Third Parties

Read This If You Believe Your Candidate Lost Due to Third-Party Voters

A primer on arguing outside the war between the blue and the red

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If it weren't for him … Cuccinelli still would have lost, so get over it.
Sarvis

So it turns out Terry McAuliffe and Ken Cuccinelli were able to draw away enough votes to keep Robert Sarvis from winning Virginia's governor's race. I hope the folks who put those guys on the ballot are happy.

Last night, my Twitter feed had quite a few conservatives laying the blame on Sarvis for costing Cuccinelli the election (which really isn't true according to polls, and it probably wouldn't even had been a close outcome but for the Obamacare mess). So in the spirit of reconciliation, here are some tips from a typical third-party voter to major party movers and shakers who are trying to figure out how to approach us. Note: I live in California and therefore did not vote in Virginia's gubernatorial race. If I had, I probably would have voted for Sarvis.

We don't like your candidate. Really, this should go without saying. We are not voting for your candidate because we don't like your candidate and what he or she stands for. At least, he or she stands for enough things we don't like to want to see your candidate lose. Even if Sarvis voters did cause Cuccinelli to lose, it's extremely important to understand that this is what these voters wanted. That the outcome was McAuliffe's victory is also unfortunate, but don't assume that Sarvis voters actually saw Cuccinelli as the lesser of two evils.

You need to make an actual case for your candidate. Once you wade out of the red team versus blue team fight, you have to set aside the mentality that comes with it. Too many folks were still making the argument that Cuccinelli was better than McAuliffe when they needed to be making the argument that Cuccinelli was better than Sarvis. Timothy Carney at the Washington Examiner took on this task later in late October and made some good points about Cuccinelli. It probably wouldn't have been enough to get my vote, but it was at least enough to make me think it over.

Don't presume to tell us what we believe. Oh, look, conservative National Review says Sarvis isn't a real libertarian and libertarians shouldn't vote for him. Libertarians are used to having their positions misunderstood, misappropriated and mischaracterized by both the left and the right. Anybody trying to come explaining libertarianism to libertarians better be able to make a good case. Sarvis has been hit over his position on taxes, particularly on paying for roads with a mileage tax. The mistake here is assuming that libertarians are supposed to believe in a world without taxes entirely. Not entirely true, depending on where an individual libertarian falls on the spectrum. As has been noted before, Adrian Moore of the Reason Foundation has himself spoken in favor of mileage taxes as a way to pay for roads using the money of the people who actually use them. From my background in covering and watching municipal politics I'm a skeptic. I don't think it's a bad idea – I just don't trust that it will be implemented as a replacement tax and will just add to citizens' burdens, and I don't trust that the money would actually go to roads. This doesn't make either Moore or myself non-libertarians. We are assessing the likely outcomes of the policy in different ways.

No really, don't pull this blue versus red crap on us. The Blaze noted that an Obama bundler helped pay for the petitioning process to get Sarvis on the ballot. So … guilt by association? I guess Sarvis should have just not run for governor if he needed assistance from somebody experienced in political processes because it's from the left? According to The Blaze's own reporting, the guy gives money to both libertarians and Democrats. We get the same crap from the left whenever the Koch brothers money finds its way into hands of conservatives as well. Strangely, this piece is the one getting thrown at me the most, but it has the least compelling argument. It's pointless left vs. right purity test crap.

Respect that voters determine their own political priorities. I criticized Carney's column because it felt to me like he was saying that those libertarians who were voting against Cuccinelli because of his social conservatism should deprioritize these concerns. He argued that "identity politics" was helping sink Cuccinelli. As frustrating as "identity politics" can be, it's important not to confuse the term with the idea that voters have different priorities than you have. Voting against a candidate because you believe he will try to implement policies that will harm you or people you care about is not identity politics, even if the policies are connected to your identity. I have read a number of folks lamenting that voters turned against Cuccinelli on these "social issues." The outcome of such a complaint is giving the voter the impression that you don't care about or don't respect their personal priorities when choosing a candidate. If that's the case, how can you ever expect them to vote for yours?

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  1. He didn’t necessarily lose due to that. It is hard to point the finger at one thing. But there is more than one way to fix it. Had the Republicans run a Virginia Chris Christie, they would have won big.

    The issue here is how do Libertarians get either party to listen to them or get so big they win themselves? I don’t see McAuliffe caring what they think. And if the Republicans run a Christie clone, they are unlikely to as well. The only way the Libertarians get any influence is if the Republicans decide last night means they need to go libertarian and nominate someone who can take Sarvis’ votes. That is possible. But given Christie’s 60% share in New Jersey, that seems unlikely.

    So instead of four years of Cuccinilli, you are probably going to get four years of McAuliffe followed by four years of some big government RINO who wins becuase he is not quite as big of a crook and not quite as insane as McAuliffe.

    1. So Libertarians are making you nominate RINOs? Oh, hilarious.

      “Look what you made me do, you stupid whore! Why do you make me do these things?!”

      1. What about what I said isn’t true? The Republicans could go Libertarian and try to win or they could go more centrist and nominate a Christie clone and try win. Given that Christie won 60% in New Jersey last night, the latter seems more likely.

        I don’t know what to tell you. It is like I asked on the AM links, which candidacy is more likely to be copied, Christie’s who won 60% or Sarvis’ who won 7% or whatever it was?

        Do you live in reality? Or do you just live in pretend land?

        1. They live in non-partisan land, John. You would do well to try and understand what that means. You are shitting your pants because the other TEAM won. They (I say they because I do not vote and am not a libertarian) don’t care if some other TEAM wins. They would like to see the candidate they prefer to win. You need to wrap your head around this. You are so caught up in the TEAM dynamic that you can’t see that they don’t give a fuck about your TEAMs. They only want to try and make it so a non-statist candidate who shares many of their views wins. That’s all. If that candidate doesn’t win, well, that’s democracy for you.

          1. They only want to try and make it so a non-statist candidate who shares many of their views wins.

            But there are degrees of that. That is what the left gets. That why the left always gets what they want. It just takes them a while.

            The VA race is a great example of that. The right wasn’t willing to take a guy who gave them something better on economics and lost. Meanwhile the left goes on voting for all kinds of people they secretly loath secure in knowledge that they will get something and as time goes those somethings will add up to everything.

            The left plays politics to win. Libertarians and the right play politics to prove a point. That is why the left wins.

            Think team for a moment. Who is better at politics, Leftists or Libertarians? Leftists hands down. They may be craven and stupid about everything else, but they get politics in ways those on the right don’t. And thus they usually win, if not today, eventually.

            1. Why are you using a utilitarian argument with people who are almost totally against utilitarianism and are instead pro-principles? Because your utilitarian argument is repulsive. They don’t vote to win. They vote for people who are pro-liberty and freedom, because that’s what they believe in.

              Maybe you don’t understand the contempt many of them have (as do I) for utilitarians.

              1. Here is the thing about that. We live in a Democratic Republic. The whole system is designed on every side compromising and no one really living by their principles. You can live by your principles but doing so will cut you out of the political process. That is just how republics work.

                Maybe politics is so immoral that it is worse to engage in them than do nothing and let the country go to hell. That is a value judgement that only you can make and an argument we can never settle.

                Regardless, no matter what we do, the Left doesn’t view it that way. They are just going to keep pounding that rock and playing politics as a death sport and continuing to make things worse.

                That is all I am saying. What the proper and moral response to that reality is up to you.

                1. What rob said, and also: the proper and moral response to any reality is what I think the proper and moral response to it is. It has absolutely nothing to do with how someone else responds to it.

                  It’s becoming quite clear that you truly do not understand that in any way.

            2. Think team for a moment.

              This was exactly epi’s point. You are thinking team. Some of us dont do that. And wont.

              If you want to convince people, you need to do it with a non-team argument.

              Tell me why I should vote for X instead of Y and dont bring up teams or candidate Z who will win instead.

              1. This was exactly epi’s point. You are thinking team. Some of us dont do that. And wont.

                Then don’t. But the teams run the country. It is like saying “I refuse to think Party” in the old Soviet Union. You can do that. But it won’t get you very far.

                1. It worked for Solschenizyn.

            3. So, should I vote for Punch to the Face or Kick in the Crotch?

              Kick in the Crotch is leading, but Punch to the Face is less harmful, and is close.

              But I definitely shouldn’t vote for Leave Me Alone, because that just takes votes away from Punch to the Face, so it’s really a vote for Kick in the Crotch.

              Right?

        2. But New Jersey isn’t remotely representative of the country as a whole. Christie is not generally popular within the party, and I, for one, don’t think he will win the nomination. Didn’t the GOP already try the not-quite-Republican gambit last time?

          If the GOP is going to keep playing as Democrat-lite, which it almost always does when in power, then voting for them as a general rule is a losing game, too. While they have more specific candidates a libertarian could vote for, they also have some very statist, very bad elected officials and candidates. Want my vote? Run people who don’t appall me.

          I have voted GOP before for lesser-evil purposes, but mostly only when the Democratic candidate has made me say, “Oh, my god, no. Please! What is that? Don’t tell me!” And not always even then, as evidenced in the last presidential election, where I voted LP in the general.

          1. But…but…Christie won election as a Republican in a blue northeastern state! If Republicans nominate him for Pres, he’s sure to win! Haven’t you reactionaries learned your lesson from nominating extremists? Isn’t it time you turned to a moderate who reaches across the aisle?

            1. /sarc, in case there’s any doubt

            2. There’s at least a ghost of a hope that the GOP could develop a significant limited government minority. We’re already seeing signs of that. But they’ll not allow that unless they’re forced to. Purging libertarians won’t solve their problem, so they’ll have to accommodate them somehow. The question is how far the statists in the RNC will let things go–they want power for a reason, after all. I bet it’s just more libertarian rhetoric clothing the usual statist policies, but we’ll see, I guess.

            3. They ran Romney. I can’t imagine making the exact same mistake two elections in a row, but we’re talking about the Republican party, not something that learns from its mistakes.

              1. Well, they ran McCain in 2008, and Bush in 2000 (I understand he was going to get the nom in 2004) so they made that mistake in many elections.

                The last Republican with any juice I can think of who can even claim to be for smaller government is damn Newt Gingrich.

              2. Yeah, that was the point of my sarcastic remark. They’ve already followed this advice.

            4. so did Romney whom the left quickly characterized as a combo of the two Scrooges: Ebenezer and McDuck when, in fact, he’s a moderate, okay with govt guy. A generation ago, he would have been a Rockefeller Repub. The left will caricature the most benign GOP candidate into the worst of stereotypes and, almost invariably, that candidate will help in his own demise.

          2. “when the Democratic candidate has made me say, “Oh, my god, no. Please!…”

            Those are my favorite democrat candidates. I want Republicans to lose to them. Its funny.

          3. But New Jersey isn’t remotely representative of the country as a whole. Christie is not generally popular within the party, and I, for one, don’t think he will win the nomination. Didn’t the GOP already try the not-quite-Republican gambit last time?

            I used to think that too. And Christie isn’t popular within the party as a whole. But that may not keep him from getting the nomination if the anti-Christie vote splits. Romney wasn’t popular either.

            As far as nominating the RINO goes in the general election, yeah, that approach failed in 08 and 12. But that doesn’t mean it will fail in 2016. The Dems are most likely going to be a lot more unpopular in 2016 than they were in 2012 or 08. For Christie to win, he has to attract more center and center left voters who went for Obama in 08 and 12 than he loses on the right. If things continue to go south for the Dems, I think that might be possible if not likely.

            Understand I hate Christie. But Jesus, an Republican winning 60% in New Jersey is pretty amazing. Sure there has been plenty of RINOs from the Northeast before. But none of them ever won 60% in a state wide election.

            1. Bullshit. Connecticut governors had been Republicans for years. There are local Republicans that win all the time in the Northeast. You shouldn’t talk out your ass about some place that in your mind is a seething mass of blue, but in fact only actually tends to be about 60% blue or so. Really, learn something about the northeast. Live there for a while. Christie winning is not even remotely shocking.

              1. Sure they win Episiarch. But show me where they win in landslides.

                You are right, those places are 60% D. And Christie just flipped that and managed to win with 60% R. Show me where Romney or Pataki ever won 60%.

                The Democrats are going down in flames. Not all of their voters are hard core progs. Some of them are just center left who think of themselves as “independents”. Might some or a lot of them be willing to vote for a guy like Christie as the Obama administration gets more and more unpopular?

                I would love to think Christie would get killed in a general election. But I think that is probably wishful thinking. What if the fat bastard wins?

                1. Jodi Rell won 63% of the vote in Connecticut in 2006

                  1. Tom Kean won 71-24 (albeit in 1985)

                2. The Democrats are going down in flames. Not all of their voters are hard core progs. Some of them are just center left who think of themselves as “independents”. Might some or a lot of them be willing to vote for a guy like Christie as the Obama administration gets more and more unpopular?

                  I agree with you on this point. Both parties are on the decline right now but I feel like we’re focused on the Republican Party right now because they’re hurting a lot more since they are out of power (by comparison).

                  The Democrats, in my mind, are making gains because they don’t nominate horrifying real life Disney Villains who say absolutely ridiculous shit about abortion and sodomy. They just nominate progressive derps and seem like the least bad alternative to a lot of independents.

                3. Until the GOP can get rid of the segment that masturbates to the Bible, they will continue to lose presidential elections. This is a fact.

            2. that approach failed in 08 and 12.

              failed in ’92 and ’96, too, and only succeeded in ’00 and ’04 because Al Gore couldn’t win his home state and Kerry was a buffoon.

              By the way, you keep bringing up Christie as meaning something other than the guy he succeeded, Corzine, is a criminal who remains outside of prison for being a former US Senator.

              1. and only succeeded in ’00 and ’04 because Al Gore couldn’t win his home state and Kerry was a buffoon.

                And it couldn’t succeed again because Obama fucked up everyone’s health insurance?

                1. maybe it could but look at your assumption – the other side has to fuck up so badly that your side is the less bad option. Wouldn’t it be nice to win because people voted FOR your candidate ratehr than AGAINST the other one?

                  1. maybe it could but look at your assumption – the other side has to fuck up so badly that your side is the less bad option.

                    That happens a lot in politics. Libertarians don’t like that because unlike Leftists, they want personal affirmation from poltics. Leftists don’t give a shit why or how they are winning, they just want to win. A leftist would happily take winning because the country hates the other side and then take that win to do a bunch of shit the country doesn’t want. They only care about winning. And unsurprisingly, they usually do, especially since the right thinks things like principle and being right are more important. You get what you value and are willing to pay for.

                    1. Except that voting for Republicans (with a few exceptions) is NOT WINNING

                    2. Look, there’s getting kicked in the balls, and then there’s getting kicked in the balls twice. Pick your poison.

                      Or don’t. But you’ll still get kicked in the balls.

                    3. Except that voting for Republicans (with a few exceptions) is NOT WINNINg

                      Depends on how you define “winning” Calidissident. That is what leftists get and Libertarians don’t. Let me ask you, do you think the hard core left liked Carter or Clinton or even Obama and considered their presidencies “winning”?

                      Hell no. But you know what, they didn’t care. They don’t think like you. They don’t look for the “win”. They want victory. And the two are not the same. Libertarians want their big moment when a libertarian President and Congress shows that America has come to its senses and admits how right Libertarians were. But that is not how politics works. Leftist know that. Politics is a struggle. There is no one moment. You compromise and you settle and you get a little here and a lot there and lose some here and so forth. That what leftists do. They lie and they compromise and they take little bits year after year until finally they have a lot.

                      That is why they win. And that is why Libertarians always lose. Libertarians have never won a political fight or achieved a goal in the entire history of the movement. Not once. There is a reason for that. And the reason is they don’t understand politics and they don’t understand how to get where they want to go.

                    4. They have elected several people at state and local office.

                      But they largely don’t know how to play politics.

                      I vote for them so when I get kicked in the balls no one can say I voted for it.

                    5. perhaps the right should take advantage of the wins it gets and actually govern on the things it claims to champion – limited govt, cutting spending, all that fluffy gooey stuff that might sell with this crowd.

                      Instead, they pursue a different set of things the country doesn’t want. Was there a big cry for Medicare Part D? How about No Child? The TSA? They like power, too, John and unfortunately, in each case it means bigger govt. On that score, Dems are more honest; they make no bones about loving the state.

                    6. perhaps the right should take advantage of the wins it gets and actually govern on the things it claims to champion – limited govt, cutting spending, all that fluffy gooey stuff that might sell with this crowd.

                      Sure they should. But maybe the fact that libertarians have, unlike hard leftists, considered themselves above team politics and thus never made themselves a force in the GOP has something to do with that?

                    7. Libertarians don’t like that because unlike Leftists, they want personal affirmation from poltics.

                      Seriously John fuck off. I tolerate you because you sometimes bring new ideas worth having an intellectual discussion over to the blog. When people disagree with you, you start foaming at the mouth and start spouting generalizations that are out of this world.

                      I don’t want affirmation from politics. I want the government to leave me and my fellow citizens the fuck alone. I’ll be damned if I ever vote for someone like John McCain again out of fear of some Marxist.

                    8. I don’t want affirmation from politics.

                      Yes you do. You want a candidate to come and tell you how right you are. And you want to feel like you voted your principles. That is personal affirmation.

                      What you don’t care so much about is voting for someone who is going to win, if doing so deprives you are feeling you voted your principles. Now tell me again how you don’t want personal affirmation out of politics?

                      I am not foaming at the mouth. I am telling you a truth you don’t want to hear. But just because you don’t like that and can’t admit it, doesn’t mean it is not true. You only freak out and start swearing because I hit a nerve.

                    9. So what? I’m voting for a person to represent my values. I don’t care if one guy is going to make me eat less shit than the other. Maybe I can’t stop either of them but I can withhold my consent.

                    10. What’s with the ad hominems? How is a Libertarian voting for a Libertarian some bizarre self-affirmation, while a Republican voting for a Republican is just good ol’ fashioned politics?

                      You clearly don’t understand that Libertarians (or even libertarians) aren’t just misguided Republicans. If the Dem candidate supports 50% of my values, and the Rep candidate supports 50% of my values, why should I vote for one instead of the other? And what if neither one fits at all? Sorry, but making sure that the candidate you prefer gets my vote is not a priority for me.

                    11. And you want to feel like you voted your principles. That is personal affirmation.

                      No John, I want to KNOW that I voted for my principles. I cannot control outcomes and I know that the only way I will respect myself is if (if I vote) I executed my voice up to my own standards.

                      As for the personal affirmation side–stop projecting. Politics are not something I strive to make personal. I want affirmation, sure. I want it from my colleagues, family, friends, etc… The people in my life give it the most meaning, not some asshole in DC.

                      You are trying to paint me as some bleeding heart Jezebell who only finds satisfaction in life when I use the government to tell people what to do.

                      You don’t know much of anything about me and purport to know my thought process. It is off putting and ugly of you.

            3. Understand I hate Christie. But Jesus, an Republican winning 60% in New Jersey is pretty amazing.

              So, what you’re saying is a popular liberal won 60% of the vote in the liberal northeast, despite running as a Republican, so we should throw our weight behind the Republicans because they’re less horrifying than the Democrats…? That sounds like typical TEAM logic: root for the uniform, no matter what.

              Give me someone to vote *for*. If you give me a candidate I *like*, I promise I’ll even waste my time voting for him or her in Massachusetts. But don’t offer me a shit sandwich and tell me I should eat it because it’s better than the shit salad I’d otherwise be getting.

              1. So, what you’re saying is a popular liberal won 60% of the vote in the liberal northeast, despite running as a Republican, so we should throw our weight behind the Republicans because they’re less horrifying than the Democrats.

                No you half wit. I am saying you better start figuring out a way to keep fatso from wining the GOP nomination because if he does, we are all fucked.

                1. More fucked than if Hillary is elected? I’m really kind of indifferent to the choices there. And I am pretty confident saying that most candidates I’d actually trouble myself to vote for would not make it past a GOP primary because of the redneck racist homophobic librul-hatin’ anti-abortion pro-war douchebags that vote in GOP primaries.

                  I guess I’m saying I’ll wait for the party to come to me, and otherwise go about living my life as best as I can and ignoring Leviathan to the degree that I can. That seems like a better use of my time than trying to swim against the tide.

                2. I am saying you better start figuring out a way to keep fatso from wining the GOP nomination because if he does, we are all fucked.

                  Ah HA! We’re close to a breakthrough. If Christie is nominated, we’re all fucked, true. But if your favorite Republican is nominated, chances are still pretty good that we (L/l-ibertarians) are STILL fucked. See? Lesser evil be damned, the most “libertarian” Republican is less of a libertarian than an actual Libertarian. If I’m a vegetarian and you give me a sandwich with just half a slice of ham, it still does me no good, no matter how loudly you scream about how I’ll never have a meatless sandwich so I might as well take what I can get and like it.

    2. But your argument seems to still boil down to “vote for the lesser of two evils (if Cuccinelli could be considered such), because that’s going to help you get influence in the party somehow”. I don’t follow how that works.

      If the GOP nominates candidates worth voting for, I’d vote for them. Next year’s Florida gubernatorial race is likely to be Charlie Crist vs Rick Scott. That’s possibly a worse choice than what Virginia had. And I’ll be voting LP for sure. If I didn’t have LP to vote for, I’d stay home.

      1. Write-in Mickey Mouse.

        1. That’s what I did in the 2010 governor’s election.

      2. I am not telling you to vote for anyone. I am just telling what is going to happen. If you think it is better to have four years of McCauliffe followed by four years of a Christie wannabe than it is to have four years of Cucinilli, that is your call not mine. That is reality. What is not going to happen if four years of Sarvis or any other Libertarian candidate. And what is unlikely to happen is that the next R candidate is going to be more libertarian friendly than Cuccinilli. He will likely be less as the party follows the Christie model.

        What that means about your vote is your business. But that is reality.

        1. Turd Sandwich or Giant Douche… Giant Douche or Turd Sandwich…

        2. I’m fine with statists getting elected by dumbfucks. Their coffin.

        3. The problem with your model is that it NEVER provides for a libertarian-leaning candidate. If you voted for Cucchinelli, it was obviously a validation of social conservatism and then the entire libertarian critique can be ignored. If you vote for the Libertarian, you’re implicitly endorsing a RINO as the next candidate.

          1. Welcome to voting.

            1. and the only way to win is……

              1. Dissolving the union and letting each state set up its own sovereign government?

        4. Except he didn’t say he voted (or would have voted) for McAuliffe

        5. “Sarvis received only 3 percent of votes from self-described conservatives, but he garnered the support of 7 percent of liberals (McAuliffe won this demographic by 85 points) and 10 percent of moderates, the largest ideological bloc in the state (McAuliffe won this group by 22 percent).”

          “Liberals were more than twice as likely as conservatives to support Sarvis.”

          If we buy into your nonsense that R and D are entitled to all votes, then you should be thanking us, John, not condemning us. See, Libertarians hurt TMac twice as bad as he hurt CoochieBalls. This makes your complaining to libertarians even more futile and senseless than it already was (didnt think that was possible)

          http://thefederalist.com/2013/…..-election/

          1. “Liberals were more than twice as likely as conservatives to support Sarvis.”

            So what? That just means that Republicans have less of a reason to go after Libertarian votes. Why go after Libertarian votes when most of t hem are liberals anyway?

            No one says R or D is entitled to any votes. I am saying that people who refuse to vote for either party are not entitled to either party paying attention to them. Big difference.

          2. That’s the really sad part. It tells me that “Libertarians” seem to care more about their genitals -which aren’t really under any significant threat- more than their economic well being.

      3. I still have trouble believing that Crist can win the nomination. He couldn’t be any more obviously unreliable and untrustworthy.

        1. I’d be stunned if he didn’t. It’s not like unreliable and trustworthy are key cogs in what the American electorate cares about.

          His only competition for the nomination is Nan Rich. I actually like her. I wouldn’t vote for her, but I do like her (my brother clerked for her for a time). But she doesn’t have the name recognition, especially outside of South Florida, to have any sort of chance. She’ll pick up a good number of anti-Crist votes, but I can’t imagine it’ll be enough.

          1. No, I’m not suggesting that other politicians aren’t scum, too. But people were uncomfortable with him before he switched parties, joined a notorious PI firm, etc. He’s got excess slime all over him, and it’s so bad that the spin is almost impossible.

            Nobody wants Crist back who doesn’t have a golden tan similar yet not quite equal to the Hamiltonian One.

            1. Yeah. I guess I don’t understand his support base outside of Tallahassee. What it tells me, is that the top talent in the state expects Scott to win re-election handily, and Charlie gets to be the sacrificial lamb so that he can be on the short list for Dems when Nelson retires.

              1. Yeah, weird, huh? I briefly had hope for Scott as a not totally shitty governor when he was saying no to the exchanges and doing some other things, but he couldn’t even get that right. Besides, he looks like one of those guys from Fringe.

                1. Agreed. Any implied message that Scott was a good governor was accidental. Just that he’s going to wipe the floor with Charlie Crist, or really anyone else because he’s the R candidate for governor and things are getting better in the state despite him.

                  1. I agree. No way we’re going back to Governor Shit. Scott at least is neutral on some stuff. Crist just sucks.

        2. Is he still married? Is he going to fly his wife in for campaign appearances?

          1. “Married” or married?

    3. John, you are exactly rehashing the exact arguments Scott is refuting. Scott is very much telling persons like yourself that nominating a candidate that isn’t palatable to libertarians won’t get you libertarian votes.

      If you (or more generally GOP opinion makers) believe the better is to steal statist votes from the Democrats, nominate a RINO and do that instead. If you want more libertarian votes, nominate someone more palatable to libertarians.

      1. Goddamn, I can’t type today. 2nd paragraph should say If you (or more generally GOP opinion makers) believe the better path to victory is to steal statist votes from the Democrats, nominate a RINO and do that instead

        1. I can’t type today. 2nd paragraph should say If you (or more generally GOP opinion makers) believe the better path to victory is to steal statist votes from the Democrats, nominate a RINO and do that instead

          Sadly I think that might be exactly what they do. That didn’t work in 08 and 12 because people wanted to vote for the black guy and were still mad about Bush.

          But as the Obama Presidency gets worse and worse, that is likely to change. Things were good for libertarians when the only available coalition for Republicans involved them. But if things go really South for the Dems, another one might become available. One similar to the one Bush had in 04 consisting of SOCONs and various centrist suburban whites who voted R in 04 out of fear of terrorism but went D in 08 and 12. Now they might go R for a guy like Christie because Obama is making things so bad.

          1. They had RINOs in 08 & 12. Also, I don’t think Christie would play all that well in some parts of the country. Do you think ANYWHERE in the South or West would vote for a gun grabber?

            1. Also, I don’t think Christie would play all that well in some parts of the country.

              He won’t in the primaries. But he would against Hillary. Hillary is not taking those southern states. His gun grabbing past is a problem. But he is lying his ass off about it and will be swearing up and down what a gun lover he is all the while winking at the center left telling them he is only doing it to satisfy the boobs.

              Like I said below, if the 12 election were yesterday, would Romney have won? Never know but it is possible. And Fatty will be a better candidate than Romney and things will be even tougher for dems in 16 than they are now.

      2. John, you are exactly rehashing the exact arguments Scott is refuting. Scott is very much telling persons like yourself that nominating a candidate that isn’t palatable to libertarians won’t get you libertarian votes.

        Of course it won’t Brett. But nominating a Christie will get you a lot of other votes. If you don’t believe me, look at what happened in New Jersey.

        Why is it somehow certain or even likely that the Republicans are going to respond to this by chasing libertarians rather than chasing Latinos and the center left suburbanites that Christie just won?

        Christie probably didn’t attract a single Libertarian vote. It doesn’t seem to have hurt him much.

        1. John, I really can’t tell what your argument is. It almost seems to be “Suck it up, you’re never going to get influence, so you may as well go vote for RINOs and SoCons because at least they’re better than the Progressives”.

          1. My argument is that cuccinilli losing and Christie winning so big is ultimately bad news for Libertarians. When you look at those races together, what is the message it sends? It sends the message that you can play around with small government economics and maybe you can get a guy that both the SOCONs and the libertarians can live with and maybe that guy will win or you can go with a big government RINO and now unlike 08 and 12 attract center and center left votes and probably win and maybe win big.

            That doesn’t bode well for either side going very libertarian on much of anything.

            1. No, John, your argument is that not voting for TEAM RED is ultimately bad news for Libertarians. And guess what? They’re not buying that shit any more. TEAM RED used that gambit for years and libertarians are fucking bone tired of it. Yet here you are, retreading it again. Protip: that ship has sailed. It’s not going to work.

              1. I don’t what to tell you. Go vote Team blue and try to drag them back to reality on civil rights and privacy. That would do some good.

                It is not about team. It is about the fact that if you refuse to vote for either, you can’t be surprised when neither gives a fuck what you think or caters to your views.

            2. In practice the only difference between Republicans and Democrats is, well, there is no difference.

              They might have arguments about abortion, but that’s about it.

            3. That doesn’t bode well for either side going very libertarian on much of anything.

              I don’t see either TEAM going even the teeniest bit libertarian, ever. Whatever delusions the GOP harbors about limited gubmint will be rapidly discarded as soon as they’re back in power.

              This is why I stopped voting, after doing it for 30 years. I have better things to do with my time.

              1. This is why I stopped voting, after doing it for 30 years. I have better things to do with my time.

                Meanwhile, all of the hard core leftists keep voting Dem and keep dragging the party and the country further and further left.

                Leftist understand that to win you have to fight and that it takes a long time. Libertarians think just being right is enough and that some day the world will come to its senses. This is why leftists win so much and Libertarians always lose.

                1. I just don’t care, John, what the outcome is at this point. I voted my conscience for 3 decades and have Jack and shit to show for it and Jack was rounded up last night.

                  The bluetards want their cake and to fuck it too. TEAM RED is only too happy to help bake the cake. I can at least go into the camps with my pride intact, knowing I supported neither.

                2. What’s the difference, John?
                  In practice, what’s the difference between Republicans and Democrats?
                  Seriously.
                  What would McCain have done differently? You don’t think he would have signed a healthcare bill?
                  What about Romney? He wanted to remove and replace.

                  They’re two sides of the same coin.

                  That’s the thing you don’t understand. In practice, Republican and Democrat politicians are two sides of the same damn coin.

                  They may put on a show when they argue with each other, but at the end of the day they do the same damn thing.

                  1. In practice, what’s the difference between Republicans and Democrats?

                    That is the point sarcasmic. You make the difference by over a period of years dragging one of the parties in your direction. That is what the leftists did with the Dems. It took them decades of work. But they did it. But that is what leftists do. It is amazing how persistent and relentless they are.

                    Libertarians are pathetic when compared to leftists in that regard. Libertarians put their hands up and run away because they only get a small victory or no victory. Leftists take that and keep coming and keep pushing. And they win because that is how politics works.

                    I just can’t convince you guys that you are never going to get the big moment where America agrees with you. You are going to get a bunch of tiny moments over the course of years and decades that add up to something. The left gets that. You guys don’t.

                    1. I just can’t convince you guys that you are never going to get the big moment where America agrees with you.

                      I’m not sure who said that was going to happen. Perhaps the straw man you are arguing against.

                      You are going to get a bunch of tiny moments over the course of years and decades that add up to something. The left gets that. You guys don’t.

                      Really? We don’t get that? If you really think we’re that stupid, why don’t you just fuck off and troll someplace else? If you really think we’re a bunch of degenerate morons, why are you here? If you’re so fucking superior, and we’re so fucking stupid, why don’t you leave?

                      Asshole.

                    2. Really? We don’t get that?

                      If you get that sarcasmic, why do I have like 20 people yelling at me telling me that it is totally stupid to compromise and anything short of a candidate “earning their vote” by being copacetic on every issue is going to work for them?

                      I am just going by what people on here are saying and doing. Cuccinilli would have been a win on fiscal and economic policy. But that wasn’t good enough and the Libertarians left. And anyone who tells them perhaps that wasn’t a good idea and wasn’t thinking very strategically is told they are a butt hurt socon.

                      If you get it, good for you and I am sorry to imply you don’t. But if you do, you seem to be the only.

                    3. Hey dipshit. You say libertarians don’t get that we need small victories before we can have big victories. Well, dipshit, we’ll never get those small victories if we always vote the lesser of two evils. We’ll only get victories if we vote for the most libertarian candidate. Dipshit. Now please go fuck yourself you dishonest piece of shit.

                    4. Well, if there is no hope for libertarians, then all we have is our pride when we go to vote. Pray tell, why should we discard our pride and vote for your guy when that is all we have?

                      The argument you are making is curious in that if we agree with you, it incites us to the action you disagree with – voting for the candidate the best represents our views.

                      The reality is you want us to vote against our guy and for your guy because its good for you (not for us). But you are not successful because you are trying to make us believe you are doing it for our own good.

                    5. Well, if there is no hope for libertarians, then all we have is our pride when we go to vote. Pray tell, why should we discard our pride and vote for your guy when that is all we have?

                      If you are voting for personal affirmation sure. But understand leftist vote for results and are willing to work to get them. Why are you voting for “pride”? Who cares. Who gets pride from a vote?

                      Politics is a little morality play for you guys. That is why you lose. Liberals are ruthless and committed and care about results, at least in politics.

        2. Why is it somehow certain or even likely that the Republicans are going to respond to this by chasing libertarians rather than chasing Latinos and the center left suburbanites that Christie just won?

          Well, the simplest answer to your question is that chasing the libertarians would least jeopardize the engagement of your existing votes. I don’t see how the Republicans are going to pick up Latinos or center-left suburbanites without getting a lot of grassroots conservatives angry or willing to stay home. There’s enough common ground between libertarians and conservatives to have a sane Republican party capture them both.

          1. I don’t know about that. If Libertarians who vote care more about abortion than they do about economics then I think the Big Tent has some Big Holes. Now if you can get people to agree on the small government part and demure on the social issues, then there’s a chance.

    4. “The only way the Libertarians get any influence is if the Republicans decide last night means they need to go libertarian and nominate someone who can take Sarvis’ votes.”

      The problem is the real message to Republicans from last night is that regardless of the truth of the statement if the media can portray you as a hardcore SoCon then you will lose elections you would have otherwise won in a landslide.

      This does not mean SoCon’s can’t win high profile elections, they certainly will in deep red states and even occasionally elsewhere but in blue/battleground states if your opponent can successfully portray you as a hardcore SoCon (whether it is true or not) you basically start off at a ~10 point deficit in the polls before anything else happens

      1. For sure. But not “socon” doesn’t necessarily mean “libertarian”. Christie wouldn’t have that problem and he is anything but libertarian.

        The 7% of Libertarian votes are there. But there is probably more votes there in the squishy middle where people are tired of the Democrats but still want to hear how government can help them.

        1. There’s LP libertarians and there are the others who are independent or GOP. What the GOP has to contend with isn’t the LP vote. It’s the people staying at home because they think the GOP candidate is more of the same crap.

          Romney, as bad as he was, very well might have won with a larger turnout from the GOP and right-leaning independent voters. Not even having to get any cross-over from the left. That’s a big lesson the Republicans better learn from.

          1. and that’s a winner. The left is often far more interested in the right’s guy losing than its own guy winning, and will almost never stay at home. The right has no such hesitation.

          2. Ask yourself this Pro, had the Presidential election happened last night rather than last year, would Romney have won?

            Last year Obama’s approval ratings were above 50%. Now they are below 40%. We will never know. But it seems pretty possible, Romney would win if the political environment in 2012 were what it is today.

            Bush wasn’t a Libertarian and didn’t attract any Libertarian votes. But he won anyway. He attracted enough voters who are now voting D to make up for not getting any Libertarian votes.

            That is what Christie is, the re-emergence of the Bush coalition of SOCONS, a few Latins and various centrist whites. If that works again, neither party cares about the Libertarians. Hell, the Dems came back in 2008 without the Libertarians help. Why wouldn’t they think they could do so again?

            1. Obama is absurdly unpopular now, but it’s easy to forget that he’s been a lame duck since 2010–a very lame duck–and there was a shitty economy then, too. Leaving aside how badly he ran his campaign, there’s little question that even a halfway decent opponent would’ve won fairly big.

              The GOP needs to stand for something other than not being quite as bad as the Democrats.

              1. The GOP needs to stand for something other than not being quite as bad as the Democrats.

                Christie’s win last night says otherwise. That is not a good thing. But it might be true. It also might be true that the Dems are going to make themselves so unpopular any R can win in 2016. But that won’t matter to the winner. If it is Christie, the claim will be “America wants a big government RINO”. That doesn’t sound like a very nice prospect to me.

                1. While I want the country to return to a more limited government, free market path, if it’s determined to jump off a cliff, I can only protest not stop it.

                  I think Christie winning in New Jersey is purely a local event with almost no meaning on a national level. We both know plenty of Republicans, and I bet virtually none of them even slightly likes Christie. Not now.

                  1. I think Christie winning in New Jersey is purely a local event

                    I thought the same thing until I saw 60%. That is big. And wouldn’t you agree a Christie clone could have won VA? Sure he couldn’t win South Carolina against another R, but who cares? In a national election South Carolina and states like it are going R no matter what.

                2. the claim will be “America wants a big government RINO”.

                  outside of Reagan, maybe, that claim has been made with each man the party has nominated for POTUS since I’ve been old enough to vote.

                  1. Yeah, remember Compassionate Conservatism? Gag.

                    1. Yeah, remember Compassionate Conservatism? Gag.

                      And it won two Presidential elections. Just because you and I hate it, doesn’t mean everyone else does.

                    2. It barely won one over a candidate who should’ve been easy to beat. Bush won 2004 for totally different reasons, mostly due to the war, and, let’s face it, John Fucking Kerry. Possibly one of the worst candidates ever.

                      I was very surprised that Bush won in 2000, because I thought 1994 and Clinton’s shift to the right thereafter would translate into a less statist GOP candidate.

                    3. 4 for totally different reasons, mostly due to the war,

                      And why did he win because of the war? Because there were all of these suburbanites who were worried about security. In 2016 there will be a ton of them pissed off about their health insurance.

                      Liberalism is discrediting itself badly. But that doesn’t mean all of these people who voted for Obama are going to be ready to go for a real right wing candidate. It might mean they will be willing to go for a RINO like Christie who is not insane and is competent but doesn’t scare them with any radical views.

                      We don’t know. But I don’t see why it is not possible for Christie to win. And more importantly, I can definitely see the Republicans thinking that is the way to win. And Libertarians would do well to offer the Republicans an alternative road to winning and not just tell them “come earn our vote and fuck you”.

                    4. Personally, I think the GOP is going to clean up next year, maybe hugely, and will likely win in 2016, barring some stupidity in the GOP-controlled Congress. I think the moribund economy coupled with Obamacare is starting to really get to people. Why that didn’t happen in 2012 is beyond me, but it’s obvious that many on the left are starting to worry now and may soon call for a NEP. Just for five years.

                    5. The odds of the Republicans picking up Senate seats next year just went up dramatically, but beyond that 2016 is a crap shoot. Any projections of an inevitable republican victory in 2016 are wildly optimistic. There will be plenty of abortion “issues” tossed out there like bones for good Team Red dogs to go chase. And the media will do its job demonizing every major R candidate.

                      The one thing I’m hopeful about is a Rand candidacy in 2016. Now how many reasonoids would be willing to compromise their pure principles to vote for him?

        2. Christie doesn’t have that problem because there is no sodomy law albatross to hang around his neck. And while he’s busy flogging teachers, he blows cops, firemen, other public unions. Outside the Northeast, I doubt he even reaches Blue Dog Dem status.

          1. And while he’s busy flogging teachers, he blows cops, firemen, other public unions.

            And that won’t appeal to a lot of “what about my little snowflake” left of center voters who are currently getting screwed by Obamacare?

            And as far as the base goes, he can get the SOCONs on board by promising judges and political appointments in return for staying quiet. What are they going to do? Vote Democrat.

            The only issue that could really hurt him is guns. And he is vigorously lying and covering up his past and claiming to be all pro gun right now. It shouldn’t work. But I can’t say it won’t.

            1. if the road to Repubs winning is thru center-left voters, then there is no conservative party left.

              1. if the road to Repubs winning is thru center-left voters, then there is no conservative party left.

                It isn’t “the road”, it is “a road”. Another road is through libertarian voters. But if Libertarians can’t get along with SOCONS as well as center left suburbanites can, why will Republicans take the Libertarian road?

                Remember, those center left voters agree with the SOCONs on things like gambling and porn and the security state. They just don’t get along on abortion and gays. But if the SOCONS keep quiet about those two issues, things are fine.

        3. “For sure. But not “socon” doesn’t necessarily mean “libertarian”. Christie wouldn’t have that problem and he is anything but libertarian.”

          That was kind of my point.

          Outside of being able to slip in a few high profile gadflies to act as a thorn in the side of both the blue and the red establishments there is no victory condition in the political sphere.

          Even with the most generous estimate of 15% of the population holding generally liberitarian beliefs there aren’t enough votes to be won there for either side to need to court us in any serious manner. This is especially true given our significant individualist streak, get the support of “the tea party” and you can rely on 90% of tea party members votes, the same is true of most other political groups. Libertarians on the other hand have no group you can win support of that will deliver large blocks of votes.

          In otherwords in the political sphere we will ALWAYS be impotent, that still does not mean we should throw away our votes and use them on someone we find merely slightly less distasteful than the other major party candidate

          1. I think there is a victory condition. Give up on fighting the SOCONs and form a coalition about economic liberty and smaller spending. That is what Cuccinilli was. And he would have won pretty easily except for the fact that the Libertarians couldn’t stomach that he is a SOCON so they went third party.

            Maybe you can get a Rand Paul or a Ted Cruz who can build the coalition Cuccinilli tried to build. But if you don’t do that, you are screwed. The coalition will then be SOCONS, who will suck it up in return for judicial appointments and keeping the Dems out, big government RINOs and center left disaffected Dems.

            This is why I keep beating on Libertarians about giving up the culture war and working with the SOCONS. It is not because I am a SOCON and want to ban porn and strip clubs. I am anything but. But working with them is the only viable economic liberty coalition I can see. And that, more than the culture war, is what is important to me.

            1. “Give up on fighting the SOCONs and form a coalition about economic liberty and smaller spending”

              I’m sorry but that won’t work until SOCON’s give up those issues for now.

              We’d happily set aside the culture war and align with them over economic liberty and smaller spending if they would actually stop fighting the culture war for the duration of the alliance.

              SOCONs have proven incapable of doing this however

              “This is why I keep beating on Libertarians about giving up the culture war and working with the SOCONS. It is not because I am a SOCON and want to ban porn and strip clubs. I am anything but”

              I know you’re not a culture warrior John, the problem that you refuse to see is that we tried to ally with the SOCONs on economic issues but they kept fighting the culture war. Never once did they take a stand for economic liberty and they wouldn’t even pay lip service to our requests. The change has to come from the SOCONS shutting the fuck up about the culture war and actually fighting for economic freedom (rather than just talking about it), the instant they do they’ll find us by their sides fighting, till then I’m sorry we’ve been burned too damn many times and used as cannon fodder in their idiotic culture war so we’re taking our ball and going home.

  2. but don’t assume that Sarvis voters actually saw Cuccinelli as the lesser of two evils.

    With near certainty, the say him as the least of three evils.

    1. Whoops. “As NOT the least”

  3. Fuck yeah Scott Shackford. I’d vote for *you* for governor.

  4. Libertarians can’t even get their “L” on the ballot. The media put the ballot up and there was an “I” by the guy’s name. They were calling Sarvis the “Independent” or “3rd Party” candidate. It was crazy. So the Green Party pulled 6% in Virginia, cool.

  5. Why should the GOP assume they get the votes of libertarians by default? They have never proven to be more reliably libertarian than the other guys.
    I’ve never voted for a Dem, but I can easily imagine one who would vow to hold the line on taxes, cut defense spending and end the war on drugs. I’d certainly consider voting for such a candidate.

    1. Not like I’m a fan of team Blue at all, but I wonder sometimes why Team Red is generally considered to be the more natural home of libertarians over Team Blue. Team Red should, in theory, be better on economics, but in practice they’re a clone of Team Blue, and we know about how bad the SoCon influence is. At least Team Blue sometimes does better on the social side of things.

      But I’ll continue voting for the candidate that best represents my views. Sometimes that means voting LP. Once that meant voting Green. But otherwise it means staying home.

      1. At least Team Blue sometimes does better on the social side of things.

        Do they?

        I havent seen it recently anyway.

        Not this administration anyway.

        Actually, I do think you are right. I think libertarians could work with old school liberals. But not with progressives.

        Liberals fear government power in certain areas. Progressives are all about power.

        1. Agree 100% with what you said.

          (I can name one social thing though, in that marijuana legalization has been progressing much faster in blue states)

          1. I know some old school liberals who are really, really disgusted with the current Obama administration and their NSA, Drug War, TSA bullshit. I really think they would be in play for a libertarian GOP candidate. I think this is one reason why the Proggies hate libertarians so very, very much.

          2. marijuana legalization has been progressing much faster in blue states

            True, but at the state level I think liberals have more control while the progressives congregate on the national level.

            Just like you dont find many neocon republicans in state government.

          3. The simple fact is that more voters who are significantly libertarian live within the GOP. That’s libertarian in the total sense, not just the economic one. It’s a despised minority, yes, but it actually exists. That’s largely not the case with the Democrats.

            Single-issue “libertarians” are not libertarians. Freedom by government prescription isn’t freedom at all.

        2. Okay, but what portion of the modern left is constituted by “old school liberals”? I mean didn’t libertarians try this a few years back? It didn’t work out all so well.

          1. Not enough is the answer.

            I think liberals tried to get the liberaltarian thing going, I dont think libertarians ever “tried” it.

            It didnt work out because we (libertarians) refused to participate. For good reason.

            1. Left-libertarian means statist-libertarian. Which makes no fucking sense.

    2. Why should the GOP assume they get the votes of libertarians by default?

      They clearly can’t assume that. But why should Libertarians assume the GOP will chase their votes by default?

      What if the GOP goes after Laintos and center left suburbanites like Christie did and neither side chases your vote?

      That is the point. Just because the GOP might be able to win if they got Libertarians doesn’t mean that is the only way they can win or the route they necessarily will choose.

  6. I voted for Sarvis. Maybe it’s easier for me not to get caught up in the red v. blue “you’re enabling the other side” because when I look at the results this morning from my polling station it is:

    D ? 514
    R ? 255
    L -40

    Fluffy made a point a few weeks ago that I really liked, which IIRC was basically libertarians and socons better find a way to get along by 2016, otherwise it’s progressives forever.

    1. “otherwise it’s progressives forever”

      There is at least one other option…

      1. which is?

        1. No more progressives ever, ever, ever again?

    2. libertarians and socons

      So, basically, unite behind Paul who seems to be courting both.

    3. It will be progs forever regardless unless libertarians and socons find a way to appeal to Non-Whites.

      So it will be progs forever.

    4. Fluffy made a point a few weeks ago that I really liked, which IIRC was basically libertarians and socons better find a way to get along by 2016, otherwise it’s progressives forever.

      And Fluffy, like he often can be, is dead on right. I keep saying the same thing but I am just all team red butt hurt for saying it. I guess reality has a butt hurt bias.

      The other point is that Christie proved in New Jersey last night, Libertarians are not the only votes to be had and appealing to them not the only way to win.

      That ought to send a chill up your spine.

      1. In both threads, you keep ignoring my comment that Paul is the perfect libertarian/socon crossbreed candidate.

        1. No I don’t. I would love to see Paul win the nomination. But what if Cruz and him split the vote? Or what if Cruz is number 2 and Paul number 3, will Libertarians back Cruz to stop Christie? I hope so.

  7. Cuccinelli was tanked by his own party.

    A lot of the local machine was pissed that he got the nomination, so they undermined him from the start.

  8. Ask yourself why Christie won by over 22 points in NJ but Romney lost the state? It’s because a lot of these liberals want Republicanism for their state, liberalism for the rest of the country. Same reason the New Yorkers voted for Stop-and-Frisk Bloomberg. These liberals want certain Republican policies for themselves, low taxes and various means to keep their communities White. They might have voted for Cuccinelli the way they voted, in 2009, for the Mcdonnel by 17 points. However, the abortion issue was emphasized and that is very important to these liberals for reasons you can probably guess.

    1. Ah, American. You did a good job of hiding it in that post. Almost got me.

      1. Was it capitalizing “White”? That’s usually what sells me.

        1. Yeah, that was it. Glossed over it at first, which is why he almost got me, but it stands out once you look.

    2. t’s because a lot of these liberals want Republicanism for their state, liberalism for the rest of the country.

      That has been largely true in the past. But as the Dems crack up over Obamacare, will it continue to be true? I don’t know. But I think it is possible it won’t be and a lot of those center left people who vote D now will go for a RINO. Christie certainly thinks they will.

      All I am saying is, if that happens, the Libertarians are fucked. Christie will win the Presidency. That would be a worse result than Hillary winning.

  9. I wish Sarvis had cost Cucinelli the race. Then maybe the GOP would start taking libertarian votes seriously…. but probably not.

  10. “We are not voting for your candidate because we don’t like your candidate and what he or she stands for.”

    It’s astounding how many Republicans think that libertarians should vote Republican–but don’t seem to think Republicans will vote Republican if the candidate targeted libertarians.

    We are not obligated to vote Republican. If anybody will vote Republican–despite the fact that the Republican is targeting libertarians–it’s Republicans.

    You don’t expect outsiders to vote for your insider candidate. You expect insiders to vote for your insider candidate. …and you target your marketing to outsiders. Outsiders like libertarians are the hard sale–the Republicans are already sold. The Republicans are the ones who will pinch their noses and vote for the lesser of two evils–not the libertarians.

    Why don’t they get that? It’s so basic. You’re targeting marginal Republicans. People who might otherwise not vote for anybody. That’s the difference between winning and losing.

    1. I suspect the fact that we oppose Obama confuses Republicans. They think that if we oppose Obama, then we must like them.

    2. It’s astounding how many Republicans think that libertarians should vote Republican–but don’t seem to think Republicans will vote Republican if the candidate targeted libertarians.

      I think this seems to be the matnra of the Republican leadership, rather than the grassroots. A lot of conservatives seem to get that there’s not necessarily a huge conflict with a libertarian Republican. Basically, the leadership isn’t being honest. It’s not that conservatives won’t vote for a libertarian. It’s that they don’t want conservatives voting for libertarians.

      1. Most of the conservative grassroots opposes increased immigration. That’s a huge block for any candidate who is an official libertarian according to Reason.com

        1. Libertarians would like it if congress were honest about the bills they write and try to get passed, instead of calling something ‘Immigration Reform’ that does nothing to fix immigration.

          But as long as they can count on a dumbed down and uninformed voter pool, they’ll keep passing things so we can find out what is in it.

          1. And how would fixing immigration actually work? Open borders?

            1. Deporting dipshits like you would be a good start.

        2. “Most of the conservative grassroots opposes increased immigration.”

          Did you completely miss what I wrote above?

          How many of those cultural conservatives are about to vote for the Democrats?

          How many swing voters are turned off my immigration bashing?

          Which bloc is more important?

          I’ll give you a hint: it isn’t the one that’s going to vote for the Republicans anyway.

          1. How many swing voters are turned off my immigration bashing?

            Not a lot. Immigrant “bashing” is fairly popular according to opinion polls, just look at the amount of support for the “Arizona law.” But you have a point, a lot of Republican would vote for the pro-immigration candidate who talked about cutting welfare. But could a blatantly pro-amnesty libertarian candidate(a reasonite libertarian) get through a primary?

            1. You understand what a swing voter is right?

              If you think immigrant bashing is popular with swing voters–you’re out to lunch.

              1. Argument by assertion, based on what? Here is a link:

                http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-50…..out-right/

                I’m sure both the Democrats and Republicans support the law, and it’s those swing voters who oppose it.

    3. It’s astounding how many Republicans think that libertarians should vote Republican-

      They don’t have to Ken. But why do you think Republicans should have to cater to Libertarians? You don’t owe them your vote. But they don’t owe you any consideration either. Maybe they will chase your vote. But maybe they will chase someone else’ vote. And if that happens and neither party cares about your vote, what then?

      1. “They don’t have to Ken. But why do you think Republicans should have to cater to Libertarians?”

        Because libertarians are swing voters!

        That’s how you win elections.

        You need people who didn’t vote Republican last time to vote Republican this time.

        Right?

        You win by getting the swing voters to vote for Republicans. …instead of not voting or voting for a third party.

        1. Because libertarians are swing voters!

          Sure they are. But they are not the only ones, especially as Obamacare turns a lot of people off to the Dems.

          You assume that the only way the GOP can win is by going L. And yeah, it would be nice if they went L. But there is nothing says they have to win or will choose to do so. But one thing is for sure, if they go another route and win, Libertarians are going to be SOL.

          1. How close is the libertarian vote to covering the percentage difference between Republicans and Democrats in swing states?

            That’s the question.

            We’re a few percentage point in the swing states that matter–and it’s not much of a mystery to anybody what we think.

            If you’re shooting for the swing vote, we’re the fish in the proverbial barrel. For goodness’ sake, GOP, take the shot!

            If they don’t give Rand Paul the nomination, they should pressure him hard to run as the front runner’s running mate.

      2. But they don’t owe you any consideration either.

        No, no they don’t. But, even from a view of practical politics what the hell do they gain by alienating libertarians? Put it this way, how many voters would Cuccinelli have lost had he not proposed bringing back sodomy laws? Any? Now, how many people did he convince to vote against him?

        1. But, even from a view of practical politics what the hell do they gain by alienating libertarians?

          A whole lot of center left voters who are voting D but are pissed off about how badly the Dems have fucked things up.

          To win they have to get either of those without alienating too many SOCONS. So the question is which group is easier to get? The center leftists are easier than you think since outside of abortion and gays, they largely agree with the SOCONS on social issues like gambling and drugs. So why go for the Libertarians when there are all of t these disaffected Dems waiting for a Chris Christie to vote for?

  11. Gee – did you miss the news that an Obama bundler was a largest donor to Sarver’s campaign funds? It is indeed strange that libertarians are never to blame for losses by conservative candidates – at least, according to Reason.com.

    1. Did you actually read this?

      1. Why would he do that? He’s got an angry point to make! GRRRRRR!

        1. Has anyone figured out if he is a angry prog or angry red team member, yet, because I haven’t.

    2. See point 4 above.

    3. We’d like to think we’re the reason for losses by [social] conservative candidates.

      One of the reasons I haven’t voted for Republicans is because they’re fake conservatives–a la George W. Bush–but that’s another thread.

      My point in this one is that I want the Republicans to lose–and we want them to lose because of libertarians. That way, maybe they’ll go back to being about economic sanity and jettison the social/phony “conservatives”.

      …by the way, there’s a much bigger voter market out there for sane economic policy than there is for people who vote because they want to discriminate against gay people, or because they like fear mongering against Muslims, or because of Terri Schiavo.

    4. Taking votes away from Republicans because you have principles is one thing. But all your talk about “principles” is crap if you take money from liberals for the express purpose of helping them win. How about getting 2 percent of the vote without liberal money? If it looks like a duck, if it quacks like a duck…..

      1. There is a difference between wanting Republicans to loose and wanting Democrats to win.

        by the way, there’s a much bigger voter market out there for sane economic policy than there is for people who vote because they want to discriminate against gay people, or because they like fear mongering against Muslims, or because of Terri Schiavo.

        Got any facts to back that up? Just because it’s right doesn’t mean it’s popular

        1. Got any facts to back that up?

          Yeah, all the swing voters who keep voting against Republicans in the presidential elections.

          Seriously, you need evidence that swing voters are sick of fear mongering? You need evidence that swing voters are turned off by discriminating against gay people? And the fuck did Terry Schaivo ever have to do with anything?

          If the swing voters were all flocking into the GOP’s arms, you might have a leg to stand on–tell me, why do you think the swing voters are giving the cold shoulder to the GOP? …because the GOP isn’t socially conservative enough?

          1. Yeah, all the swing voters who keep voting against Republicans in the presidential elections.

            They are voting against Republicans because they don’t like the Republican position on green cake batter.

            Look at opinion polling. Look at the Arizona law, Americans overwhelmingly support it. They oppose increased immigration. Terry Shaivo, you have a point there. Polls have shown about an even division between the pro and anti gay marriage sides. And Americans want to raise taxes on the rich as well as cut spending.

    5. For crying out loud, again I must defend Sarvis.

      A rich democrat funded the effort to get Sarvis on the ballot. Why is this wrong? It was the Democrats who share responsibility for Va’s restrictive ballot access laws in the first place. By helping a 3rd party get ballot access, the Dems are making partial (but grossly inadequate) compensation for the fact that they made these oppressive ballot-laws in the first place.

      Who cares about motives? Rich Democrats doing the right thing for bad motives is better than doing bad things for bad motives.

      Having multiple candidates on the ballot protects the voting rights of *everyone.* If you were denied the right to vote *against* Sarvis, you would have been disenfranchised.

      1. A rich democrat funded the effort to get Sarvis on the ballot. Why is this wrong? It was the Democrats who share responsibility for Va’s restrictive ballot access laws in the first place. By helping a 3rd party get ballot access, the Dems are making partial (but grossly inadequate) compensation for the fact that they made these oppressive ballot-laws in the first place.

        Those democrats are so nice. I’m sure they told you that, didn’t they?

        Who cares about motives? Rich Democrats doing the right thing for bad motives is better than doing bad things for bad motives.

        What end result came out of that? A bad thing, a democrat victory. That can be justified if the purpose is to vote with principle. If the purpose is to enable that very same bad thing to happen, I don’t see much difference between giving to Sarvis and giving to McAui

        1. Did you actually read this article?

        2. Wow you’re dumb. I don’t give a good holy fuck where Sarvis gets his money from. If my enemies want to spend their fisc getting my message out, that’s a fucking win.

        3. If the Republicans don’t like Democrats paying for 3rd party ballot access, maybe they shouldn’t have imposed unconstitutional expenses for those seeking such ballot access.

          The answer to your problem is simple – your party controls the Va legislature, let them pass a bill giving inexpensive ballot access to 3rd parties. If McA vetoes the bill, you’ve exposed him as anti-democracy. If he signs, you won’t have to worry about democrat-funded ballot access initiatives.

          Meanwhile, don’t blame 3rd parties for the problems *you* helped create.

        4. “Those democrats are so nice. I’m sure they told you that, didn’t they?”

          Oh, and why don’t you eat a pile of night soil?

  12. The mileage tax is almost but not quite right.

    It’s vehicle weight that does the most damage. As in trucks.

    Roads don’t flex much if at all under a Tercel or a Civic. A truck with an eighty thousand pound trailer however…

    1. So a weight^2*mileage tax then?

      1. In order to route the mileage tax to the municipality where the miles were driven, the vehicle’s location would need to be tracked. There’s too many ways that could be abused. So, no. I oppose mileage taxes in all forms.

        I’m more with Brett’s comment on gasoline taxes, since there is a direct relationship between mpg and weight.

        1. Electrics and natural gas vehicles.

          Also, fuck the municipality where the miles are driven. The jurisdiction where the vehicle is registered gets the tax.

    2. So the gas tax is probably a better stand-in as, efficiencies being approximately the same, it takes more energy to move more weight the same distance? Why don’t we just fix the problems with the current tax being spent on things other than roads?

      1. Gas taxes give electric vehicles and natural gas vehicles a free ride, as it were. Also gives plug-in hybrids a vastly reduced rate.

        The gas tax is unacceptable to many libertarians because of fear of monitoring. I understand that but we have to make clear that we would support this only if the tax is based on yearly odometer readings.

        Also there is a reflexive distrust of mileage taxes because they are championed by enviros.

        1. Gas taxes give electric vehicles and natural gas vehicles a free ride, as it were. Also gives plug-in hybrids a vastly reduced rate.

          City buses and county vehicles, down here. Not to mention that they could easily “fix” the problem with higher vehicle registration fees for these class of vehicles, and put these offsets into the road fund. If the tax were falling short of paying for road upkeep.

          Which it isn’t. The fuel tax more than covers road funding. It just doesn’t supply the surplus to do meddlesome things the way it used to.

    3. No problem: have a graduated tax based on curb weight or # axels. Not sorcery.

      1. What if the axel’s name is Rose?

  13. I don’t see a big downside to this. For one thing, the GOP maybe got the message just a little harder that libertarians cannot be ignored.

    And on the damage side, what can McProggie do, now that he’s elected? Is he going to attempt to rule by executive action, like the liar in chief?

    1. You’re assuming that those people are honest, rational actors. Just look at some of the TEAM shills here for an example of the mindset at work. They will go on endlessly re-arranging the deck chairs until there is not more deck above water. Then they will blame the orchestra for not playing loudly enough.

      1. NO more deck above water…

  14. Maybe next time the GOP can run someone who can keep their mouth shut about enforcing 300 year old sodomy laws? Just a thought.

    1. For sure. The next Republican will most certainly do that. But I don’t think you are going to like him very much. And I bet he wins.

    2. I said the same in the AM Links. Don’t blame us because your candidate overstepped while trying to appeal to a voting bloc and got blowback.

      1. and he was appealing to a voting bloc that would almost certainly have supported him anyway. I believe those are called unforced errors.

        1. I think you’re obligated to mention Rand’s plagiarism problems.

          1. +1 APA format.

    3. +1 legitimate rape

      http://www.urbandictionary.com…..Legitimate Rape

  15. Good article, Shackford. Bravo.

  16. “A donor to the Democratic Party of Virginia and bundler for Barack Obama funded a political action committee that provided Virginia Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Robert Sarvis with a crucial campaign contribution that helped get him on the ballot.”

    http://freebeacon.com/obama-bu…..candidate/

    So continue to pat yourselves on the back for being utilitarian, but I think it’s YOU guys who got hosed.

    1. The Libertarian candidate got 7% of the vote and the worst possible crony capitalist crook won. Yet, Libertarians are patting themselves on the back about how great they did.

      And they wonder why they lose so much.

    2. “I think it’s YOU guys who got hosed.”

      No, the Republicans hosed themselves by supporting laws imposing these expenses on 3rd party candidates. Why *should* it be this expensive just to get on the ballot? If Republicans had blocked this sort of legislation, or acted to repeal it when they got a legislative majority, then there wouldn’t be any Democratic ballot-access funding.

      And since the Democrats cooperated in these unconstitutional ballot access laws, frankly they *owe* 3rd parties some support in getting their rights back.

      1. It has nothing to do with “supporting” laws imposing expenses; it has everything to do with the fact that the Dems used the Libertarian in the race to beat the Republican.

        That’s what I mean about being hosed.

        1. But it narrowed McA’s margin of victory instead of increasing it as was supposed to happen. Who got hoses, again?

    3. And you’d find lots of left-wingers who were eager for Tea Party nominations in the last few cycles. That just means they have their own ideas about what’s good for them electorally. It doesn’t mean they’re right, or that they align with them ideologically.

  17. It would be wrong to infer anything from Christie’s victory. Romney himself was the end of a fairly long line of Republican governors of Massachusetts (Weld (1991), Cellucci, Swift, and Romney) and he retired undefeated in 2007. So we have a pocket of GOP success in a state that regularly sends Democrats to its national offices, and a governor who was part of it got beaten badly in the electoral vote. I don’t see anything different happening with Christie.

    Which states is Christie supposed to pick off from the blue column in 2016? That’s the only question that matters in the election game. He might bring New Jersey over, but I wouldn’t give that any more than a coin flip.

    1. Romney never won 60% of the vote. And 2012 is not 2016. You might be right. And you better hope you are right. If you are wrong, then neither side will see courting Libertarians as way to win and Libertarians will be about as relevant as old school communists.

      1. Answer the questions, John. Which states does Christie bring? What are the odds of him winning NJ?

        1. I don’t see him bringing any of the blue states except for New Jersey.

        2. Swing states like Virginia and Ohio and Wisconsin that Romney couldn’t win. And what previously Red states would he loose?

          Romney only lost by five million votes. Hell he would have won if the election were yesterday.

          Who has a better chance in Virginia and Ohio, Rand Paul or Christie? I would love to think Paul. But I may not be right about that.

  18. John,

    I’m probably too late to the game, but just wanted to say I totally agree.

    BUT…I think there is a difference between your individual vote and your actual contribution to the political process. Individual votes don’t count for jack squat. But when you write a check and/or commit time to a campaign, then that has meaning. Which is why I stopped giving to the LP a long time ago. I succumbed to the reality of the winner-take-all system. So I direct my funds to viewpoint oriented groups in the hopes that they influence the consciousness of the overall electorate.

    1. The only person other than you and me on this whole thread who is not nuts is Episiarch. He is the only one who understands that being in politics means compromising. Now, he thinks that compromising your principles is immoral and thus won’t participate at all. I don’t agree with that. But I can’t say he is nuts for thinking that way.

      The rest of the people have this view that voting your conscience and standing by your principles is some kind of end in itself. No its not. What matters is what results it produces. But they don’t view it that way. They think that voting by your principles and being pure is going to cause the country to some day come to its senses and go Libertarian.

      And that is crazy.

      1. I don’t think any serious Libertarians buy into the goal you’re assigning to us. I for one am not waiting for some overnight epiphany where the entire country writes in a Libertarian presidential candidate in the next election. My objective, and I think I’m not alone in this, is to see the Libertarian party become a reliable third party that can go toe-to-toe with the Rs and Ds at the state and national levels. The only way you do that is by putting Libertarians into office, and you will never, NEVER, accomplish that by voting for Republicans.

        Sarvis didn’t have a chance, but the amount of support he got and the name recognition he won for the LP was worth it. Hell, the fact that he lost and all the grief Team Red is giving us might actually help Libertarians running at the local level. I fully appreciate that this isn’t something that will happen overnight. It’s a long-term strategy, and in order for it to work it will require that Libertarians stick to their principles.

        At any rate, your “lesser of two evils” strategy only makes sense if you’re looking at the very short term and if you’re taking a very selective view of what ideals actually matter to libertarians. In the long run, however, it’s your strategy that’s the crazy one from a Libertarian perspective.

  19. While I do realize people are passionate about their political beliefs, having a confirmed democrat bankroll a libertarian run at office is completely outrageous. Libs and Dems are complete polar opposites except when it comes to abortion and drugs. A libertarian candidate will draw a total of zero Democratic voters. But it will draw right wing votes. That was the plan here and it worked. Look for this to become the norm in the future and this nation is sunk. I lean Lib but I vote Rep in close elections. Its always the lesser of 2 evils anyway, so I tend vote for the person that has a chance of winning and who will step on me the least. I’m kinda pragmatic that way.

  20. I wil accept Ron Pauls analysis of Sarvis, I think he knows libertarianism. Opposing Cucinelli was self defeating for libertarianism. Help conservatarians and conservatives take over the Republican Party. That is the way to have real impact.

  21. “At least, he or she stands for enough things we don’t like to want to see your candidate lose.”

    With this Shackford acknowledges that some people who voted for Sarvis were trying to ensure that Cuccinelli (or McAuliffe) would lose. Why would anyone conclude that a vote for Sarvis is a vote to help Cuccinelli lose any more than it is a vote to help McAuliffe lose? Aren’t such voters concluding that most voters for Sarvis would have voted for Cuccinelli (or McAuliffe) if Sarvis had not been on the ballot. Does Schackford believe that most Sarvis voters would have voted for McAuliffe if Sarvis had not been on the ballot?

    “Even if Sarvis voters did cause Cuccinelli to lose, it’s extremely important to understand that this is what these voters wanted. That the outcome was McAuliffe’s victory is also unfortunate, but don’t assume that Sarvis voters actually saw Cuccinelli as the lesser of two evils.”

    That is a good theory, now come up with some evidence for it. How many of you Sarvis voters did so because you would have preferred McAuliffe to Cuccinelli? How many of these voters were libertarians? As a libertarian, please explain to me how McAuliffe is better for my liberty than is Cuccinelli. Please explain to me how, on any ballot with a D and an R on it, the D is better for my liberty than the R is, *overall*.

  22. “Too many folks were still making the argument that Cuccinelli was better than McAuliffe when they needed to be making the argument that Cuccinelli was better than Sarvis.”

    We don’t have a proportional representation system, we have a winner-take-all system. The news media know this, and are aware of the polls that show that Libertarians do not usually make it to the top two candidates for an election. Even we libertarians should be more interested in how Cuccinelli is better than McAuliffe, by your acknowledgement that we do use the lesser-of-two-evils method of voting.

    “The Blaze noted that an Obama bundler helped pay for the petitioning process to get Sarvis on the ballot. So ? guilt by association?”

    Not guilt by association. It is just an acknowledgement that Dems. are tactically astute enough to realize that most Sarvis voters would have voted for Cuccinelli had Sarvis not been on the ballot. The Dems therefore gave money to Sarvis knowing that this would help to ensure a McAuliffe victory.

  23. “I have read a number of folks lamenting that voters turned against Cuccinelli on these ‘social issues.’ The outcome of such a complaint is giving the voter the impression that you don’t care about or don’t respect their personal priorities when choosing a candidate. If that’s the case, how can you ever expect them to vote for yours?”

    Who are those people with these “social issue” priorities? On the one hand we libertarian voters have a D who wants to run all aspects of your life, except give you a government license (i.e. marriage) to contract with someone of the same gender as you. On the other hand we have an R who votes to give you more liberty (check voting records with the National Taxpayer’s Union), but less likely to use the government-owned word “marriage” to that arrangement you have with that special person of the same gender. Are there really such people with these priorities? Tell me how it is logically coherent for libertarians to be against government licensing, except for the one called “marriage.”

  24. The milage tax is a direct result of Electric cars, scooters, Hybrids and all the other high efficiency rides. It matters if you don’t buy enough gas/diesel, you still have to fund the road system in a fair way.

  25. And everyone here does know this man was a total fake Libertarian who believed in more government control and higher taxes?? He was put up by the Dims for Pete’s sake!!

  26. Pretty section! It feels great reading such post like this, very informative and interesting.

  27. As William Poundstone describes in his book Gaming the Vote, the voting system commonly used in US elections, Plurality Voting, puts many voters in a dilemma: vote for the candidate you prefer most, or vote for the candidate you prefer among the “popular” candidates. Even then, we still get wasted votes and split votes, and the US has only one viable party more than does China. Solutions to this have been known for over 200 years. The simplest solution is Approval Voting: vote for as many candidates as you like.

  28. Kobayashi Maru–when the game has no solution, change the rules.

  29. Good article, but it ought to mention the word platforms–some looter might actually look up the definition.

  30. wish I’d seen this at the time. Sarvis actually said a lot of the right things, but it was really vote for him or write in Mickey Mouse. the big parties gave us: a Democrat who was a shady political operator who made his fortune by stripping value out of companies that could have been productive; and a Republican who apparently believed that legislating based on his personal morality was a philosophy for government, and who as AG wasted copious tax dollars prosecuting a man under a sodomy statute that had been invalidated as unConstitutional over a decade before. what a choice – no thanks!!!

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