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Bill Weld Lays Groundwork for 2020 Libertarian Presidential Run

The 2016 V.P. candidate is issuing endorsements, raising money, talking about what the party needs to win the White House, and tacking in a more Libertarian direction. But will he take the plunge?

He's baaaaaaack! ||| Freedom for AmericaFreedom for AmericaIf you had asked most members of the Libertarian Party on election night 2016 whether vice presidential candidate Bill Weld would be central to the L.P.'s efforts in 2020, you may well have been held in violation of the Non-Aggression Principle.

The former two-term governor of Massachusetts had just wrapped up a tumultuous first six months as member of the party, from a hotly contested V.P. nomination to unprecedented media penetration to persistent speculation that he might drop out, all culminating with an unforgivable-for-some six-word sentence on The Rachel Maddow Show one week before the election: "I'm here vouching for Mrs. Clinton." Even those who were charitable toward Weld's late-breaking behavior—and there weren't many—reckoned that he'd parlay his successful/disappointing Libertarian half-year into some new centristy John Kasich/John Hickenlooper action. That is, if the well-heeled lawyer bothered with politics at all.

They were wrong. After announcing last November that "I'm going to stay L.P." and declaring the party "perfectly positioned to fill what's a growing need in the country," Weld is now openly laying the groundwork for a 2020 presidential campaign. The only question is whether he'll be the one running.

"I really have been doing a lot reading and thinking about what it means to be the Libertarian Party, and what possible achievements and upsides the Libertarian Party could" accomplish, Weld told me in an interview at the California state L.P. convention on Sunday. (You can watch that interview in full at the bottom of this post.) So is he running? "I take this stuff seriously," he told me. "But I'm sincere when I say that I'm not talking about who is going to do the Libertarian race in 2020; I'm just here to say that I think that's a race that has some real potential to go the distance, and the sooner we all wrap our minds around that, the better."

Over the past few months, Weld has been schlepping his favorite brown coat from Houston to New York to Long Beach for state conventions, delivering his rap about how the party can best grow from here ("The number one thing we need to do by November 2020 is to elect a Libertarian president of the United States") and sketching out tantalizing visions of "$50 million or $100 million in the bank at the beginning of the campaign."

#ItBegins ||| Bill WeldBill WeldWeld is also issuing strategic endorsements to some of the party's biggest names—Republican-turned-Libertarian Nebraska state Sen. Laura Ebke (facing her first re-election with an "L" by her name starting with a May 15 jungle primary), Massachusetts auditor candidate Dan Fishman (said to have a plausible shot if some local scandals break right), Phoenix mayoral hopeful Nicholas Sarwark (the party's national chairman), New York gubernatorial challenger and ubiquitous state-party-convention presence Larry Sharpe, and others. More rounds of endorsements are expected in the near future.

Other party-building activities include filing lawsuits to make the allocation of electoral votes proportional instead of winner-take-all in four states (which, Weld says, would have resulted in the L.P. receiving 17 electoral votes in 2016); recruiting potential candidates, donors, and (quietly) vice-presidential possibilities; and starting the obligatory 501(c)(4) advocacy group, Freedom for America.

"I'm looking also at the national level for people who could be helpful to the Libertarian Party, and there are two types," he told me. "One is people who are office-holders or have been office-holders in the R and the D parties, but who really are Libertarians underneath it all. Another is billionaires who could fund the operation—because we can't afford to be caught short, as Gary [Johnson] and I were last time."

Weld's access to money, media, and prestige stands in stark contrast to his potential presidential competitors, though that's in part because there really aren't any so far, aside from anarcho-libertarian activist and trouble-magnet Adam Kokesh. The Adam vs. the Man impresario has been dogging Weld on the L.P. circuit, challenging him to debates, ambushing him on camera with questions like "How much did Hillary Clinton pay you off?" and accusing him of being a "liar and backstabber." Weld has stayed mostly affable amid the flak.

"I think both Adam and I think that it doesn't have to be us to carry the flag across the finish line," he volunteered during our interview, with Kokesh in the room.

Skepticism toward the Boston Brahmin runs much deeper than the party's anarchist and radical blocs—I counted six main reasons for the reticence before the voting at the 2016 national convention. What's interesting is that Weld has either copped to or altered his positions on at least four of them. "I've learned a lot since 2016," he said at the outset of our conversation. "I mean, I do blush to think of some of my early steps."

For example: guns. One of Weld's favorite stories these days is of going to Deadwood, South Dakota, at the tail end of the 2016 campaign, and seeing a poster of the Indian warrior Geronimo holding out a rifle, with the caption "Turn in your weapons: The government will protect you." Weld's punchline: "Didn't work out so well for Geronimo."

||| Buck WearBuck Wear"I can remember saying at that [2016] convention, 'Oh yeah, no, I'm really a Second Amendment guy, because I'm a hunter, and I own shotguns and rifles,'" he recalled. "And that's not really the point." In his speech to delegates in Long Beach, Weld was considerably more declarative on the issue than at any time during 2016. "We've got 300 million rifles out there—and, need I add, lawfully acquired rifles. I think you get it: The day is not far distant that we're going to have a final consensus that those guns are not going anywhere, and we just can't have ambiguity about that."

Weld says he has also changed on foreign policy, telling me last November: "If I had to talk about an issue where the campaign changed my thinking, it probably would be interventionism." And after having been a prosecutor, and still looking visibly uncomfortable when talking too much about drugs in 2016, Weld is now happy to brag about being on the same marijuana advocacy board as John Boehner.

"I can almost feel myself sinking more deeply into the Libertarian Party," he said. "I feel myself broadening and, as I say, even deepening politically."

Will the party welcome Weld back into the fold? Are activists ready to put forth a fourth consecutive ex-Republican politician as presidential nominee? It's certainly not hard to encounter sentiments like this:

At the same time, if a growing party is going to continue to grow, and to position itself as the beneficiary of the Democratic and Republican parties' ongoing nervous breakdowns, it is going to need to absorb major-party defectors with less libertarian cred than Bill Weld. In his speech at the California convention, Sarwark, who is up for re-election as party chair this summer in New Orleans, encouraged his fellow Libertarians to put down their internecine squabbling and recognize the Weld/Kokesh divide (my framing, not his) as a "good cop, bad cop" scenario in which everyone has his or her role.

"Martin Luther King is not as effective without Malcolm X," Sarwark contended. "Politicians who put on suits and get up on debate stages are not as effective without people standing in the streets with signs threatening to strike or picket or do direct action. Both are important in order to move public policy forward and get to a world set free in our lifetime. We need people on the outside agitating to move the Overton Window of acceptable discourse to where it looks libertarianish, then we need somebody—like Governor Weld, just for an example, because I can see him from here—running up in a suit, inside the Overton Window, going: 'Oh my gosh, look at all those crazy people out there! They really want freedom. You know I'm more reasonable. You can just elect me!'

"It's a set-up!" Sarwark continued. "It's a lay-up! It's the bounce-pass to the guy who goes and does the dunk. It's not an existential battle for which one of you has to die or get kicked out the party first. And for too long we've made it that." If Libertarians get behind a Weld 2020 campaign, it will be through argumentation like that.

The Libertarian Party has a truly valuable commodity: likely ballot access in all 50 states, at a time when the major parties are both abandoning even rhetorical support for balanced budgets, free trade, civil liberties, non-interventionism, and a host of other key issues. By planting a tentative flag in early 2018, Weld is establishing a floor of mainstream possibility—and signaling to any would-be outsiders eyeing the prize that libertarian-leaners are going to need to tack more Libertarian if they want to woo the activists who have made this moment possible.

My full interview with Weld:

Photo Credit: Bill Weld's Facebook page

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  • Juice||

    Why is it that the people who really need to just go away never do?

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    But enough about Mikey.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    I thought he was talking about PB.

  • BYODB||

    What if this is the place all the people who never go away end up?

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Then they're going to be very disappointed that the only people getting a shout out by name are Simple Mikey and PB.

  • mpercy||

    At least PB is entertaining from time to time.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    On that subject, it needs to be pointed out that Simple Mikey's delusions are getting out of hand. Now would be a good time for anyone who cares about him to step in and get him the help he needs.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Is Simple Mikey really our worse troll? I mean, all our trolls are awful but at least he's entertaining to laugh at, in the same way watching a retard try to hump a door knob is entertaining.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    I have my problems with the way the contest was bracketed, but Simple Mikey was the runaway winner of the official(ish) Worst Troll award a few weeks back.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I thought Mr. Gus/Red Tony was gonna do another contest. Whatever happened to that?

  • BruceMajors||

    Well, he is a Hillary associate so...

  • Mickey Rat||

    If Libertarians want to win the presidency, how about nominating someone who is not wearing the libertarian label as a skinsuit?

  • H. Farnham||

    If Libertarians want to win the presidency, the most likely successful path would be to nominate a real-life leprechaun riding a unicorn with a sasquatch as VP... or a lady libertarian candidate, but the first scenario is probably slightly more likely.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Like who? I doubt there's anyone sufficiently pure who could actually win anyway. And besides, it really doesn't matter who gets nominated, they're not going to win. Not in 2020, not ever.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Correction: maybe Snake Plissken himself, but only because of name recognition.

  • BYODB||

    Escape from Washington, D.C.?

  • H-daddy||

    How about Andrew Napolitano? In your opinion would he have a chance? If not, why not?

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    I think it's the hair. It's a giant comb-forward, and we've already seen what that does to a president.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    What does it do to a president? Would it really be a dealbreaker? If so, why?

  • H-daddy||

    I think a lot of people would care about the performance of any LP candidate in a Prez debate. I don't know if he could get 15% across the USA (does it matter anymore?). But I think in several states he could easily get 15%. I hope during a debate he talks. He is far, far more articulate than Trump could ever dream and he certainly would have better ideas than any Dem candidate.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Maybe, but almost all of them wouldn't be Libertarian ideas.

    Look, the guy is not a Libertarian. He's a liberal Republican who noticed that the LP provides a chance at ballot access without having to win a Republican primary, which is something he knows he doesn't have a snowball's chance in Hell of doing.

    Corey's right: Ask him about the basics of libertarianism. Ask him to reason about it, instead of parrot lines he's found poll well.

    I doubt he can do it.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Are you talking about Weld or Napolitano?

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Would he be able to get 15% in 5 national polls in order to qualify for the debates? During the debates, would be able to avoid talking in questions? Would anyone care?

  • Ralph Fucetola JD||

    Judge Napolitano, who is a neighbor who I've known for years, is a consistent libertarian who would be quite capable of holding his own in any presidential race. He has the "gravitas" needed and has a broad understanding of govt and law. No better choice!

  • Robert||

    Yeah, but he's waaay too good for the LP. Ralph, you want to drag the movement back down into that swamp?

  • Rev. Arthur Ꮮ. Kirkland||

    Meh. Most politicians don't have ideologies, they have nominal obeisance to their party platform covering their opportunism. An actually-electorally-competitive libertarian party would have a lot of Welds, who would piss off libertarians as often as the Republicans piss off conservatives and the Democrats piss off progressives.

    Hail Hydra, clingers.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Your trolling has improved. B+

  • Libertymike||

    You are a tough grader.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    I would have left at at a gentleman's B, but "Hail Hydra, clingers" made me laugh.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Ensnared again.

    That was Bigoted Right-Wing Mini-Me.

  • Sevo||

    So it was an improvement.

  • Rev. Arthur Ꮮ. Kirkland||

    Well, of course. Like Elizabeth Warren, I'm part Cherokee, unlike the original PocahontasKirkland.

  • BruceMajors||

    Hydra? I though Weld was the FBI's spy in the Johnson campaign...

  • UltraModerate||

    If Libertarians want to win the presidency, shouldn't they want to win at least PART of Congress first? President doesn't pass the laws, you know. President just enforces the laws that Congress passes.

  • Just Say'n||

    Question: God, can the Libertarian Party get any less libertarian?

    Answer: "Bill Weld Lays Groundwork for 2020 Libertarian Presidential Run"

  • H-daddy||

    I think you completely missed the point of the article.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Aaawwww, heeeeeeeell to the no!

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Libertarian Party is about to get an OSHA violation citation.

  • hackajar||

    Can you elaborate?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    In his speech at the California convention, Sarwark, who is up for re-election as party chair this summer in New Orleans

    Good luck, BUCS!

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    May the winds fill your foreskins!

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    "I'm here vouching for Mrs. Clinton."

    Now that's the kind of libertarianism I support.

    #StillWithHer

  • Ralph Fucetola JD||

    Have you considered that Weld was making a (rather lame) attempt at a joke?

    It turns out that the "Two Governors" candidacy polled more than the difference between Hillary and The Donald, probably shifting the Electoral College away from Hillary. http://tinyurl.com/OK2beLibertarian

  • Libertymike||

    BARF ME OUT.

    I'd rather watch Tony fellate Shrike.

  • Libertymike||

    Well, if Weld gets the nomination, I'll order.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Reason magazine will probably endorse him, too.

    He's everything they are.

  • Just Say'n||

    Hive Minds and Managed Trade?

  • Dick Puller, Attorney at Law||

    Yeah, probably. At this point I have to believe that anyone writing for Reason is either a.) fresh out of journalism school and looking for something to put on their resume as a prerequisite for getting a job at Huffpo, or b.) is just riding it out for the retirement bennies. That anyone is actually taking libertarians seriously anymore beggars belief.

  • BYODB||

    I agree with point A, if nothing else. Reason is a springboard if the person writing is under 25-30.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    "I can almost feel myself sinking more deeply into the Libertarian Party," he said. "I feel myself broadening and, as I say, even deepening politically."

    That sounds less like the LP and more like shrooms.

  • Rich||

    LOL

    Maybe he'll see the light, too.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Shrooms make people more libertarian. It is known.

  • Dick Puller, Attorney at Law||

    I think what he meant is that he's sinking along with the Libertarian Party. Not that either one of them needs any help.

  • Tony||

    It sounds like what someone does when he graduates 9th grade and stops being a libertarian.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    You're even bitchier than usual today. Did you get stood up for brunch again?

  • juris imprudent||

    Atomic wedgie.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Tony found out today that some Libertarians still do not approve of being forced to bake cakes or have to marry people.

  • Tony||

    I'll be better when I can get my 5:30 cocktail.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Yes, yes, we know you love cock-tails.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    So what's your excuse, Tony?

    Badum-tsss!

  • MarkLastname||

    Since you haven't finished 9th grade yet, what's your excuse?

  • dave in PRAA||

    Weld is trying to have more of an impact on the 2020 election. He wants to increase the number of libertarians who vote for Trump.

  • Iheartskeet||

    It worked in 2016

  • mpercy||

    Indeed.

  • JoeB||

    That right there! Thanks dave!

  • colorblindkid||

    Weld has gotten far more libertarian on several issues since the election.I'll see how the next year or so goes. I can forgive him for past mistakes. Very few people start out as libertarians.

  • Eidde||

    The LP is supposed to nominate people whose political evolution has *already* taken them into the libertarian camp.

    If Weld ran on a platform of "I sucked but now I've seen the light and promise to stop sucking," then that would be one thing (if we believed him).

  • Eidde||

    But with their stance on certain issues, I'm not sure I like the LP anyway.

    I certainly don't like them nominating someone who rejects those LP planks I happen to like.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    The LP has already run a guy who ran on the platform "I used to suck but now I've seen the light" in 2008. Bob Barr, an ex-CIA drug warrior politician who turned "libertarian".

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    There is no "ex" CIA. Like the mafia, you're in for life.

  • ThomasD||

    "The LP is supposed to nominate people whose political evolution has *already* taken them into the libertarian camp."

    Not a bad idea, just one that has so far proven fruitless. Partially because those sorts of people are, as a group, neither experienced politicians nor well recognized candidates. This is not a coincidence.

    Weld wouldn't be my choice for a 'let's try something different' approach, but I also cannot name anyone else who would be.

    Time will tell.

  • H-daddy||

    Would you consider Andrew Napolitano? I'd like to know what you think of him.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Judge Nap, like Pirro, has been making a living for too long being controversial. I think he says a lot of good things but I think he'd be a piñata in any election.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Glenn Jacobs. And he's actually won a meaningful election.

  • Microaggressor||

    That's what I was thinking. I can give someone credit for evolving on important issues and admitting their past mistakes. It shows that you're open minded. It just seems too little, too late, and I don't think the LP will forgive him enough to let select him for the ticket, so I don't know why he bothers.

  • ThomasD||

    "... I don't know why he bothers."

    Worst case scenario? He doesn't know any other way to make a buck.

  • JFree||

    I agree. For someone his age to even recognize the validity of non-intervention as an alternative is huge. And staying LP and building that is far more than the Koch/Paul/etc 'let's play inside the R tent cuz that's all we can hope for' crowd ever did to create an actual libertarian alternative.

  • Azathoth!!||

    You mean the " 'let's play inside the R tent cuz we can take this shit over" crowd.

    We can't take crap over by aping leftists.

    In fact, we actively work at destroying libertarianism by aping leftists.

    But THAT'S been the plan for a while now.....

    Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing
  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Almost every politician out there can sound libertarian on issues. Big deal. The real question is whether a person sees the world through libertarian eyes and processes things through a libertarian mind. Weld does neither, nor does he in any way "mainstream" libertarian vision and ideas. Yes, if the Libertarian Party wants to be more than a collection of cantankerous iconoclasts it needs to learn how to speak to people, making libertarian ideas concrete. But Weld has shown us he is not and never will be the man for that job.

  • Mcgoo95||

    "The real question is whether a person sees the world through libertarian eyes and processes things through a libertarian mind."

    Seriously, what the fuck does that even mean? Funny how an article like this brings out the "libertarian" tribalists. Personally, I like Weld. Not gonna split hairs over libertarian purity or other such garbage. At least Weld knows how to talk to normal people, which is more than I can say for many libertarian "purists".

  • Sevo||

    "...all culminating with an unforgivable-for-some six-word sentence on The Rachel Maddow Show one week before the election: "I'm here vouching for Mrs. Clinton."

    I'm trying to imagine how he's going to answer questions about that comment.
    He could have said he didn't like Trump, and he'd have had allies among libertarians, but endorsing the hag is pretty much suicide.

  • Rich||

    "The audio was terrible. I actually said 'I'm here *leching* ...."

  • Eidde||

    And I'm here *retching.*

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    That's the only word that could make that sentence worse.

  • Libertymike||

    Sevo, my respect for you has risen because of your response to my question about giving money to the homeless you encounter.

    If only more people do what you do, ask them for help in order to keep your company going, we would all be in a better position.

    Yes, I have done it, too. One bum actually offered to give me money because he remembered me giving money to him years before.

  • Sevo||

    "If only more people do what you do, ask them for help in order to keep your company going, we would all be in a better position."

    I really did not "ask them to [...] keep my company going"; that was my job.
    I was simply pointing out that THEY were getting more taxpayer money for sitting on their asses than my start-up was paying me at the time.
    If I was asked what that meant, I answered quite civilly: "Get or make a fucking job, deadbeat!"
    You'll forgive me for going all Robbie, but there are those who, by no fault of their own, really do need help, and both my wife and I do what we can to locate and assist them.
    The city government, OTOH, does nothing to separate them from the deadbeats; somebody's high-paying job depends on there being a lot of bums.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    The fate of your company aside, it is always hard to know what to do in the moment. I watched once as a guy with a well-worn "Will Work For Food" sign folded up for the day and drove off in a RAV4. OTOH, a young woman got me good once when she said she needed money to feed her dog, who was there at her feet.

  • cluskillz||

    Welch did ask him the question about that incident and should be in the video. He said that he specifically chose to use the word "vouch" and not "endorse", as he was "vouching" for her as a human being, not necessarily as a candidate. Whether you accept his response or not...*shrug*. I'm still having difficulty forgiving him for that.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I think anyone who vouches or endorses Hillary is a moron, so Weld will never be off the hook no matter what he says.

    He's a lost cause. He had his chance to reform and he chose Hillary.

  • JoeB||

    As equally moronic as "Aleppo..?". Agreed.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    He sounds like a worthless traitor to me.

  • JWatts||

    " He said that he specifically chose to use the word "vouch" and not "endorse", as he was "vouching" for her as a human being, not necessarily as a candidate. "

    What the hell does that mean? Does he believe that we needed confirmation that she was actually a human being? I'm sorry but that's an incredibly lame excuse.

  • cluskillz||

    Interesting take. I was on the side of NOT a human being.

    I'm assuming he was talking about her character, which, to me, just shows poor judgement of character.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    I'm sure Hillary wouldn't have appreciated it at all if he were talking about her character. That was probably the one issue she didn't want anybody considering seriously.

  • Devastator||

    In that context "vouch" might as well have been "endorse" . It was terrible and I'd never vote for him turning traitor on his own Johnson.

  • leninsmummy||

    That was a wretched moment.

  • Just Say'n||

    I voted Green Party in 2016, because they were the only ones who were presenting a restrained foreign policy. That's how bad the 2016 election was. Gay Jay was just as bad on foreign policy as the asshole who was his running mate.

    www.weeklystandard.com/john-mc.....tarian-war

    But, to be fair, the Libertarian Party doesn't represent anything anymore other than some vague virtue signaling and pot- definitely pot- because after all isn't that all that matters?

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I respect that choice.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    pot- definitely pot- because after all isn't that all that matters?

    No. You forgot about the Mexicans and butt-sex.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Oh, right. "Marijuana," my bad. Sometimes I forget what is/isn't a "racist dog whistle."

  • BYODB||

    If you're smoking Mexican pot, you're doing it wrong.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    You voted Green? They're basically communists. Guess isolationism is so important you can back a bunch of fucking marxists to destroy the country.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Makes sense to me. As far as picking one issue, "isolationism" (aka, not murdering people abroad) is a pretty good one.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I would rather be interventionist than communist. And not all homocide is murder.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    "homocide"? Please tell me that was just the product of trying to write at 2:11 am.

    For those not in the know, that was long an inside PD reference to any killing of a gay man.

  • Devastator||

    Green party always sucks.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Enough, Weld is more libertarian than any conservative.

    Remember, the libertarian purity test is a bitch - no one has ever scored 100%.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Can we at least ask for a non-failing grade?

  • BYODB||

    Let us not consider the hilarity of PB telling us that someone is 'more libertarian' than someone else when, notably, PB wouldn't recognize a libertarian if one grew out of their forehead.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I've escaped the GOP Plantation and have no loyalty to either party and that pissed people like you off.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Yet, you love you some socialists.

  • Violent Sociopath||

    He said, with Barack Obama's semen dripping from the corner of his mouth.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    ............and Bill Clinton's semen simultaneously from his rectum.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Weld's VP: Hillary Clinton!

  • Conchfritters||

    "She's a good kid." - Weld

  • John||

    Maybe Weld is nothing but a Republican mole sent to ensure that the Libertarian Party offers no appeal to anyone on the right and thus only takes votes from the Democrats. I can't say that is true. But, if it is, Weld would not be acting or saying anything different from what he is.

  • lap83||

    They should infiltrate the LP with a trans SJW of color. The Dems would get NO young voters. But I don't think the GOP is that smart

  • lap83||

    Plus, they are just as committed at trying to make the GOP candidate unappealing to anyone on the right

  • John||

    I don't think they are either. It used to bug me to see the LP being turned into a party for leftists who like pot but hate taxes. But, as someone who sees the LP as basically a spoiler party, I have come to realize that it not such a bad thing. The further left the LP goes, the worse it hurts the Democrats. In fact, I have begun to rethink the whole Liberaltarian thing altogether. I think Libertarians tend to pull the Republican party further left and generally not in a good way. But they potentially could pull the Democrats right or at least make them less crazy and evil.

  • ace_m82||

    What does "left" mean now? The parties keep changing what they believe so quickly I have a hard time keeping up...

    -An An-Cap

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    "The Right" means Big Gov GOP Trumpism now.

  • ace_m82||

    Whereas, you just support Big Gov Democrats (whatever the SJWs want)? What happened when Trump stole some of their causes? Did those causes become "bad" at that moment?

  • Dick Puller, Attorney at Law||

    At this point the LP mostly amounts to "White People Who Hate Republicans". But if it at least keeps them from voting for Democrats, hey, more power to 'em.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    leftists who... hate taxes

    *head explode*

    On this topic: I don't care whether someone is "left" or "right" as long as they mind their own damn business and leave me be.

  • leninsmummy||

    There's no way they are going to get far enough left to pull from Democrats when there are already Declared socialists running.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    The GOP would first have to talk to said trans SJW of color. That's not very likely.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Can we deport Bill Weld instead?

  • ||

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, well, shame on you again!

  • CatoTheChipper||

    The 2016 LP convention had two ridiculously embarrassing incidents. In the first, a fat jackass decided to do a grotesque striptease onstage in front of CSPAN cameras. In the second, which was just as ridiculous, the LP nominated Weld for VP.

  • John||

    The VP of CATO wrote an article saying that the 2nd Amendment was a real drag and should just be used as a bargaining chip for obtaining really important things. Of course, CATO's defenders claim it was just one man's opinion. But that man is the VP and that opinion was published by CATO.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    Cato has been writing and tweeting a lot of stupid shit lately. So much that at least one small-time 30-year donor has tightened the purse strings.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    I told them to go fuck themselves when Brink Lindsey talked smack about Ron Paul. With the possible exceptions of Rothbard and Rand, NOBODY has done more to spread the ideas of Liberty than Dr. No, and anyone that claims to be libertarian and disrespects him is probably not really libertarian and just a troll, shill, and provocateur. Probably.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    And then during the campaign, their presidential candidate had the infamous "Aleppo moment," stuck his tongue out at a reporter during an interview, and his running mate all but endorsed Hillary Clinton,

    Gee, I wonder why so few people take the LP seriously?

  • John||

    Because gay wedding cakes. That is why.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    I can forgive the Aleppo moment.

    But not the imitation of a retard to illustrate why he should get in the debate. That was a stupid, unforced error. Neither can I forgive the gay wedding cake position. That was just stupid.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    I can forgive the Aleppo moment.

    As can I. Anyone could be thrown off their game by a foreign policy question thrown in out of left field in an interview that had nothing to do with FP up until then. Especially when the question is "What about Aleppo" without any lead in or context whatsoever. But as a third party candidate, any minor misstep was going to be blown out of proportion by a mainstream political media just looking for any excuse to write off the LP once and for all. Mistakes that a major party candidate would be forgiven for and excused instantly (Hillary had the flu, that's why she appeared to almost fall over for no reason, you hater!) can be fatal to a third party candidate.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    If that question had been tossed at Obama out of the blue he probably would have said "I like it, it tastes like chicken" and the media would be all over itself praising his humor and capacity for self-deprecation. The U.S. mainstream media would be recognized as the country's single greatest beneficiary of legalized prostitution, but nobody in power will fess up to it.

  • Devastator||

    And yet most of you commenters are cheering for the pussy grabber in chief who hates freedom of religion, immigrants and free trade. Shaking my head here fellas.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    I have no problem forgiving the Aleppo moment. What stuck in my craw is when, asked by a BLM activist about police brutality, Johnson decided to break with libertarian principle and support more money for social programs for the inner cities. I mean, shit! That should have been a libertarian grand slam just waiting to happen. Instead, the guy's first instinct is to use it as an excuse to repudiate fiscal restraint.

  • skunkman||

    Cato - and the worse of those two things was the VP choice.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    I agree completely. Weld didn't just vouch for Hillary, he praised her as "a person of high moral character", "a straight shooter" and, even though she was the LP's opponent, he was "not sure anybody is more qualified than Hillary Clinton to be president of the United States." He lambasted Comey for re-opening the FBI investigation of Hillary after her State Department files were found on Weiner's computer and downplayed Clinton's many wrongdoings as being "no there there". Meanwhile he was consistently anti-Trump. When asked who he favored to win he said (paraphrasing) "his target for the LP was 5%, Trump is unfit, so you figure it out."

    The Washington Post and CNN considered it an endorsement of Hillary. And, in tandem with Johnson's clown act, it was an endorsement. Weld just didn't want to use the correct word.

    For a brief moment, a few milliseconds, when I was in the voting booth I considered casting a FY vote for Trump, a guy who I have found despicable for decades. The Johnson/Weld ticket was that bad. I ended up casting a FY vote straight LP.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Weld is garbage.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Weld did more to destroy the LP as an independent third party with his support of Hillary than anyone else doing anything else that I can think of. May he long rot.

  • BYODB||

    HA, yeah as if we needed any more proof that the L.P. is full of shit.


    Fuck Weld, and I can already guarantee you that our L.P. voting household won't be voting for that twat.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Fuck Weld, and I can already guarantee you that our L.P. voting household won't be voting for that twat.

    I probably won't either (the only reason I'm hedging with the "probably won't" is because a lot can happen in 2 years, and maybe a sufficiently sincere apology for his Madcow stunt and mea culpa for his past "sins" could sway me, but I highly doubt it). But here's the thing that a lot of the Kokesh's and the purists need to understand: it probably won't matter how few "real libertarians" vote for him because he ticks off enough "mainstream acceptability" boxes to get more than enough "normals" to vote for him to make up for it.

    Put another way: it all depends on what the LP wants to be. Do they want to be a serious third party that can at least play spoiler (as I said up thread, I don't think they'll ever be able to win - the R/D duopoly is too strong) or do they just want to be a glorified debate society for randian objectivists, anarcho capitalists, hardcore individualists, constitutionalists, and misc. other aspie nerds (I mean that as a complement)?

    None of which is intended as any sort of endorsement of Weld or anyone else.

  • ThomasD||

    I agree, with the hope that it's a sort of bootstrap method for promoting libertarianism. Right now the party has little value, if it gains some actual electoral clout it might become a prize worth fighting for. And by default it will be the least statist of the bunch. How long it stays that way will be the ultimate question.

  • BYODB||

    It's not anything Weld did during this last election, it's his entire career as a politician I take issue with. If he's 'evolved' on issues, it certainly came at an opportune moment for him to reinsert himself into Washington. I could give less fucks about what he said to Maddow, but I'd have to try.

  • Tom from MySpace||

    Come on now. That Massachusetts governor pension just doesn't cut it for a guy of Weld's stature. He was just trying to parlay the LP VP thingy into a nice gig in the Hils administration. You can't blame a privileged pol for trying. I'm sure given a chance to be the top banana for the LP, he can sell out for something even better, like maybe a diplomat job in one of those cushy countries, like Lichtenstein or Panama.

  • juris imprudent||

    Does he know what a Leppo is?

  • Gary T||

    It is the fifth Marx brother.

  • Azathoth!!||

    That's Gummo.

    You're thinking of Zeppo. He's fourth.

  • cluskillz||

    Sarwark's comments about working together is laughable. Isn't he the one who said the Mises Institute is the "preferred choice of actual Nazis"?

  • Just Say'n||

    Sarwark is a living breathing human piece of shit. I hope the ghost of Murray Rothbard haunts him every night

    Sorry, BUCS

  • Nicholas Sarwark||

    I love you too.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Sorry. Switched accounts on accident.

  • Comrade Cosmoturf||

    I'm not voting libertarian until Sarwark is booted from LP leadership.

    The embarrassing 2016 LP shitshow rests with this useless asshole.

    Fuck off already.

  • Russian Bot||

    Oh yeah, remember that stalking horse that the New York Times invented? Libertarian Populism?

    That was super fun.

    Super fun like Bill Weld.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Booo Wendy Testaburger booo....

    booooo....

  • Snaketzu||

    Want me out of the Libertarian party in disgust that I could ever believe in such a thing? Then have Bill Weld as the nominee. If a nanny state liberal can come into the Libertarian Party to plant his flag because he's not quite enough of a socialist for the Progressives that have taken over the Democratic Party, then we become a bunch of sell outs just like the rest of the system.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    To be a real political party is to sell out.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Small, persistent, single-minded parties have done a LOT of damage since the 1860s because they had integrity. Back then all they had were looter fanatics. The LP is the second Classical Liberal party in America. The Liberal party of 1930 wrote the plank that ended Constitutional Prohibition. The LP wrote the planks that ended coathanger abortions and is fast ending plant leaf prohibition. The looters in every case sell out to the small party with spoiler votes bridging the gap. To them the whole issue is lard on leather and boodle in the bank. To us that's the levers we use to force them to change bad laws. Seriously, who in here WANTS to be surrounded by looter politicos?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Look at the bright side. Maybe this will convince Libertarians to stand up for Libertarianism and clean house.

  • ace_m82||

  • Inigo Montoya||

    It would be preferable on getting some LP congresspeople and/or governors elected first. It's nice that there is at least one state senator (I forget her name), but we need many more actual libertarians in state legislatures, as well as some congress and senate seats.

    Even if by some miracle, the LP got the White House, both the republicans and democrats would band together to oust him or her. They would have to, as they would have the most to lose. It would make Trump Derangement Syndrome look like a walk in the park, by comparison. I don't think these people are prepared to go down without a fight.

    But in any case, Weld is not the one to do this. You can't really come back from endorsing your opponent weeks before the election. Even if I believed he has had some kind of further "conversion" since the election (and I do not), I still think he is permanently damaged goods.

  • ThomasD||

    Barring the outright collapse of any other major party the LP will need to become kingmaker long before it actually has a shot at wining the Presidency.

  • NoVaNick||

    I'm still asking why GayJay wanted Weld so badly as his VP last time-maybe it was the weed? As Mass governor, he paid lip service to privatizing a few state agencies and said he was against the state's mandatory seat belt law, which I guess was a pretty libertarian position at the time. He then turned around and signed every massive budget and tax increase the progs in the legislature handed to him and is responsible for the Big Dig highway project going massively over budget. He also was a committed drug warrior, calling for the death penalty for dealers. If he is the nominee, the LP deserves to go extinct.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    Johnson thought Weld could bring in donor cash, which he needed to fund his overextended campaign to the convention.

  • H-daddy||

    While Bill Weld has moments of lucidity and certainly knows a lot about politics and elections, he also has moments when he spouts pure nonsense. I appreciate everything he is trying to do to move the LP forward but he should not be our standard bearer in 2020. Who should be? I suggest Andrew Napolitano. If the LP wants to make a move then they should talk the Judge into entering the fray. He is exactly what the LP needs and, most importantly, he truly would make a fine POTUS.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Andrew Napolitano.

    The guy who supports the death penalty for abortion doctors.

    No thanks.

    Just say no to Aborto-Freaks.

  • ace_m82||

    If the government is incompetent to define "murder", then what use is it?

  • H-daddy||

    Napolitano is on record time and again as being against the death penalty. Maybe you should do 30 seconds worth of research before you make your comments. Napolitano does say abortion is murder, the physician is committing a murder, and it should treated like any other murder.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Women voters vote against aborto-freaks pretty consistently, and they use spoiler vote tactics. Several girl-bulliers have infiltrated the LP as counterproductive candidates and those false flags show in the number of women who join us. John Perry in 1992, Bob Barr and Gary Johnson 1.0 come to mind. Every such carpet-biting fascist does the LP immense harm. Ours was the party that wrote the Roe v. Wade decision that broke the stranglehold of Comstock law book-burners. Every such Trojan Horse is as useful as a smallpox-infected blanket on a reservation.

  • Conchfritters||

    We need a hooker as the next libertarian nominee.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Only problem with that idea is that Napolitano is an antichoice mystical bigot. Maybe he could revive George Wallace's party or the Tea-totalitarians?

  • skunkman||

    I don't mind supporting a candidate that I don't agree with on all the issues or even one that isn't 100% informed (Aleppo). But Bill Weld is awful and I would vote for almost anybody before I voted for him. He is the ONLY reason that I didn't vote for Gary Johnson in '16. When the little scum bag went turncoat and discussed why Hillary would be better than Trump he sealed the deal for me. He would be the worst possible choice for President and I don't know who's running. When I find out who's running, he will still be the worst possible choice.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Trump is still more Libertarian-ish than Weld will ever be.

  • Nardz||

    The TDS among avowed libertarians shows that, on the big picture, groupthink is alive and well within the movement.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Any LP candidate has to be more Libertarian-ish than Trump at this point or they are not getting my vote and I will vote for Trump instead of the LP candidate.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Trump's campaign rhetoric was more libertarian than Weld's, but Bolton as Natl Sec Advisor kinda puts the kibosh on that.

  • leninsmummy||

    His executive order on eliminating 2 regs for every new 1, + Gorsuch is worth all Obama's shiny talk about hopenchange.

  • The Metonymy||

    He's taller than fleas too!

  • Brandybuck||

    Hillary would still have been better than Trump in most areas. Any good coming out of the Trump administration appears to be purely accidental.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Yes, that's why I voted for Hillary. From foreign policy to Supreme Court picks, she would clearly make a better President than Drumpf.

    Plus, there's the fact that her administration would not be controlled by a hostile foreign power.

    #TrumpRussia

  • Thomas L. Knapp||

    So far, the evidence is that the Trump campaign "colluded" with the Russians to exactly the same extent that the Clinton campaign did (that is, both of them admit that they tried to get dirt on each other using "Kremlin-connected sources").

    On the other hand, so far the evidence also says that Clinton was an extremely well-paid Russian mole as Secretary of State. Any reason to believe she wouldn't have continued her work in that capacity as president?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Hillary would have been a disaster. Trump is more popular than ever for a reason.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

  • skunkman||

    Seems that you are surprised. I didn't vote for Trump or Hillary. I would have never voted for Hillary because I truly believe that she was the worse, most corrupt and incompetent major candidate to run for office since at lease WWII. I couldn't vote for Trump because of his bombastic, tweeting drivel.

    Based on the behavior of the democrats, the left press and the resist movement since then, I would gladly vote for Trump next time and I disagree with him on several. The anti groups listed above have stooped to way too many false and dishonest tactics for me to trust them.

    I actually think the actual approval rating is far above 41%. I live in a pretty liberal part of California and during the election the response to Trump was cold by many that I know, even by the more moderate in the groups that I am acquainted with. Many are getting more accustomed, or numb to, his behavior and are sick of the constant Russia and Stormy talk. My point, is that he is getting sympathy support. I realize that my survey isn't scientific, but when we are taking about average left of center voters in a left state that are softening it means something.

    I'm hoping that the dems are smart enough to get off of the progressive track, maybe more specifically fascist, authoritarian track, and select a centrist as its 2020 nominee. I'm not holding my breath though.

  • Hank Phillips||

    The Republican Party platform says to keep electricity safe and legal. Warmunist infiltrators running the Dem platform committee want power plants treated like meth labs. This was the only substantive schism in the Kleptocracy. LP and GOP votes together exactly balanced the Dem, Bernie, Socialist and Econazi votes. To see how important it is, cut the power to your home for a week.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Hillary better than Trump? In what way? Foreign policy? Judicial picks? Budget?

    Put the crack pipe DOWN.

    This was the first time in 50 years there actually was a dime's worth of difference between the "two: parties.

  • Thomas L. Knapp||

    Johnson/Weld apparently wanted very much for Trump to win. They attacked him and said nice things about Clinton -- which means that they were trying to get Clinton supporters, not Trump supporters, to consider voting Libertarian.

    Personally I wish they had attacked both Clinton and Trump with equal vigor, but I always get a good laugh when I see rightists working themselves into a righteous lather over the idea that Johnson/Weld were doing the exact opposite of what they were actually doing with the good Clinton/bad Trump routine.

  • The Metonymy||

  • CatoTheChipper||

    Not only did he say Hillary was better than Trump, Weld said she was the most qualified candidate.

  • JeremyR||

    It would be nice if someday the Libertarian found a) an actual libertarian and b) someone not crazy

  • SIV||

    Mike Castle could use the ballot access.

  • mpercy||

    God, I hope not. Today he mouths the right words, more or less, on 2A issues, but his whole career says otherwise.

    Does the strange combination of thorough economic conservatism and social liberalism make Weld a libertarian? Not unless libertarians also support expansive environmental regulations, gun control, and affirmative action.
    Source: W. James Antle III in Spectator Magazine , Aug 25, 2005

  • Kerr Mudgeon||

    He was a big government Republican (actually a RINO) before he became a big government libertarian (again in name only).

  • mpercy||

    It was Weld's career policies and Gary's "Look, 73 percent of what Bernie says I agree with." comments that made me not just go ahead and vote Libertarian again (like I had every time since Reagan). Yeah, I cast a nose-held anti-Hillary vote.

  • Robert||

    Hell, I'm sure I'd agree w easily 73% or more of what Adolf Hitler said. Most things most people say aren't even controversial.

  • Unemployed Armenian Tranny||

    I'm not sure if I am among the average LIbertarian when I san, "Not no, but FUCK NO"!, but I bet I'm close.

  • The Metonymy||

    I think I could sugarcoat my opinion of Bill Weld enough to only yell "Fuck Bill Weld" through a bullhorn.

  • leninsmummy||

    My first reaction to the headline as well.

  • Thomas L. Knapp||

    I wish I could say that Libertarians won't trust Bill Weld yet again. But if past performance is an indicator of future results, he probably has a shot.

    In 2006, he sought the Libertarian Party's nomination for governor and the one clear, unambiguous promise he made, live on camera, was that if he did not win the Republican nomination (which he was also seeking), he would still remain in the race as the Libertarian candidate. Then within hours of losing the GOP contest, he dropped out as the Libertarian candidate.

    In 2016, Johnson's folks sold him as "the original Libertarian," and after barely sliming his way onto the ticket on the second ballot he went out and said, among other things, that people on secret government enemies lists should be deprived of both due process and their Second Amendment rights (my guess is that he was also responsible for the campaign's flat statement that Johnson/Weld didn't support repealing any drug laws other than those relating to marijuana).

    If he seeks the party's presidential nomination in 2020, he SHOULD be laughed out of the room. But after Bob Barr, Gary Johnson twice, and Weld's own past antics and rehabilitations, I expect the worst. Sometimes it's hard not to think of the LP as the We Look Up Every Time Someone Tells Us the Word Gullible is Written on the Ceiling Party.

  • The Metonymy||

    Laughed out of the room? He better not be let in the room.

  • Gary T||

    I was at that NYLP convention, and recorded where Weld assures the NYLP that he would run even if he did not get the NY Republican endorsement for governor. That was a significant factor in his being endorsed by the NYLP for governor.
    Spoiler, he did not get the Repub nomination and then bowed out of running on the NYLP ticket, see that video here:
    https://youtu.be/wzPP6IVXqfM?t=14m10s

  • Hattori Hanzo||

    Weld supports gun control, The Patriot Act, Eminent Domain and "good kid" Hilary. Sounds like a perfect choice!

    Platform and philosophy be damned when we can have "name recognition".

  • The Metonymy||

    Martin Luther King is not as effective without Malcolm X,"

    Bzzt. Wrong. MLK is not as effective without Bull Connor.

    What changed more minds, a speechmaker or seeing people getting savagely attacked by government firehoses on TV?

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Truth. King never needed Malcolm; Malcolm always needed King as someone to posture against. And if the contrast is between a suit on stage and an activist in the streets, who is which? Hint: King was the one in the streets. Sarwark needs to learn a little -- maybe even a lot of -- history.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    I'm trying real hard to work up my appetite for the 2020 National Shit Sandwich Cook-Off. I hope one with corn and peanuts makes it to the finals. I know, I'm a dreamer.

  • The Metonymy||

    Just wait until Weld is on the stump throwing somebody's $100 million worth of support at Elizabeth Warren.

  • The Metonymy||

    Just wait until Weld is on the stump throwing somebody's $100 million worth of support at Elizabeth Warren.

  • PaulTheBeav||

    I consider myself a pragmatic libertarian and am open to the idea of supporting either a Democrat or a Republican who merely leans libertarian. That being the case I was very interested to learn about Weld in 2016. I was proud to sport a Johnson/Weld sticker on my bumper, right up until Weld endorsed Hillary. WTF? While he was on the Libertarian ticket he endorsed someone else?

    If he runs again in 2020 it will only be in an effort to further undermine the Libertarian party.

  • Flight-ER-Doc||

    Libertarian? Thats a strange way of spelling democrat...

  • The Metonymy||

    I'm hoping to see Weld escorted to the door at the LP convention. Preferably arrested for trespassing.

  • Stilgar||

    I am glad for his support and his efforts and hope they continue but I do think he is not the right person to represent the party in the next election. Behind the scenes work I'm sure he can bring a lot of value.

  • Bob Armstrong||

    Screw me once ( NYLP 2006 ) , shame on you
    Screw me twice ( LP 2016 ) ,
    Hell no . Never again .

  • SIV||

    The LP deserves Weld. He can keep a few of the last ditch #NeverTrumper TruCons and Beltway-libertarians from voting "out of principle" for whichever communist the Democrats run.

  • The Metonymy||

    I just want Bill Weld to give me my $1,500 back. I donated to the Johnson / Weld campaign right before Weld started campaigning for Hillary.

    Libertarians are supposed to be against fraud. The motherfucker better not be allowed into the convention.

  • Eidde||

    I think the Weld experience will strengthen the hand of the LP faction which wants a hard-core, no-compromise candidate, someone like McAfee.

    "We tried nominating someone who was more (air quotes) 'mainstream,' and look what he did!"

    I would think there is a middle ground - maybe someone who isn't fully "pure" but who doesn't act like a plant for the Democrats and doesn't take the wrong side on issues where there is actually mainstream support for the pro-freedom position (I'm thinking of Johnson and his cakes - he's worse than King Alfred where cakes are concerned).

  • nicmart||

    So, the candidates should be purists on issues which you think require purity, but can otherwise be sellouts.

  • Eidde||

    Pretty much, sure.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    McAfee? I'd prefer that candidate also be sane.

  • The Metonymy||

    Yeah, man. It's crazy to think people are spying on you.

  • nicmart||

    Please let this be the kiss of death for the embarrassment that is the Libertarian Party. Even the libertarian-ish media don't examine the campaigns of state and local LP candidates, which range from ludicrous to utterly shameful. Rare is the LP candidate who even tries to articulate libertarian views. They are generally opportunists who like to be big fish in very small ponds, or they are simply placeholders in the effort to perpetuate ballot access.

  • Anastasia Beaverhausen||

    No. No no no no no.

    I'd rather nominate Starchild.
    I'd rather dig up the ghost of Michael Badnarik and get him to run without a driver's license.
    I'd even sleep with Angela Keaton and get her to run.

    Anything and anyone other than William Weld.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Kane

  • Chris Garvey||

    Weld opposes our Second Amendment Rights to keep & bear arms.
    He signed a gun-ban when Gov. of MA.
    He's not libertarian.

  • Robes Pierre||

    Nothing sums up the problem of the LP like the oft-repeated 'cake-issue'.

  • Life.Liberty.Lady||

    Weld was a chameleon in 2016 as he changed & finessed his opinions -- or morphed completely. He was an embarrassment and helped drag down the ticket.

    The LP needs someone with real meat on their bones, with a true understanding of our need for limited gov't that is OF, FOR, and BY the people of the USA -- and have the chops to elucidate this to the American people.

    No more one issue (always & forever pot) candidates or loony ideas dominating any dialog -- we need strong leaders who will champion liberty in ALL aspects of holding a particular office.

    So, dig deep and maybe, just maybe, someone will declare & be elevated based upon a thorough understanding of the beautiful limits in our Constitution & can grasp the complete, multi-faceted job that MUST be done.

    Weld is NOT that guy. And everyone should know that & NOT embrace his presumptive candidacy. We can do MUCH better!

  • Echospinner||

    I agree about the pot issue. That battle is already won in any case it is just a matter of time.

    I don't know about Weld but it seems to me that a libertarian candidate for president only needs to make us look good. There is no chance of winning but getting to the debates would be a huge step if we had the right candidate.

    At this rate we are not getting out the simple messages that most people would agree with. Nobody out there is going to dive into the literature and deep philosophy.

    One of the reasons I am attracted to libertarian is that we at least have principles. We should stick to those.

    To add some humor. As Groucho Marx said.

    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."

  • UltraModerate||

    Any Libertarian with a brain should not embrace ANY POTUS candidate until the LP takes a hefty chunk of Congress. A Libertarian POTUS would just be enforcing the laws passed by Republicans and Democrats.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    We can do MUCH better!

    I was with you until I saw this line. The LP has literally never fielded a good candidate in its history, so I'm not convinced.

    (for all you Browne supporters, let's acknowledge the internal divisions he caused within his own party due to his...um...ethically questionable actions. Oh, and his fucking creepy smile too)

  • Nuwanda||

    Of course he's closer to Clinton. Many Libs have admitted to siding with a Democrat platform. Don't shoot the mere messenger as he so obviously represents so many in the LP.

    The real division is on immigration and it's writ large. If Weld is Liberatarian-Lite he'll be for borders but not because he's a sane Libertarian but because he's a crypto.

    Get a grip, folks.

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  • Al Bendova||

    Weld is the reason I didn't vote LP in 2016. I guess I get to vote "None of the above" again in 2020.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Sarwark's comments about King and Malcolm X are astonishingly uninformed, seemingly contrasting King as the suit on stage to Malcolm, the activist in the streets. But in fact King was the activist in the streets and Malcolm the suit on the stage. Nor did King need Malcolm at all; it was Malcolm who needed King so he could posture against the "house negro".

    All that said, forget Bill Weld and take a long look at Glenn Jacobs, a libertarian who has actually won a significant election (although, the LP not being qualified for the ballot, he had to run as a Republican).

  • Gary T||

    I am very ambivalent about Weld.
    My first instinct is to dismiss him due to all the on-the-ground snafus he has committed whenever he is involved in prosecuting a libertarian political campaign.
    On the other hand, he does seem to keep at it for decades, and on fundamentals of action and position he does seem libertarian, even in strong counter-pose to the prevailing political forces.
    And his resume is undeniably full and qualified.
    So, idiot that I am, I would consider watching him continue to apologize and evolve to become more transactionally libertarian, and possibly release his reservations about adopting them.
    What he really has to do for me to practically trust him, is to hear more of his fervor in the libertarian cause, and become truly more partisan for that cause.
    This is more of a political decision than a passionate one; he is just too good for much of what we need to win a high office.

  • Gary T||

    FYI, here he is assuring the NYLP convention that he would run as a Libertarian even if not additionally endorsed by the NY Republican Party.
    He subsequently breached that promise by withdrawing from the Libertarian governor race, when he was denied the Republican nomination as well:

    https://youtu.be/wzPP6IVXqfM?t=14m10s

  • Hank Phillips||

    The Prohibition Party won no high office, yet their Prohibition and Income tax Amendments killed thousands and caused major crashes and depressions. The LP has been reversing socialism since 1972.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    My first instinct is to dismiss him due to all the on-the-ground snafus he has committed whenever he is involved in prosecuting a libertarian political campaign.

    He was one of the most popular governors in the history of the commonwealth of Mass, which is no easy feat. He paved the way for his Lt. Gov. to also become wildly popular. Granted, I acknowledge that you wrote "libertarian" up there, but the point is that he's done it before with another party. He's got the politician thing down pat. Frankly, he's a better politician than Trump, Clinton, Sanders, and GJ. He needs the financial backing and grass roots support to be successful now. He had neither in 2016. Appealing to the Sanders supporters was a brilliant tactic in 2016, even if we had to hold our nose.

    As much as we'd like to blame Weld for stuff, he's not the problem. He's highly successful at what he does. The LP, generally, is not. I think part of the reason is the string of losers they've had as candidates, and another part of the reason is because their supporters are typically too rigid and there's way too much in-fighting.

  • UltraModerate||

    This article would have been better titled "LP Prepares to Waste Its Resources on Another Sure-Loser POTUS Bid Rather Than Going After House Seats."

    Is there ANY third party in this country who actually understands how political power works? Win the White House without anyone in Congress, and you are at the mercy of the two major parties. Win ten seats in the H of R, and the two major parties (who will want you to caucus with them) will be at YOUR mercy.

    And House seats are cheap to win (about $2 million) compared to the Oval Office (creeping up on $1 billion). And there are a lot of individual districts out there that are sympathetic to the Libertarian cause.

    Any Libertarian with a brain will boycott all Libertarian POTUS runs until the LP holds at least a third of Congress.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Ultra should brush up on the law-changing power of spoiler votes. With 4000 votes in 1972, the LP wrote the Roe v. Wade decision that finally freed women of Comstock law violence and paved the way for Canada to end all singling out of pregnant gals and physicians as targets for coercive mystics irrespective of pretext. The LP changes bad laws with spoiler votes, and OF COURSE the looters pretend it's not happening!

  • hello.||

    Amazing that the LP wrote a supreme court decision when no LP members were part of the court. Even more amazing that a US supreme court decision held sway over the laws of Canada.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    Is there ANY third party in this country who actually understands how political power works? Win the White House without anyone in Congress, and you are at the mercy of the two major parties. Win ten seats in the H of R, and the two major parties (who will want you to caucus with them) will be at YOUR mercy.

    Sorry, winning the white house makes your party instantly a contender in ALL elections. Winning a seat in Ohio goes unnoticed. Bottom-up is a really, really bad idea. Especially when you consider the structure of the current laws, which provide immediate support for the lower elections after receiving enough votes in the higher elections. Third parties are doing this stuff exactly right.

  • RockLibertyWarrior||

    NO FUCKING THANKS. Seriously? This leftist Republican is running again as a libertarian? Fucking "Reason" quit promoting these fucking phony non libertarians like their the second coming of Christ. Seriously, I am about ready to unsubscribe from your e mails and never read your site again. Give me a god damn break.

  • Hank Phillips||

    There is a Gary Johnson in Austin who has been a consistent libertarian activist since before 1980. Our Gary Johnson knows where Aleppo is too! Rock might look like him. His Live and Let Live survives despite all sabotage efforts and is a good source of info.

  • jj15325||

    Bill Weld's betrayal of the LP in 2016 goes beyond the mere utterance of six words. Weld betrayed the LP in more than one interview. The most egregious episode was on the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC on Nov. 1, 2016, at a critical time, just days before the election. He said far more than six words in support of Hillary Clinton. In fact, he spent the vast majority of a long interview lasting more than 10 minutes discussing how Hillary Clinton was a better choice than Trump, and how a Hillary Clinton presidency "would be a very business-like, and capable and competent approach to our affairs." He added, "I have a lot to say about Mrs. Clinton, that has not been said by others recently, and that I think needs to be said. I've known her for 40 years, I've worked with her, I know her well professionally, I know her well personally. I know her to be a person of high moral character, a reliable person, and an honest person....Well, I'm here vouching for Mrs. Clinton, and I think it`s high time somebody did and I'm doing it based on my personal experience with her. I think she deserves to have people vouch for her, other than members of the Democratic National Committee, so I'm here to do that." He also went into detail describing how there was "no evidence" of wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton in regards to her email server scandal.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    "In fact, he spent the vast majority of a long interview lasting more than 10 minutes discussing how Hillary Clinton was a better choice than Trump"

    You understand that that's why he was invited on the show, correct? Maddow has literally no interest in giving libertarians a platform to discuss libertarianism unless it also includes her being able to make fun of them for half an hour afterwards (like John Oliver did).

    Sure, maybe he should have spent more time on the campaign trail giving speeches to rallies of 17 people, but some of these guys can do more than one thing at once. "Vouching" for Clinton's character isn't the worst thing in the world. Reading passages of Animal Farm and comparing them to Trump isn't so bad either, even though the target of his ire was clearly only one party. The libertarian party made HISTORIC inroads in 2016 in enticing the "liberal" youth's support, and part of the reason for that was the very explicit rejection of Donald Trump and the GOP. This was the first election in party history where we weren't being painted exclusively as pot-smoking republicans. There's a long way to go to shake that moniker, but guys focusing on pointless shit like gay wedding cakes aren't going to do it.

  • jj15325||

    Weld betrayed the Libertarian Party by squandering the media spotlight on his candidacy at a crucial time days prior to the election during multiple interviews where he spent a substantial portion of his interview time praising Hillary Clinton, including calling her "the most qualified candidate for President of the United States." Political betrayal does not get much worse than that.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    "by squandering the media spotlight on his candidacy"

    You mean by saying something interesting enough to get a media spotlight? Why didn't GJ have the same "media spotlight" at the time? His only media spotlight came from Aleppo. You can't have it both ways. Weld was NOT going to get any media coverage for being libertarian. You can't assume that Maddow and all the others were dying to have him on his show because he has a really cool economic policy to talk about.

  • jj15325||

    The hatred towards Weld comes primarily from three things:

    1. His betrayal of the New York Libertarian Party in 2009
    Google: "Rising Action : William Weld Reneges On Promises To Libertarian Party"

    2. His other anti-Libertarian behaviors prior to his nomination in 2016.
    Google: "6 Reasons Libertarian Party Delegates Are Wary of William Weld"

    3. His unbelievably bad actions during the 2016 Johnson-Weld campaign, which can be seen by looking at my earlier posts on this comment board.

    Dump Bill Weld!

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    "His other anti-Libertarian behaviors prior to his nomination in 2016."

    Why do people get punished for holding libertarian views younger for less than 2 years? This goes back to what I was saying in another post. You people are like indie rock fans. You have to feel like you had discovered Hayek when you were 8 years old or else you don't have true indie libertarian cred.

  • jj15325||

    JunkScience wrote: "You understand that that's why he was invited on the show, correct?"

    It doesn't matter why Rachel Maddow invited Bill Weld on her show.
    Rachel Maddow did not force Bill Weld to spend the majority of the interview outlining why Hillary Clinton is such a great candidate and would make a great president.

    Bill Weld was free to say whatever he wanted on her show. It was Bill Weld who was responsible for generating the headlines that were written about how Bill Weld is "shilling" for Hillary Clinton. It was not Maddow's fault, it was Weld's, for betraying the LP. And Weld has never apologized for these interviews nor expressed regret for his statements.

    Bill Weld is poison for the LP, and should be dumped!

  • jj15325||

    Rachel Maddow's reasons for inviting Bill Weld to her show is not in any way relevant to what Bill Weld says. Bill Weld is responsible for what he says, not Rachel Maddow.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    That's a cool theory. It doesn't work that way in practice. Maddow invited him on her show to talk about that particular thing and nothing else.

  • hello.||

    The libertarian party made HISTORIC inroads in 2016 in enticing the "liberal" youth's support

    Lol. Congrats. You went from 1% to 3% of the vote and all you had to do was become Marxists.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    Right, because he's totally a marxist. Conservative fucking love that word, even though most of the time they don't know what it means.

  • jj15325||

    During the minor portions of the Rachel Maddow interview where Weld did mention the Libertarian Party, he talked about how "Gary [Johnson] and I have not agreed on a number of substantive issues in this campaign" and how Weld disagreed with the Libertarian Party about one of their press releases which criticized Hillary Clinton. Not only that, but also, the day before that interview, Weld was also on MSNBC on Sept. 30, 2016, this time with Matt Lauer on Meet the Press, where Weld expressed more praise of Hillary Clinton, saying such things as, "I think very highly of Mrs. Clinton, I think she's very well-qualified, I thought she did a great job in the debate the other night, she kept her game face on, and it was a nice smile, not a press-lipped smile....." and "I'm not sure anybody is more qualified than Hillary Clinton to be President of the United States, but that's not the end of the inquiry though..."

    In sum, Bill Weld squandered millions of dollars worth of earned media time praising Hillary Clinton and suggesting that swing voters should care more about getting Hillary elected than voting for his own Libertarian ticket. In this way, and many others, Bill Weld has shown himself to be a dangerous infiltrator of the Libertarian Party who cannot be trusted by libertarians.

  • The Metonymy||

    My feelings exactly. I opened my wallet for Johnson-Weld. Within a week Weld was on TV praising Hillary Clinton. I feel that that campaign committed fraud against me. Likely thousands of libertarians who put time and money into that campaign feel like Bill Weld commited fraud against them.

    I'm serious. Bill Weld needs to be turned away at the door at all libertarian events.

  • 4L!b3rT||

    No, just - no. You can't apologize to libertarians for your gun control policies and then - THE VERY NEXT DAY - declare on national media that those policies were "mainstream". That's what crass politicians do. We don't want that; we want people who support the Libertarian philosophy regardless of politics.

    Bill Weld, a.k.a, two-face, almost lost my vote for Gary Johnson; the only reason I didn't withhold my vote entirely was that GJ had already spoiled what little chance he had, which meant voting for him was a form of protest. The thing is, we want viable presidential candidates - not just a protest vote. If the LP can't put forward viable candidates they will lose my support. It will take large amounts of persuasion to "protest-vote" Libertarian again - I can write in a candidate to show my protest, without supporting bad candidates running on a fool's ticket.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Laura Ebke is an infiltrating antichoice mystic. Bill is another recycled Republican, though not a bad one. The LP has a nice Fisher-Pry hockey-stick gain in votes going, mainly because Gary Johnson reversed his coathanger abortion position of 2012. Credible candidates not out to coerce women and familiar with the Non-Aggression Principle and the platform exist and we should hear from them. Let the Prohibition party be toothless sharksuckers for the Gee Oh Pee. They've been at it for a century and a half now. The LP is a Twentieth Century Fox. No tears, no fears, no ruined years, no flocks.

  • hello.||

    The LP is a Twentieth Century Fox

    A full century behind the one we currently occupy. That makes sense.

  • ignorance=bliss||

    GJ was a disaster for the libertarian principles. Weld is a puke, if he is a choice at all I will delete all support of the libertarian party from social media, absolutely no donations, and drop all subscriptions to any publications that endorse him. FUCK THEM ALL 2020

  • Johnimo||

    I wouldn't vote for Bill Weld if he were the last Libertarian on the fucking face of the Earth. Donald Trump is more of a Libertarian than that asshole .... and I'm pretty certain most Libertarians can figure that out. If the Libertarian Party wants to self destruct, then they should embrace little Billy Geld.

  • tlapp||

    100% spot on.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    Donald Trump is more of a libertarian? On what planet? Every one of the most central tenets of libertarianism -- human rights, noninterventionism, property rights, etc, has been directly violated by Trump. He's anti-libertarian. Trump doesn't even know what libertarianism is. Seriously, he doesn't.

    Meanwhile, we have a guy who admits that he's learning what libertarianism is and admits that he's becoming more libertarian by the minute. He knows what libertarianism is and is starting to adopt those stances. But this guy is the devil reincarnate? Yeah, ok.

    The hatred towards Weld comes primarily from one thing -- libertarians don't like people joining their crusade. Everyone pretends that they discovered libertarianism and they've been libertarians since birth. It reminds me of the guy who loves indie rock music and gets angry when one of his favorite bands becomes popular.

  • jj15325||

    I would be willing to give Bill Weld a little slack for his multiple episodes of incompetence in not being able to understand of effectively explain libertarian principles, but I will not forgive him for stating days before the election that Hillary Clinton was the most qualified candidate for the President of the United States. That is unforgivable.

  • Johnimo||

    Donald Trump appointed the most Libertarian Supreme Court justice in modern times. He's rolled back much unnecessary regulation. He's given us a greatly lowered corporate income tax. And ... he's taken us out of the jobs- killing climate change agreement. What the fuck has Bill Weld done? Please tell me.

  • Johnimo||

    Oh ... and what kind of stupid ass so-called "libertarian" praises Hillary Clinton. If Bill Weld is a libertarian, then he's the stupidest libertarian who ever lived. Please, please tell me about Bill Weld's libertarian accomplishments.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    "Please, please tell me about Bill Weld's libertarian accomplishments."

    Sure. He's popularized libertarianism more than any VP candidate in the party's history. What are your libertarian accomplishments?

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    1) he didn't appoint any libertarian supreme court justices. A basic acknowledgement of limited property rights does not make someone "libertarian".
    2) He's barely rolled back any regulation when you also count the regulations he's implemented or supported. You can't cherry pick regulations. It's all or none.
    3) A lower corporate income tax is not inherently libertarian when it's a deficit-driving tax. Again, you can cherry pick, but the net outcome of his fiscal policies result in increased spending.

    Bill Weld has done none of those things. (hint: he hasn't been in a position of power since he became a libertarian)

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Fellow geldings Matt Welch and Nick Gillespie know a fraudulent con artist when they see one. Game recognize game.

    They and Bill Geld are like a match made in heaven.

  • BruceMajors||

    They both have kids; when were they castrated?

    And Weigel is getting on up there in years; shouldn't you go home so he can keep a stiffy?

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    At this point, what difference does it make?

    Unless Harry Browne pulls a Jesus and comes back to life, might as well give Bill Weld a fair shot.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    At this point, what difference does it make?

    This.

  • ||

    If Sarwark and Weld are examples of the libertarian moment....takes lick of ice cream. Turns and slowly walks away.

  • Cloudbuster||

    No just no, but hell no.

  • BunkerBill||

    Just what the Libertarian Party needs, another washed up Republican Party castoff, who has a few half way libertarian beliefs on a few issues.

  • IMissLiberty||

    We could use a "Dog Whisperer" candidate that has a calm-assertive manner and confidence.

    Sarwark was my hero at the 2016 convention, saving the day from the floor, with a common sense remark, when it threatened to derail. He is right about needing all types.

    Weld is tall and laid back (tall candidates win). He is a contrast to Trump. He seems teachable. No doubt libertarians on the campaign trail are doing that. Gary Johnson has good judgement about people (having hired many); I'm willing to give Weld a chance to compete and debate for the nomination. We're lucky, at any rate, to have them all on our team.

    Can Weld stand up to bullies and arm-twisting? Is he a people-pleaser or naive? His work as a prosecutor and as governor showed some independence. I don't think he is naive about government and political office-holders. I think he's sincere. It's a bit late in life to switch parties as a temporary measure, and it certainly has a cost.

    I'm still hoping the dollar crisis doesn't happen during the first Libertarian presidency. My biggest worry about a Ron Paul presidency was that he would be blamed for being in office when the thing he was warning about finally happened. That would be a gross injustice to him. And even though he'd be willing to administer the cure, it will taste like medicine, and people would blame him.

    Yes, now I worry our candidate may be elected.

    I'll bet there are many who are sorry they didn't do so last time.

  • BruceMajors||

    The latest Dark Money Koch Brothers plot! Hillary friend William Weld runs for president as a Libertarian, driving some #Libertarian voters to Trump, and pulling votes from the Democrat

  • LibertarianAtheist||

    Screw Adam Kokesh. He is the least Libertarian person I have ever known. What kind of Libertarian organizes a gun march on D.C. then weeks before canceled it, then the last minute does it solo in the early dawn with a quick "Look at me loading a shotgun in D.C." video like a chick shit?

    He is an agent provocateur.

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