note that national polls indicate that libertarian-leaners mostly (unlike me) came back to the Rs after swinging to Ds in 2004 and 2008. Presumably because President Obama was such a disappointment.

      I thus stick to my libertarian district – more libertarian Rs and also more LP voters theory.

    3. You should have heard Rush Fuckbaugh today going on about how the Republicans MUST NOT forsake their beliefs. We must continue to hate gays and brown people. We must not give in to those pinko liberal bastards who want to legalize marijuana (pain killers…okay, but not pot).

      I’m afraid they will go the other way. The will give in fiscally and double down socially.

      Fuck the Republicans!

      1. Yeah, well, Rush is an ignoramus.

        1. You forgot to mention “fat-assed drug addict”

          1. Yet according to Shrike, he’s beloved by the commentariat here

            1. You’re giving value to Shrike’s spittle. Just don’t.

              1. I’m just making fun of his absurdities

            2. That’s because libertarian=Republican, just farther right.

              /the media

            3. Calidissident| 11.12.12 @ 8:15PM |#
              “Yet according to Shrike, he’s beloved by the commentariat here”

              According to shreek, shreek isn’t an ignoramus.
              Sorry, evidence shows otherwise.

              1. Shrike is the reason nobody takes anonymous posters on the internet seriously.

      2. So, I’m guessing Limbaugh supported Romney. Wouldn’t that, by definition, be forsaking his beliefs?

        1. Paul.| 11.12.12 @ 10:24PM |#
          “So, I’m guessing Limbaugh supported Romney. Wouldn’t that, by definition, be forsaking his beliefs?”
          Not sure how you could tell.

          1. Sure its consistent. Limbaugh’s worldview boils down to, “Yay team RED, boo everyone else.” Through that lens he is perfectly congruent.

  5. “the Andover Eagle-Tribune: “Perhaps Libertarians need to consider if their futile candidacies, which serve only to elect Democrats, are really in their long-term interests.”

    Perhaps the Repubs need to consider it chasing L’s out of the tent in really in their long-term interests.
    IOWs, fuck you and your lack of principles.

    1. Perhaps the Repubs need to consider it chasing L’s out of the tent in really in their long-term interests.

      This. A thousand times this. There are people in this thread who act like the battered girlfriend. The Repubs did everything but tar-and-feather the libertarian wing of the GOP this cycle. And the pundits are saying that the problem is that they didn’t do enough. It’s great that it got so much press, and I think that’s part of the reason that the libertarian percentages jumped this year. But anyone who thinks that this strategy is good for anything other than bringing libertarian issues into the political discussion, thus helping people to realize that they are libertarian, is sorely mistaken.

      Watch what is going to happen in Nevada by the next election cycle. The establishment is going to use all of their power to take back their Nevada wing. And they will succeed. That should disabuse you of any notion of taking over the Republican party with libertarians.

      1. Then the fuckers can continue to lose to Democrats.

        The Ents have awakened to realize we are strong.

        1. Francisco d Anconia| 11.12.12 @ 9:03PM |#
          “Then the fuckers can continue to lose to Democrats.”

          This is the point.
          Voting for some not-quite-as-statist politico ain’t gonna happen here. I don’t care if one ‘only’ takes 50% of what I earn compared to 52%. Neither is getting my support.
          If either of them want my support, they can agree that 0% is the proper amount, but can we come to some agreement that, as a society, we need some?
          Now, we’re talking; my life is mine to trade with those who offer a decent return. The rest can go PUAR.

  6. In the local races, there are generally two different ways that LP candidates do well (not just when they’re spoilers):

    1) It’s a very libertarian district, in which case the Republican (and sometimes the Democrat) is towards the libertarian wing of the party. The LP candidate did very well in the AZ Senate race despite Flake. (Holding Flake’s margin of victory well below that of Romney; also Carmona well outran Obama in AZ.)

    2) The candidates nominated are really, really not libertarian at all, so it’s a protest against crappy candidates. Falling in this category would be, say, MO Senate due to Todd Akin. Gary Johnson’s vote total is good for the LP recently, so this also falls in this category.

    Anything that falls in category 2 I really don’t give a crap if people yell “spoiler.” The accusation has a little bit of salience in cases like 1); if Flake had lost, for example. All the cases where “losing Republicans had significantly more libertarian credibility than maybe 90% of elected GOPers on the national level,” like Tisei’s case are actually kind of annoying.

    If, for instance, Rand Paul lost in 4 years due to a yet more libertarian than thou candidate taking a decent percentage, I’d be annoyed. He’s not perfect, but he’s so much better than the average Senator.

    1. If, for instance, Rand Paul lost in 4 years due to a yet more libertarian than thou candidate taking a decent percentage, I’d be annoyed.

      So you’d be annoyed that a libertarian candidate took a decent percentage? The only way that reasoning makes sense is if you never want to see libertarian candidates do decently. The larger percentage of votes for the libertarian candidate, the better. It starts a snowball effect with all those idiots who say “I’d vote for him, if he had a chance of winning.” All of those people have a different percentage in mind. The higher it is, the more people join in and bring it an acceptable level for other holdouts. If Rand loses due to that, then maybe he should join a party without such a fucking ridiculous platform.

      1. So you’d be annoyed that a libertarian candidate took a decent percentage? The only way that reasoning makes sense is if you never want to see libertarian candidates do decently.

        No, the only way your reasoning makes sense if you never want to see a libertarian candidate elected, but you only care about the Libertarian Party. I don’t care if a Libertarian Party candidate is elected, I want to maximize the libertarian nature of Congress in both the short and long term. I believe that requires both punishing the parties when they nominate anti-libertarian candidates and nudging them in a positive direction when they nominate candidates significantly better than the status quo.

        If 90% percentile of current elected officials isn’t good enough for you, then I don’t see how you care about libertarianism succeeding in the short or long term.

        Why do you care about TEAM and party labels so much?

        If the entire Republican caucus were Rand Pauls, there wouldn’t be a need for the LP.

        1. No, the only way your reasoning makes sense if you never want to see a libertarian candidate elected, but you only care about the Libertarian Party. I don’t care if a Libertarian Party candidate is elected, I want to maximize the libertarian nature of Congress in both the short and long term.

          If you’re satisfied with a libertarian-leaning GOP, then you’re a republican, not a libertarian. I voted for the libertarian-leaning GOP candidates in the primary, but voted for the Libertarian candidates in the general. Because I’m a libertarian. I vote for the candidate who closest represents my views. People who vote for the the most popular candidate who is marginally better than the other are confused, scared sheep. If there is no room for people like me in your preferred future, then fuck your preferred sheep-filled future.

          1. “Because I’m a libertarian.”

            Which means you are a TEAM voter. It is only that your team is very small.

            1. See the small l? If the GOP ran a candidate who was more closely aligned with my views, I would vote for them. If the Dems or the Greens or the fucking Nazi’s ran a candidate more closely aligned with my views, I would vote for them. A TEAM voter votes for the TEAM, not the issues.

            2. Mickey Rat| 11.12.12 @ 8:30PM |#
              “Because I’m a libertarian.”
              Which means you are a TEAM voter. It is only that your team is very small.”
              Assertion minus evidence.

              1. The quote was the evidence.

                1. The quote was the evidence.

                  Logic fail. This has already been explained to you.

          2. I voted for the libertarian-leaning GOP candidates in the primary, but voted for the Libertarian candidates in the general. Because I’m a libertarian. I vote for the candidate who closest represents my views.

            Which is fine, but it guarantees that moving more libertarian is an electoral loser for a party. It guarantees that moving libertarian loses more voters than it wins.

            I strongly support voting LP whenever the nominated Republican would be in worse half (or two-thirds, or greater) of the caucus on libertarian issues. But it’s stupid to vote the same even if the candidate would be in the 90th percentile.

            It gives incentive for candidates to be less libertarian, just as much as if you voted Republican (or Democrat) no matter what.

          3. The why don’t you write your own name in for every office, every election? I’m sure that’s the candidate who closest resembles your views. Why compromise your vote by selecting anyone nominated by anyone else? You know they’re not going to agree with you on everything.

            As soon as you say, “Well, I wouldn’t go that far,” then you realize the compromise is all a matter of degree. If the 90th percentile (and not just of everyone, but of Republicans) isn’t good enough for you, Coeus, then you’re that wacky A+ demanding parent I referenced above who doesn’t get the result they seek.

            1. then you realize the compromise is all a matter of degree. If the 90th percentile (and not just of everyone, but of Republicans) isn’t good enough for you, Coeus, then you’re that wacky A+ demanding parent I referenced above who doesn’t get the result they seek.

              My personal compromise is that I draw the line at murder. Foreign policy and the Drug War are the biggest killers of all time. The 90th percentile of republicans still mostly have murder on their list of approved government functions (the exceptions are the ones I would vote for in the General). If that’s good enough for you, fine. But don’t pretend that it makes me a perfectionist. That should be a minimal fucking standard for civilized society.

              If I were willing to waive that for other goals, I’d be no better than the Democrats.

              But that’s personal opinion. I’ve provided a strategic argument below for voting that way elsewhere on this thread.

        2. “If 90% percentile of current elected officials isn’t good enough for you, then I don’t see how you care about libertarianism succeeding in the short or long term.”
          You’re kidding, right?

        3. I believe that requires both punishing the parties when they nominate anti-libertarian candidates and nudging them in a positive direction when they nominate candidates significantly better than the status quo.

          So you’d reward someone who wanted to shutter the department of education but also wants to read your emails, search your home and imprison you while ignoring all of your constutional protections? Cause that’s significantly better than the status quo. That’s because the status quo is bullshit and needs to be nuked from orbit.

          I’m gonna vote for the non-assholes. And I’m gonna be happy when others do the same.

          If the entire Republican caucus were Rand Pauls, there wouldn’t be a need for the LP

          Donderoo? That you?

          1. I thought Dondero was not a fan of the Pauls?

            As for my take on the issue, I don’t blame individual voters for voting for the candidate who best represents their views, especially considering their vote isn’t going to change the outcome. I will say that I’d like to see the LP possibly not run candidates in districts or states were there is a good (not just better than the status quo – I’m talking a Ron or Rand Paul, Justin Amash, etc) Republican candidate running and focus their resources in places where the Republican candidates are really shitty.

            1. I thought Dondero was not a fan of the Pauls?

              Dondero is a fan of war. As is Rand. As is almost any other “libertarian-leaning” congressman besides Ron. And I’m sorry, but foreign policy is a big fucking deal. People are being killed for the flimsiest of reasons, and it’s being done with the money taken from me at gunpoint. Libertarians should not act like the dems and allow themselves to be bought off of half of their policy positions.

              1. As is Rand.

                Ayn Rand? Wrong. Ayn Rand hated war, which is why she favored doing whatever it takes to end it. The favored approach by peaceniks to call an unpeaceful situation peace is not engendering peace.

                1. Ayn Rand?

                  Stupid or just being willfully obtuse in order to setup a strawman?

                  Either way, fuck off with that bullshit. And un-tuck your shirt, your war boner is showing.

                  1. DIPSHIT ALERT

              2. Rand Paul is a fan of war? He’s called for ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, has criticized the drone strikes, opposed Libya, and has promoted caution with regards to Iran. He called out Romney, his party’s nominee, during campaign season, for his bellicose rhetoric on foreign policy. Or are you one of those people who thinks he’s a bloodthirsty warmongerer just like everyone else because of his vote on the sanctions?

                1. Or are you one of those people who thinks he’s a bloodthirsty warmongerer just like everyone else because of his vote on the sanctions?

                  That’s one of the data points, yes. His words are another. He’s explicitly stated that he feels that the military is a valid means to advance our international interests. Though I will admit he’s been better on it than I thought he would be.

                  But remember, this is what I was responding to:

                  If the entire Republican caucus were Rand Pauls, there wouldn’t be a need for the LP

                  If that’s all Thacker wants in a candidate, then he’s obviously not libertarian, any more than dondero is.

                  And this isn’t no-true-scotsman thinking. This me not wanting to be a complete hypocrite like the anti-war left has turned out to be. Foreign policy matters. People are being murdered. Gary Johnson had it right. If they don’t want you there and they aren’t attacking your country, just get the fuck out.

                  1. “His words are another. He’s explicitly stated that he feels that the military is a valid means to advance our international interests.”

                    First off, actions speak louder than words to me. More to the point, I don’t think Rand Paul means the same thing when he says “international interests” as most Republicans do. And his votes and positions on specific military actions support that.

                    “And this isn’t no-true-scotsman thinking. This me not wanting to be a complete hypocrite like the anti-war left has turned out to be. Foreign policy matters. People are being murdered. Gary Johnson had it right. If they don’t want you there and they aren’t attacking your country, just get the fuck out.”

                    Do you realize how many people I’ve come across on the Internet (mostly diehard Ron Paul fans on the Daily Paul) who didn’t vote for Johnson because they think he is too much of a warmongerer. What military actions in recent years have Rand Paul and Gary Johnson disagreed on? If either guy had been president, there would be a lot fewer dead people from the wars

                    1. And his votes and positions on specific military actions support that.

                      He’s only been there for 2 years, and the anti-war-in-Libya position was popular with the GOP because Obama supported it. Iran will be the true tell, and the sanctions vote doesn’t give me a lot of hope. But if I’m wrong, I will be very happy to be wrong.

                      What military actions in recent years have Rand Paul and Gary Johnson disagreed on?

                      Iran sanctions, for one.

                      If either guy had been president, there would be a lot fewer dead people from the wars

                      Agreed. And if Rand ran, I’d vote for him in the primary.

                    2. His Libya position was popular with SOME Republicans. There were many who supported it, or thought Obama didn’t do enough. Rand has clashed with John McCain and Marco Rubio, two guys who are pretty big deals in the GOP establishment, on foreign policy in Congress.

                      Iran sanctions is a foreign policy action, but not a quintessentially military one. While I disagree with his vote, I can understand how someone could be misguided into thinking that sanctions could be a way of preventing a war. Paul isn’t a strict dogmatic libertarian, and neither is Johnson.

                      You also ignored my point about how people used your exact logic to not support Johnson, though I will give you credit for (hypothetically) voting for Paul in the primaries

                    3. Iran sanctions is a foreign policy action, but not a quintessentially military one.

                      Everything is ultimately enforced with a gun.

                      You also ignored my point about how people used your exact logic to not support Johnson, though I will give you credit for (hypothetically) voting for Paul in the primaries

                      I will need examples. I’ve seen not one thing objectionable about Johnson’s foreign policy. If anything, he got flack for being too libertarian.

                      But as I’ve said repeatedly, I vote for whoever is on the ballot that most closely represents my ideals. My only dealbreaker is murder. That includes foreign policy and the drug war. If I missed some of Gary’s positions in regards to murder, perhaps I voted for him in error.

                    4. I will need examples. I’ve seen not one thing objectionable about Johnson’s foreign policy. If anything, he got flack for being too libertarian.

                      This article has some of Johnson’s foreign policy positions. Which makes Rand Paul’s positions seem much better than Johnson’s. But who knows whether it’s what they believe or if they’re just playing politics.

                    5. This article has some of Johnson’s foreign policy positions. Which makes Rand Paul’s positions seem much better than Johnson’s. But who knows whether it’s what they believe or if they’re just playing politics.

                      I had never seen that before. I know he clarified the drone stance to be a response to an attack and a latter statement he made means he backed off the Afghanistan military bases, but that Kony stuff is disturbing.

                    6. I think he later backed off the Kony stuff as far as US government intervention goes.

                      In any case, I understand not voting for someone strictly off of say, support for the Iraq War, or support for continuing or expanding the War in Afghanistan, but if someone who opposed Iraq, supported a short, limited mission in Afghanistan that included no occupation, nation-building, drones, etc, opposed Libya, and has opposed a war with Iran (all of which are true of both Paul and Johnson) doesn’t meet your criteria, then I don’t know how many people are out there that do. And if everyone thought that way, you would see politicians like Paul and Johnson getting passed up in favor of real warmongerers like we have now (this hypothetical is of course in an alternate universe where there are enough libertarians and antiwar people to elect presidents and other politicians as long as they stick together)

                    7. In any case, I understand not voting for someone strictly off of say, support for the Iraq War, or support for continuing or expanding the War in Afghanistan, but if someone who opposed Iraq, supported a short, limited mission in Afghanistan that included no occupation, nation-building, drones, etc, opposed Libya, and has opposed a war with Iran (all of which are true of both Paul and Johnson) doesn’t meet your criteria, then I don’t know how many people are out there that do.

                      As I said, I can only go off what he says. His voting record has been good so far, and if he is truly against war with Iran (as we will unfortunately be able to see, probably sooner rather than later) I will be happy to be wrong about him. I just remember how adamant he was about how stupid he found libertarian foreign policy.

                    8. “Everything is ultimately enforced with a gun.”

                      By that logic everything is a military issue. You know that’s not what I meant

                  2. If that’s all Thacker wants in a candidate, then he’s obviously not libertarian, any more than dondero is.

                    I believe in encouraging better candidates in both the short and long run.

                    You believe in encouraging candidates and politicians to be less libertarian in both the short and long run.

                    I want candidates to be significantly better than Rand Paul, but I want things to move in the correct direction.

                    You don’t care about libertarian policies being implemented at all, or about trying to move things in a more libertarian direction. You’re no more a libertarian than Dondero, because you actively make things worse.

                    You’re just as bad as people who vote Republican no matter what asshole like Romney they nominate.

                    If you want influence, your vote must swing.

                    1. You don’t care about libertarian policies being implemented at all, or about trying to move things in a more libertarian direction. You’re no more a libertarian than Dondero, because you actively make things worse.

                      You’re just as bad as people who vote Republican no matter what asshole like Romney they nominate.

                      This reply would seem to apply here as well.

            2. Republican candidate running and focus their resources in places where the Republican candidates are really shitty.

              Two words. Ballot access.

              1. “Two words. Ballot access.”

                It’s not like there are a ton of libertarian or libertarian-leaning Republican candidates out there. There are already some places where the LP doesn’t run a candidate due to limited resources. And let’s not pretend that all LP candidates are saintly purist libertarians. Bob Barr and WAR?

                1. Bob Barr and WAR?

                  A dark chapter. I didn’t vote for president that year. But since everyone wants to talk about “the reality” here it is: most voters are low information voters. They will always vote team because it’s easier. There is no way to change that. Libertarian-leaning republicans are a good thing in that they bring up libertarian issues and allow voters to realize that the Libertarian party is more in line with their interests (which is exactly what happened this year).

                  Because most voters are low information voters, more libertarian candidates on the ballot is always a good thing.

                  1. “bring up libertarian issues and allow voters to realize that the Libertarian party is more in line with their interests (which is exactly what happened this year).”

                    So….you are a TEAM hack only concerned about getting the LP election ‘wins’….rather than expanding libertarian policies and legislation?

                    Paultard?

                    1. Paultards and LP Team hacks tend to be opposed to one another. I don’t know why people on this board use the word Paultard in the wrong context so often, but for whatever reason it seems to happen a lot

                    2. Paultards and LP Team hacks tend to be opposed to one another.

                      The hilarious part is that I’m both and neither. I voted for Paul in the primary. I voted for Johnson in the general and all the libertarian candidates on my ballot. I just feel that, due to the fact that most voters are low-information voters, more LPs on the ballot is the best chance we have to increase the liberty in this country.

                      But I will continue to vote for the person on the ballot who most closely represents my views, regardless of the cult-of-personality surrounding them or the letters listed after their name. I do my research. I just don’t expect the rest of the country to do the same.

                    3. The hilarious part is that I’m both and neither.

                      You’re a blowhard asshole who gets off on yelling ‘no true Scotsman’.

                    4. You’re a blowhard asshole who gets off on yelling ‘no true Scotsman’.

                      Not condoning murder is not the same as yelling “no true scotsman” you flappy-headed dondero clone. For example, Johnson’s tax plan was stupid, but not a deal-breaker

                    5. Cool story bro. Just needs more murderdronez.

                    6. Cool story bro

                      Which is more than can be said for your retarded “Ayn Rand” strawman comment. Aren’t you tired of being wrong in this thread, yet?

            3. I will say that I’d like to see the LP possibly not run candidates in districts or states were there is a good (not just better than the status quo

              THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        4. I believe that requires both punishing the parties when they nominate anti-libertarian candidates and nudging them in a positive direction when they nominate candidates significantly better than the status quo.

          Agreed. When Team Red does well in choosing a candidate they need to be rewarded and the LP needs to back the fuck off and run elsewhere. The True Scotsman bullshit accomplishes nothing. Get libertarian leaning individuals where they can actually attempt to do some good. They don’t need to be perfect.

          1. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

            *beats back Paultards to where they belong*

      2. It’s been 40 yrs. and that snowball isn’t moving.

        1. Oh really? There are more LP candidates in office and on the ballot than ever before. They’re bigger than any other 3rd party by a large margin.

  7. Good. I fall fairly square into the “fuck both of them” camp. Maybe it’s because I plan to leave the U.S., maybe now sooner rather than later, but it will be nice to watch the ekpyrosis come all that much quicker.

    1. Ekpyrosis (Ancient Greek ????????? ekpur?sis, conflagration) is a Stoic belief in the periodic destruction of the cosmos by a great conflagration

      1. Great. One more religion.

      2. Yes, indeed. It is the word I use for the coming U.S. debt crisis.

  8. Yes, but it’s the House so no harm done.

    Are we suggesting, by the way, that those votes would have otherwise gone to Republicans? I thought we all agreed libertarian spoilers actually stole votes from both parties.

    1. Except Montana where Senator Tester is far more LP than the PATRIOT Act loving Rehnenmeister (sic) GOPer.

      1. Palin’s Buttplug| 11.12.12 @ 7:11PM |#
        “Except Montana where Senator Tester is far more LP than the PATRIOT Act loving Rehnenmeister (sic) GOPer.”

        So………………….
        what?

      2. This would be part of my “more libertarian district” argument. In MT, nominated candidates of both parties are likely to be more libertarian than the party median.

        1. Not many see that there are “good Democrats” like Blue Dogs and “bad Republicans” (like Big Gov Bushpigs) – but that is the case from the LP perspective.

          To Team Red this fact is unfathomable.

          1. There are no good Democrats anymore.

            1. Woodrow Wilson has been a good Democrat for several decades.

            2. There are no good fascists (GOPers) anymore.

              Scott Brown is now history.

              1. The fact that you think Scott Brown was the most libertarian Republican shows how much of a moron you are

              2. Palin’s Buttplug| 11.12.12 @ 8:49PM |#
                “There are no good fascists (GOPers)”

                Are there good communists (Dems), dipshit?

              3. There are no good fascists (GOPers) anymore.

                That’s because the Democrats have taken over that wing of the GOP with Herr Obama.

      3. Tester is about as libertarian as you are fucknozzel.

  9. “Perhaps Libertarians need to consider if their futile candidacies, which serve only to elect Democrats, are really in their long-term interests.”

    Perhaps Republicans need to consider if they continue to serve statist interests opposite their supposed small government ideology and against a significant voting bloc’s wishes is really in their long- or near-term interests.

    Two can play that game.

    1. Indeed.

      However, one has to be careful making that case when it appears that libertarians vote for Libertarian Party candidates with approximately no correlation to how libertarian a nominated Republican candidate is.

      It simply makes libertarians look irrational, and make it look irrational to seek their votes, without a better explanation.

      As I said, I think that the rational explanation is that more libertarian districts lead to both more libertarian nominees and more LP voters, and that that can counteract any effect of more libertarian candidates attracting small-l libertarian voters. That is, if in those same districts a less libertarian R were nominated, the LP would do even better.

    2. I also would like to see libertarian leaning candidates win districts other than incredibly R leaning districts. It would add to the argument that libertarians aren’t simply R extremists.

      Tisei winning would have been nice, because it would have shown that libertarianism can have appeal in blue districts and can be a way forward for the GOP.

      Ron Paul doesn’t prove that, since he had a super-conservative district. Nor does Rand Paul help, given KY’s national voting.

      Want commentators at the national level to stop claiming that libertarians are just a particular extreme wing of conservatism/Republicans? Have more libertarian leaners win in a district that doesn’t have a strong R partisan tilt nationally. (Jared Polis actually helps this way.) Tisei would have been nice.

      Otherwise it ends up looking like libertarianism is a vote loser, not a vote gainer, for Republicans. (As opposed to just straight social liberalism, which is part of libertarianism but not the whole thing.)

      1. Damn it Thacker, you are a superb poster here as well as that other board I see you on.

        Almost too good for the infantile posters here (but not me of course)

        1. “Almost too good for the infantile posters here (but not me of course)”

          BWAHAHAHAHAH

  10. Democrat Kyrsten Sinema

    She likes to nip on the tutti-frutti so gets the shrike honorary LP pass.

    1. “the shrike honorary LP pass.”
      Well, that’s, uh,…
      NWS

    2. But, what does it mean?!?!

      1. It means shreek is easily satisfied.

      2. I guess it’s his non-infantile way of saying she’s bisexual.

  11. Indiana US Senate though not by much. How about a reversal where the Republican won by less than the number of votes received by the LP candidate: Indiana Governor.

  12. I’m really skeptical that the Libertarians cost the Republicans all of these races. For instance, in that New Hampshire house race, you have to assume well over 90% of the Libertarian vote came from the Republican, as opposed to some Democrats protesting both candidates, or people who otherwise wouldn’t have voted at all.

    It looks like third parties didn’t make the difference in any state during the Presidential election, assuming really late results don’t push Obama back under 50% in Florida.

    1. I agree that it’s unlikely that 90% of Libertarian Party voters would have gone to the Republican as opposed to D or not voting.

      However, it sure would be easier to make that case if any economic + social libertarian leaning candidate could win in a district that wasn’t extremely R-leaning on a partisan basis.

      If Tisei had won, it would have been harder to say that. As long as libertarian candidates only win in strongly +R districts, they’ll be viewed as excesses and extremists that can be indulged in strongly +R districts (where they compete with other extremist wings), instead of possible ways to win swing voters and Independents, which is what Welch wants to argue.

  13. that sux. unfortunately most of the responses make claims that Ls are naive seem terribly accurate.

    1. Yeah, actually having principles is *s0* naive…

      1. Team Orange uber alles isn’t a principle.

        It’s mindless partisanship.

        1. VG Zaytsev| 11.12.12 @ 9:09PM |#
          Team Orange uber alles isn’t a principle.
          It’s mindless partisanship.”

          Integrity is ‘mindless’, right?

          1. Integrity is voting for the most libertarian candidate running or supporting the most viable libertarian candidate.

            Mindlessly supporting the candidate of Party D, R or L … not so much. Which is exactly what you are advocating.

    2. Yeah, Integrity is for chumps.

  14. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the United States is not in the semi-socialist, near-bankrupt mess that it’s in because the Socialist party won elections. It’s in this mess because socialists basically took over the Democratic party (along with academia and Hollywood and the rest of the media) and worked incrementally. If libertarianism is ever to triumph, it won’t do it as a purist political party.

    I voted for Gary Johnson because I knew my vote in California would make no difference, but libertarians in swing states and swing races really should realize that voting Libertarian may well have the paradoxical result of getting the least libertarian candidate elected.

    1. libertarians in swing states and swing races really should realize that voting Libertarian may well have the paradoxical result of getting the least libertarian candidate elected.

      Every increase in percentage brings more votes from the other holdouts. Which improves the chances in the next election. There’s no reason to make a faustian bargain with our vote.

      The US leans socialist now. The democrats just picked up on it and ran with it. When there’s an admitted socialist in the Senate and no admitted libertarians, people just don’t want what you’re selling. Compromising with evil just turns off those who are already on board.

      Vote your conscience. People will follow or they won’t. If they don’t, it was never going to happen anyway.

      1. Papaya’s position is supported by history, yours not so much. If you were calling for a civil movement for freedom then that would be a much better idea.

        1. The number of libertarian candidates elected and the percentage of votes libertarian candidates receive is rising every election. But by all means, keep playing into the hands of a party who hates you. I’m sure it will get better next year. How many times do they have to send the cops after the libertarian-leaners in their own party before you get the message?

          1. I don’t think anyone would argue that libertarians won’t be opposed by the GOP establishment. But if enough libertarians join or convert enough other people, then eventually we will succeed. The Republican Party is ultimately made up of the people who vote in the primaries. They choose the candidates. To be clear, I am not advocating voting for shitty Republican candidates in the general election. I voted for Johnson and Cytotoxic argued against voting for Romney (he’s Canadian, so he can’t vote obviously)

            1. I voted for Johnson and Cytotoxic argued against voting for Romney (he’s Canadian, so he can’t vote obviously)

              I forgot he was a flappy-head, but the point I’m making isn’t about Romney, it’s about voting for republicans when there’s someone on the ballot who holds closer to your beliefs. The same people here who advocate voting for the more popular candidate over the one who holds closer to their beliefs are the same people who will hop on the bandwagon once the percentage goes up. I am at a loss as to why they don’t recognize this fact.

              The Republican Party is ultimately made up of the people who vote in the primaries. They choose the candidates.

              No they don’t. The party bosses do. Seriously, the convention wasn’t that long ago. Don’t you remember what happened?

              1. With regards to your first paragraph, I actually agree. I think people should vote for their preferred candidate, especially considering their individual vote will never alter the outcome. What I have said, is that a) libertarians should support libertarian or libertarian-leaning candidates in the Republican primaries, if there is one b) The LP should at times back off if there is a good Republican candidate in a certain district or state, as the actions of the party can sway the outcome of the election, unlike those of an individual voter and c) There are certain libertarian (or libertarianish) Republican candidates who are better than certain Libertarian Party candidates. The fact that someone is running on the LP ticket doesn’t make them automatically a great libertarian candidate. Had Ron Paul hypothetically won the Republican nomination in 08, he clearly would have been superior to Barr, the LP candidate.

                With regards to your second paragraph, while it is true that the establishment will oppose Ron Paul and those like him as much as they can, the fact is that far more people voted for Mitt Romney than voted for Ron Paul. Paul didn’t win. Even with the delegate strategy, he still would have fallen well short even with no shenanigans. If Paul hypothetically had gotten say 25 million supporters (he wouldn’t have needed that many), and got them to vote for him in the primaries, he would have won the nomination. There’s only so much the party apparatus can do to stop it

                1. I agree with A) and C), but not B), as I feel that more LPs on the ballot is our best chance to increase liberty.

                  Even with the delegate strategy, he still would have fallen well short even with no shenanigans.

                  Doesn’t matter. It’s that snowball effect I keep referring to. As long as they can make it appear that almost no one voted for the liberty candidate, the fence-leaners won’t join in next time. They are well aware of this. There is no one stopping the libertarian party from showing increasing percentages. That is the only valid strategy in the long run. Voting in the primaries for Repubs doesn’t detract from it, and in fact raises public consciousness of liberty-related positions. But to take it into the general election is detrimental to the increased percentages strategy.

                  1. I think electing libertarian or libertarian-leaning politicians (regardless of their official party) does a lot more to advance liberty than simply getting the LP on the ballot. Ron Paul has done way more to advance the cause of liberty (mostly just by bringing attention to it) than any LP candidate has ever done.

                    “Doesn’t matter. It’s that snowball effect I keep referring to. As long as they can make it appear that almost no one voted for the liberty candidate, the fence-leaners won’t join in next time. They are well aware of this. There is no one stopping the libertarian party from showing increasing percentages.”

                    Really? This isn’t a problem for LP candidates? How many people would vote for a third party candidate “if they didn’t think it was a waste?” What about all the ballot access laws? Heck, that seems to be your main argument for voting LP, so it’s like your simultaneously arguing two opposite things. Both GOP primary libertarians and LP general election candidates have structural hurdles to climb. But Ron Paul gained 11% of the GOP primary popular vote and over two million votes total. Gary Johnson set an LP record with a little over a million votes in a general election, and Ed Clark has the record for highest percentage, at 1.06%. Who has come closer to accomplishing the ultimate goal?

                    And btw, I live in California, and aside from the presidency, there aren’t any third party candidates on the general election ballot

                    1. Really? This isn’t a problem for LP candidates? How many people would vote for a third party candidate “if they didn’t think it was a waste?” What about all the ballot access laws? Heck, that seems to be your main argument for voting LP, so it’s like your simultaneously arguing two opposite things.

                      You seem to have mis-read me, or perhaps I wasn’t clear. The GOP will keep any increased liberty-related percentages from penetrating the public consciousness. No one is stopping the Libertarian Party from showing increases when they occur. Ballot-access laws may keep them from happening, and that’s bad, but when they’re overcome, there is no one quashing the numbers from the public. People who never heard of Gary Johnson know he got over 1% of the vote. Many fewer people know of the percentage that Paul got. And that’s my point. The snowball effect will work for the LP, but not for the GOP, since they actively quash it. For this reason, anything reducing the percentage of LP votes in the general works contra to increasing liberty. The slight gains in liberty gained by the LP backing off repubs is detrimental in the medium and long run to increasing liberty on the whole.

                      This is the argument for strategic minded voters, which is who I seem to be arguing against, here. Personally, I vote my conscious. I just don’t expect most people to. But I honestly believe that voting LP in the general is the best way forward for the strategic voters here.

                    2. Anyone can find out the percentage if they want. The number of people who know Gary Johnson got 1% of the vote are dwarfed by the people who still don’t know who he is. Far more people know who Ron Paul is, and what he stands for, than Gary Johnson. How much more attention did Ron Paul himself get in 2008 and 2012 compared to his LP run in 1988

                    3. Agreed on all counts. But I don’t think that this is an argument against my strategy. Remember, I’m all for libertarian leaning candidates getting as much press as possible, I just think that voting for them over better candidates in the general election is a losing strategy.

                      Strategy aside (remember, I personally don’t vote strategically in the general), Ron is a special case, as he is even closer on what I think the federal government should be doing than Johnson. I would have voted for him in the general had he won the primary. And if all libertarian-leaning Republicans were like him, the strategy I’m espousing here would not make sense. But they aren’t even close.

                      Shit, look at the people he chose for this post to describe as having “libertarian credibility”. Most aren’t even close to Ron’s views.

                    4. For these people perhaps, but people like Rand Paul, Justin Amash, Thomas Massie, Kerry Bentivolio, etc hold pretty similar positions. Maybe not quite as good, but still huge improvements in fiscal/economic issues, civil liberties, and foreign policy.

                      Also, my argument isn’t for who individuals should vote for, but rather whether the LP should challenge certain Republicans. For example, the LP never ran against Ron Paul, and I think that was the right decision

                    5. If we’re holding a “Ron Paul” standard out there, I might agree. But you seem to be the only one arguing for such a high standard. And I believe that a lower standard is counter-productive to the liberty effort as a whole.

                    6. Huh? I’m not arguing for a Ron Paul standard. For one, I don’t think Ron Paul is perfect, and I’m also willing to vote for people who aren’t quite as good as him. I agree that holding too low a standard is counter-productive, but so is holding too high a standard. We’re not talking about voting for Mitt Romney or Mitch McConnell clones. If someone is a vast improvement in all major areas (fiscal/economic, civil liberties, foreign policy) over the status quo, then I think they’re worth voting for

          2. But by all means, keep playing into the hands of a party who hates you

            I’m not trying to suck their dick. I’m trying to take over their party. A little at a time. Baby steps. Just like the socialists did to the Dems.

            Proven strategy.

            1. Attention HandR citizen: Freedom Enforcement has been notified of your treason against TEAM ORANGE. Prepare to be scolded.

            2. Baby steps. Just like the socialists did to the Dems.

              The dems never fought the socialists, they welcomed them with open arms. The GOP is committed to fighting us any way they can. Because there is no inside dealing and government money involved in reducing government like there is in increasing it. There is no incentive to embracing us, and every incentive not to.

              1. Wrong. The GOP establishment is fighting us. They’re gonna be fighting the rest of their party after Romney lost and they can’t win that. If you’d open your eyes you’d see we’re already in.

                1. I refer of course to Rand, Flake, Amash, etc

                2. Wrong. The GOP establishment is fighting us.

                  That’s what I said.

                  They’re gonna be fighting the rest of their party after Romney lost and they can’t win that.

                  Wrong. They’re already blaming the election on us fighting them in the primaries. Because there is no incentive for small government like there is for big government.

                  If you’d open your eyes you’d see we’re already in.

                  The GOP as a whole is more about big government than they have ever been. A few outliers aren’t going to change that. The incentives for bigger government are far too enticing.

                  But as I’ve said, it’s still a good thing to vote for them in the primaries, as it raises libertarian issues in the press.

    2. You can’t be a factor if you’re a constant. That applies equally to the TEAM RED people here and the TEAM NO TEAM douchnozzles infesting this place.

      1. “You can’t be a factor if you’re a constant. That applies equally to the TEAM RED people here and the TEAM NO TEAM douchnozzles infesting this place.”

        You are right, we should abandon any notion of pride or dignity? crawl over to the GOP table…and beg for some scraps from the table. How could I have been so blind? Or, even better… the GOP can walk its loosing ass over here, and offer something better, like a candidate with an ounce of integrety, and a genuine plan. I dunno.

        1. ^Un-self aware example of TEAM NO TEAM douchenozzle I was talking about

          1. How so?, explain..use your words.

            1. You completely missed my point and presumed it to be a call to mindlessly support the GOP, thereby projecting your mindless TEAM NO TEAM allegiance.

              1. Bullshit, I was regged as an R for a long time. It’s the GOP that keeps moving the goalposts man, not me. Further and further away from me. Every since I watched Dubya and Ashcroft wipe their ass on the my constitution, then have the balls to show me the new one and call it the “patriot act” no less, I was done with them, fuck them and the dog they rode in on, they can come back to me, I’m not going to follow them, let alone vote legitimacy to their dumb assed policies . Romney was just more of the same old trash, fuck him too. I could see where you were coming from, now you know where I’m coming from, I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on the importance of GOP douche spigots.

                1. The GOP isn’t a hivemind. Er, at least not a total hivemind. You lost the GOP; now is the time to take it back. If it fails, so what? We’re no worse off.

    3. I agree partly with your broader point, but I just have to say that you can’t blame indebted, semi-socialist state solely on socialists taking over the Democratic party. Both parties bear responsibility for it. A good number of Republicans voted for the New Deal and Great Society programs, and today, very few want to get rid of, or even seriously reform them. Not to mention all the wars and military spending. Spending and debt exploded under Bush and a Republican Congress, and also under Reagan and a Republican Senate

      1. True, many Republicans went along with it, but Democrats were the driving force.

        1. I guess I would say that the socialists took over the Democratic Party faster than they did the Republicans. And in the very early days, the progressives of the early 1900’s took over both parties.

          1. I think it’s absurd to think that both major parties are equally socialist. Even the accepting-the-New-Deal GOP presidents like Ike and Nixon were less socialist than their opponents, and certainly since Reagan there has been a lot of daylight between the parties on economic issues.

            1. The GOP isn’t socialist, it’s…conservative.

              And that’s the real problem: conservatism. Socialism would not have gotten this far if its main opposition hadn’t been something as vacuous and meaningless as ‘conservatism’.

            2. I didn’t say equally, I just said socialist. And I think it’s extremely arbitrary to draw that line conveniently between the GOP and the Democrats. Nixon didn’t just accept the New Deal, he actively expanded government in many areas, especially in the economy.

              “and certainly since Reagan there has been a lot of daylight between the parties on economic issues.”

              I think we have different definitions of “a lot” at least as it relates to the big picture. The two parties will quibble back and forth of a few percentage point differences in the income tax rate, with Republicans supporting lower taxes, but how many in the party actually talk about eliminating the income tax? Or are even serious about a flat tax? And that’s one of their better positions (though supporting lower taxes is kind of negated by failing to support the spending cuts necessary to balance the budget). Regulation? Bush signed Sarbanes-Oxley with nearly unanimous support. It was the most extensive financial regulation since the New Deal. The Federal Register exploded under Bush (more than under Clinton), as did regulatory spending and the number of employees in regulatory agencies. Carter (who nonetheless had plenty of problems) probably deregulated more than any modern president. (cont)

            3. (cont) Bush signed Medicare Part D, the largest entitlement since the Great Society (at least until Obamacare), with broad Republican support. Same thing with NCLB. Bush increased spending at a faster rate than any president since LBJ (though Obama probably has him beat), even with a Republican Congress, and he and Reagan are in the top 3 with Obama for most debt added under one president. When was the last time Republicans made a serious effort to eliminate one major department or agency? The last Cabinet department was added by Bush in fact. The bailouts were supported by the almost all the key guys in both parties, and large portions overall, though more Dems voted for TARP and the auto bailouts. Stimulus (though not Obama’s bill) was supported by both parties. The Fed is supported by both parties.

              What specific area are Republicans proposing (or more importantly, actually attempting to enact) significantly less spending than Democrats? I’ll grant you Obamacare. But the three biggest budget items are Social Security, Medicare, and the military (all of which, coincidentally, primarily benefit Republican voting blocks). Neither side wants to touch SS. Medicare’s a mixed bag. Ryan/Romney and others have proposed a half-hearted modest, and more importantly, optional reform that doesn’t take effect for years and produces unknown cost savings. Romney also actively campaigned on restoring “cuts” to Medicare.

              1. Carter deregulated a lot, but that was the culmination of the work of commissions that were begun by Nixon. They gathered evidence y support for years, while Nixon y Fod went bye-bye, and Carter was president when the commissions delivered their reports, and Congress went along.

                1. Unfortunately one of those commissions whose advice was rejected was the one saying to get marijuana out of schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act. Placement in schedule 1 by Congress had been explicitly temporary pending the commission report. Instead, when Congress amended it, it got rid of that temporary designation, made it permanent instead.

            4. On the military, Republicans want to spend even more than Democrats. Romney was proposing $200 billion a year beyond what the Pentagon was asking for. Socialism for rich cronies in the “defense” industry is still socialism. Even on the means-tested welfare programs, what major changes has the GOP been serious about? And as I’ve said, there’s not a single Cabinet department or agency that they’ve been serious about eliminating.

              Am I saying that Republicans and Democrats are exactly the same? No. (Overall, I would say the most important difference is that libertarians and libertarianish candidates like the Pauls, Amash, etc at least have a chance at getting elected in the GOP). But in the big picture, their disagreements are all at the margins. They agree on the core stuff. So to call one party socialist and the other not is very arbitrary. Our current path is unsustainable, and both parties want to pour gasoline on the fire, and that’s the major problem, not that one side might want to pour a little more on than the other

              1. Nicely put, Cali. Nicely put.

    4. It depends on who is nominated. I fully endorse voting for Gary Johnson in swing states when Romney is nominated, or voting LP in swing races when a statist Republican worse than half (or a third) of Republicans are nominated.

      But if the candidates are seriously “more libertarian than 90% of the GOP caucus,” then it’s nuts to vote LP over those guys in a swing race.

      Imagine if the story of the race was “GOP loses most swing races– except where libertarian-leaners were nominated.” Unfortunately, it wasn’t.

      The story of the race was “candidates from every wing of the Republican Party did poorly.” Doesn’t help libertarians nearly as much.

    5. PLEASE.

      The TEAMS promote socialism, populism, big government, nanny statism and high taxes equally.

      Don’t kid yourself.

      1. Schwarzeneggar was a republican.

        Bush was a republican.

        Michael FUCKING Bloomberg was a republican.

        Good grief it’s you TEAM members who are delusional, not us.

  15. Not all the people who voted for these Libertarian candidates would have necessarily voted for the Republican had they just been 2-party races. I’ve run into people who voted for Obama in 2008 who ended up voting straight Libertarian this year.

  16. I completely endorse denialism with respect to third-party spoilage on the part of libertarians.

    1. T o n y| 11.12.12 @ 8:04PM |#
      “I completely endorse denialism with respect to third-party spoilage on the part of libertarians.”

      Shithead, your ignorance knows no bounds. Any comment you make is NWS.

    2. Re: Tony,

      I completely endorse denialism with respect to third-party spoilage on the part of libertarians.

      “How dare you not vote for the establishment candidates?”

      His true colors show. Down curtain.

      1. That’s not a question I ask, because I know the answer is “you dare because you’re stupid.”

        They’re establishment for a reason. The establishment is set up in their favor. And I didn’t say I like it.

        1. Re: Tony,

          That’s not a question I ask, because I know the answer is “you dare because you’re stupid.”

          If there was really any point in wasting time standing in line to cast a vote for moron A or moron B, then I could agree with you that the decision to vote for someone else would be stupid. But there really isn’t any point – you still get a moron in the driver’s seat.

          They’re establishment for a reason.

          Which obviates any possible point you can mention in favor for voting. If they’re establishment, then participating in their anointment is pointless – and stupid.

  17. “All three losing Republicans had significantly more libertarian credibility than maybe 90% of elected GOPers on the national level.”

    So, not only are libertarian candidates possibly putting the openly hostile to individualism Democrats elected, they are also possibly snuffing libertarian friendly GOP careers. Yay, LP…I guess.

    Does the phrase “pyrrhic defeat” mean anything to you, Mr. Welch?

    1. Re: Mickey Rat,

      So, not only are libertarian candidates possibly putting the openly hostile to individualism Democrats elected, they are also possibly snuffing libertarian friendly GOP careers. Yay, LP…I guess.

      “Why don’t they just go away?”

      1. What did they actually accomplish?

        1. They boosted the self importance of team Orange partisans.

          And that’ll make them feel better as they’re marched off to Obama’s reeducation camps.

        2. Mickey Rat| 11.12.12 @ 8:48PM |#
          “What did they actually accomplish?”

          Uh, looking in the mirror in the morning without puking?
          Sorry, I am an individual. I do not owe my allegiance to any politico or party. In the world I choose to live in, the politicos are largely irrelevant, and I’m not about to embarrass myself voting for some Oromney because s/he’s better than Robama.

          1. So in other words, its all about your emotions?

          2. “I do not owe my allegiance to any politico or party.”

            Who said you did?

            “In the world I choose to live in, the politicos are largely irrelevant,…”

            Having a rich fantasy life is good, I suppose, as long you realize it is not real.

            I was speaking to people who have a mind to change politics in this country, not bury their heads in the sand.

  18. Dude is like totally rocking it out man, Wow.

    http://www.Privacy-Guyz.tk

  19. I think you have to go on the assumption that the majority of Libertarian votes would go to a Republican candidate if the Libertarian candidate was not on the ballot.”

    Screw that. The majority of repube votes would go to a Libertarian candidate if the repube candidate were not on the ballot.

    (And I think that I corrected the subjunctive.)

    1. I think not. Too many libertarians are openly bigoted against too significant GOP consistuencies.

      Also, it is ridiculous to argue that the mouse could swallow the tiger rather than vice versa.

      1. Libertarians are too bigoted, or too many GOPers won’t vote for someone who won’t continue the drug war, stop immigrants from coming to the country, stop gays from getting married, continue to bomb the Middle East, etc?

        1. I’ve seen people state on this board that they would not vote GOP because they had to see people (gasp!) pray at the GOP convention. There is considerable hatred here for religious minded people, and frankly, there are more of them than you.

          1. Is there not bigotry from many GOPers towards nonbelievers and believers in other faiths? That’s what drives a lot of the resentment towards religion, although I myself (I’m a sort of semi-agnostic quasi-Deist) bear no ill will towards people of any religion, and would not be bothered by prayer at events like the GOP convention, although at the same time, the GOP’s efforts to brand themselves as the Christian Party over the years has alienated people of other faiths or people of no faith. Not to mention, there are plenty of religious libertarians. Reason isn’t the only libertarian site in existence (and even here there’s a solid number of Christians, as well as some people of other religions)

          2. Mickey Rat| 11.12.12 @ 8:53PM |#
            “I’ve seen people state on this board that they would not vote GOP because they had to see people (gasp!) pray at the GOP convention”

            OK, I’m a dedicated atheist. If you believe in some mythical skydaddy, you’re not gonna rate high in my estimation.
            But I have *never* seen anything like that comment. Gonna guess you’re a ditzy bleever who is sensitive to being called on your stupidity, right?

          3. “There is considerable hatred here for religious minded people, and frankly, there are more of them than you.

            Appeal to the majority? Really?

            1. With a government with deomcratic aspects to it, appeal to the majority is legitimate.

      2. Where’s the friggin tiger?

        As I say, screw that.

        The repubes have to be put down.

        But as to what I think is your point: The big-L Libertarians are indeed bigoted against buttinski, fuck-up repubes – and for good reason. But throw those repube candidates out, and see what happens.

        No republican party?! It’s so crazy that it could work!

        1. wef| 11.12.12 @ 8:57PM |#
          “The repubes have to be put down.”

          Ya know, asshole, you’ve been pitching that line for months. And I’m guessing you are actually stupid enough to believe it, right? Am I right, asshole? Right?
          Now, tell us why the repubs have to be ‘put down’ while the socialist Dems don’t.
          Please, asshole, tell us why.

  20. If the Republican party loses votes and races to the LIbertarian Party when they run libertarian leaning candidates like Mia Love for instance, then they are going to instead go to the left and try to pull away votes from the middle.

    There seem to be 3 different methods being taken

    1) Do nothing but whine on the internet (advocated by many at Reason)
    2) Vote Libertarian (ditto)
    3) Take to take over the Republican party, at least partially, like the Pauls and so on.

    1 and 2 just get Democrats elected. Socialists can get elected in this country (Bernie Sanders), but apparently not Libertarians. 3 is the only real option

    1. 3 is the only real option

      Did you watch even watch or read the news during the republican primaries this year? They will send men with guns after you for trying. And if that doesn’t work, they will just ignore you, and pretend it didn’t happen.

      1. The election catastrophe of 2012 might well cause some reassessment among Republicans on that score. In any case, Fabian Socialists didn’t give up easily. If Fabian Libertarianism is to succeed, it will have to be similarly patient.

        1. The election catastrophe of 2012 might well cause some reassessment among Republicans on that score.

          Doubtful, most of them are talking about how they were too lenient on the liberty folk.

          1. Because the “liberty folk” didn’t win elections any more than particularly statist Republicans.

            The lesson that folks like you teach the GOP is that nominating more libertarian candidates is a vote loser. Some swing voters and members of the other wings are turned off, but it doesn’t gain any extra votes from libertarian types.

            A case by case examination is appropriate. Don’t be an automatic Republican (or Democratic) vote, but don’t have a reservation price so high that you can’t influence.

            1. John, Papaya, you have to understand what is really important to Coeus: self-importance.

              1. Self importance would be me saying to vote your conscious because it’s right, and I’m right and morally superior because of that.

                I’m offering a you guys a strategic argument to do so, because I know that you honestly believe that strategic voting is the best choice.

              2. Why would someone change their political positions to be more like that of a certain party? You got it a little twisted there, They seek my votesI dont seek their party.

            2. The lesson that folks like you teach the GOP is that nominating more libertarian candidates is a vote loser.

              It doesn’t matter if it’s a vote loser, it’s a money and power loser, so they don’t care if they can gain votes that way.

              1. Votes = power

                1. Votes = power

                  Small government votes do not equal power. At least not the kind they want and are accustomed to. They would not be fighting it so hard if it did. What kind of power can you get without shoveling around tax-payer money? Government power comes from increasing government influence, not reducing it. If there were no alternative, then maybe they’d go for it, just to preserve what power they had. But they will fight us so hard that the same amount of effort needed would have made the LP viable a hundred times over.

      2. Coeus is a Paultard psudeo-libertarian, ignore his rambling.

        1. Coeus is a minarchist who votes for the closest person to his views on the balot. Who the fuck are you?

          1. A BLUE COLLAR WORKING MAN THAT BUILDZ THE ROADZ!

      3. And despite that, a few libertarian leaners were nominated.

        Now, which is better?

        1) In most swing districts, anti-libertarian asshole GOPers are nominated and the LP gets votes and the Republicans go down. But in some swing districts, libertarian-friendly Republicans manage to get nominated, and that’s where the Republicans do best.

        2) In most swing districts, anti-libertarian asshole GOPers are nominated and the LP gets votes and the Republicans go down. But in some swing districts, libertarian-friendly Republicans manage to get nominated… and guys like Coeus and sevo vote for the LP anyway, some anti-libertarian Republican voters refuse to vote, and the GOP does even worse where it nominated libertarian-leaners.

        Case 1, the GOP, which likes winning more than anything else, will grudgingly move more libertarian.

        Case 2, the GOP, which likes winning more than anything else, will move less libertarian, saying that “those extremist libertarians did even worse.”

        Libertarians shouldn’t vote GOP no matter what, no matter whom they nominate. That also gives no influence and leads to being taken for granted and given lip service. But they should encourage it when better candidates are nominated, and punish it when worse candidates are nominated.

        1. I don’t vote strategically in the general election, but it’s fine if you do. The case I’m making is thus:

          The GOP will keep any increased liberty-related percentages from penetrating the public consciousness. No one is stopping the Libertarian Party from showing increases when they occur. Ballot-access laws may keep them from happening, and that’s bad, but when they’re overcome, there is no one quashing the numbers from the public. People who never heard of Gary Johnson know he got over 1% of the vote. Many fewer people know of the percentage that Paul got. And that’s my point. The snowball effect will work for the LP, but not for the GOP, since they actively quash it. For this reason, anything reducing the percentage of LP votes in the general works contra to increasing liberty. The slight gains in liberty gained by the LP backing off repubs is detrimental in the medium and long run to increasing liberty on the whole.

          This is a strategic argument, based on the fact that most voters are low-information voters, and fence-sitters. The more you see “LP” on the ballot, and the higher percentages you get, the more you pull in the average voter, since every fence-sitter has a different percentage threshold. I believe that a recent opinion pole put a sizable percentage at 5 percent. This, to me, is a sounder strategy than taking whatever scraps the GOP decides to dole out.

      4. Did you watch even watch or read the news during the republican primaries this year? They will send men with guns after you for trying. And if that doesn’t work, they will just ignore you, and pretend it didn’t happen.

        You are talking about races where Ron Paul didn’t win the most votes, but managed to capture the most delegates. The GOP did some bullshit, but in the end as I said, people aren’t going to care so long as it matches the popular vote in the primaries as opposed to the delegate selection rules.

        If Paul had actually won the most presidential preference direct votes in a state, the RNC wouldn’t have dared.

        1. If Paul had actually won the most presidential preference direct votes in a state, the RNC wouldn’t have dared.

          I disagree. Simply because there’s no money or power to be gained from smaller government, and the party bosses are only concerned with money and power.

    2. JeremyR| 11.12.12 @ 8:42PM |#
      “If the Republican party loses votes and races to the LIbertarian Party when they run libertarian leaning candidates like Mia Love for instance, then they (already have gone) to the left and try to pull away votes from the middle.”

      Except for the vain hope the Repubs can offer a lefty like Romney with the hopes his daffy religion would capture the socons.

  21. Matt, how can a candidate who voted to increase the debt several times, voted for No Child Left Behind, voted for Medicare part D, Voted to increase taxes and regulations on cigs,Voted to expand the S-Chip program, voted for the Patriot Act, REAL ID Act, NDAA, among other things be considered 90 % libertarian in the Montana Senate race. Congressman Rehberg was far from being a libertarian. In 2010 Rehberg, submitted millions of dollars worth of pock projects, then declared he was against pork projects. I think Ron Paul was just being a team player when his PAC endorsed Rehberg. But if you look at the votes, Rehberg does not vote with Ron Paul. Romney won Montana with over 260,000 votes, yet Rehberg could only get 215,000 of those votes. So there wasn’t any spoiler. Had Rehberg voted with Ron Paul on many of those issues above, Rehberg might have won. There were other things like Rehberg suing the Billings fire department, and the Flathead boat crash that also caused people not to vote for Rehberg or they just didn’t vote. Republicans did a poor job at getting out the vote as well in Montana. These are some things to think about in the article defining spoilers.

    1. He never said “90% libertarian” he said ” significantly more libertarian credibility than maybe 90% of elected GOPers on the national level.” That’s the difference between saying someone is “tall” and “taller than 90% of first graders”.

      1. Or “Best” is not necessarily “Good”.

      2. I agree with his main point though. I wouldn’t have voted for Rehberg.

  22. Indiana Second District — a libertarian “cost” a Democrat a seat:

    R 49.0%
    D 47.6%
    L 3.4%

    Funny how the assumption is that libertarians take votes away from Republicans, and not Democrats, and not from people who wouldn’t vote R or D.

  23. Michigan 1st district — a Libertarian AND a Green “cost” a Democrat a seat:

    R 48.2%
    D 47.5%
    L 3.2%
    G 1.2%

  24. And to carry this “third party votes really belong to the R and Ds” meme to its snarkily ridiculous extreme, in NY-24 a Green candidate “cost” a Republican a seat:

    D 48.4%
    R 43.8%
    G 7.9%

  25. In Illinois 13, an independent “cost” a Democrat a seat:

    D 46.6%
    R 46.2%
    I 7.2%

  26. In Colorado 6, an “other” plus a libertarian “cost” a Democrat a seat:

    R 48.7%
    D 45.1%
    O 3.8%
    L 2.4%

  27. In Arizona, a libertarian “cost” a Democrat a Senate seat from libertarian-ish Jeff Flake:

    R 49.8%
    D 45.8%
    L 4.4%

    Finally, in virtually every national race across the board, voter fraud cost “not voting / none of the above” a seat over the R or D candidates. Absent this blatant fraud keeping these options off the ballot, NV / NOTA would have swept the Presidency, the House, and the Senate.

    1. The only way to tell these things is by exit poll. That’s how we know Perot did not cost Bush that election, despite the conclusion so many jumped to.

  28. Umm…maybe we should stop using plurality elections?

  29. Libertarians draw equally from all parties and mostly non-voters so this article is nonsense. The GOP has been repeating this junk for years–why is REASON doing it?

  30. Colo State Senate President John Morse, won by 130 votes. The Libertarian candidate got 1300 votes.

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